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April 27, 2008
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It was pretty hard, overchecking down the straight, pretty hard, and one of those -- (indiscernible) -- I hit it pretty hard, I missed a car. We talked about it a little bit and even like that, you know, they said, yeah, you know, it's bent but there's no holes or anything, so we're going to leave it like that. It was running the back of the car at some point and then a caution comes out with six laps to go, otherwise we are going to leave it.
I felt pretty bad for him with like 15 laps to go or 20 and made a couple moves that took me all the way to the front.
I really helped Kyle, I managed to get on his bumper, and when you can get on somebody's bumper you can actually push them all the way around the corner, the lap.
And I made up a bunch of ground and it was good and I got up to second and then dropped to fifth and got up to second again.
It was pretty cool, pretty interesting race.
Q. I noticed you haven't had all that much experience on the restrictor plate tracks, but seemed like the dynamics of the bumper have changed today? Was it this track, instead of just a bump, and the lead car would go ahead; it was a push all the way around the track.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah, I think what's different is here are the bumps and you do get a little different handling, and you can even run three-wide; there this year where here, you can run three-wide, wide-open and push it and get on somebody's bumper. And I think it's very important to make sure when you get on the corner, you don't hit them.
You get enough momentum and make sure you get to the bumper, and when you get to the bumper you can start pushing them.
On the last stop I was getting hit and, it's like -- it felt like a car crashing the straight -- it's like over and over again, it's like, boom, boom, it's pretty cool.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It's hard. It's very hard to know. You've got to think the guy leading -- it was a tough choice.
I was thinking trying to make a move out of fourth.
To have a good result like, this it was huge.
THE MODERATOR: We welcome Our third-place driver, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Freight, Denny Hamlin. Talk about today's race.
DENNY HAMLIN: It was really fun from my standpoint. You know, I had a car that just relatively could do whatever it wanted to do, and whenever I wanted to pull up to somebody's bumper, I would, and you know, when I would push him, I would push him as long as my water gauge would let me or as long as they could hang on to it.
So I mean, that's all you can ask for and to have a car as good as ours, the best car don't always win. You've got to put yourself in position, and we were with 20 to go and just made a bad move there, got shuffled out and got back to 20th, and with all the cautions all we had time to get back to was third and just shows how strong our car was.
Q. The race looked remarkably aggressive, you were talking about that; was it fun doing that? Normally a race like that there would have been crashes like every five laps, but there were so many great saves; was it the car saving it, or were you guys able to save it or what was that all about?
DENNY HAMLIN: I think that has a lot to do with the package which we have. We have small restrictor plates, the track has a lot of grip, the tires have good grip, and, you know, the cars were just so savable, you could really push a guy through the corner, and he could even have his rear end lifted up and he still could maintain control.
That's why the racing was as tight as it was.
Even when the cars were able to make contact, they were able to save it because there was so much excess grip out there.
Q. For both you guys, when you're in a situation like that, how far ahead can you plan anything, or is it just hang on and go -- obviously everybody thought we were coming to the end of the race and everybody had these big faster plans, and you just have to react instantaneously, right?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah, I don't think you plan anything. You depend so much on what people behind do, and once people get around behind you, you either stay in your lane or go pick up the other lane in the front and if you pick it up -- it's they are going to drop you, and it's just pretty tough.
You've just got to learn.
I screwed up a couple of times today, and I just couldn't do it because it was just too tight.
At the same time in the last few laps you have to find ways to slow them down.
Q. It was very aggressive out there l, what happened with the wreck with Paul Menard, a little extra below the line when it happened?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: The 12 got pushed and the 40 pushed me, and I actually got in sideways. So I went in below the line not to wreck him and he just didn't give me any room.
I had nowhere to go. I felt so sorry. As soon as he spun, I just called to see if he was okay. That's one of those deals when something like that happens and people start checking out, there's just nothing you can do.
Q. We just got audio up here. Can you put this into perspective, Juan? This kind of performance, first by you, what it means for you and also what it means for your whole organization which is really been struggling?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: You know, it's funny to say "struggling," because you look like the two cars, the average finish is a lot better. Last year we would normally finish 22nd, 24th everywhere, and you know, two or three times a year -- or one year a second place there and a fifth place here and the rest was 20th place. Now we are running 15th average every week, but we never really had a result like today. I think it really motivates everybody back in Charlotte, and hopefully, you know, it's time that we are headed in the right direction.
