Toyota NXS NHMS Post-Race Recap

by Official Release On Sun, Jul. 16, 2017

Toyota Post-Race Recap
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Race 17 of 33 – 211.6 miles, 200 laps
July 15, 2017


3rd, William Byron*
4th, Kyle Larson*
5th, Brad Keselowski*
15th, JJ YELEY
*non-Toyota driver


1st, Elliott Sadler* 620 points*
7th, MATT TIFFT 387 points
10th, DAKODA ARMSTRONG 351 points
15th, JJ YELEY 283 points
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings

· Camry driver Kyle Busch was victorious in Saturday afternoon’s rain-delayed NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
· Busch’s victory marks his 175th combined NASCAR national touring series race – including 154 triumphs in a Toyota.
· Busch led the field five times for 77 laps (of 200) to claim his third NXS victory of 2017.
· Camry driver Ryan Preece finished second to claim his career-best NXS result in his first race with Joe Gibbs Racing.
· Preece led the field once for two laps, while fellow Toyota driver Matt Tifft (11th) led one lap in the event.


KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
What does it mean to you to get to celebrate with this team?
“Yeah, it’s awesome because, you know, they deserve it and so does every team out here, but my team I want to say they work the best, they work the hardest and they made this NOS Energy Drink Camry really, really good. The 22 (Brad Keselowski) was really good and I felt like we were okay on the long runs, but once they got track position it was hard to pass them. Can’t say enough about this Toyota Camry, JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) engines – hey buddy, high five, yeah – and everybody that showed up here. We put on a really good show here for the fans and the Speedway does too with all the racing that they have here, so if you don’t come out to New Hampshire you’re missing out. But want to thank DVX sunglasses and Cessna, XFINITY and the XFINTIY streaming app – we appreciate what they do for our series too.”

Did the VHT go away during the XFINITY race?
“It definitely did go away, you know, and I think the modifieds actually took most of it away today, so those cars’ tires are just so wide and they’re biased. I think they’re just extra sticky, so they pulled it up off the race track before we really had a chance to see what it would do with these radial tires from Goodyear, but we’ll see what happens. I’m sure they’ll re-apply and we’ll see what happens tomorrow. It’s going to change. It’s going to be ever changing and I think that’s just the theme of it that you can never know what to expect and you’ve always got to be ready for anything.”

How much did you learn for tomorrow?
“I learned that stuff is sticky for a little while and then it kind of wears off, but I’m sure they will re-apply tonight and it’ll be ever changing. I think that’s just the theme of it is that you’ve just got to be mindful of what it’s doing and where it’s going and how it’s changing and all those things, so, you know, it’s just fun to come out here and anticipate some of that stuff for tomorrow, but it’s fun too to have the fans come out and stick around and hopefully we put on a good show for them today that they were having fun with and they’ll still have one more race coming up.”

What did you think when Brad Keselowski got his penalty?
“It was a huge difference. That was a game changer, you know? A day changer for us, for them and for everybody, so, you know, but I want to give thanks to my guys and everyone on this NOS Energy Drink team, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, Eric Phillips (crew chief), my guys – they work real hard and they do a great job and we were right there. We were close, but we were a second-place car today and yet it all takes teamwork and my guys they came together on pit road when it mattered most right there at the end and gave me a fast pit stop. We got out front. I think we kind of coaxed those guys into having to rush themselves and hurry a little bit and maybe we put the pressure and that was the difference was today, so great day for us and excited to have the opportunity to be in victory lane again here in New Hampshire.”

Is it a big deal to have 175 NASCAR national series wins?
“It is and I know a lot of those are the minors, so I’ll take them where I can get ‘em as of right now, but certainly there’s going to be a lot more wins to be had on Sundays as well too. I’ve got a long road ahead of me probably and, you know, it just seems like we’ve had a lot of bad luck on that side of this year and I don’t know – maybe it’s turning around somewhat, but we saw that today we had luck on our side, so thank the racing Gods for that one and allowing us to be here.”

