Toyota driver Kyle Busch won his first NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race of the 2014 season in the rain-shortened event at Phoenix International Raceway.
The victory is the seventh triumph by a Toyota NNS driver at Phoenix. Busch also won in April 2008, April 2010, Feb. 2011, March 2013 and Nov. 2013 and former Camry driver Joey Logano won in Nov. 2011.
Busch led the field twice times for a race-high 155 laps (of 168). Matt Kenseth (fifth) and Elliott Sadler (sixth) also finished in the top-10 at Phoenix.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included James Buescher (12th), Mike Bliss (17th), Eric McClure (23rd), Ruben Garcia Mateos (25th), Will Kimmel (33rd) and Blake Koch (39th).
Two Camry drivers are currently in the top-10 in the NNS unofficial point standings – Sadler (third) and Buescher (ninth).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (Finishing Position: 1st)
Is this a strong statement by your crew chief Adam Stevens to win four straight Phoenix NNS races? “I think just the pure dominance we’ve shown here the last few times that we’ve come here and the amount of laps we’ve led with how fast our cars are is pretty phenomenal. All the credit goes to Adam Stevens (crew chief) and everybody back at the shop, all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing Engines, Monster Energy Drink, Toyota and the Toyota Camry we drove here today. It’s fun to win them anyway. This is my first time winning a rain-shortened one. Welcome to the tent. I don’t know that it really made a whole lot of difference. We were really good. I would have loved to gone back out there after, but the weather wasn’t on our side today.”
Are you glad to be in victory lane after the rain delay? “It certainly has been a true testament to this team -- Adam Stevens (crew chief) and these guys. We’ve been very dominant here in the past years and led a lot of laps today. I felt like we could have won it whether it was rain-shortened or whether we went the whole distance. It certainly was a great Monster Energy Camry and a great race for us. We battled hard with a couple guys and had a green flag stop today. All in all, it was meant to be for us I felt like, we just had to be able to put ourselves in the right position.”
What did it feel like to wait two hours during the red flag for the race to be called? “It made it harder because we were like, ‘Alright, come on, just call it, just be done with it.’ NASCAR did everything they could to get us back out there. We appreciate the fans being out here today. Unfortunately they didn’t get to see a full race, but we tried with what we could and Mother Nature just wasn’t on our side. I can’t say enough to be in victory lane today.”
ADAM STEVENS, crew chief, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What do you attribute your four consecutive wins at Phoenix to? “I think it has a lot less to do with me and a lot more to do with the team we’ve assembled and the quality of drivers we put in these cars. Kyle (Busch) obviously is in a league of his own pretty much any time he gets behind the wheel and he’s got something special here. He knows how to get around this place, I feel like probably better than anybody. He knows what he’s looking for, so it’s easy to tell when you’ve given it to him. To Joey’s (Logano) credit, too -- we struggled here the first couple times we came here and figured some things out and I’ve kind of carried that into our program here and Kyle has made the most of it for sure.”
STEVE DESOUZA, vice president of NASCAR Nationwide Series operations, Joe Gibbs Racing
What does it feel like to be celebrating another win with Kyle Busch and Adam Stevens? “It’s a privilege obviously to work with Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and Kyle (Busch). For me it’s just great fun to sit back and let them work, for that matter all of our teams and they do a great job. Kyle and Adam are special, they have a unique chemistry and obviously anytime they get to the race track they are a threat and that’s a lot of fun. Obviously the support of Monster and Toyota and the Gibbs themselves is a huge benefit for us and very enjoyable.”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (Finishing Position: 5th)
How was your race? “We kind of lost our brakes about 50 or 60 laps ago and really couldn’t pass anybody after that.”
ELLIOTT SADLER, No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (Finishing Position: 6th)
JAMES BUESCHER, No. 99 Rheem Toyota Camry, RAB Racing (Finishing Position: 12th)
MIKE BLISS, No. 19 TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports (Finishing Position: 17th)
ERIC MCCLURE, No. 14 Hefty Ultimate/Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports (Finishing Position: 23rd)
RUBEN GARCIA MATEOS, No. 24 Be/More Toyota Camry, SR2 Motorsports (Finishing Position: 25th)
WILL KIMMEL, No. 44 Ingersoil Rand Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports (Finishing Position: 33rd)
BLAKE KOCH, No. 10 SupportMillitary.org Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports (Finishing Position: 39th)