Toyota driver Kyle Busch earned his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) victory of the year in Friday’s 200-mile race at Dover International Speedway.
The win is the Las Vegas-native’s 96th career NASCAR victory, tying him for fifth-place on the all-time NASCAR win list (across all three series) with Mark Martin.
Busch started third and led three times for 128 (of 200) laps at Dover.
Toyota driver Brendan Gaughan (seventh) also posted a top-10 finish at the one-mile concrete track.
Tundra drivers David Starr (12th), Max Papis (13th), Timothy Peters (17th), Johanna Long (22nd), Travis Kvapil (23rd), Craig Goess Jr. (24th), Justin Lofton (25th), Todd Bodine (27th) and Miguel Paludo (28th) were also in the field.
Six Toyota drivers are currently in the top-15 in the unofficial NCWTS points after six of 25 races — Peters (fifth), Papis (seventh), Bodine (ninth), Gaughan (10th), Starr (11th) and Goess (14th).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st What made the difference in today’s win? “I was waiting for them a little bit, seeing how the long run would play out and making sure I was saving a little bit of something so I could run him (Cole Whitt) down and try to pass him. He was fast out there, man — I was working for it. I was reeling him in a little bit at a time. I was kind of coming a little bit there at the end of it. That’s four for four by Traxxas — I can’t say enough about these guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports. This Traxxas Toyota Tundra was awesome today. It’s fun to come out here. We love racing in this series like this, having fun and I’ll tell you what — Cole Whitt has something going on. He’s probably got some good talent there and it looked like he did a really nice job. On that last restart, he had me — he left just with me, I didn’t get away from him at all. We just had a fast enough speed through (turns) one and two where we beat him.”
How did you make it to victory lane? “It was a really good truck, you know. Start off by saying thanks to Traxxas. We’re four for four with those guys. I think they need to buy more races. That’s just me I guess, being the owner of this deal. I tell you what — these guys did an awesome job bringing the same truck back from last year. We tried some things, but we went back to the old reliable. I can’t say enough about this Toyota. This Traxxas Tundra was awesome.”
How tough was Cole Whitt at the end of the race? “Cole Whitt did a really nice job. I think he’s got something going on over there. Those guys did a nice job. He’s fast — he’s quick week-in and week-out. This was the first one that he really, really contended for — that I’ve been in anyway. He did a great job. I snookered him on the second to last restart and I got him a little bit there. On that last restart he was right with me. We ran down into turn one side by side. I chose the bottom because I felt like running through (turns) one and two wide open — it was the faster way around. It was just too long of a way around the outside that I’d be able to clear him. Felt pretty good about that. Our truck was really fast today. Thankfully, guys had great stops on pit stops all day. Everybody did a great job. Thank all the fine folks that come support our race here with Kyle Busch Motorsports.”
How much does running in this race help the rest of the weekend? “I tell you what man, it’s weird because — the same thing happened last year. We’re working on our Cup car in ‘Happy Hour’ and it’s getting tighter and tighter and tighter and tighter and everybody is freeing up their stuff. We get in the race and about 30 laps in everybody is just screaming loose. Same thing happened with the truck. It was really, really tight in Cup practice and then we had the truck race and we were loose right out of the gate. And, it seemed like a lot of guys were loose and we just kind of had to make some fine tune adjustments to get it tightened up some. Get it to where it was comfortable. Loose is fast — too loose is out of control though.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports How does it feel to win again at Dover? “It was really good. Obviously, we had a really fast Traxxas Tundra today. The guys did a great job. It st arted yesterday coming off the truck and making some adjustments to it and getting it to where we felt it would really run like it would last year because last year we were really good here, too. Eric (Phillips, crew chief) and Rick (Ren, general manager) did a great job at giving me a good setup underneath that thing and it was good. Overall, the race went pretty well for us. It wasn’t quite the walk in the park it seems. This place is so difficult and challenging. You feel like you’re always on edge. You’re really unsure about how the next corner is going to be and what’s going to happen. There was a slick spot through turn four most of the race there when Ricky Carmichael wrecked over there. They really didn’t clean it up very well, but we kind of had to dodge that. The 60 (Cole Whitt) really gave us a run for our money there at the end. Cole Whitt did an excellent job and did a really nice job at being able to work around this place. He seemed like he was a veteran out there — I give him props when due.”
