Race 12 of 23 – 150 miles, 60 laps
Saturday, July 30, 2016
TOYOTA NCWTS DRIVER FINISHING POSITIONS at Pocono Raceway
1st, WILLIAM BYRON
2nd, CAMERON HAYLEY
3rd, BRETT MOFFITT
4th, TIMOTHY PETERS
6th, RICO ABREAU
10th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
11th, BEN RHODES
12th, MATT CRAFTON
13th, CODY COUGHLIN
25th, AUSTIN WAYNE SELF
TOYOTA DRIVER NCWTS POINT STANDINGS following Pocono Raceway (race 12 of 23)*
1st, WILLIAM BYRON 319 points
2nd, MATT CRAFTON 294 points
4th, TIMOTHY PETERS 282 points
6th, CHRISTOPHER BELL 268 points
8th, CAMERON HAYLEY 251 points
12th, BEN RHODES 233 points
13th, RICO ABREU 218 points
16th, AUSTIN WAYNE SELF 150 points
*unofficial point standings
· Toyota driver William Byron won his fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race of the season on Saturday at Pocono Raceway to become the winningest rookie in NCWTS history.
· Eighteen-year-old Byron, who broke the NCWTS record set by Kurt Busch in 2000, led the field three times for a race-high 44 laps (of 60) en route to his first career win at the Pennsylvania track.
· This victory marks the seventh win in 12 races this season for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
· The win also marks the 153rd for Toyota in the NCWTS since entering series competition in 2004.
· Tundra drivers Cameron Hayley (second), Brett Moffitt (third), Timothy Peters (fourth), Rico Abreu (sixth) and Christopher Bell (10th) also earned top-10 finishes at Pocono.
WILLIAM BYRON, No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st
Are you surprised you already have five wins this season?
“Honestly this is just a credit to this team. I mean this team is a great group of guys. Rudy Fugle (crew chief) leads them all. The pit crew is great – we just have good chemistry. We show up and do our jobs and I just love being here. These things don’t come easy at all and it’s a good thing when you get one. I just can’t thank Liberty University, Toyota, Kyle (Busch), Samantha (Busch) and JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) engines enough.”
Are you starting to already look ahead to the championship with five wins already this season?
“I mean, yeah. I think our team is really in good position for that. We have so much laser focus on what we’re doing right now and nothing from the outside has thrown us off our game. Last week was a struggle but I was just ready to get back on asphalt and try to get back to something I’m used to. Just a credit to this team to come back like this and get a win.”
Were restarts the key to today’s race?
“Yeah, restarts were tough but we had a couple things that were working our way on those and we were getting good launches so just a credit to Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) and all the guys that have put a lot of hard work into this truck and each truck that we race. This thing is three for three this year so I wish we could bring it back to every race. Just a great truck and great JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) power and everything under the hood, and Liberty University being onboard just made for good restarts.”
Would you have believed that you had five wins at this point in the season at this time last year?
“I’d have said you were crazy. Just to get one is hard enough. Everything has just lined up for us this year. I’ve been extremely blessed and we’ve had a lot of things that have happened good for us and we’re bringing fast trucks and we’re doing our homework so that’s the biggest thing and the key to success.”
What have you learned during the first 12 races that have helped you to be so successful?
“I think just keeping your head up. Keeping your head in the game. We’re always thinking. There’s always so many things going on inside the race car and on the pit box to make these races work. We never stop working at it and in that race we never stopped saving fuel even though we felt like we were good to go. Just always new challenges and I think we’re just doing a great job of adapting to those.”
What does it mean to break a record set by Kurt Busch 16 years ago for rookie wins in the series?
“That’s pretty crazy. I grew up watching Kurt and Kyle (Busch) and guys like Jimmie Johnson. Those are my idols. Now I’m out here on the race track racing on the same race track and it’s pretty neat. So, I’m trying to take it in one race at a time.”
Can you talk about your race today?
“Today was just about a great race team behind me and just bringing a fast truck to the race track and doing our homework. So, that was step number one. We knew this race was going to come down to restarts just from the last couple years and seeing what’s happened. Luckily, we were in the right positions and we got the right breaks. There were a lot of cautions. I would’ve liked for there to be a few more but I felt like it helped us save a little bit of fuel and we got to that last restart and we were able to drive away. Just can’t thank Liberty University enough and Toyota and Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) and all these guys that are putting all of the effort into this.”
What does it mean to you to set the record for wins in a season by a rookie?
“It means a lot. I don’t get too far ahead of where our goals are but that was definitely a goal. I can’t lie about that. So, I knew that was something to beat and we just show up with so much focus. We never get off track I feel like. It’s just a credit to where we are as a race team, the work we’re doing, the work they’re doing in the shop on the trucks and we’re putting in altogether when we get to the race tracks. I love this race track. I think it’s a pretty neat place and you’ve got to be in love with the race track I think to have success also.”
