Kyle Busch was the highest finishing Toyota driver in the race at Auto Club

Two Camry drivers are currently in the top-10 in the NNS unofficial point standings – Sadler (fifth) and Buescher (ninth).

Kyle Busch, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Were you missing something out there today?
“Unfortunately, we just didn’t -- we went with the package that we thought was going to be better. It wasn’t. We kind of struggled with it all day. Made the most of it there at the end. Finally got it tight enough where it wasn’t just loose -- just chasing it. I could drive it and be worried about what I could do with it, and not what the car wanted to do with it. Just kind of a little bit short today. Great battle there at the end though. Hate all these Cup guys man -- they ruin Nationwide races.”

Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

How was the battle with Kyle Larson at the end of the race?

“He’s great. He’s definitely a great talent. That’s why he’s here. That’s why he’s made it this far. That’s why he’s in Cup. He does a good job. It was fun racing there at the end. I had a track on him and cleared him I would have been done with him, but I couldn’t get the slide job done quick enough without just knocking the wall down. And so he got back to my outside and that was it for us. A great race. We’ll see what happens next week.”

What more did you need in your race car?

“We just needed to be tighter overall -- through the mid-part and coming up to that last pit stop. If we didn’t have to come out of the pits and be fourth, we probably would have had a better shot at winning the race. Really cool battle there with (Kyle) Larson. Congrats to those guys -- he deserved it. He’s worked hard and that’s why he’s in Cup. Great battle with Kevin (Harvick) as well too -- just trying to figure it all out there. My best line was the top. That’s where Larson wanted to be so I couldn’t quite get around him that way. I was trying to find my way and thought I had him there in (turns) one and two and tried to pull a slide job. But, if I would have slid any faster I would have knocked the wall down. So, I just had to make sure I didn’t do that and he got back by me -- got to my outside and passed us.”

What was the feeling in the race car those last few laps?

“Well, I thought I lost it a couple times. I thought our race was over -- I wasn’t going to win. Just kept digging in and kept going after it and kept getting back to those guys. I just needed a little bit more clean air on my nose to get the thing to turn -- I was too tight there at the end to get by him. It made for a really good race. It was fun. It was a great battle. If they don’t want to enjoy that, then there ain’t much more to enjoy.”

Did you have fun during today’s race?
“You want to come out here and win. That’s what we’re here to do. When it all comes down to the end like that and a great finish happens, there shouldn’t be anyone any happier than the fans in the stands. I thought that was a really good day. Maybe we put on the best show because I had to start last and drove all the way to the front. There at the end we were just a little shy and (Kyle) Larson won. All in all, the fans won today.”

What happened during inspection earlier in the day?
“This morning they rolled through inspection just to check everything as soon as they came in and everything was fine. They passed and everything was green. Then when they went back through inspection in order to get ready for qualifying, the NASCAR inspectors didn’t like the length of the studs on the wheels. There wasn’t enough thread showing, so we were going to have faster pit stops than everybody else. So, they made us change studs. All they did was roll around and change studs and went back across the platform and the platform said it was illegal, the car was -- it was out of skew. So, they came back, made an adjustment and went back across the platform and didn’t change the number. Came back, made another adjustment to the car to get less skew, back to the platform, didn’t change the number. They just kept making laps and little, little increments and they weren’t making any gains on the numbers. Finally it was just a matter of, ‘Alright, give up, start over and figure out what the heck is really going on and I think it took them still another 10 minutes after our session had ended to get through.”

Elliott Sadler, No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
How was your race?
“It was good to start on the pole. My guys did a good job with my Sport Clips Camry with qualifying today. Just got a little tight there during the race. When you’re tight here you slow down a little bit. We had great pit stops -- holy cow, my pit crew was amazing today. They kept us up front and gave us a top-five finish. You know, always want to have a little more. It was a good bounce back from what we had in Bristol last week and we have some momentum going with this week off and we’ll get ready for Texas.”

Does this top-five finish give you momentum heading to Texas in two weeks?
“You want top-fives -- you want wins. You want to do all that stuff. Just great job with the adjustments during the last pit stop to get us ready for that final run. We’ll keep working on it and put some more top-fives together and hopefully some wins. It was great to start on the pole today -- that was a boost for our team and we’ll keep working on it.”

Toyota Racing

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Series NASCAR-NS
Article type Race reports
Tags auto club, elliott sadler, kyle busch, toyota racing