Kyle Busch scored his 61st NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) victory in Friday night’s race at Kansas Speedway. Tundra drivers Austin Hill (third), Christian Eckes (fourth) and John Hunter Nemechek (fifth) also finished inside the top five. Tonight’s win marks the fifth for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2021 and seventh consecutive for Toyota.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Race 7 of 23 – 150 Laps, 225 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, KYLE BUSCH
2nd, Ross Chastain*
3rd, AUSTIN HILL
4th, CHRISTIAN ECKES
5th, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
9th, JOHNNY SAUTER
10th, BEN RHODES
11th, CHANDLER SMITH
14th, STEWART FRIESEN
17th, GRANT ENFINGER
24th, MATT CRAFTON
26th, DANNY BOHN
28th, DEREK KRAUS
29th, SPENCER DAVIS
KYLE BUSCH, No. 51 Cessna Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st
How difficult was the final restart with the issues you were feeling in the truck?
“No restarts actually went our way tonight. I was shocked. We definitely missed something, just being able to come up through the gears and get going. It would not go. It’s just slow. Those guys would just swarm us. I think we saw it on one of the restarts with the 4 (John Hunter Nemechek) truck too, he got run over. All in all though great job by KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), everybody at Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development), this Cessna Beechcraft Tundra was awesome tonight. It’s so cool to win here in front of Cessna’s hometown. I’m sure there’s some Cessna folks up in the grandstands tonight cheering us on. We’re appreciative of them and Rowdy Energy and everybody that helps us get here. Incredible Bank, I know they’re here on the backstretch tonight. Brexton races tomorrow, so he better bring home a win like I brought home a win. Hopefully he can do it, hopefully we can do it. I just want to say hi to my family back home.”
Can you take us through the final restart for the win?
“All the restarts were hectic for us. Any time we started on the front row, we would always go backwards. It just would not fire on the restarts for whatever reason. We definitely had a really good, strong long run truck. The guys at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), Toyota, TRD (Toyota Racing Development) – this Cessna Beechcraft Tundra was awesome on the long runs. Those restarts were just not for us. We made it work on that last one. The last one, I was fourth in line – got a little bit of a bump from Todd (Gilliland) and got three-wide. I don’t know what else happened after that, but it was just trying to go where they weren’t by that point and get ourselves back up front. I knew when that caution came out, it was definitely not going to be easy. I hated that we saw that caution, but put on a heck of a show for all the fans.”
How much did the track change during this race?
“It changed a ton, oh my gosh. The ARCA rubber that was down early on and us burning that off and then rubbering in the top and then how the whole groove and the whole race track kind of changed. It felt like there was some slick spots out there and some grippy spots out there. Hopefully I can use that to my advantage for tomorrow and figure out how to run good and how to get a good finish here tomorrow and looking forward to my M&M’s Camry.”
What kind of a statement is this for another victory for Kyle Busch Motorsports?
“I saw the 4 (John Hunter Nemechek) truck on my inside on the restart in one and two and I was like, ‘damn, he’s already here.’ I thought he was going to come with us right there at the finish, but I don’t know what happened to those guys. Overall, just a real strong year for us so far at KBM. This is a pleasure year so far. It’s cool to have John Hunter, we really lean on each other a lot. We’re trying to get Chandler (Smith) up there a little more and get him going a little bit better. The restarts for all of our trucks tonight certainly weren’t going to help him out. We’ve got some work to do. We’re still not the best.”
AUSTIN HILL, No. 16 Gunma Toyopet Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises
Finishing Position: 3rd
What could you have done any different there at the end?
“Man I don’t know, our Gumma Toyopet Toyota Tundra was really good tonight. We still needed to work on it and make it a little better. I thought I did everything right on that restart, thew it on the apron saw (Ross) Chastain go up to block whoever was coming on his outside and got beside him. From then on it was a drag race, I was wide open through the whole green-white-checkered. He held me so tight down in the corner it drug both of us back, I wish he would have side-drafted me and went up and blocked Kyle (Busch) off of four. That way maybe me and him could’ve battled it out for the win, I don’t know. Kyle might have still crossed us over and won the race. It’s a good finish, finishing third like we did today with everythign we had going on. We had engine issues, we had stuff going on. We didn’t completely get it fixed, so restarts I couldn’t get through the gears very well. I had a lot of vibration tonight, but to come home with a solid p-three is good. I want to win so bad, so it’s just really frustrating right now.”
What were you dealing with throughout the race?
“We really didn’t diagnose completely what the issue was, but we had a really good, solid Gunma Toyopet Toyota Tundra all night. Needed to work on it to be able to win the race. After the second stage, it started cutting in and out on me. Just wasn’t running right so we came in, checked all the plugs, checked everything, I reset the main switch and all that. We didn’t find anything and I reset the main switch and went back out. It seemed okay, but it still wasn’t that great getting through the gears. That last restart, I’m glad I got a push from whoever was behind me because it was so sluggish on the restarts and that whole last green-white-checkered, I was wide open. Just wasn’t lifting. I had Ross (Chastain) really tight on my door sucking both of us back. That’s all I had. I wish he would have went up and kind of blocked Kyle (Busch) so we could race each other, but it is what it is. Solid effort to come back and finish where we did. Just stings, I want to win.”
CHRISTIAN ECKES, No. 98 Curb Records Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
How important is it for you to get back in the truck and get a top-five finish?
“It’s super important. Today was really an up and down day. Luckily, we recovered really well there at the end. We made a little bit of a gutsy pit call and we really just fought balance all day. We changed a couple things and I felt like we got our balance pretty good and we came down and put two lefts on and the thing was a rocketship there for two laps. I wish we had another caution because maybe we would have had something for Kyle (Busch). Like I said, I just can’t believe how fast the thing was, especially with how much we struggled throughout the day. All of the sudden, it went. Can’t be prouder of my guys at ThorSport. Just really looking forward to CoTA (Circuit of the Americas) next for me.”
Can you describe what the restarts were like?
“Crazy. That last one was really crazy. I think I made contact with the 18 (Chandler Smith). I looked over and there were three cars ahead of me and there was one on the inside of me so I’m pretty sure we were five-wide through the tri-oval. I don’t know how we made it and didn’t crash. Hopefully, that was a fun race for the fans because it was a fun one for us drivers.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 5th
What more did you need to battle with Kyle Busch?
“We were just too loose all night. I couldn’t fire off and didn’t have any short run speed. I figured that I had really good mid-run speed compared to Kyle (Busch) and he definitely had the long run speed. Takeaways, positive day. If a bad day for us is fifth, then we’re doing pretty good. We came down and gambled there with the second-to-last caution. I trusted Eric (Phillips, crew chief). We have two wins so why not gamble and try to go get a third. It almost worked out. If we hadn’t gotten sandwiched on that last restart, I think we would have been in pretty good shape being one of the first guys on tires there. Oh well, solid day here in Kansas. Still the points leader and still moving forward. The Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra was fast, just needed a little bit more.”
Toyota Racing PR