Toyota NCWTS Michigan Post-Race Recap

by Official Release On Sat, Aug. 12, 2017

Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Michigan International Speedway
Race 13 of 23 – 200 miles, 100 laps
August 12, 2017

1st, Darrell Wallace Jr.*
5th, Austin Cindric*
*non-Toyota driver

1st, CHRISTOPHER BELL 572 points
2nd, Johnny Sauter* 535 points
3rd, MATT CRAFTON 510 points
5th, RYAN TRUEX 431 points
6th, BEN RHODES 426 points
7th, GRANT ENFINGER 412 points
9th, NOAH GRAGSON 382 points
13th, CODY COUGHLIN 281 points
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings

· Tundra driver Christopher Bell (second) was the top-finishing Toyota driver on Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Michigan International Speedway.
· Six Tundra drivers scored top-10 finishes in today’s race, following Bell to the line was his team owner Kyle Busch (third), Ryan Truex (fourth), Matt Crafton (sixth), Noah Gragson (seventh) and Grant Enfinger (eighth).
· Busch led a race-high 47 laps (of 100) en route to his third-place finish, but a cut tire forced him to the rear of the field before coming back for a top-five finish.
· Crafton also led 10 laps in today’s race.


CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 4 SiriusXM/JBL Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 2nd
How was the finish to the race?
“I don’t know, I hope the fans enjoyed that one because it was a ton of fun. Our SiriusXM JBL Tundra was handling really good, we just didn’t seem to have the raw speed to get up there and get by them. That was a lot of fun. I wish I would have been able to work that inside pass like I did the time before. I didn’t quite get there. That’s awesome for Bubba (Darrell Wallace Jr.), to see him come back and win like that – that was a really fun race.”

How difficult was it to pass in the race?
“It was really tough because the draft was huge. It didn’t seem like me or Kyle (Busch) could really do anything without someone pushing behind us. I don’t know, when I took the lead there off of two I felt like I was in pretty good shape. Instead of Bubba (Darrell Wallace Jr.) helping me he took the lead himself. It’s really cool to see him come away and win like that, it was a really fun race just bummed and frustrated that we didn’t get it done.”

What makes it so hard to pass on the low side of the track?
“There’s more banking up the grooves so if you go to the bottom and no one goes with you then you just get trapped down there because the line is so fast when you have all the trucks lined up like that.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 51 Textron Off Road Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 3rd
What happened early in the race when you had your tire cut down?
“I have no idea what happened – there was an idiot up there that doesn’t know how to drive and that’s probably what caused it. It was unfortunate for our truck, we had a really, really fast Textron Off Road Tundra and was hopefully being able to keep our track position there and race those guys, but it was hard to make any moves and try to pass and go for the win by yourself, you always had to have help, you always had to have somebody behind you or momentum behind you to push the guy out front. Any time you got to the guy that was out front, he could just side draft you so hard that it really messed up your momentum. It kind of scrambled things there at the end, but I was trying to help the 4 (Christopher Bell) as much as I could to get him up there and he made a bold move into one and couldn’t quite get him cleared and almost got sucked around and then off of two we got cleaned up again and get up there one more time and just got the door shut on him in three. Overall, just a good day, but frustrating in the same breath.”

What happened to force you back in the field?
“Fast trucks just keep getting wrecked and we keep getting stuck back in traffic and had a hard time coming up through. Just needed more laps I guess, these races aren’t very long.”

How crucial was it to have help to get to the front of the pack?
“You had to have help, you had to have momentum from behind to be able to do anything and get up front. That’s the most frustrating racing you can be a part of, but when you have a teammate like myself, I got the 4 (Christopher Bell) at least to second and almost got the win for him, but other than that you can’t do anything by yourself so it’s pretty frustrating in that respect.”

RYAN TRUEX, No. 16 Hino Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises
Finishing Position: 4th
How strong was your truck today and did you feel you could compete for the win?
“Just needed a little bit. I feel like the 99 (Darrell Wallace Jr.), if I could have gotten out front then they wouldn’t have been able to pass me. It was so hard to pass, you had to have somebody pushing you or you had to have somebody pull out and you had to get to their quarter panel, if you didn’t then you couldn’t make it happen. I wish they would have got three wide coming to the line and I could have got a draft and maybe got all three of them. Just struggled a bit on restarts today and couldn’t get up to speed like those guys. We’ll go back and figure that out, but we’re getting close. Eventually it’s going to work out. If we keep knocking on the door like this, we’re eventually going to get one.”

What does it say about this team with the success you’ve seen in recent weeks?
“It’s fun, I’m having fun. It’s good when you’re frustrated with fourth. I think we had a top-three truck at least. Circumstances just didn’t work out that we could get up there and battle for the lead. It’s Michigan, it’s pack racing and it is what it is.”

Are you pleased with your finish?
“I’m frustrated with fourth honestly. It’s just so hard to pass. I got out of line when everybody got side-by-side here and I actually ended up losing three spots instead of gaining like expected to. It was just so hard, if you didn’t complete the pass then they would line up and freight train you. It was a good day, we had a good truck, but just lacking a little bit more speed to really get up there and battle. We just couldn’t suck up as well as Kyle (Busch) and the 4 (Bell).”

MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra, Thorsport Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How was the truck today?
“We had a good truck. When Bubba (Darrell Wallace Jr.) passed for the lead, we went to the bottom and I didn’t get myself cleared and if you didn’t get cleared of whoever you were racing against then you were just screwed and it was just tough to pass. I definitely had a faster truck than those guys, but if I could get under then then I never could get clear because there was nobody behind me to help me and keep pushing me. We got out of here with a sixth-place finish.”

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