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May 27, 2018

Kyle Busch

Charlotte, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: We're joined in the media center our by race winner, Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 M&M's Red, White and Blue Toyota. Kyle, the stat says it all ‑‑ the only driver in NASCAR to win at every track he's raced on. How does that feel to finally have that accomplishment?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, somebody already had to give me the bad news and tell me it's only for 100 days, so that sucks. But certainly pretty cool tonight, and having the opportunity of what I've been able to do and what I've been able to accomplish. We've been talking about it here in this room for a few years now, and we've come oh so close a few times, but was finally able to close out the deal tonight, so feels so good to win here in Charlotte. It's everybody's backyard they always say, and we live just down the road, so it's so cool to spend a couple weeks at home and to have the family here and Brexton's birthday. I missed the opportunity to win on his birthday in the truck race last week, so hopefully this repays him a little bit for that. He was pretty jacked in Victory Lane, so I don't think he cared. He was excited regardless.
Just a phenomenal night, though. Adam Stevens and everybody on this Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was just on it, and that M&M's Camry was fast and wanted to stay up front, and it was pretty easy to do that with something driving so good.

Q. Adam said that for him at the end of the race, it got to the point where you had been so dominant throughout that there was almost a feeling of relief which the checkered finally fell. Did you have any of that?
KYLE BUSCH: Oh, absolutely. When you're running down those last 40 laps or whatever, it's just, what's going to happen, what's going to go wrong? You're basically hoping that none of the other cars hit the wall or nobody spins out or nothing stupid happens in order to cause a caution because you have a decent‑sized lead. You just want to hold that. I knew I was kind of giving up a little bit of lap time and Martin was kind of closing on us a little bit there when we were getting through traffic. But when you have a lead like that, you've got to take care of your car. You've got to take care of the situations you put yourself in, and so that's what we were doing there. Our car was phenomenal all night long. We just didn't want to force any issues there with it late in the going, and if there was anything that kind of would cause a late dash for cash, if you will, that we were ready to go for it.

Q. Kyle, Adam mentioned it earlier when he was in here that you're one of the best if not the best at searching around and finding grip, and sometimes will do it just to see what's there for the future. I noticed early on in the race it seemed like you waited for other people to go up and really try the PJ‑1 stuff. Was that something that you learned in the truck race and in the Busch race, that they would go up and test it, or you already knew how long it would take once guys got up there?
KYLE BUSCH: No, I mean, basically I knew it was faster. I knew my car was going to like it up there. I just would let them kind of go to it first and make them force my hand to have to run lap time. It was worth two‑and‑a‑half tenths to go up there, so if we didn't have to run up there, I wasn't going to show everybody it was faster to run up there, but when they started picking up a little bit of speed, I'd go up there for about five to ten laps and build my cushion back out because we were so fast, and then I'd come back out of it and get back down because if you ran out of it, it would change your handling characteristics, and if you ran in it, it would change your handling characteristics, so you kind of had to play with it and bide your time and use that as a strategic part of the race.

Q. You've won four races this year on four different tracks. Would it be fair to say that the car you had tonight was the best car you've had at any of the tracks this year?
KYLE BUSCH: I'll tell you what, I don't know that I've ever had a car that good at Charlotte or in other places. I don't know. It goes up against one of my Brickyard cars. It was just so good at the Brickyard a few years ago, but tonight was pretty awesome. I could pretty much go anywhere I wanted. That thing was so racy. I'd just go to the middle, I'd go to the bottom, I'd just run wherever I wanted to. It was good and gripped up and felt really, really strong and comfortable wherever I needed to go.