Did you talk to team owner Kyle Busch to get any advice on racing at Pocono?
“I did, yeah a little bit and just watching some tapes and stuff. We had a pretty good idea what we needed to do here. I got experience in the ARCA race which helped a little bit. So, I’ve got to thank the Venturini guys over there for getting me a car in June and giving me some practice here. This place is tricky and it’s a lot different but Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) and everyone did a good job of getting me up to speed and we had a pretty flawless weekend.”
Has graduating from high school helped your racing career with four wins since then and has enrollment increased at Liberty University this year?
“Yeah, hopefully we’re getting some more students on board and seeing them traveling to all of these different cities and states we’re able to reach some more students and kids like me that can go to school. I’m taking some online classes right now and then I’m going in the fall back to school or college for the first time. It’s helped just graduating high school, getting through that stressful part and then transitioning and focusing completely on the racing, but it will be that way in the fall. We’re going to make sure that we schedule all of my classes around our races and make sure we have enough time to get everything we need done.”
What is your goal now that you have the rookie record?
“I can’t give a number and we just focus week to week so if we could continue to win. Each win is so difficult. It may look like you’ve got the dominant truck and everything is working great and then a restart comes and who knows what happens. It’s just important to focus on each week because you never know where things are going to go and if we continue to build like this who knows what the bar is I think for our team and we’ve just got to look at it that way.”
How much different it the pressure now and how do you deal with being the guy to beat?
“I think it’s not very difficult just knowing that you can go out there and win. We worked on restarts like he (Rudy Fugle) said. In Kansas when the caution came out with four laps to go I was not happy at all. I’m still not happy when the caution comes out but at least I know I can do it so that’s the biggest difference. Just having the confidence to know that you can win. It’s so much easier when you have a fast truck because you don’t have to think about much before the race and what you have to change. That’s what we came into today with the mindset of and it worked out.”
RUDY FUGLE, crew chief, No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
What makes William Bryon and this No. 9 team so special in 2016?
“We just put it together. It’s a puzzle piece. We put the driver into a really good team and he’s (William Byron) awesome and we all gel and we have just a great team effort. Can’t do it without the pit crew, the engines, everybody at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports). It’s pretty awesome.”
Did the restarts make you nervous during today’s race?
“You’re always wondering what’s going to happen. Last year with Erik (Jones) it was us and Kyle (Busch), we were way better and we ended up getting wrecked on the last restart so we were a little bit worried. Look at where this kid was in Kansas on restarts and compared to now it’s unbelievable. It’s hard work, it’s spotter, driver, working together and I mean he’s got it. Just put a challenge ahead of him and he figures it out.”
CAMERON HAYLEY, No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What were you thinking on the last restart?
“I was definitely nervous, especially that last lap. I was just praying that we had enough fuel, but Eddie (Troconis, crew chief) made a great call up on the box. Our Cabinets by Hayley Tundra was strong all day and right at the end there man those restarts were crazy. Thanks to Timothy (Peters) for pushing me. I couldn’t have done it without him. That 9 (William Byron) was fast. Man, I wish we could catch him, but thanks to Cabinets by Hayley, Carolina Nut Company and it was just a good day for us.”
How tricky was the ‘Tricky Triangle’ this afternoon for you?
“It was definitely tricky for sure. It’s interesting with these caution clocks and fuel mileage and you never know exactly what you’re going to get. And, we stretched it to about as far as it would go. I ran out coming into pit road so we were definitely stretching it. We were worried about that, but our Tundra was really fast today. (Turns) one and two we struggled all day but the tunnel and three we were on it. The 9 (William Byron) is so fast we need to really go back and look at things because he’s definitely a step above us. But, we worked hard all day and those restarts were crazy like Brett (Moffitt) said, but we were able to come out at least for a second place finish. I would’ve liked the win but that 9 is pretty fast so we’ll keep trying.”
How important is it to have strong finishes knowing the Chase is coming up?
“Well, thanks for reminding me there’s only four or five races left (laughter). We’re definitely – we did almost all we could to get in that Chase there. Obviously we would’ve liked to win. The 9 (William Byron) is really strong. He’s got so many wins I don’t know why he didn’t just pull over and let me go. Overall, we definitely gave it all we had and a second place finish is huge for us for points-wise. Had some struggles at the beginning of the year and we’re definitely overcoming it here in July but it’s a good step forward for sure.”
BRETT MOFFITT, No. 11 Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How does it feel to get a top-five finish today?
“It feels really good to get back here running in the front. We didn’t have quite enough for the 9 (William Byron) or the 13 (Cameron Hayley). They were really strong at the end. Scott Zipadelli (crew chief) and the guys worked their butts off on this truck. We weren’t all that good yesterday and to be sitting here third is really good for us and Toyota has given us a strong motor and strong truck. I can’t thank Tom (DeLoach, team owner) and everyone at Red Horse (Racing) enough.”
Were the restarts wild today?
“Yeah those restarts were interesting for sure. You got a couple people who couldn’t quite figure out the ‘Tricky Triangle’ it looked like. So, a lot of it was being patiently aggressive. Our strategy had us in the back a lot for the majority of the race and we kind of had to work our way back up past older tires every time it would cycle through. We had to be careful, but all in all the guys at Red Horse (Racing) did a great job. Complete 180 from yesterday. We were struggling and I wasn’t sure our truck was going to be that good today. We didn’t make a single adjustment on it during the race so we really had a great truck. Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) called a great race, great strategy and got us upfront when it mattered.”
How difficult was it for you to try to keep your Tundra clean during the race?
“We were actually really lucky. It seemed like when it would happen it happened right in front of us so we were able to duck to the bottom and avoid it before cars get stacked up three and four wide trying to avoid it and you get forced into a lane. So, it worked out alright for us it’s just we saw a lot of action right in front of us. But, part of qualifying raining out was we started mid-pack and we had to do what the leaders didn’t so that’s why we went with that strategy and it ended up working out. But, it definitely was a little bit nerve-racking through the middle section of the race there.”
When did you find out you were racing at Pocono and will this help you to get more races?
“They like to keep it last minute so I found out about a week ago Friday I guess it was I believe when they officially announced it. It’s a little stressful during that week to get everything ready and it’s hard on the guys at the shop but they did a great job adjusting to multiple drivers this year and they continue to prove that.”
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
Did you think your Tundra could compete with William Bryon for the win today?
“Yeah, he was pretty stout for sure, but my Red Horse (Racing) Tundra was really good all day. We were trying to bank on strategy and our truck as good as it was to get track position when those other guys had to come in to pit but more cautions came out than what we anticipated. All in all a great race for us here at Pocono. My best finish (here) in six years so we’ll keep building on this momentum. We’ve been consistent across the board. This puts us above the plus line a little bit better. Just everyone involved – TRD (Toyota Racing Development), Toyota, Notch Gear, Wiley X just can’t thank everybody enough.”
RICO ABREU, No. 98 Safelite Auto Glass/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How was your race today?
“I had a brand new Toyota Tundra this weekend that my guys at ThorSport Racing built. Doug George (crew chief) did great calls on pit strategy to save fuel and put ourselves in position at the end. I just wish we could’ve been on the outside on that final restart. Got put three-wide and just really put us in a pinch but I’ll take a sixth. WE should’ve been a little better but two top-10s in the last two truck races is really good for a team like us. Just got to thank Safelite Auto Class, ThorSport Racing, Curb Records, Toyota and DC Solar just for being a part of my career and letting me follow my dreams.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 4 SiriusXM Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 10th
How did you come back from five laps down to finish in the top-10?
“It’s a shame, it really is because Jerry Baxter (crew chief) and all the No. 4 guys did a great job on the truck. Our SiriusXM Tundra was super good all weekend long and definitely feel like we had a truck that could’ve competed for the win if not get the win. But, I put myself in a bad position there once we finally made our ground back up from the beginning of the race. I put myself in a bad spot on a restart and got put three-wide going into the tunnel turn and it didn’t work out.”
BEN RHODES, No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
How was your race?
“We started out really strong. Ended up getting back to about fifth or sixth at one point and worked our way back up to second and had a really strong truck. We were pulling the guys behind us. The 9 truck in front us he was pulling us a little bit but I think we had something for him on the restarts. Had a great restart next to him and we were able to stay strong. I learned some stuff there, but unfortunately I was never able to implement it on the restarts with him. Came down for a pit stop and got an over the wall penalty. They were over the wall too soon. We’re just going to go from here and see what else we can wrap up and bring to Bristol. I know we have a really good short track truck. Unfortunately we got collected in a guy’s mess going into Turn 1 today so we’re going to go fix this thing up. Got a couple other big speedway trucks built up. We’re going to take our awesome truck number 49 that’s done well at Gateway, Iowa, Martinsville and we’re going to go win Bristol now and get in the Chase.”
MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 12th
CODY COUGHLIN, No. 51 JEGS/Mishimoto Toyota Camry, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 13th
AUSTIN WAYNE SELF, No. 22 AM Technical Solutions Toyota Tundra
Finishing Position: 25th