Q. Apologize if this question seems stupid because I have no idea what you already said about it, but there seemed to be times today -- was it surprising to y'all as it was for people watching that there seemed to be a lot of time when two cars should pull away from 12 or pass ten or whatever, and is something no one knew about until today?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: In the old cars it was the same way: Once you can get into their bumpers and stay on the bumper you can make up a lot of ground. It seems like at least my car could get to two feet pretty easy. The two feet could get to the bumper was very hard, and once you could break the line and get to the bumpers -- (indiscernible) -- all the way around.
DENNY HAMLIN: A lot of it has to do the with fact when you get bumpers sealed together; it creates a false opening (phonetic) on the car in the back, so it's really like a qualifying run for the car in the back. So you get any kind of break from there and you actually make contact, it's almost suction, especially if you have a radiator fan on; it sucks up even more than what it would normally. It's just kind of something that you learn over the course of time. Yesterday I was able to do the same thing and take a car that was running 24th, whoever was in front of me, pushed them passed the 23 cars out front and it was enough to figure out ways to keep it looked in there.
Q. I hoped you would be able to answer also and put it in perspective for you, these are tracks are not the easiest ones to master, and you seem to do very well at these tracks; can you talk about is that?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I've loved restrictor plate racing since the first time I came to Talladega, I loved it. The bumping, it's tough; because of the good result today, you can finish 20th in a heartbeat for 30th. It's pretty exciting because it takes a lot of strategy and you always have to learn to pick the right lane, and when you pick the lane, you make sure you get enough shock (ph) to make sure the line moves, and the problem is there's people that you bump when they brake because they don't want to -- and they break and the cars behind had enough momentum that you start sucking up and it's pretty hard
Q. What do you think would have happened if the yellow had not happened on the last lap?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Ask Denny, he's the guy behind me. It was.
DENNY HAMLIN: The winner --
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It was up to him.
DENNY HAMLIN: I probably would have shut him in.
Depends if the 18 was going to block him; it definitely was going to push Juan beside the 18, and if those two bogged each other down enough, I would try to get by and go for the win.
If he stayed, I was going to have stay on his bumper.
If he moved to block the bumper, then I was going to make a three-wide.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: You never know what's going to happen, and as for me, I got a four and hopefully I got enough shock from the 11 to get behind the 18, and from there just pray that you get enough momentum.
Q. I have a two-part question. First off, were you concerned when you saw Read's engine go four laps in and can you explain what happened on the last lap? It looked like you and Stremme were together and looked like you were straighted (ph) and he crashed in the final lap; can you talk about both of those?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I don't know, I was a couple places behind him in the last restart and I'm not sure whether it was in front or behind, and I know the 24 came with a hell of a run, and, you know, I tried to block them, kind of slow them down a little bit.
And I caught a bit of momentum and when they all came down, it worked, and it's just one of those things; it's pure luck. I picked the right lane and it worked out. It's frustrating to see the 40 get a bad result after seeing how good they run all day.
Q. For fans that are not restrictor race fans, can you talk about how exciting the race was, and would you say this is the best race we've had this year overall?
DENNY HAMLIN: For sure it's the best race we've had. Daytona was really good, too, just looking back and watching it, it looked really good there at the end and you know, at times, this race kind of had the complexion like it had over the last three races and just kind of single file and everyone is just kind of, you know, taking their time, didn't want to do anything crazy till the end.
But I mean, every time you come to super speedway racing, it seems like it's with 25 to go, just really kind of busting loose and it gets kind of crazy.
I thought the race was still really good up to that point.
There was a lot of exchanges for the lead between myself and the 20 and the 88 and those guys, and you know, I thought it was a great race, I think this package is really right where it needs to be for a super speedway, so I really commend NASCAR with all of the adjustments they made to this car for super speedway racing.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Same thing, he said everything that you know, I know it took a bit of horsepower. But I think it made the race a lot better, a lot closer, and you didn't see what you saw before that with four laps to go, a group of cars came from behind and won the race.
You know, you had to be in position.
It took quite a few laps, if you fell back, to get all the way back to the track.
Q. If you could tell us what kind of difference it made working with Jimmy instead of Donny and Denny; I wanted to know if it was a situation at the end, was it a situation or the fact that Kyle is one of your teammates --
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think here the difference between Donny and Jimmy -- I don't think there's any difference. We were always in the right place at the right time today, and you know, I don't think Donny would have done anything different.
DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, definitely circumstances, because ultimately, would I have backlash if I would have pushed Juan into the wind? Absolutely, but that's just part of it. He had a teammate up there one time and I'm sure he wasn't going to let -- he wasn't going to push the 18 by him.
So I mean, it's just all circumstantial.
I think my move probably would have been the same. If it wasn't a teammate, I probably would have pushed Juan out to the outside if the guy stayed on the inside simply because we worked really well to stay together.
My car really stayed tucked up on the 42 really good.
I was going to go for the win myself if the door opened that last probably 200 yards.
Q. What do you feel like went wrong on the restart and the first pit stop, Kyle picked his pit box -- (inaudible) -- do you know of that situation?
DENNY HAMLIN: I didn't even know about it. But -- what was your first question? Oh, yeah, it was like 20 to go.
I think we just got too far out there.
I think on the 12, and those guys, they just had a huge run.
They were going to have to either slam into me or make a move to pass me.
So even if they wanted to work with me, they really had no choice and they had such a scene and decided to blow by me, and when you're five or six cars back, you don't want to have to slow down and help the car that's going ten miles an hour slower. So I got shuffled back to 20th or so, so we just gouged our way back up to third to catch up.
THE MODERATOR: Good racing today, appreciate it. See you in Richmond. We are pleased to be joined by our championship team, No. 18 M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing goes to victory lane winning the Dream's Come True at Aaron's 499 at Talladega, driver is Kyle Busch, team owner is Job Gibbs, JD Gibbs, and the crew chief is Steve Addington.
Congratulations, and you put on a great, great show out there today and super race for everyone.
Kyle, take us through the race, your thoughts now, you've won on a Super Speedway and last week you won at a road course, intermediate track, short track; you're hitting them all now.
Congratulations, and your thoughts on winning at Talladega.
KYLE BUSCH: Thank you, good win for us today. Proud of the fact we were able to win with Joe Gibbs Racing and M&M's and Snickers and Home Depot and Interstate, Toyota, all helped support this race team.
And for us there in the beginning part of the race, we were running along and trying to come out pit road there and having guys on the inside and behind me so this is my fifth stall and had come back around the next time and get the pit stop done there, and so had to walk a lap. Fortunately we were in the right position at the right time and got the lucky draw and were able to come in from there and get back on the lead lap and come back to the field.
About ten to go, things got crazy so really my memory is a little scratchy, but getting through there was problematic -- speaker system -- I was running fourth or fifth and got a bump draft and got a huge line, shot me on the line and got into McMurray there. And I don't know what happened with that scenario and we were able to straighten up and get going, 42 was myself, pushed me all the way to the front. Montoya, gave me a great shock, got us both up to the front two spots and rode up there and stayed together.
And then 55 and 48 did the same thing, had a caution come out, and on that restart we shifted the 55 out and I think Gordon got in behind me somehow, and Jeff was pushing me and we bump-drafted Jimmie out of the way off of 4, and I got out underneath him and Jeff pushed me past the 48, and that was cool and we got the 24 shut out of line by the 42 again and it was the 18 and 42 there at the end and the 11 and so that was pretty cool.
THE MODERATOR: Steve, what did you see you up on the pit box today? You called a great race. Your thoughts?
STEVE ADDINGTON: I'm really proud of him being patient, you know, when we got the last -- we got behind Tony, we were a lap down, if we could just hang in there, we had a good enough car there, if we could get our caution -- and he was so patient when we got there in the back of the pack it and took his time coming up through there. So it wasn't that bad -- (indiscernible) -- between him and the spotter when the car is on the racetrack. So let them do their thing and try to just let -- stay off the radio and keep the clear channels in between.
THE MODERATOR: Your thoughts going into victory lane with the 18 team?
JOE GIBBS: When you have a race team like that you have three cars, and it's almost like the emotions are all over the place.
First, you're down there and you're upset because Kyle and everything that happened on pit road and he winds up a lap down; and you have Tony leading the race and all of a sudden Tony cuts a tire down and you've got Denny looks real strong and all of a sudden he gets shuffled all over the place. And so for me, it's just emotions are all over the place and of course at that point, now mid race, you figure there's no way Kyle is going to have a chance to win it and so I was really proud of our whole team, as Kyle said it was a total team effort. Steve did a great job. Everybody on pit road did a great job. Staying that calm and cool and find a way to fight his way back just got to say it was a great day for us and I'm really proud of the guys.
THE MODERATOR: JD, anything to add?
