Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch earned his first win of the season and the 13th of his career in Sunday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch led three times for 51 laps after qualifying on the pole and...
Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch earned his first win of the season and the 13th of his career in Sunday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Busch led three times for 51 laps after qualifying on the pole and starting at the rear of the field due to an engine change.
Camry driver David Reutimann (fourth) earned his career-best NSCS finish.
Brian Vickers also earned a top-10 finish with an eighth-place result.
The win marks Toyota's first NSCS victory of 2009 and 11th win since joining NSCS competition in 2007.
Three Toyota Racing partner teams finished together in the top-10 for the first time since Toyota entered the series in 2007 -- Joe Gibbs Racing (first), Michael Waltrip Racing (fourth) and Red Bull Racing Team (eighth).
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Joey Logano (13th), Robby Gordon (15th), Marcos Ambrose (20th), Scott Speed (21st), Denny Hamlin (22nd), Michael Waltrip (27th), Max Papis (36th), Todd Bodine (37th) and Joe Nemechek (41st).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How great is this win in your hometown? "This is pretty cool. I didn't know exactly what it would mean. Coming to the checkered flag there were knots in my stomach. This is probably as big as the Daytona 500 -- I said it wasn't going to be but it is. I want to thank M&M's, Interstate Batteries, the fans, Marquee Jets, Toyota, TRD, NOS Energy Drink, Pedigree, Combos -- everybody on this team. They're phenomenal, what can I tell you. Should have got one yesterday but missed out on it. I apologize to the Nationwide guys, but this is sort of a little bit of redemption here today."
What was it like winning after starting in the rear? "We just had to battle back. We didn't have the best car out there today but we had a car we kept working on - just kept making better. I don't know where I get credited for winning this thing, whether it's from the back or from the pole. Either way we conquered both of them, that's for sure. Steve Addington (crew chief), I have to thank that guy. He's the leader in this team, everybody believes in him -- I believe in him. As long as you have that everything seems to run smooth."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
Were you playing the fuel mileage game coming down the stretch? "We had a great Aaron's Dream Machine all day. Ever since the time we unloaded it and even though we had to go to the back and on top of all of that we had an oil leak at the earlier part of the race and ended up getting that fixed. It could've happened or we could've run out. Rodney Childers (crew chief) said, 'We're close.' I'm like, 'How close?' He said, 'We're really close.' I tell you, thank the lord, it was a blessing today to be able to drive that car. It drove great all day. Rodney (Childers) made a great call there at the end to take two tires and fuel and we just kind of hung in there. We needed longer runs to get the Aaron's Dream Machine up front and we just didn't quite that at the end, but I'm awful happy with the finish."
How does it feel to earn your first top-five finish in the Cup Series? "You are just kind of relieved if anything. You run around here for a couple of years and trying to get close to winning one of these things and so we're a little closer than what we were. It feels good to be where we are. Having Aaron's onboard for a full year -- the only way you can repay a sponsor like Aaron's is to get them some good runs and I think we're trying to pay back a little bit for what they've done to us. It's been great. I love my team. My crew chief (Rodney Childers) is doing a great job. The (Michael Waltrip Racing) organization is doing great and the cars are exceptional. If we just keep doing this, knocking on the door, we'll get ourselves in the right position."
How much does a performance like this boost your whole team? "People say, 'Well, it's a fluke,' or 'They've lucked out.' But we started about last and we came up through there up into the top-10 and had an oil leak and went back to about 25th or so and drove up through there and ended up getting a top-five finish. At the end of the day, I'm proud of my guys, they did a great job and it doesn't get any better than that."
How happy are you to earn a career-best finish today? "I'm absolutely thrilled. With the way our day started out and having to go to the back after having a great qualifying run there. Rodney Childers (crew chief) said to just keep calm and we'll keep working on this thing and we'll get the Aaron's Dream Machine up front. We developed an oil leak at the midpoint of the race and the guys came in and got that fixed. We went back out there and it put us back to 25th or 30th and we kind of ran back up through there just one at a time. Everybody did a great job. It's such a team effort all the way around from Aaron's as a sponsor to Toyota to Rodney Childers and everybody on my team. I had great pit stops and everything we needed today to run upfront and when you have those pieces in place you can actually do that on occasion. It's not as easy as it looks for some of these guys -- Kyle Busch makes it look like he can just walk out there and finish in the top-five. For a young organization, I'm really proud of what we've done."
Were you happy with your finish today? "I'm so proud of this team. We got behind when we lost the engine and then had to redo it again twice and had to start in the back. The car was good. It started out really loose but we had a really good car most of the day fighting track position, lost a belt, I believe, but I don't know for sure so I don't want to say what part failed. We lost our batteries and had to come in to change batteries and go to the back again and fight back from that. I'm just really proud of the effort from the guys. I think we had a car that could win, but to have all of those problems and get a top-10 that's how you win championships."
Are the engine issues solved? "I wish I could answer that question for you. I don't know and even if they think they know, until they really get back to the engine shop and analyze everything they don't really know either. We just know we have an issue and TRD knows they have an issue. I'm proud of those guys. They've got to push it to the limit because that is how we get power. You just have to push it to the limit and sometimes it's going to wreck a car so I understand that, but it can't be an every week issue so we've got to get that problem fixed."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 13th
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Jim Beam Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 15th
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Kingsford Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 20th
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 22nd
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 36th
TODD BODINE, No. 64 Toyota Camry, Gunselman Motorsports
Finishing Position: 37th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 41st
-credit: toyota motorsports