– First of all, thanks for your time this morning. We appreciate it. Is it kind of, Kyle, one of those good news/bad news scenarios going for four in a row at Talladega? While there are some things that are out of your control, why not your team that wins this thing? Why not you guys that ends up on top?
– Yeah. Exactly. I mean, you just never know what’s going to happen here at Talladega or what can or will happen in any part of the race, but especially down towards the end when things get quite chaotic with everybody giving it all they got, you know.
And, you know, there’s no reason to say that– that we shouldn’t have an opportunity today to go race for a win with our number 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry and get that thing up front and go for four in a row today.
– Hey, Kyle, we know the end of the race, like you just said, will be wild. But how aggressive will you be at the end of stages trying to get the most valuable playoff points, all the points you can today?
– It’s important. You know, you want to get those– those playoff points. But you’re– if you’re in a position of the, you know, 8th, 10th, 12th, something like that, you know, you’re– you’re not going to be pushing so hard, because we’re in the position already that– you know, you want as many points as you can get for the points ladder to be able to be in position to have the points lead when the regular season’s over to get those bonus points.
But, you know, if you’re not going to get that single point, that stage win that you really need, there’s no real reason to push for us in– in our standpoint. So we’ll see what happens. But, obviously, we want to do the best we can all day long and– and win every stage and especially the last one at the end.
– Kyle, your last seven weeks, to me, have been maybe the most impressive I’ve seen ever just about. Have you served notice to this garage area that the championship is going to have to go through the 18 team to win it this year?
– Well, I guess you ask the garage area. I mean, I think that we’re just doing our part, just doing our job, and focusing on what we can do and doing the right things.
And, you know, a couple of weeks earlier in the season when we were at Vegas, we weren’t the best car. We didn’t have a shot there. We were at Phoenix. We made a mistake on pit road. We had a shot at Phoenix to try to win that one. You know, we were at California. We were going to finish second, but we ended up third because we made a mistake.
So we were kind of giving away some– some finishes or a couple of spots here or there on the races. But, since then, you know, it just kind of seems like everything’s clicking. Guys are doing a phenomenal job on pit road. They’re really, really fast. And our cars have been really, really fast. So, everybody, thanks, at Joe Gibbs Racing for that, and TRD, everybody with the engine.
So we’ve just gotta keep plugging along, keep it going. And, you know, if we can have this– this speed and this strength throughout the entire season, then, obviously, we would certainly set the precedent that people gotta go through us.
– You know, it’s interesting you say that. I had an opportunity to talk to a couple of your guys just the other day about how they were feeling early in the season, running second and not being able to get to victory lane. And there were a lot like you that were starting to get frustrated.
But, all of a sudden, it’s– it’s broken wide open. And it seems like their energy and everything about that organization right now is, hey, guys, get out of the way because we’re hitting our stride right now. And they’re not wanting to let up. It looks like it’s really had a huge impact not only on you but on your organization.
– Yeah, I’d like to think so. I mean, when you have strength with– with a team and when you have strength with the 18 or the 11 or the 19 or the 20, you know, obviously, it kind of brings up the morale of the company.
I remember 2014, when we were all kind of down in the dumps a little bit. We only won two races that year, one at California and one here at Talladega with Denny. And, man, it was just such a trying year. We just weren’t very good. And everybody was just kind of always not real super hyped up or anything like that.
But, you know, with– with the highs that you’re on sometimes– like last year and with this year so far with the great finishes that we’re having and the strength that we’re showing– you also can’t forget the fact that you’ve got to keep your head down. You’ve got to keep at work. And you’ve got to make sure that you’re continuing to do the best that you can do to keep that strength throughout the entire season.
So we can’t let that get us too much out of focus and make sure that we’re still putting the pressure on the rest of the teams out here to be able to do a good job and to come out here and beat us.
– Kyle Busch, thank you so much for joining us. Keep up the good work. And good luck out there today.
– All right. Appreciate it. We’ll do it.