NextEra Energy Resources 250 Post-Race News Conference February 13, 2010 An interview with TIMOTHY PETERS - Winner JEFF HENSLEY - Crew chief KERRY THARP: We're going to roll into our post race victory press conference. Tonight's race winner,...
NextEra Energy Resources 250 Post-Race News Conference February 13, 2010
An interview with
TIMOTHY PETERS - Winner
JEFF HENSLEY - Crew chief
KERRY THARP: We're going to roll into our post race victory press conference. Tonight's race winner, winning on the last lap, is Timothy Peters, he drives the No. 17 K&N Toyota. He's joined by his crew chief, Jeff Hensley. This is Timothy's second career win. The last one came back last fall at Martinsville. He's our points leader going into Atlanta.
So congratulations on the win here tonight, Timothy. Talk about how exciting it was to win here at Daytona.
TIMOTHY PETERS: I guess it's everybody's dream to win at Daytona. It just feels different. But I'm glad 'cause, I mean, it doesn't get any better than winning. I could get used to this.
You know, Jeff Hensley and all the crew on the 17, Red Horse Racing, Toyota Tundra, did an awesome job all week long in preparing this truck over the winter.
In the draft, we were awesome. In practice on Wednesday and Thursday morning, we gave up a little bit by ourself knowing we could draft really well.
So, you know, we got in situations where it probably was a little too close for comfort, but the good Lord looked out for us and kept us straight and out of the wall.
I knew Todd Bodine was the man here and I wasn't gonna leave him until it was time to try to make a move. The 23 had a good run off of two coming down the middle of the backstretch. I went high to go with him. It worked out to where I could go back low. Here we are.
I just can't get over the feeling of being in Victory Lane at Daytona. K&N Filters being onboard with us, Crescent, everybody that's associated with Red Horse Racing, Tom DeLoach, bringing me over, believing in me.
Jeff, I can't say enough about Jeff, not because he's sitting here, but his track record speaks for itself. You know, we went to New Smyrna in the middle of January and had a test with our truck we won Martinsville with. Right out of the box, it felt like we'd been working together all our life.
Had good power from Joey Arrington. It's kind of cool. The people that's involved with our deal, me and Jeff probably don't live 20 minutes from each other. He lives in Martinsville, I live in Danville, we have Joey Arrington engines. Pretty cool combination. I won't forget this for a long time.
KERRY THARP: Jeff, terrific job out there tonight crewing that truck. Talk about the view atop the pit box.
JEFF HENSLEY: I'd like to take credit for the super strategy we had. But it really wasn't that big of a deal 'cause the cautions fell good right where we needed. We had a game plan of pitting at lap 20 if a caution come out. A caution come on lap 21. That got us to 54. The caution came on lap 47. Everything kind of played into our deal.
You know, sometimes I'd rather be lucky than good. But the guys on pit road, the over-the-wall guys, they are awesome, kept us up front all night long. We picked up spots every stop. We tried to put Timothy in a position to do what he did. He drove an awesome race all night long.
The truck was a little loose to start with. We made a couple air pressure adjustments, track bar deal there, got him just a little bit snug. But I knew it was gonna get kind of crazy there at the end, so I rather for him to be able to tug on the wheel than sit there and be holding his breath.
You know, it was just a lot of fun to watch it unfold. I just feel so fortunate to be a part of it.
KERRY THARP: We'll take questions for Timothy or Jeff.
Q: Timothy, Todd was in here saying you made a great, smart move at the end. Give any thought to how much confidence this gives you?
TIMOTHY PETERS: You know, this is only my fourth plate race, Superspeedway race. I'm still learning. It doesn't matter if we were at Daytona, Atlanta, Martinsville. To race with these guys is just an awesome feeling.
You know, call a spade a spade, Todd Bodine is the best Speedway racer. His results prove it. I wasn't gonna leave him until it was time to. My spotter, Kevin Ray, did an awesome job, keeping me calm, keeping me in line, telling me, Let's try to make the move down the pack straightaway. The 23 had an awesome run. When Todd went high, I went high, and we prevailed to the inside.
It's very cool. I'm not giving him all the credit, but it is cool to beat those guys, too. But Todd and I are pretty good buddies, too. It's pretty cool to beat him at the same time.
Q: How hard was it holding onto that truck coming off four? It looked like Todd crowded you down to get the side draft, made contact. How hard was it to hold onto?
TIMOTHY PETERS: Well, you know, Thursday morning we got into a good pack of trucks in the draft. We were in every situation you could think of, as far as being close on trucks, as far as my perspective, trucks crowding our quarter panel. You know, again, I have to give it to Jeff and all the guys. They really massaged this truck to where every bad situation could possibly happen Thursday, it did. Fortunately we didn't wreck it, thank goodness.
But it was a stable truck. And that was the best. That was very cool. And knowing that Todd is out there and I knew he was going to try to stall us out by hanging on the quarter panel and get that side draft. As far as I'm concerned, I had the drag racing visor on and I didn't see him out there, and that yellow line was my best friend, and I wasn't moving, so it worked out.
Q: A few years since we were in the garage in the cold weather. Could you have dreamed this back then? Todd had nothing but great things to say about you as a person. Obviously you're going to credit that Danville upbringing.
TIMOTHY PETERS: You know, what an amazing -- words can't describe what I feel. And as far as Todd, Todd is a class act. You know, he kind of seen the road that I've went down. When the good is good, when it's bad, it's pretty bad.
You know, Jeff could probably say the same thing, because he's been in racing his whole life with his own team, fighting the good with the bad as well.
Just very fortunate for my surroundings, for the competitors. Much appreciative of the compliments.
