TOYOTA NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Kansas Speedway – April 20, 2013
Tundra driver Matt Crafton claimed the checkered flag in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Kansas Speedway. Crafton led 34 laps (of 167) en route to his third career victory and his first win in a Tundra.
In addition to Crafton, Tundra drivers Joey Coulter (15 laps), Kyle Busch (11), Darrell Wallace Jr. (eight) and German Quiroga (one) also led laps in Kansas.
Tundra drivers Coulter (second), Johnny Sauter (fifth), Wallace Jr. (seventh) and Timothy Peters (10th) also recorded top-10 results in Kansas City, Kan.
Toyota drivers Quiroga (11th), David Starr (13th), Todd Bodine (21st), Busch (27th) and John Wes Townley (32nd) were also in the field.
Sauter holds a 12-point lead over second-place Crafton in the unofficial NCWTS point standings following the fourth race of the season. Fellow Tundra drivers Wallace (eighth) and Coulter (ninth) are also in the top-10.
MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How big is this win?
“It’s huge. Yesterday we were 18th average on the second practice and we were a 20th place truck at best to be honest. They changed so much on this truck — you always hear people say it, but they changed four springs, sway bar, sway bar arms — I mean tons of stuff. There’s a bunch more stuff that they changed that would probably lose everybody, but they made a whole sale change and what that comes down to is teamwork and believing in each other and then going out there and doing it. The show was so awesome — it was a great race. My spotter told me where Joey (Coulter) was a little bit and he had a very, very fast truck. I think track position was everything and it was whoever got out front. We contemplated and contemplated on that last restart because we had talked about it earlier on the red flag — where would you start if you were leading this race at the end? They said the outside early and then the yellow comes out and we’re leading and I said, ‘Where do you guys want to start?’ They said, ‘That’s up to you.’ (Carl) Joiner (crew chief) thinks inside and I went outside. Then he could blame me after that. The bottom — you could get sucked around so easy and I wanted to be on the outside to be able to control it.”
What do you think of the new pavement at Kansas?
“At first, to be totally honest, I wasn’t a real big fan just because everybody was around the bottom. About halfway through the race people started moving up and we started getting a second groove. It wasn’t easy to run side-by-side, but you could run somewhat side-by-side and that’s what was really cool about it. I’m sure tomorrow in the Cup race these guys are really going to move the second lane up a little higher yet.”
How hard did you drive in the closing laps?
“It was 120 percent. I knew he (Joey Coulter) was there and he had a very, very fast truck. It’s awesome to race with Joey and I know that he wasn’t going to be one of these drivers that was going to go in there and do anything stupid and run into the back of me or try to do a dive bomb and try to take me out or do anything like that. He’s a great race car driver as well. I think it was just all about track position. He could get a good run on me down the straightaway and suck me up in the draft and I just kept moving around down the straightaway just trying to break the draft so he couldn’t get that run. I think what really helped us right there at the end, my spotter told me that he had moved up a little bit in (turns) three and four and I was so afraid to move up because if I slid up in the second groove and he got a run on me then I knew he was going to be there. Then we went by a lapped car and it stuck with me up there.”
Is it special that the team has won three of four races this season?
“I have to thank Duke and Rhonda Thorson (team owners) — doing it out of Sandusky, Ohio. Everybody said it can’t be done and we are making fools out of all the ones that said it can’t be done.”
CARL JOINER, crew chief, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Are you surprised the changes gave the team a winning truck?
“After yesterday, I had no idea that we would be sitting here right now. That just goes to show how this ThorSport team is — we never throw in the towel, we never give up. I think I probably got less sleep last night than I did when my newborn son arrived. You wake up in the middle of the night and you’re constantly thinking about that race truck. I think we threw way more than the kitchen sink, the bathtub, the back patio — we changed every single thing on that truck and we actually broke a valve spring yesterday. It was a tough call for Triad whether to change the motor or just fix the existing pieces. We went with what they wanted to do and low and behold it worked out for us.”
CARL JOINER, crew chief, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing (continued)
When did you know the changes worked?
“I don’t think you ever know until the end. All the way up until that last pit stop we were working on it — tenths of pounds of air, that’s just how sensitive these things are to adjustment. I’ve said it from day one and me and him (Matt Crafton) talk about it all the time, if we can just give him what he wants, he knows what he wants and if we can find that then we’ll go out there and we’ll win races. That’s what we did today. I think we’ll continue to do that. We’ve been really close and we’ve made huge strides. We’ve got a really good team. You never know — you’re constantly working on the thing and you never know when you’re going to put on a bad set of tires or what not. There’s really no telling, there is always the unknown. You’d like to think you could do that every week, but it’s definitely tough and we’ve got a lot of good competition out there.”
DAVID PEPPER, general manager, ThorSport Racing
How has ThorSport been so successful early this season?
“We’ve got great partners in Toyota and Triad — I just can’t say enough about every member of this race team. Nobody gives up. To be sitting here one-two in the points and have three of the four wins — I’m just so proud of every one of these guys.”
JOEY COULTER, No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 2nd
How hard were you chasing Matt Crafton in the closing laps?
