Toyota NCWTS Chicagoland Post-Race Notes & QuotesBy Official Release
Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Chicagoland Speedway – July 21, 2012
Tundra driver Timothy Peters (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Matt Crafton (fourth), Jason Leffler (eighth) and David Starr (10th) also earned top-10 results for Toyota at the 1.5- mile Illinois oval.
Starr was making his 300th career NCWTS start at Chicagoland, and this was his 116th career top-10.
Toyota driver Todd Bodine (18th) made his 200th career NCWTS start at Chicagoland, becoming the first driver in NASCAR history to record 200 starts in each of NASCAR’s three national touring series. He ranks 20th in the NASCAR record book with 766 combined starts, including 325 Nationwide Series races and 241 Sprint Cup Series events.
Other Tundra drivers in the field included Ross Chastain (13th), John Wes Townley (14th), Dakoda Armstrong (16th), Johnny Sauter (22nd) and Johnny Chapman (36th).
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Red Horse Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 3rd How do you feel about coming from the back to finish third at Chicagoland? “It was just a testament to this whole Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra team. We didn’t get much practice — we had to change engines and this team is strong from adversity. I’m just speechless every week on what they do for me. We started at the back and came to the front, we led a lap — man, close but no cigar. We keep running like this, we’re going to get that mile-and-a-half win that’s been alluding us.”
What were the final 10 laps of the race like for you? “It’s intense, that’s what’s great about the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Two, three, four-wide, green-white- checkereds — every lap is a qualifying lap. In the end, I’m glad that we’re sitting right here in one piece and not mangled up.”
What happened on that final restart? “It’s amazing on the restart deal, one bad night at Kentucky will just kill your confidence and you just try to figure out what to do and make sure you do it right. Last week and this week, we were able to do it right. We had to start from the back and really all the guys that finished in front of us, they got both of their practices — both two hour practices in and we didn’t get probably 10 total because we blew an engine there second practice, but the first practice we ran over something on the race track. Instead of putting a new tire on it and finishing out the first practice and chasing a different balance than normal, we just decided to call it quits. When it was time to go full bore the second time is when the motor let go. Tonight was very good. I’m proud of team. This team is very good with overcoming adversity. Pit strategy was on the money and it makes my job easier when my Toyota Tundra drives the way it did tonight. We keep doing this, this is the closest that we’ve been to winning one of these mile-and-a-half tracks. I can’t wait to get to the next one and implement what we learned at Nashville on Monday when we tested.”
MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Schrock Cabinetry/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 4th How was your race? “We had a really, really good truck during the day, early evening it was good. When it cooled down like this, we picked up speed, but we didn’t pick up as much speed as the 31 (James Buescher) and the 17 (Timothy Peters). They’d get a lot of speed at night. All in all, great run for this Menards Toyota Tundra, Schrock Cabinets truck was pretty good. We just needed a little bit more speed right there at the end, and track position.”
Did the racing groove change during the race? “My truck was so dang good, I could go top, middle, bottom — these guys did a phenomenal job with this truck coming from lap one on the race track this weekend. I said we had a rocket here. We didn’t change one spring out, it was so minute changes from when it rolled off the trailer, it says a lot for what these guys bring to the race track.”
Did you feel like you could have challenged for the win with a few more laps? “The 31 (James Buescher) was a rocket ship. We just needed a restart on the outside. Every one of our restarts, I was on the bottom and the top-side was the place to be on the restarts. The second to last one, third to last one and the last restart I was stuck on the bottom. You always lose spots when you’re down there. Finally when you get up, you get to mowing through them. I think if we would have started fourth right there, we definitely would have had something for the leader right there at the end.”
JASON LEFFLER, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 8th What happened early in the race when you came to pit road when you were running in the second position? “I was passing a lap car and dove on the inside of him and ran me out of real estate. I kind of got loose and got into him and tore the whole fender off of it. Our Dollar General Toyota was really good. I thank all the crew guys for giving me a good truck. It was another top-10, but that’s not what we wanted. We had a truck fast enough to win and I just didn’t put a whole race together. I’m excited about how fast the truck was, but not excited about the job I did.”
Do you feel the struggles you had earlier this season helped you persevere and come back for a top-10 at Chicagoland? “I think so, we have a good team going — the best team in the garage. I don’t think anybody here gives up. I think even with the fenders tore up the way it was, the Tundra was still really fast. It was just hard to pass that way compared to the way it was in the beginning of the race. But, if we would have got track position, and a couple better restarts, we probably could have had a chance to win it, even with the truck tore up.
DAVID STARR, No. 81 NCCER/Build Your Future Toyota Tundra, Arrington Racing Finishing Position: 10th How does it feel to get a top-10 finish at Chicagoland? “I tell you what, this NCCER/BYF Toyota Tundra was just okay. It was actually pretty good. It was driving really good out there, handling good and kind of taking our time and making some small adjustments and I was passing Johnny Sauter coming off of turn four and I guess his spotter didn’t tell him I was out there. He drove into our left front fender and it was just — after that, the thing was a handful. It didn’t drive like my Toyota Tundra on the street. It just didn’t have front grip and it was a handful. We kept working on it and we’re just happy to come home in 10th place.”
How does it feel to get your 300th series start? “My 300th start, that’s pretty cool. I love this stuff, it’s awesome. I don’t know anything about drugs or alcohol, but this is one heck of an addiction and I’m just blessed I get to be in an awesome sport and thank God to all our sponsors and for Toyota and everybody involved, we’re just happy to get a top-10 this week.”
ROSS CHASTAIN, No. 08 Illiana Watermelon Association Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 13th
JOHN WES TOWNLEY, No. 09 Family Farmers Toyota Tundra, RAB Racing Finishing Position: 14th How does it feel to get your career best finish? “We had a great weekend overall, I think. Yesterday we were pretty fast in practice and focused more on race runs and I think it really paid off, especially since we got to practice near race conditions. Today we got a solid qualifying effort in. We ended up coming out of Chicagoland 14th — I’m really excited about it. I have to thank Family Farmers for helping us this race and thank Toyota — wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m definitely feeling good about it and we’ll go to Pocono and make it a little bit better.
DAKODA ARMSTRONG, No. 98 EverFi.com/MUDD.com Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 16th How was your race? “Our EverFi Tundra was really loose in practice, so we make some big adjustments for the race. We ended up too tight and I just couldn’t race with the leaders. But, my crew chief Dan Stillman made a great call to stay out and get the wave around in the middle of the race, and we got a caution to keep us on the lead lap thankfully. Restarts were difficult for us and the side draft was really big. The truck was better at the end but there weren’t enough laps left. A pretty decent comeback for our team but we still have some work to do to get our Toyota to the front.”
TODD BODINE, No. 11 Toyota Care Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 18th What does it mean to be the first driver in NASCAR to reach 200 starts in all three national series? “It’s pretty neat. When I started in this sport as a driver, you never thought about getting to this point. You only thought about the next race — the future wasn’t something you thought about. Here I am after 21 years driving. My first full season in Nationwide was in ’91. To make it to this point, we all strive for excellence in whatever sport we’re in. To have longevity and to make a career out of it, and to get to this point, it’s a pretty special thing to know I’ve been able to accomplish that much. It’s not often in this world that you can get to do for a living the one thing that they love the most. I’m very fortunate in a lot of respects. I’m glad to be able to be a part of this sport.”
JOHNNY SAUTER, No. 13 Hot Honeys/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 22nd
JOHNNY CHAPMAN, No. 07 Wear Your Gear Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 36th