Toyota MENCS Playoffs Media Day Kyle Busch Quotes

by Official Release On Fri, Sep. 14, 2018

Toyota Racing – Kyle Busch
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Playoffs Media Day – September 13, 2018

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch was made available to the media in Las Vegas:

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Is a win at a premium right now?

“I think wins are always important and I think the biggest thing now is that each round kind of has their own wildcard race if you look at it – you’ve got the Roval in the first round, Talladega in the second round and then Martinsville kind of turned into a crazy race in the third round. It’s all just going to be about trying to maintain and have a good day. If you can get top-five finishes, great, that’s going to propel us through with the amount of points we have and the point cushion we have, but wins are the ultimate. If you can get those then you’re automatically in and that’s what we all strive for.”

How did testing go at the Roval?

“I actually got a couple tests – the first test went really good and the second test went really bad. I did crash and then the third test went really good again. I ran a different layout every time I went there.”

Is being at the top of the heap a good place to be or are you constantly looking over your shoulder?

“You definitely want to be as high as you can be, no question you want to be at the top and when you’re at the top that just means that you have extra bonus points that you can start each round with. You never want to have to rely on those bonus points, but it’s obviously a good thing to have those if need be.”

Will you be searching for lines to race in on Sunday?

“You’re definitely going to be moving around a lot and you’re definitely going to be searching. This race is going to look probably a lot like Chicago where it was slick and kind of moving all over the race track – guys were low, guys were high so I think that this race is going to look just like that.”

How do you feel the schedule changes will add to the Playoffs?
“I think it’s absolutely going to add to the Playoffs. I think any time you can mix it up and change it up, it’s just a new dynamic and everybody just has to get used to it. With some new race tracks here in the Playoffs, it’s definitely going to be different than what we’ve seen in years past. The contenders might not necessarily be any different, but definitely who is going to win some of these races is somewhat of an unknown.”

How do you feel as a team and organization starting the Playoffs?

“I would say we’re right on par with the last two seasons. I wouldn’t say that we’re the best, I would say that we’ve got a little bit of work to do and we’ve always continued our work and everything to strive to get better through the Playoffs all the way through Homestead and when we get to Homestead we’re typically pretty quick. I have to make it there this time around and continue to be sure that we minimize our mistakes and start getting back to those winning ways.”

Is it all about winning the opening race in the rounds?

“You strive to go out there and win every single time you’re on the race track, but if you put yourself in a bad spot or try or push too hard or something like that and you get yourself out of whack and crashed or something like that, obviously that’s going to be way worse for yourself so you have to be mindful of those situations and you have to pick and choose your battles.”

What has it meant to have stability in your career from year to year?

“It’s obviously a really, really good thing – myself and Coach Gibbs (team owner), we’ve developed a really good relationship over the course of those years and we’ve learned about each other and what our quirks are and things like that. Obviously, being with the same team, I’ve had a lot of the same guys on my team and around me for my entire time of being at the 18 car and having Adam Stevens (crew chief) come on board just three years ago, it’s kind of a newer relationship in the driver-crew chief realm, but we’ve certainly really stuck together well and worked well together.”

How has your relationship with Joe Gibbs changed over the years?

“It’s always grown closer I would say, we’ve never really grown apart. We’ve always had the utmost respect for one another so I think that kind of goes hand-in-hand, when you have an owner who knows who you are behind the scenes and not necessarily who you are in front of the camera or at the race track, they’ll have your back. I feel like with Coach, he’s always been there for me and we’ve had great success together.”

How special would it be to win the first race of the Playoffs at your home track?

“It would be special and that’s what we strive for. We look forward to coming out here to Las Vegas to be able to do it and it’s going to be a different time of year and a different race track considering the hotter temperatures and the hotness of the race track so we’ll see what that has in store for us, hopefully it’s a good thing and we’ll all be ready for it and we can win.”

What are the challenges of contending for the Cup championship and then being an owner contending for a Truck Series championship?

“It’s not too bad. I feel like I’ve been in my situation enough times that I know what I need to do myself and being that I have that experience I can help that with the younger drivers and guys like Noah (Gragson) or guys like Erik Jones when he was racing for a championship with us. I think having that experience and being able to help those younger guys through those tasks or times in which what they’re thinking or how they’re thinking about their championship run, you can help them with those things.”

What did you think of winning the regular season championship?
“I think it’s awesome because it’s something that is out there for us to go out and achieve and everybody knows it from the beginning of the season, it’s not like they just sprung it on us, ‘Hey, here’s a trophy.’ I think what’s cool about it is how hard we all work as an organization and a manufacturer – as the 18 M&M’s Toyota team – what we do and what the effort is that we put into being able to achieve that goal and be able to bring home some hardware from it. Obviously, it’s a challenging circumstance and when you’re on pit road and you finish eighth and you’re mixed in with all the other competitors that you just raced against and then they want to do a trophy presentation so it’s kind of awkward in that instance, but maybe we’ll come up with some ideas to change that up a little bit in the future. Overall, I respect it and really like that they recognize that.”

Does Brexton put toys in your trophies at home?

“There’s no trophies at home, I had my championship trophy there for a while to check it out and kind of reminisce and think about it and then I moved it to Kyle Busch Motorsports for everyone to see and check out and take photos with and everything like that. All the trophies are there at KBM, I’m not sure where this one’s going to land yet, probably in the trophy case that has trophies from every race track and things like that where I’ve won at. We’ll see what happens.”

Where do you put all your trophies – they can’t all fit at KBM?
“There’s a lot of different trophy cases, there’s the big trophy case on one wall, there’s another wall with just KBM trophies and then another whole wall of trophy case and then there’s trophies upstairs on the floors, people’s offices and everywhere else because we have a trophy case problem.”

What do you think of the potential being speculated of adding Martin Truex Jr. and Cole Pearn to Joe Gibbs Racing?

“If it happens, I haven’t heard, I think it could be good. Certainly wouldn’t want to see those guys who are championship contenders go onto another team and make another team stronger so hopefully we can keep them in the fold.”

What is the one thing your team has to improve upon to make it to Homestead and win Homestead?

“I think the biggest thing right now is through the summer months when we were going back and forth with (Kevin) Harvick and battling for wins and things like that, I wouldn’t say we were perfect, but our mistakes weren’t that large. Right now we’re making some mistakes – driver-wise, crew-wise, crew chief-wise, I think all of us can clean up our act a little bit and get better that way.”

Do you think you need to improve on pit road?

“There’s room for improvement on every aspect of what we’ve got going on right now. Early on in this season we were really, really good on pit road and we were winning races because we were beating people on pit road and right now we’re not doing that. Certainly, that’s something we can improve on.”

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