RealClearSports
Advertisement

The Pit Stop


July 21, 2009 11:31 PM

Post Race interviews from race at Gateway

Nationwide Postrace Report - Gateway (Revised).mp3

Kyle Busch NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Interview - Gateway International Raceway

As the Nationwide Series shootout at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis unfolded, it was clear that there was only one driver with the muscle to beat Kyle Busch. But when Kevin Harvick ran out of gas with 29 laps to go, Busch behind the wheel of the New Balance Toyota was able to cruise to win number six, in 2009.

Kyle Busch:

You know I feel for him, but I felt like if we could have pressured him, we had a little bit better car at that point in the race. I had no point in going up there and racing him because we were racing our own race trying to make it to the end. We knew if he ran out, which he did, we knew he couldn't make it to the end so we knew we weren't racing him, we were racing the 38 and the 32 behind us who, who we knew we were on the same strategy as we were.

The 24-year-old driver has been on quite a tear the last seven races with three wins and four second place finishes. Gateway also tied Busch for fourth on the all time Nationwide Series win list, at 27 with Jeff Burton and was the ninth victory in 19 races this season, for team owner Joe Gibbs.

Busch:
Sometimes it's frustrating for the other competitors to see us as good as we are, but I remember about three or four years ago it was very very frustrating to watch RCR cars win every single race so, it's fun to be where we're at and we are cherishing it and hopefully we can keep it going and keep this momentum riding into the end of the season and ultimately bring home the championship.

Making his first Nationwide Series start this year, Reed Sorenson a two-time Gateway winner, wound up the runner-up.

Reed Sorenson:

We had some ups and downs, we had to make an unscheduled pit stop to fix the fender on the right front there and that didn't help us but it didn't really kill our night either so it was fun, had a good time and the Dollar General guys were great and just couldn't catch the 18, that's about all we had. They were hard to beat and obviously every weekend they win the race, so one day somebody will be able to get them.

Finishing third was Missouri native Carl Edwards, who felt bad he didn't get a third win at what he considers to be his home track.

Carl Edwards:

I wanted to win that thing so bad. These wins here are so special. But we put out our best effort and we gave it 110 percent and there at the end if we would have had a caution. We set ourselves up with four fresh tires and those guys had to so I think we would have had something for them but not the way it went.  

Coming home forth, Mike Bliss.

Mike Bliss:

It was kind of uneventful, we kind of ran around fifth at 10th all night. The car was good, at the end we took two tires and that's what got us track position and that's how we got our top five. It was real hard to pass, real hard.

Fifth at the finish was the other Joe Gibb's Toyota, with driver Brad Coleman.

Brad Coleman:


We definitely had to fight for it, half way through the race our clutch failed so we didn't have a clutch; we had to come into pits and they had to push me out every time. No matter how good the picker did we always had to start near the back and we just fought our way up the front and worked on the car all night. We were staying around 10th all night and then they made some final adjustments and we went out there and were fast.

Six to 10 at the end of the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 were Stephen Leicht, Michael Annett, Brad Keselowski, Jason Keller and Erik Darnell. After leading 105 of the 200 laps, Kevin Harvick had to settle for 17th. With his latest triumph, Busch is in firm control of the Nationwide Series Championship battle, leading Carl Edwards by 212 points.


Busch:
You know it's really good knowing that we have that cushion because anything can happen, we've seen it already this year with flat tires and me wrecking and stuff like that. You know, unfortunate circumstances can and will happen so the better that you are at not allowing yourself to get caught up in those situations, of course it would be better but the points the way they are, it's nice.

You can say that again.

A Member Of