How does this win set you up for the possible Dover sweep? “It’s a good start, for sure. I feel like there’s a good opportunity to do it, but there was last year. The Nationwide Series cars are different this year — it’s the new car. That’s kind of throwing us a little bit for a loop over there. We weren’t the best and definitely weren’t as good as we wanted to be with the Nationwide car. I’d like to see that MAC Tools Camry run up front and have a shot at contending for the win, certainly. Hopefully, Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) can make adjustments to it and we can qualify well and give it a good whirl tomorrow. The Cup car as well, we tore it up a little bit today. We kind of had some bad luck, but hoping that changes and tomorrow we can have a good, decent qualifying run just for a pit stall selection. It doesn’t really matter because I have to go to the tail anyway for the engine change. We’ll have a long road to tote on Sunday.”
ERIC PHILLIPS, crew chief, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports What was your view of tonight’s race? “Our day in the pits went pretty uneventful. We made a small little adjustment the first stop. After that, didn’t do anything to it the rest of the day. I tried to let Kyle (Busch) know where he was and take care of the truck. We started out yesterday a little off, but made some adjustments and made it a lot better and it was good today.”
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 7th Are you pleased with a top-10 finish? “Yeah, we finally — the Germain team, at least the 62 team, finally got something they deserve. It was a hard fought race, though. Brian Berry (crew chief) and the boys were the best they’ve been on pit road for our Tundra team. The guys really did a nice job. It really panned out well. Brian made great adjustments. In the end, we got the wave by and then we caught the lucky break with a caution after about 15 laps, so it got us by guys with 20 lap tires on and we got to put four fresh Goodyears on and they were brand new. It was a great run from the back for us. I’m really, really proud of my guys.”
Did the cautions at the end of the race help? “They used to call me ‘Captain Closer’, there was a day I was called that. Toyota brought me in their camp a few years ago and I was expecting a few things and that is what I used to be able to do is close. That really made me happy — my restarts were great again and that’s what I used to pride myself on. I learned a lot from Ron Hornaday and Jack Sprague when I was younger. I’ve always tried to keep those lessons in my mind.”
DAVID STARR, No. 81 Zachry Toyota Tundra, SS Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 12th
MAX PAPIS, No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 13th
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 17th
JOHANNA LONG, No. 20 Panhandle Grading Toyota Tundra, Panhandle Motorsports Finishing Position: 22nd
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 5 International Truck-Monaco RVs Toyota Tundra Camry, Randy Moss Motorsports Finishing Position: 23rd
CRAIG GOESS JR., No. 46 Greenville Toyota Toyota Tundra, Eddie Sharp Racing Finishing Position: 24th How was your race? “The track was really greasy at the beginning of the race which loosened up the truck quite a bit and I couldn’t carry speed through the corners. I think the damage from the first spin was worse than we originally thought because our Tundra was really unstable from that point on. You have to make the most of what you’re given, and we’ll take what we learned on to Charlotte next week.
JUSTIN LOFTON, No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 25th What happened to take you out of the race? “The track kind of pushes you down there. Man, I’m just speechless right now. We had a halfway decent run going. We didn’t have the best truck, but we were making it work. It’s just real unfortunate for everyone on the No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra. It’s tight racing, but I think it’s a little unnecessary and I sure won’t remember when the position is in the other hand. I’m sad we’re leaving Dover like this.”
TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 27th What took you out of the race? “I think we broke a piston. The way it felt, the way it smelled and the way I ran, I think I just broke a piston. I don’t know what we did wrong. We messed the truck up from practice because it was horrible. You’ll have days like this, years like this. We go from the championship last year to can’t do anything right this year. The guys at Germain Racing have done an awesome job and I’m proud of those guys and what they’ve done. It’s the way it goes — you go get them at Charlotte next week.”
MIGUEL PALUDO, No. 7 STEMCO-Duroline Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 28th