Can you recall a race where you had to deal with more variables than today?
“No, probably not now that you mention it and go through all those different ones. It certainly seems like an awful lot and it was, but I think tomorrow we’re going to see a lot of that as well too, you know? I’m sure they’ll be putting some more VHT down tonight and they’ll be respraying the race track and getting it prepped for tomorrow and the modifieds took a lot of it off today and I think it’s just because their tires are so wide and so sticky as well already that our radials take to it differently than their Hoosiers do, so, you know, we’ll see how all that goes tomorrow. I just think the key word to everything is just ever changing, That’s what happens here at New Hampshire. I think that the race track has been ever changing and the weather conditions were today and the weekend has been so far with it being overcast and cloudy yesterday while we practicing and then misting and then hot and sunny today, so it’s all over the place, but those that adapt well tend to run well and then finish well.”

Can you talk about how impressed you were with Ryan Preece and how you helped him?
“Yeah, he did a really good job. I mean, he was in a bad spot on the first lap, first corner and his spotter made him aware and got him up the race track a little bit in order to give room to the 21 (Daniel Hemric) which was really smart and probably saved his day right there, right off the bat, but from there he just ran a good, smart race. He had a restart there before the rain came, right? No, after the rain and he got a few positions on us there and did a really good job getting through the traffic and then was ahead of us there before that break came and, you know, just from what I could see just ran a smooth race and did a good job and kept his car under him and once I got by him, I passed him for the lead, but, you know, overall I wasn’t necessarily pushing very hard at the end, but he was keeping pace and I think he wasn’t pushing hard either just because of the way the race was kind of unfolding there at the end, So I think what was more impressive was just him bouncing back and forth between as much track time as he had with the modified to deal with and then getting in the XFINITY car and back and forth, so a 15-minute scuff session and then being in XFINITY car qualifying and then something else with the modified and then back to the XFINITY car for the race – or the modified race – and then the XFINITY race, so he was all over.”

RYAN PREECE, No. 20 MoHawk Northeast Inc. Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What does this performance mean to you?
“Something I dreamed about to be honest with you. I didn’t know how today was going to go. Got a limited about of time in practice, qualified sixth, was a little disappointed in myself, but I told Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) before the race started I usually get better in the race, so obviously he made a great call there to get two tires instead of four, but, man, this one is for all the short track guys out there that might not ever get the opportunity, but I work hard week in and week out with that modified, so to be able to have this opportunity to me. I’ve got to thank MoHawk Northeast, Falmouth Ready Mix, DMI Asphalt for coming on board. Lot of people sacrifices a lot to put me in this car, so it means a lot.”

Can you talk about your finish today?
“Well, where can I start? Obviously, the two-tire strategy got us some time ahead of William (Byron) and gave us some distance, so that’s really what helped us get the second-place finish. Lot of laps – it was great – and what I really want to say is this one is for all the short track guys out there that work week in, week out in their race shops getting ready to go on Friday night, Saturday nights. That’s what I do on my weekly grind and Monday morning I’m going to go back to work on my modified race on Friday, so it means a lot to do it at this stage – to prove to people that I feel like I belong to be here and, you know, I would only get better with more seat time.”

How do you feel after this weekend?
“Well, I like to win races, but you really can’t complain if you get two second and a win in a weekend. That’s about as good as you can possibly get unless you win and to win today was going to take beating Kyle Busch and I watch him win a lot of races in the XFINTIY Series sitting on my couch at home, so to be able to finish second to him today was a great accomplishment and something to build on, but Iowa is the next task, the next goal. I’ve got to do as much as I can to prepare for there so we can have another solid finish.”

How did your modified experience here prepare you for today?
“To be honest with you, I’d say quite a bit, but at a certain point when the tires start wearing you’ve got to start searching for grip and the VHT definitely wore off there on the outside. It was gone I think. I never really tried to go back up there because I didn’t want to lose too much time. There was some on the bottom, which helped for left rear drive, but it was all strategically how you loaded the right front getting in and I’d say yeah. I would. I do kind of have an advantage, but Iowa, you know, it’s something I’ve always done is search for grip when I don’t have , so I’m not afraid to go to the inside or the outside or cut across the apron or whatever I need to do to find that grip.”

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