Three Camry drivers earned top-five finishes in tonight's All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway - Martin Truex Jr (second), Joey Logano (third) and Denny Hamlin (fourth). Kyle Busch (14th), Brian Vickers (16th) and David Reutimann (19th) ...
Three Camry drivers earned top-five finishes in tonight's All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway - Martin Truex Jr (second), Joey Logano (third) and Denny Hamlin (fourth).
Kyle Busch (14th), Brian Vickers (16th) and David Reutimann (19th) also competed in tonight's non-points race at the 1.5-mile oval.
Truex earned his starting position in tonight's All-Star race by winning the Showdown race in order to transfer into the All-Star. Truex led eight (of 40) laps in the Showdown.
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip
Finishing Position: 2nd
How was your race tonight? "It was a lot of fun for us tonight. Just have to thank all the guys on my NAPA Toyota team. They did a good job for me. It was a lot of fun tonight. It was one of those deals where you have to be in it to win it. It was fun to get in and we put a lot of effort into this race because it meant a lot for us to come out here and not only have fun tonight, but get ready for the 600 next week. We've got a pretty good car here. I think we know what we need to do to be better for next week. Overall it was a lot of fun. I wish it was a few more laps. I was actually a little better than Kurt (Busch) there at the end. We were fortunate to get second so it was cool."
How close did you feel you were to winning the All-Star race? "I could smell it and a couple more laps I was right there. What a good night and what a lot of fun we had. Second is not what we came here for, but it was a lot of fun and we were glad to get into the big show. Just proud of all these guys on the NAPA Toyota and proud of all the guys at Michael Waltrip Racing for the race cars they're building us. We did what we came here for and just came up one spot short."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How do you feel about your race tonight? "I felt like I had a good car, I'm just bummed out that we didn't win. That is what this race is all about is about winning. Third is good and it's better than what we did last year. We were close, we were real close and we just have to get a little better. I'm not happy with myself at the end of the race."
Is it difficult to battle so hard against your teammates for one million dollars? "There is more give and take around your teammates, but at the same time it's, 'go cat go' for a million bucks. I felt like me and Denny (Hamlin) ran good with each other. There at the end of the race he let me go to get up to third because I had the faster car so we were trying to give JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) a shot at it and just came up short."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
What happened between yourself and Kyle Busch on the race track? "First he (Kyle Busch) got a big run off the corner and I was clear getting into the corner. Basically I just throttled up extremely early and really it was a bad corner. He was going to go by me. He kind of went to the bottom and then went up high it looked like. Of course, I'm looking out my front windshield and he says I'm clear so I'm going to use all the race track I can. The problem is that Kyle had a run to the outside and with me moving up and getting real tight, it then took some air away from the front of his car and he slid up into the wall. It's tough for me. We talked about it and basically Kyle was just frustrated, he felt like he had a really good car. Me, I just came from the back with no practice and got back to the front where we needed to be and I felt like if I gave up the lead right there then I was going to give up the win. I don't think Kyle would do anything different if he was in my situation. It's just when you're the leader, my feeling is that you've got the whole race track. If a guy is to the outside then that's when you need to hold your line."
What was the conversation between yourself, Kyle Busch, Joe and J.D. Gibbs? "It's a good conversation to have. Me and Tony (Stewart) has had this same conversation and it was under a little different circumstance, but this is a good problem to have for our team. For two guys to be wanting to go for the win like they are, that's all we can ask for. Myself, I'm so confident that one of the two of us are going to win that 600 next weekend, it was a good meeting. Kyle (Busch) was fiery at the beginning, but calmed right down at the end. I think it's just kind of his personality and me, I'm a little more reserved and kind of quiet about it. I think it's just two teammates that happen to be teammates going for a race win right there."
