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


September 22, 2018

Kyle Busch

Richmond, Virginia

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by the winner of the Federated Auto Parts 400, Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 M&M's Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Q. When you were in here the last time you said you wanted a 60‑point lead and a win going into the Roval. You got the win; how do you feel now?
KYLE BUSCH: Feels pretty good. I think I said one or the other, right? Obviously just‑‑ it's really good to have the win, to be able to go into next week. I think any time you can automatically punch your ticket to the next round, that just makes it even better. Being able to come here to Richmond in the fall, whoever said I didn't win here in the fall race, I gotcha. We won here now. Finally.
Again, I didn't know what was eluding us from being able to win here in the fall, but we were able to get it done here tonight. It was a handful out there, that's for sure. The car wasn't great early, but once we got some adjustments to it, it really woke up, and the car kind of came to us in continuation all night long of the sun going down and just getting better and better, so it was good.

Q. When you were in here you were asked whether kind of the big three had lost a little bit of ground to everybody. Y'all finished one‑two‑three today. Is that a sign?
KYLE BUSCH: That's pretty good for Truex to get back to where he got to, considering he had that penalty late. He did finish third, right? Is that what you're saying?

Q. Yeah.
KYLE BUSCH: I knew Harvick was kind of closing in on us there at the end. I ran really hard trying to pass Brad, racing with Brad, and being able to finally get by him, and you could see how hard we ran by how fast he dropped. Our car was really, really good, good in the long run. I think Harvick maybe‑‑ well, the run before we kind of drove away from everybody, so I just‑‑ I think it was a factor of me running real hard, pushing real hard that Harvick was able to close in on us at the end. My stuff was really, really used up. I lost a ton of grip the last 10 laps of the race, so I was just trying to hang on.

Q. When you were challenging Brad, they kept telling you on the radio to run your race, run your pace. Is that possible in that situation?
KYLE BUSCH: Yes, kind of. There were a couple times where I was‑‑ 2 was inside, and whether I was being held a little tight or sliding up, whatever, we were getting kind of close, and in those moments you kind of tense up and the car slides, and any time the car slides, you know you're putting heat in the tires and you're putting heat into everything. You try to take a step back and kind of regroup, let everything cool down again and go reattack, and I was able to do that about twice. Second time it finally paid off when he was starting to drop.
You know, I spent a lot of time racing hard with him, and you know, good to be able to do that cleanly on my part, and then when you spend 15, 20 laps trying to pass the guy and you pass him and you get run into right as soon as you pass him, it's kind of like, come on, man, really? But oh, well.

Q. Your hand out the window, I assume that's what you're referring to?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, that was just, come on, man.

Q. Second of all, after‑‑
KYLE BUSCH: Come on, man.

Q. After Vegas, you're on pit road and you're like, man, something is way off, we're missing stuff. It seemed like you had said over the last month you guys didn't really have it. Does this‑‑ does what happened here tonight fix that, or is that an issue of a mile‑and‑a‑half track that that's separate?
KYLE BUSCH: Right, yeah, that's separate. We're just kind of missing a little something at the mile‑and‑a‑half places. Richmond we were good here in the spring and we were good here again tonight. Whatever it is that makes us have that ability and gives us that chance to be able to go race for a win like that is pretty good, feels pretty good.
But tonight is way different than a mile‑and‑a‑half. I don't know if it's a good thing or an indifferent thing. We go to a Roval next week and not a mile‑and‑a‑half, so we'll see what happens with that.
But as far as the next round or even the round after that, there's some mile‑and‑a‑halfs that are coming up that we know we need to get better for.

Q. As much pressure as there is in the playoffs and as much emotion as you put into everything, how much does winning tonight make the week ahead easier for you?
KYLE BUSCH: It certainly takes a bunch of relief. It would have if we would have not‑‑ if we would have not won the race but been ahead by 60 or whatever points of the guys that were on the cutoff, we would have been fine, as well, too. We could have gone into the Roval and raced our way however we wanted to race. Either way you looked at it, if you were a guy who was in the bottom, if we would have had trouble last week more than we did, and if we would have had trouble again tonight and been kind of at the cutoff line, then obviously it would make for a very, very stressful week and a stressful Roval. But right now it feels pretty good. So we can go in there with no worries and try to go and attack that place and see what we can get out of there.

