Pocono: Toyota teams race notes, quotes

Kasey Kahne (second) was the highest finishing Tundra driver in Saturday's inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Pocono Raceway. Aric Almirola (fourth), Justin Lofton (fifth), Mike Skinner (sixth), Timothy Peters (eighth)...

Kasey Kahne (second) was the highest finishing Tundra driver in Saturday's inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Pocono Raceway.

Aric Almirola (fourth), Justin Lofton (fifth), Mike Skinner (sixth), Timothy Peters (eighth) and Denny Hamlin (ninth) also finished in the top-10 for Toyota at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania oval.

Tundra drivers Bodine (12th) and David Starr (13th) were also in the field, placing all eight Tundra race trucks in the field within the top-15 positions.

Toyota drivers led 24 of 55 laps with Kahne (17 laps), Hamlin (five laps) and Todd Bodine (two laps) taking turns out front.

Bodine continues to lead in the unofficial NCWTS point standings, and is currently 149 points ahead of second-place Almirola. Peters (fourth), Skinner (eighth) and Starr (ninth) are also in the top-10 in points after 13 of 25 races.


KASEY KAHNE, No. 18 Toyota of Scranton Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 2nd

What are your thoughts on the first truck race at Pocono? "I thought it was a really awesome race. The way that the trucks sucked up here, especially when there was five or six close together and two or three wide, it was probably as exciting of a front straightaway or all three straightaways as there has been that I have been on. It was really cool and I really enjoyed it. Hopefully the trucks come back next year and race more laps. I think this race should be a little bit longer and that would even make it better. It was good. I want to thank Kyle Busch and his whole team - he has a really good team - strong team, strong trucks and a lot of fun to drive. I just didn't get it done today. I felt like we had the truck to beat. Elliott (Sadler) was really quick, he did a good job and won the race, but I felt like we should have been there and just didn't get it done."

Do you think you could have beat Elliott Sadler at the end of the race? "It's just about when you get in position. When I restarted in the front, (Aric) Almirola, as soon as we got past the start-finish line, he pulled out and got on my left rear so that just parked both those lanes and like five trucks went by us so then I'm back to sixth. So I drive back to fourth or whatever so it was just positioning and where you're at on the track because the draft is so huge and if you get stalled out, the trucks that are drafting are going to smoke you. It's like (Matt) Crafton was saying about being 11th and he could just come right through that. If there's two trucks up there and you can kind of see them, you can suck up to them in a heartbeat so it's kind of just where you're at on the track and once I got stalled out, we lost position and never got back to be close enough to Elliott (Sadler). We had a legitimate shot at racing with Elliott, we had done it throughout the race."

How do you feel about the length of this race? "I'm used to 500 miles here so I was actually kind of getting nervous like you actually get to where you are thinking that the race is going to be over in no time. On lap 25 I was a little nervous that it was over so quickly and once I got back to fifth, then you can come back through so quick that at the same time it's really cool because you're racing really hard. It was a lot of fun as a driver. It was a good time and I think it was a good show so that's why I say it should be longer. I felt like it was a sprint car race. I'm cool with a sprint car race too, but not here."


ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 51 Zyclara/Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports
Finishing Position: 4th

How was your race truck today? "Our Graceway Pharmaceuticals Tundra was pretty good today. I didn't feel like we were a truck capable of winning, but there at the end I think anything was possible. These trucks just punch such a big hole in the air, drafting is a huge part of what we do. I might have cost ourselves a chance at the win when I pulled out on Kasey (Kahne) there and slowed us both down. I felt like that was probably the deciding factor on why we didn't have a shot to win today. Nonetheless, all the guys on this team did a great job and it was a fun day."


JUSTIN LOFTON, No. 7 VisitPit.com Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 5th

What did it feel like to battle for the win today? "It was definitely real exciting to be back in the chase and I got fired up throughout the race. I think my pit crew thought I was going to get in over my head a little bit, but I was just having a great time out there. I got to race with a lot of great people. Congratulations to Elliott (Sadler) that was a heck of a run for him. Just a lot of fun, glad to be here and I hope we come back soon."

How much did you enjoy today's race? "I just had a blast. I've been here four times in the ARCA car and honestly racing the truck here is a whole lot more fun. It was the same thing, with the last green-white-checkered, I was running second on the outside of Elliott (Sadler), I went back somewhere outside the top eight for sure and ended up finishing fifth. It was a lot of fun. I really hope we come back. I wish we would have done about 50 more laps and had another pit stop in there and played some strategy out. I had an absolute great time out there and it was three or four wide down the straightaways going in the corners not knowing what anyone is going to do. Just an awesome day and really proud of all the guys over at Red Horse Racing for putting this truck together and that gremlin not getting us that's been touching us the last three weeks."

How did your experience at Pocono in ARCA help you in today's race? "Where we really saw the advantage was when we unloaded here, I brought my crew chief from last year so when we unloaded here we knew what to expect. The minute we showed up to the race track, I felt we were ahead of a lot of the guys. I almost might have been up there above some of the guys that haven't seen it, but right below Kasey (Kahne) and all the rest of the Cup guys. It really helped me out, I knew what to expect and if you watched the race, how I progressed through. We really made a really good adjustment at the only pit stop and really got out truck working. I just messed up on the end of it and I think we would have got up there and at least posted a top-three finish."


MIKE SKINNER, No. 5 International Trucks Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports
Finishing Position: 6th

TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 WISS/Gearwrench Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 8th


DENNY HAMLIN, No. 15 DigitalQpons.com Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports
Finishing Position: 9th

How were the restarts? "I was towards the outside and typically that's where you want to be. The 3 (Austin Dillon) was pushing the 18 (Kasey Kahne) and he kind of drove him a little too hard and washed up into our left front and it hooked us right into the fence."

Was this race like restrictor plate racing? "It is, these trucks with no horsepower and these big spoilers, you have to have help down the straightaway. I felt like we were going to be good. As soon as we got the lead I felt it was game over. When we had that caution that just killed us."

What did you think of the shorter 50 laps for the race? "I loved it. I thought it was a great distance. You couldn't get more per lap excitement than right there -- 50 laps is a perfect amount for this race track. Hopefully they look at something like that for the future of the Cup Series."


TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 12th

What happened when you spun during that restart? "The 3 (Austin Dillon) got into the corner panel. It was just a racing deal. We had a good truck and was running up front with a shot to win and got taken out. I know Austin (Dillon) didn't mean it, it's just one of those deals -- racing accidents. We'll just take it and go on."

Are the restarts at Pocono like restrictor plate racing? "Yeah, they're fun though. It was interesting for sure. I think everybody has the mentality that you can make a lot of positions on restarts if you get aggressive and that's why they get that way. I think some of the guys get over aggressive and end up with problems. I was hoping there was going to be another one at the end but it didn't happen that way."

Did you like the shorter 50 lap race? "No, it's way too short. If it was even 75 laps, we could have got back to the front and raced them. With 50 laps, that was a little ridiculous to even bring us here for that. It was a good show, it just needed to be longer."


DAVID STARR, No. 81 PC Miler Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports
Finishing Position: 13th

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Kasey Kahne , Elliott Sadler , Denny Hamlin , Timothy Peters , Aric Almirola , Justin Lofton , Austin Dillon , Kyle Busch
Teams Germain Racing , Kyle Busch Motorsports , Red Horse Racing