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September 3, 2017

Kyle Busch

Darlington, South Carolina

THE MODERATOR: Good evening. We have now been joined by our second‑place finisher, driver of the No.18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, and Kyle, you would always prefer to be one spot better, but talk about your night and coming home second this evening.
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, it was a really good effort for us, really good race for us. I certainly wish that we could have kept pace with the 11 a little bit longer. We were right there with him for a long time, longer than we had all night long in that final stint. But he got through a couple lap cars a little quicker than I did, and then they got side by side and then I got sucked into the fence, and after that it just wasn't the same, so we just had to try to bide our time and just come home in one piece or nobody was coming behind us, so we just had to‑‑ I think we had a seven‑second gap or something behind us so we had a long ways to give up, so we just did that, and the 11 was just the car of the day and class of the field, so congratulations to those guys. We saw it here in practice on Friday, and I was hoping we could hang with them there a little bit more, but I think I made too many adjustments to our car and got us out of place there for the last two stints.

Q. I guess Denny is not the first guy to miss pit road here, but can you describe how different this entrance is? Is it much harder than most?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, this one is probably one of the hardest, especially because of the tire falloff is just so great here. I think Dover is obviously another one that's pretty sketchy to try to get down. But Darlington here is probably the worst. But I thought actually that was going to be our saving grace to win the race was Denny missing pit road because we were ahead of him. When he missed it, I passed him, and then we came down pit road, and we didn't have one of the best stops of the day there on the final one. The 11 must have because they passed us back leaving pit road, and I just wasn't able to get back in front of him. I felt like if I could have had track position over him that possibly I could have chased down the 78 and been able to win the race, but give it to the 11, they were fast.

Q. Darlington is known for long runs and a real physical race. Did the stages kind of break that up for you and help you catch your breath or was it kind of the same?
KYLE BUSCH: I thought it was normal. I thought it was normal Darlington. I thought actually early in the race we were going through tire sets way too fast. We were 28 laps, 30 laps, 16 laps, eight laps, so it was early. Normally our tire runs are 48, 55 laps, something like that, is normally when guys are starting to pit, so I thought we were clicking tire sets off too fast, but obviously there at the end there when it went green it was a good thing for us, and Adam Stevens and Wheels were obviously on the same game plan there to just pit once and stretch it a little bit longer that second to last run, and then the second‑‑ the last run obviously stretch it, too. I think a lot of people when they pitted early, they kind of caught on to what Denny and I were doing, and we basically forced their hand that they had to stay out. They were just going to lose way too much track position if they pitted because they would have lost a lap. I think the 4, a couple other guys, I don't remember exactly who, maybe the 20 was actually one that did pit twice, so he finished sixth, but overall it was just a real good heads‑up call by the 11 and the 18 crew chiefs.

Q. Kyle, you talk about the game plan and the call by Adam Stevens. Was that something, a potential scenario that you guys had talked about before the race to try and end up on fresher tires at the end of the field or just one of those that kind of formed for you guys as the race played out?
KYLE BUSCH: No, that's an off‑the‑hip call. Obviously you can't plan for those things. You can't plan for how the cautions are going to fall, where they're going to fall, what tire strategies are going to be, etcetera. Our guys just made that call on the fly, and we stayed out a little bit longer that second to last stint. Good call by them and being able to be heads up like that.
THE MODERATOR: Kyle, we appreciate your time, and we'll go ahead and let you get on out of here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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