Kyle Busch talks about chasing a second Cup championship

Kyle Busch talks with Adam Alexander about chasing his second Cup championship, bringing up talent through the ranks, and helping Denny Hamlin get to Miami.

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ANNOUNCER: Brad , on the outside. Chase Elliot will dive it down to the inside.

ANNOUNCER: They bang! Keselowski, all the way to the wall!

ANNOUNCER: Chase Elliot has the lead.

ANNOUNCER: Elliot gets the drag off turn number two. Chase Elliot to the lead. Hamlin, second. Oh, Elliot spins, and he slams the outside retaining wall! Kyle Busch to the inside. They bump. Truex tries to slide underneath them both. Side by side for the win.

ANNOUNCER: Kyle comes across the line. He will win. And there's a massive crash behind them.

- What a wild finish a couple of weeks ago in Martinsville, Virginia. It was Kyle Busch who got the win, and the first to lock himself in to the championship four. He joins us now on NASCAR Race Hub. Hey, Kyle. Thanks for being with us.

- No problem. Thank you very much.

- Your third straight trip to Miami. Why have you been so successful in this format, Kyle?

- I don't know, but thankfully we are. I know Adam Stevens and myself put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure that we perform each and every week, and each and every year, and through the playoffs. It's been really good. I just think that this playoff format better suits our style, if you will, a little bit.

Past formats with the 10 race format all the way throughout. You have a bad race or two, we would have been eliminated by now. We wouldn't have an opportunity. But with this format, it allows you to catch back up, if you will, every three weeks as long as you have a good enough three races to get yourself through like we did just last round.

It was really, really ugly for us. It wasn't pretty. But fortunately we had enough stage points in everything else through the regular season, that we were able to carry our M&M's Toyota on to the next round and into this playoff format. And to go to Martinsville, and to be able to score that victory there, win and you're in, that basically gave us that ticket automatically to Homestead.

ADAM ALEXANDER: You go to Phoenix this weekend already knowing you're in the championship race. But your teammate, Denny Hamlin, is below the cut line. How do you manage a weekend when you're locked in, but your teammate is still trying to find his way there?

- I think the biggest things that we can do is just kind of focus on ourselves and making sure that we're doing all the right things that we can do to go out there and score the win, and make it to just where everybody else has to race for it themselves. But past that, you kind of keep in the back of your mind what they're doing, what their strategy might be, and things like that to see if there's anything you can do to help them through practices and things like that.

It's kind of easier to help them with being able to work on their race car, or make their car a little bit better with some changes that we're making that we really, really liked, to communicate that to those guys. But all in all, it's pretty much, you got to go through these things with being on the 18 team that we are. We compete for ourselves and for our championship. And them on the 11 team, that's how they view it too.

- So much conversation these days, Kyle, about the young drivers in NASCAR. The Rookie of the Year contenders this season, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez. Both drove for you in the trucks. Erik winning a title. The guy's going for Rookie of the Year next season. William Byron, Bubba Wallace drove for you in the Camping World Truck Series. Christopher Bell having so much success right now. How proud does it make you feel to see all of those guys doing such great things at such a high level?

- It's pretty awesome. Obviously it makes you proud. It kind of feels like a dad moment there a little bit. But, honestly, it's kind of making me feel a little old too with all these younger guys doing as good as they're doing, and coming up through the ranks, and making seats for themselves in the Cup Series.

When we're shelling them out one a year, that's probably a little too quick. So we might have to slow that progress down with some of these guys. But overall, it's been an amazing few years that we've had over there with KBM and with the drivers that we've had. They've done a really great job with the equipment that we've been able to give them. And it's cool to see them making a name for themselves. So hopefully that continues.

- Kyle, you and I both know if you're going to be successful in the playoffs in NASCAR, you have to do a nice job at the mile and a halves. And I look at your resume so far in the mile and a half playoff races in 2017. Led a lot of laps. Had fast race cars. Didn't get the finishes you likely deserved. How would you break down the mile and a half program with the biggest yet to come, Homestead, next Sunday?

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, you're right. The way I look at it too. Charlotte was a struggle for us. And Texas was obviously a struggle for us with having two flat tires before the race even started. One of those being before the race started. It was just, really, just unforeseen circumstances happening to us so far in these mile and a half races that we really didn't plan for or could plan for.

We've just got to forget about what's happened to us thus far this year in the mile and a half stuff, and go on into Homestead, and focus on what Homestead is all about. And fortunately for us, Homestead is a completely different mile and a half. All those other ones are kind of quad ovals. This one's a true oval. It's got that progressive banking. You can run bottom, middle, top. You can go all over anywhere you want to at Homestead.

And it leaves itself wide open too with the way that the race starts during the day, kind of ends at dusk. It gives you that opportunity to have adjustability built into your race car and to go race for a championship. So that's what it's all about.

And we know these other two competitors that we're racing against so far with Martin and Harvick. We've raced against them before in this same championship race two years ago in 2015. So we know it's a tough race. We know you've got to be on your toes the entire time, and making sure that you're the best of all of them when it comes to the end.

- And I guess it all worked out for you in 2015. You did win the championship. Kyle, thanks for being with us. Always appreciate having you on NASCAR Race Hub. Good luck at Phoenix. Good luck at Miami, all right?

- Awesome, sounds good. Look forward to these next two weeks. Close it out strong.

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