JD GIBBS: For us, we people don't really how much time and effort goes into preparing speed way cars and there's so many times like Daytona we had great equipment, great cars you don't windup winning -- and to be able to capitalize yesterday and then today I think was really encouraging for everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing and our who whole team.
THE MODERATOR: Something of note, this is Kyle's 7th NASCAR victory this season, spread over three series. And in the Truck Series he's won in California and Atlanta, the Nationwide Series he's won at Texas Phoenix, Mexico City, and in the Sprint Cup Series he's won in Atlanta, Talladega. So he's touched them all for intermediate short track Super Speedway road course.
Q. This has been a track where everything possibly that could go wrong for you has gone wrong and today in many ways -- after that everything went right -- is that a product that everything is going right for you all season or is it all of the above?
KYLE BUSCH: I'd like to say I'm smarter than I look but that's certainly not the case.
You know today was just due to having a great car, Mark and all those guys at the shop did an awesome job building a great Toyota engine today and in order to power us up through there through the field when we were getting bumped and banged all over the place; but getting a lap down, yeah, that was like typical Talladega there, and I didn't wreck today, so I am ultimately happy about that.
Greatly appreciative that I was able to win today because it's just been a struggle here at this place for certainly a couple years, and I don't think I've ever finished one here yet without having some sort of damage.
Today we still had damage but it wasn't enough to keep us from victory lane.
Q. The ability to push around, was that something you discovered this weekend; or the fact that the bumpers match and the new surface, and also, Steve, did it make the cars so much faster at times, I know the cars had chips in them, was there concern over motor or engine damage?
KYLE BUSCH: For the drafting around here we figured that out with the new asphalt when it was laid, when the old cars we could bump draft each other through the corners, the old cars we lined up on in the restrictor plate tracks the high ends were (indiscernible) -- with the bodies on those cars. And with these cars, they are the same way, the rear bumpers are high and front bumpers are low, and so we are able to bump-draft all the way through the corner, built so much speed all the way around this place, and NASCAR doesn't like it. But when you have two guys that know what they are doing and keep their car straight and you don't hit somebody too hard and just sit on them nicely, it really works and you can use it to your advantage really well.
Denny was doing it a lot today and I felt comfortable with it.
Q. When you guys went after Kyle, you knew he was a good driver but this start to the season is pretty unbelievable why some drivers when they come in it takes them time to get up to speed; what's going on here that he's just so red hot?
JOE GIBBS: There's no pat answer for it. For us the first time -- (indiscernible) -- so when we tested Atlanta in the fall you realize we had something really personal there.
You could see if in Steve's eyes and those guys and each of our teams has a really good group of guys. The A Team has not shown the last few years, but now Kyle filling that hole there and having Steve and those guys working together and Mark on the motor side, I just think there's a lot of things that really fit in that package. And first and foremost, you have to have that guy behind the wheel, and he just has a natural talent for it.
So I think we're blessed to be a part of that and see it. And the thing is you forget how young he is and how many years we have left to grow together and winning races at championships, really is encouraging. He's got at least five before he retires to an island.
Q. Can you talk about how you did save it when you got into it with McMurray and Hamlin is talking how great the package is with his new car, wondering if you like it now?
KYLE BUSCH: The save, I mean, I didn't know what was happening.
All I remember was I got knocked out of line first to begin with and then looked up in my mirror to see who I had behind me then. And I think it was Juan, a couple car lengths back, and I don't know if McMurray was looking at his car trying to get in front of the 42, but we made contact and I thought I was going out of the park.
I thought I was getting hooked right rear and going great up on the fence and luckily somehow we got off each other and we kept it straight and we were able to continue on and Montoya got behind me and forced up the lead and so that was cool.
As far as the package of this car, I think it's just the product of the car.
I wouldn't say it's great, but when the cars get side-by-side they get stuck, so it takes a lot more help and a lot more bump-drafting to get through people and to get more racing going on, because I don't know if it's because they punched us a big hole in the air or what, but you know when you pull out on someone, you just stall, like you crept up alongside of them at least get half the length going and at least get somebody behind you to get that length past like the old car. But it's just a product of the way this car is so everybody has to learn what to do and how to race it and how to use it to their advantage.
Q. People have to be envious of your position -- after last year --
KYLE BUSCH: Well, I am fortunate to be hooked up with this bunch, with Joe and JD and Steve Addington leading the calls on the box did a great job today as always and luckily we were able to get up in the lap back there.
