Kyle Busch (second) was the highest finishing Tundra driver in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Martinsville Speedway.
Todd Bodine (third), Jason White (fourth), Aric Almirola (fifth), Mike Skinner (sixth) and David Starr (seventh) also posted top-10 results for Toyota at the half-mile Virginia track.
Tundra drivers Justin Lofton (13th), Jason Bowles (18th), Johanna Long (22nd), Matt Lofton (31st) and Timothy Peters (34th) were also in the field.
Bodine continues to lead the unofficial NCWTS driver standings following Martinsville, holding a 282-point advantage over Almirola. Peters (seventh), Skinner (eighth) and Starr (ninth) are also in the top-10 in points after 21 of 25 races. Germain Racing leads the unofficial NCWTS owner standings by 39 points over Kyle Busch Motorsports with four races remaining in 2010.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Toyota Tundra/Z-Line Designs Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 2nd How did your truck handle in today’s race? “It was normal Martinsville, just don’t know how to find speed when you need it. Overall, just a good day. Ran real competitive. We were right behind the 2 (Kevin Harvick) and the 33 (Ron Hornaday Jr.) for most of it trying to make our way back up to the front. Once getting there, just too tight. We just couldn’t get the thing to roll the center of the corner the way it needed to roll the center of the corner the way it needed to. Just got beat. We’ll go on to next week I guess.” Was the racing just as hard up front as there was toward the middle of the pack? “There was enough rooting and gouging and bumping and banging up front as there was anywhere else. It’s a short track – everyone runs the same speed so you’re trying to get any position that you can and when you’re all running the same speed, the only way to do that is to run in the back of somebody and move them out of the way. I don’t necessarily call that racing, I just call it mayhem I guess. Just disrespect and you’ll see the same thing tomorrow. We all run the same speed and it’s hard to pass so guys will be running over each other and especially coming down toward the end of the race. Just all hell breaks loose so the same thing will happen again.” Were you surprised that Ron Hornaday was scored ahead of you on one of the last caution flags? “No, (Ron) Hornaday was in front of me when the green flag came out. I was actually surprised that they gave it to me and then they reverted it back. That’s the way it should have been. He was ahead of me so they got it right.” Were you surprised that Todd Bodine raced as hard as he did today? “It’s very unfortunate when you have to go through circumstances like that in any person’s family. I give the Bodine family my thoughts and prayers of course and knowing that it’s not just Todd (Bodine), but it’s Geoff (Bodine) and Brett (Bodine) as well too. We’ve got a championship on the line and Todd did the best he could. He stayed out much of the race and I’m kind of surprised that his tires were that good judging how long he was out there. He was still racing as hard as anybody else would have and trying to block and cut across my nose and stuff like that just to try to keep his position, which you have to do in the closing laps I guess. No different than you would expect from anybody else.” Why did you take the outside lane at the start of the race? “I took the outside on the start and (Matt) Crafton gave me a break and let me fall in line so instead of him having to work at the outside and fall back, we kind of worked that out amongst ourselves. Then the last restart, I just didn’t get a great restart to begin with and kind of fell back a little bit from (Ron) Hornaday there before we even got to turn one, he was already clear of me. I tried the best I could to get to the bottom so I didn’t have to fight the 33 (Ron Hornaday Jr.) or anybody else for that matter. Just didn’t have enough. I would get in the corners and on the brakes and be too loose and then it would shove the nose in the center. That’s the produce of what happens with the trucks or cars when you start overdriving and you just start trying to get everything you can out of it and those were the feelings that I had.”
TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 3rd How eventful was today’s race? “It was a little eventful for us – not a normal, typical Martinsville for us. Starting 24th we knew we had to strategize our way to the front and (Mike Hillman) Junior (crew chief) did a great job and had a plan laid out to get track position that we needed and it worked. We had a really, really good truck. It kind of went away a little bit at the end. I was overdriving it a little bit probably. This was one of the wild cards we were worried about with the points race and anything can happen like in the spring time. A guy stopped in front of me in the middle of the back straightaway and I ran into him, popped the radiator and blew the motor. Stuff that you can’t control. To come out of here third is a great day, a good run for us. We’ve got a lot of good runs at Martinsville – we finally led some laps and ended up leading the most laps today so that was good points wise. I’m proud of everybody at Germain Racing for sticking with me and doing a great job every single week.” Did any drivers cut you any breaks on the track today? “Actually one guy did – Jason White cut me a couple breaks at the end and I thanked him for it. I cut him off a little bit. It’s a great series, it’s a great series to be a part of. It’s tough – it was a tough day for me. I was good until coming down pit road. I know they were up there watching.” What does it mean to have so many friends in the Truck Series? “That’s great and the thing about a time like this is it makes you realize how many friends you really have. I couldn’t walk 10- feet through the garage area today without somebody stopping me and hugging me. That means more than anything. Having good friends is important and that’s what life’s about – family and friends. This going in circles every week and getting to enjoy it is not what life’s about and just being able to have friends and do it with your friends – that’s important. Timmy (Timothy Peters) and Ron (Hornaday Jr.) and Justin Lofton and I could go down the list – there are so many guys. This series is so good to be a part of. It’s like I said the other day up here, ranting and raving a little bit – it’s still fun in the trucks. There’s not a lot of guys in racing that can say they’re having fun and in trucks we do every single week.”
JASON WHITE, No. 23 Gunbroker.com/Pursuit Channel Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 4th How was your first race in a Tundra? “It was pretty cool – first time in a Toyota. Qualified seventh, which was the best we ever qualified here. We were able to finish fourth and Todd (Bodine) just had more drive off the corner and I was right there. I just wanted to run him clean because he’s a good guy. I have to thank Gunbroker.com and the whole team – they all worked hard to get this truck ready so it was pretty cool.”
ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports Finishing Position: 5th How was your race truck today? “The truck was pretty good. We fought tight all day. I was happy – that was the best we’ve ever run together as a team here at Martinsville Speedway. Proud of the run. It’s good to come here – this is not one of our best places. To get out of here with a top-five is a good day. We know we have a really good truck for these next four races coming up. I’m excited about Talladega – Richie (Wauters, crew chief) and all the guys have been working really, really hard on our Talladega truck. All in all a good day. Our truck is pretty much in one piece so we’ll get her cleaned up and back together and ready for Phoenix.” Did the cautions hurt you at the end? “The cautions really hurt us at the end. Our truck seemed to be better on the long run. We were just really tight at the get-go and then it would get better and better. Really proud of the day and hopefully we’ll get it all fixed up and go to Phoenix.”
MIKE SKINNER, No. 5 International Trucks/Monaco RV Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports Finishing Position: 6th How was your race today? “It was really good. We got it a little bit tight right there in the middle of the race and just couldn’t get track position. I kind of wanted to stay out the first stint and then pit with everybody on the second one. The team did a good job though. We came in with 50 or so to go and had a really good truck. Had fresher tires than everybody, just like in the spring, but the problem was the caution kept coming up and let everyone’s tires equal ours. If it would’ve stayed green right there, I think we had at least a top two or three truck.”
DAVID STARR, No. 81 Zachry Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 7th How was your race today? “It was fun. Man, I had a lot of fun. My hat’s off to our sponsor, Zachry, for all their support. We couldn’t do this without them. Jason Miller (crew chief) and everyone on the team. They did a great job. We fought and fought and (Mike) Skinner had some new tires and I was trying to hold him off and he got into my left rear into turn three there and I thought I was gonna spin out, but I was able to hang onto it. Two of them got by me and I was able to get one back. Just a fun, exciting race. We were just a little tight in the center. We thought we were going to be able to capitalize, but as it went tight, that’s all we had. It was a great day for the team and for Zachry. This was Toyota Tundra was awesome.”
JUSTIN LOFTON, No. 7 visitPIT.com Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 13th
JASON BOWLES, No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports Finishing Position: 18th
JOHANNA LONG, No. 20 Panhandle Grading & Paving Toyota Tundra, Panhandle Motorsports Finishing Position: 22nd
MATT LOFTON, No. 97 Strutmasters.com Toyota Tundra, Lofton Motorsports Finishing Position: 31st
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Nelson Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 34th What happened that took you out of the race? “I got run over from behind and it could have been avoided. We had a lot of good folks helping us this week – Hayes Iron and Metal, Thunder Road Harley Davidson and Nelson Toyota. We’ll gather back up and go to Talladega. It was just Martinsville racing.”