Greetings from Bristol August 21, 2009Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
Hey and Greetings from Bristol:
It’s a short weekend here at Bristol. I’m not on the air today on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio with “Dialed In” because Sprint Cup Qualifying will go right up to the start of the Nationwide Series Race the Food City 250 and PRN radio’s coverage of the race.
I will be standing by just in case there is any time between qualifying and the start of the Nationwide race but I’m expecting the coverage will stay seamless on PRN between the two events and that they will not throw it back to me.
However, it does look like rain here and I’ll be doing rain delay coverage (seems like a weekly event) so will be close to the microphone 🙂
So how’s your day?
Here’s a run down of my broadcast schedule for the short Bristol weekend:
Saturday, August 21
“Dialed In” With Claire B.
2PM-3:30 p.m. EST
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show
3:30PM-5:30PM ET – I’ll be in the booth – Steve Post in the garage
Sirius NASCAR Radio Post Race Show:
I’ll be in Victory Lane LIVE when the race is over for two full hours after the race.
FROM THE GARAGE/MEDIA CENTER:
Brian Vickers signs a new deal with Red Bull Racing and Stands up to Kyle Busch
“He’s out of Rope”
The media session here at Bristol Motor Speeway is always loud. Brian Vickers and Jay Frye (GM Red Bull) came in to talk about Vickers new contract with Red Bull. But as loud as the cars were outside on the track —the sound in the room of Vickers saying he’s not taking any guff from Kyle Busch was so loud that everyone in the room took note. After being asked questions about Busch – and answering them no uncertain terms – Vickers left the room after delivering his own closing statement that pretty much clarified any questions about how Vickers feels about racing Busch.
I included below the full transcript on the issue- as well as the closing statement that was not included on the initial transcript. Enjoy.
Are you still upset about what happened with Kyle Busch following the Nationwide race at Michigan?
“I’m not still mad about it. Like I said after the race, definitely I put it in the memory bank for the next go around. I don’t know if you want to call it ‘strike-one’ or ‘strike-two,’ but either way he’s (Kyle Busch) out of strikes. It’s definitely in the memory banks – it’s not something I’m mad about. I wasn’t mad about it at the time, to be honest with you. Like I said last week, in a lot of ways I feel sorry for him. I hate that he lives in such an angry place. To be so mad about something so small – it must be miserable to live like that. That’s just not the way I live my life. I’m very blessed to have great parents that raised me to be a very different person. I’m in a great position there and I’m very lucky that way that I was raised differently. I’m fine with it – whatever happens moving forward – the ball’s in his court. I’m willing to race him hard and clean and move on down the road and if he’s not willing to do that then I’m willing to take whatever path he chooses. I’m going to race him the way he races me – he knows that and he’s been aware of that for a very long time and that’s not going to change.”
What is your outlook on what winning should mean to a driver?
“I think it should mean a lot. I think pitching a fit and a tantrum after a race — I wanted to win that race as bad or more than he (Kyle Busch) did, but I handled it very differently. He was mad because I raced him. He was mad because he said that I should’ve let him go so that the 88 (Brad Keselowski), who didn’t deserve to win, shouldn’t have won. That’s what he told me. That the 88 (Keselowski) didn’t deserve to win and if I would’ve let him go and let him win, then the 88 wouldn’t have. And frankly, I don’t really care if Kyle Busch wins and I’m proud of the 88 (Keselowski). Good for him. He snuck by both of us. It’s my job to race for the win and that’s what I want, is to win the race. If I can’t win, I don’t really care who does to be honest with you. My concern is not him. I think it’s good to have for the sport, to have emotion — maybe someone getting out of the car and pitching a fit and crying is a good thing. It definitely made a lot of headline news. But, when I talk about being upset about a small thing, he probably caused — I don’t know. The damage he caused between his car and my car post-race, running into my car, was a lot. The way he got out of the car and how angry he was, I just feel bad for him. I’m mad that I didn’t win the race, too. To live with so much anger, I don’t know. It just must be miserable, to be honest with you. I don’t know what you expect out of someone who wants to win the race. I love what I do and I’m very upset if I don’t win, but if that’s what it takes to win, then maybe I don’t want to, because I don’t want to live my life that miserable. I just don’t. It’s just not who I am. I just don’t want to be that upset because I didn’t win.”
What do you mean when you say Kyle Busch is out of ‘strikes?’
“What do you think it means? I’m going to race him the way he races me, but he’s out of rope.”
Do you have a rivalry with Kyle Busch?
“It depends on how you define rivalry. Do I concern myself with where he’s at? No.”
