Kyle Busch Q&A, Part 4: Hornish helps title shot
June 18, 2014, Eric Johnson, Special for NASCAR.com, NASCAR.com
A: There was a point during the end of the year last year when Samantha and I actually sat down, and we were talking about how we were coming too close to winning or losing the championship. And for having 12 wins, we should have been further out in points and didn't have to worry about it. But we had some mistakes through the year, whether it was my fault or the younger rookies' fault that drove for us, and we decided that having an experienced guy drive for our team as a second driver in the races, that I couldn't make, would be more beneficial to the team and maybe perhaps would make up points. And (he) wouldn't get himself in bad situations and get crashed out or moved out of the way, whatever it might have been.
Q: How does losing the Nationwide owners' championship last year by such a close margin sit with you?
A: I mean it's not fun when you race in the Nationwide Series as much as you do -- 25 races throughout the year -- and you have the opportunity to or should win an owners' championship every year. That's what you strive for. That's what you do, and that's what we're there for. We win 12 races and race 25 of them -- that's (more than) 50 percent. There is no reason why we shouldn't be close enough to winning the championship by a bigger margin than coming up one point short. So the accolade means a lot to us.
Q: How did you win 12 Nationwide races in 2013?
A: I feel like we were able to win 12 races through the year because of a lot of things. Whether it's (crew chief) Adam Stevens and myself, the communication we have with each other, the pit crew we have, the cars I drive. It's just all of it put together. It's why we are there. The Nationwide Series is a little less competition than the Sprint Cup Series, but you know you are still racing against the Sprint Cup Series guys. It could be five; it could be 10 of them that are out there racing in that race. So if you can beat them, then you are doing your job.
Q: What is the most difficult thing about driving stock cars?
A: I think (one) of the toughest things about driving a Cup car is just the horsepower that it has and the speeds you carry down the straightaways and into the corners and yet you are trying to make a 12-inch tire go around the corner at 190 mph at some tracks. The Sprint Cup cars and the Nationwide cars are kind of the same but yet quite different in a lot of respects. Horsepower wise -- just the power of the engines, the torque of the engines are way different. The aerodynamics of both cars are way different, and the setups are way different the way the chassis is. It is the same, but the components you use to set up the chassis to make your car go around the racetrack are quite different. So they have a lot of different driving techniques.
Q: Does Coach Joe Gibbs ever get mad at you?
A: Ya, Coach gets mad at me sometimes. It's never really that big of a deal, but there are times where he says I could have done certain situations differently. All in all, he's fun. He's a great guy to talk to, (we have) a great relationship, so when he talks I tend to listen.