TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Texas Motor Speedway – April 13, 2013
Kyle Busch earned his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory of the season on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.
It is Busch’s first NSCS win at Texas. He also has six NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) victories and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) wins at the 1.5-mile oval.
Busch is the only driver to have victories in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch swept the Texas race weekend after also finishing first in Friday night’s NNS race. This is his seventh time in his career that Busch has swept the NSCS and NNS events during a race weekend – and all seven sweeps have been while driving a Camry for JGR.
The Las Vegas-native started from the pole and led a race-high 171 laps (of 334) in his 300th career start.
Toyota drivers Martin Truex Jr. (second) and Brian Vickers (eighth) also earned top-10 results at the 1.5-mile oval.
Truex led the field for 142 laps, and he and Busch combined to lead all but 21 laps in the 334 lap event.
Other Camry drivers in the field included Matt Kenseth (12th), Mark Martin (14th), Clint Bowyer (15th), Travis Kvapil (22nd), David Reutimann (24th), David Stremme (27th), Joe Nemechek (35th), Mike Bliss (41st) and Bobby Labonte (42nd).
Three Camry drivers are in the top-12 in the unofficial point standings — Busch (third), Bowyer (eighth) and Kenseth (11th).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How does it feel to finally win a Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway?
“That feels good. Ah man, for Interstate Batteries and Norm Miller to be in victory lane in Texas — nothing better than putting him right here. Great race car. Dave Rogers (crew chief) and these guys gave me a great piece today. We ran up front all day long. If it wasn’t for my pit crew, who is the most awesome crew ever and since 2008 we’ve been together — haven’t had any change overs. Man, those guys were awesome. They pulled out one heck of a stop right there at the end to put us up front and give us that lead and to be able to bring it home. I thank M&M’s and Toyota, of course, Monster Energy, Sprint — without Sprint this wouldn’t be a sport, so we appreciate them. Of course the fans, we have to thank them also.”
How important was it to win at Texas?
“It’s good, really good. We’ve had a good start to the season. It feels amazing to keep this roll going. It’s so much fun to race with this group. We had a talk over the winter, Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and I had a talk a few weeks ago and things have kind of jelled — we’ve been doing really, really good. I’m proud of this bunch and couldn’t say enough about Joe Gibbs Racing. Everybody back at the shop — all the guys and gals — these cars are amazing to drive, they’re fast, they’re fun.”
What does it mean to win this race?
“This is awesome. It’s such an amazing feeling — I’m jacked up. Man, this is cool — we’re in victory lane in Texas finally in the Cup Series. Man, if it wasn’t for my pit crew. We had a great race car and we worked really hard all weekend long on this car. We had a great race car, but without that pit crew — they’re the best in the business and been the best in the business since I’ve been with them in 2008. They know when it’s crunch time.”
What was your reaction to your team’s 12-second pit stop?
“I was watching my mirror seeing if those guys were coming behind me. It felt good, it felt like it was going to be a good stop. They dropped the jack on the left side and I was like, ‘Go, go’ and I pulled out. I was like, ‘Oh, this is too sweet, man.’ You give me the lead with just 20-something laps to go and it feels really good.”
What were you thinking on the final restart?
“Just don’t spin your tires too much, it doesn’t matter if he’s (Martin Truex Jr.) on your outside, just get a good run through (turns) one and two and hopefully you clear him off two. That’s all you can do. If you didn’t you’d just race him down into three and four. (Martin) Truex put up a whale of a fight tonight. What a race by him. I feel bad for the guy, but on the same token you don’t feel bad because you have to win. This sport is all about winning. I’m glad to be in victory lane here. Again, I appreciate the fans and all their support.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How would you describe tonight’s race?
“When they say second sucks — second sure sucked tonight. We had a great race car. Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and the guys did a great job with the car — getting it where we needed it. We were good at the start. We were off a little bit. We were a third or fourth-place car there for a long time. Just kept working on it. Got it to where we were the best car on the race track. Just got beat out of the pits at the end. Once that happens, obviously the outside on the restarts is not where you want to be. I was lucky to hold second. Carl (Edwards) about got me. Just frustrating. We needed more time. We needed another pit stop. We needed something. Just tired of finishing second.”
Would you have won the race without the last caution?
