BUSCH: Indy ORP: Race winner interview

JASON LEFFLER , No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Finished: 1st What does it mean to win at this track? "It's pretty cool to come here and win a Busch race because I've won quite a few midget and Silver Crown races here at ORP ...

JASON LEFFLER , No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Finished: 1st

What does it mean to win at this track?

"It's pretty cool to come here and win a Busch race because I've won quite a few midget and Silver Crown races here at ORP (O'Reilly Raceway Park). I've always considered Indianapolis to be like my second home -- I've spent a lot of time here and I have a lot of friends here. I just can't say enough about our whole team at Braun Racing and what it means to us to get Toyota their first win in the Busch series. It's pretty awesome to be the first one to bring a Camry to victory lane. I'm excited, but I'm pretty tired now."

Talk about the battle in the closing laps with David Reutimann.

"He was kind of pinching me off and we had got together a little earlier in the race and didn't really give me all of the line on the race track. But it was no big deal. He just made it pretty hard for me to pass. But there comes a time where you can either run third or you can try to win the race. He kind of roughed me up and then I kind of roughed him up, but I eventually got by him. I'm sure he could have crashed me there, but he didn't and I appreciate it. I really like David and I'm sorry I had to do that. But he had a good run tonight too and finished third. I had to make a choice and I wanted to get by him."

Can you talk about the decision to take tires there toward the end of the race?

"The car really fell off there at the end -- even more than it did early in the race. I ran a Silver Crown race here on Thursday night and that car did the same thing. That race gave me a lot of good information about what the car was going to do tonight. We just made the decision that we were coming to pit road no matter what. It worked out good because we only lost seven spots and it made my car that much better than everyone else's. I was down on the bottom running a line by myself and that made it easier to work my way back to the front. It just got tough there with the top-two guys and I didn't know what was going to happen, but I thought we had a real good shot at the win."

Why were you running the bottom line more than the top like a lot of the other guys?

"A lot of that had to do with things we learned last Thursday in the Silver Crown race and learning about the track and then remembering back to last year when Kevin Harvick won this race by doing basically the same thing. I didn't really work on it much in practice because I didn't want to show my hand. I went down there a couple times and it felt like I had it worked out -- it really helped my car a lot and I'm sure next year everybody will be running around the bottom."

What it is about this track that you like so much?

"This was the track that if you were running in ‘Thursday Night Thunder', you had to run good because you would make it onto ESPN and ESPN2. This is a tricky track and for a short track, it is really one of the most difficult tracks to get around. You either hit the set-up or you don't -- there's progressive banking and transitions all the way around, which makes your car do different things. But we had the right set-up tonight and we had the best crew to get the win. I just needed to reach back into my memory bank and remember what this track does during the course of a race. It's been a while, but it feels great to get back to victory lane."

How has the progression of your team gone through this season to get this win?

"We just had a lot of bad luck early in the season, but we had the speed. Knowing that we had the speed is really what kept everybody going. Lately we've had some good cars and some good race tracks that we've run across. We've been moving up in points and we've just stayed focused on getting better every week. This is one of our best short track cars and we've taken it to a bunch of them because it just performs so well for us. I'm so proud for everybody and our team worked so hard to get this win. We're a small Busch team so with Toyota's help and Great Clip's support we've been able to compete with the big boys and its real special to get the win here tonight."

How would you compare this win to your first Busch win in 2004?

"This was just real exciting to win like that at the end -- beating and banging all the way through the final laps. I just had a lot of fun tonight. I think if we weren't all getting on an airplane back to Charlotte we'd go celebrate at Kelly's Pub until tomorrow morning."

Did you think it would be your team to be the first to get the Busch Series win for Toyota?

"All three of the Camrys have been running strong lately in the Busch cars so I knew it was going to be close and I knew it was going to come soon. I really wanted to be the one to do it and I'm really happy for Todd (Braun) and our whole team for being the ones to pick up the win. I'm pretty excited to have my name going into the history books as Toyota's first Busch Series winner."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , David Reutimann