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2013 Texas NASCAR Cup: Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing - Q&A

I think back to last year at the end of the year, Kyle probably had some of the most bitter disappointments, I think, that's happened to us in 22 years. We missed the Chase. We had Watkins Glen and won, go to the last lap and get in somebody else's oil. We had some issues mechanically during the year that cost us.

I think last year at the end of the year, Kyle really handled all of those things about as good as you could handle them. I think it showed real maturity, and I think that kind of set the course for this year, really. Dave and him went through some real tough things, and they have -- I think they have some of the most frank conversations, and they'll both get fired up and get after each other. But I think that's all part of sports.

When I think about it, it's like in football, the coach and the quarterback. You can have some sparks, but it's neat to see the way they've handled all of that this year to get off to the kind of start the way we have right now. I just told Kyle, whatever you're doing, keep doing it (laughing). We don't want to change anything right now.

I do want to say a big thanks to M&M'S. They're a big part of this program. Because this sport is unlike any other. You can't race without great sponsors. M&M'S is a great sponsor for us. They teamed up with Norm, and everybody likes Norm, so that's awesome. The other people that we've got on the car, Monster is on there, so that's great. We've got great partners. That's neat for us for Joe Gibbs Racing to have those kind of partners.

Q:
Dave and Kyle, and also for Coach, given what happened last year, and he touched on some of that, how important -- there is a long way to go in the regular season. But if you guys continue at this pace to get solidly entrenched in there, are you guys going to be more dangerous potentially in the Chase than you ever have been because of that pressure of trying to make it happen at Richmond just won't be there? How important is that for you to sort of keep this going until you stretch out a little bit from everybody else?

Kyle Busch:
Yeah, well, if it was for getting two wins last year, we would have made the Chase. That's what our year is all about. You have to be able to execute through the first 26 and get yourself a playoff spot and be able to go battle with the rest of the guys to be able to win a championship.

Right now, obviously, winning two races so far this year, you'd say that's a lock. But anything can happen. We've still got some work to do to get better at some of the tracks that we did struggle at last year, and we know that.

One is coming up next week, so that's going to be a battle for us just making sure we've got a good handling car and one that I can drive and push hard and make speed of because that asphalt is pretty new there.

But with last year's frustrations and everything and coming down to that race in Richmond, we didn't execute that as we needed to. But we learned from that one. We put that in the memory bank and we talked about it a lot. Through the last ten weeks I felt like we did a lot of things right, and there were probably a couple things we could have done even better yet.

We learned from those things and Dave and I talked a lot through those weeks and through the off-season. So what do we need to do to better execute the end of these races to put ourselves in a position to win and close them out like tonight and California, you know, being able to do that.

Dave Rogers:



Related Pictures

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Joe Gibbs, team owner of JGR, speaks to the media during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour on January 24, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch and crew chief Dave Rogers talk about their #18 Snickers Toyota before NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. [Picture Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing/Serta Chevrolet, lead the field on pace laps prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS, qualified seventh Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Menard is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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