“Yeah. Shoulda, coulda, woulda — it happened to us a few times last year too. I’m just disappointed. The race was over when we got beat out of the pits. The bottom was so fast for a couple laps and I was really worried, honestly, that I was going to lose second because Carl (Edwards) was on the inside of me. I was just somehow able to run (turns) one and two wide open and get him cleared. Just the guy that gets clean air is hard to get. It’s hard to catch in 10 laps and I just was a little bit tight behind Kyle (Busch). I started catching him as we were running — just out of time. The race was over in the pits. Proud of my team. Proud of the NAPA guys — Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and everyone. We’ve had a tough season. We had a great car all weekend long. We definitely had a car worth — you know, capable of winning. Man, I’m just tired of finishing second. It’s getting old.”
What happened during the final caution of the race?
“Well, it was a good run for the NAPA team. We started near the front and had a decent car at the beginning, but not great. We worked on it all night and got it to where it was the best car out there. You know, the last caution came out and we got beat out of the pits and that was the race. It was pretty frustrating to run second again. I feel like we’ve been in this boat and this position a bunch of times. You know, nothing about it is much fun. At the same time, it was a good run for us. We had a great weekend. Had a good race car all weekend long, and we learned a lot about things we can use in the future. Just running second sucks, especially when you’re that fast. So a little bit frustrated right now.”
Does this race feel like when you were runner-up in Kansas last year?
“Actually, it felt more like Atlanta. We got beat out of the pits there and we were leading the race. We had a five, six-second lead, everybody pitted, we came in first and went out second, and that was the race, just like it was tonight. So frustrating.”
Are there any positives to a second-place finish after the results you’ve had this season?
“Yeah, for sure. We’ve had a rough season so far as finishes go. I think with three races we have been outside of 30th — we’ve been 38th, 40th, 43rd once, I think — and it’s great. Finishing second is good. I’m not saying that’s not the case. It’s just when you’ve been so close to winning so many times since your last one, it really sucks to run that good and finish second. Circumstances, the way they play out sometimes, they go that way. In my case, I think they’ve run second like eight times or something. If I had a second-place car I’d be happy right now, or if I had a night like Carl’s (Edwards) and I fought my butt off to get second, I’d be much happier than I am now. But it just hurts when you give them away. It’s so hard to get in position to win these races. It is so hard to make your car good enough to beat Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch and all these guys — and we had that tonight. We’ve got to get better at taking advantage of that. That’s where we’re missing and that’s what we need to work on. So that’s why I’m upset. Second is a great accomplishment, but it’s not what we’re here for.”
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 11 FedEx March of Dimes Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
How does it feel to get a top-10 in your first race with the No. 11 team?
“It feels great. Honestly, I guess I’m pleased but not satisfied. A top-10, we ran top-five a lot of the night for the first time with a new team — the whole FedEx team. Like I said, we’re pleased, but I wanted to win. I guess that’s what we’re here for. I thought we had a really great car in practice and it turned out to be a lot looser than I thought. We fought that all night, just really bad loose in. We were afraid of that and sure enough it was the case. The guys did great. Darian (Grubb, crew chief) never got frustrated, never gave up — if he did, it never came on the radio. They just kept working all night and we got better and better. We brought it home for an eighth-place finish.”
How much did pit strategy at the end of the race play into your finish?
“The pit stops played into the finish all night. Those guys did a stellar job all night long with the pit stops. I think the pit strategy helped at the end trying to get everybody sorted out in case we went green.”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 12th
MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 14th
How was your race?
“We worked hard tonight. Nobody gave up and we got a decent finish. We were just a step off all weekend. We’ll get it back. I want to compliment Martin Truex Jr. tonight who had a heck of a run. When he gets his next win the flood gates are going to open up. He’s doing everything right and its going to pay off. The guy has endured a lot of bad luck, but he’s a heck of a driver and a great teammate here at MWR.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 Gander Mountain Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 15th
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 22nd
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 24th
DAVID STREMME, No. 30 Toyota Camry, Swan Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 35th
MIKE BLISS, No. 19 G-Oil/Plinker Tactical/Doubletree Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports
Finishing Position: 41st
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Bush’s Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 42nd
BOBBY HUTCHENS, competition director, No. 47 Bush’s Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
What happened when Bobby Labonte had to get of the car because he was sick?
“We were going to run until the first caution and then put Mike Bliss in the No. 47 Bush’s Toyota, but Mike ran longer than they anticipated and Bobby (Labonte) got really sick. We decided to park it and get Bobby out to be evaluated and treated at the infield care center. Michael McDowell became available and we worked the seat enough to get him in, but unfortunately he couldn’t really move his arms. Then we had an engine problem that ultimately ended our night.”