CHEVROLET NCS AT ATLANTA 2: Kyle Busch Media Availability Transcript

HOW DO YOU FEEL ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY HAS MATURED NOW HAS A SUPERSPEEDWAY TRACK?

“I don’t think we’ve seen its full potential yet. It still probably has a lot of grip where you’re really not fighting getting out of the throttle yet a whole lot. Old Atlanta (Motor Speedway), being as slippery as it was – if that was a zero on the grip scale, I think we’re still up in the nine or 10 right now. So it’ll take a little bit before we get to the five or six range when racing typically starts to get pretty good.”

 

HOW DO YOU THINK GOING 90 MPH ON THE APRON UNDER GREEN ENTERING PIT ROAD CHANGE MUCH, AS FAR AS STRATEGY?

“I don’t think it changes much on strategy. When we were here in the spring, it seemed to be about equal for a lap and a half or something like that – where you would go down about a lap and a half. You know I think this time around might be a little bit less than that, obviously, but not by much. It’s just going to be a different rate of what you have to slow down to under green because under yellow, it’s still the same 45 mph all the way around. Everybody has probably looked ahead to that and planned – at least they should have – with their lights and everything else. So we’ll just see what that looks like getting out here and going.”

 

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE, THERE’S A LOT OF TALK ABOUT INTERNATIONAL RACES – WHETHER IN EUROPE, THE MIDDLE EAST, WHEREVER. DO YOU SEE THAT HAVING A PLACE IN NASCAR AT ALL IN THE FUTURE?

“I have a really funny answer, but I’m going to leave it alone (laughs).

 

Yeah, I do. I feel like there’s definitely the potential for that – whether it’s North America, South America, even a different continent. I think there’s some opportunities that are out there, so it will be interesting to see where we land with that. I think last week kind of showcased that you can do a street event. And we’ve also kind of proven the stadium aspect, as well, with the (Los Angeles) Coliseum. I think that opens up a huge playbook.”

 

NOW A WEEK REMOVED FROM CHICAGO – ANY ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON HOW THAT WEEKEND WENT WITH HAVING TIME TO PROCESS IT?

“Yeah, I thought it went well. Considering where the team hotels were, we were in walking distance and that was pretty close. There was just a lot of walking from the garage area to pit road for the teams. Where the haulers were parked was a little bit of a walk, as well. Especially with the rain because your notice that you get for ‘drivers to your cars’ is about four minutes, so it’s almost where you have to get into a trot to get out there on time. But probably the only negative was just the weather. I thought everything else about it was really good. Practice went off pretty well. There was definitely some areas of the track where you could use a tire barrier – I obviously was a tester of those, and they seemed to work really well and that our cars can continue on with little damage. But just a couple of spots that probably could use more or any to begin with.”

 

IT’S BEEN A YEAR NOW THAT KURT (BUSCH) HAS BEEN OUT OF THE CAR. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT AND WHAT IT’S BEEN LIKE THE LAST YEAR WITH KURT AND HIM RECOVERING?

“Yeah, I got to work with him on the sidelines last year being with the Toyota camp for the last half of the year, but really haven’t seen a whole bunch of him and haven’t talked a whole bunch with him – just not working with that group anymore. Being with Team Chevy, we’ve kind of I guess re-distanced a little bit. But you know, it was not due to what he wanted as a timeline of stepping aside and being out of the car. But the way it all went down, the way he’s handled it, the way he’s still been a part of 23XII and working with Tyler (Reddick) and Bubba (Wallace) over there – I think he’s an instrumental part to some of the success they’ve had early on. We’ll see what his choices are going forward on if he continues that.”

 

(NO MIC.)

“Yeah, so I was born in 1985 – I think Bobby (Allison) was done in ’88, so I never watched him race, but obviously I’ve seen the highlights and stuff like that. He was an amazing competitor. I always remember him being fast in that No. 12 Miller car. Just being a historian of the sport for the little bit that I am, it’s always really neat to just kind of see some of that. I know with Davey coming in and being here – those two guys racing with each other, running well with each other, working together and all that, was really cool as a father-son duo. Hopefully one day I can do some of that with my son, as well. He was an instrumental part of the growth of the sport during that time – stayed around a lot and kept his face in the business to just continue to elevate everything that they all were doing.”

 

JUST WITH THE DIFFERENT TRACKS AND HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED WITH THE SCHEDULE THE LAST FEW YEARS – HOW DOES THAT CHALLENGE YOU AS A DRIVER AND THE DIFFERENT SKILL SETS OR DEMANDS REQUIRED? AND TWO – WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR SON AND AS YOU PLOT A COURSE FOR HIM TO WORK HIS WAY UP, WITH NASCAR’S EVOLVING SCHEDULE, DOES THAT START TO CHANGE OR MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WANT TO PLOT HIS DIRECTION OR THINGS YOU WANT TO INCLUDE IN HIS DEVELOPMENT?

