Kyle Busch (10th) was the top-finishing Toyota Camry in the EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday afternoon.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Circuit of the Americas
Race 14 of 36 – 68 laps, 231.880 miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Chase Elliott*
2nd, Kyle Larson*
3rd, Joey Logano*
4th, Ross Chastain*
5th, AJ Allmendinger*
10th, KYLE BUSCH
14th, DENNY HAMLIN
21st, TY DILLON
35th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
38th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
39th, BUBBA WALLACE
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Mix Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
How difficult was the visibility?
“There were certainly times where you could not see. You’re behind guys and in traffic and there is just so much spray down the backstretch that you just could not see. There were other times for me, running around the race track where I think I was up to ninth or eighth or something and I’m blind through the esses. Just so much dirt and stuff up on the windshield that the windshield can’t stay clean. Light rain is okay, but heavy rain is not.”
What could NASCAR learn from today’s experience for future road races in the rain?
“It’s all discretion, it’s all a discretion call on how much rain is too much rain. We certainly found today that there were definitely times with too much rain and too much puddling. They would clean it off and it was just sprinkling, it was fine after that, no issues after that. Single file restarts was a smart idea. We’re doing all we can and we’re trying to put on a show for the fans.”
Are there other road courses where these conditions could come about if we have rain on a road course?
“I think Road America, if I remember right, they have a super long back straightaway with a kink in it so that’s going to be even worse than this one was. There’s definitely times where conditions are treacherous. We need to be smart about it.”
Did your pace fall off late in the race?
“We had super pace early on and we were really good. Once it go to where it was raining heavier, we lost pace to the 9 (Chase Elliott) and those guys. We were going to finish third. A couple tires were killed with just how bad it was driving and how wet it was so we came in to try to get better tires to carve through the wet and that didn’t do anything so we cost ourselves seven spots, but it is what it is.”
Should NASCAR have waited to call the race?
“It’s been four hours, enough is enough. White flag, wave it.”
Did you have any fun during the race?
“It was fun for a while there earlier when it was just sprinkling, but once it got too heavy, it was dangerous. It was treacherous.”
TY DILLON, No. 96 Bass Pro Shops/Black Rifle Coffee Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
How was your race overall today?
“You’re just learning and adapting the whole time as the rain strengthens and weakens so it’s a moving target. But there the last 15 or 20 laps, I really found the groove. Really ran some good laps and wish we could have kept racing and ran some more. I think we could have had an even better finish. Proud of where we ended up. We had a couple issues on pit road that kind of got us behind and that loose wheel kind of put us behind on that last stage restart. Grateful for the opportunity and thankful to Bass Pro Shops and Black Rifle Coffee.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 35th
What did you feel and see in the accident?
“I don’t know, I couldn’t see anything. Going down the backstretch just trying to stay on the road and next thing I know, I saw a taillight and it was on my hood in a split second. You just can’t see anything out there. It’s a shame for everyone that works so hard on these cars and Bass Pro Shops, Tracker and everybody. We got in a bad spot with oil on our windshield. Couldn’t see, had to pit and get a tearoff and then getting in the back there. I don’t know what happened up ahead. If there was a car sitting in the track or slow or what was happening. You can’t see. Just wide open in third gear and next thing there’s a car on my hood, it’s not a good feeling. I’m trying to stay in the gas and keep going. I want to get out of that area and through the braking zone because I knew I was going to get hit again and the next thing I knew, I got hit so hard that I was 10-feet in the air. I don’t know. Just wild. Hopefully, everybody else is okay, that’s the most important thing. Just a mess, you can’t see anything.”
How would you describe the racing and that moment of impact?
“Well, I mean, the only way to describe it is you can’t see anything so I mean it’s, you just mash the gas and going through the gears on the backstretch praying that nobody’s going to be there and all of a sudden I seen the tail light flash, and I was already in through him. It happens that fast when you’re going that fast and then my thought was that once I hit that guy , I need to try to keep going because I knew they were coming from behind, and literally next thing I know, again, I get drilled so I mean, there’s just nothing you can do in those situations. A shame for Bass Pro and Tracker and all our guys and girls are working on these things. Sorry, we got behind there just. We got a little oil windshield at some point there and I literally couldn’t see anything and I had to pit and we got off sequence in the back there and then it’s you know it’s really, really hard to see back there so it’s I don’t know it’s hard, it’s really hard to race like that if you’re not in the top, you know couple cars and we’re not sure how we can make it easier or better but, man, it’s dangerous and you just get on the backstretch every lap praying there’s nobody having an issue you know you’re praying there’s not going to be a crash or a car stuck or whatever because you’re just wide open and can’t see anything. Just wrong place, wrong time.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Craftsman Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 38th
What happened from your perspective?
“I don’t exactly know what happened. I wasn’t sure if they were wrecking up there or what. I drove in blind and ran into the back of somebody. I was really looking forward to running my Craftsman Camry today – had a lot of fun in practice yesterday, but when you get into the pack, you’re just racing blind.”
Can you explain what happened in the accident?
“You probably know better than me, I’m just out there riding along and there was a car stopped in front of me and I ran into him. I don’t really have any idea what happened other than that.”
Can you explain the visibility challenges with the wipers?
“The wiper works good, but the windshields are rectangle, they’re not square so your left half and your right half of your windshield are completely blurred up. The windshield wiper works good whenever it’s working, but then on the race track you have so much spray, you’re just racing blind.”
MIKE WHEELER, crew chief, No. 23 DoorDash Toyota Camry, 23XI Racing
What happened in the accident that ended the day for Bubba Wallace?
“It was just one of those things that once you got mid-pack you just couldn’t see what was going on. Early on we were trying to talk about braking points into turn 12 and he (Bubba Wallace) just couldn’t see. We got back on a clean track and he was hitting his braking points well. Once you are back in the teens to twenties, it’s not good vision. It looked like somethingg happened between the 12 (Ryan Blaney) and 20 (Christopher Bell) first. I think the 4 (Kevin Harvick) was coached up to kind of check up when he was going 100 mph and we just ran in the back of him because we couldn’t see more than five feet in front of us.”