Kyle Busch first Toyota driver to cross finish line in Texas 500

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

How did the late race battle for the lead look from your seat? "It was exciting. Those guys up there man -- they (Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski) are battling, and they are battling hard. Giving it everything they got. That's what they've got to do -- you're going to win a championship in the Sprint Cup Series, that's what you're going to have to make of it. So, can't say enough about my team. All these guys -- they did a great job tonight. We had flawless pit stops that kept us up front all night long and got us the lead a couple times. We were fast out front. It's just so hard to pass, we couldn't make up any ground through traffic."

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

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Did you have something to work with at the end of the race? "We did. We were really fast if we could get out front. Our Snickers Peanut Butter Squared Camry was good and we had a fast race car tonight. Can't say enough about all the guys -- they did a great job for me. There at the end, we wanted to get through there and get out front and be gone, but just couldn't get there. Those guys were battling hard and you could kind of see it from my seat anyways what they were doing and how hard they were going at it. Of course that's what you got to do to win a Sprint Cup championship. Good night for us. I wish we were in the deal, but that's what next year is for."

Do your recent strong runs provide momentum for 2013? "Yeah, I mean, you've got to continue to work hard and strive to get better. For missing the Chase by what we did, yeah, we had a lot of technical problems, but I'm sure there were a few races where we could have finished better. So, we 've got to get better in every opportunity that we can. This last ten weeks have been pretty good. We've run well. We've been fast. We've shown speed. Maybe we've been third to fifth or third to sixth-place cars. Tonight I felt like we were a winning car if we could have gotten out front. I think track position meant that much, which we'll say that every week. It's just a matter of continuing to evolve and get better as a team and communicate because this car is obsolete in two weeks. So we'll work on all of that stuff in 2013."

Are you pleased with your performance in all three races over the weekend? "Good results. Qualifying in the top-three in all of them. My worst finish was the truck race -- a fourth -- when we had battery issues. It was a good weekend. It's funny what a year makes. It's disappointing that we couldn't come out of here with a win. I've just been so close so many times here that you wish you could have an opportunity to make something happen in the last few restarts and get somewhere, but just haven't been able to figure that out."

Was running all three races this weekend beneficial? "I think it helps, sure. At the beginning of the year it was told to me that I should cut back on my extracurricular racing because it distracts me from my Cup effort. Then I come out and qualify in the top-three in all three series. If it wasn't for a truck battery issue that we had, we would have finished top-three in all three series. Any sort of track time that I can get, it always seems to be beneficial for me no matter how tired I feel on Monday. This is a good race weekend for us. I'd love to say I'm doing the triple in the next two, but we've got Brian Scott running my truck next week at Phoenix, but beyond that I'll be running every other race from here on out, so it's good."

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 6th

How did the car handle in the race? "Right across the center it seemed like they could get to the throttle and keep it down a little bit better, a little earlier and a little bit harder than I could. They kept trying to free it up and kept trying to fix that problem. Every time we would, we'd get loose in and it would kind of snap off and carry loose off. Man, we tried. We kept losing track position and it's really hard to make it up. We got behind there at the end. It was a solid night, but just frustrating. I thought we were going to be better than that."

Do you feel like the championship is still within reach? "I've said this all along -- it's fun to be racing for the championship, but I'm more proud of where we're at contending for that championship, winning three races our first year together as a group. Got a long time to work. We just keep polishing the edges and keep getting better fixing our program week-in and week-out. We'll be there."

How was your race? "We were close, but no cigar. That's what we were all about tonight. The one thing that could have won us the race just didn't play out with the cautions. I really felt like we were doing a good job with our fuel mileage thing. I thought we were sitting pretty good there until that caution came out with 26 (laps) to go. That being said, you can't be greedy. We could have had right-front (tire) trouble again like we did earlier. Solid night. It's just unbelievable. You keep having these top-10 runs and flirting with the top-fives week-in and week-out, and unless you're winning these races every week you just can't gain points. Even if we were winning right now, it ain't enough to run them down for a championship. We're having fun. We're just taking it week by week. I thought they (Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski) were going to wreck each other, but they didn't. It would have been awesome -- I really did think they were going to wreck each other."

Toyota Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Jimmie Johnson , Eric Gilbert , Brad Keselowski , Brian Scott , Kyle Busch
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Race report
Tags bowyer, busch, gibbs, hamlin, texas, toyota, truex