Toyota Racing at Phoenix One: Post-qualifying quotes

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Kyle Busch: "It’s never any fun when you’re on the losing end of it.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (Starting Position: 7th):

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

What was your impression of the new qualifying format? “It was different. You definitely have to have different strategies. You have to pick and choose the runs you’re going to make and all of what’s going to go on to keep your stuff cool. Our Skittles Toyota was third after the first one (session) and seventh now. It’s never any fun when you’re on the losing end of it.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (Starting Position: 12th)

How was the new qualifying format? “Each race track is going to be a little bit different. Overall it was good for our FedEx Office Toyota. At least we were out on the first run and got in on the second one. You use up your tires, so you really have nothing left. We were on house money anyway to make it up to the next round. Overall it was decent.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing (Starting Position: 14th):

How was your qualifying run? “Well we were up there in the top-12 for most of the session. We were knocked out there at the end. It was a little crazy out there but it’s pretty good for the first time trying this. I think it was exciting and will be a good change. We’ll take starting the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota 14th on Sunday.”

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing (Starting Position: 16th)

What were you able to learn during this knock-out qualifying at Phoenix? “We learned a lot of things we’d go back over and do it again. I think we made the car a lot better. The guys on the Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry did a great job making the car better for practice from qualifying. Something happened to our brakes, I’m not sure what. The pedal was to the floor. It was really hard to gauge my entry. We laid down a decent lap and went to seventh, I believe. We went back out and weren’t able to run as solid as some of the other guys were when they went back out for a second lap. We’ll go back and be the best and learn from it.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Home Depot Husky Tools Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (Starting Position: 19th)

What were you able to learn from qualifying? “I didn’t really get to finish it, because I wasn’t the best. For our Husky Tools Toyota it wasn’t that great. We were up a little bit today. I felt like we would have been right there on the bubble. I thought the first round we were going to be close. I didn’t get a lap my first time out and went out the second time and there was a car in my way trying to get out and blew that as well. Just didn’t quite have it today. We need to get it done your first time out and be in that top-12 to really have a shot.”

What does your Camry have for Sunday’s race? “Our speeds looked pretty good on the lap tracker, but our Husky Tools Toyota needs to be driving better. Hopefully it won’t rain tomorrow and we can work on it a little bit more.”

COLE WHITT, No. 26 Speed Stick Gear Toyota Camry, Swan Racing (Starting Position: 31st)

RYAN TRUEX, No. 83 Borla Exhaust Toyota Camry, BK Racing (Starting Position: 34th)

ALEX BOWMAN, No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing (Starting Position: 35th)

What did you experience with the new qualifying format? “It was interesting to say the least. We spent more running around the race track trying to cool the motor down than we did running laps. We’re going to have to figure it out and do what we need to do to keep the thing cool for qualifying. We weren’t very good here when we switched to qualifying trim. We just couldn’t get a handle on it. Our car is really good in race trim. We were around really good cars when we were in race trim this morning, so we’re looking forward to getting out there in the race and tomorrow’s practice and hopefully it doesn’t rain and we can get a handle on it.”

What does it mean to have reached the NSCS and make a Cup start in front of a hometown crowd? “It’s really cool to be here running a Cup car. It’s always cool to come to Phoenix, but to be running a Cup car here, it’s much more so. Just thankful for everybody at Dr. Pepper and BK Racing for giving me a shot to run here -- we're in the race and that’s what matters. We’ll get them on Sunday.”

PARKER KLIGERMAN, No. 30 Swan Energy Toyota Camry, Swan Racing (Starting Position: 36th)

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 66 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports (Starting Position: 38th)

MORGAN SHEPHERD, No. 87 Morris Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports (Starting Position: 42nd)

Toyota Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags alex bowman, brian vickers, clint bowyer, cole whitt, denny hamlin, joe nemechek, kyle busch, matt kenseth, morgan shepherd, nascar-cup, parker kligerman, phoenix, ryan truex