CHEVROLET NCS AT NASHVILLE: Kyle Busch Media Availability Quotes

HAVE YOU STARTED ANY PREPARATION FOR THE CHICAGO STREET COURSE, WHETHER IT’S SIM OR GOING OVER THINGS WITH THE TEAM?

“Yes.”

 

WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF THE CIRCUIT AND WHAT ARE YOUR TAKEAWAYS?

“It’s really rough. It’s bumpy. It’s slippery. There’s some corners that are very challenging.. some blind ones at that. When you’re going around the Bean on the left-hander, that’s really, really slippery and there’s a huge bump going through (turn) nine before you get into (turn) 10. The wall in (turn) eight before you go around the left-hander is, to me, really narrow over there. You’re barely trying to miss getting your right front ripped off; not bouncing off that and killing your car on the left side. So there could be more room given over there, I feel like. That’s probably a really tight spot that could use a little bit of help, just based off of what the simulator is telling us. But other than that, it’s going to be a tight street course. That’s what tight street courses are.”

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RACE IS GOING TO BE LIKE?

“Survival.. it’s going to be a survival race. I feel like we had a couple of those – I can’t remember the last one that we had, but I want to say it’s like turn one at Indy (Road Course). If you start 20th, you might as well not even accelerate to get to turn one because it’s probably going to look like the (Charlotte) ROVAL restart that we had when we all went off into the barrier in turn one, you know what I mean. It’s survival.”

 

WHAT WILL MAKE A GOOD EVENT AT CHICAGO? DOES IT NEED TO BE A SPECTACULAR FINISH OR WHAT WILL MAKE IT A SUCCESSFUL RACE FROM A COMPETITOR’S STANDPOINT?

“To me, action – having a good race and story to tell about a street course. You know, I looked at the INDYCAR race from Nashville the first year they did it. They had that big pileup and about blocked the track.. things like that. It’s not action that us drivers want to see, but fans kind of sometimes enjoy calamity. And that then turns into a social moment where they’re like – hey, check this out. If we’re those guys, then so be it and that’s kind of where it’ll lay.

 

It’s a spectacle, right? It’s something that I don’t think NASCAR has ever done in a long, long time – the Cup Series, if ever, I’m not sure. I know the Southwest Tour ran the streets of LA a long, long time ago in 1998. I actually spotted for my brother there. But this will be my first time ever racing on a street course and something of this nature.”

 

HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THE MUFFLERS YOU’RE GOING TO BE USING AT CHICAGO, AND HAVE THEY DONE ANYTHING AS FAR AS THE HEAT COMPARED TO WHAT YOU WERE FEELING IN LA?

“I’m not sure. I can’t say… I don’t know. I know Jeff Burton was working on that for us – trying to reduce some of the in-car heat. We were all kind of talking about that because some guys kind of felt a little bit hot at the Coliseum. I felt fine at the Clash.. I didn’t even run my cool shirt. I predict it’s going to be warm, but wearing a cool shirt, you should be fine.”

 

WHEN YOU CAME TO RCR THIS YEAR, YOU EASILY COULD HAVE SAID – I CAN’T DO CERTAIN THINGS THAT YOU WANT ME TO DO.. I NEED TO DO IT MY WAY BECAUSE I’VE BEEN DOING IT SO MANY YEARS AND I’VE HAD SUCCESS. QUITE FRANKLY, THEY PROBABLY WOULD HAVE FOLLOWED ALONG WITH IT. THEY’VE TALKED ABOUT HOW YOU HAD BOUGHT ALL-IN AND SAID – LOOK, I’M GOING TO DO IT YOUR WAY. WE’RE NOT GOING TO MEET HALFWAY.. I’M GOING TO GO ALL THE WAY WITH YOU. HOW CHALLENGING WAS IT AND WHY DID YOU EVEN DO IT LIKE THAT?

“To me, yes – I came over to RCR wanting to buy-in and just kind of understand and get into the Chevy system; be a part of the key partner deal and understand the Hendrick Motorsports side, the Trackhouse Racing side and the RCR side. But also the RCR team, as well – the engineering department and everything they have going on over there.