ALSO NOTE: VICKERS ADDED A STATEMENT AT THE END WAY WORTH READING – I TRANSCRIBED IT
In closing I will say this. You know most importantly – focusing on last week , you know I was really proud of the effort by everybody on both teams Dollar General and Red Bull. We sat on two poles had a second and a win. You know obviously I wanted to win the race really bad but I know you guys want to make something a lot more out of it for a story. You want to create a rivalry. I understand that. But it is what it is. My point is and I am going to race him the way he races me. In my book he’s out of rope. I’m just done. I’m just to my limit. To answer your question again…if you think he acted appropriately would you have acted that way? Ok. So Yea I understand. That’s all you got to think about. I mean I think I made it very clear. Obviously I want to win races really, really bad. But a lot of life is how you handle yourself too. That’s the bottom line.
Woah how about those comments from Vickers? I can’t wait to see what happens if the two tangle here at Bristol. Hard to avoid each other – everyone tangles at Bristol Baby!
Enjoy the day.
And it’s on to Michigan! Quick Turnaround for Fans and Teams! August 12, 2009Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
Tags: claire b lang, claireblang.com, Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR, Sirius NASCAR Radio, Sprint Cup Series
Finally arrived after massive delayed flights and a closed runway at Charlotte’s airport back at home at 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. That was ok because it was after a great race with tons to talk about with you all. I received much email and am going to post some of the notes I got from you below as well as some conversation about the race at the Glen.
Tomorrow, it’s off to Michigan and I am hearing that there is no chance of rain in the forecast there. If that changes or if anyone hears differently – please don’t tell me. We’re due some sun at MIS and for the race fans. God bless the race fans who braved lightening and weather and banded together under the grandstands and then resurfaced on Monday for the Sprint Cup Series race at the Glen.
I also wondered this – what about the fans at home who watch on TV. For fans who traveled to the race, and the teams and drivers and the traveling group that is NASCAR the week was thrown off a bit by a second rain delayed race. How does it affect those of you who are at home watching on TV and scheduling your TV time and weekend around watching racing? Did any of you take off another day to watch the race? Email me: email@example.com
Here’s my schedule for the week/weekend on air: Check claireblang.com for updates and also check out my column in Challenge Magazine at most all Pilot truck stops across the country. America’s truck drivers are the kindest and most compassionate folks ever – I’ve gotten to know them over the years on satellite radio and this column is a chance to give them something special.
Claire B.’s SIRIUS NASCAR Radio “Dialed In” SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Channel 128 (Best of SIrius on XM Channel 128) schedule this week:
Wednesday, (tonight) August 12
“Dialed In” wth CBL- 7-10 p.m. EST
Thursday, August 13
“Dialed In” with CBL 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan International Speedway
Friday, August 14
“Dialed In” with CBL 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan International Speedway
Saturday, August 15
“Dialed In” with CBL -2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST LIVE from MIS leading up to the start of the Nationwide race – the Carfax 250 at MIS
Post Race: “Dialed In” with CBL after race until 8:00 p.m. EST
Sunday, August 16
CBL in the booth for the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show LIVE from MIS 10:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m. EST
CBL in Victory Lane LIVE and on the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post Race show for two full hours after the race
“Dialed In” wit CBL until 10 p.m. EST Sunday night breaking down the race post the post race.
That’s my schedule for the week. Here (BELOW) are some of the emails that you have been sending me this week. You all are very good…raising some great points and bringing up good issues. Keep sending them on at ClaireBMail [at] ClaireBLang.com
“Dialed In” MAIL BOX….. The glenn
Posts to ClaireBMail [at] ClaireBLang.com (Claire B)
Can u check on something for me? I am trying to figure out why
Stremme was not penalized for running over his front air hose on the
last pit stop. There was even an official standing right there, and I
do not think the rule has changed, has it?
Hey: Thanks for the note. I checked with Kerry Tharp with NASCAR who contacted David Hoots – race director. Here’s your answer:
Referenced 9-15 P in the 2009 rule book: (…when a car completely runs over or under its air hose or over any other equipment within its assigned pit box, the driver may be instructed to return to the car’s assigned pit box for inspection at the direction of NASCAR officials …)The two key words of the rule are “completely” and “may” be penalized. Not in Rule book, the official has the discretion to not make the call if only a part of the hose is clipped or left remaining
The above interpretation of the rule was applied in this particular case involving the No. 12 car
the people that keep saying Kyle bush need to change are crazy….i have raced from my 5th birthday and i am 58…2nd place is first looser….this crap about being happy with 2nd or 3rd is dumb….1st is the only winner …i think he is great he cant say what you want to say so dont say anything…..m&m mars candy is the only one that counts and Joe Gibbs
say he see a different Kyle….these dumb people they complain should just shut up…..Kevin harvick is saying what it takes to get his team to let him out of his contract….he just a cry baby i can remember when he was the one running all over everyone……again everyone leave Kyle alone …..he is the best driver all around in nascar now
Response: Hey David. Thanks for the email. David I agree —he won’t live with second. But I think winning championships requires that you cannot let that throw you or your team off when you finish less than first. It takes being solid no matter what the issues or the day —-I don’t criticize him for his spirit I LOVE that. But I do think to win a championship he has to find the right balance between the total and complete all consuming desire to win and being up on it and not letting it get to him. It think he knows that and is working on getting there. It’s a tough edge of the razor to find. Thanks again.
