“Drivers, start your engines.” Those four words can’t help but spark adrenaline in the stands, in the pit and in front of the screen at home. For the drivers, it’s the signal to slam on the gas and maintain control while they blast past their checkpoints at 200 m.p.h. But what’s it like behind the wheel when the green flag goes down? We thought it was time to ask Toyota Racing drivers to tell us about the view from the hot seat.
"It's very, very technical. And a lot of decisions get made on how to set up a car, how I like it to feel. And then, we go to the track. And I go out there, and just go as fast as I can go."
"[If you get bumped on the track] well, if you win, you're kind of like, 'I hate that that guy did that, but I still won.' So, I'm kind of okay with it. But when a guy hits you, bumps you, knocks you out of the way, and you spin out, or you don't win? Yeah, I'd say it's not a good day."
"When you're racing, in the beginning, you're super up on the wheel, getting after it, very in tune with everything. And then, if you're by yourself or, at least, have a little room, you get in a rhythm of doing the same thing. Running within the same hundredth and tenth, just trying to bust off quick lap times and consistent ones. It's about always being consistent."
Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography/NASCAR
"When I first got in a truck, I thought during my first race, 'Man, this is really hard, and harder than what I've ever done.' And then, I figured it out, and we won. Nobody had won a championship in all three series. So, it was cool to be the first guy to do that — definitely something to hang your hat on."