ThorSport Racing driver Cameron Hayley was made available to the media at Michigan International Speedway:
CAMERON HAYLEY, No. 13 Ride TV/Cabinets By Hayley Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
What does it mean to race so close to Canada these next two weeks?
“It’s a big deal racing close to home obviously. Canada definitely doesn’t have the motorsports involvement that Americans do in the U.S. so for me to come from Canada was definitely a tougher journey than most American drivers take growing up through the ranks so it’s really cool that the Camping World Truck Series goes to Canadian Motorsports Park in Canada and obviously Michigan being so close as well. It’s really cool that they go there because that’s the couple times a year that my Canadian fans come out and really see me and support me. Really looking forward to going there and hopefully we can have a good run in Michigan and focus on the road course in Canada next week.”
How do you feel about your Chase chances?
“Anything can happen and I think we’ve seen that already this year. I had the worst luck possible this year between broken parts, blown tires and running out of gas – everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. We were sitting 12th going into Pocono and came out with a second-place finish and right then ended up eighth in the Chase spot. That definitely tells you that anything can happen on a given weekend. Where we’re at right now, it still tells us that these next three races we need to get a win. Obviously Ben Kennedy winning at Bristol definitely took a Chase spot away and now we only have two left on points. We’re definitely going to take some chances and go for the win.”
How did the fire at ThorSport Racing impact the organization?
“At the beginning of last year when I signed with ThorSport Racing, I moved to Sandusky, Ohio and I’ve been living there for about a year and a half now. The fire started around kind of midnight or one o’clock and I was at the shop at five in the morning. I got the call and saw it burning. I’ve been part of the whole deal ever since it started. To be able to get this team where we’re at – I finished second at Pocono and third at Iowa the week after we had the fire. This team, we definitely had our struggles and we weren’t able to build our new trucks to keep developing. We’re a little bit behind obviously where we’re still trying to catch KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), they’re definitely kind of taking off from us. Obviously Toyotas have pretty much been dominant so it’s between ThorSport and KBM and we’re still trying to catch KBM, but we’re working really hard and it put us back a little bit, but at the same time it brought us together more as an organization. We’re all working closer to be able to develop quicker so we can catch up.”
Is there a similar NASCAR Series in Canada?
“NASCAR does have the NASCAR Pinty Series, formerly the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Personally, I didn’t take that route. I raced two races on the west coast in that series years ago, but I immediately started racing in the U.S. pretty much when I turned 11 years old. I never really got to experience the Canadian Series or the NASCAR Pinty Series, but it is a great series to allow Canadians to get into the sport of NASCAR and we’re definitely seeing a couple more come up through it.”
What is your new sponsor and how do you feel about the caution clock this season?
“Ride TV is our new sponsor that came on board last race and hopefully they’ll be on for the rest of this year. They’re a 24 hour equestrian TV show on DirecTV, but looking to expand. They’re just a great fit between ThorSport Farms that my owner Duke Thorson owns. The whole race team, the two guys, the owners or Ride TV are big races fans. They came to the race and I had some of the most fun I’ve had in a while with them so it’s cool to have Ride TV on board. In terms of the caution clock, lately we haven’t been experiencing much of it. The beginning of the season we had more of the experience, especially at Atlanta and that got us introduced pretty quickly. Definitely tracks coming up, Michigan being one of them and Chicago being a fuel mileage race last year, that’s when we’re really going to see it come into play. Obviously there’s still potential within the last 20 laps of it being shut off so we could still potentially have a fuel mileage race, but it’s going to limit that so much more. You’ll see at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park next week that we’re going to race backwards so we’re not going to wait for the caution clock, you’re going to see guys pitting a lap before the caution clock if we get to it so it just adds a whole other strategy to it. I’m still kind of on the fence with it, but I think it could be a good thing in the future.”
Does the Chase format help give you a better chance at staying in even when you’re not having a good season?
“That’s the funny part about this Chase format, in the past our season really as ThorSport as a company has not gone as we wanted it to, but there is potential to stay in. It puts a whole new stress and everything on drivers and now gives us a chance if we do have a bad season, these next few races we have the chance to go out and win and hopefully we can do that and definitely the Chase format gives us that.”
What all have you been able to learn this season?
“More just being comfortable in these Tundras. It’s something that definitely takes time coming up through the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and Late Models, they’re all short race tracks and under a mile. When you come to these mile-and-a-half and two-mile ovals, it presents a totally different thing than we’ve ever been used to driving on. Aerodynamics is something we’ve never had to deal with and now you have to deal with aerodynamics. Really this year it’s been learning that and learning the higher competition level. Obviously there’s amazing drivers in this series, especially this year I think the series is one of the top competition levels that it’s ever been in terms of depth of field. It’s just been a lot of learning and a lot of confidence building in the Tundra.”