Two Tundra drivers — Kyle Busch (third) and Todd Bodine (ninth) — registered top-10 finishes in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Tundra drivers Max Papis (14th), Timothy Peters (16th), David Starr (17th) and Brendan Gaughan (18th) posted top-20 results in Atlanta.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Josh Richards (21st), Miguel Paludo (22nd), Justin Lofton (26th) and Johanna Long (31st).
Peters remains third in the unofficial NCWTS point standings and is now 14 points out of first place.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 3rd How was your race tonight? “It was a really good race and certainly we had a good truck. It was definitely a second-place truck. The guys here on this Dollar General Tundra did a good job — just wasn’t the best. Just want to say that Dollar General has their ‘Race in to Win’ sweepstakes going on and people check out their local Dollar Generals and enter for their chance to win a trip to Champions week in Vegas. Big plus for those guys. Can’t say enough about M&M’s, Flexco, NOS Energy Drink and all our partners.”
What was the racing like with Clint Bowyer? “It was kind of a deal where whoever got out front first seemed to be able to lead. He passed me there later in the run. Their stuff is just so good. Three years in a row here it’s been the case. I think I had it going on with (Billy) Ballew and then these guys have been able to take it over from me. Congrats to (Ron) Hornaday for winning — it’s good to see the old man back in victory lane and a good weekend for those guys.”
What did you learn in tonight’s race to use the rest of the weekend? “I think the biggest thing is just understanding how hard to push the cars in the beginning of the run or trucks in the beginning of the run and how much that’s going to hurt you on the long run. On those restarts we’re flat out sideways with each other and pushing as hard as we can. You seem to burn your tires off faster and then they start getting away from you. Then on that last run of the race, I could kind of run them back down because I wasn’t battling everybody. I had my own race track and I didn’t have to worry about people. We had a good night, but hopefully we can carry that on throughout the weekend.”
Were you worried that Clint Bowyer was trying to wreck you? “I’m glad he (Clint Bowyer) refrained from orders and not wreck me, but he tried a couple times. I was just able to hang on — no. It was hard racing. Certainly, we’re battling for it with the 2 truck and we understand that’s our focus. We’re trying to make sure that we’re doing our things right as well. Tonight, same as last year, (Kevin) Harvick was by far the best truck and we just tried to minimize damages. We did that here this week. Unfortunately, the last two weeks we weren’t very smart and we didn’t do that.”
TODD BODINE, No. 5 International Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports Finishing Position: 9th How did your truck handle tonight? “We missed it just a little bit. We weren’t too bad. It was just too tight on exit. I couldn’t carry my momentum off the corner. We were good in, good through the middle, but we went with a whole different kind of setup and it wasn’t too bad, but just not fast enough to keep up.”
Were you surprised the race came down to fuel mileage? “Atlanta usually is this way. Not for the trucks so much, but for the other divisions. I would have never thought it was going to go the rest of the way without a caution, but it did.”
MAX PAPIS, No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 14th
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 16th
DAVID STARR, No. 81 Zachry Toyota Tundra, SS Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 17th
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 18th How did you truck handling tonight? “Our Tundras at Germain need a lot of work still. We made our way up through the field in the middle of it a little bit, but just too loose all night and everybody knows Atlanta loosens up at night and we were loose in practice so we knew we were going to be loose tonight. We tried.”
JOSH RICHARDS, No. 15 Joy Mining Machinery Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 21st How was your race tonight? “We were really good. We just kind of on the restart there we got stuck in the middle and lost a bunch of ground and I just sped on that last green flag pit stop, but everybody did an awesome job. I had a really good truck. Just me getting used to the track. We were a little bit free in the center. Just me working around it, but I felt like we definitely had a top-10 truck, top-12 and we’re making gains. I had a blast racing here. ”
How did you save the truck late in the race? “I don’t even know. That last restart I just drove through the middle just trying to keep momentum up and I was pushed a little bit. I got into the truck in front of me and then it got me loose and the track was straightening back out. We got banged around the little bit. The truck looks like it was at Bristol, but it was fun. It was an awesome place to race today.”
MIGUEL PALUDO, No. 7 STEMCO-Duroline Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 22nd
JUSTIN LOFTON, No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Toyota Tundra, Eddie Sharp Racing Finishing Position: 26th
JOHANNA LONG, No. 20 Panhandle Grading & Paving Toyota Tundra, Panhandle Motorsports Finishing Position: 31st