“It felt like Daytona — I knew we were both in the gas and stood on it all we could. It didn’t seem like either one of us could gain or lose anything. I’m just so proud of these 18 Tundra guys — we’ve kind of gotten off to a slow start. We came here, regrouped. We got in a little bit of a jam at the beginning of the race and these guys just kept digging, kept digging and great pit stops. Harold (Holly, crew chief) played pit strategy perfect. It’s just awesome — I’m so happy for everybody on this Tundra.”
Is it frustrating to chase another driver for 25 laps and not catch him?
“When we went around that lapped car there I went in a little bit higher than Matt (Crafton) did behind that lapped car and I got a little bit tight and lost some ground. I wasn’t too worried about it and was kind of thinking it was going to work out a little bit better. These trucks, they punch such a big hole in the air that sometimes being a little farther back is a better place to be with a couple laps to go and it just kind of ended up being the same thing. I could get to him, but that five feet that I needed to get next to him was hard to get. I felt like both of our trucks were really good. I was a little bit tight behind him, but overall just real happy with where we ended up and it was a good points day for us.”
Did all the cautions hurt your rhythm?
“It breaks your rhythm up a little bit, but I was kind of happy to see the cautions toward the end. I knew with the strategy that Harold (Holly, crew chief) had played, we needed six laps of cautions to make it to the end and then we needed a little bit more than that if we got in a green-white-checkered situation. It breaks your rhythm up a little bit, but at the same time sitting there under the red flag stopped, you’re not burning any fuel.”
What did you think of the repave?
“Kansas has always been one of my favorite places to race and it’s always been a lot of fun. It’s always had multiple grooves and the repave just made it all faster. It’s smooth — it’s one of the smoothest repaves I think I’ve ever raced on and it’s just fast. You can run everywhere. These trucks — they can’t go any faster than what they’re going and it’s fun to race like that.”
JOHNNY SAUTER, No. 98 Carolina Nut Company/Curb Records, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
How was the race?
“We struggled all day and it’s probably a product of not getting any practice when I missed that shift. Top-five at the end of it — we’ll take it. We just had a mechanical problem and I was loose just by myself. When there’s only one-and-a-half grooves and the trucks are wider than that then it can get hairy. It takes a lot of give-and-take and there wasn’t a lot of that today.”
DARRELL WALLACE JR., No. 54 Liberty Tire Recycling/Ground SmartRubber Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 7th
How did the truck handle in the race?
“Our Liberty Tire Toyota Tundra was pretty good all day. We were on the tight side and we weren’t able to do much when we caught the draft. Learned a lot and we’ll take this truck onto Charlotte and see what we’ve got there.”
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Parts Plus Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
How was the race?
“Just eventful — our Parts Plus Tundra was pretty good, but still has a ways to go. There after halfway just kind of lost the power steering — well, started losing the power steering — and then at the end it just bogged the motor down. With the way the first couple of races started off, we needed to finish today with a top-10 and we accomplished that. So, now it’s almost another month to kind of regroup, evaluate some things and go to Charlotte and start working on this championship.”
GERMAN QUIROGA, No. 77 Net10 Wireless Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
Are you frustrated with the race?
“I feel very bad. We had a very good truck. For sure it was a top-five truck — for sure at least — and we were fighting for position and unfortunately Kyle (Busch) kept me down, pinched me down and I went loose, so we touched the wall and the guys did a very good job to repair the damage. We came back from being a lap down to almost fighting for a top-10. We ended up 11th with this Toyota Tundra Net10 Wireless 77 truck, but I wish this could a better result for us. I mean, I feel bad. I don’t feel like an 11th spot. I tell you this, I feel like last.”
DAVID STARR, No. 81 Toyota Tundra, SS-Green Light Racing
Finishing Position: 13th
TODD BODINE, No. 13 Sealmaster Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
What happened in the accident?
“If you’re going to be dumb, you’ve got to be tough and I’m as dumb as they come. Brennan (Newberry) got loose and it’s just one of those things in racing. I think what we really need here is a lot more side force in these trucks so that we absolutely cannot run side-by-side. It’s hard enough with the side force we’ve got — the way the aerodynamics are right now. A guy like Brennan, he’s a great kid and he’s got a great future — he’s a good driver, but I didn’t even pinch him down and it sucked him around. That’s what happens in these trucks. Unfortunately, a kid like Brennan doesn’t have a lot of experience and he arced it way into the corner expecting it to stick like it would every other lap and when somebody is outside of you it just doesn’t and you get sucked around. We need to work on aerodynamics on these things and take some side force off so we can run side-by-side.”
Will you be racing for ThorSport at Charlotte?
“I hope so. I hope Duke and Rhonda Thorson (team owners) are still up on this whole thing. It’s been tough — wrecked last week at Rockingham and wrecked again this week. We had a great truck though. That thing, it was so good through the corner and stable. We were just biding our time and trying to position ourselves right — we had enough fuel right there and we were going to make it to the end. Just didn’t get there.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 27th
JOHN WES TOWNLEY, No. 7 Zaxby’s Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 32nd