Kyle Busch — Notes & Quotes
Bristol Motor Speedway – August 23, 2013KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Doublemint Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your Camry in practice?
“Practice was alright. It wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be. Just not quite getting the feel that we’re looking for today, right now.”
What is the ‘feel’ that you’re looking for in the car?
“I know what I’m supposed to feel — just haven’t gotten it yet. We continue to try to search around and find that. Between this practice we have to swap over to qualifying trim so essentially our race practice is over so we just have to make some good guesses for tomorrow.”
Can you still win the race without that ‘feel’ in the car?
“It’s a lot harder. They ruined this race track when they ground it so now there’s no bottom groove — it’s all top. As soon as you get up in the top and run your right sides in the smooth ground stuff, it’s two-tenths faster, but you’re fighting on the razor’s edge because if you overstep that boundary, you’re in the fence. We saw a few cars, myself included — you get up too high and you lose all grip. That’s where you’ve got to run so it’s going to be a train race around the top.”
Will the top groove move up anymore?
“It will still move up a little bit more. It’s a slow process. I’m actually surprised it’s that high — that’s the highest it’s been in practice here in a long time. Guys just know that they have to get up there and they have to setup for up there because it’s different than what it is on the bottom. You can run a lap around the top and run a 15.50 and try to go down to the bottom and run a lap time down there and you’re in the 15.90s so there is absolutely no way that you’re going to be able to pass down low.”
Were you able to help the No. 11 Nationwide team this morning in practice?
“Yeah. Just trying to help (Elliott) Sadler get a better feel for what he’s got going on. He was frustrated and struggling a little bit getting into the corners, which this place is notorious for that. I felt like our Monster Energy car was alright and we’ll see come here in a little bit. We haven’t typically qualified well here so I don’t foresee that being a surprise, but hopefully we race good like we always do.”
Does the excitement increase through all three races at Bristol?
“For sure, yeah. Hard to explain, but I would say that each level is increasingly difficult.”
Was the car setup for the ‘feel’ you were looking for in March?
“We didn’t have it in March either really. In March all you have to do is get to the outside and maintain — you couldn’t pass anybody. I was on Kasey’s (Kahne) bumper for the last 20 laps. I couldn’t do anything getting lower than him and trying to pass him and Brad (Keselowski) was up my butt too the last 20 laps and couldn’t do anything with me. It’s frustrating when you get in those situations.”
Do you expect a different type of race at Atlanta?
“I don’t think you’re going to see a race any different than what we’ve seen down in Atlanta the last few years. The race track has aged really nice where it’s probably aged too much, but you can’t repave Atlanta — that would just be stupid. It’s a place where you can run the bottom all the way from the white line all the way to the wall and anywhere in between. You have to have a good car there, but it’s a neat race track with the way that you can race around and move around and not get too comfortable running one lane.”
Is the Joe Gibbs Racing test at Chicagoland one that the team needed?
“It’s not one that I wanted to go to because they just did a tire test there two months ago or whatever it was so I felt like we were okay with not needing to go to Chicago, but our teammates wanted to go. It is what it is. You take what they want to do sometimes more than what you want to do and go do that. Texas will be a good test for all of us. We’re going to do there and also Homestead. We all agreed on all of those.”
Would doing the sweep at Bristol again mean as much as the first time?
“Yeah, it means a lot. It’s something that’s never been done in the 16 years there’s been three series and it hasn’t been done in the three years since I did it. There could be a chance for me to do it again, but this race track’s changed so much here that it may not come here, but it can still come at other places.”