Q. You mentioned the 100 days. Well, you've got two wins at Sonoma, two wins at Watkins Glen, I believe. Are you really worried about the race here at the Roval? Think you might be able to pull that one off?
KYLE BUSCH: It would be nice to come out here and be one‑and‑done and win the Roval race. I don't know if it's still a points win at Charlotte. I don't know. So it would be for all the typewriters to figure out, I guess. But all in all, it's just something cool tonight to be able to accomplish something that I've been dreaming about since I was a kid. I remember being eight, nine, 10 years old and wanting to win races at Charlotte, wanting to win the Coke 600, wanting to win the All‑Star Race and just remembering watching those races under the lights here and dreaming of one day going to Victory Lane, and now finally it's here. It's taken so long, but it feels so good in the same breath. Just going to cherish the next 100 days and we'll be back here at Charlotte again trying to go for another win at a different venue.
THE MODERATOR: We saw in Victory Lane that coach handed you the phone. Do you mean letting everyone know who was on the phone?
KYLE BUSCH: That was our President of Chocolate, North America, Tracey Massey, from M&M's Mars.

Q. There was a lot of interference (indiscernible)?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, we did. We experienced some interference. It was like a phone call, like somebody would key up the radio and it would dial a number and then it would go away. I don't know what that was all about. We had it for about, I don't know, one or two laps in the third stage, and then we had it for about eight laps in the final stage, and finally I just had to shut that radio off, and then figure out where my backup was and get it turned on. That was the first time I've probably ever turned on my backup radio, so I was searching for it trying to find it. It's not so bright inside our cockpit so it's kind of hard to see with everything being black. Got it handled and was able to soldier on the rest of the day.

Q. Kyle, have you ever had a Cup Series race go this perfectly from beginning to end?
KYLE BUSCH: I would say, yeah, I think the Brickyard one of those years we started up front, maybe not on pole, but we got to the lead pretty early, and then every pit stop‑‑ we just kind of led the rest of the day, and we had a pretty dominant car, and I think it was 15‑‑ 15 or 16, and we were looking for the same thing last year to go for three in a row Brickyards, and didn't quite finish that one. You know, it's hard to pass at the Brickyard, so it's kind of hard to pass here at Charlotte, although Martin made it up through the field a couple times. I know the 4 was coming there early in the going before he had his struggles.
I mean, it's all about the fastest car. I mean there's going to be guys that have fast cars who are going to make their way to the front and once they get there it's hard for the rest of the guys to make ground on those cars that are too fast and pass them.

Q. Adam I believe mentioned about‑‑ mentioned the Xfinity race that you also ran. How much do you feel‑‑ this is a two‑parter. How much did you feel like that helped in your performance tonight, and also, how would you assess this race as opposed to the All‑Star Race with the superspeedway package?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I mean, I learned a little bit yesterday in the Xfinity race. Certainly was searching around with different grooves and stuff. It seemed like it was more important to run higher yesterday than it was tonight. Tonight it kind of seemed like the bottom would progress nicely throughout the runs and you could kind of stay down there. It was dependent on what your car was doing on where you wanted to run. My car was so loose yesterday, I had to run higher. It would automatically tighten you up about two to three numbers when you'd run higher. It was just better balance.
As far as what to do with the different packages, obviously last week's race arguably would be a bit more entertaining than tonight's race, but we're race car drivers, and our teams and the 600 people at Joe Gibbs Racing try to build fast race cars, and when the fastest car can win the race, we're thrilled with that being at our car, and when it's not our car, we know we've got to go to work and work harder. If the other package is what we come back here with or race anywhere else with, trust me, our engineers will science it out and I hate to say make it boring, but they'll probably make it a bit more single file than what we saw the other night.

Q. Two years ago we watched Martin Truex basically put a whooping on them like you put on them tonight. Where did that come from? Did you steal Truex's notebook? Did you re‑skin his car from two years ago? Other than like you mentioned at the Brickyard, I don't know that we've seen a performance quite like that out of you in a long time.
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, no, I don't remember that dominant for that long in a while. It certainly feels good. We were always scratching our heads and trying to figure out how the 78 could do it, and now it's like that the 18 can do it. The house car did it. I think that was something to pat all of ourselves on the back with at Joe Gibbs Racing for sure, and to see ourselves be able to go out there and have a night like we had tonight. Feels really, really good, and everybody should be thrilled and cherish this one for a while.

