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May 7, 2017

Kyle Busch

Jamie McMurray

Lincoln, Alabama

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by today's runner‑up of the Geico 500 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and that is none other than Jamie McMurray, driver of the No.1 McDonald's Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. Jamie, I know for somebody who is really not particularly fond of restrictor plate tracks, you really know how to navigate these. Talk about how you were able to get a runner‑up finish today.
JAMIE McMURRAY: I thought it was super hard to pass today. I don't know how everybody else felt. But you would‑‑ until the tires wore out and the cars started sliding around, it was just three wide, and there really wasn't anywhere to go. I actually raced with Kyle in about 30th for quite a bit of the race because there was no holes. It seemed like as the tires wore out and it got down to two lanes that you could kind of make people three wide and make some passes.
Yeah, but overall, I'm glad everybody is okay. It looked like an extremely scary wreck on the backstretch. I'm glad that we were able to miss that. It's super circumstantial on the track of who's in front of you, who's behind you. Like there's times when you feel like you're going to have a good run and you don't, and then there's other times that it happens. So it was a good overall day for us.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by today's third place finisher, that is Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 Skittles Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle, you had a great restart there at the end, but you had some trouble. Could you walk us through just the finish of the race from your perspective, please?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't really know where it all happened or transpired or how many to go it was, but I just‑‑ 17 got a run from behind off of Turn 2, and I don't know what his help was or anything like that, but he actually ran into the back of me, and then you'd think that that momentum would propel me forward some, and he just turned left and went right by me. That was pretty impressive, I guess, or I was just that slow and in his way.
Overall we had a great car. We were up front the beginning part of the race, kind of fell back, like McMurray said, through the middle stage of the race, and then got back up there at the end. We were in the dog seat and the position to win, we just had to hold him off, and we didn't do it.

Q. Jamie, where you restarted and Kyle had such excellent restarts, how do you figure out who to go with and where to go and which lane is moving?
JAMIE McMURRAY: I'd like to give you a really sophisticated answer, but the reality is that those plans fall apart in Turn 1. I think at one point someone missed a shift, maybe the 78 or something, and so it just scatters everybody. Really through Turns 1 and 2, you're not up to speed enough to really do a whole lot, and the 17 had a really fast car. He was able to make the very top work a couple of times. I just had to commit to the middle, and that's where my car was the best. But I asked them when I restarted behind Kyle the next‑to‑last restart, I'm like, what's happening because I haven't been here today, and I felt like the bottom seemed to be the better lane for a lap or two, so I was trying to get some information, and no one really seemed to know.
But I don't know, I mean, Kyle might bulls‑‑‑ you a little bit, but I don't think anybody really knows what they're going to do because you have to wait and kind of see what transpires on the restart.

Q. Kyle, as the leader, your restarts were tremendous. Was there something you were doing, because you seemed to be able to just jump away from the pack?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't know. Maybe it was everybody sleeping. I don't know. But it certainly was working, and that was sort of my strategy was to get it where I was single file and I could choose a lane and see which one had the momentum behind me. If I was stuck side by side with the bottom line, I never had that opportunity in order to protect both lanes. I seem to be able to do a good job at that, I just don't know how it all fell apart there in the last lap or two for us that we couldn't get to where we needed to be.

Q. When you're the leader like that and you know they're coming, how do you pick who to‑‑ how do you decide which is faster?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, the problem is the faster ones are whichever lane it's coming from behind you that is fast, they're just going to split you. You know, they're not going to wait and fall in behind you unless you're against the wall and they're pinned and they have no other choice. But it was really just kind of crazy there. I didn't even know how McMurray got to the middle off of Turn 2. I was on the outside of the 48, and he just muscled us right on through there, and so all in all, must be all those Big Macs. I'll just end it there. I have nothing else. (Laughter.)
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thanks for joining us today. Good luck next week in Kansas.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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