Toyota NCWTS Virginia Museum of Natural History Notes & Quotes

[media-credit name=”” align=”alignright” width=”171″][/media-credit]TOYOTA NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) John King, Timothy Peters & Johnny Sauter — Notes & Quotes Virginia Museum of Natural History Visit — March 20, 2012

Toyota NCWTS drivers John King, Timothy Peters and Johnny Sauter visited the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, Va. on Tuesday. The drivers got a preview of a new exhibit at the museum, ‘From Rocks to Racing,’ which will open to the public on Saturday, March 24. The drivers spoke about their visit to the museum as well as the upcoming race at Martinsville Speedway.

JOHN KING, No. 7 Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing How do you feel entering the Martinsville race? “I feel better — that was the first race with a new team at Red Horse Racing. Have a lot of help from Toyota. Had a great weekend at Daytona. Can’t wait to get to Martinsville. I’ve been to Martinsville a pretty good amount — not as much as other guys have, but we’ve been here the past three years for the late model race and came in 2010 for the Camping World Truck Series race so we’re really excited to get our Tundra back here.”

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What has your life been like since you won Daytona? “It’s been a complete learning experience — it’s something I’ve never had a lot to do with as far as all the media stuff goes. Been really busy and been doing a lot of talking with media. It’s been pretty special to be a part of.”

How much will you rely on Timothy Peters for advice for Martinsville? “I’ve raced against Timothy (Peters) at Martinsville in a late model before and I know what an experienced driver he is here. He’s, in a sense, almost short track king. I’ve picked his brain a lot already and I’m going to pick it a lot more too in thi s coming week. He’s the kind of guy that any question I ask, he’ll answer it — no matter how many times I ask it or how many different questions I ask or how long. It’s really neat being able to be on a team with him.”

What is it like to win a race and then have five weeks off? “It’s pretty cool to be the points leader for five weeks. For five weeks, I’ve turned on Speed and watched ‘Race Hub’ and seen my name scroll across the bottom of the screen — pretty wild. I was ready to go somewhere the next Monday morning. I was ready to load up and go back to the race track somewhere. It’s hard to get out of a race truck and you’ve got all this other stuff to do and you can’t really be around racing. We’re all just really excited. The win at Daytona is good for the whole organization and gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum going into this next race. We’ve got some really nice trucks for Martinsville and the rest of these races.”

TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Service Central Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Did you enjoy your visit to the Virginia Museum of Natural History? “I have to thank all the staff at the museum for letting us come in and take a tour and see what it’s all about. I came on a field trip when I was in elementary school when it as across town. Very, very cool place to come. I don’t think you just have to be a race fan to come check out their new exhibit. I was like a kid in a candy store with all the buttons you could push to see now and then type situations. Definitely learned a little bit and if you ask me a question, I know I learned some about history.”

What did you think of the ‘From Rocks to Racing’ exhibit? “It’s cool for the local people here — Patrick Henry Community College had their car in there and the still site with the moonshine and how racing kind of got its roots. That was cool to see. A lot of things that you can relate to and very cool that we got to be a part of it. Back in the day when it all started, if you look and see how things have grown — it would have been cool to have been a fly on the wall and hear that conversation to know how and when and if it would grow. To see how it is now, it’s amazing. We have great fans that support this racing industry from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series all the way up to the top levels. Knowing the situation of racing and the way it is with the fans, I’m just glad I can be a part of it.”

Do you enjoy racing at Martinsville? “I grew up on short tracks, so I love coming back to Martinsville. I don’t know wh at it is — since the day I was in my first late model race here, my driving style has always fit the race track. Definitely having a lot of laps doesn’t hurt, but at any moment you can get caught up in something not of your doing. We really worked hard over the off-season — put a lot of focus on the spring and the fall Martinsville race because you can ask anybody — everybody wants to win at home. I desperately want to do good from starting up front to finishing up front. Hopefully, we learn off of what we gained last year and start in two weeks.”

TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Service Central Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing (continued) What has it been like working with John King? “I think it’s a team effort. Any questions that John (King) has, I was there to do whatever. We talked about Daytona going into it, talked about it when we were there and it helps having the great partners that we have with Terry Cook who is the competition director and Todd Bodine, myself and John — all of us can feed off of each other. I think it isn’t just me or Todd helping John, I think it’s Todd helping me and me helping Todd or John helping us. That’s been the best part about it. I’ve had a lot of teammates that weren’t willing to listen and that’s what I like about John — he’s there and he’s like a sponge. It’s great for the company to start off the season like they have — for our sponsors and our partners like Toyota. Winning Daytona in 2010 and being able to get my first win at Martinsville in the fall of 2009 — it’s a momentum builder. Just feeling confident in the way we started off in Daytona this year — coming back to Martinsville now just hoping we can pick up where we left off.”

JOHNNY SAUTER, No. 13 Records Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing What did you think of the ‘From Rocks to Racing’ exhibit? “It’s pretty wild. It’s a pretty good transition — one minute we’re 15 million years ago and the next thing you know, we’re in the 1920s moonshine running. It’s very cool and it’s like the curator told us — this is pretty cool to see a museum like this in the Martinsville area. Most people think this is something that is in Richmond. It’s very cool and I would have never thought this was here and I was happy to be a part of it.”

What do you like about racing at Martinsville? “Martinsville has always been one of my best race tracks. I like racing here, but I always seem to get caught up in somebody else’s mess. Having said that, last year was my best season here. Obviously, winning the spring race and finishing fourth in the fall. I love coming here. Short track racing is what I grew up doing in the Midwest in Wisconsin. To say that Martinsville is not one of my favorite race tracks is not true — I love racing here. It’s one of those places where you can either love it or hate it all in the same day. Tough race track and I always look forward to coming here. It’s racing the way I like it — short track style — beating and banging, which is the way it’s supposed to be.”

Does Martinsville feel like the first race of the season rather than Daytona? “Daytona is always a crap shoot — you get caught up in somebody else’s mess, it seems like all the time. Daytona is the first race of the year so a lot of emphasis gets put on it, but for me this is the first race of the year as far as the points and things like that go. This is another place that can reach out and grab you. You can think everything is going your way and you can have trouble. For me, Martinsville is the first race of the year and I always look forward to it.”

What gives you confidence to win the championship this year? “I think the number one reason I feel that way is ThorSport — just being a member of the team going into our fourth season. My long time friend, Joe Shear is my crew chief and just all my guys — I’ve got 90 percent of the same guys I’ve had since I started there. That’s where I get my confidence from is know that those guys are busting tail building trucks and it makes my job a lot easier when I can just say, ‘Hey, this thing’s loose or tight,’ and they can fix it. That’s ultimately where confidence comes from is the people you’re around.”

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