Toyota Racing – Kyle Busch
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Pocono Raceway – July 27, 2019
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch was made available to the media in Pocono:
Kyle Busch, No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Lot of speed in practice and lots of success at Pocono recently, what’s your mindset coming into this race?
“Mindset is to try to win and to put ourselves in a position to do that to try to get those extra five points that you can get and that trophy at the end of the day. Hopefully, we can achieve that success. We’ve got our Skittles colors with us this weekend. Those colors have always kind of boded well for us, so hopefully it continues a pattern.”
How important are restarts considering the style of racing today?
“There has been way more gamesmanship with restarts this year because it’s priority number one on trying to make passes. You have about three laps to make passes and get yourself in position essentially before everything single files out. When it starts to single file out, that’s kind of it. Like Loudon last week, it was kind of that way. There were a few guys that could pass and get up front. Dover’s definitely that way. Here at Pocono’s definitely that way. Once you get yourselves single file and strung out, the aero effects are just too great to overcome. Restarts are everything. There’s certain gamesmanship that’s being played on restarts. It’s been a lot more this year. Everybody’s understanding that, realizing that. I would agree that it’s about time NASCAR stepped in or all of us were going to continue to see all what we could get away with.”
NASCAR just told us that we will likely have two 350-mile races here next year with an inverted start for the second race (for the lead lap finishers). How do you feel about that?
“Yeah, sure, whatever. It doesn’t matter. The real important stuff is the details that probably haven’t been released yet on what all happens with practices. Do we practice both days or do we only practice once? Do we race the same car both days, all that sort of stuff. That’s the details that all of us, the teams, the owners, and everybody are more worried about than race lengths and how they determine starting lineups.”
They said you will practice and qualify on Friday and race the same car both Saturday and Sunday.
“That kind of answers some of our questions, because we were all wondering if we were going to have to bring two cars here. If we were going to have two separate events, type thing. That obviously will be nice for the owners and no big deal for us as long as we don’t tear up our stuff.
If we can make it through the first event and then buff on it a little bit, I don’t know how much they are going to let us do overnight, whether it’s impound or if they’ll just let us work on our cars and then go back through tech. It’s all good, whatever. Race lengths doesn’t matter. And invert, doesn’t matter. Obviously, qualifying up front is always important, but I would imagine they would just keep the same pit selections from your first qualifying. It’s not going to be that big of a deal.”
Can you have the same type of rivalries that you could 15 years ago?
“No, definitely not. Not the same. Not at all. What the differences are varies. There’s just too much, I wouldn’t say publicity, social media presence and too much people bad mouthing one person or another person. The voice is too loud. Years ago, you could have water cooler talk or garage talk or whatever you want to call it where people would go to work and talk NASCAR. Now you have people on their computers, on their cell phones, on whatever all day long talking about it or whatever with not just one, two, three people at their job site, but hundreds and thousands on their social media platform and the voice just gets louder and becomes more annoying. Got to mind your ps and qs a little bit more and kind of let it die quietly at the race track. When it picks up, because you run into someone else, and then it picks up again, it starts all over. You try to squash it, I guess.”
Has the traction compound made a difference in the practice sessions?
“It hasn’t quite yet. I have kind of moved into it in turn three a little bit. Just kind of working on something there and see if I can’t make that work. It’s pretty okay on entry to center, but then center off its not there. It’s really slick and dirty. It’s not very good yet because nobody is rubbering it in. Nobody’s up there grooming it, if you will. So, will it come in during the race? I think it will. Maybe 100 laps in it will get a little bit better hopefully, I say that, because I want it too. Turn two, I think is okay. Turn one, you’ll never get in it, it’s way too high.”