Loudon: Winning team interview

KYLE BUSCH , No. 51 Miccosukee Resort Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st How was your race today? "It was a great race today. I'm real proud of the guys and Richie (Wauters, crew chief) for working so hard on...

KYLE BUSCH , No. 51 Miccosukee Resort Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st

How was your race today?

"It was a great race today. I'm real proud of the guys and Richie (Wauters, crew chief) for working so hard on these trucks. We come to these tracks and sort of struggle sometimes. This is I think our third year together now and we seem to hit on something a little bit better not quite as good as the 33 (Ron Hornaday) or the 2 (Kevin Harvick) but there at the end we were out front when it mattered and had just the right amount of fuel in order to make it. So, real close on all of that but the Miccosukee Tundra was great. We kept up with those guys today. We did all that we could. We pressured them, we led a lot of laps -- the best we've ever run here. I was going to be alright with a second or a third. I think that's the truck that we had but the way it played out you've just got let these things play out sometimes and today we did."

Were you worried about fuel at the end of the race?

"Yeah, they told me we were going to be about five short and I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me. We just stopped and filled this thing.' So, it barely made it. It ran out coming into victory lane there. Man, what an awesome Tundra this was today. It was able to keep up with the Chevrolets at least. I'm real proud of Richie (Wauters, crew chief) and all of these guys that work so hard on this Miccosukee Tundra to get it here. Thank Graceway Pharmaceuticals, thank the fans, thank NOS Energy Drink and everybody that makes this program possible for us. It's cool, you know, you come to Loudon and you've got five race divisions or whatever it is in one weekend and they've still got another one left to go here tonight."

Are you excited to have won here at Loudon in all three NASCAR divisions?

"That's cool, man.  That's something special.  We look to do that everywhere we go but we've been fortunate enough to
have good race trucks like we've had this year.  I don't know what's wrong with the right front tire but it was vibrating and
shaking the last 60 laps.  We barely made it there.  I was waiting to get run over there on that last restart.  I'm glad I was out
front being the one that was being chased instead of being the guy that had to chase the others.  It was fun."

Were you able to run a lot of laps on the tires today?

"We sure did but with 60 to go my right front started vibrating and shaking.  I don't know if it was the brakes or the tires or
what but it never went away even under cautions so I take it it had to be the tires.  Unfortunately there we had to battle
through that but we did.  A lot of good things came out of today and I'm real proud of these guys.  They had good pit stops
today.  Our fuel mileage, we might need another mathematician if anybody out there wants to come out there and work for
us we'll certainly take a look.  We were too close to call today."

Is it more interesting when it's a two on one battle?

"Yeah, it was a battle there. It was a battle from lap one coming out of turn 2 with (Mike) Skinner. Really, it's a hard fought race track. It's real hard to pass for these trucks for some reason -- they get aero sensitive behind other trucks. For me, that's how (Ron) Hornaday got by me. I got in traffic a little bit and slowed down. He kept going. He had a better turning car or something that just allowed him to get by me. It was cool the way that it raced and the way that it played out and we're glad that we were able to win. We came down and had a quick pit stop and took four seconds of gas which we probably needed about four and a half to be a little bit safer but we made it."

How thankful were you for the final caution?

"I think we would've been close. How many laps was the caution? Three? It was a three-lap caution. I was backing off and trying to save there during that green-flag run and I think I had about a second and a half gap or maybe a second gap back to those guys behind me. It would've been hard for them to get by me anyways. We saw that after the restart so I was trying to save as much as I could a little bit in order to make it. Fortunately, we didn't have to find out. We did have that caution and I kept saving underneath the caution. Just shutting it off and trying to roll as much as I could. We made it. We made it and made enough to run a cool down lap, do a mini burnout because I didn't know if I could do a burnout or not with the motor rule the way it is and then on the way driving into victory lane it ran out. It was pretty close."

Were you surprised that Ron Hornaday and Kevin Harvick couldn't gain on you more?

"In that last run, yeah. I thought the 2 (Kevin Harvick) might have been better than the 33 (Ron Hornaday) and he might have got by and gone for the win. But (Kevin) Harvick is protecting points so he finished behind the 33 (Ron Hornaday) I believe and protected those five points from (Ron) Hornaday dropping back or somebody else coming forward. That's what he's here to do. He's here to just run on the tailgate of the 33 and it left the door open for me to win the race. I don't care. We were upfront enough that we were able to do that and we were in that position that we could take advantage of that. I'm glad I didn't have to race (Kevin) Harvick because I felt like he had the better tires and the better truck. He did what he needed to do to try to win himself and his team a championship."

RICHIE WAUTERS , crew chief, No. 51 Miccosukee Resort Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports

What are your thoughts on the win?

"It was a great win. It's always nice to have Kyle (Busch) driving the truck of course. He does a great job. At the end there we took that four seconds of fuel and we'd been figuring all day on the fuel mileage and we're two-tenths that we're leaving to the safe side so we knew we had a little bit but we quite didn't get in as much as we thought we did on the fuel stop so we were just hoping that we could pick everything up that was in the cell and luckily enough we were able to do that. (Kevin) Harvick had a good truck all day and when he put tires on at the end there, at that last pit stop, he was pretty good. Kyle (Busch) said he had a bad vibration so we thought we had a tire problem but it all worked out and he was able -- one he got out back in the clean air -- to stay out front."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr.