Q&A with Kyle Busch after his Toyota annihilates NASCAR field
What was it like to be behind the wheel of this thing tonight?
“This thing was flawless, it was just amazing. I really have to thank all the guys back at the shop. I have to dedicate this win to Jason Ratcliff. The way these guys prepared the cars coming to the race track is just phenomenal. All the Z-Line Toyota guys on this thing. This is Toyota’s home track and these guys were awesome today, this weekend. I want to thank the fans for coming out to California Speedway and supporting these guys. It’s just fun – that was pretty cool. I’m glad to have Z-Line in victory lane with us.”
How has your team been able to overcome the adversity of the past few weeks?
“These guys are pumped up, their excited. It doesn’t matter if you win a late model race, a Nationwide race, truck race or Cup race – you never know when your last one is going to be so this one means a lot. These crew guys have had a lot of adversity on them in the past few weeks and they don’t deserve the bad rap they’ve got. I don’t care about my bad rap but these guys here are the ones that work hard at the shop and do all the hard work so I really have to thank these guys.”
How good was your race car tonight?
“It was a great race car tonight. It was just a phenomenal job by all of the guys at the shop. I’ve really got to thank Jason Ratcliff, Dave Rogers and all the boys that have been on this team that deserve to be on this team here at the race track that weren’t. They just did such a great job in paying attention to detail and being able to put this car together and making it a phenomenal car to drive. I’m just honored to be a part of this team and to drive the Z-Line Toyota here tonight to victory lane was pretty awesome. These guys all deserve the credit and I was just the one out there being able to wheel the thing. Really a fast race car.”
What did it mean for you to have your Cup crew chief Steve Addington up on your pit box supporting you tonight?
“It is. It’s a comfortable voice on the radio and a guy that’s been a part of me for this year and the success that we’ve had on the Cup side. To have (Steve) Addington (crew chief, 18 NSCS car) -- you know we had a ton of guys up there. Everybody that just plays a part to this team. Steve doesn’t take any of the credit. He was just in and out. Did the congratulations and didn’t stay for any of the photos. That’s not his deal he doesn’t believe. He was just fortunate to be a part of it there. Just awesome to have him there and him making the race calls and stuff for us. He also comes over and helps out a little bit during practice.
He’s got a great sense of race cars so it’s good to have his help.” What is it like to have so much power on your restarts?
“It does feel good. I don’t necessarily think it was a lot to do with horsepower, I just think it was good jumps on the restart. I was able to put the gas down first and then it’s his delay that just gets me the jump that I get. To have such a fast race car through the corners there through (turn) one and (turn) two, I’d already be up to about five or six car lengths. To be able to have a car that sticks that well through the corner just makes it look that easy.”
How did you acquire your talent on restarts?
“I don’t think anybody’s really labeled me as the king of restarts, yet. That’s always going to be (Ron) Hornaday. I’ve sort of caught up to him a little bit I feel like anyways. It is as good if not right there with him. As far as being able to learn that, it comes from my dad and teaching us the ropes of restarts back in the day racing Legends cars, Late Models, all that stuff and deciding different things with how to restart every time and doing different things with gear ratios and all of that stuff. We can’t really decide it here but just having a sense of that knowledge and stuff really kind of lays in and stays with you throughout your career.”
Was tonight’s race easier than some other races you’ve won?
“Oh yeah. It’s never easy, right, but this night was by far easier than some other ones that I’ve had in the past. What reminded me most of tonight was a car that I had in the 5 car in 2004 running for the championship that year at Michigan. We just stomped ‘um that day at Michigan. It was just flawless. We had Mark Martin behind us and he was the best in the business and we were able to beat Mark. So it kind of reminded me a little bit of that day and having some other great race cars in the past. This is one for sure that you can remember.”
Do you like it when you come out and dominate like that or would you rather come through the field and win?
“There’s two ways to look at it because when you’re out front like that the whole time and leading the race you don’t know how much to work on your car and you don’t know how much to change your car. Yeah, you’re fast but how much is the guy behind you holding back. You don’t really know that. When you start 20th or 25th and you drive through the field you can kind of see how quickly you drive through the field, what other guys are fighting, what they’re doing, different adjustments that they’re making during the race and if they’re getting better. So for me, tonight leading that many laps and staying up front like that was kind of a crap shoot. That’s why you’ve always got to stay on top of your car. I could’ve left my car alone tonight, but I knew that if I did I would’ve gotten eaten up. We had to make some changes to it. I saw Carl (Edwards) a couple times was getting up a little bit closer to me, but we were just able to keep kind of adjusting on the car and keeping it under me and being able to keep that gap.”