Kyle Busch fastest Toyota driver starts third in Texas 500

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Snickers Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 3rd

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Where did you make the biggest improvements in qualifying? "About everywhere. We were fighting with the car just handling all the way through the turn -- whether it was entry center or exit. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys made some really good calls. Proud of the effort and coming back as strong as we did. For what it drove like in practice and to what it drove there (in qualifying) -- I just wasn't ready for it. I probably could have got more out of it if I had a second chance at it and having an opportunity to drive something close to it in practice to now. We'll take that and hopefully it will stay for a top-five and we'll get a good pit spot and fine tune from there."

How was your qualifying run? "We fought it a little bit there in practice. The Snickers Camry was a little bit off and so we worked awful hard. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) made some good changes to it to get some speed out of it and get the car to where it would go through the turns and do one thing instead of about five different things. If I had another shot at it -- if I was able to drive something close to that earlier in the practice and then go back at it again right now -- I'd probably be able to pick up a little bit."

Do the championship contenders deserve all the focus in these last few races? "I think when you are a championship contender you do deserve the attention. That's fine and dandy -- that's the way it should be, but there needs to be a little bit given to the guys that still run well throughout the race. Obviously, their sponsors are paying a lot of money to see them out there and it's not that we're just out there making laps, but that we do have something to achieve yet for the rest of the year. For myself especially, it's just wins. It would be nice to get a pat on the back every once in awhile."

After your recent finishes do you know where you would be in the Chase currently? "I've done the math and we'd still be sixth or seventh right now. We've had -- surprise, surprise -- we've had enough bad races still that it takes us out of the running for it. If I go back to Loudon (N.H.) and I give myself a second and I go back to Chicago and I give myself an eighth -- realistic finishes of where we were running then we could be the points leader. I'm sure there's a few other guys out there that could do the same thing. It all is what it is, but we missed so it doesn't really matter anyway. I don't think our performance has changed much all year. I think we've been good, we've been fast -- we've had good opportunities to finish up front and to challenge for wins. I think the biggest thing that kept us from getting those finishes was just stupid luck. Having three engine failures in a row and blowing a brake rotor and having tires going flat and all kinds of stuff. It tried to hurt us again at Martinsville there when we had a right-rear tire going down and finally I spun out and then we were able to come back and get a second-place finish out of the day. The gremlin is still running around somewhere, we haven't caught him and kicked him to the curb yet, but we need to before 2013."

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 4th

How was your qualifying lap? "It was really good in (turns) one and two and anytime you get in it like that -- you know, you got one and two that's got all that grip and the shade, and you get down to (turns) three and four. I knew not to be overconfident, but I had a little more confidence than I probably should and missed the bottom down there and just kind of gave up a little too much I think in (turns) three and four."

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 5th

How has your car handled today? "It's been a good day for our team and just missed it a little bit there. I didn't quite get a perfect lap. We tried a little air pressure adjustment there too and I'm not sure if it was a combination of the two or if it was all me or all the tires. It was a good lap, just not exactly what we were looking for."

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot/ Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 6th

How did your car handle in qualifying? "This was a good improvement for our Camry. The guys did a good job finding some speed in it and changing some things up on it. They were able to give me what I needed there. We're a lot closer now than we were at the end of practice. All the guys worked hard for me and we'll have a good starting spot here on Sunday."

How do you expect your car to be in the race? "We'll see -- we only made a couple race runs today. I think the track is going to be quite a bit different tomorrow and we have some package changes that we want to make to see where we're going to be. We didn't feel like we're where we needed to be in race trim so we're just going to step back, reload and try something else."

MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 11th

How was the qualifying lap? "It was a little slippery out there and I didn't get the best run in turns one and two. I just didn't get the best out of the car on that lap."

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 12th

How was the qualifying lap? "We haven't had a ton of speed today. Been fighting really loose on the corner entry and really kind of fought it again in qualifying. Just haven't been able to get that speed out of it that we need."

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Wounded Warrior Project Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting Position: 29th

How was the qualifying lap? "We've just been to a point in practice where this was about all we could get out of it -- not really sure why. Just too tight in the center and it just didn't seem like we had enough speed. I don't know if we're just too tight. We unloaded in qualifying trim and it was the first time that we've done this all year. Sometimes I think we need to unload in race trim just to run a few laps."

Toyota Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Kyle Busch
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags bowyer, busch, gibbs, logano, martin, texas, toyota, truex