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Busch talks Daytona, Hornish Jr.

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Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch had the best points finish of his career in 2013 – fourth – and a strong season in the Nationwide Series, winning 12 of the 26 races he entered, but he’s still looking for more. Following the recent Preseason Thunder testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway, Busch talked about a fresh start for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season.

“You're sort of the freshest (at Daytona),” said Busch in a recent press conference. “It's a lot easier to come out of the gate and feel revived and refreshed and ready to go and tackle a whole new season. It's a fresh start. You're not behind in any points. Essentially you just look to try to build as big of a margin of cushion as you can to start instead of having to be at the end of the season and come from behind. I like the beginning of the year. I think Daytona is Daytona. Daytona, if you can win it, great. It really doesn't mean a whole lot. I think the first five races don't really mean a whole lot. It's more about learning your team, getting a chemistry going, whether you have a new car or just the new chemistry within your team, and just being able to build, put your building blocks together in the first five weeks, and then it's on from weeks 6 to 26 essentially, so you've got 20 weeks to prove yourself and make it in the Chase.”

On the Nationwide Series side, Busch returns to the No. 54 Toyota Camry for 26 races in 2014, with the other seven being filled by IndyCar champ and NASCAR veteran Sam Hornish Jr.

“I think that's a great addition for us,” said Busch of Hornish Jr.’s hiring. “It's going to really help our program out, I believe. I liked Owen Kelly; he was great last year driving for us. Drew Herring was great driving for us last year. But just a little bit of inexperience on their parts maybe cost us a few points here or there, but also no doubt I cost myself a few points, as well. At the end of the deal, we missed the championship by one point. I feel like Sam Hornish is a contender each and every week. He's been a guy that can run up front. He's proven himself the last few years in the Nationwide competition, that he's a force to be reckoned with week in, week out for those victories. I think that he could be a huge addition to our team, and it brings along some consistency, as well, too, with just myself and he behind the wheel and having Adam (Stevens, crew chief) not have driver of the week per se in the car and trying to figure out different drivers and whatnot.”

Keep up with the off-season at joegibbsracing.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.

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