TOYOTA NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Post-Race Notes & Quotes Phoenix International Raceway –February 25, 2011
Toyota driver Kyle Busch earned his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) victory in Friday night’s 150-mile race at Phoenix International Raceway.
The win also marked the Las Vegas-native’s 19th win in a Tundra and 25th in the NCWTS.
The 25-year-old led the final 107 (of 150) laps en route to victory lane.
Tundra driver Justin Johnson finished eighth in his series debut.
Tundra drivers Timothy Peters (12th), Todd Bodine (14th), Max Papis (15th), Brendan Gaughan (17th), Johanna Long (20th), Craig Goess (23rd), Mike Skinner (24th), Miguel Paludo (25th), Dusty Davis (26th), Justin Lofton (30th), David Starr (34th) and Travis Kvapil (36th) were also in the field.
Kyle Busch Motorsports currently leads the unofficial NCWTS owner point standings after two of 25 races.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st Can you savor this moment? “It’s pretty amazing and it’s been that way for a long time. I’ve got a lot of great people that have stood behind me from the beginning. Those that are with us here tonight — everybody from Dollar General — these guys are phenomenal to work with, fun to work with and I love getting them to victory lane. This Toyota Tundra was awesome and the results showed. We had a good truck. I was scared there in the beginning. I was like, ‘Man, it’s going to come down to like last fall and Clint (Bowyer) is going to walk the dog on this one.’ But, Rick (Ren, general manager) and Eric (Phillips, crew chief) made some changes to this thing and really brought it to life. It was just phenomenal. It’s great fun to come out here and race with these guys. Congratulations to these guys, (Ron) Hornaday bringing home a good third-place, I know he’s downing for a good points. It’s cool to come out here and win in Phoenix. It’s kind of the west coast — I’m a west coast boy so this is neat for me.”
What are Kyle Busch Motorsports’ goals for 2011? “The goals – I don’t know that we’ve set any goals, we just know that if we can go out and reach our potential every week that the results will come. The guys did a great job tonight on pit road. They were phenomenal there. They had some great pit stops. We had some different guys because we sent a couple guys to the Nationwide team at Joe Gibbs Racing. We’re a feeder team even though J.D. (Gibbs, president, Joe Gibbs Racing) doesn’t think we are, we’re still a feeder team for those guys. Its fun for us, we love coming out here with Kyle Busch Motorsports and winning like this. I want to say hey to my kids who are here from the Sunshine Acres Home (Mesa, Arizona) through the Kyle Busch Foundation. We had about 50 of them here tonight. It was cool to get those guys tickets, thanks to the raceway for that.”
What role did your pit crew play in tonights win? “They’re phenomenal. They’ve done a great job. No matter how much J.D. (Gibbs, president, Joe Gibbs Racing) doesn’t like to say this is a feeder team for his stuff, it is. A couple of our guys left and went over there. They didn’t leave — we sent them over there as kind of a build up. It’s really cool to have the guys we brought in here, we taught them a little bit and we’re getting the same results. To have new kids come in here and learn, that’s what the Truck Series is all about. We’re helping everybody – we’ve had a blast and of course I can’t say enough about these guys. They did a great job for me and hopefully we can keep these results coming.”
ERIC PHILLIPS, Crew Chief, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Did you spend time during the offseason preparing for short track racing like tonight’s race? “After we were here last fall, I think we beat Kevin (Harvick) one short track race last year, or Kevin’s group – the 2 and 33 (Ron Hornaday) trucks. We felt like we needed to work hard on the short track program over the winter. So, we went to work after we got back from Homestead and built this new truck. We focused hard on all the details, making it light, low – all the things you do on short track trucks. The guys did an awesome job building. I was really excited there a few weeks ago when we got it finished. From the day we put it on the plate to set it up, it’s just one of those trucks where everything fits and goes together the way you want so it makes you happy that they did their job. When we unloaded today it was really fast right out of the truck. It’s just a compliment to them and their hard work.”
JUSTIN JOHNSON, No. 51 Vision Airlines/Wounded Warrior Toyota Tundra, Vision Aviation Racing Finishing Position: 8th How was your first NCWTS race? “We unloaded pretty good race trim wise. We worked on it a little bit in practice and got up to about ninth in practice then we worked on the qualifying trim a little bit. We weren’t quite there up to par with what everybody else was when they did their mock qualifying runs. All in all, I think my guys on the Wounded Warriors Toyota Tundra ran great. The whole race we were just fighting a little bit of snug in the center of the corner. I think if we could have gotten some clean laps with no trucks in front of us towards the end, we would have been able to get up to the front and we were just losing the nose behind those trucks.”
Did you get any help from any of your competitors for your first race? “Todd Bodine, Brendan Gaughan, Matt Crafton – all the fast guys and also not only those guys but I have a lot of guys on my team who have actually run in the trucks before. They’ve been helping me a lot during the offseason getting me ready for this.”
Are you excited to go to Darlington Raceway next? “You can’t imagine the excitement I’m feeling. I didn’t win but I feel like a win because I’m trying to get qualified this year so I can run Daytona next year and run Talladega towards the end of this year. Every race, finishing good and bringing the fenders home in one piece, it means a lot to me and my Vision Airlines Toyota Tundra team.”
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 GearWrench Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 12th How was your race? “We had a decent truck all night long. Our GearWrench Tundra was a little snug, but they got me right in the pits. Those guys do a great job in the pits. I just put us in a bad position. The hole was open, and I went down, and it closed up pretty quick, and we spun out. It’s not what we wanted, but we had a good truck and we finished 12th, in one piece. We’ll go to Darlington and maybe make up for it there. As far as I’m concerned, I got my worst track out of the way until we get to Loudon.”
TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 14th
MAX PAPIS, No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 15th
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 17th
JOHANNA LONG, No. 20 Panhandle Grading Toyota Tundra, Panhandle Motorsports Finishing Position: 20th
CRAIG GOESS, No. 46 Greenville Toyota Toyota Tundra, Eddie Sharp Racing Finishing Position: 23rd
MIKE SKINNER, No. 45 PaytasHomes.com Toyota Tundra, Eddie Sharp Racing Finishing Position: 24th
MIGUEL PALUDO, No. 7 K&N Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 25th How was your race? “Tough day. We’re always learning, but it’s so hard because we got a really good fourth-place last week at Daytona. And here we got caught by the leader by lap 30, lap 40. It’s hard. But it’s a learning process, and I think we’re going to be good in Darlington. I know that’s part of the job. One time you’re on the top and the other time you’re not. Let’s see what we’ve got in Darlington.”
Did the other truck come down on you when you spun? “Yeah, I think so. We hit, and then as we touched side-by-side, I just lost grip. Tough deal.”
DUSTY DAVIS, No. 15 Vision Airlines/Emerald Coast Toyota Tundra, Vision Aviation Racing Finishing Position: 26th
JUSTIN LOFTON, No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 30th
DAVID STARR, No. 81 Zachry Toyota Tundra, SS Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 34th
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 5 International Truck-Monaco RVs Toyota Tundra Camry, Randy Moss Motorsports Finishing Position: 36th