NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: NextEra Energy Resources 250
Topics: NextEra Energy Resources 250
Ron Hornaday, Jr.
February 22, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
KERRY THARP: Let's roll into our post race interview, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race here tonight. Our third‑place finisher is Ron Hornaday, Jr. Also coming up is our second‑place finisher, Kyle Busch.
Guys, you put on a good show out there this evening. I know both of y'all wanted to get into Victory Lane for sure. But, Kyle, talk about your run out there tonight. You've won everything else here at Daytona, but you still want to get that truck race.
KYLE BUSCH: It's another year in the waiting. The guys did a really good job at Kyle Busch Motorsports this winter being able to prepare three really good trucks to come down here. We had a late deal put together with Darrel, and my deal, too.
The Toyota Care Tundra was awesome, just biding my time most of the day, sitting in the right place, it felt like. Got the lead a couple times. Probably didn't fall back to fifth or sixth. Did some good bump‑drafts with some guys. There in the end, I thought I was in the perfect spot running second behind Johnny, was going to make a move on the last lap. Unfortunately it was only a 99‑lap race today. Didn't get the full 100 in. Wasn't able to make a move coming down towards the end.
KERRY THARP: Let's hear from Ron Hornaday, Jr.
That's 149 total top fives in his truck career. That's the most all time in the Truck Series.
As you mentioned to me, Ronnie, top five here at Daytona is an accomplishment. I know you wanted to get to Victory Lane, but talk about your performance tonight.
RON HORNADAY, JR.: When you're going for a championship, you got add all the laps you can up, get out of Daytona without a wrecked truck. That says a lot.
Very proud of what everybody put together in a short amount of time. Put Brendan's truck together in six weeks, sit on the pole. Same truck at Talladega. Pretty exciting, especially with the sponsor staying aboard with Smokey Mountain and Anderson's and AKL Insurance.
I seen Kyle up there. I had a pretty strong truck. Last year I couldn't get up to the guys' bumpers. This year I could. All I had to do was push the leader a little bit, we'd take off and clear the inside line.
I think whatever Kyle was going to do, I was going to try to do. When Johnny was going to block him, I'd go back to the bottom. It's hard to be in that predicament. Kyle has been in a lot more predicaments like that here at Daytona. I'll settle for third and get a good points day for us.
KERRY THARP: Also as our top Sonoco Rookie of the Year candidate, making his debut here at Daytona, Jeb Burton.
Jeb, congratulations. Impressive run tonight. Talk about how you thought things unfolded out there this evening for you guys.
JEB BURTON: It started off kind of wild, then it settled down. Right there at the end, I was going to do whatever the 3 did. 3 jumped up on the outside. I didn't feel that was the right thing to do, so I stayed down low. Caution came out. We needed one more lap, I think. It would have been interesting going down the back. But happy to get a top five.
KERRY THARP: We'll take questions for these guys.
Q. Kyle, could you expound a little bit, what would you have tried to do? Just simply pull out?
RON HORNADAY, JR.: What would you have tried? I want to know.
KYLE BUSCH: I'll show you next year (smiling).
Q. That's it?
KYLE BUSCH: I can't tell you. I mean, if I tell you, guys are going to know and know what to expect.
I had a plan. The plan was about ready to take place, then a caution come out.
RON HORNADAY, JR.: I know what it is (laughter).
KYLE BUSCH: Keep it to yourself, Ron. Use it for yourself (smiling).
Q. Kyle, did the trucks just work better on the bottom compared to, like, the Cup cars? Was it nobody was really trying to work the top tonight?
KYLE BUSCH: That's an interesting question. I actually thought about that during the race. I was wondering why is it that the bottom works so good and nobody would put a train around the top.
But I think it's just because the yellow line, it's sort of your scapegoat, a safety zone. When you run the top, the trucks, you're running over the guy in front of you the whole time. You can run third, fourth or fifth in the pack, and your half throttle every single lap running around there. You got plenty in reserve to use, but you could pull out of line at any moment and stall out and not go anywhere.
I think if you were running the top, guys would be dive bombing to the bottom, trying to make moves like that, trying to get back in line.
It just seems to be this is the way that it developed over the last few years. Actually probably since the beginning, that the trucks just run on the bottom. Since that yellow line rule has come into play, it's just been that way.