Q. After getting beat the way you did last year, after the way a couple of the other races went the last two weeks, was there extra motivation to come out here and just put it to them the way you did?
KYLE BUSCH: No, I wouldn't say there's extra motivation. You know, I think‑‑ are you talking about losing at Homestead?

Q. (No microphone).
KYLE BUSCH: Oh, the 600 last year, okay. I wouldn't say that we looked at this one like, hey, we have to win here or anything like that. I mean, obviously it's one that I haven't won, so my guys are certainly more tuned in this week. They want to win in their backyard. They've got a lot of family here and they've got a lot of friends that come out here to this race, so it's cool to be able to win in our backyard. But with everything that we've got going on throughout the season, it's a long season, there's a lot of races. We do try to focus on each week as much as we possibly can to have good, prepared race cars to go win every week.

Q. Winning races is great, you've got a couple of those, but you've been leading the points, too, and we all know how important that regular season championship is. Have you been cognizant of the fact you've been leading the points, and how much are you focused on closing that out?
KYLE BUSCH: I wouldn't say we're focused on it a whole lot. I would just say that we know it's out there, and we know that when we run well and we do well and we finish races well that the points take care of themselves. You know, so here tonight, I think we scored max points that we could and set us up for an awesome opportunity to kind of have a bit of a cushion maybe for a few weeks because those guys behind us were kind of closing in, Logano and Harvick were closing in on us the last couple weeks, but this week feels good to have a bit of a cushion built back up. We go to a few of our tracks that we like going to, and hopefully can run well at, and try to keep this foundation in which we've built already this year consistent through the next however many weeks to bring home the regular season championship for those extra bonus points that you get from that.

Q. I asked Joe Gibbs what it is about you on race day or game day where he used to coach football players, and he said there's just certain people that are special on game day, and he described you as one of those guys who's super competitive. What are you like on race day? Do you change your personality? When you put on the helmet, do you become kind of a different person?
KYLE BUSCH: We're all bipolar, there's no question. Some just show it a little bit better than others. For me, I guess what you see is what you get more than likely.
But with this morning, I guess, I was a little bit rough around the edges, so there was something kind of to me that Samantha noticed. She's like, what's the matter with you. I'm like, I don't know. I guess it was just race day. Besides that, you know, just doing your hospitality runs and doing appearances and things like that and having people chase you all over and then 10,000 people being out on the racetrack before the race starts, it‑‑ for me, I tend to sometimes get a little overwhelmed and kind of shut down or get a little spooked, if you will. I think Brexton, we kind of see that a little bit from him, so it's a little bit genetic. It's kind of interesting that you see it from your kid, and you're like, oh, man, that's me. You're kind of figuring things out as you go along and what's going on. Overall once you get your helmet on and once you're by yourself, no offense to my wife, but that's my favorite time of the day is just being in the race car and making laps by myself.

Q. I asked Denny and Martin this question, and I'm sure your answer will be the same based on your performance, but did you like the package tonight better or the package last week better?
KYLE BUSCH: Like I said before, I mean, if the package that we had last week is going to be the package, we're all going to go to work and we're going to figure out how to screw it up. It's just a fact of the matter. Our engineers are way too smart. They're going to make cars faster, and the faster cars are going to out‑perform the slower cars. I liked this package better because it was more into the driver's hands. Good drivers will show up. Good cars will show up. And you'll have talent that actually comes through. Last week I felt like I was racing with my four ways on, and any chance there was going to be a crash, and certainly there was, and we were in the middle of it because anybody can do it. You just hold the pedal to the floor and steer it around the racetrack. It's not that hard.
I think there's more luck involved in those races than skill, and I'd much rather race races that have skill involved.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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