Kyle Busch earned the fourth win by a Toyota Camry in today's race at Darlington Raceway. The win was Busch's third NSCS win of 2008. Busch has earned eight NASCAR wins this season -- three NSCS (Atlanta, Talladega and Darlington), three ...
Kyle Busch earned the fourth win by a Toyota Camry in today's race at Darlington Raceway. The win was Busch's third NSCS win of 2008.
Busch has earned eight NASCAR wins this season -- three NSCS (Atlanta, Talladega and Darlington), three NNS (Texas, Phoenix and Mexico City) and two NCTS (California and Atlanta).
Toyota Camry drivers Denny Hamlin (seventh) and Dave Blaney (ninth) also earned top-10 finishes in the race.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included David Reutimann (19th), Tony Stewart (21st), Michael Waltrip (24th), Brian Vickers (25th), J.J. Yeley (26th), AJ Allmendinger (27th) and Michael McDowell (28th).
Camry drivers have earned 14 top-five finishes and 22 top-10 finishes in 2008.
Busch extends the unofficial NSCS point lead with his win at Darlington. Busch is 79 points ahead of second place, Jeff Burton.
Other Camry drivers in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings include Hamlin (fourth), Stewart (eighth) and Vickers (17th).
KYLE BUSCH, M&M's/Indiana Jones Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What does it mean to win at an historic place like Darlington? "It's pretty awesome. Darlington obviously showed again tonight that is one of the hardest places -- always has been, and always will be. Even with the fresh asphalt this place is tough. I just can't thank this M&M's, Joe Gibbs Racing team enough. They did an awesome job. We're going to go through a lot of Mac Tools this week fixing this thing, but that's okay. It's an awesome win for us. I can't thank these guys enough. They prepared such a great race car. The lapped cars were great at the end -- they gave me all the room in the world."
Who was on the radio calming you down during the race? "Everbody. Everybody did their part. Anyone that was on the radio. (Steve) Addington (crew chief) did a great job, making great race calls. Jeff Dickerson (spotter) up top -- he's my savior every week. He's a pretty awesome dude."
What about the 'pathetic' race car? "It just doesn't turn. It doesn't want to do what it needs to do here. This place became aero-tight. It became one of those aero- sensitive race tracks because there is only one lane you can run around this place that is the fast way around. Any time that you want to get by somebody, you just have to save your stuff and try to maneuver past them somehow, someway, but it's hard to do."
How hard was the car to handle, considering you hit the wall a few times in the race? "It was that tight. Coming off of (turn) two a couple times, I got real loose and hit the wall because we over-adjusted, but you have to be that way on these tires. You have to be out of control and I was pretty much out of control, trying to hold onto the thing. After we ran about 15 or 20 laps, and the rest of the guys fell off so much, we could just keep ticking along and keep going. We knew we had a good car, we just had to get up front and get track position. Greg Biffle was really, really strong at the beginning of this race. He would've been a good competitor to race at the end, but unfortunately, he had his misfortunes."
How important is it for you to carry the momentum heading into the All-Star Race? "It's pretty cool. We just need to keep that bull's eye on us. Guys are looking at us and worrying about us. We're the target that they're shooting for. Carl Edwards is good, too. He finished second tonight, so those guys are tough every week as well. We're on top of the game for right now, but Carl is going to be right with us next weekend, and there were a lot of good cars that tested at Charlotte."
How does it feel to have that kind of accomplishment because usually people come in here and win this thing, they're the veterans, here you are doing it at 23? "It means a lot. This racetrack, don't get me wrong, I don't know all the history and heritage of it, but I know there's a lot to it. I know watching Carl Edwards' piece with (David) Pearson, having the fun day he had, then watching some of the highlights of the races here. It's kind of fun to watch those and see what the track was like back in the heyday. But we're running around here so fast now it's confusing. To me it's just neat to be able to go around this place and remember all that and yet still be able to become the winner tonight. It means a lot, especially because it's Mother's Day weekend now, and of course my mom was here to be able to help celebrate with us. Happy Mother's Day to her. And having Indiana Jones and M&M's on board this weekend with us, that was pretty cool, too. Glad we could get them a win for the special promotion they had going."
