Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Pocono Raceway – August 4, 2012
Matt Crafton (fourth) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Pocono Raceway.
Denny Hamlin earned a top-five result in the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) No. 18 Tundra with a fifth-place finish at the 2.5-mile triangle.
Tundra drivers John Wes Townley (eighth) and Ross Chastain (10th) also finished in the top-10 in the 50-lap race. The eighth-place result marked a career-best finish for Townley.
Other Tundra drivers in the field included Dakoda Armstrong (12th), Timothy Peters (22nd), Todd Bodine (26th), Johnny Sauter (27th) and Jeff Agnew (31st).
Peters continues to hold the NCWTS point lead following Pocono with an eight-point advantage over Ty Dillon.
MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Jeld Wen/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 4th How was your race today? “We just had really good restarts and this Menards and Jeld Wen Toyota Tundra was good on restarts and just got really, really tight through the tunnel turns and turn three and that’s where I was losing all of my time. I was decent in turn one, but the tunnel and three that was a problem child. All in all not a bad day really. We came out of here with a top-five. We definitely needed another pit stop so we could work on it, so maybe we can get them to at least make this race 75 laps next year.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 18 GNC Live Well/M&M’s Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 5th How was your race today? “It just definitely wasn’t the day we were looking for. Just never could overcome it. The power of those guys in front of us was big and we just didn’t have a great handling truck, so with all that combined it’s tough to get the track position you need. Got to thank everyone from GNC for coming on board the truck this week, Toyota for their supporting it, NOS, M&M’s, Dollar General, FlexCo — they’re all big supporters of Kyle Busch Motorsports and thank Kyle (Busch) for putting me in it. One of my favorite race tracks and now I can hopefully give them a little bit of feedback for what I feel like this program needs to work on.”
How did your truck get damaged? “We got in that big wreck in the back. I’ve got to thank everyone from GNC and Kyle Busch Motorsports for the opportunity. Just didn’t have the best truck today. We struggled a little bit with the balance, but overall track position was just hard to come by and with such a short race you’ve got to get all you can get quick.”
What adjustments did you make during your pit stop to make your truck better? “It definitely helped. We freed it up quite a bit and it did get better, but still had nothing to run with the 30 (Nelson Piquet Jr.) and the 31 (James Buescher) and 22 (Joey Coulter). Those guys seemed to be some of the better trucks throughout the day. That’s all we had.”
JOHN WES TOWNLEY, No. 09 Toyota Care Toyota Tundra, RAB Racing Finishing Position: 8th How was your race today? “It’s been a pretty good weekend for us. We’ve been getting better and better in the truck every weekend I think. I’m real proud of these guys. I can’t thank them enough. I mean, it’s a learning experience for me as much as it is for this team. Getting these good finishes is just doing nothing but helping us out here and I’m really excited. I’ve just got to thank Toyota and RAB Racing — they do a really good job.”
ROSS CHASTAIN, No. 08 Melon 1/SC Watermelon Association Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 10th
DAKODA ARMSTRONG, No. 98 EverFi.com Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 12th
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Red Horse Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 22nd Do you still see your season as the glass is half full? “It’s full still. We had a bad day, but we made the best of it. I really want to thank everybody at RHR (Red Horse Racing) for jumping in and making the repairs so that we could get that one lap. We didn’t fall out, so that’s a good thing. We knew it was coming. We just hope this is only one-of-one, but had a great truck — great Toyota Tundra — just didn’t have enough to get up there to sneak that lead. But, all in all a great effort all weekend long. We’re getting there. This package is getting closer and closer. The high speed with the aero plays a big advantage. Joe Gibbs race engines — the guys back at the shop, thank you. You work your tails off. Sorry we’ve got some tore up trucks to come back home, but those mbt shoes guys will put them back brand new and we’ll go to Michigan and get them.”
Did your truck handle well during the race? “I was happy with the way it handled, but with the pavement the track has so much grip and watching a little bit of the Cup race earlier this year it seemed like everybody was making their moves on the restart and after that everybody was spread out. Same thing with the trucks, just a little bit more intense. We got in trouble over there in the tunnel turn. I believe somebody came up the middle — I can’t remember who it was — and then just the way the aero balance was through the tunnel turn I got sucked around, so wasn’t nothing I could do but hold on.”
TODD BODINE, No. 11 Northeast Toyota Dealers Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 26th Are you okay after the accident? “Yeah, I’m okay. I’ll take the blame for that whole thing just because I should have known better than to trust an idiot to do the right thing. I pulled down to draft off of James (Buescher) and I should have known that Nelson (Piquet Jr.) wasn’t smart enough to pull over with me and side draft me. If it was the last lap of the race, I could see that. He thinks he owes me one anyway from Kansas I think it was, but it’s a shame. We had a good truck. We weren’t that good in practice and Rick (Gay, crew chief) — we had a problem in practice actually and had to change rear ends, so we lost a lot of practice and Rick made great adjustments for the race and our NPA Toyota Tundra was fast. It was really good. We were going to be second going into the tunnel turn. It’s a shame to be taken out of a race and I know that’s what went through his mind — ‘Here’s perfect payback. I’m going to take him around,’ and he did. He did a good job at it and unfortunately I got a brand new race track that’s a piece of junk now.”
JOHNNY SAUTER, No. 13 Hot Honeys/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 27th What happened to take you out of the race? “I wish I knew. Our Hot Honeys/Curb Records Toyota — I just had a little vibration in qualifying and I thought that it maybe got a little bit better by the end of my first lap or the only lap that I ran. I tell you what, I’ve never had a vibration like that in my life. I couldn’t even breathe. It was a bad enough vibration to break the steel shifter handle off, so new driveshaft, transmission or something in the drive train, but it’s just the way 2012 goes.”
JEFF AGNEW, No. 07 Wear Your Gear Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 31st