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August 22, 2020

Kyle Busch

Dover, Delaware

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, our third‑place finisher.
Kyle, take us through the run there.
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I don't know really. Man, we just fought loose, fought tight. There was never really a balance. One run I guess I felt like we were our best was when we took tires under green flag conditions there. I believe it was the second stage, not the last stage. That was the best we were. We made up some ground there.
I guess they said I was catching the leaders. I couldn't see them, they were so far out. We were third, kind of running them down a little bit better than them in the long run. We came in, made a slight tweak to it for the next run. Kept up with Martin there for a little bit, then it just started to fade.
We were really loose, couldn't keep it where I needed it to. Came down for tires for the final run under green flag conditions, did a small minor adjustment, went tight. We were really all over the place with balance being very finicky, just not quite ever able to get it to where I needed it.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions.

Q. Where do you feel things stand with your team right now? Is it possible you could find some speed and make a run at this are you hanging on and trying to find something?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I don't know. As far as tomorrow goes, just the opportunity to work on our cars a little bit, make it a little bit better. Obviously the front two guys, being JGR cars, we kind of had a good sense of what they were going with today, what they did.
Like I said, I felt like we had speed. One run we were gaining on those guys. Tiny little tweaks here and there seemed to be setting us off. Kind of crazy how that was for us today.

Q. In terms of the season as a whole, the Playoff picture, things like that?
KYLE BUSCH: Hopefully we're still to the good side, and we'll focus on making it in, going after it when we can. We'll do what we got to do, win those races, when those part of the Playoffs start.

Q. You talked about getting your car better for tomorrow. Is there more potential or less potential to get a car better for a track like Dover compared to the doubleheaders at Michigan and Pocono?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, good question.
I think, again, when you're a third‑place car, you got to be smart about it. You don't want to screw it up and take it to a seventh‑ or eighth‑place car. There's a lot of simulation to do, my feedback, the other two drivers' feedback as well, too, to lean on them, figure out what all they might be doing, what they might be going with for tomorrow for changes.
The track is going to be different tomorrow, for sure. We've kind of got to counter react some of that stuff to get ourselves where we need to be to be faster to beat those guys.

Q. I assume the change on the passenger side window was welcome?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, to me it felt way different. It was only 82 today, not 98, and 99% humidity like last week. Hard to give a real good compare to the road course there.
When you're under yellow, under slower speeds, there's definitely some cooling‑off aspect rather than being in an oven and still baking.

Q. This is an unusual position for you heading into the Playoffs this year. What is your mindset? What are your expectations?
KYLE BUSCH: I have no expectations. Just take every event as it comes to us, every opportunity that comes to us, try to do what we can do. There's really no expectations. It's just a matter of being really, really far behind.
We're going to start every single one of these Playoff scenarios behind the eight ball, basically on the outside looking in. We're going to have to do everything right.
In a perfect world you win races in each of those rounds to push you all the way through to the final round, you're good at Phoenix. That's kind of the name of the game. If we can Tony Stewart it, hopefully that will be what we can do.

Q. With just two races left in the regular season, how important is a run like today where you're able to finish third, given how frustrating the summer has been?
KYLE BUSCH: It's just all right. I mean, we've had seconds and thirds and fourths and fifths. Earlier this year plenty of top fives, top 10s, none of them wins. That's where the frustration sets in, not getting the wins. Seeing your teammates, even though they're good, fast, they have it all under control. I also want to be one of those teammates winning races. We're kind of missing the boat on that unfortunately.
Again, just try to focus on what we can right now and make sure that we do the right things here in these next few races, get ourselves into the Playoffs to start with, then we'll focus on the Playoffs after that.

Q. Are you seeing any light at the end of the tunnel as far as that speed goes? Do you feel like you're getting any closer at this point?
KYLE BUSCH: I mean, today I would say no, not really. That's about all the speed we've had all year. I don't know how many seconds I lost in that final run to the 11. He ran me down and passed me and drove on and passed the 19 to win the race.
Those guys are flying, they're fast. That's where the speed is at. Trying to figure out what they're doing, what they've got going on. Their setups are good, car drives good. It's a matter of making sure we can kind of find some of that stuff.
The 18 had it, right? The 11 was missing it. Now the 11 has it and the 18 is kind of missing it. Maybe Joe is playing favorites with the 11 right now. Just kidding (laughter).

Q. I heard with the end of this race today, NASCAR is officially back on its original schedule, will get the full season in. What are your thoughts on NASCAR being one of the only sports in this pandemic to get a full season in?
KYLE BUSCH: It's really, really good. It's great actually for all the teams, all the ownership, the pressure of trying to meet sponsor demands, things like that. There are a lot of things coming down the pipeline for I guess just the economics of it all. There's a lot to look at.
Joe Gibbs is doing a great job of working all of his sponsors, myself included with M&M's, Interstate, Toyota, Rheem, Sport Clips. Matter of fact they're not here enjoying the races as much as we are, being able to wine, dine, have their customers here. That's a bit unnerving.
Also it's great the fact we're able to get on TV, have the revenue of that to keep ourselves going, to have the paychecks for all the employees to keep them employed back at the shops, making sure that we can finish out the season, get onto the next season hopefully with normal conditions.

Q. With the field inversion for tomorrow, do you expect you have to make a few aggressive changes for the pit strategy to get the track position back?
KYLE BUSCH: Not really. I mean, we started 22nd I believe today. It just is a work in progress, man. It just takes time to get yourself all the way up there.
We drove to third, stalled out at third, I guess second, stalled out at second there to begin the third stage. That was all we had. We ended up third.
We did it today. Hopefully we can do it again tomorrow. I'm sure those other Gibbs cars that I'm around are going to be fast, too. We'll hopefully be having a train to the front.
THE MODERATOR: Kyle, thanks for joining us. Good luck tomorrow.
KYLE BUSCH: You got it. Thanks.

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