Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kyle Busch apologizes to TRD

NASCAR driver Kyle Busch has apologized for a profanity-laced tirade he made toward Toyota Racing Development during last week’s race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

“I made some remarks out of frustration on my radio at the end of last weekend’s race in Dovert hat were very misguided,” Busch said in a statement released Thursday. “I owe my friends at Toyota and TRD an apology.”

Busch led most of the AAA 400 at Dover on before he was forced to make a late pit stop under green flag conditions in order to make it to the end of the race. He ended up finishing seventh.

As he crossed the finish line, Busch lashed out at TRD over his team radio, claiming the in-house tuning shop for all Toyota cars had cost him and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team "another one."

“We have a great partnership with TRD and they built me a motor that helped me lead over 300 laps and nearly lap the field,” said Busch in Thursday’s statement. “It's just frustrating that the caution fell where it did and suddenly it became a fuel mileage race and we were set up for maximum horsepower. Obviously, that worked well for most of the day and you can't control when the cautions will fall.

“I think we have a great partnership with TRD and we will continue to communicate with them on what our team is looking for. I’m looking forward to getting down to Talladega this weekend and focusing on the race.”

Lee White, president and general manager of TRD, responded Thursday to Busch’s apology:
“We understand Kyle’s passion for racing -- and winning. At TRD and Toyota, we have that same zeal for racing --and winning. We were disappointed with Kyle’s post-race comments from Dover -- a race that he dominated. Kyle’s had a frustrating year with several car and engine mechanical failures which were not his responsibility, and we’re working extremely hard on our end to improve our products and processes. We will continue to address these issues, but we’re ready to put this behind us and move forward with the remainder of the season, including the Toyota drivers battling for the championship.”

Other quotes
Joe Gibbs, Team Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing
“We have a great relationship with Toyota and obviously they are a major part of everything we do at Joe Gibbs Racing. Toyota is first class in every aspect of their company and they share our passion for winning. It has been a frustrating season for Kyle in many ways when you think about some of the issues we’ve had with that 18 team this year and obviously some of those frustrations carried over to his finish last week in Dover. We were able to lead over 300 laps, but unfortunately the cautions didn’t fall our way and certainly you can understand the frustration of having to give up the lead late in the race. However, Kyle recognizes that his comments and the tone of his comments were misguided. We’ve been able to work through this issue and I think everyone is ready to get back to the focus being on racing and Talladega.”

Ed Laukes, Vice President of Marketing Communications & Motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.

“We’ve had a fabulous relationship with Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing over the last five years. Kyle is a talented driver who wins races and can compete for championships, and he is a very important part of the Toyota brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Kyle and Joe Gibbs Racing for years to come.” -- David Scott