Hi I missed your show all this week————-sorry———–. What was your opinion of the #11 not getting the same penalties as the #7 and #12? Also about the # of free passes a driver can get. I don’t think that any driver more than 1 lap down should get a free pass. Everyone is bragging on the #48 for making up 3 laps. They didn’t make up anything it was given to them. Once again the no reason for cautions that you know I hate played a major role in the race. I don’t mean it changed who won, but it did allow several teams to get far better finishes than they should have had. A good example was the #12 hitting the wall ,but kept going and they immediately threw the yellow flag. I looked hard ,but could not see anything on the track,nor did TV say anything about anything on the track.Have you ever thought about the advantage a team like the #48 last week has getting 3 lucky dog passes in a row. They get a lap back which everyone knows ,but think of all the extra time they have to make changes to the car that other teams that are good enough to stay on the lead lap don’t have. Just another way that NASCAR in it’s infinite wisdon effects the outcome of a race. thanks jim in fl.
Thanks Jim. I grilled series director John Darby on this topic on air on “Competition Wed.” on “Dialed In” after Pocono. I’m sorry you missed it. I am going to try to get the tape and transcribe it so that you can catch up on what he said. I’ll try to do that as soon as we have a race weekend that is the normal length. I am slammed to get to Michigan tomorrow. Maybe should have gone directly to Michigan from Ithica huh?Hey, maybe can transcribe it on the flight. Will work on that and will post it here as well. NASCAR basically said that the #11 wasn’t malicious although hard racing and they felt that the 7 and 12 were in their eyes after seeing tape. Debris cautions we can and do debate every single time they come out. Like you I want to see what they are. Three lucky dog passes – sometimes those work in your favor sometimes they don’t. I will try to get that tape done so you can read discussion with Darby on all this. Thanks for the email. My opinion – we have a complicated sport with strike and ball calls….we’ll be debating them until the cows come home. Some I agree with some maybe not so much. I do think that NASCAR tries to be fair with the calls – and depending on which driver folks like opinions are varied. It’s part of the sport – that will never change.
Hey thanks for the email.
I thought you might get a kick out this. It was in the Press and Sun Bulletin (Binghamton, NY paper). It’s not the headline of the story for the nationwide race, but it was the first sentence of the story. “Marcos Ambrose out Kyle-Busched Kyle Busch.” I thought it was clever.
David: Thanks Loved it. To the rest of you keep sending headlines from your area. Good stuff.
Appreciate it David.
I don’t dislike Kevin Harvick. He is a great guy and a hard racer and I like him. I’m not extremely upset about him saying he didn’t want to bother going back out (at Glenn)….but I am extremely disappointed.
You asked what we would think if the roles were reversed and it were Jr. Well, I think Jr has shown time and time again that he is not like that. He is known for staying in it to get everything he can get…every position…every point…even if he does not actually gain anything in the end…he always tries. Jr is having just as bad of a year as Harvick is…if not worse. I know he is under much more intense pressure….yet he still handles everything with class and never gives up. He gives his team everything he can give them. He has awful luck and I know he’s frustrated but he does not use that as an excuse to give up.
Just like today. His brakes went out and he wrecks…just bad luck every week. Yet, he still tried to go back out there. From what I gathered through e-mail updates(I was working) today, he did not gain any positions but at least Jr still tried. Everybody gets frustrated and has a bad day and you want to throw in the towel. But you can’t give up…and i’m damn proud to say my driver Dale Jr never gave up!!!!….that means a lot to me as a fan!!!!!
Jennifer in SC
Jennifer – I guess I try really hard when someone says something about a driver to change names with another driver (any driver from Gordon to Earnhardt to Bowyer to anyone else on the line up) and see if fans would say same thing. I guess sort of like a fairness meter. I do it all the time….I am sure not implying that another driver would have said that. The drivers who came out of the care center all banged around were kind to stop and talk after that. I appreciate whatever a driver says at that point and if he’s frustrated I guess that would be the ultimate of frustration. Some fans said they thought Kevin was saying he didn’t want to go out there to be crashed by someone not as experienced at road courses again…..perhaps so. It seems like he was just so frustrated. Not sure that works in anyone’s favor. Read rest of emails below. I got a lot of them. Fans are passionate about Harvick.
I am not worried about Kevin Harvick at all Claire. I believe he was just fed up with this car, this race, this entire season.. It has been devastating for him, his team and the whole organization. That interview culminates the feelings of all the guys and girls on that 29 team, and probably the 31 and 33 teams also. But they don’t give up and they didn’t either. The team worked on the car, and Harvick got in the car and drove it as hard as he could until he couldn’t anymore. So there are no worries for this huge 29 fan and there shouldn’t be any worries with the rest of us.. Don’t worry guys, he’ll be alright, maybe he’ll end up at Stewart-Haas Racing! Either way, I will support him and the RCR organization.
I guess he was never a rookie.TONY TX
I was going to ask you to send the 14 around but i dont think he needs your help. he did it fine on his own. GO TONY!!
jay in nh
I think Kevin did not want to go out there and be with racers
who were over their skill level – who could wreck him again.
Harvick is a big crybaby jerry in
When something happens like Kasey Kahne and Sam Hornish getting together and a big nasty wreck ensuing, how does the driver (in this case Kasey) block that out of his mind to continue the race and not dwell on what happened? It also seems like some drivers may be able to block it out better than others. Is this also the case?
Heidi: Yea they have to. If they don’t they would make more mistakes and have “road rage” incidents that would really be counter productive. It is hard to think of how these racers don’t have more “road rage” since they are so ultra up on it to do what they do -so much more competitive than most of us to get themselves to the edge of speed like that. It’s pretty amazing. But most of them that attain championship status have the ability in the car to keep that in check and find a focus spot that keeps them that way. Good point…yes. you are right. Thanks for the email good point.
Hi Claire B.
Have they made any changes to the run off area in turn 9 i don’t remember the crashs being that violant there…Now they hit hard and get spun right out into the race traffic…I see its still grass if they haven’t changed anything they need to…
Old School with an Attitude
Go Martin Truex Jr….KICK ASS AND TAKE CAR NUMBERS
glad everyone is ok in the kandy kahne I can destroy half the field wreck.. Hornish and Gordon in particular took huge shots—-nascar busted jr for speeding….im in shock
Jeff was just on ESPN and they asked him why JJ was so much faster
than the other three. Jeff said he just wasn’t aggressive enough in
qualifying. But he also said that Jimmie and Chad had been working
hard on their road course program. He said they’ve found some things
on the car and after tinkering with the car, they seem to have found
something that works in the COT. Yeah, and tinkering is probably the
right word. Jeff said they had hit on something like he and Ray had
back in the ’90s. Hmmmmm.Technique? Are you kidding me? Nah- it just goes back to that same old twosome for JJ: he’s the luckiest person on the planet and he has
Knaus for a crew chief. How good would his “technique” be without
Chad’s black magic? I’m sorry; Duchart is copping out.
Ann from Indiana
Ann- you are really such a Jeff Gordon fan and I’m sure that he’s thrilled to have folks like you who would go to war for him. I told you that that 48 team had been consumed with energy about doing well at this road course. I think there is some merit in What Doug said….and remember he’s unbiased across all the teams. While the drivers were looking for speed the organization said it’s also about technique. I can tell you that that is exactly what Marcus Ambrose told me when he was on the air with me. He said the technique on these road courses can make such a time difference on every turn –it’s hard to put it into words how important that is and how different it is between drivers at these road courses. Remember the COT is a factor here too along with the driver. I agree with all – it’s a mix.
Better luck for your team this weekend Ann.
Appreciate the emails always.
hey CBL it sounds like you guys are having a blast in the stuido 1 question for ms sprint cup what is the weridest victory lane you have been in and one tip if your gonna enjoy beer enjoy it responsbly thank you guys
Collin THANKS. We did. I ran down during the break before they threw it to us for rain delayed coverage and got as many folks as I could. I ran into the band going up the starts to the green room and snagged them, as I did my buddy Jim Utter in the deadline room and Miss Sprint Cup etc etc. I want the rain delayed coverage to be as full of what is going on at the track along with calls as I can because I want you to feel as if you are there. Your note made me want to work harder and gave me energy to do that thanks.
The wildest one so far –well NH with the lobster is right up there. Rain moved victory lanes tend to be insane. I’ll have to think back. Will do so on flight to Detroit.
Thanks you are so kind. It’s great to cover NASCAR for folks who appreciate it. like you. Appreciate your taking the time to write.
Great Race for Marcos Ambrose nice to see him get another win. These races have been great with the double file restart, I hope Nascar keeps it going. Going to be a great race for the chase and chase.
Of Course Kyle Bush still cries, thought he was going to step on his bottom lip (post race interview) and have to go to the care center. IF Kyle had made the move Marcos did, he would say “that is racing, he just can’t handle it” if it is a great move on him….it is time to pout and cry.
Don’t you want to be at the Bush Thanksgiving table if Kurt makes the chase and Kyle don’t? Wouldn’t you really want to be there if Kurt won the Championship and Kyle don’t make the chase. Wait would Kyle even be there or would he still be off pouting. HE would probably have to go to Jeff Dickersons house so he can tell him how great he is and rock him to sleep….lol…
Have a great day, hope they get the race off today, hope Kyle has something to pout about tonight. I think guys are finally standing up to him, and doing to him what he does to them. He doesn’t like payback or people to race like he was.
North Port, fl
Hey Gene: Thanks for the email….Yea thanksgiving at the Busch house would be fun any time! I do think the boys support each other more than it shows in the media or on live TV. I think they wanted to establish their own identities at one point so they are not always hanging on each other in public view but I think they wish the best for each other and are closer than it looks. If I get to their house for Thanksgiving ever you’ll get the first report LOL
Thanks for the email. Great to hear from you.
idiots! this has nothing to do with the West coast!! l had to miss race at Calif spdwy because of rain,should l blame it on the East coast?
Boy if that isn’t a good point. Can’t we all just get along? Or like the clip I have from Ryan Newman, “World Peace!” On to Michigan……I do wish the races were earlier. I was driving from WG to my hotel Monday and it was still light out….better for the fans better for everyone.
Better get my suitcase out of the truck and turn it around for leaving tomorrow so gotta run.
Thanks for the email. Loved it. Sign your name next time ok? Or do you think the East Coast will get you?
Can’t we find some middle ground people?
That’s it for now folks – I really do have to go. Thanks for the emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to see what unfolds at Michigan. I’ll be live there tomorrow.
Enjoy the day
Claire B. Lang
Live at The Glen August 7, 2009Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
Tags: claire b lang, claireblang.com, Kyle Busch, NASCAR, Sirius NASCAR Radio, Sprint Cup Series, watkins glen
1 comment so far
Sorry I’ve been behind on the blog a bit. Between traveling to the Midwest for Chicagoland and Indy and my sister’s wedding and being away for almost a month and then the rain delay at Pocono and shortened week I have fallen behind. I’m looking ahead to getting back to normal now.
Speaking of which here’s my broadcast schedule for this weekend at Watkins Glenn.
(Friday, August 8) – LIVE AT THE GLEN
“Dialed In” 7-10 EST
(Saturday, August 9) LIVE AT THE GLEN
“Dialed In” 2-3 p.m. EST (Leading into the start of the Nationwide Race the Zippo 200 here at Watkins Glenn)
“Dialed In” after the Zippo 200 until 8 p.m. EST
(Sunday, August 10) LIVE AT THE GLEN
I’ll be in the booth for the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show from 10-12:15 EST and then in Victory Lane LIVE on the post race show when the Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips at the Glen) is over for two hours after the race is over.
“Dialed In Post the Post Race Show until 10 p..m. EST
Kyle Busch – Rare Form!
At the Dover Test Kyle Busch Opens Up
Kyle Busch hung out with the media this week (August 4-5) at Dover during the Goodyear tire test there. He said some pretty interesting things and I wanted you to be able to read it in it’s entirety so that you could really get the full story. Here it is. Let me know what you think about what he said. I’ll catch up with you later in the day and through the weekend.
Q. You struggled with the results of last weekend. Does a week of testing like this give you a chance to regroup with your crew and get focused for the upcoming race?
Kyle Busch: “Yeah were looking forward to this weekend in trying to get back. We won here last year, so it’s something familiar here with the setup. It’s been a struggle because we haven’t hit it this year. We’ve really missed on something. Our teammate Denny has really been running strong. Joey’s been doing better too. We’re not sure what’s going on but were trying to learn here this week. It’s a good chance to get back to the race track at a track we race at and try and learn some things here. Hopefully we can have a good test here tomorrow. We did do pretty well today.”
Q. Have you enjoyed anything about this season because it seems like no matter what you do, with the fantastic finishes in the Nationwide Series, it was no consolation?
Kyle Busch: “No it’s not. I mean when you finish second a couple times in the year it’s fine and when you win a couple times it’s good too, but when you have eight second place finishes and there’s only one more guy you got to beat that day and you didn’t get it done you know you didn’t beat that guy and ultimately you finish second. Your team wants to win, you want to win. We tied a record for the most first or second place finishes for nine weeks in a row but if we could have won those races then we would have broke another record which is the most wins in a season, so its been a fun year, we’ve had a lot of success on the Nationwide side, that sides been fun. The Cup side we won in Vegas, we had a great shot to win both Daytona races this year. My birthday in Richmond, you know those are some real special memories this year on the Cup side and just lately we just can’t seem to hit it. You know we just seem to fall apart.”
Q. What if you don’t make the Chase?
Kyle Busch: “I mean I’ve thought about it. You know if you don’t make the Chase then ultimately you run the rest of the year for nothing. I guess it’s a building block for next year but that’s about it because you go to Loudon and you’re not as good as you can be there. And then I come here and I feel like this a great place to. We tested at Loudon last year and we ran seventh or eighth this time and that was better than what we were last year. Last year we had a sway bar break where we ran in the back and in Dover we had an engine failure. But testing at both of these places has been good for us to try and get ahead of the game and be ready for when the Chase starts so ultimately man we got to be in it.”
Q. A couple of weeks ago it was talked about how you needed to be a better leader and teammate.
Kyle Busch: “Well I mean Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we’re working on making progress and making some changes, but the biggest thing is and I think a lot of it is I fight myself throughout a race instead of more so fighting the car. When you explain things to the crew chief instead of just saying, ‘Man this thing is junk,’ well they don’t know how to fix junk. You know they can fix loose and tighten it in the center, you know they can fix whatever you explain, so it’s progress of not getting frustrated on the radio or whatever because it’s so easy for me to do. Because we always like to be the guy going forward and lately me’m the guy going backwards, man it’s not much fun. So it’s a struggle for me and ultimately me becoming a better leader to help take the team to the next level. So there’s a struggle in the rest of the day to try and work towards something and gather a better day out of a bad day.”
Q. How do you feel about the double file restarts at Dover being up front? Would you choose the outside or inside from the start?
Kyle Busch: “I’d probably choose the outside at Dover because you can get such a run around the top side of one and two on the outside that you can clear the guy down the back even if that guy got a good restart. Typically you know who ever takes off first can almost beat the guy to the next corner so which ever row the leader picks you hope you’re in that row because it seems to move along at least one car better than the opposite row. Double file restarts; it’s a challenge. Once you get about five to eight laps into a run then they start switching back off and its really a challenge and a pain in the neck when you’re the guys going backwards cause you know how hard those guys are going to be to pass when you go back by them. And so you got to really have a car that handles well on the short run and the long run so you don’t have to get mixed up in that mess.”
Q. Follow up on getting down to the nitty gritty. Everything requires so much stress and focus any other sport there is no reason to be in that position. They focus on that and nothing else. Talk about how maybe it would be good to just focus on one series and instead just the Chase?
Kyle Busch: “You could, but then you sort of lose out on getting at least one NASCAR championship. I don’t think it would be worth giving up a Nationwide championship to just walk yourself into the Chase. I mean for M&M’s and the sponsors on the Cup car, yeah they would certainly say it would be beneficial to be in the Chase rather than gain a Nationwide championship. But when you look at the sponsors that are funding the Nationwide side, you’ve already committed too, you can’t just fall out of the deal so it’s a tough balancing act and you know I don’t feel like our Cup effort has diminished any because of my Nationwide Series stuff. You can battle that all day long. Denny’s running decent. Joey runs better when he’s not doing it, but to me I’ve learned so much more when I’m out there on the race track then just sitting in the motor home not doing anything. I’d rather be out there and working hard and trying to win races and learning about different things. The only thing that lacks is my time to communicate with Steve (Addington) after practice. You know to just sit there and digest and cut apart practice you know just look at what we did what changes we made you know we text all the time when I’m on the planes and traveling back and forth and anyway. I call him race morning sometimes to see what he’s up to and to see what our changes are going to be. Other than that I don’t really see how we can make our Cup cars better at the race track. I mean a lot of the work has just got to come out of the shop.”
Q. How about flying at two in the morning with your schedule like that. Are you tired? Is that a problem or is that an issue?
Kyle Busch: “No, not really. The worst time we got back was at around 1 or 1:30 in the morning. It was Pocono, first race from Nashville, that’s the latest I’ve gotten back. Typically the sponsors have been gracious enough to allow me a little sleep in time so I don’t have to get up so early. I can sleep in until like 10:30. So I’m getting plenty of rest, so it might be at the right schedule but I get plenty.”
Q. Do you expect too much of yourself?
Kyle Busch: “Sometimes I joke around with other team guys that I’ve worked with in the past and they’re like, ‘Man why are you so down on yourself?’ or ‘Why are you always so upset after the race?’ And I’m like you know, I’m Kyle Busch, I’m supposed to win races, that’s what I’m here to do. I’m supposed to be the guy that’s that hardest to beat out there. But you know essentially you got to have a good handle on race cars too. You know the cars are a big part of the game. You have to have good leadership skills within yourself, good leadership skills within your crew chief and good race cars and everything. For me, I put a lot of pressure on myself to go out there and be the best. I want to be the guy that everyone says, ‘We got to beat Kyle Busch,’ and that’s the guy we got to beat week in, and week out, whatever series it is. I had that this year but I haven’t quite lived up to that name you know in the Cup Series as much as I have on the Nationwide Series and were trying to turn that around.”
Q. How is the relationship between you and your brother Kurt? Are you closer this year than in years prior?
Kyle Busch: “It might just seem that way. I get a lot of questions about him because he’s running well this year. You know last year he ran like me this year and I know he had a win here and there but he really struggled and struggled painfully. Their cars setup well and handling well, but this year they’ve done a great job at turning their program around. They’re running in the top-four in points. You know with him becoming more recognizable on the radar people ask about him more and he’s able to talk more cause he’s got the media availability every week and everything so that’s about it really.”
Q. He seems to talk very highly about you and is very supportive.
Kyle Busch: “Yeah, we both want to see each other run well and ultimately we race and contend for championships. It’s cool to have him on your side. You know it doesn’t make life easier but it makes situations easier when you can go to a guy like that for help.”
Q. Will you be in the championship race this season?
Kyle Busch: “I’m hoping so. I’m not going to say we are but we are really working hard to be in the Chase. If we turn things around and start running better then yeah were going to be in the Chase. If we keep running the way we have been this year then no we will not be there. It all comes down to performance and how you finish on Sunday and the points you get. So when you look at who’s in the Chase and who’s going to fall out, man it’s hard too look at someone’s whose going to fall out. (Greg) Biffle and Kenseth, I mean (Matt) Kenseth has been in it every year so you can’t count on him even though he’s 12th or 11th now. You know Biffle, he runs strong in these next tracks that we go to. One of his best ones is Michigan and I think he runs well in Atlanta, but Bristol and Richmond you know those other two those are our tracks. You know we run really well at those tracks. Bristol you never know what can come out of that place so it’s a hard one too.”
Q. After the race is over how soon do you say, ‘Ok. Where we are in points?’
Kyle Busch: “I mean we sort of figure it out, on my phone I can’t seem to find the website that updates it quickly enough. Typically we find out Sunday night or Monday. We just wait and see where it’s at. You know this week we gained a spot in points but we lost some ground, so that’s the most frustrating thing because when you look at the guys we’re racing, Mark (Martin), Kenseth, Biffle, (Brian) Vickers, David Reuitimann. You know those are the guys we’re racing. So when you look at who finished in front of you there was six of those seven that finished in front of us on Sunday.”
Q. What means more to you, winning races or solid points finishes?
Kyle Busch: “If you can trade a winning season for a championship season anybody would always say you want a championship season. The thing for me would just to be a champion. If you can get a winless season and become a champion then you’ve got it. Then go win all the races you’ve lost. You’ve solidified yourself, you’ve made it in the sport, and you are a champion. You might be ridiculed for having a winless season. If you go one year winning ten races a year everybody’s going to be like man you’re the greatest thing since … Joey Logano (laughter). It’ll work itself out eventually.”
Q. Are you going to have to cool your jets down in order to make it into the Chase?
Kyle Busch: “Well we haven’t been going for a win since Charlotte. We’ve been trying to just get our program back in the right direction so the biggest thing for us is to run solidly and on Sunday man I got through the mess of one of those last restarts and I got up to I think eighth or ninth something like that and I’m like ‘Whoa, ok I’ve cleared the mess, I’m settled in, let’s go.’ I got down to Turn 3 and winded it up and I don’t even know what I did. I just got in the corner and I had no grip and I just lost it. You know that took us probably from a seventh to an eleventh place finish back to a sixteenth place finish and I had to fight for that. It could have been a lot worse but it could have certainly been a lot better. We got what we got and now we got to look into going to Watkins Glen this weekend where hopefully you know if it comes down to me running second on the last lap and making a ballsy move into Turn 1 and taking a chance at wrecking myself, I can’t do it. If I was at the point situation I was last year sure I’d wreck the leader, who cares. But I can’t do it this year, I just have to ride it out and finish second.”
Q. How is that when your instinct tells you to go for it and then you’ve got to pull back?
Kyle Busch: “That’s what happens when you try to become a smart points racer. You just got to do it and to mentality do that isn’t necessarily the old Kyle Busch, but it has to be in the new. We’ve got to make a good finish.”
Q. Did the new pit road configuration make a difference this year in Dover?
Kyle Busch: “Yeah, Dover was cool last time I came here. I don’t know why I finished 23rd. I qualified better than that. The race was a decent race. I remember we got off on strategy one time but you know coming to pit road on the green flag stops on the yellow flag stops, pit road was definitely pretty nice. The new asphalt is all there and the concrete and everything. It’s a tad bit wider which is always nice and the pit stalls are longer so we can get out a little easier. Denis (McGlynn) asked me if it’d be better to make it wider yet and I’m like it doesn’t really need to be any wider. You know we go to Indy which is narrower than Dover so because now it’s a little wider and a little longer it’s good.”
Q. Where’s your monster trophy from your Dover win?
Kyle Busch: “Sitting in my trophy room. It’s there with the rest of them. I’ve got all three trophies, one from each race. I won the truck one before it became the Monster trophy. And I do have a small monster and a big monster. Whether you want to call it big brother, little brother or father and son. They’re sitting next too each other. That trophy is a pretty cool trophy. It’s really neat to win that thing. The hand can hold a real die cast and you know that’s pretty cool. I got the die cast with the car that I won here with in it.”
Q. How big is that trophy room?
Kyle Busch: “Probably about as big as this room. You know the bad thing is that when I built it I had a ton of empty shelves and I’m like ‘Man, how am I ever going to fill this up?’ I filled it up and realistically there is no more room for any trophies in there. Now they’re just starting to line up on the floor and at home I tell myself I need to build a bigger one, but when you do that you have expectations to fill it, so I guess since its been full I haven’t won that much since I filled it so maybe then I need to build a 10,000 square foot warehouse to see if I can’t fill that baby up.”
Q. What are your thoughts about how some have said that you need to focus on the Cup side?
Kyle Busch: “The plan was last year when we were winning all the Nationwide races and running
really well. The plan was initially to go full season and then I felt like our Cup stuff sort of stalled. We cut it back. I didn’t go to Milwaukee. I didn’t go to Nashville, and I didn’t go to a couple others. I missed five races and if I could have just stayed at the same average finish that I had the first 19 to 20 races I would have won the championship, by 16 points over Clint Bowyer. So when you see that and I wrecked a lot those first 19 races and I still had a pretty good window there. We thought about it and how our cars are really good and Joe and J.D. (Gibbs) said man wouldn’t it be cool to have a Nationwide championship solely JGR owner and driver points, and so I said I want to do it. I want to win a Nationwide championship. Anybody would so our cars have been strong enough and that’s why we have done it. We won six races this year. It’s been good and maybe it’s taken a little bit away from the Cup effort. I don’t think it has but were already talking about next year and cutting it back and getting our Cup efforts back up to where they need to be. Hopefully we can get it down to about 22 or 24 Nationwide Series races, just companion stuff not flying all over the place.”
Q. With the season you and Kurt had last year, did he come to you for advice?
Kyle Busch: “Well yeah a little bit. He asked about our cars. Like what does yours feel like or what is different here or there depending on whatever track we were at. I’d tell him a little bit. They hired some people to get them turned around in the offseason. You know this year we have sort of flip-flopped. I have not gone to him for advice because I know what I need in a car. I haven’t had it this year. Last year the cars were doing things that were pretty good. We had good driving cars. You know we just haven’t been fast enough this year in order to take those cars to the front. It’s funny in some of the truck races I’ve been in they are the best handling trucks I have ever had and I’m running fifth. I don’t know if it’s me that’s taking it out of our cars or what. But were definitely trying to figure it all out.”
Q. How you rate the COT now from before?
Kyle Busch: “It’s not bad, it’s not what I would have designed, it’s not what I would want to race but it’s what we got. We make the most of the effort and try and fix it and try to make it better. I think there are some things that NASCAR can do to help with. Whether that is fixing some aerodynamics, take some weight out of the right of the car to make it a little bit lighter. You know all the safety advances with the car are great but ultimately it comes down to competition. I feel like that’s how fans feel and have seen it in what the grandstands look like. If they get bored and they don’t come back to the race track you have a problem. It’s not like all of us are riding around not doing anything. So it gets pretty crazy on restarts and when you see Mark Martin blocking on restarts to try and hold position you know that you got a hard time with something. With everybody now fully concentrating on this car to make it better, not like two years ago when we were back and forth between the two cars, man that was the worst thing ever. We would drive the old car and be like man this is so great it drives like a Cadillac and we would get in that new thing and it would drive like an 18 wheeler going down the highway. It was hard to correlate between the two and now that we are in one which most of the Cup drivers are driving that one. I still drive the Nationwide so I get a taste of the old car. It’s good that everybody’s had a chance to work on that car and its gotten better. We’ve really crushed the car to make it do the things we want it to do with setup and stuff. You know now we’re just in this little box. Before you could work on things and make it better and now you’re just stuck in this little box and you’ve filled so many crutches. We have the tow, the rear-end housing, split track arms, rear ends pulled back. We’re doing everything possible with the back of the car to get the car to turn in the corner. So much that the front of the car really isn’t doing anything. That’s why sometimes some of the guys have a real problem with handling because the cars are so finicky. You know one corner you might roll this much and the next corner you might not roll as much. It changes the handling of the car so there’s a lot going on with these cars now that they wouldn’t let the old cars work.”
Q. If you could be (NASCAR President) Mike Helton for one day what would you change about NASCAR?
Kyle Busch: “I would work on the car a little bit. Like I said I think there are some aerodynamic things we can work on and change with the front end of the cars. The wing ok, I mean it doesn’t bother me. They had good intentions with it. What they wanted instead of a spoiler was that the air would hit the spoiler and go up which doesn’t allow any of the air on the car to go behind it. Which now with the wing the air has to go under it in order for a wing to work. I mean its air plane technology. They had good intentions with air going under the car to get on the nose of the car behind. But the noses of the cars are so dead because actually when you travel more you affectively lose down force. So it’s a catch 22. How much do you want to get the nose down and sealed and when you don’t get it sealed it feels worse. So you don’t know where to go that’s why a lot of people have been confused with these things so wind tunnel tells you one thing but the drivers on the race track tell you another and when you’re in traffic that tells you another thing. So I think less right side weight, you can just get some weight out of the cars, so that Goodyear has an easier times building tires. That’s not a blow to Goodyear; it’s just these cars are tough to work on for anybody. And fix the noses a little bit to add some character. A little more manufactured differences and a little more aerodynamics.”
Enjoy the day! I always want you to have the full comments when possible so that you are not depending on someone else’s take on things and can judge for yourself.
Back to the garage here at the Glen.
Claire B. Lang