Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Drivers react to Talladega test

Talladega Superspeedway was the site Wednesday for a test of the new body styles for NASCAR race cars in 2013.

Here's how a few drivers reacted after the test:

Ford's Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: “It seemed pretty racy out there when we got in the seven-car packs. The two-car tandem could catch the group, then kind of stall out, and a single car could run right there with them.”

Chevy's Kasey Kahne: "We had five or six cars out there, and it was actually pretty dicey and pretty exciting. I think the cars are unique because they look different. They have a fresh look , and it resembles the manufacturer’s car, which is great for the fans, who ought to be able to go out and buy a similar car.”

Toyota takes issue with Kyle Busch's comments at Dover

   After leading - by far - the most laps in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, Kyle Busch was forced to make a late pit stop under green flag conditions in order to make it to the end of the race.

   The stop cost him the win and he finished seventh, one lap down. Only six cars, including winner Brad Keselowski, finished on the lead lap. And only two cars stretched their fuel the entire 89-lap distance that Busch was trying to do - Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson.

   As he crossed the finish line, Busch let loose a short, vulgarity-laced tirade over his team radio directed at Toyota Racing Development, claiming the in-house tuning shop for all Toyota cars had cost him and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team "another one."

   On Wednesday, Lee White, TRD president, took issue with Busch's comments.

   "We're as frustrated as he was that he didn't win that race considering how many laps he led, considering he and Denny (Hamlin) both literally dominated the race. We're as disappointed as he was. However, we've got used to saying 'That's just Kyle, you know' But this is a bit of a special case," White said.

   "We're extremely disappointed in his negative comments and the tone of the comments after the event. It is under discussion as we move forward. We certainly are very disappointed, having said that, Kyle is an amazing talent in a race car and he takes it very personally when something goes wrong and he loses a race he thinks he should have won.

   "Every one of our teams ran full power, full rich (fuel mixture) and kicked their ass. All six of them and some other teams did, too. It wasn't just TRD power that had this issue. The race didn't fall their way and we've seen it happen more lately.

   "I'm not going to aplogize for TRD. We went there and qualified three out of the top five. We led a gazillion freaking laps. We should have won the race but circumstances didn't work out that way and I'm sorry. We don't have anything to apologize for. The thing I am most disappointed in is TRD is not some separate entity - we are Toyota. We are a global company. Every person globally shares in our passion for winning and competing - and that's hundreds of thousands of people. All those people and their families basically had their feelings hurt by those comments last week.

   "I look forward to take it up with coach (Joe) Gibbs and see if we can't do something to sort it out so that we have a better working relationship in the future. I am confident that we will."