Kyle Busch is already locked into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs thanks to a win at Kansas Speedway. But the Joe Gibbs Racing veteran isn’t satisfied, always wanting the most out of his No. 18 team.
BY JOSEPH WOLKIN, @JoeWolkin
“The biggest difference is the opportunities and being able to work with the team and a new crew chief. Last year, I had a crew chief I won championships with, but that kind of deteriorated. We’re on a fresh, new outlook with this year and with the way things are going. We’ve had some decent runs and some not-so-decent runs. But we’re working hard to get to where we need to be for the rest of the year.”
“It’s been good. I’ve worked with him in the past when he was one of my engineers. This is the first time I’m working with him as a crew chief. I feel like I do a lot more behind the scenes than I used to. We’re doing a lot more meetings and longer meetings, talking through a lot of different things than what I used to do. I used to let the crew chief before have his way, run the team and do things his way. Now, I’m being kind of more involved and outspoken about how things should be. Things are coming together and we’re learning each other.”
“Yes and no. I would much rather be able to show up, talk to nobody and go win races. That’s not exactly how this deal works. You definitely have to put in your effort and your time. You’ve got to make sure you’re part of the team, and being part of the team is where the success comes from.”
“Right now, we’re looking at the Chevrolet’s back bumpers too much this year. We’re chasing those Hendrick cars. They’re really good and fast, especially Kyle Larson. All of them have been fast. It’s not us as the [No.] 18 team necessarily, but us as Joe Gibbs Racing and the Toyota camp need to put our heads together and start working harder to better develop our cars. We need to get in a position where we’re faster and have more opportunities to race with those guys each week and put up a fight to race them for wins, and then a championship.”
“I think one of the biggest things is to chill out a little bit. You should take things as they come to you. Winning every race is the goal, but it’s not the ultimatum. There’s more to this sport than all of this stuff. There were definitely mistakes made in my past, but I feel like you learn your best lessons from those mistakes.”
“That would certainly be huge. Being in the sport for so long and having the success that I’ve had so far -- there are certainly things I’ve missed out on and haven’t been able to get done -- I wish I was going for my fourth or fifth by now. It’s nice to have two, but I want three. Three is joining an elusive club.”