Q. Will you be able to drive it differently because you don't need to win?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, exactly. You want to win. I think you can drive it differently because you can go force the issue sometimes and try to get a win or get a good finish versus just kind of having to be stressed about it the whole day and on your toes about it the whole day and worrisome.

Q. I guess what does it mean to get your 50th win, milestone win at Richmond, and finally win in the fall and have it be kind of a milestone win in your career?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I mean, there's been lots of milestones. The 50th is kind of a number at this point. But obviously it's a great number to have, and it's a great achievement. There's a lot of guys that we've been tying recently like Tony Stewart and tonight Ned Jarrett, I think, and Fred Lorenzen if I'm not mistaken, but guys like that have made the sport, obviously, and been in the Hall of Fame and have done great things. So hopefully I can continue to evolve and continue to do some cool things and be able to win.
But winning at Richmond is‑‑ winning anywhere is cool because you just know that, first of all, you get to celebrate with your team, you get to take home a cool trophy, and then this one in the fall time is more special because it's late in the season.
I was, I guess, known for not winning later in the season years ago, so it feels good to be able to get some wins later in the year now, and also to‑‑ in the playoffs it moves you to the next round automatically, so that's kind of a big deal, and just kind of what those wins are accredited for nowadays.

Q. You have 92 wins in Xfinity, 51 in trucks and 50 in the Cup Series, that's 193 total. Have you ever thought about or made 200 wins in all three major series a goal, and if you did hit that mark, what would it mean to you?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I think actually somebody asked me about that probably in Richmond like five years ago, six years ago somebody brought it up because we were closing in on like 140 or something like that.
But yeah, obviously it's a goal of mine. It's just a number. There's no correlation or comparison to the Richard Petty 200 wins. It's completely different, completely different eras, it's just a number. So when I was growing up, I was taught to have goals and to go strive and reach those goals, achieve those goals, and that's the number that I set out there, so it's obviously achievable. Maybe I didn't set it high enough, but people would probably look at me with two eyes crossed if I said 250 or 300. But that's obviously maybe achievable. I don't know. I don't know if I can get through the 200s that fast.
But certainly looking forward to that moment and what that means to me and my career. It's going to be really, really cool to get there, and I'm looking forward to it.

Q. After the race Harvick said he was terrified of going to the Roval next week even though he's in a good points position. Is that a fair consensus among the drivers? How do you feel about the Roval in particular?
KYLE BUSCH: I think everybody is just nervous because it's very slick, and you're‑‑ I don't know why it's so slick. Like when we go to Sonoma, Sonoma doesn't feel this bad. When you go to the Roval, though, you're just on edge the entire time. It feels like ice. You're never comfortable. And the problem with it is, too, if you get off course, you're into a tire barrier, you're into a wall, you're hitting someone or something right away. There's no runoff. At Sonoma you can go off course in Turn 1, you can run off through the dirt, whatever. There is none of that at Charlotte. That's why I think everybody is so worrisome about it is just the tightness of the course. But it's the same for all of us.
I think a lot of guys will have different mentalities going in this week and what they expect and what they are looking to achieve. We'll go in there with a good mindset and a good attitude about it, and hopefully it'll come out well for us.

Q. You tied Rusty Wallace for the most wins here at the three quarter of a mile layout. It was a half mile before that.
KYLE BUSCH: Richard Petty has got those, right? How many of those are on dirt?

Q. I'm not sure, he's got 13 total. How does that feel to tie Rusty Wallace, one of the best short track drivers ever?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, thanks. That's pretty cool. I remember watching Rusty for years, and him and Jeff Gordon kind of going at it here, when was that, '95, '98 maybe, something like that, so it was pretty fun to see those days and to know just how good Jeff was here, how good Rusty was here. I don't think Mark won here very much, but Mark was‑‑ I always thought was a really good short track racer and good here, too.
You know, just really neat to keep kind of achieving goals and achieving things, milestones, if you will, that other drivers have done, and it just is an honor for me because I would like to go down once upon a time as one of the best in the sport. I think the numbers aren't going to lie about that.