 

The buy-in, yeah – Randall (Burnett) is a smart guy. We’ve got some really good people over there. I really enjoy working with Justin Alexander, as well as Keith Rodden. All of those guys are pretty sharp guys. Buying into their way and their system because that’s how they’ve done it for so long was me getting an understanding and just being like – let’s go to work. But also, to just say too that I’ve brought a lot to the table, as well – from where I’ve been and some of the ways that I’ve done things before, too. We talked about that and we’re intermixing a lot of that. Whether it’s 60/40 – their way, my way – or vice versa.. I don’t care, it doesn’t matter. It’s whatever works. So how we get through those things that work for them, and then the things that I always bring up that I’m still pushing for. There’s probably, I don’t know, how many items on my checklist, but at least five that are top priority that I’m really still forking them with and trying to get them to accomplish.”

 

(NO MIC)

“It’s a longer process. It takes a longer time. I wouldn’t call it short-staffed.. there’s plenty of people around. Those people have jobs right. I’m asking for engineering things.. I’m looking for data sheets and things like that. It’s not just coming either A – as fast as it should; or B – at all some weekends. So really just trying to be like – look guys, this is important and this stuff can help, and it’ll give us a good basis of what we need to work on overnight going into the race. And we’re just not getting that right now. I think that’s going to be an overall help for the whole Chevy team on being able to get some of that.”

 

YOU TWEETED ‘NOW IT’S HAMMERDOWN UNTIL PHOENIX’ WHEN YOU GOT BACK FROM VACATION. DO YOU HAVE TO PUT THE BINDERS ON AND JUST GO STRAIGHT THROUGH THE LAST 10 AND INTO THE PLAYOFFS?

“Well, yeah.. there’s no more off weeks. I think that’s basically what it meant.. we’re going straight through from now to Phoenix (Raceway). There’s 18 races left, so that means there’s eight and then the final 10. So we’ve got eight weeks to prepare ourselves, get ready and build our program stronger and as good as we can for the start of the playoffs. Once we get to Darlington (Raceway), it’s going to be no miss. We’ve kind of been a little bit dirty to start, if you will. We haven’t had clean races a lot, and then the last three or four, we’ve had some pretty clean races respectively. So keep that momentum going for the next eight and maybe tack on another win or two and be perfect by the time the playoffs come.”

 

AS YOU AND RANDALL (BURNETT) LOOK AT THIS PUSH TO THE PLAYOFFS – YOU JOKINGLY SAID AFTER SONOMA (RACEWAY) THAT MAYBE YOU DON’T WANT AN OFF-WEEKEND WITH THE STRETCH OF FOUR TOP-10 FINISHES. WHERE IS THIS TEAM IN TERMS OF HOW YOU STACK UP? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO A CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDING TEAM?

“Yeah, I mean looking at the last 10 weeks of the schedule, I would say that we feel pretty confident about how we can go about those weeks and those races. The only one that you kind of circle right now that’s a question mark, maybe two, is obviously Bristol (Motor Speedway) and Martinsville (Speedway) with the short-track package and us not being great with that. But the rest of the races, I’m looking forward to them. There’s an even slate there for us to be as good as we’ve been this year, and go out there and score some good, strong runs.

 

Championship-caliber team, I would say our guys are super good at building some really good cars. We’ve had some really clean stuff. The job that each member on the team has been doing has been top-notch. I get in the car, all my stuff is there – the windshield tear-offs are right, the black-out’s good.. like details. It comes down to the details. So to me, from what I can tell, it’s where we need to be. Praises to them and I’m looking forward to racing out the rest of the year with the way that we’ve had our start.”

 

AS WE GO INTO THE SECOND-HALF OF THE REGULAR-SEASON, HAS THERE BEEN ANYONE THAT’S SEPERATED THEMSELVES AS FAR AS WHO’S GOING TO BE THE CONTENDERS?

“No.. I mean honestly, last year the No. 22 (Joey Logano) won the championship out of nowhere. They were terrible through the summer and it kind of looks the same right now. So anything can happen.

 

It’s hard for me to answer that question. Like are you a championship-caliber team? Well yeah, but I think there’s probably 12 others, you know what I mean? It’s a lot more unknown with the Next Gen car, and how you go to these race tracks and how sporadic finishes can be. You think somebody is going to go out and win a race and they get wrecked, and then somebody else does that’s a surprise winner. So you just never know.. you just have to play it out.”

 

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