CHEVROLET NCS AT DAYTONA 500 – Kyle Busch Friday Media Availability Quotes

KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 ZONE CAMARO ZL1, met with the media ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series’ practice session at Daytona International Speedway. Media Availability Quotes –

“Happy to have Zone as a new partner at RCR and we are excited to carry their colors. Was hoping for a better night last night, definitely got them some TV time, but not quite the glamorous way to victory lane, but hopefully on Sunday.”

What are you gaining skill-wise in running all these micro dirt races? Are you able to take some of those learnings to Cup, or how does that work?

“No, its just practice. Just staying in the car, staying sharp and doing all those things. I used to do that with all the unlimited Truck starts, unlimited Xfinity starts.  Did that for a long time, but then got limited on that. Then I started doing some Super Late Model stuff, and started doing that a little bit more and more, but years went on and that stuff is just crazy, crazy expensive. The Micro thing, with Brexton going to the races he is going to, I can run on the same track as he can, and I can just get out there and run around and just get laps and do it for fun mostly. I have won a few shows. I won I think two winged shows at just different tracks across the country, not the big ones, I am not that good. The wrong Kyle. The point is to just go out there and get some track time and I can help with Brexton’s stuff when I can feel and see what the track is doing than just being a spectator or crew chief on his car.”

What are you looking for out of the next two rounds of practice in your backup car?

“Yeah, I thought media day was Groundhog’s Day. Then I had yesterday running the Duels Groundhog Day from last year getting torn up and crashed, having to go to a backup car, and starting all over again. I don’t know if we saw our shadow today or not, but we will get out there and work on the things that we know we need in our car which is the drivability of it. I will probably get out there and make a single car lap or two just to make sure the heights are all right and make sure everything is good, nothing is bottoming out and nothing is not how we expect it to be.  Then we will get in a pack draft with our Chevy key partner teams, go out there and make some laps, and trade some positions.  See what it’s like out front, see what its like in the back, and that is kind of all you can really learn.”

What is it like seeing your old team KBM having success and in a way keep what you started going?

“Yeah, I told them, don’t screw it up. I left it in a pretty good spot. I am excited about the opportunity to get some races over there, but we haven’t finalized all that yet. They have got a great organization, a lot of really good people. A lot of them stayed, some left, so it does look a lot different.  That shop is entirely different than what it was the last 12-13 years or however many I was in it.  They are doing a good job with what they got, and I am supposed to go over there….I am a consultant. I am supposed to go over there next week and do some consulting and talk to them about some of their race stuff and what they go through tonight.  Excited to see the progress, sit down with the guys, the drivers, stuff like that, and to continue that leadership role.”

Regarding being an athlete and there is one thing you are striving for, how you approach the disappointment of the Daytona 500 and not have won it but have come close?

“I would say the biggest thing that helped me through that is being in the Championship Race at Homestead and letting that race play out and letting everything kind of happen because we went into that race playing with house money.  Nobody thought we should be there, all the stuff, whatever.  And then we were like, ‘oh well, we are not going to be expected to win the championship, so let’s just go see what we can do’. And low and behold we win the race, and we win the championship and so that kind of taught me right there that you can’t force things always. Even last year I tried to force situations and I ended up spun out and backed into the fence. I had to go backwards down the track to get to my pit box. You know, it’s stuff like that where a lot of people try to force a lot of things in this race, and they get themselves in trouble. Some moment it pays off for them. There’s guys that have made good moves, aggressive moves, that have won this race too. You just have to play it out as it comes to you and be ready for the unexpected.”

Does this race become more like your job, or are there still butterflies, but now that you have done it six thousand times, is it any different?

“Its six hundred and eight-something. God, six thousand, that would be a lot. No, coming here for the first two or three… I was here three years with Hendrick (Motorsports) then two with Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing), the second year with Gibbs, probably five years in, it was kind of like – it’s a big deal, this is a big race, this is a big moment. It was butterflies, it was all that sort of stuff, especially when you get down toward the end. Since I got comfortable at JGR, it was like ‘man, its just another race’, don’t let it get to you and don’t let the meaning of this race counteract the events of you trying to win. Vegas for instance. I went to Las Vegas, my home track, and I watched that place be built and all that. I put so much pressure on myself in winning an Xfinity race there that I crashed every year, did stupid stuff, spinning out at the checkered flag, and whatever, you know? Finally, we won that thing and it was like a relief and it was like, ‘wow, you really didn’t have to do as much’. You know? You do have to put all the right pieces in the right places. You have to have the right car, you have to have good pit stops, you have to do your job, and if we can all execute and do our job as our team, with this No. 8 Zone Camaro ZL1 on Sunday, then its meant to be and its our day, then by all means we are going to celebrate like crazy.”

In 2015, did you gain perspective in having to watch that race from wherever you were and missing that race?

“I was watching it in Halifax Hospital, don’t remember what room I was in, or floor number, but I was laying in a hospital bed and wondering if I was ever going to walk again. Just being a little dramatic after the day’s prior event, but yeah, watched the start. Remember seeing it. Shed a few tears, crying to just if I was going to get back, or if I was going to get back. I had the determination to get back. You just don’t know at that point. Then I passed out for a good while. Drugs were good. I don’t remember a whole lot of the race, but then somehow, I think I did wake up somewhere near the end and I think Logano won that year. So, I did see that and that didn’t make me feel any better.”