May 13, 2021

by a NASCAR fanatic - not affiliated with NASCAR

– Welcome back to NASCAR race day here on FS1. We’re counting you down to coverage of today’s race from auto Club Speedway on Fox. It has to be a little frustrating for Kyle Busch. The last two races Kyle has looked very strong, just not as strong as Kevin Harvick. He finished second after leading 10 laps in Vegas, and runner up again last week after leading 128 laps. He comes to Auto Club, this site of three cup wins. Can he stop Harvick today? Kyle Busch joins us now from California. And Kyle, anyone who has watched your career, knows you all come with a race track to lose. So are these recent second place finishes, are they frustration or motivation?

KYLE BUSCH: Yes. Certainly, you know, a little bit of both there. We obviously want to go out there. We want to win each and every week. And there’s probably no driver out there that hates to lose as much as I do. But man, we’ve just been right there so close. And you know, the first second place we got to Las Vegas. That was all we had. That was all we deserved. You know, we were pretty far off that four car, but last week I felt like we made a lot of gains and we were right there.

Right with them, even had a shot to beat them. And so that was, sort of, our race to lose and when we did. We lost it. You know, so we come out here to California though with a new fresh approach, and chasing the same guys it seems like here this day again. So we’ll just, kind of, see what happens with racing around this two mile auto club speedway.

– All right, Kyle I just want to say, first of all, I love your interstate battery Toyota Camry. I think that’s awesome. Kind of brings back a lot of memories. But I want to know this. With the old surface and the bumps in the seams, obviously the preferred groove appears to be along the top of the racetrack. It’s a fine line between fast and putting a stripe on the right side of your car. So how do you balance getting that speed with the risk of running that line?

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, it is a risk. You know, and obviously it seems as though you can really push it and you can keep pushing it harder and harder and keep getting faster and faster the closer you get to that wall. But as you mentioned, there’s a fine line there. And there is a risk versus reward for that as well, too. And I think for us, for our approach, you know, you’ve got to run 400 miles here, and 200 laps around this place. And so you really can’t push everything out of it as much as you want to till at least that last 20, last 12 laps. And that’s kind of my approach.

That’s how I look at it. You know, we’ll be running in that fourth lane and fifth lane up against the wall a little bit here or there. And trying to get the most out of our race. Trying to get the most out of our race runs. But you know, if your cars driving pretty good and you’re pretty good on the long runs, you don’t have to utilize all that racetrack and take advantage of the racetrack, and try to put a mark on your car. So, you know, we got to play it right and be smart with it.

– Yeah Kyle, we’ve always seen the crazy restarts that are in California, and there’s obviously a lot to be gained on those restarts. But at the same time, it’s really good to have a long run car and not burn your car off too quickly. How do you balance, you know, getting your car to be good on these restarts to take advantage of those. At the same time, have a car that’s good at the end of a run.

Great question. That’s probably been my biggest struggle here the last couple of years. Is being able to have that fast race car and be fast on the fire off of a restart. And being able to go down low and turn really good, and be loose enough to run the bottom. But then tight enough on the long run to be able to stay up high and run up high for the long haul. So we’ve kind of fought that here the last couple of years. And so we’ve tried to work on the short run stuff a little bit, but we’re definitely never going to sacrifice what we know that we need to be good on which is the long run.

So if you’re good on the long runs here through much of the day, and it comes down to those short burst at the end of the race, you just got to have enough adjustability built in your race car. That you can do some adjustments to your car, make some changes to your car in order to have a good shot to be able to have a race car that can win the race on the short burst if that’s what it comes down to at the end.

– Kyle, hey quickly. NASCAR yesterday made a decision to allow you guys who qualified on Friday to get new tires to start this race on. What did you think about that?

KYLE BUSCH: I mean, lots of things going on here with rule changes and things like that kind of happening on the fly and out of the blue. But, you know, in all fairness, I think it’s fair for everybody. But you know, I don’t think there are any particular teams or drivers or crew chiefs or anything that are out there that are saying that they don’t want to qualify. That they’d much rather just start the race on stickers. I absolutely throw that theory out the window and, you know, I think that’s kind of b.s.

But overall, for what we were able to do on Friday and qualifying our Interstate Batteries Camry in the second position, we’re looking forward to a great race today. And now that we know we start the race evened up with everybody else on tires, we feel pretty good about that. And the good guys will always rise to the top and they’ll be there for much of the race. And especially down towards the end, we’ll be racing the best of the best. So hopefully ourselves and our green machine can stay up front and win this thing.

– Kyle, thank you so much for stopping by this morning and best of luck out there.

KYLE BUSCH: All right, thank you guys. Appreciate it.