Wednesday, Oct 04

Toyota Racing - NCS LA Clash Quotes - Denny Hamlin & Kyle Busch - 02.05.22

Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were made available to media after practice for to the LA Clash event today:

Is it an advantage to come to a market like this from a team ownership standpoint? More advantages or opportunities?

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“Well, typically the Clash in general is a hard race to sell sponsorship for just in general it's a very short race. But certainly, this one, as much build up as it has enables you to put it on the schedule as a legit race that you know, you can, you could sell for what you would sell for a normal event. On the other side, the ownership side, I just want to know what it's going to cost for us to do this. That's really all I care about. Your costs cannot out, cannot exceed your expenses. No other way your revenue. It costs a lot, but it costs the same -- if the race pays less and your sponsor pays less, it makes less sense.”

How did this car react when you scraped the wall compared to the previous car?

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“It was similar, it didn't stick to the wall quite as much. It really looked like they just could repair some decals on it. They didn't have to beat anything out. So, it seems like obviously the material that we're using that's similar to the Xfinity car, you'll be able to rub it a little bit more than before, for sure.”

What do you think of this setting and this event so far?

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“I mean, I think it's all good. It's been fun so far. You know, definitely different and interesting. With the ability of what we're all trying to accomplish and do here and put on a really good show, put on a really good race, I think that there's an opportunity. Like Denny (Hamlin) said, with as much hype and everything that's kind of built into this event, let's make it one you know, so keep going so far so good, keep it going.”

Does this event make you feel like the sport is getting back to its roots with your garage in a parking lot and driving on side streets to get into the race track?

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“Is grassroots a good thing? I mean, do F1 cars run through gravel street roads to get to the track? No. Yeah, I'm probably a little different than what the general public thinks, like, ‘let's get back to the roots when it was much, much smaller sport.’ I think you’ve got to continue to grow, and you’ve got to continue to make the fan and the competitors experience better and better. That's how you grow if you want to have a place where parking is good, traffic flows, good. great amenities, a great place to get a drink or food quickly at a race track. All those things are very underrated in our sport in the growth of it.”

For Kyle Busch, you were the first driver to get a win with the COT (Car of Tomorrow) and the first to get Toyota’s first win in the Cup Series in 2008. Do you have extra incentive to be the first to win with the Next Gen Camry TRD?

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“I would say no. But of course, in the back of my mind, you would say yeah, you want to be the first guy, but I think many of us would argue that the first race for this vehicle will be the Daytona 500. You know, we're here obviously, it is a race. Yes, they will pay somebody at the end of the day to win it. But this is more as we've kind of alluded a little bit where it's a show, I mean that's fine, and we're going to do our best job of being able to put on a good show. There's going to be a race involved. There's going to be a checkered flag at the end of it. And I've been involved in the sport enough where there's a lot of Asterix on the things that I’ve accomplished. So, I'm sure me winning this race, I did not win the first race of the new car. It would be whoever wins Daytona, that's how it would go.”

Are you guys glad to be done with the offseason and moving forward and heading to Daytona next weekend to get the season underway?

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“As a driver, yes. I'm excited. Our offseason is always very short. We get a couple of weeks in November. Personally, I get December and then at the turn of the new year we're meeting with you guys and doing production days and whatnot. It’s really, you know, kind of about a seven-week window where we have off as a team. I wish we had a few more weeks. There’s a real concern over parts supplies for cars, and so I just wish we had a little bit more time to prepare for on that front. I know our team loaded up at 2:45 in the morning or something. It’s just that the hours on the guys is what's tough right now. If we had more time, then we wouldn't have to push them so hard.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“Not being on the ownership side in the cup series, I don't feel the stress that these guys do. Being a driver I'm like, ‘What are y'all waiting for?’ It’s nice to have a few off weeks get a few chances to kind of chill out and relax a little bit and then once it's time to get going, like Denny said. It's pretty much January that you start your year with production shoots, video shoots media stuff, whatever it might be to then get set for the year. Then starting here in LA and then one week I guess off again to start our season for real in Daytona.”

Does it being here make The Clash special again? Is it worth it to go out and try to win this race again?

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“I think so. I mean, things get diluted for a lot of different reasons. Back then you had to, I think, you had to get a pole. I mean, that was the only way you get in and over time, if enough teams complain that they're not a part of it, the rules get changed to make it to where more people can be included. Well, anytime you do that you dilute it. It's not as special. It's no different than the playoffs and have gone from 10 to 12 to 16. Making the playoffs in ’06 or ’07 it was hard. You had some legit guys that could win each and every week not make the playoffs and but that would that made the 10 rule really special, but as you dilute it a little bit more it certainly is not as special. This format is certainly where you have to get in on your own merit. There's only one provisional there's no inclusion for someone that's got high in this for that. It's back to being, in my opinion, it's gonna be the best 23 cars on the racetrack or the best 20 cars this weekend anyway, so certainly in my mind, it makes it more prestigious than just getting in on one of the 10 things that you can get in on.”

Did the car practice how you thought it would?

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“I think lap times were a little bit quicker than many of us expected or anticipated. The driving of the car was about as much as I'd expect it to be. I think some of the issue is just brakes on entry. You know, making sure you slow down fast enough for the tight confines to be able to make the turn that you have. The acceleration to me was better than I had anticipated. You know, better forward drive out of the turn. So not as much wheel spin as I had expected but the tight confines – when I got into practice a little bit and had some cars in front of me and around me and stuff like that – It definitely was like okay, it's tight, like how are you going to find a way to pass you know, some guys kind of holding and protecting low. The only way to get them out of the way is push them out of the way so I think you're gonna see some of that as it comes down towards some opportune times when more is on the line.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“For my standpoint, I thought the car turned the corner just better than I thought. I mean, I think there was no way our old car was gonna make it around these corners. But this one, we talked about how it's better for road course racing. These corners are very, very tight – tighter than anything that we have. It cornered quite a bit better than what I was anticipating. But other than that, everything was the same.”

Will the costs of the damage here be more cost effective than if the Clash was in Daytona?

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

“Yeah, if you like really crashed one, I think here you're probably looking at $50,000 worth of stuff. That’s a guess. But yes, it's not a total loss like a Daytona Clash would be.”



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