home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 17, 2017

Christopher Bell

Kyle Busch

Homestead, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We're going to cap off our Ford EcoBoost 200 post‑race driver and owner availabilities with our championship‑winning driver, Christopher Bell, and our owner champion Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports. This was the 10th manufacturer's championship for Toyota. Christopher, this was obviously your first championship, but you finish the 2017 season with five wins, 15 top‑5 finishes, 21 top‑10 finishes, and five Keystone Light pole awards. Solid, solid statistics there.
Kyle, for your organization this is your record fifth consecutive and sixth all‑time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship, the first team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ownership to win five consecutive owner titles. You have over the course of time led 10 different drivers to Victory Lane for a total of 65 series wins.
Christopher, exciting race throughout the night. You stayed up close to the front. Talk us through how things went from your perspective.
CHRISTOPHER BELL: Well, it was really, really‑‑ I don't know, I don't want to say smooth sailing, but things went our way. As soon as we fired off there, I knew my truck was really, really good. I could kind of just take it easy. Whenever you get to these pavement races and you can go fast without trying as hard, you're always in better shape because you can take care of your tires so much easier. I was able to really run the bottom of 1 and 2 at the beginning of the race and make really good time down there, and it was really beneficial for me because I was keeping me truck out of danger down there.
But those guys kept getting better and better each restart, and we kept tightening it up, tightening it up, which I think hurt our fire‑off speed, but over the long run made it safer for me to drive, and it paid off.
THE MODERATOR: Kyle, unprecedented level of consistency for your organization. What's the secret to that?
KYLE BUSCH: I think one of the secrets is obviously people. Joe Gibbs will always tell you that, and I strongly believe in that, as well, too, that when you have a great group of people, great group of guys and girls at Kyle Busch Motorsports that you do, you thank them for all the hard work that they do and everything that they're able to accomplish, and putting fast Tundras on the racetrack is certainly the start of all that.
Our success that we've had over the course of the career that we've had in the Camping World Truck Series of being team owners has been a phenomenal road, and it's something that we enjoy each and every year, and to see guys like Christopher Bell and William Byron and Erik Jones and the talents that they have and the ability that they show behind the wheel of our Tundras to just take them to Victory Lane, take them to championships, is what we're all about.
I can't thank Christopher enough and him and all the guys for sticking with us and believing in our program and for Christopher being with us for two years. Obviously this is kind of a goodbye moment, but being teammates with him again next year at Joe Gibbs Racing is going to be a lot of fun, and looking forward to seeing him continue to grow and evolve in this sport.

Q. Christopher, you started the season with the win in Chili Bowl. You end as a NASCAR champion. Any comparison between the two, and can it get any better?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: As a calendar year overall, I don't think it gets much better than that. You can't compare the two. One of them is a race, and one of them is a championship over a course of a year. So hey, it's really tough to compare them, but to be able to win both is definitely a dream come true.

Q. How hard was it not to want to race for the win with everything that was at stake and as solid as your car was? I heard Hirschman or the radio, he was just trying to keep you focused on the big prize, but how difficult when you're a racer is it not to want to go out to the lead?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: Well, it's extremely difficult, and that's a product of this format. I mean, I would have loved to have been able to lock it up and race for a win tonight, but you never know if you have a late‑race restart‑‑ you saw over the course of the restarts throughout the race that all the playoff trucks ended up right around each other, and we had to race really hard to get that track position. But at the end of the race whenever I was running down the 27, I kept having to bite my tongue to not try and go get him, and they kept telling me how good I was compared to everyone behind me and had to keep the big picture in mind.

Q. Christopher, do you believe in yourself as much in a truck now as you do in a dirt midget?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: Getting there. Not there completely. The pavement deal is very difficult, especially coming here to a place like Homestead where every lap your truck does something different or your car does something different. I think that's just a product of me running on dirt for 16, 17 years now and only being on pavement for four years and having maybe 100 races total under my belt.
I'm definitely gaining confidence as I go, but that's going to take a lot of time.

Q. And for Kyle, your first driver champion was Erik Jones. He came up through late models. Christopher comes up through sprint cars. Is there anything you've seen from the time Christopher started with you‑‑ what did he have to learn to match what Jones did?
KYLE BUSCH: He didn't have to learn much at Eldora. He did way better than Jones at Eldora. But past that, you know, just‑‑ I think being able to figure out how to go fast and be tight. You know, Jones, I raced against him a couple times in late models, and every time I raced against him he was fast and he was a bit free, kind of loose, and Christopher thought that was a fast way when he got here, loose is fast, but in all honesty, he probably learned that tighter is a little bit better, especially in a truck. I think that was a little bit of a learning experience for him, just knowing how fast and how good you could be, being able to have a little bit of tug on the steering wheel.
But other than that, I think, you know, learning traffic is one of the biggest things. I think they both had to learn traffic an awful lot over the course of the years that they've been with us, and trucks are probably the most difficult series to race aero dependently because they just punch such a big hole in the air with the truck in front of you. But they all have their different traits. They all grow some of their traits from me after the butt chewings that they get on Monday mornings‑‑
CHRISTOPHER BELL: We had to cancel the competition meeting last week.
KYLE BUSCH: Yes, we did. He still hasn't gotten his butt chewing yet. It's not going to be as hard now as it would have been last week, but all in all, they continue to grow, they continue to evolve, they continue to get better each and every race that they do, like Christopher said. 100 pavement starts is pretty phenomenal to grow that fast and that quick. Obviously Kyle Larson is probably one of the only others that's been that quick, so it's cool to see, especially coming through us with KBM.

Q. Johnny Sauter said last week that he did everything right.
KYLE BUSCH: Johnny Sauter is an idiot. I'll have to talk to Johnny, too. Just kidding. That's just my favorite word.

Q. Rudy was in here just a minute ago. He said one of the things that's been big in Christopher's growth this year was cleaning up some of the little mistakes that seemed to hold him back last year. Was there a conscious effort to kind of address some of those little things that were just little issues, or is part of this just a year older, year wiser?
KYLE BUSCH: It's definitely a year older, year wiser thing. I definitely look at Erik Jones, Erik Jones was the same way. We just had to clean up little stuff with him. He was fast, we just needed to clean up some of the little mistakes and some of the stuff that he would do in practice that he would kind of miss setup his truck for the race. Those were some of the things that we did with him, and I think Christopher just cleaning up some of his race technique and things like that was something else.
The one guy that was the year before Christopher here was William, and man, for as late as William started and for as little experience as he had, he just had a really good race craft, and he's special, and it's not to take anything away from Jones or from Christopher; I think they're all going to be just as good with one another because they're all going to be racing each other here in a few years. As a matter of fact, Jones and William next year, but Christopher is not far off. It's just different drivers, different traits, different things, different learning distances, how long it takes to figure those things out sometimes. Hell, I'm 32 and I'm still learning some things as well, too. It's taken me this long to figure out how to win a championship in 2015 being in the sport for 12 years.

Q. I didn't say to have, are you going to celebrate tonight or wait until after you run for the XFINITY owner championship tomorrow?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: Well, right when I won the Chili Bowl I went to Waffle House, so I might have to find a Waffle House to go to tonight. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for me. With me moving into the XFINITY Series it's going to be huge to experience what a Homestead race is like in an XFINITY car, and I'm part of the owner championship, too, so there's a big task at hand tomorrow, and I need to make sure that I'm ready to go for that.
KYLE BUSCH: Which number are you in, the 20?
KYLE BUSCH: Oh, I don't care. I'll go talk to Preece tonight and help him out.
CHRISTOPHER BELL: Tell him to turn down whenever I slide him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297