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A Q&A with Kyle Busch at Charlotte

ThatsRacin.com Report
Thursday, May. 26, 2011

A transcript of Kyle Busch's session with the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday, May 26, 2011:

Q. What is your outlook for this weekend’s races?

Busch: Given our past successes here from last week with the NOS Energy truck and having Zahra Baker (A 10-year-old disabled North Carolina girl who was found slain last year) on the side and winning that race in remembrance of her. Then being able to carry on a good, strong run into Saturday night with the All-Star race for my best finish in that event. Things were good.

We’ve got nothing but excited guys coming in here for this weekend’s race, the Coca-Cola 600, and being the longest race of the year, we’ve definitely been ready for it and looking forward to being able to get out on the race track, have some good results and maybe win this thing and bring home my first Cup win at Charlotte.

Q. What is your reaction to the speeding ticket?

Busch: I’m certainly sorry for my actions and for my lack of judgment. This is something that I can take and learn from and hopefully move forward and not let happen again.

Q. What did you think of Kimi Raikkonen moving forward in NASCAR?

Busch: I thought Kimi (Raikkonen) did a nice job last week. Certainly, he gave the truck a good ride. It was really loose and he did a nice job with car control and everything else.

What’s to be expected of him this weekend is certainly to just again try to run all the laps, try to make 300 miles in a Nationwide Series race, get a feel for what the car is like and we appreciate the guys from Kyle Busch Motorsports doing the building of the car and then for NEMCO Motorsports and them working on it here this week -- along with us just trying to help them out in case there’s any bugs

As far as the Sonoma race, we’ve had no discussions about Cup stuff at all. As far as I know, just this weekend is the last hoorah with Kimi unless he comes back and wants to do further races in NASCAR.

Q. How do you look back on the speeding incident?

Busch: I’m certainly sorry that it happened and my actions led me to speed. It was a lack of judgment and all I can do is apologize to the public, my friends, my fans, my sponsors and everybody, look at this experience as a learning experience, and to move forward.

Q. Is it difficult to have a learning experience in the public eye?

Busch: It’s certainly challenging sometimes with things you have to think about and of course actions that you may cause yourself.

Thankfully, I’ve got some good people around me that can help me through these experiences and help me learn from them.

Take the good from it and take the bad from it and just be able to apply that for later on down the road.

Q. Can you make a case for yourself?

Busch: I’m sorry I’m not the jurisdiction to make a case. I leave that to the court systems and everything else like that. This matter will be handled through that as best as we can handle it and as best as the authorities decide to handle it. I have the utmost respect for the authorities across the United States of America that try to keep all of us safe every day. Of course, being Memorial Day weekend with all the men and women serving our country to keep us safe as well too.

It’s not in my place to decide what does or does not happen.

Q. Has Joe Gibbs Racing given you any penalties?

Busch: We have certainly discussed some things. We’re working through the process of that now and looking at what might be done later on down the road.

Q. What are your thoughts on the Truck series?

Busch: I love the Truck series. I think it’s one of the best forms of racing we have in NASCAR. It’s definitely brought some excitement to the series over time with ESPN2 back in the 90s and of course with Speed Channel being the broadcast partner that we’ve had for the last few seasons. They’ve done a wonderful job for us. It’s definitely been a great series to run in, to be involved in, to win some races in and to now be owning a race team in the series is definitely great for myself and for all the people at Kyle Busch Motorsports that are employed there and that we can give jobs to and put food on the table for their families.

Without the sponsorships and without the strong partnerships that we have there, we wouldn’t be here and be doing what we do. We have to thank all those people with Dollar General, NOS Energy Drink, Traxxas, Toyota and I’m sure there are some that I am forgetting -- forgive me. It takes all of those people to stand behind you that can make your program successful and that you can build it.

Q. Do you enjoy going the extra 100 miles at the 600?

Busch: I definitely love the 600-mile race. It may be a little bit long and drawn out for some fans and you know maybe the short attention span sometimes will get you. For what the sport was built on and for how long this race has been in existence -- the 600 miles, it shows determination, it shows will, it shows how well you’re prepared, how well your cars are prepared -- it’s hard on engines, its hard on the drivers for that extra 100 miles as well.

I said last week, sometimes they fly by and you feel like it was a two hour race and other times it goes so slow you feel like you’ve been in the car for six hours. Depends on how your car is driving really. I’m looking forward to it.

Q. Have you personally spoken with your team owner, your sponsors and your neighbors about the speeding incident?

Busch: I have certainly had discussions with Mr. Coach Gibbs (team owner) as well as Joe Gibbs Racing and my sponsors as well too. It’s just a matter of showing your utmost respect for them and what they do for you.

That they believe in you to do what you can in order to represent them well and obviously I had a lack in judgment and just made a mistake. I’m sorry for making that mistake, but as far as any of the people that have made comments or anything like that, I don’t have a relationship with any of those people.

Unfortunately, I don’t go door-to-door knocking on the door and commenting to them. All I can do is say my piece here and let it be.

Q. Has something changed with your deal with Kimi Raikkonen?

Busch: Yes.

Q. What has changed in your deal with Kimi Raikkonen?

Busch: What’s changed is the payment schedule. The contract states that we’re supposed to receive so much and we have not.

We’ve only received enough for these two races. It’s either up to Kimi (Raikkonen) or up to the financial people that run Kimi’s business side of things and decide that they need to find the sponsorship funds in order to carry the experience for him further.

Q. Is it difficult to have two teams working together on Kimi Raikkonen’s Nationwide car?

Busch: I’m going to tell you -- Rick Ren (general manager, Kyle Busch Motorsports) -- we’ve given him a few grey hairs this year. He’s already had some, but he definitely has a lot more, that’s for sure. He’s bit the bullet an awful lot in these past few weeks in putting this deal together.

We’ve done this before for some of our various technical alliances that we have such as VAR (Vision Aviation Racing) -- we build turn-key trucks. All they have to do is put a motor, transmission and driveshaft in it and go to the race track. Kyle Busch Motorsports chassis’ has the availability to do that -- we don’t like to, but we can.

Certainly we feel like we build a top quality piece and we’ll see how it runs here this afternoon in the Nationwide Series for our first outing in building a car for NEMCO Motorsports.

Q. How much have you thought about the potential of what could have happened on Tuesday?

Busch: There’s if, ands or buts to a lot of different things in life. Fortunately, there was no one hurt, but that doesn’t make any kind of excuse for what happened and for my lack in judgment and for what I did. Like I said, there’s a lot of processes to be thought about here.

There’s some learning experiences to be taken from this and the best I can do is just try to move along past it for this weekend and take my course of action during the week in what might lie ahead.

Q. What did you mean when you said the Lexus was, ‘just a toy?’

Busch: Well, it was a car that was on loan to me from Lexus and it wasn’t that it was a toy, it’s a high performance vehicle and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Should be driven with caution.

Obviously, I didn’t have caution and I had a lack in judgment and there’s probably a reason why on TV commercials and such they always show at the bottom, professional driver, closed course. Mine was not that.

Again, I apologize sincerely to all those affected and that all I can do is try to make sure it doesn’t happen again and that I make sure that lack of judgment doesn’t overcome me.

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