Toyota NNS Phoenix Post-Race Notes & Quotes 11-8-14

Kyle Busch (second) was the highest finishing Camry in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Busch started from the pole and led the field three times for a race-high 187 laps (of 206), but a late-race caution forcing a green-white-checkered restart allowed Brad Keselowski to pass him for the victory.
Elliott Sadler (third) and Erik Jones (sixth) also registered top-10 finishes in the race at the one mile Arizona oval.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position:  2nd
What happened on the final restart?
“Everything was fine just my car wouldn’t quite turn as good on the restarts as it needed to.  We were a little bit better after we got a couple laps going.  Brad (Keselowski) got his car to bend in the middle of (turns) three and four and got under me and got by me.  Just wouldn’t take off on restarts very well.  It’s pretty pathetic NASCAR throws these Kyle Busch cautions — it’s really getting old and aggravating for us in this Nationwide Series.  It’s their prerogative, it’s their series and they get to do what they want to and I just have to settle for second and miss our opportunity on another owner’s championship this year.”

How strong was the race car?
“We had a really good car — the Monster Energy Camry was fast, faster than everybody else just not at the right time.  Unfortunately all the adjustments that we made throughout the day, which made our car really good in the long run weren’t very good for the short run there on the take off.  Just being really too tight, but overall it is what it is.”

What has impressed you about Chase Elliott this season?
“I think the biggest moments of brilliance or the most impressed that I’ve been I guess was Texas — him (Chase Elliott) going to a fast mile-and-a-half like that for one of the early starts of the season and winning there and then carrying that on through at Darlington and cutting through traffic the way he did on tires at a place that you can’t really pass at.  Doing a good job and being able to win there too.  Obviously he’s a talented young man — I’ve raced with him for a few years in the Late Model ranks and everything else.  It’s great to see a young one like that win a championship and he’ll be a force to reckon with for many years so congratulations to him and his bunch.”

When did you know the lead was in trouble on the final restart?
“As soon as his car cut better than mine in (turns) three and four and he got under me down the front straightaway.  I figured right there we were in trouble.  I tried to let him go getting into one and tried to cross over and cut back underneath him, but it wouldn’t turn.  Couldn’t get back alongside him and then he goes off into turn three and his stuff doesn’t turn, but it turns better than ours because he still gapped me through three and four coming to the checkers.”

ELLIOTT SADLER, No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position:  3rd
How was the race?
“I was kind of hoping those boys would rough each other up a little bit.  My race team gave me a great race car today.  This Sport Clips Toyota was fast — qualified good, raced good.  I wish I would have been a little bit better to get back up there and race with those guys.  All in all a really good day for us.”

How was the race today?
“Before I talk about my run I want to say congratulations to Chase (Elliot) and his team JRM (Junior Motorsports) for a championship well deserved.  Those guys ran good all year long on different tracks and definitely deserve this championship.  It was a good run for us. I just wish I’d have done a better job in practice to get my car to roll through the center a little better. Kyle (Busch) and Brad (Keselowski) are so good here and they can get their cars to roll through the center and get back in the gas so fast.  That last restart I was hoping to try to stay up there a little closer with them and hoping they were going to bounce off each other a little bit but they did a great job racing each other hard the last two laps and bringing it home. A third-place finish for us next to those two guys, I’m very proud. My guys did a tremendous job this weekend through qualifying and the race.”

How are you feeling after missing the bulk of last week’s race due to illness?
“I feel great.  I’ve been racing since I was seven years old and last week was the first time I had to even think about getting out of the race car.  I played six sports in high school and never missed a game of anything.  I’ll tell you what, I lost eight pounds in two days if that will tell you anything.  I just couldn’t eat anything or keep anything down.  Probably the roughest day I’ve ever had and it just happened to be on a race day.  Thanks to Clint (Bowyer) for being a really good Toyota teammate and coming and helping to fill in for us.”

How important is to have strong runs to finish the season with Joe Gibbs Racing?
“We’re still racing for points.  I don’t know where it’s at right now, but I think were third or fourth and we’re racing the 2 car, Brian Scott, and Ty Dillon and Regan Smith.  We’re all there together and we all want to finish as high as we can.  We had a really fast car at Homestead last year and we want to go there and end on the highest note that we can.  I’ve got a lot of friends on this race team and guys that have worked for me and you always want to end the season on a good note no matter what the situation is.  We want to go there and be the best we can.  We owe it to our team owner, race team and definitely our sponsor.”


ERIK JONES, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position:  6th
How was the race?
“I feel like we should have finished better than we did.  We lost track position there on the first stop — we had a mishap on the right front and just went all the way to the back, dead last and had to kind of work our way back up.  Just took all day to kind of make that back up.  We never ended up on as good as tires as everybody else and that just kind of put us behind the eight ball.  The GameStop Camry was one that I thought should have been probably a top-three car but we just didn’t have the track position all day to do it.  Cool race track still, one of my favorites and I can’t wait to have another shot here in the Nationwide Series.”

JAMES BUESCHER, No. 99 Rheem Toyota Camry, RAB Racing
Finishing Position:  14th

MIKE BLISS, No. 19 No. 5 Specialty Coatings Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports
Finishing Position:  16th

BLAKE KOCH, No. 44 Ingersoll Rand Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports
Finishing Position:  18th

JOHN WES TOWNLEY, No. 25 Zaxby’s Toyota Camry, Athenian Motorsports
Finishing Position:  23rd

ERIC McCLURE, No. 14 Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports
Finishing Position:  26th

TANNER BERRYHILL, No. 17 New Gulf Resources Toyota Camry
Finishing Position: 33rd

JEFF GREEN, No. 10 Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports
Finishing Position:  34th

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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