But it's special to have the results so far this year. And the amount of crew chiefs I've worked with this year and over the years, I think just becoming more in tune with everybody and telling them what's in my race car. When we unloaded this weekend and the car was good and wasn't great, and I told Addington what I wanted and what we needed to try to work on to make it better and we did it. I think we made it better and wasn't as good as it needed to be and it wasn't as good as the 20 but it was a good enough car that when you put it in the right position today, we were able to win with it.
Q. Not trying to get you to brag on yourself but a little bit, you're having the kind of season that basically people have on video games; this is not what people do in the real world --
KYLE BUSCH: I do better on video games than I do in real life.
Q. That's hard to believe. Have you stopped and caught a breath during all of this?
KYLE BUSCH: I haven't because JD won't give me a weekend off. I won't be catching many breaths going on here.
It's good times, just I don't know what to put it all on exactly.
But you know, I guess I'm a decent enough driver that when you give me a good enough car, we can do something with it and you know put in the right position and we're able to run up front and do well, and -- I think it's raining outside.
Q. Everyone is talking about how your driver is such a sensation but anyone who has been working hell like you for ten years, did you ever worry that maybe over the last couple of years you would --
STEVE ADDINGTON: You look at the last three years, they haven't been really good.
I'm just thankful to be with an organization that knew what was going on and I have two great chiefs to work with every day, and you know, he probably had meetings with them to see what we were doing on the 18 car.
We've just been very, very fortunate that Kyle has come in and he's fit in and with time he's getting better. We were able to provide him with decent race cars and we're working towards that and that's good. Yeah, I'm very thankful for the position I'm in with this year with organization.
JOE GIBBS: I will say last week there was an article rating the crew chiefs, Steve was No. 1, and I said: "Don't hit me up for a bonus."
Q. Coach, you've obviously got in Kyle and Denny Hamlin, two franchise players and I'm sure if there's anybody who knows about franchise players, you've certainly got to be the guy. And I know you've addressed a lot of the issues earlier today, but is that make it twice as difficult knowing you have a couple franchise players now, and when you know it's time to make a decision to have guys move on or have gives stay when you have some young franchise players sitting there next to you?
JOE GIBBS: No. I think for us, each one of the cars, I think back, you think about the 18 car and the way we struggled and Norm Miller (ph) and Interstate have stuck with us all that time and Kyle has a great relationship with Norm and to see that car come back to life; and I know everybody here at Joe Gibbs Racing, we have a huge responsibility to FedEx, Home Depot, Mars, Interstate, and all the other sponsors; I mention those, but each car and each situation is separate.
Tony, the thing about Tony is we have been together for ten years, and it's been a great ride and that's why we don't want it to stop. We would love to have that work out pretty much the way it did last time.
So we'll just have to go through, this but the way I'm looking at it is, you know, we definitely feel like only certain people are good enough to try these things and we're so fortunate to have the two young guys and we think Tony is in the same boat as the proven winner and so I want to try to keep everything together.
Q. Is there any extra satisfaction with the way the year is going, given how things went down last year with Hendrick?
KYLE BUSCH: I left there on some pretty good terms with all the guys. I've got a lot of great friends over there in that organization with the guys that are on the team, and guys that are in resources and everything like that. And so even Rick, you know, he came over to the car here today before the race and he wished me good luck. So there's no hard feelings there or no shoving it in their face saying I'm better than you or anything like that. It's just to go out there and do the best I possibly can for myself and for these guys with Job Gibbs Racing that's who I'm driving for now. We're going to take the initiative in order to try to do that week-in and week-out.
Q. There seems to be so much more talk about how much more patient you are; is that something you consciously recognize, or was there a point that you realize that if you throttled back with the aggression you would have a better finish?
KYLE BUSCH: I am going to thank Robert Pimmerton (ph) for that one. We had a conversation I think after Martinsville and instead of trying to finish third and coming back to the checkered flag in one piece, I aimed for second and that was a bad idea. So I had a little talk and things have been better since. You know, still it's just about trying to finish these races.
I learned years ago that first you must finish to finish first and I let that slip my mind for a little while and became an idiot for a bit and sort of remembered someone telling me that again and it's sort of worked here the past three or four weeks.
Whatever that's been, it's been good and maybe even told my driver racing for me last night in Georgia, we were running second, I told him that before the race and we were doing fine minding our own business and got run over and nothing he could have done differently. So just that saying goes a long way.
