NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Ford EcoBoost 200
Topics: Ford EcoBoost 200
KERRY THARP: We\'re going to roll right into our post‑race for tonight\'s 18th annual Ford EcoBoost 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race here at Homestead Miami Speedway, and what a race it was, three attempts at a green‑white‑checkered.
Joining us up on the podium right now are second and third place finishers, two of our top rookies and two of our top performers this year in the Camping World Truck Series. Jeb Burton joins us. He drove the No.4 Arrowhead Chevrolet. He came in third. And then coming in second place is Ryan Blaney. He drove the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford, and Ryan is also the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the Camping World Truck Series. At the age of 19, he becomes the youngest winner in the Camping World Truck Series for the Rookie of the Year award.
These two gentlemen up here, very proud of you two guys. You\'ve had super years, fifth in points for Ryan Blaney, sixth in points for Jeb Burton‑‑ it\'s the other way around. Jeb is fifth and Ryan is sixth. Outstanding performances.
Let\'s hear from Jeb right now, just another solid performance. Just talk about this race and then maybe if you could quickly reflect on your rookie season.
JEB BURTON: Well, it felt good to be that competitive again. We\'ve kind of been through a slump a little bit lately with our finishes, and my guys did a good job for me. We\'ve struggled a little bit in qualifying today, but right when the green flag dropped, we were coming to the front, and they did awesome today with pit stops and gave me a good truck in the race.
I was catching Kyle right there, biding my time, and I was going to wait for five to go and make a run at him, and I was getting closer and closer and I ran in a little too hard and got a little air tight and got into the wall and we came down and pitted and I thought our night was really done then.
We got some tires and they beat the damage off of it, and we were 25th with six laps to go and we drove back up to third. Pretty happy with that, a little disappointed that we didn\'t get the win, though.
KERRY THARP: Ryan Blaney, second place finish here tonight, sat on the pole here today at Homestead Miami. You won the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Talk about maybe that accomplishment, beating a very, very strong field of rookies I might add, one of them sitting next to you there, and then, of course, the other one of note, Darrell Wallace, Jr., German, Brendan, several outstanding rookies in this class this year, but congratulations on that, and maybe talk about that and your performance here tonight. You hit the fence a couple times and you almost won the race.
RYAN BLANEY: Well, like every season, it had its ups and downs. A little more downs than I\'d like to see for our season. But I knew going into this year with Jeb and Darrell and German running, it was going to be really tough. All the rookie guys this year were really good, really good drivers and in really good equipment. And when you combine the two, it has good results.
It\'s pretty cool to do this. You see people all the time when they win Rookie of the Year and we didn\'t really race against anybody, but it was so fun racing against Jeb and Darrell this year. I think we were close all year in the rookie deal, and it\'s really good. We\'re all three great friends and grew up racing each other, and it\'s cool to see that we\'ve all got a good shot at it and have found really good homes at all the race shops, the race teams we\'re at.
We had a really good night tonight, sat on the pole, which I wasn\'t really expecting, but I knew we were going to have a really good race car, and we were really good in the beginning. After that first pit stop, we kind of fell back a little bit. I was really loose after that, and that\'s not really where you want to be here, running right next to the wall. It would just take so long for us to get going after that, and then we could finally start making up time.
I\'m not sure what lap it was, maybe lap 90, we got into that wall there leading Kyle, just trying to keep on leading. You\'re running so close to the edge every single lap at this racetrack, six inches from the wall, sometimes you slip up and there\'s no getting out of the wall once you touch it. That was my mistake.
But the guys made a great call at the end to come in and take two tires to give me a shot at it. Just didn\'t quite get there in time.
Q. There was one time where both of you guys were involved in a four‑wide race for the lead. Is that about as good as it gets?
RYAN BLANEY: Yeah, I ran this race last year, and this is probably one of the most fun and frustrating racetracks on restarts, especially when you have guys on new tires behind you like we had towards the end. Luckily we were on the good side of it that we had tires and we could make our way towards the front.
It\'s always a great racetrack here. You always see great racing, and they always fan out there for about three laps on a restart, and it\'s really tough to make a pass. I think that makes for great racing for the fans and ought to make good racing for TV.
It\'s a lot of fun when you come out on the good end of it like us two did.
Q. Jeb, if you could just talk about the rally that you guys made after you had hit the wall. Did you think your night was pretty much sunk, and just the come back you guys made?
JEB BURTON: Yeah, I definitely thought we were done after that. I hit the wall pretty hard twice. I hit it one time running second, and then Brendan got by me and then I pounded it again. I thought we were pretty much done. Came in, put tires on it, and the first restart I was a little cautious. I didn\'t really know what it was going to do, and it was still digging. I was just a little bit tighter and it was good, and I got it by a bunch of them the first green‑white‑checkered. And then the second green‑white‑checkered, I got by about five more. And then the last one I was on the high side and we were four wide getting into 1, and I saw a hole there. At that point it was go in the hole, and we all crashed or just back and finish 10th and we were here to win the race, and we just went through the hole, and it worked out.
Q. Ryan, somebody just tweeted me about how bright the future looks at Penske with you being so young and Joey and Brad. How much have you relied on Joey and Brad for information, or how much time have they had with you to help you get up to speed?
RYAN BLANEY: Obviously I\'ve spent a ton of time with Brad ever since I got over there and started driving his trucks. That\'s one of the best bosses to have, ones that are racers themselves, he knows what his team wants and knows how to go fast. For me as a young driver it\'s been very easy to go talk to him and get his advice and he\'s been very helpful to me both on and off the racetrack. So he\'s been a huge help.
And then Joey coming on this year, like me, he started really young. He\'s only 22 or 23 now, so he\'s been a big help. The kind of age you can relate like that. Both of those guys have been a huge help to me in the off‑season and all through this year.
Hopefully we can keep building on that and keep building a strong relationship with Penske for the years to come.
KERRY THARP: Jeb and Ryan, congratulations on a very, very good season. Look forward to many more watching you guys race in NASCAR. Congratulations, and thank you.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|