Q: Tim, are you really going to go to Disneyworld?
TIMOTHY PETERS: It's going to be in the plans. Got to be. My wife was wanting me to say that. Last time I was trying to tell a story at the Martinsville deal. It didn't come out the way I was thinking it. So I figured I'd make up for us by what she asked me to do.
We're going to go. It isn't very often that I can get to sit right here. What better way to say that you're going to go to Disneyworld. So we're going to go.
Q: This is two wins in your last six starts. You seem like you're on a roll now.
TIMOTHY PETERS: Well, it feels good. Don't get me wrong. If I could pick anywhere on the circuit to win my first race, it would be at home. But to win here at Daytona is just unbelievable. Look at the history that this place has behind it. To get out of that truck and to get soaked with Gatorade from the guys, knowing that you're in Victory Lane at Daytona, it just sends chills down my back. It's an awesome feeling. Not to sound like a broken record, but it's very cool.
Q: Does this solidify you as a championship contender?
TIMOTHY PETERS: I hope so. I feel like it, that we are. You know, Tom over the winter made adjustments with the team, said we were going to do everything that we could to put our Toyota Tundra in championship contention. You know, Jeff has been in that running in many different scenarios. I'm very privileged that Tom believes enough in me and my ability to give me the opportunity and put the great people behind me.
You know, life's good.
Q: Jeff, if I remember right, you've worked with some pretty awesome drivers throughout your entire career, guys who have won championships, guys who should have won championships. Look at this guy, two wins now in less than six months. How does he stack up against some of the others you've worked with?
JEFF HENSLEY: I mean, he's as good as anybody I've ever worked with, and I haven't worked with him that much. I mean, we're just getting started.
But, you know, like Timothy said, we kind of come from the same upbringing. And I appreciate that. I appreciate that probably more than a lot of people do. But his ability as a racecar driver, you know, I wouldn't be sitting here right now if it wasn't for him. I believed in the opportunity when Tom DeLoach called me and asked me if I'd be interested in coming over. When he told me I would be working with Timothy, I mean, that made my decision really easy, because I believed in him when he was doing his own deal out of the his backyard. When he was at BHR in the summer of '08, we did a little bit of stuff together because he was in a Dodge and we were in a Dodge.
I seen the determination and how hard he worked, how hard he wanted it. It looked like me 20 years ago. I've been there and done that. I know how tough it is. To see what he's sacrificed, wanted to do to be where he's at right now, just wants to make me be an even better crew chief and ask more of our guys.
Everybody just worked really hard this winter. We've made a lot of changes in the shop. Made a lot of changes on the truck. We had a lot of work to do. We still got a lot of work to do.
But everybody's pulled together. You know, Tom has given us everything we need to make this happen. Obviously our engine program is pretty good. I can't say enough about our over-the-wall guys. They're awesome. That's a tribute to pit school. Those guys practice there and train there every day. It's where your races are won and lost.
And our fab shop. I mean, these guys worked really hard on this truck. All the guys back there, they've rubbed on it, fluffed on it as much as we could. I told them I wanted no drag and all the downforce I could get, just like everybody else. They pretty much give us what we wanted. I can't say enough about Timothy and everybody I'm associated with right now. I'm pretty lucky to be a part of it.
Q: When you won last year at Martinsville, Tom DeLoach made you a single promise, saying you would be racing for him this year. How crazy was the winter? Were you at any time a little worried maybe you weren't going to be here?
TIMOTHY PETERS: I never worried about that. Tom DeLoach is the nicest man that I've ever met. When he says something, you can take it to the bank. Over the winter, it wasn't a deal to where I stayed at the house. I was at the shop, you know, when the guys walked in, and I was there when they walked out.
I just loved being there. For the opportunity that Tom has given me, I want to be there for the team, to let the guys know that I'm behind them. Let Tom know that I'm very appreciative for the opportunity that he's given me.
Even though we have great people, great resources, great trucks, I'm not gonna change. I mean, my dad's ever said, Hey, you're never too good. You put your pants on the same way I do every morning. I'm gonna continue to do that as long as I'm able to race.
So I'm very, very fortunate for the opportunity and the people that are around me. I just hope that things continue to go as well as they started tonight.
Q: One of the things that Todd said, the reason we saw such wild racing was the new shock package. You said your truck was set up really snug, real solid. Could you talk about just dealing with that. Do you agree with him, that was one of the reasons why it was so wild? If not, why do you think we saw such crazy racing out there tonight?
TIMOTHY PETERS: Well, you know, as far as the shocks go, it kind of played into our favor. We ended final practice Thursday morning where I could just pull on the wheel comfortable and still run really well in the pack.
You know, obviously all that changes once you get 20 deep side-by-side. You know, tonight we spent half of the race trying to tighten me back up a little bit because we were in a very good pack of trucks, and we were too free.
You know, Todd taught me a lot there those last 10 laps. A lot of the night -- of tonight, when I was by myself, I was running right on the yellow line, and Todd actually moved up a lane. Inside those last 15 laps, I moved up with him. I could physically hear the rpms pick up in the motor. I could stay right on his back bumper through the turns better than what I have all night long.
So I learned a lot. It was cool. The bump-drafting deal was kind of crazy. The new bumpers that we can run now, they line up a little bit, but not as well as we'd like. I pushed the 5 down the back straightaway and kind of got him a little out of whack. I'll take credit for that. But, you know, it's Daytona. Everybody wants to win. I'm glad that we're sitting here, though.
KERRY THARP: Timothy and Jeff, congratulations on a great race tonight. Good luck in Atlanta.
TIMOTHY PETERS: Thank you.
JEFF HENSLEY: Thank you.