TOYOTA NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Post-Race Notes & Quotes Rockingham Speedway – April 15, 2012
Tundra driver Matt Crafton (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at North Carolina’s Rockingham Speedway.
Johnny Sauter (fourth) and Timothy Peters (fifth) also recorded top-five results for Toyota on the one-mile track. Toyota drivers David Starr (13th), Dakoda Armstrong (14th), John Wes Townley (20th), Ross Chastain (25th), Todd Bodine (31st), John King (33rd), Jason Leffler (34th) and Johnny Chapman (35th) were also in the field.
Following Rockingham, seven Tundra drivers are in the top-20 in the unofficial NCWTS driver points standings — Peters (first), King (eighth), Starr (10th), Crafton (11th), Sauter (13th), Chastain (14th) and Bodine (16th).
MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 3rd How was your race today? “I’m happy with it, but at the same time disgusted with it. We fired off too good on the last run. I drove it too hard at the beginning of that run and that’s when Kasey (Kahne) ran me down. I got real loose on that run and on this run we tightened the truck up just a little bit and we tightened it up too much for that short run right there. I just wish — we always say. ‘We wish we could,’ but if I had one more adjustment — we know what we did wrong and we’ll come back here. Please — hopefully we come back here. This is one of the most fun race tracks we race on. Thank every one of these fans that came out today. Hopefully, we put on an awesome show and this Menards Toyota Tundra was pretty good.”
Was the tire fall off what you expected? “Absolutely what we expected. It just all depends on how hard you drove at the beginning of the run. I got the lead early on the run when the 30 (Nelson Piquet Jr.) was leading. All you have to do is be patient. I think that all the race tracks should be like this — Michigan and Pocono and all these race tracks that are putting all this new pavement on. They need to grind them down and make them rough like this race track and wear the tires out. The fans will see us put on one heck of a show.”
Was it special to have this race weekend just for the NCWTS? “That was definitely very, very cool and the fans. That’s what was so awesome was to look up and see how full the grandstands were. How the whole community and the whole place –it was awesome to see all the fans. I guarantee you that if you ask any of the race fans that watched that race last night and watched this race tonight — this is the way racing ought to be. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun driving a race truck. That was just a blast. The second-to-last run, I fired off, I got the lead and I drove off too much, too hard and they are telling me how much faster I am than everybody and I was a donkey and drove my right rear tire off of it. After that, I said, ‘Tighten me up for the last run.’ I did and they got it too tight.”
JOHNNY SAUTER, No. 13 Hot Honeys Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 4th “We got a top-five finish and that’s all you can ask for. Just kind of chased the race track all day. All in all, our Hot Honey’s Toyota was good. I thought we were in position to have a run for them towards the end there. Our truck would really, really fire off fast and then after about five or six laps, it would just start to go away real bad. We had a mishap on pit road, but we rebounded and got a top-five. Can’t complain.”
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Strutmasters.com Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 5th How was your race today? “It’s pretty good when you can come away and feel disappointed about a fifth-place finish. We just got a little too loose there towards the end of the run. How about these fans? Appreciate these fans coming out. Butch Hylton (crew chief) and all the guys did a great job on this Strutmasters.com Toyota Tundra this afternoon and all weekend long. The tire test really helped us — another top-five. We’ll just take this momentum into Kansas. Appreciate everybody at Red Horse Racing.”
How much did you have to wrestle the truck? “It’s a good thing that I got in the gym this winter because it seemed like on those long runs I turned right more than I did left. The race track was slick. We got 200 laps of experience now in the books so that will help us for next time.”
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Strutmasters.com Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing (continued) How has your season been going? “Our season has been going well. After the summer stretch last year, Butch (Hylton, crew chief) and I, we got on a role with better communication and everything that we talked about — it just worked and just clicked. That communication gap got closer and he’s doing a great job with what we learned over the off-season. He implemented that — he and the crew chiefs and all the employees at Red Horse Racing did a great job basically creating an assembly line of how the trucks have great repeatability. I’m looking forward to going to Kansas next week. We have a brand new truck there on some stuff that we even took one step further. At this point, I would rate our season as an ‘A-plus.’ We’re consistent, we’re qualifying up front and we’re finishing up front. If we keep executing, our win will come.”
How did Butch Hylton’s experience help you this weekend? “When we walked into the gate Friday morning, our deal was that we were going to make a qualifying run right off the truck. Then make a 30-lap run and we were done. I think our plan went really well because he (Butch Hylton, crew chief) was afraid with how the track hasn’t changed any as far as wearing on the tires, he was just afraid that you run five laps and come back in, make an adjustment and go back out — if you got the truck comfortable for you then when you put new tires on it then it would be totally different. I think our plan of attack was perfect. There towards the end, we got really loose. I was telling them on the radio that something might have broke because we had a good balance all day long and we were just trying to take care of our Goodyear’s. It was exciting. It was slick. Obviously, his experience here definitely paid off.”
DAVID STARR, No. 81 Zachry Tundra, Arrington Racing Finishing Position: 13th
DAKODA ARMSTRONG, No. 98 EverFi.com Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Finishing Position: 14th How did your truck handle today? “The guys did a great job making adjustments throughout the day to make the EverFi Tundra much better. We just lost too much time on the first run when we were really loose and then the motor was overheating for the last 30 laps. I’m happy that we were able to bring it home and not a bad day overall.”
JOHN WES TOWNLEY, No. 09 Toyota Tundra, RAB Racing Finishing Position: 20th
ROSS CHASTAIN, No. 08 Florida Watermelon Association Toyota Tundra, Green Light Racing Finishing Position: 25th
TODD BODINE, No. 11 Toyota Care Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 31st
JOHN KING, No. 7 Consol Energy Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Finishing Position: 33rd What happened that caused the damage to your truck? “Being a rookie at Rockingham, it took us a little time to get caught up where we needed to be. That put us behind in getting our set-up right. We had a decent qualifying lap, then at the start of the race I got loose off turn two and hit the inside wall. I hate it for Red Horse Racing, Consol Energy, Davis Love Foundation and Toyota. Everyone worked real hard to get us back out on the track, but it wasn’t the finish we were looking for.”
JASON LEFFLER, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 34th How disappointed are you to be out early? “You can’t really describe it. The Dollar General Toyota was really good all weekend. The guys worked hard and we just had a really, really good truck. But 10 laps into it, we’re sitting here and going home early. We can’t have that.”
JOHNNY CHAPMAN, No. 07 ASI Limited Toyota Tundra, Finishing Position: 35th