“Yeah, obviously there’s a lot of change happening right now with different venues and things like that. Atlanta (Motor Speedway) turning into a speedway. You’ve got, I’d call it, six I guess superspeedway races, and then you’ve got seven road course races. You’ve got intermediates; you’ve got short-tracks. Now you have a street course. So there’s a lot going on with the different avenues that you can go and the training you can do with driver development.

 

Yeah, I’m a proponent of getting him in as much stuff that I possibly can. Some people tell me that they think that’s hurting his development or slowing his development down in particular cars. And I’m like – well, yeah, but he can go run against any kid in the country and run top-three everywhere we go in any vehicle that we run in. I feel like that’s a Kyle Larson-type thing – where we’re not just focused on quarter midgets or outlaw karts.. he only does that and he’s really good at that. But then we can’t even make an A-main in a quarter midget race at a national event. The one thing that we’re a little bit short on right now is just the road course kart stuff that Keelan has been really high on. We haven’t done as much of that and Brexton keeps asking me about doing it and why we haven’t done it. And I’m like – bro, there’s only so much time in the day (laughs).. we’re pretty slammed as it is. But hopefully being able to get out to Trackhouse Motorplex a little bit more, especially as the off-season gets there – that’s sort of the time where I always ran road course stuff was always winter races. So I’d love to take him out there and just kind of get his feet wet more in that.”

 

HOW MUCH IS IT CHALLENGING FOR YOU? YOU HAD THE DEVELOPMENT AND SKILL SET, AND OBVIOUSLY YOU’RE TALENTED IN A LOT OF THINGS, BUT A LOT OF THINGS ARE GETTING THROWN AT YOU. HOW IS THIS CHALLENING YOU?

“You know, the only thing that’s been challenging to me and I don’t know how to be get better at it besides just doing it more often – is the street course last week. I came out of the gate my first lap on the track and boom – I shot up to third quick on the board. And then everybody started getting braver, pushing the brake limits more and getting better and better, and I started falling back. But when you go to the Clash at The Coliseum, that reminds me of going to Star Speedway up in Epping, New Hampshire – we’re close to there next week. It’s a little, tight, three-eighths mile bullring with really tight corners. So places like that where I grew up racing late models at remind me of that. The superspeedway here is a little bit different, but it’s really close to Daytona (International Speedway). And then all the rest of the stuff that we obviously do. Traditional road courses are traditional road courses – it’s just about finding your way around those. So again, the street course stuff – not having much experience in that or racing in the rain for that matter, too – is probably my worst trait at the moment.”

 

WHAT’S YOUR RECOVERY PROCESS FOR ANY WRECK, IN GENERAL?

“It depends on the wreck. Last week, running into the tires at Chicago was great (laughs).. it was nice, it wasn’t really that bad. I was petrified going into that, that it was going to hurt a hell of a lot. But then the tire pack, you kind of just slowly accordion into it and it was fine. I think that was a good learning for us that we can do that at a lot more races maybe – not ovals, but road courses that don’t maybe have tire packs that have some gravel run-offs that don’t catch a car that you can still achieve the fence. I don’t think there’s a depth of tire pack that’s too thick, honestly. So I think that’s kind of a learning curve that I tested out last week.

 

Other than that, yeah wrecking at superspeedway races – hitting the wall, breaking my leg, foot and stuff at Daytona (International Speedway) was no fun. It’s all about the hit that you get. But being in decent shape I think allows you to come out of those a lot faster. Just talking with Scott Borchetta, who is a TA2 driver who I’ve been friends with for a long time – he was in a bad accident and hurt pretty bad. He’s healing a lot faster than the doctors expected because he was like – yeah, I was working out, I was training, I was trying to keep up with these young kids to go race with. I think it’s just all about your body composition and makeup.”

 

HALFWAY THROUGH YOUR FIRST SEASON AT RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING, IS THERE SOMETHING YOU CAN TELL US THAT YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT RICHARD (CHILDRESS) AS YOUR CAR OWNER THAT MAYBE YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT HIM IN PREVIOUS YEARS?

“To me, it’s just that he’s involved. He’s involved in a lot of different ways. He’s involved at the race shop – he’s there a lot, talking with upstairs people, downstairs people, into the competition meetings, talking with the pit crew coaches. He’s also doing some other outside business stuff with the spring company that he’s got, as well as the ECR engines and things that they’ve been doing. Not since I’ve been there, but the last couple of years they were the Cadillac engine supplier for the IMSA stuff for Cadillac. It’s just really cool to see all the different stuff that they have all up at their campus, and what all he’s involved in and how much he really pays attention to all of that. He’s an instrumental part to why we want to win races and why we’ve won races. And I feel like we’ve lived up to that to this point, which has been amazing and really, really good. It’s just a matter of carrying that forward and continuing to work together. He and I – we’ve exchanged a lot of text messages, phone calls and all that stuff on areas of things that we can do. I’m trying to push on him a little bit so he can go deliver those messages and push on it from his side because he’s always told me – just come to me.. bring me anything, whatever you’ve got, come to me.”

 

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