Kyle Busch (second) was the highest-finishing Toyota in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Aric Almirola (fifth), Mike Skinner (sixth), David Starr (eighth) and Justin Lofton (ninth) also posted top-10 results for Toyota at the one-mile race track.
Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (12th), Timothy Peters (13th), Tayler Malsam (18th), Steve Park (19th), Tom Hessert (31st), Jason White (32nd) and Butch Miller (36th) were also in the field.
Bodine clinched the NCWTS driver championship at Phoenix. He holds a 202-point advantage over Almirola (second) with one race remaining this season — and 195 points being the maximum available in next weekend’s series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
This is Bodine’s second NCWTS title with Germain Racing and Toyota. He also won the 2006 NCWTS championship.
Other Toyota drivers in the top-10 of the unofficial NCWTS point standings include Peters (sixth), Skinner (eighth), Starr (ninth) and White (10th) after 24 of 25 races.
Kyle Busch Motorsports increased their lead over Germain Racing in the unofficial NCWTS owner standings to 120 points with one race remaining in 2010.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 2nd How was your race? “I don’t know what the difference was there but the guys gave me a great Z-Line Designs Tundra tonight. It wasn’t the best in the first run. We made a huge swing at it there and got it a lot better in the middle part of the race, then there at the end we just didn’t have enough. The 2 (Clint Bowyer) was the class of the field tonight. It’s unfortunate because they beat us here last year with (Kevin) Harvick driving. We had a great points night tonight. Obviously, there are two winners here with (Todd) Bodine and Clint (Bowyer), but maybe next week will be ours.” Are you satisfied with a second-place finish? “We were racing for the win. There in the beginning part of the race we just didn’t have the Tundra we were looking for. In the middle part of the race we got a lot of adjustment built into it. Eric (Phillips, crew chief) did a great job getting it to where we could run in the lead and have a shot probably at winning the race, I thought. The last stop we made some more changes and just missed a little bit. Clint (Bowyer) was the class of the field tonight. He had a great truck. It’s tough to get beat by those guys two years in a row but there’s two winners here tonight in Todd (Bodine) and Clint (Bowyer) and hopefully next week will be our night. I can’t thank Z-Line Designs and all the guys at FlexCo, and everyone at M&M’s, Mars an d NOS Energy Drink. It was a great night for us here. Coming up second is disappointing but we know what the big picture is for next week.” What do you feel knowing you increased the owner’s championship lead with one race to go? “We would have liked to have won the race but you take a good truck like this and you run second with it and beat the guys you’re here to beat and we’ll look to next week and try for a win there.” Does having a 120 point lead in the owner’s title make you feel a little bit better? “It is what it is, we knew that running well, the points would take care of themselves and it’s good to have that little bit of cushion going into next week granted nothing happens. We’ll be looking at the banquet on Monday.” What does the likelihood of winning the owner’s truck title mean? “It means a lot. Where we started this year and actually not having anything a year ago at this point and coming as far as we’ve come — it means quite a bit to myself and to Eric Phillips (crew chief) and Rick Ren (general manager) and all the families that we have that work for us. All the dedication that they give and the time that they’ve put in this year. When we started, I remember — I think it was December 1st Rick came on, he didn’t start until December 7th because he decided he wanted a vacation before he got involved in starting a race team. We had three guys working for us up until Christmas and then after Christmas, from December 27th or whatever it was until New Years, we had about seven guys . Then we had 14 guys on January 5th. We came from nothing. We came from redoing trucks from Xpress that we could just get to the race track. We bought some assets from Roush Racing to get to the race track for Daytona. We knew that they had good restrictor plate trucks and we built a lot of our own new stuff. It’s come a long ways and it’s been a lot of hard work but yet there’s still a lot more work to do in order to get fully funded for next year.”
ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports Finishing Position: 5th How was your race? “It was a good night for us. We fought really loose all night. We couldn’t find a good balance for our truck. To have the truck not handle the way we wanted it to and come home with a fifth, I’m proud of that. I wanted to be better than that tonight. We’ve run really good here before and I’m just disappointed we didn’t run any better than that.” Does a string of 12 top-10 finishes mean anything to you? “Nah, I’d rather win races.”
