NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Ford EcoBoost 200
Topics: Ford EcoBoost 200
November 15, 2013
KERRY THARP: We're now here to hear from our race winner and also our 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner's champion, Kyle Busch, who went to victory lane tonight. He drove his truck, the No.51 Toyota, joined by his crew chief Rudy Fugle.
Kyle, this is your 35th win in the Camping World Truck Series, your fifth win in 2013, the second time you've won here at Homestead Miami. It is your second owner's championship, you also won in 2010, and you also tied in owner's points with the 88 truck. But as we know, you go to the tiebreaker and it's about wins. I know you're about winning.
You guys won the tiebreaker in wins. You had five different drivers race your truck this year. Of course you did it 11 times. Eric Jones, Chad Hackenbracht, Denny Hamlin, and Scott Bloomquist all contributed to the championship here this evening.
Kyle, talk about, A, winning the race, and what a race it was down the stretch. There was a lot of great racing out there. And then also about what it means to your organization to win this championship, because I know that's a lot of work, a lot of effort, and just congratulations on all of that. But talk about both of those if you would, please.
KYLE BUSCH: Sure, thanks. It's a very meaningful night for us. Everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports, this certainly means a lot to myself and Samantha, and we're blessed to be in this position, obviously, and to have the teams that we've had this year and all the people that we've had and whatnot. Can't say enough about all that.
But tonight it was a do‑or‑die situation. We needed to come in here and to try to lead all the laps and win the race. Early it didn't appear we had the truck capable of doing that, but I just kept putting the good laps out there and trying to stay off the fence.
It was certainly a race of being up as close as you can without getting in it. We saw a couple of the young guys get in it there with Ryan Blaney first. And then when I was leading at the end. The 4 truck with Jeb Burton got into it, too, and sort of gave me a cushion where I could cruise on into the end of the race.
Always get them cautions here, and that seemed to be what lost us this race last year was late caution and guys coming in and getting tires and having tires over us and being able to beat us. But when you're out front, in that position it's really, really hard to tell yourself that you can pit and be able to come back up through the field with only green‑white‑checkered. Let alone whether it's multiple green‑white checkereds or not, you don't know. There's no way to know.
It's a tough situation to be in, and Rudy made a good call to stay out. I probably would have come down, I would have rather had tires and start chasing. But I knew our truck was better out front, so ultimately it was a good call.
This 51 Toyota Care Tundra was awesome tonight. Glad it was up front for that long and we were able to win the race and get ourselves tied for the Owner's Championship. To get credit for it, it's something else. It's something we strive for each and every weekend all year long.
It's Rudy's first championship as a crew chief, and of course for our team, it's our second, but it's due to a lot of hard work and dedication from a lot of great people.
KERRY THARP: Rudy, just talk about obviously what it means to win this race tonight but also to win that Owner's Championship. You played such a key role in that. Talk about how you're feeling right now.
RUDY FUGLE: It's hard to put into words. It's 22 races and a long 11 months so far since I've been hired. You start a team, you start building trucks, you start doing stuff, and there's a whole bunch of 60 to 70 guys back there at the shop that are so involved. Just so proud. I didn't think we had much of a chance coming in. You know you had a small chance, so you just go in, all right, we're going to get our sixth win, and it just ends up working out. It's crazy.
You know, everybody dug in hard, and having him driving, giving me the opportunity to do this is amazing. And then all the help from Rick Ren and from Eric Phillips and other crew chiefs and all the people at the shop, I couldn't do it without them and everybody at TRD, as well. It hasn't sunk in yet.
Q. Cautions may complicate things, but if it hadn't been for the second caution into the green‑white checkers, Crafton doesn't wreck and you don't win the Owner's Title. Sometimes do you feel like it's just your night?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I guess the Lord was on our side for some reason tonight, and Samantha and I appreciate that of course. There's been a lot of great things that we've been blessed with. First, an Owner's Championship in the first year out with our race team and now again here in 2013 with a different crew chief and a lot of different drivers behind the wheel, like Kerry mentioned, having Denny and Scott Bloomquist, Chad Hackenbracht and Eric Jones. And of course without Eric Jones' win this weekend, we wouldn't have been in this position this weekend to come out here and have the opportunity with those bonus points to be close enough.
Of course Matt had to have trouble, and unfortunately he did.
I hate it for his team and Duke and Rhonda. I know how long they've been in this sport and how much they've wanted to win an Owner's Championship. If there's any consolation prize, I mean, tying, you can't get any closer than that, certainly.
It's funny the way things do work out sometimes. Yeah, I would much rather have seen the race go green to the end and we wouldn't have won the Owner's Championship. We'd be sitting here talking to you about winning a race. I didn't think it was our year to win the Owner's Championship after Texas. I mean that just amazing back luck to have three days in a row there in Texas with the things that went down there. We all fought back and worked hard, and we're in the position we're in tonight for a reason.
Q. Is it more satisfying to get an Owner's Championship than a victory, because it's something that you've started in from the beginning?
KYLE BUSCH: I mean, not really. To me you've got to have wins. Of course you've got to be able to have wins to compete in this sport, and to be able to keep coming back each and every week. If we didn't win races throughout the season we wouldn't have the support of Toyota and ToyotaCare that the folks give us there, and from Flexco and Monster Energy, Dollar, General, and our partners that we've had onboard over the years.
You know, it's great that we do go out there and win, but then there's another added bonus to it that when you are competitive and you are consistent, you do have an opportunity for the Owner's Championship. That's what we race for each and every year. It's what we can race for. It's what the 51 team can race for. So whatever goals you can get you try to achieve.
It's a true testament to all of that, and I'm really looking forward to next year, as well, with myself and Eric Jones being behind the wheel of the 51 truck.
Q. If we have similar situations Sunday, would it be the same kind of quandary for the leader whether to stay out or not, or do the Cup cars race so different that the decision is easier?
KYLE BUSCH: No, I would believe it's going to be the same difficult decision, for sure. I mean, we were out there for, what, 19 laps or so. 19 laps, it's going to be tricky. It depends on how many laps are left. I mean, in the same situation with a green‑white‑checkered, like I said, I would have pitted because I would have banked on the opportunity of multiple green‑white checkers. But in the event that it only goes one and you come back to the line and you come and get tires, you don't have enough opportunity to get back to the front.
That's why the crew chiefs get paid all the big bucks, right?
RUDY FUGLE: Yeah.
Q. I was wondering how close you guys paid attention to the owner's championship tonight. Were you guys focused on the win on were you keeping track of every point?
RUDY FUGLE: First of all, it's all about the win and leading the most laps. That was our first goal. But we had a spreadsheet worked out, so we knew if we finished second they had to finish here, and if we won and didn't lead the most laps, they had to finish here.
But it still gets confusing because we still didn't know about the points because you're so excited. It was hard to tell if us or 29 led the most laps. That's where it was. First of all, it was about winning and leading the most laps.
KYLE BUSCH: And I'll second that because it's funny, our stat man, G‑man, he did the stats earlier this week, and he said‑‑ I don't know what it is, it's like an 11‑‑ it's got to be more than 11 percent chance of us winning. What was it?
RUDY FUGLE: It was like 18 or 19 percent.
KYLE BUSCH: 18 or 19 percent of the 51 truck going into the race, leading the most laps and winning, and then Crafton finishing outside the top 22 or 23, whatever he needed to finish was whatever else percentage, and you multiply those together and it was only a 3 percent chance that we had an opportunity to come in here and win the owner's championship. It was slim, but G‑man, he had all the stats. It was pretty funny. Everybody in the shop was pretty much saying this week, "So you're saying there's a chance." Obviously there was a slim one, and we made it happen.
KERRY THARP: Terrific season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and Kyle and Rudy, congratulations. Kyle, we know that when you're out there racing, it's going to be quite a show. Congratulations, and good luck the rest of the weekend.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|