Toyota Racing Truck Recap
DEREK KRAUS, No. 16 SHOCKWAVE Toyota Tundra, McAnally-Hilgermann Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
Describe your evening.
“Just surviving really. We survived all night. I just rode in the back with Ross (Chastain) there, and we kind of had a strategy there going into the race, and we executed the strategy and we ended up fourth.”
What’s it mean to get a good start to the season?
“This is really big start to the season, especially for my no. 19 SHOCKWAVE Toyota Tundra. I cannot thank SHOCKWAVE enough for coming on board for this race, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”
What did you learn in this race?
“Yeah, I learned a lot. Coming into this race, I didn’t really have a lot any drafting experience at all, so we learned a lot in practice and in the race, we kind of just bided our time. In the beginning, we had a few wheel weights fall off. We pulled in, got a lap down and then we got our lap back and just slowly just stayed in the back and raced with Ross for a bit. We followed him and then in the end we went.”
When you had to go down pit road early what were you feeling?
“I asked right away if we were going to go a lap down, and Kevin (Bellicourt, crew chief) said we probably were, but we would be the first car a lap down. Stages are kind of short – just a 20 laps – and it went by pretty quick actually. So we just tried to stay calm.”
AUSTIN HILL, No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises
Finishing Position: 6th
Talk about what it was like out there.
“It was good. It was a fun race. I felt like we had a truck that could win, we just couldn’t get clear enough. The 98 (Grant Enfinger) was really strong all night. He could side draft really good. He’s truck was really stable. I felt like a lot of the changes that were made in the offseason for the superspeedway side made the trucks move around a little more, so it made the race a little better. You could really get down on somebody’s door and suck them back. It just made the two-wide racing really good. It was a handful all night. I feel like all of us drivers were white-knuckling it. We were coming off the bottom and it really wasn’t our choice to do that. It was just the way the trucks were moving around and the air disturbance was pretty high tonight. All in all it was a good night. It was fun. We’ll go on to Las Vegas, a place where we won at, and try to get it done.”
STEWART FRIESEN, No. 52 Halmar International Toyota Tundra, Halmar-Friesen Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
Talk about your day.
“The Halmar team has battled the last two months to build this deal from the ground up and we led some laps. We didn’t qualify good, but we were able to race towards the front of the pack most of the night and just got swallowed up there at the end. I’m really proud of these guys and what they put together. Thanks to Toyota for the awesome support. I’m really excited to get back in our Tundra next week at Vegas, and looking forward to the rest of the season.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.