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April 16, 2018

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs

Bristol, Tennessee

THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by our race‑winning car owner, Joe Gibbs. Coach, back‑to‑back wins here for Kyle. What does this mean for you guys at Joe Gibbs Racing?
JOE GIBBS: I've got to tell you, I really appreciate everybody, first of all. Our fans are just awesome, the fans that came yesterday and fought through. We've had some tough weather over the weekend since we started this year off. Appreciate our NASCAR fans and everybody that showed up today.
Just a huge deal for us, for Skittles and Mars. Everybody here knows our sport is different. You've got to have a great sponsor. They're actually partners, and for us to get a win last week with Interstate Batteries with Kyle doing what he did in Dallas and to come back and then to get a win with Skittles and Mars, calling everybody in the company, just a great, great day.
I think this race today was a great finish to yesterday. We were stop and start, everybody is all over the place, really cold. You can't get a feel for things. Fought through all that, came back today. It was a total team effort by I think everybody, and of course Kyle just drove his heart out, and he always does that.
I appreciate everybody back home, J.D., everybody that works on our cars back at home. I just wish they could all be here. Appreciate Toyota, too, just all they do in our partnership.
Big day for us, and the Lord blessed us with just a real thrill.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by our winning driver, Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 Skittles Toyota. You've built up quite the points lead in the standings, 59 points now over second place. What does this mean for you?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, it means a lot, you know, to come to Bristol, a place where everybody expects you to do so well, expects you to win, that we're able to get one. I wasn't sure there late in the going with 50 to go with the vibrations and everything that I was feeling that I was going to be able to have a shot. I wasn't sure if we were going to go green the rest of the way or what was going to happen.
But fortunately for us, unfortunately for some others, that caution did come out and we were able to come down pit road and put four tires on that things. We restarted second on that inside lane, and I wanted to stay out of the spray to not get anything on my tires but ended up towards the exit I got down into some of those marbles, and then when Larson launched and took off, I was just spinning the tires. There was just nothing for me to go with.
So I struggled really bad on the restart. I thought that's where I lost it. Just put my head down and tried to get back going, just tried to chase those guys back down and do what I could to get there. Larson looked loose. It looked like he was kind of battling it there for a little bit. The 17 kind of got to him first, and then I got to the 17 and was able to get by him and then get back up and catch Larson again. He slipped up a few times and was able to give me that opportunity to get there, and we made the most of it.
When it comes down to the end, it's crunch time, you've got to go. I wasn't sure if I made my move too soon. I thought so. But our car was fast enough that Larson never had a shot to get back to us to repay the favor.
It was a pretty good race, I thought. It was pretty fun. The bottom, the top, all around, everywhere, so hopefully we can continue to develop a good tire here that we can not have those long‑run issues where we keep getting that bounce feel and even put on a better show.

Q. Can you become the second driver to win three straight next week at Richmond?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I'd like to think so. We haven't quite been as strong as we wanted to be at Richmond the last few times. I don't know what we're kind of missing there. I don't think it's one of Adam's best racetracks. I think it's one of mine. But we'll continue to try to get better and figure out what we need to get around there well.
I don't know, it used to be easy. We used to show up and we used to change this little thing and this little thing and we were fast, myself and Denny included, and then the last few times there, we haven't been great as a company. Kenseth was really fast there a couple years ago, but I'd like to think that we can. We'll give it our best.

Q. Yesterday you said just let me at the leaders, I'm going to have them for lunch. Was that just bravado or did you know you had something for those guys?
KYLE BUSCH: No, I knew we had a really good car. I once we got into the long runs, when we did get into the long runs, we were running them down. We were passing people, you know. The distance that Larson and I had on third place there before that last caution came out was a straightaway or something like that, and I was even slowing down because I felt like I was going to blow a tire, so I was trying to soften my blow.
But you know, with as good as we were, Larson was just as good, so he was right there all day.