Q. Your job is to be calm in the car but it's so crazy out there; were there moments where you had to force yourself, moments in which you could feel your heart jump at the closeness of what was about to happen?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, at that point where we missed pit road coming down, I was mad as hell but we straightened it up and got better and we made it to the -- (indiscernible) -- we came down the next time and got our stuff and got a lap down.
You know these races are so long, I looked at the scoreboard and saw there's a hundred laps to go. And I figure there's got to be another caution at some point and keep ourselves in the position of the lucky draw, and fortunately I was fast enough to be within the lead group of cars and keep myself going by those guys. And when the caution did fall, we were a couple spots ahead and I think at that time it was my brother, so we were able to get back on the lead lap there.
Q. Early in the race you seemed unhappy with Denny in the draft, could you explain that and also how has the team chemistry been affected?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't like that guy. He's trying to start something that shouldn't be started. (Laughter)
I was a little upset when Denny, we were running one, two, three there and Tony was leading and I was second and Denny was third and bump-drafting being a little aggressive and knocked me out of the way and went on to get behind Tony and I had to fall back a few spots.
Luckily I only fell back to 7th or 8th but as far as that went Tony and whatever he does, that's between these guys here and Tony and you know, he's had good offers over the years and he's always stayed.
So I'm great friends with Tony, I'm a great teammate with him and you know I can remain great friends with him if he moves on and I can remain great friends and a teammate with him if he stays here.
You know, fortunately for me I'm in a good spot and where I want to be driving the 18 M&M's Toyota and what the driver of the 11 does or what the driver of the 20 does sometimes out there during the race, sometimes you're not going to be happy with the moves they make but you go on with it, you salvage it and guess what, that's all that matters.
Q. Denny said if you're not a race fan, you don't know what racing is about; he called it the best race of the year; would you agree?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't know. I'd have to go back and rewatch it. From where I was sitting there was some times where when I was running in a three-car draft, I was bored as hell and I got over that. I got back on the lucky dog, got back on a lead lap -- it was an exciting race. There was times where it got pretty impatient and guys were making bold moves and bump drafting and it got a little crazy but it all worked out. You know, Denny could be right but like I said, I haven't seen it from the fans perspective. I've only seen it from where I was sitting.
Q. Early in the week, you were not excited to be here --
KYLE BUSCH: I wasn't. I wreck every time I come here; so what's there to be excited about except a tore-up race car? But I am now and that's pretty cool.
We were able to bring M&M's their first win of the year; the other one was Snickers, to M&M's their first win of the year and bring Toyota another win to the series and here to Talladega, I think that's pretty cool.
So now they have won on a mile-and-a-half, a short track with Denny and myself and here at Talladega, so they are doing pretty good.
Q. Denny said that you guys probably wouldn't have been too happy with him if he pushed Montoya past the 18, so what is he expected to do here?
JOE GIBBS: I think Kyle will tell you this, we never tell our drivers other than, hey, you've got teammates and we'd like to treat each other as teammates. But certainly towards the end of races, it's every man for himself. And obviously the restrictor plate race, you'd like to be close enough, and I actually felt like Denny was coming hard trying to get there.
I think he would have helped Kyle had it been the case.
The other thing I want to say, big thanks to Abe and Lee and all the guys at Toyota, particularly TRD. I want to make a point to tell all those guys that their hard work out there in a short period of time, it's been a great relationship and we really appreciate it.
Q. At the beginning of the year, everybody is hopeful, and you have a brand new team; what were your expectations? Did you have any idea at all it would work that well at the beginning?
KYLE BUSCH: I hoped that it was going to. I knew that I was getting with a great organization who had been in contention to win championships in all of their years pretty much in racing and with Tony being as good as he is, and with contending for the championships for the past however many years.
And with Denny only being two years in the series, we have only been able to contend and I think with my ability and the cars that these guys have, hopefully it will all work out and the chemistry would be there and it would click and so far it has.
That's just been the greatest satisfaction, being able to come over here to Joe Gibbs Racing, it's just been the chemistry has worked, all the guys, they are great to work with, guys on the team, guys in the shop are very cool and everybody is out for one thing and that's to make Joe Gibbs Racing be No. 1.
Right now so far this year, I'd have to say that we are pretty close. The 99 has been great on the mile-and-a-half stuff, and Hendrick has always had the short track stuff, so we've been right there with them the about a willing it out on the mile-and-a-half stuff and we've been fortunate enough to win one of those so I feel like we're close.
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