DAVID STARR, No. 81 Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 8th
JUSTIN LOFTON, No. 7 visitPIT.com Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 9th
TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 12th How does it feel to be the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion? “Actually, I wish it felt better. That was such a terrible performance tonight. But, one night doesn’t make a team. And Germain Racing has done a hell of a job all year — so consistent every week. Once in a while you’re going to slip and have nights like this, but we never gave up we kept digging the whole night. And Jr. (Mike Hillman Jr., crew chief) made some adjustments. It just wasn’t there. I’m proud to be part of a race team that can do what we do every week and year after year. We’ve never finished out of the top-four in points. That says a lot about Jr. and the way he operates his team and his guys and all the guys that we have. Just a tremendous effort for five years now and to get number two is validation for number one. So, it’s pretty special. How special is it to be back on top with this team? “That’s the deal. I mean, we didn’t have a sponsor, but the Germain brothers decided last winter that we were going to race this 30 truck no matter what. They were going to come out of their pockets to make this happen knowing that we have a team that can go out and win races, run up front and win championships. They knew that they had that kind of team . They put that commitment, that trust in Jr. (Mike Hillman Jr., crew chief) and Sr. (Mike Hillman, general manager) and myself and all these guys that we can go out and get it done. So, for them to have Germain.com and Germain Motor Company on this truck — that makes us proud. We had Valvoline on here four times this year and we were really proud to represent them — they have been so good to our sport and been a great partner for Germain and Germain Racing.” How does it feel to clinch your second NCWTS championship? “It’s pretty awesome. It’s a little disappointing because our performance tonight was terrible. We just really missed it. It shows the character of this team all year long to never give up. We knocked up a lot of top-fives and that’s what really did it for us. We have four wins, which is great, but the top-fives and consistency of this team and how hard these guys work every week — that’s what got us here to this point. We did this without a sponsor. We have Germain Motor Company on the quarter panels, but that’s three guys (Germain brothers) that care about their team and love the people that work for their team. They made that commitment to fund this out of their pockets. Knowing that getting a sponsor was a big question mark, they made that commitment to this team and those guys to come out and do this for us. They knew we could win this championship. We have a great team. All the guys back at the shop and TRD and everybody at Triad are doing a great job with the motors. We’ve got an incredible race team. It’s a shame we don’t have a sponsor on here. We have something going into the winter with and a little momentum here. It’s been a good year — can’t complain. I want to say hi to my daughter Ashlyn, I know you’re watching pumpkin, I love you.” How does your team have a never say die attitude? “That’s exactly right. The first five races we got top-five finishes, but we really didn’t have good race trucks. They were driving terrible. (Mike Hillman) Jr. (crew chief) figured out how to make them drive and then we got that consistency and got that momentum. Along the way we had a lot of good luck. I forget where it was, we had a flat tire coming down pit road and the caution comes out — saves our lap. The spin and win at Kentucky — we’ve had good luck and those types of things that along with good performance and hard work you’ve got to have good luck. We had it this year. My buddy (Ron) Hornaday, he’s had the worst luck all year and tonight is another example. You’ve just got to have good luck. We did that. The old adage is you make your own luck and this team has done a great job all year doing that.”
TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing (continued) What does this win mean to your team? “Germain Racing has done such a great job. All the guys at the shop and the motor shop and the guys on the road crew. (Mike Hillman) Jr. (crew chief) has led this team to another championship. It shows his leadership skills and how good a person he is. We have a never give up attitude — that’s what brought us to this point and got us here. We never give up. We’ve been down and we’ve been laps down and come back and win races. We don’t give up and I’m proud to be the guy that drives this Toyota Tundra for a great race team.”
MIKE SKINNER, No. 5 International Trucks/Monaco RV Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports Finishing Position: 6th
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 13th
TAYLER MALSAM, No. 25 Exide Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports Finishing Position: 18th
STEVE PARK, No. 46 VanDyk Boiler Corp Toyota Tundra, Eddie Sharp Racing Finishing Position: 19th
TOM HESSERT, No. 9 Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 31st
JASON WHITE, No. 23 GunBroker.com/RMEF Toyota Tundra, Gun Broker Racing Finishing Position: 32nd
BUTCH MILLER, No. 07 ASI Limited Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 36th