Interstate Batteries Racing

Kyle Busch for JGR

What do you think about the upcoming New Hampshire race?

Kyle Busch is in the driver’s seat at New Hampshire. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images

“Loudon is tricky for me. For some reason, I never figured it out with our last car. With the COY as I called it (car of yesteryear), we were pretty decent there, so I’m hoping that our 2013 Toyota Camry has some of the same characteristics there like that car did. I remember 2006, I think, one of the last races we ran with the COY – I won that one. So, it’s been one of those places that’s just kind of tricky, sometimes, to figure out for me – just the flatness of the corners, how hard do you get into the corner, how much brake do you use, how much do you let the car roll, how hard to get back on the gas – there’s so many different things you’ve got to work through at Loudon. I’ve got one of the best teammates in the business to help me with that with Denny (Hamlin). I definitely use him a lot when we go there on those weekends. We were fast there both races last year but had issues both times that kept us out of the running for the win. We’d certainly like to get up in the top-five and contend for better finishes at Loudon with our Interstate Batteries Camry. I know that place is pretty special to Dave (Rogers) and his family, so I’m hoping for we can deliver for him this weekend.”

Do you approach Loudon as a speedway or a short-track race?

“Loudon is definitely a short-track race. It’s a lot like Phoenix. You have some good speed down the straightaway, but definitely a lot of braking getting through the tight, paperclip-shaped corners.”

Kyle Busch won the pole in last July’s Sprint Cup race in New Hampshire. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images.

The New Hampshire race is one of the shortest on the circuit. How do you approach that race knowing you might have a little less time to get to the front at the end?

“Essentially, at Loudon, you’re looking at how good your fuel mileage is and you have to look at when you have to make your last pit stop since that’s what everyone looks at. You end up running it almost like a road-course race because you do want to be the first guy on the last round of pit stops to pit. You want to get in there, get your tires and fuel, and then stay out the rest of the race and keep your track position since it’s so important there. It’s just a challenging race because it is so hard to pass there. You can’t be two-tenths faster than a guy and be able to pass him because everyone typically runs the same speed. You’ll have it where the leader might be a tenth better than the second-place guy, but everyone is separated by so little that it takes a mistake on someone’s part in order to pass them there.”

When you make a mistake at Loudon, does it cost you a little bit more because you have less time to recover?

“You don’t because you’re always on edge there. You’re trying to go as fast as you can into the corners, as deep as you can into the corners while rolling as much speed, or just a bit higher than everyone else so you are able to get back to the gas sooner. You’re going harder than everyone else in order to make the straightaway a little bit longer and get your momentum built back up. It’s definitely a challenging racetrack – not one of my best racetracks, I’ll admit that. I have won there in the past so, if we get a good car, I guess I’ll need to have a really good car, apparently. Then we might have a shot to win there.”