Martinsville: Toyota teams race notes, quotes

Brian Ickler (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway behind race-winner Kevin Harvick and runner-up Ron Hornaday Jr. Timothy Peters (fourth), ...

Brian Ickler (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway behind race-winner Kevin Harvick and runner-up Ron Hornaday Jr.

Timothy Peters (fourth), Johnny Benson (fifth), Aric Almirola (sixth) and Max Papis (eighth) also finished in the top-10 for Toyota in the 250-lap event on the half-mile track.

Tundra drivers Tayler Malsam (14th), David Starr (18th), Mike Skinner (27th), Todd Bodine (30th) and Justin Lofton (31st) were also in the field.

With the finish, Peters now leads the unofficial NCWTS point standings, 59 points ahead of Almirola. Bodine (third), Malsam (eighth) and Starr (10th) are also in the top-10 in points after three of 25 races.

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BRIAN ICKLER, No. 18 Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 3rd

How did your truck handle today? "We started on the back -- 32nd by points. Had a good truck and got up in the top-five or top-10. We came in for a pit stop and I messed up by pitting outside the box and had to go to the back again. Then I got back up there, recovered and finished third. Pretty good truck. Pleased with the results and a lot better than our starting position."

How hard is it to get back into the rhythm of racing? "It's definitely difficult. I haven't driven the truck since the end of last year and actually hadn't planned on racing this race until Thursday afternoon. I have been trying to race as many things as I can in the off season -- even if it's Late Models. Seat time is seat time. That's my biggest thing. Once we get going here it will pick up and once I'm racing at least once a month then I think I'll be alright."

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TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 4th

Can you talk about your race today? "Our Toyota Tundra was decent. We got a little loose there on the first run, but everybody did a great, great job. I love coming back to Martinsville with everyone. A solid finish, that's what we needed to do to be a threat for this championship. We did what we had to do. I can't thank the team enough for this awesome opportunity."

What is it about Martinsville that has made you successful? "Every time we have come here, no matter what it is, we've run well. I'm just thankful we can have that success up here. We won the Late Model race up here in 2005 and won here in the fall for my first career race in the trucks. I just love coming here. Plus, it's 15 minutes from my house, so it's a special place."

Are you happy with your start to the season? "Absolutely. What a way to start the year off, right? I can't thank Tom Deloach (Red Horse Racing owner) enough, and everyone on this Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra. Jeff Hensley (crew chief) made great calls all day, the pit crew did a phenomenal job. We had a really good (turns) one and two all day long, we just kept losing our drive off of (turn) four. Congratulations to (Kevin) Harvick. He had a good truck. It was cool to battle him for the lead there. But to come home solid, top-five, that's what we need to do to keep ahead in these points."

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JOHNNY BENSON, No. 15 Red Top Collector Car Auction Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports
Finishing Position: 5th

How was your truck during the race? "We were just a little off. It was fun, it was good. A little bumping and banging here and there. I got knocked out of the way a couple times and got spun out once. For us to finish fifth is a good run. I gotta thank Billy Ballew (team owner). We had a good truck, I just wasn't able to take advantage of the areas I needed to and I didn't quite get the balance right in practice. All in all, it was a decent day. A couple spots better would've been a lot better, but we made it through."

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ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 51 Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports
Finishing Position: 6th

How do you feel about your finish today? "It's Martinsville so to come home with a sixth is I guess okay. We were better than that at points in the race and we were worse than that at points in the race. We battled hard today. We didn't have a truck good enough to win, but I thought we had a third or fourth place truck. There at the end, those short runs just really hurt us. Our truck was really good on a long run and on a short run it was just way too tight. Disappointed to finish sixth, but at the same time, today could have been a whole lot worse."

What was the battle like between you and your teammate, Johnny Benson, at the end of the race? "I was really wanting those points. We're racing for a championship and he's (Johnny Benson) not. It meant a lot to me to get whatever five points those were. I tried really hard to do it as professionally and cleanly as I could, considering he was my teammate. I didn't have enough. I came up maybe a few feet short."

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MAX PAPIS, No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 8th

How was your race today? "I had a blast. It was a good lesson and we came out with a top-10, which is fantastic. This is short track racing at it's best. Definitely, I learned a lot. The Germain guys gave me a great truck -- they are really awesome. You can see that I'm getting better and better all the time. I'm really ecstatic about it. This is short track racing and bumping and banging is going to happen. The 3 (Austin Dillon) got into me right at the end -- it cost him a lot and it cost me some as well. That's part of racing. I never give up and I never give them an inch."

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TAYLER MALSAM, No. 56 One Eighty Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 14th

Can you talk about today's race? "Tight-to-loose was our problem the whole weekend. It kind of caught me off-guard a little bit. We just could never get it free enough. And we had brake issues all weekend, too, which makes it all the more difficult here at Martinsville. Don't get me wrong, it was a good truck, but just not quite good enough to win. We ended up flat-spotting too much, and once that happens, you keep locking them up and the tires end up taking a pretty good beating. We were good on the long runs, if we ever got a long run. I don't know, it turned out to not be that kind of a day down the stretch with all the yellows. Overall, after three races, we're looking pretty good in the points, and it's on to Nashville from here."

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DAVID STARR, No. 24 Zachry Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports with HT
Finishing Position: 18th

MIKE SKINNER, No. 5 International Trucks/Monaco RV Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports
Finishing Position: 27th

TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 30th

JUSTIN LOFTON, No. 7 visitPIT.com Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 31st

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Kevin Harvick , Max Papis , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Timothy Peters , Aric Almirola , Justin Lofton , Tayler Malsam , Brian Ickler , Austin Dillon , Kyle Busch
Teams Germain Racing , Kyle Busch Motorsports , Red Horse Racing