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March 10, 2019

Kyle Busch

Avondale, Arizona

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 Skittles Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.
We'll go ahead and open it up for questions.
KYLE BUSCH: How could there be anything left to talk about (smiling)?

Q. After the race, a lot of the drivers were talking about how difficult it was to pass. Seemed like you were the one car out there that could pass. Did you feel like it was difficult to pass? If so, how did you get around people?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, it was certainly tough to pass, yes. It wasn't easy. You were really stuck and mired behind guys. I got close to Blaney, then I got real tight, he got away, I ran him back down. It's kind of like an accordion thing. You cool your stuff off, go back after him, you get too hot and tight when you're behind him. You have to cool back off again. Then you have to wait for traffic.
Once Blaney got the traffic, he had the same problems I had, because now he's behind other cars in front of him. That's when you kind of get to see whose cars are better than other cars, not just the guy who is out front, is when you can maneuver and get through traffic and stuff like that.
I just started working the racetrack, moving around, trying to find something, trying to get low, high, everywhere in between to keep trying to find clean air, or cleaner air, in order to get by him.

Q. (No microphone.)
KYLE BUSCH: That's right, yeah. If it's a 10‑lap run, it's his. 20, 30, 40, 50 laps probably his race. If it was a long enough run...
Even some of those stragglers that were a lap car here, a lap car there, he could get through them fast enough that I couldn't do anything with him. Once it got to the train of about five of them that Brad was in, I don't even remember who else was in, Hemric was in, that's when it became tough.

Q. What is going to feel better, getting 200 or never having to answer that question again?
KYLE BUSCH: Yes (smiling).
You know, I don't know. We've been talking about it for a long, long time. Certainly, I mean, I don't know what else to say that I've not already said. It's just a goal that I set out a long, long time ago. I don't remember who asked me. Might even have been Kerry Tharp. Just having the opportunities that I have, go out there and try to win. Each and every time we're in a racecar, that's what my job is. We just keep winning, the stats will keep piling up.

Q. At the start of the race, Ryan Blaney spun the tires. Throughout the day several guys blew tires. As someone that's been critical of Goodyear, what were the tires like today?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, they were too hard I think. For as fast as we were going here, they produced well for us, but I would say running on the Xfinity cars, because I had the Xfinity race to run, they were way too hard for the Xfinity car. That just kind of shows you that they were probably somewhat too hard for the Cup cars.
Softer tires just means faster lap times, even harder to pass yet. It was a challenge. But everybody is on the same four rubber blocks anyway. You got to do the best with what you've got.

Q. How much fuel did you have to save? Was that a bit easier because you were running behind Blaney?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, when we came off pit road and I was told we'll be fine on fuel to the end, I didn't really have any fuel worries. I didn't have any thoughts that we were going to be short. I ran as hard as I could to try to catch Blaney, to try to push him, to try to make sure that I could wear him down.
Once we got to traffic, felt like that goal was accomplished. Once I cleared him, I was able to kind of save from there on out. That was only 12 to go or something like that.
You're not going to save but less than a shot glass in 12 laps of rolling out of the gas a little early. That was about it. It seemed as though we had plenty. We got to do a burnout and everything else, so we're good.
Buy a Toyota, they got great fuel mileage (smiling).

Q. With so many wins in the NASCAR business, are you maybe also looking for a new challenge like your brother did a couple years and did the Indy 500?
KYLE BUSCH: If I could ever get a chance to go do it, I would certainly welcome it, try to. All the naysayers would say he can't win on Sunday. I've won 52 times on Sunday. But there's nobody else. If there's one form of motorsports that's any higher worldwide than us is Formula 1. Nobody calling me to put me in a Formula 1 car. I guess I'm stuck where I'm at. Love it or hate it, you got what you got with me being here.
Indy 500, Formula 1 cars, off‑road trucks, things like that, I'd love to get my fair share in any of those.

Q. (No microphone.)
KYLE BUSCH: When I win 200 NASCAR races, maybe I'll get a call. You probably are going to go overseas, knock on some doors for me, will you (smiling)? My phone number is 800‑555‑5555. It will ring right to me (laughter).

Q. Light mood question. Did you have to build a house for all your trophies?
KYLE BUSCH: You're not the first person that's asked me that question. It is a funny question.
Yes, I did have to build a house. It's a 77,000 square foot building in Mooresville, North Carolina, that houses Kyle Busch Motorsports and houses 199, plus all of the KBM driver trophies and stuff like that. We have gotten our fair share of trophy cases we've gone through. Every time we build a new one, we fill it up. It's a good problem to have.
There's actually a few trophies in a few people's offices. A couple of them sitting on the floor. They're all over the place.

Q. Were you surprised at all at how much varied tire strategy played a role in today's race? Seems to have been a little bit more of that in the last couple races. Do you see more of that playing out this season?
KYLE BUSCH: Yes. The reason why there's more tire strategy and things like that happening is guys are trying to jump the line, get farther up towards the front, hold them off with blocking their air. Because it's harder to pass, the tires don't mean as much. We put on four about every time, we were able to pass up through there. It took us a little while.
It's every week. When the fastest car finally gets out front, it's hard to beat the fastest car unless they mess up, unless you can get enough adjustments into your car that make you better and faster than the guy out front.
Like today, I felt like the 12 was actually the best car this weekend. He was fast, sat on the pole, quick short run speed. Adam and I worked on our car all week long to make sure we had longevity, to do things we could make sure we were better in the long haul. That paid off for us today.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Kyle.

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