Toyota Motorsports press release
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How many times did you actually save the car during the race? "I don't know how many times I spun out and didn't spin out. Amazing race -- I can't say enough about all these guys and this M&M's Camry was fast. It was fun to drive when I wasn't getting turned around. Tough race, but a fun race. Glad to see the pack back like that and making it interesting for us drivers -- hopefully, it was great for the fans as much as it was for us drivers. Again, first race back in the M&M's car and we're back in victory lane -- pretty cool. I can't say enough about Interstate Batteries, Toyota, the Sprint Cup Series -- thank Sprint and Monster Energy, thanks for giving me my boost."
How did you make the last pass on Tony Stewart? "Somebody was in front of me -- the 39 (Ryan Newman) and somebody and then got hooked up and went and I'm like, 'Alright.' I was trying to stay with the 39 and I pulled low and got in behind (Tony) Stewart and just mowed right up through there. He had a fast car and took us by those guys around the outside and I'm like, 'It's a two-guy race right now and it's going to be either me or him coming to the start-finish line off of turn four.' I've seen the move done before, it was my turn to do it this time -- Stewart had me the last time here in July a couple years ago. I'm glad it was the M&M's car and put me here in victory lane."
Can you describe the last lap? "We came to the restart and I restarted like eighth or 10th or something like that -- I was trying to get everybody to go by me because I had to restart at the back, but they all wanted to stay back there. I fell in line behind (Ryan) Newman and I wanted to push Newman, but Newman hooked up with a guy in front of him so it was like, 'Alright, I don't have that option.' I saw the 15 (Clint Bowyer) get turned sideways on the bottom so I pulled down underneath (Tony) Stewart and just let him kind of run the wave up through there and followed him up through. Awesome race. Great to see the pack- style racing back here in Daytona for the fans."
What did you do to save your car so many times? "I have no idea. Stab and steer -- that's what you do -- and some braking. There were brakes involved too. I didn't know if I was clear -- I thought I was clear. These left side mirrors are so touchy so I tried going down slowly and Jimmie (Johnson) just must have been there a little bit and turned me sideways and got me on the apron. Scared everybody half to death -- including me. It got the field separated, but then the second time with (Jeff) Gordon behind me -- I don't know what the deal was there. I would like to talk to him about it because we come off (turn) two and he had me sideways and then all the way down the backstretch I was still sideways -- left, right, left, right and everywhere. We drove off into three and he turned me sideways again. He was on my left side of my bumper instead of the right. I don't know if he was just watching his mirror and he was getting pushed and couldn't control it or what. I hate it that all those guys wrecked over there. That was certainly a big one and I hope everybody's alright."
How damaged was the race car? "It was hurt a little bit and certainly the car wasn't the same as what it was when we first started. That left front corner is pretty soft right now being bent up and bent down a few times tonight. This car -- it was our Daytona 500 backup car -- it's been through enough tonight that I think it's going to go home and be put on reserve for later. The car we wrecked yesterday -- it's been on the plate. I will say that the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing have been phenomenal this weekend. They are working 24 hours a day at the shop trying to get that car and get it back here for Wednesday to be our backup car. Can't say enough about that. TRD (Toyota Racing Development) engines were great and all these guys did a phenomenal job repairing it and putting it back together a couple times. I'm glad to be standing in victory lane -- starting off the year right hopefully. Busch brothers two years in a row."
DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What does this win do for your team starting the season? "I'm real proud of this whole M&M's Toyota Camry race team. Everybody on the team -- the spotter up top all the way down to the crew guys on pit road fixing it. Obviously, Kyle Busch -- we are always going to give each other credit. I think today he's eliminated all questions of who deserves credit. That thing was wrecked twice and he saved it and still drove it to victory lane. All the guys on this M&M's team worked really hard -- this was a backup car that had never seen the race track until the start of the race. It started in the very back -- Kyle drove to the front -- two amazing saves and some damage at the end. The guys kept working on it and they never gave up. They put TRD (Toyota Racing Development) in victory lane for the first fuel injection race in NASCAR history -- that's real exciting. A good night for us."