Q. Three cautions tonight. Were you surprised by that, and did that help you?
KYLE BUSCH: It didn't help my back, but yeah, it helped everything else about the night. We were good on the long runs for about 60 or 70 laps. After that, we kind of dropped off. We weren't very good after 70. So when it was between 70 and 100 that we had to go, that was kind of stressful. But overall, I think we‑‑ I like long runs here. The restarts were kind of crazy, kind of hectic. If you have a lot of late‑race restarts they get even crazier.
Fortunately by that point of the race we were out front so we could set the tone and set how hard we wanted to run based off what our competition was doing up front like Brad at the end. But when I was back 11th or 9th or something like that, I mean, I ran with the 88 and the 42 and the 3 and somebody else, and you would have thought‑‑ you would you have thought we were all racing to save our lives. It was nuts. It was pretty crazy how hard those guys were running, and that was the worst long run we had because I burned my stuff up racing against those guys early in the run, and that's kind of what you've got to be mindful about when you're here at Richmond.

Q. Was the intent to (indiscernible)?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, Richmond you always have to set up for long runs. Anywhere you go, you want to be set up for long runs. But you want to have speed in the short run, as well, too. Yesterday in first practice we had good short run speed and good long run speed in first practice, and then the second practice we didn't have very good short run speed, but then we kind of hung on a little bit better than some other guys, so we kind of knew then that we weren't going to worry too much about the short run until the end of the race. You were going to have to start adjusting on your car and adjusting on your air pressures to try to get your car faster for the end to be able to maintain lap times for the guys that were fast on the short run like the 2.

Q. Kyle, earlier on you said you were losing tons of grip during the race. I want to know what were those moments like?
KYLE BUSCH: It was tough. It just‑‑ you know, when you're on‑‑ how do you explain this? When you're on new tires, you feel like you've got the absolute best cleats out there, if you're playing football or soccer or whatever, like they're dug in, they feel good, you can juke, you can move anywhere you want to move, and then as the tires get older and they wear, you might as well put flip‑flops on. It's just terrible. You're sliding all over the place and trying to figure out what you're going to do, and it's like flip‑flops on a baseball diamond, like dirt, so that's kind of what the best interpretation I can come up with anyways. It's late.
But you're sliding, so you're trying to control that slide all the time. If you slide too much you're going to heat up those tires even more, you're going to wear the rubber off the tire even more, you're going to build the air pressure, and it's going to become more of like a bowling ball on a lane. It's not going to grip, it's just going to slide the entire time. That's kind of the things that you always work on here at Richmond.

Q. I totally missed this about your back. You said you wanted three Aleve afterwards and you mentioned your back now. Did you hurt it or something or are you just getting old or what?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, just getting old, yes. The long runs here, man, it's just you're so on edge around this racetrack that you never relax. Like you're always tensed up, and you're always like scrunched and holding on to the wheel and your legs are holding on to the steering column and everything else. You just don't ever have a moment to kind of chill except under the caution. So with the long runs tonight, it just puts a lot of pressure on your back, especially pushing on the brake pedal. Like you push on your left leg, and it comes from your seat. Like you're pushing yourself back into the seat, and so it was just kind of a pressure point that made my back sore.

Q. Kyle, you don't have to worry about the Roval with the playoffs, but Adam Stevens mentioned it, now you go there and he's worried about making sure you guys can win to keep that streak alive of having won everywhere, and you mentioned in May they threw that at you now in terms of active tracks‑‑
KYLE BUSCH: I've won there.

Q. Do you go there now relaxed or are you going to get there next weekend and be kind of up on the wheel to get that done?
KYLE BUSCH: If I'm ever up on the wheel and balls to the wall, I'm going to end up crashed, especially at the Roval knowing how treacherous that place is, I'm going to get myself in trouble. I'm going to be all juked up, ready to go, and then when I get there, I'm going to take a melatonin and just drive Miss Daisy. I don't know.
It's Charlotte Motor Speedway last I checked, so I have victories from Charlotte Motor Speedway, but it certainly would be nice to win at the Roval, and in my position I feel like we've got our best chance to be able to go out there and attack that.

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