After the lug nut issue were you concerned about driving, wearing out equipment, and that you wouldn't have anything left for the end? "I was. I was more worried about trying to pass cars, come through there, getting tight, bouncing off the fence more times than I'd make a clean corner. To be honest with you, a year ago or two years ago, I probably would have just thrown my hands up and wrecked the thing. But I'm getting that much smarter -- not much -- but just that much smarter to where I know that we've got still a long race. If it would have happened 30 laps to go, I would have been junk. I would have probably folded in half. Fortunately it was still a long enough ways to go. Like two weeks ago at Talladega, we had the same thing. I had a pit stop miscue, I didn't get in my box, had to drive through. We come around, there were still laps to go where we could rebound from it. Knowing there was enough time to rebound from it, I just kind of laid back, stayed cool, tried to maneuver my way through traffic and do the best that I could. You know, fortunately I was able to get through about half the guys. And then coming down pit road, my guys had another awesome stop in order to get me a few more. Then on that last stop, they got me out first. That's all you can ask for from your pit crew. They did an awesome job."
Are you impressed with your accomplishments so far this year or are you not impressed until you win more? "I wouldn't say that I'm not impressed with what I've done. And I'm very grateful and humble that I've been able to win six weeks in a row, yes, but I feel like there could have been more. And hopefully in the next couple weeks, I can go to Charlotte next week, I can either win a truck race or All-Star Race or both, at that. That would be awesome. Then going into the 600 weekend, either win the 600 or have a great racecar in the Nationwide race and try to win that thing. You go out there every weekend, like I said before, you have to think you're the best, you have to know you have the best guys working on your stuff, and you've got to be able to go out there and make the best out of it. If we make the best out of it, like tonight we did, and we won, that's awesome. If we make it a second, third or fourth, we have to take what we get that weekend. Inevitably this streak is going to end. It's not going to keep going every single weekend. I've just got to keep my smiles on hopefully.
STEVE ADDINGTON, Crew Chief, No. 18 M&M's/Indiana Jones Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How special is it to win in your home state of South Carolina? "Oh, it's awesome to win in your home state. That was pretty big. I ran here in the Busch Series with Jason Keller, ran second to Jeff Burton I don't know how many times. To come in here, to win a Cup race here, it's really big. It makes me feel good about it."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Can you talk about the decision to pit from the lead, giving up track position late in the race? "We just weren't getting the fuel mileage that some of the teams were getting so we made the decision to pit from the lead. The FedEx team was awesome all day on pit road and we gained a lot of spots today but as it turned out the track position we gave up was too much to overcome. These cars are so tight when you pull within a couple of car lengths, we just couldn't make it back to the front."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing
Can you talk about what this run means for your team? "This is a brand new car, and it was really good all weekend. It was really solid. They kept getting it better and better all night. That last run, we kind of faltered for some reason. But not bad, man. That is run that this team needed. If we can get our act together, we can do this. Our pit crew did a good job, pitting with the front group of guys, holding their own. It was a good night for us."
How important is it to get the team back in the top-35 in owner points? "It's huge -- really huge. You don't want that struggle if you don't have to have it. We put ourselves in that position. We just haven't run well. I'm just happy for the whole group. I have a really good, experienced group of guys and they deserve to run a lot better than we've been running."
How good was your car tonight, considering you were running with the leaders all night? "That's a huge gain from what we're used to. On tracks like this, we've been three laps down. They built the new car for here, and we've finally done some testing here the last few weeks. We went to Nashville for two days and went to Charlotte for two days. We just really haven't had the chance to do that. We learned a lot. Tommy Baldwin, crew chief on this thing, deserves to run up front. That was good tonight. Good all around as a morale booster for the driver and everybody else."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 19th
TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 21st
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 24th
J.J. YELEY, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing Finishing Position: 26th
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 00 Brain Cancer Action Week Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 28th
-credit: toyota motorsports