Q. Ron, after last year, seemed like you could never get any momentum to get into the championship chase. Talk about this finish tonight and what it does for you and your team.
RON HORNADAY, JR.: It means a lot. Get people in the right place behind you, you can do a lot of things. A lot of the years in racing. Probably one of my toughest years in racing. You have to be humble about it. When Bruce come aboard, we seen what we done wrong with the trucks. He fixed 40% of them so far. Still got a lot of work to do. Very confident going into the next three or four races coming up.
Q. Jeb, were you here in Victory Lane back in 2002? Can you talk about racing here at the place where your dad won.
JEB BURTON: Yeah, I was here. I was hoping I was going to be there this evening, but it didn't work out like that.
It would have been really cool to win, especially because he did. My uncle has won here at the night race. So, you know, it was a good way to start off the year for the Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet.
Q. Was anything out there surprising at all or is that pretty much what you've come to expect when you race here?
KYLE BUSCH: I thought it was a good race. I thought there were some moments where the top would come and make some ground on the inside lane, then you'd have guys fall down in the bottom. The push draft was being utilized by a couple guys. The bottom, same thing, kind of push draft to hold off the outside lane's push draft. You're trying to modulate water temperature and everything else like that while that is going on.
I don't know, for the front 10, 12 trucks, it seemed like it was a normal night. Then past that back in the back a little bit, you could see guys getting squirrelly moving around. By the time you get back there, I'm sure air is a handful and guys were having a bit of an issue keeping their stuff straight. We saw a couple of crashes. That's part of the game, everybody is fighting for the front, but there's only those guys up there that can be up there.
RON HORNADAY, JR.: I mean, we just had terrible pit stops all night. I lost a lot of spots. I think the farthest back I got was 11th. I got 12th starting on the outside. When you get on the outside it's tough to get going. Started banging and it just depends on who was pushing.
You get the guy up front that's being pushed, he just drops to the bottom and an outside line goes, because that third‑place guy ain't pushing the second‑place guy. One of those nights, if you had Kyle and a couple people that have experience and has patience, they could make that top work all night long. It was an exciting night.
KERRY THARP: Was it what you expected out there, Jeb.
JEB BURTON: A little better. It was a little calmer than what we've seen in the past. Last year we did three green‑white‑checkereds. I was glad we went across the finish line and I wasn't in a wreck.
KYLE BUSCH: I wish they would have wrecked before the start/finish line so we would have had another shot at it.
Q. Kyle, Daytona, always so many late wrecks. You run that risk of white flag, race over. It's surprising it hasn't happened more. Do you have here thinking, Maybe I should have made my move sooner?
KYLE BUSCH: It's a risk you take. I'm trying to think of how to answer this exactly.
If I would have made the move right then and there coming to the white, probably myself and Johnny Sauter would have finished about 30th. Everybody would have drove right by us if I would have made the move coming to the white. You got to do what you got to do taking the chance it's going to go the full 100.
If we would have made it down to the backstretch, they would have wrecked off of two down the backstretch, I bet they would have let us come back to the checkered flag. It's a matter of them all wrecking over here and everybody running wide open at the start/finish line, there's no way you're going to be checked up in time by the time there's a crashed truck. I think that's the mentality up in the tower.
You take that risk. You have to take that risk. There's nothing to do with one to go by trying to win the race and be able to win the race.
Q. Kyle, with you, put your owner's hat on quick and comment on Joey's night.
KYLE BUSCH: I just talked to Joey on pit road. He was like, Man, we got to go over the film and figure out what I did wrong tonight.
I said, Pit road. They had some bad stops and he got mired back every time. Every restart he was on the outside. For some reason the outside lane was not going on the restarts.
He didn't have any luck on his side here tonight. I mean, there in the beginning of the race it was a pretty sight to see the gunbroker.com. I can take care of him and me, everything is going to be all right.
Then we came down pit road that one time and my guys did a good job of getting me out. I looked in my back mirror, I couldn't see him. Hornaday's truck looked like Joey's truck, but I saw it was a green sign. No, that's not Joey.
Just a bummer night for him on pit road and getting stuck on the outside on restarts.
KERRY THARP: Guys, thanks for coming in and putting on a good show tonight, and continued best luck this season.
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