NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Ford 200
Topics: Ford 200
November 18, 2011
THE MODERATOR: The 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is Joey Coulter, and he drives the No. 22 RCR Graphics Center Chevrolet. Congratulations, Joey. This is your fifth top 5 and your 13th top 10 showing this season. What's it feel like to be known as the Rookie of the Year in the Truck Series?
JOEY COULTER: This is by far the biggest accomplishment of my career, my life. This is unbelievable. This rookie class, man, I've raced against Parker Kligerman in the ARCA series, and he's a top-notch driver. Knowing I was going to race against him, I already had an idea it was going to be tough. At the end of Daytona and getting through the first couple races and seeing how good that Cole Whitt and also P.K. were and also Miguel Paludo, I knew it was going to be a fight all the way to here. It's unbelievable that we're here.
Austin won the Rookie of the Year last year, and that was kind of one of our goals for this 22 team was to go win the Rookie of the Year, and it's just an unbelievable feeling to have that title. I've been close to winning Rookie of the Years before, but this is so worth the wait. This is definitely the coolest thing, most meaningful thing that's happened in my career.
Q. What do you think or why do you think you were able to outlast all those guys in this rookie battle? What went right for you this year?
JOEY COULTER: We just were able to stay out of trouble most of the year. The guys did an amazing job on pit road keeping me in the front when we were up there, and if we weren't already up front, they did a great job picking up spots getting us there.
The equipment coming out of RCR is just -- it's unbelievable. I'm pretty sure we had zero mechanical failures this year, and that's huge for anything. It paid off for us in the Rookie of the Year, it paid off for the 3 winning the championship. I think that's one thing that RCR is so good at is just every tiny little detail that goes into that truck, they make sure they go over it two or three times, and the trucks just -- they're so reliable. They're fast every weekend. And like I said, the team that was behind me, the entire 22 team just stayed in there and worked hard all year.
Q. What do you feel like from a driver's perspective is the biggest lesson that you learned and will carry forward from this season?
JOEY COULTER: That's a tough question. I mean, I've learned so much this year it's unbelievable. I really didn't think I could learn that much. But just learning how to race with guys like Kevin, I mean, that's been -- every time I can get behind a Cup driver, it's huge, just seeing the little things. It's not ever usually anything huge. It's tiny little things that I've kind of picked up all throughout the year. I've gotten to race with Kyle really hard a few times, just things like that, tiny little things that you pick up. I can't even describe them, but just small little things that just add up at the end of the year.
THE MODERATOR: Joey, congratulations on a super rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and congratulations on being Rookie of the Year.
JOEY COULTER: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Our third-place finisher in tonight's race, but more importantly, I guess, our owners' champion for the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is Kevin Harvick of Kevin Harvick, Incorporated. Congratulations on that accomplishment. I know that means a lot to you and DeLana. DeLana, congratulations to you for all of the accomplishments.
I'll take this opportunity just to thank both of you for what you've done for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series over the years, added a lot of class, professionalism, and certainly been a big, big part of the success that the series now enjoys. So congratulations, and thank you very much.
Kevin, talk about winning this owners' championship.
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I think if you had to go out, I guess winning the championship would be the way to do it. We won ten races as a company this year. The guys that we started on this 2 truck, I think we started with the crew chief and four other guys this year. They've done a great job with not a lot, and they've hung in there with us all year among all the changes and all the different things that they know are coming down the pike. They just sat in there and kept digging and kept winning races and kept motivated and things worked out for them.
You know, it's been fun. Obviously the first race was in Richmond in 2001 and we lost by about six inches, and we came here tonight and didn't plan on the night going like it did, but if it just wouldn't have started raining down that straightaway the last time, I think we would have had a heck of a race going into turn 1.
But it's been a great run. We decided it was time to do something different from a driver standpoint. Not much will change, still do the Truck racing, Nationwide racing and all the different things on Sundays, so looking forward to it.
Q. Can you take us through the sequence of events with James Buescher on the restart and then coming to pit road?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, you know, on the restart I got a good run and got underneath him and he ran me all the way down in the apron, and I wasn't going to let off until I had to, and then we had to, and I got in the back of him in the middle of 1 and 2 just to tell him that I didn't appreciate being run on the apron. Then coming to pit road he let off about 15 truck lengths before he needed to, and I got on the outside of him and I believe he just spun me out. One of those deals, he's got a lot to learn, and I was just thinking in my head, don't be Kyle Busch, don't be Kyle Busch, just do your thing.
Last week was a good lesson for me, too.
Q. Did you see on that last restart, Austin just went back about 10 or 14 spots? Did you see him falling back, and did you have any concerns about him, and can you just talk also about his ability to lead the points the last seven weeks of the year and clinch this thing?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, from what they tell me, he had a problem with the right front tire coming apart there and was just hanging on. Yeah, I could see he was stuck in the middle and couldn't go anywhere and had some issues. But those kids do a great job, and the great part about Austin and Ty are they're good kids, and they've got their head on their shoulders right, and I don't think that'll be the last Dillon that you see come through the championship circle in this Truck Series. They've got a good future.
Obviously they're like sponges. They listen to you and they've got a lot of history and heritage with their Pop-Pop as they call him. I don't know how much they listen to their dad. I guess they know what not to do (laughter), but all in all, they've got everything from championship owners to crashed-out careers, so they've got a lot of advice to listen to. That's not anything that he doesn't know (laughter).
Q. How much do you anticipate enjoying racing these trucks next year when you're not the owner worrying about what it costs to actually do it?
KEVIN HARVICK: You know, I think that's obviously one of the things that DeLana and I are looking forward to the most is showing up at the racetrack not worrying about if the plane broke down or if the haulers got here or obviously even from the driver's side you've got to keep the sponsors happy. But there's just a lot of worries that go away with not having to own them. You just get in them and drive.
I look forward to being a part of Austin and Ty's career as they move forward and trying to give them as much knowledge as I can give them and be a part of the shops and everything that's going on. So I get to do all the things I like to do, just we don't have to pay for it anymore.
THE MODERATOR: Kevin, congratulations, and enjoy this championship.
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