Q. Last weekend you tied Bill Elliott. This week you've pretty much made quick work of that record. You're moving on to Buck Baker. Talk about being on this roll of two wins in a row, then before that a couple seconds. You seem to be on a roll right now.
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, we certainly are. It's a true testament to our team, though, everybody on this No. 18 team M&M's‑Skittles‑Interstate Batteries Toyota team, and it's just working phenomenally together. We've been as a group, since Adam has been on board, this is the same group of guys. We've maybe lost one or two here or there. One of them got promoted to car chief on another team. And so our group is pretty cool. I enjoy working with my guys an awful lot, and I just feel like we're clicking on all eight cylinders right now.
That's just a great thing to have, and it gives you a lot of confidence when you can go to the racetrack with these guys, and Joe is going to have to pay them a lot more in order to keep them all as a group, so that's fortunately not my problem‑‑
JOE GIBBS: You're making all the money. Why don't you pay them.
KYLE BUSCH: We might have the Tom Brady effect here where I've got to take a cut in order to give to the rest. So it's all good, and we'll hopefully continue this roll that we're on right now.

Q. Joe, after the race Denny expressed his frustration today on the pit gun, blaming that for the loose wheel. One thing that he said was that one solution would be that JGR would be potentially willing to supply guns to other teams if that was actually a condition to going back to the former system. I don't know if you're able to‑‑ willing to provide that, if that would be part of it. Is that a thought? Is that something you offered, or where do you stand on that matter?
JOE GIBBS: Well, I think, first of all, we had two loose lug nuts today that put us down multiple laps‑‑
KYLE BUSCH: Loose wheels.
JOE GIBBS: Wheels, I meant. They both put us down multiple laps. Now, for our sponsors and everybody, I'm calling, trying to explain it, and it's hard to explain. So as far as‑‑ we all work together, our teams. NASCAR has been very good about working with us, and when we come up against a problem, we've been good about working hard to solve it.
I think we have a number of meetings this week with NASCAR, and I think we'll be working on this and hopefully working towards a solution. I think it would be hard for us to build the guns for everybody. That would be tough.
But I think we need to come up with a solution for sure.

Q. I know you talked about the meetings this week. Denny was saying he felt like if this continues, it's going to cause people‑‑ it'll cost somebody a race or even potentially a championship at the end of the year, or even advancing in rounds. Do you agree with that?
JOE GIBBS: Well, I think when you get something like this, this going on, and it's happened to multiple teams each week, I think you've got to find a way to fix it, address it. And I think that's what we'll be talking about this week. I feel good that NASCAR is on board. Obviously they don't want issues. And I think we'll all work together and come up with a solution.

Q. You usually get quite a reception of boos and other such from the fans. With obviously the weather circumstances today, just how was today's Victory Lane? Could you still hear any people in the stands or were there die‑hard supporters, and then just in general with the type of success you've had at Bristol, how does this compare to some of your other victories or just winning at other tracks?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I mean, obviously it was the weather that held a lot of people out, and being a Monday, held a lot of people out from being here. Many were probably seeing the forecast for much of the weekend and were kind of scared to be here, so it's unfortunate for that.
But hopefully when we come back here in the fall time, August, we have a better opportunity to hear more boos after the race. Certainly today I couldn't really tell, just getting out of the car. There were certainly a lot of 18 M&M's folks here today, so appreciate Rowdy Nation showing up and supporting the cause and getting us a good reception there in Victory Lane right around the start‑finish line area there when I got out of the car and then again in Victory Lane. I saw a lot that were kind of guests of the racetrack that kind of came over and came down onto the racetrack, so it was cool.
JOE GIBBS: Just a fan thing, the passionate fans that follow Kyle‑‑ there was a lady right outside the door here, she asked me to sign this piece of‑‑ she had a fender or something. She was crying. We've got passionate fans following our sport. I can tell you this, when I walk into Joe Gibbs Racing, a lot of the people that visit there, they've got M&M's on. So I think Kyle has got a heck of a following, and I think he's getting a lot of cheers, too. At least we were. I think maybe there was more of us than the fans.