J.D. GIBBS, president, Joe Gibbs Racing
Were you impressed with Kyle Busch's ability to save the car several times? "That was a big deal. It's one of those things -- three times tonight I was like, 'That's it, we're done, pack it up.' Then you come back and say, 'Hey, we're still alive. I'm going to have to go back and watch that on tape again just to appreciate it. It's one of those things that you just need to take the time to evaluate it and realize what it was. I would say that whoever the driver was that could do that -- you just need to appreciate it. I think having it be Kyle (Busch) and our guy really was impressive and it means a lot for the whole M&M's team and our guys -- it was special."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Was this the type of racing you expected in the Shootout? "Well, I think it was typical for Bud Shootouts. It's a wild one. It was tough doing that -- kind of tough to race at times. Everyone was kind of worried about their temperature and what not and I'm sure NASCAR will address it, but our FedEx team -- we were pegged on 300 (degrees) all day long, so I couldn't get up in there and mix it up like I wanted to. I saw those guys having a lot of fun, but for us it was just a lot of attrition out there and our FedEx team just kept working on it. Went two laps down and we were able to come back, so proud of that effort."
Was it difficult to get used to pack racing again? "It's different. I mean, it's a different mentality. I think a lot of people are rusty at it, don't realize the limits in which we can push and so it's going to take us some time and the (Daytona) 500 I don't think is going to be much different."
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
How was tonight's race? "That was an interesting race to say the least. The pack racing is back and that gives the drivers a little more control and adds a lot of excitement for the fans -- and that's the biggest thing -- the fans wanted pack racing back and NASCAR listened and delivered. We learned a lot tonight about our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota and I thought we might have had a shot there at the end, but we lost our momentum on that last restart and that was it for us. We have a couple things to work on, but I'm confident we'll be right where we need to be for the Daytona 500."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
Did the speeds play a factor in the accident? "Right now these cars are going pretty fast around here. It just depends on where you get hit and how hard you get hit. I got hit once and I got a little bit free and then it just moved in on my left rear side of my bumper and when he (Marcos Ambrose) hit me the second time it started spinning me out. Then it just turned me around. It's unfortunate for our Home Depot team. I felt like we had a pretty good car. We were up front the whole race -- in the top-five throughout the whole race there. Just wanted to ride right there in third-place for the end of this thing. Right when you thought you were alright to ride and be alright -- you get turned around."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 19th
What happened that took you out of the race? "I'm not real sure what happened. We were running there single file just kind of getting set up for the last run at the end. I just seen the 20 (Joey Logano) up ahead sideways with sparks flying. By that time, it's too late. Getting guys pushing us from behind and all that -- we just got piled in. It was unfortunate, our NAPA Toyota was really fast. I really enjoyed the racing tonight -- it was a lot of fun while it lasted. Those kind of things happen when you're racing tight like that and swapping positions. The closing rate was really fast, but it was a lot of fun to do it. Hopefully, we'll get this out of the way and finish the (Daytona) 500."
Did you expect this type of racing? "This is the Bud Shootout so the guys are going to take a lot more chances here than they will on Sunday. The racing was fun and I think it was a good show. I enjoyed myself. Again, it's just a shame that our NAPA Toyota is on the trailer. We had a good car and it was really fast. Proud of the work my guys did to come down here. We picked up a bunch of speed from last year at the plate tracks and here even testing. They did a good job and we'll come back here this week and work hard and hopefully have a better (Daytona) 500."
What happened between you and Clint Bowyer? "I spun him (Clint Bowyer) out -- just flat out spun him pushing him. He said his car was really loose with guys pushing him for some reason. I wasn't expecting that because my car was so good. I started shoving on him and the next thing you know he was turned around. He said it wasn't my fault -- just his car was really loose. I hated that for him, but the racing was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. It reminded me of a couple years ago just a lot more action so it was cool."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 25th
What happened during the incident in the first segment of the race? "I couldn't see anything. I was up high and Clint Bowyer and I were talking before the race started and he said, 'You don't want to be up high, because then there ain't nowhere to go.' I just saw them start spinning and stayed high and ran into someone."
Is the racing different compared to last year? "Did it look different to you? I mean, it was pretty wild. When we were here last time it was two-by-two-by-two all spread out. Now we're all in a glob. I'm a fan of it -- that doesn't make any sense right now. You know, you've got to do something. The fans didn't like it the other way. I didn't like it the other way and then I got crashed. It's a lot different. NASCAR accomplished their goal."
How was your engine temperature racing in the pack? "I was fine. It turned red a couple times and managed it, but I'm real happy with what NASCAR accomplished. Now it's up to the drivers to manage it."