Dover: Race winner interview

ARIC ALMIROLA , No. 51 Graceway Pharmaceuticals/AKAwareness.com Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st How did you make it to victory lane? "What a truck! We had a good truck right off the trailer. We tried a few...

ARIC ALMIROLA , No. 51 Graceway Pharmaceuticals/AKAwareness.com Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st

How did you make it to victory lane?

"What a truck! We had a good truck right off the trailer. We tried a few things the last couple of weeks at Nashville and Kansas, and we got off our game. We went right back to our basics and it's working, man. I'm so excited. I can't wait to go to the rest of these races. To do it the way we did it -- to come back from two laps down -- blowing the right front tire and not damaging our truck. What a race!"

Did you and team owner Billy Ballew get into a 'fight' recently?

"After Nashville, we didn't run real good and just the racer inside me was aggravated. And, I got aggravated and he (Billy Ballew) got aggravated back at me. And he (Billy Ballew) said; 'Why don't you go out and win one and prove me wrong.'"

How does it feel to be in victory lane?

"It's such a long time coming. I've raced a lot of NASCAR races to finally be here in victory lane. What a treat. I owe it all to God. If it ain't for him, none of this is possible. Thank him. Want to thank Graceway Pharmaceuticals -- they're a big part of this. Everybody at Toyota for all their support. This is fun. It's all about never giving up. Todd Bodine says it every week and you laugh at him, but it's true. Never give up. You never know when things will come back your way."

Did you feel like you had a race-winning truck all weekend?

"We had a good day. We had a good truck yesterday. As soon as we unloaded we had a really fast truck. It wouldn't bust off a really good lap like Kyle (Busch) would, but man it would run on a long run. We knew yesterday -- we quit practice a little bit early just trying to be smart because the last couple of weekends we've outsmarted ourselves and tried things that really didn't work for us. This weekend, Richie Wa uters (crew chief) and all of the guys at Billy Ballew Motorsports have had awesome trucks here at Dover forever, so we just went back to basics. That was really what it was about for us this weekend. Getting back to our basics and doing the things we know how to do and doing them well and it paid off.

"Man, it's a dream come true. To come back from two laps down after blowing a right front tire and fighting hard and getting one of our laps back and racing and getting back on the lead lap. Track position is so tough here. You have to have a phenomenal truck to do what we did today. I'm not going to take any credit for that. It's a lot of fun when you have a really good truck here. I've been fortunate to have really good race cars here. This is one of my favorite race tracks.

"I just want to thank Billy (Ballew, team owner) for believing in me. Last year was a rough year for me and I was pretty down and out and Billy gave me a call in the summertime to give me a chance to drive in his truck and we've had a lot of fun together. We do this and we do it because we love it. He's as much of a racer as I am and that's why I love racing for him -- it's just so much fun. We have fun every single weekend -- good, bad or draw we have a good time and that's what it's all about. Billy is a hell of an owner and he puts every dollar he gets from Graceway Pharmaceuticals into our truck and then some. Without that we wouldn't be the race team that we are. A lot of credit goes to him. I'm tickled to death. I've also got to thank Toyota. We've gotten a tremendous amount of support from them. We wear those guys out. We're up in Salisbury (N.C.) at their facility every week. They help us out tremendously. We use their pull-down, they give us wind tunnel time and without support like that we wouldn't be in the situation that we're in. So, they play a big part in this and I want to thank them a lot."

Where would you rank this victory?

"The highest. The ultimate. I've finally won at the top level. I got a lot of people to thank for it and everybody knows who they are. I got a lot of support from my family growing up -- without them none of it is possible. I've had a lot of help along the way and everyone who's helped me knows who they are. This win is for them."

-source: toyota motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine