KYLE BUSCH, No. 51 Miccosukee Resort & Casino Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st How special is this win tonight? "It's pretty cool, man. This is awesome to come out here with a brand new piece. Thank all these...
No. 51 Miccosukee Resort & Casino Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st
How special is this win tonight?
"It's pretty cool, man. This is awesome to come out here with a brand new piece. Thank all these guys from Billy Ballew Motorsports -- the pit crew did a good job tonight. I really want to thank the fans, Miccosukee, Tundra, Toyota -- all those guys that do such an awesome job for us -- Gillette, Marquis Jets. Richie (Wauters, crew chief) made a good pit call there in the beginning of the race to take tires when we did. Luckily, they had that long green flag run. We made it look like we knew what we were doing and that long run just hurt everybody else -- got them behind (Ron) Hornaday, Jr., -- he was a good truck tonight. The 88 (Matt Crafton) was a good truck tonight, too. The right pit strategy kept us up front there. We had a little trouble coming through traffic sometimes, but once you get up front in clean air -- the thing just takes off."
How did you make the pass on the late restart?
"The pass on the restart I just had to make sure that I got a good restart when I got a good run on him (Todd Bodine) down on the bottom-side -- I just had to stay there. I just had to keep going. Even if he pinched me into turn three, I was going to have to keep my nose in there because that was the only position I had on him -- I had to keep my position. He raced me great. (Todd) Bodine did a great job -- helped Toyota get a win here. He was a fast truck, too -- but we kept them Fords back there. Hopefully, we can do it again."
How was your truck throughout the race?
"It was a really good night for us. The Miccosukee Tundra was pretty good. We were real proud of the way that we brought a brand new truck here out of the box. We were dragging in practice a little bit. We had to work through a few things to get the truck off the race track. It still was hitting during the race -- just brushing the race track a little bit. We're going to take it home, work on it a little bit, polish it up and get it ready for the next one. Richie (Wauters, crew chief) and Billy (Ballew, team owner) and all these guys work so hard -- they do a great job with not a lot. Real proud of the effort we had here -- a fun night, overall. The pit strategy worked to our advantage -- I think with 20 laps into the race, or something like that -- I thought it was early to get tires, but we decided to get them. Then we went a long run there. I think we went 80 laps or something green and it really paid to our side -- I didn't think it would, but it did. We had a strong truck. We just had to make sure we kept the right tires on it and kept the right adjustments in it and got the thing up towards the front there. So, real proud of the way the thing drove out front. It was a little loose in traffic, but fortunately we were able to make it through the traffic okay."
What allowed you to make the pass on the late restart?
"I knew I needed a long run. If I could have had a long run, I felt like I could get by him. If I could have got it done in the first couple laps of a restart, then I knew it would be easier. I just figured that if I could get a good restart -- which I really didn't get that great of a restart -- I got through turns one and two really good, you could hold it wide open for the first few laps after a restart. I got a good run through (turns) one and two -- sort of drafted up off him a little bit, pulled low down the back straightaway and got just enough alongside of him that it broke his momentum a little bit and I was able to get him to give me room getting into turn three. If he (Todd Bodine) didn't give me room it might have gotten a little ugly, but we made it work. So, Todd (Bodine) was very gracious and a great racer there -- and spared the day for Toyota to finish one-two."
How does it feel to have won in all three NASCAR series at Chicagoland?
"It's definitely an accomplishment. I love being able to win races in anything, anywhere -- and I don't know if this is my fifth venue, or what that I've done it at. I've got Phoenix done. I've got California done. There are five -- I can't name them all. But, I'm trying for more. So, hopefully we can get some more in there. I'd love to be able to get a sweep at every place that I've been to -- time will tell that -- hopefully down the road. It's cool to win here in Chicago. My parents are from just outside (Chicago) in the suburbs. They grew up around this area. My girlfriend is from around here -- just across the border in Indiana. So, it's really cool to sort of come to this second home in the Midwest and win in front of all the family and friends here."
-credit: toyota motorsports