Tundra driver Kyle Busch earned his sixth NCWTS win of the season in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Busch started from the pole and led all but 10 circuits in the 175-lap race en route to his 30th career series victory, his 24th win behind the wheel of a Tundra and third consecutive win at the one-mile oval.
Toyota drivers Todd Bodine (eighth), Timothy Peters (ninth) and Miguel Paludo (10th) also earned top-10 finishes at Loudon.
Other Toyota drivers in the field at New Hampshire included Brendan Gaughan (12th), David Starr (14th), German Quiroga (16th) and Max Papis (20th).
After 19 of 25 races, Peters is fourth in the unofficial NCWTS point standings, 25 points out of first place. Bodine (10th), Starr (11th), Gaughan (13th) and Paludo (14th) all rank in the top-15 in points.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st How dominant was your truck today? “The truck was awesome today. I can’t say enough about all these guys and everybody at Kyle Busch Motorsports. They worked their butts off. We haven’t had the best of runs at the mile-and-a-half tracks and the faster places, but feel really good about where we were today and how our short track stuff is. This is cool to come out here and run like this again. I can’t say enough about Toyota, Traxxas and all the guys that support us — M&M’s, Dollar General, Dupont, Triad Racing engines and Joe Gibbs Racing oil — of course Camping World. Can’t say enough about the fans too — thank you guys. Appreciate the support and it was a fun race today at New Hampshire. Put on a great performance like that and it goes back to these guys.”
How much did your truck change when the sun came out? “It changed a little bit. Certainly, there about lap 20 it went through a big swing and we got really tight. I didn’t think it would take that long, but maybe it took that long. Our truck went really tight right there and was having a hard time getting through traffic. The 3 (Austin Dillon) could run us down every time we got to the back of people. As the race wore on and we made the truck better, I got better at where to predict people and where you put people and how to get by them and stuff. It was certainly a mindful game today. Certainly had to work and tomorrow is going to be the same thing I can only imagine. Hopefully we’ve got a pretty cool M&M’s Camry over there for tomorrow and we can put on a good show.”
Do you think it will be difficult to pass in tomorrow’s race? “A little bit, not as significant I don’t think. The trucks punch such a big hole in the air — we’ve got really wide front fenders and you’re using up a lot of downforce there. When you lose downforce on your nose or when you’re so dependent on that and you don’t get that much again, it hurts you. It seems to hurt you a lot more than the Cup cars do. It’s still going to be track position sensitive tomorrow, but the good cars will be able to move through I think a little bit better than the worse ones. Today was certainly particular there a few times and got a little rough — got a little hard to find some air to pass a couple guys. Eventually we figured some things out and made it happen so it was good.”
What did you learn today for tomorrow’s race? “A lot of the feel that I’ve been looking for in my Cup car I felt this weekend in my truck. When I was able to go to the gas what it would do — would it push or would it turn or what would happen. We made a lot of changes to my Cup car over the weekend this weekend. We’re vastly different than we’ve ever run here in the past. I’m hoping it doesn’t bite us, but I can’t see us going in the wrong direction because we’ve never run very good here. I’m hoping that sort of helps us a little bit and gives us a feel. The feel that I have in the trucks and Nationwide cars is obviously something that works for me. I’ve been able to win in both of those pretty regularly here. Just a matter of getting that feel in the Cup car and making it last for a long time throughout the race. I’m hoping that we got something good.”
Are there any plans for Kyle Busch Motorsports next year? “Certainly there’s plans. We want to expand and get more truck teams and maybe venture into Nationwide Series, but it’s all funding dependent and of course knowing how tough everything is based upon everybody’s experiences — it’s not easy for us either. We’ve had some discussions going on and we’ll see what happens. We’d like to move into two full time trucks at least and we’ll see what happens from there.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports (continued) Does this win say something after your performances the last few Truck races? “I think a little bit should say that certainly — you could say it’s a little bit of a horsepower track, but it’s more of a handling track. You’ve got to be able to handle through the turns and you’ve got to be able to go down the straightaways, but when you go to a mile-and-a-half place and you run wide open and we’re wide open for qualifying and the rest of the guys are wide open and we’re two tenths off — there’s something the matter. Whether that’s too much drag on our bodies or not enough horsepower under the hood. There’s certainly some things that we need to work on as a company to get better. With only having one team and barely being funded for the whole year — you don’t have a lot of time and a lot of resources to sit there and develop trucks. Nothing to knock the KHI (Kevin Harvick Incorporated) guys, but they have done a nice job because when they build new trucks they try new things. They have the option to keep going through them. We’ve only built nine trucks. We’re on truck number nine and that’s our new one. It’s not even done yet. We’ll work on a couple of those things for truck nine and get it ready for Texas.”
Do you plan to drive for your team again next year? “I would love to build Kyle Busch Motorsports without Kyle Busch having to drive. The problem is that you’re not going to sell that. I can’t get partners that want to come in here and help support our program without me behind the wheel. They want the guaranteed chance of going to victory lane. I think that says a little bit. Certainly there’s a price for that. We’ve got to make sure that we can live and strive off of somebody besides myself. We’re working towards that and we’re trying really, really hard. With only having one truck team, people come to us and say, ‘Well, you’re not running that good.’ We like to fight that argument and say that we don’t have the resources to develop things, but we certainly have the people capable of thinking of some good ideas. It’s just a matter of being able to implement all of them.”
Did you think about trying to lead all the laps in the race when deciding when to pit? “No, I never thought of that actually. I think I led 190 or 192 of the Nationwide race here too one time so that’s cool. Certainly Phoenix and Loudon — when I can hit it right, I can hit it right. I’m really, really good. The cars are really, really good and the guys do a good job for me. Today was no different. Certainly, I don’t know what Eric’s (Phillips, crew chief) strategy was to pit early.”
ERIC PHILLIPS, crew chief, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Did you know you had the truck to beat? “No, we were off a little bit. We came here this year a lot different than what we raced last year even though we won the race. We didn’t feel like we had the best truck so we tried something different. It worked out. We just made steady progress through both practices. We made a few changes in between the first and second practice and really made the truck a lot better. After that the truck was pretty good the rest of the weekend.”
TODD BODINE, No. 5 International Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports Finishing Position: 8th
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Gearwrench Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 9th How was your race today? “It feels good to be back in the top-10. Didn’t really have our Gearwrench Tundra like we wanted, but we finished ninth. We gave up a lot on pit road, but that’s just the way our year has been. I give up on the race track and we give up on pit road. There is no I in team — we win as one and we lose as one. We just go to Kentucky next week.”
How did your truck handle today? “We were just tight really all race long. We fought that really both of our practices yesterday and we made the best of it. It is what it is. We’re going to try to stay in this hunt down to Homestead. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. If not, we’ll get them at Daytona.”
MIGUEL PALUDO, No. 7 STEMCO-Duroline Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 10th How was your race today? “It was a tough race with long green flag runs. We made the right adjustments and Rick (Gay, crew chief) made an awesome call with two tires at the end and that paid off. I don’t know why, but four tires took like 10 laps for the pressure to build up and the truck be good. With two tires the truck was awesome right away. Good day for us, top-10 and on the lead lap. I want to gain as many points as I can for the end of this season. Days like this are good to finish in the top-10.”
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 12th
DAVID STARR, No. 81 Zachry-NCCER Toyota Tundra, SS Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 14th
GERMAN QUIROGA, No. 51 Telcel Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 16th
MAX PAPIS, No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 20th