Burton & Timothy Peters
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Martinsville Speedway – March 31, 2017
Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Harrison Burton and Red Horse Racing driver Timothy Peters were made available to the media at Martinsville Speedway:
How special is Martinsville?
Timothy Peters, No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
“It’s real special because it’s home. Everybody in the garage area wants to do well at home. I was able to get my first win here in 09 and win in the late model race in 05, but more so we want to win now that they’re giving clocks to the truck winner. We were the last one not to get the clock before they started giving them away the following year, but at that point we were able to join the club, I guess you could say, and the win column was marked on our result page. I just love coming here. This place has a lot of history and now with the lights, it puts a little added twist on it. And who knows maybe today we’ll actually see vehicles on track under the lights.”
Harrison Burton, No. 51 DEX Imaging Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
“It’s pretty similar to Timothy. I have family that lives in South Boston, not too far from here, and it’s really cool to come here and have your whole family hanging out at the race track and to see your grandparents and cousins and friends that live up here. It’s a lot of fun. It puts that little bit more, not pressure, but I guess it makes it a little bit easier when you come here and know you have a great support system behind you and have all your family members rooting you on. It’s a lot of fun for sure.”
How important is it to have the segment points this season?
“It’s really important. You know the stage wins are very important now because it carries playoff wins and also too being in the top 10 to get those regular season bonus points as well. Last year we didn’t get a win but consistency helped us get all the way to Homestead with the Chase, but you know with the points now still the win trumps points and you’re in. Win if you’re in. But also you just need that second win to solidify that spot. It’s more important than ever. Again, from Daytona, to here, to Homestead it’s always when it comes down to money time to try to get that green and white or the black and white flag. It always gets exciting. Our biggest deal is that we need to improve on our run from Atlanta. We took a brand new truck there and we ended up ninth. Felt like we had the capabilities of being in the top five. Coming here, again, we put Martinsville and Daytona in the same category of ‘things happen’. You get either behind the wall or you get taken away from the win. One example was we were here, I guess it was 2014, and had a good shot and a truck went through the grass and we were leading the race, first one to it and we ended up finishing sixth. With the bonus system now we would’ve got sixth-place points, but again those bonus points are more critical than ever that carry with all the way to Phoenix.”
What did you learn from the inaugural Chase that you’ll carry with you this season?
“Just that a win is more important than being consistent for sure because you can get that win and try to transfer early and then you have the other two races to see if you can R&D. We never got that win so we constantly had to stay consistent and you really couldn’t have a bad run. I think throughout the Chase at Texas (October 2017) was our worst run and we finished 14th where we finished sixth in June earlier that year. It just really focuses a lot of importance on winning and going back and looking at it, you know that’s where myself included, I need to minimize my mistakes.”
How would feel about adding the ‘choose cone’ to the national series?
“I think the choose cone brings an element to races that’s really really cool. My first race that I ever ran was with a choose cone at Ace Speedway. It’s a really cool element especially at places where the top or the bottom is significantly better. But I think there’s a level of confusion that goes with that as well to fans that are coming in and watching the race for the first time, they’ll say ‘why is the guy who was 10th now on the front row?’ I think that is something that if we choose to go in that direction, it will have to be hashed out and explained well to keep the fans up.”
“I think it would be a pretty cool twist. Last week at South Boston we had two Late Models there racing with Brandon Pierce and Bobby McCarty and one example was that with the fresh pavement a lot of people didn’t really want to get up on the outside. Coming down to one to go, the cone was out, everybody was choosing the inside and we elected to ask him to take the cone and he went all the way to fourth on a green-white-checkered. I would rather have that track position of fourth and maybe have an outcome to finish fourth or fifth versus starting the race in seventh. It would be a good twist maybe to try it here but with the outside groove not working, I think it would probably be, if you had the cone and tried it here, let’s say you tried it with the trucks then I would say maybe put the VHT down up top, like Bristol has put in the lower groove, that way it gives that outside line a chance to race with the bottom line.”
What are your thoughts on NCWTS going to Las Vegas and potentially getting another race earlier in the season next year?
“I think it’s great. I’d like to see the truck schedule get back to 25 (races) like it was years ago. I love going to Las Vegas. Don’t really spend a lot of time in the city. I just love the race track. I’ve had a lot of success there. We’ve been able to win. The older that the pavement gets, it still produces a lot of great races, has a lot of character with the bumps in (turns) one and two. I think it’s a good move to carry the trucks there and I think it’ll be some great racing. I understand the front of the schedule being gapped to try to help with finances for all the truck teams across the board, but I feel like maybe they’re too gapped. We’ve been off for three weeks and we race tomorrow and we’re off for five more. It’d be nice to have some races in there. I feel like truck racing is the best racing out there and not that nobody forgot about it, but you know five weeks is a long time. It feels like an eternity for me.”
Do you have any older drivers take you under their wing being so young?
“For sure. I’ve got a great group of teammates with Christopher Bell being the most experienced of those guys. He’s really great about teaching me everything about the trucks and all that. But also I have a great support system with guys who have or are currently racing in the top level of our sport. I have obviously a great connection with my dad and he teaches me a lot week in and week out, not only about on the race track stuff, but just character and being your own person and all that great stuff. I also obviously have a great connection with Kyle Busch, he is obviously the team owner and it’s in his best interest for us to run well. I think that he’s really really great about coming down and helping us out. And another connection I have is Kevin Harvick. I’m a member of KHI management and that helps me a lot. Kevin is also just like my dad or Kyle or Christopher, just one text or phone call away and I have all these great resources and it’s definitely important for me to utilize it all.”
If you win the grandfather clock trophy tomorrow, where would you put it?
“My mother claimed the 05 clock and so she has one. And my wife is really wanting one. You know, happy wife, happy life.”
“Well I don’t have a wife to worry about, so I don’t know, I think it might be too heavy for my room. My room’s on the second floor of our house so it might fall through the floor. So somewhere down in my Dad’s trophy room. Maybe I can cover up one of his trophies and brag to him about it. We’ll see. We have to take it one step at a time and hopefully come in with the clock.”