Q. Kyle Larson said that it's getting frustrating getting beat by you this year because it seems he has really good cars, but you seem to prevail at the end. Is there something that you feel like you have an edge on at the end on him at a place like this?
KYLE BUSCH: No, I don't think so. I mean, there was an Xfinity Series race one time a couple years ago when we were‑‑ it was one of the Dash for Cash races and we were battling through the stages, and we were just whipping through lap traffic, and he had me beat that day. I don't remember what happened, how the end of that race unfolded. But it was fun. Larson and I are pretty much neck‑and‑neck. It just seems like whoever can kind of get out front seems to have it. Larson was out front today at the end, and it just seemed like he was a little bit too loose.
I mean, it comes down to perfection and having to have your race car be perfect, and I'm not so sure that he had that there at the end. I'm not so sure mine was perfect, either, but mine was a lot closer than his was.

Q. Second, does Brad Keselowski go up any sort of notch in your book for bringing out the caution that allowed you to come in for tires?
KYLE BUSCH: That's pushing it too far. I mean, that's why I said earlier, I was like, fortunately for us, unfortunately for others. I kind of felt bad for him maybe just that much, but it certainly helped our cause, so that was much appreciated. Let's just go with that.

Q. Kyle, do you think that all racetracks should push to have Victory Lane celebrations on the front stretch closer to the fans like it is here?
KYLE BUSCH: Yes and no. I mean, it's kind of complicated. I heard what they told me in the drivers' meeting on what they were going to do with the Victory Lane celebration, and I was kind of confused because it's like the third different way that we've been celebrating here the last four race or whatever. Fortunately for me, when you win here a lot, you tend to know where you're supposed to go.
I was going back to the roof. I was going to be the only one up there. I was going to celebrate myself. But then I kind of got whisked back to pit road. I think they wanted me to actually turn in from the Turn 1 side, and I came in from the Turn 4 side.
I don't know, we just need to‑‑ I'd like the Victory Lane celebration on the roof here. I think that's cool. You get to come in and turn up and drive up onto the roof and get up there, and they've got the pyro and all that stuff up there that's really cool and the fireworks that come out from behind you and stuff. I thought that was always really, really special here at Bristol to be able to go up there on the roof.
Other racetracks, Martinsville, it kind of fits. There's no other area or opportunity to celebrate, so on the front stretch there is good. Richmond, maybe they could have the Victory Lane celebration be out there outside the pit wall on the grass rather than back behind the fuel pumps, you know. There's some cool things that can happen at some different racetracks, and maybe guys are thinking of that. But if it were me, Bristol should put it back on the roof.

Q. Kyle, during this morning and during the race, Dale Jr. has been talking a lot about how he's been looking forward to his podcast because apparently you're going to be a guest and talk about Richmond and your history. How did that come about, and are you looking forward to doing that?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, actually, I am. It came about from Gluck, actually. He asked Dale and I to talk about‑‑ we did it separately. I did my side of the story, he did his side of the story, and there's the Gluck thing that's out, and when Gluck asked us to do that, it actually kind of spurred an idea in my head, and I was like, hey‑‑ we called over to Davis, obviously, and asked those guys if they'd be willing to have me on their show in order to talk about it and hash it out, like in person or on radio, like face‑to‑face, like with one another, 10 years past, and we've actually kind of grown a little bit of a friendship, so actually there may be a few laughs shared, maybe a few tears shared, as well, too. So we'll see what happens. We were supposed to record it today in 35 minutes, so that's obviously not going to happen, so I'll‑‑ I think we're going to try to shoot for tomorrow morning.

Q. Will that be the first time you've discussed that incident?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, this will be the first time that we've talked about that incident, yeah. Yeah, so it'll be fun.

Q. You've got seven wins here; what are you going to do with all the swords?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't know. I don't know. It's a cool problem to have. These things are pretty neat. They're super, super nice, and the engraving is on the inside of the blade, inside of the cover on the blade, have exactly what the race was and the date and stuff like that, so it's really, really special. That's certainly a unique trophy with the last great coliseum here at Bristol. It's pretty fun to take all those home. I said the last time I finally got three of them that Brexton, Samantha and myself, we were all going to have a sword fight, so now I guess I've got one for any future children down the road, so we'll see what happens. Brexton was actually telling me, Dada, be careful, that's sharp, so he was all about it. He was keeping me safe.

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