Kyle Busch Motorsports General Manager Rick Ren knows a thing or two about what it takes to be successful in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. After guiding two-time defending NASCAR Mexico Series Champion German Quiroga to a 16th-place finish in his Truck Series debut Saturday, the series' all-time winningest crew chief believes that the 31-year-old driver showed that he has what it takes to compete full-time in NASCAR's third division.
"German did a really good job for his first time driving a heavy vehicle with a lot of horsepower," said Ren, who has been a part of three Truck Series championships. "Driving in this series is not that easy and I think that he showed the skills and maturity that will allow him to be competitive should he chose to come here full-time. From the time practiced started Friday morning until the race was over, we saw steady improvements from German. We didn't make any adjustments during the race and his lap times just keep getting faster. You could tell that he was figuring out how to drive into the corners, changing his breaking points and picking up the gas earlier as the race progressed. At the end of the race, he got a little racier and started passing people. If we could come back and run this race again tomorrow, I'm confident that the result would be a top 10-finish. We're really happy with the job he did for us this weekend and hopeful that we can find a way to get him back in one of our Tundras for another race before the end of the season."
Quiroga, who started the race from the 17th position, lost a few spots in the early stages of the race as he worked on getting comfortable driving his Telcel Tundra in traffic. While Quiroga was just trying to get comfortable, Kyle Busch was more than comfortable with his No. 18 Tundra and set a blistering pace as the race proceeded under green-flag conditions. The boss worked his way around his newest employee on lap 40, putting Quiroga one lap down.
When the first caution of the race occurred on lap 61, the 31-year-old driver had settled back into the 17th position. He communicated to Ren that the handling of his Telcel Tundra was "very good" and did not want the crew to make any changes during the first pit stop. Quiroga brought his truck down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel and returned to the track scored one lap down in the 17th position.
The Mexico City native continued to run in the top 20 as the race proceeded caution free towards the finish. Ren brought Quiroga down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel on lap 134 and returned his driver to the track scored two laps down in the 20th position.
Over the last forty laps, the 31-year-old appeared to find the feel for his No. 51 Telcel Tundra as he posted improved lap times and maneuvered his way around competitors for position. By the time he crossed the finish line, Quiroga had worked his way into a respectable 16th-place finish.
"Overall, I am very happy with the end result and I believe that Telcel will be happy with my performance as well," said Quiroga. "The guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports were a pleasure to work with and provided me with a Telcel Tundra that was definitely a top-10 truck. I got caught up in traffic and went a lap down in the early stages of the race. When the race stayed green for a long period, I was never able to get back on the lead lap. I enjoyed my first experience racing in the Truck Series and hope to be back soon."
Busch led 165 of 175 laps en route to his third-consecutive Truck Series victory at "The Magic Mile." Dillon, who took over the lead in Truck Series driver points, finished second, 3.816-seconds behind Busch. Kevin Harvick finished third, Ron Hornaday Jr. was fourth and Johnny Sauter fifth. Matt Crafton, James Buescher, Todd Bodine, Timothy Peters and Miguel Paludo rounded out the top 10.