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September 10, 2018

Kyle Busch

Indianapolis, Indiana

THE MODERATOR: We've now been joined by our regular season champion and our second‑place finisher, regular season champion Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, and our second‑place finisher in today's Brickyard 400, driver of the No.20 BuyaToyota.com Toyota, Erik Jones. We will start off with questions for Kyle or Erik.

Q. How much of a challenge was it for both of you for the whole field to come out and race when you hadn't had any prior time on this track this weekend?
ERIK JONES: You know, I think for me as a driver, it wasn't too bad. I think you're more worried about your car and tire rubs and hitting the splitter and how it's going to handle. It's always an unknown when you kind of just fire off. But they do a pretty good job, most weekends if you don't fire off pretty close in practice, you're going to have a long weekend anyway. Fortunately we fired off okay in the race, but it's still tough when you don't have a day and a half to adjust on it and make it better, but from the seat, I would say for me, this is a place I don't have a lot of experience at, and it's probably one of the tougher places to get your bearings and get your marks the first run of the day.
So the first couple laps you definitely take it a little bit easy being in traffic and trying to get settled in, but it wasn't too bad.
KYLE BUSCH: I thought today was all right, same as Erik. The guys obviously always want a chance to work on the car and kind of set everything and fine tune and make sure everything is right because sometimes you come here with a different tire or the tire reacts differently than what you're used to, and so for us, it was all right. When we were out front, we seemed to be pretty good. We had good speed. When we got back in traffic we were definitely too tight and we had to make adjustments all day long on trying to make sure our car was free enough to come up through the field, but still, it was tough to pass, especially when you'd get in line with guys after about 10, 12 laps, it seemed as though it was pretty equal after that. I felt okay as far as just coming out here cold turkey and getting going, though.

Q. Kyle, despite the bittersweet day, you picked up 15 points from the regular season championship. Does that give your team any kind of momentum since it bumps you up for a tie for first going into the playoffs?
KYLE BUSCH: I wouldn't say it gives us any momentum. Obviously it just kind of sets ourselves a little bit farther ahead, if you will, compared to some of our competition with the bonus point structure and the playoff points the way they are. The first round is going to be interesting with the Roval; the second round is going to be with Talladega, so any bonus points you can pick up are obviously good ones, and I feel like we did a good job of gaining some of that stuff here this year.
We've kind of given away a few stages overall in order to kind of get some race wins, so you kind of have a little bit of a trade‑off there, if you will, but overall, I feel like we came out of here today with not so good of a run. We certainly wish we could have been further up front and had a better day, but all things considered, we came out here achieving what we needed to achieve.

Q. Kyle, just talk a little bit about us being able to kick off the playoffs in Las Vegas, which is obviously a hometown favorite track for you.
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, being able to go to Las Vegas for the kickoff this year is a bit different. I'm looking forward to that. Normally we're at a different venue. We've been at different venues for a few years, so this will be the first for Vegas, and I think it's really special. We get an opportunity to go out there a little bit early, all the Chase drivers, and have a couple nights out maybe on the town or whatever. But overall, I'm looking forward to getting out there and just being able to get to the racetrack.
We know‑‑ well, I say that, I'll knock on wood first, and hopefully there's no weather out there. But normally it's a pretty good time of year to see some sunshine and some hot temperatures. Looking forward to that and what Vegas is going to have in store for all of us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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