What are your thoughts on Kyle Busch's comments about you on the team radio? "That's Kyle in the moment and he's said worse things about me for sure at other times. I told him my job as the leader is to do everything I can to win that race. This race in specific is a much different beast than what a points race is and I think he understands that. From my standpoint, we're going to drive each other different, no doubt about it. We've seen it in years past, guys suck each other around, guys running each other up the race track, but I felt like if Kyle had position on the outside, then I definitely should have given him the lane. I just basically took the air off and like he said, he was just dumb and didn't check up. It's just one of those things. The air is so important that if you've got the lead then it's extremely hard for anyone to get around you and we just flat over-adjusted our race car and we got it way off right there. I felt like if we couldn't get the win, then I probably should have just moved over and let him go because it looked like he had a race winning car. That is the only thing I fault myself is not understanding my race car that time."
How will you and Kyle Busch move forward from this? "We don't need to let it affect these team guys. They work with each other inside the race shop and the important thing for me is that everyone gets along. Right now, everything is going good between the 11 and the 18 (Kyle Busch) on the race track, we're both battling for race wins each and every week. This is like the fifth of sixth time that we've been beside each other with less than 10 (laps) to go and this is not going to be the last time. What's good is that we have an understanding of how we race each other. One thing that we do realize too is this individual race here is a different beast so the racing of each other is always going to be a little different."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Pretzel Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 14th
DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What were you able to learn tonight for next week's 600? "We're pretty happy with the M&M's Toyota Camry, it ran decent. Track position was crucial. We gave up some track position to a pit call and it was hard to get it back. The 600 is going to be a lot different than this race. This race, you know that you're going to go 20 or 25 laps, get a caution. The 600, you might have some stops, you're going to race later into the night. We learned a few things, we have some things to try next week. In general, we're pleased with how we ran tonight."
What did it mean that your pit crew gained you a position for the final 10-lap segment? "My secret weapons aren't so secret anymore. This M&M's crew is the best on pit road and they are every week and have been for a while now. I'm real proud of them and to showcase them, this is All-Star weekend and we put a lot of emphasis on pit stops. We do every week, but the format really highlights the pit crew and our guys performed exceptional. I'm so proud of them and I know they were discouraged that they didn't win the pit crew competition this week. They set fast time, but they just had a penalty. Where they really excel is under pressure, pressure doesn't get to them."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael
Finishing Position: 19th
What happened that took you out of the race? "I don't really know. It was a struggle for us all night. We had a bad carburetor issue and ended up having to change it under the break. The motor wouldn't run down the straightaway and the thing was so rich that we ran out of gas about 15 laps before we should have right there before the break. We had those carburetor issues and we got that changed and man, the thing took off. It looked like somebody on the outside got turned. That's just what it looked like because we were all going straight and the next thing I know, a car was coming down across the race track. I'm not sure who it was, it might have been the 5 (Mark Martin). I don't know what led up to that, but all I know is the end result is that the old Aaron's Dream Machine is hurt pretty bad. It was just a bad night."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip
Finishing Position: 1st
How did it feel to win the Showdown and transfer to the All-Star race? "It was fun. We knew it was going to be a challenge coming in and having to start back there because of the rain. We knew it would be challenging. You get on these big tracks and the dirty air is really, really tough. In the beginning we fought that track position and got real tight in traffic. Pat (Tryson, crew chief) made a few adjustments. We got two tires there and got track position and then it was just one at a time, picking them off. They had a little bit of a skirmish down there with the 38 (David Gilliland) and that helped us open the door. Once we got up there and got in clean air, our car got really good. We still have some work to do for this one (All-Star race) because this is where it's all going to happen. The guys are going to work hard on the car and Pat and them will do a great job on the NAPA Toyota and see if we can't go up there and challenge for a million bucks."
How much of a boost is the Showdown win for your team? "In 2007, it was really big for us and it really catapulted our season into winning and making the Chase. We challenged for five or six wins that year. Hopefully, this will kind of be that same start for us as a team. I feel like we've had a good season as a new team. We're sitting 12th in the points, we've had some really good runs. Obviously a few times we've had a little bit of trouble that's taken us out of a few races, but we've been solid and the guys have been doing a good job and our cars have been fast. It's obviously a work in progress for us. I've been really pleased with Pat (Tryson, crew chief) and the job he's done with the team and throughout the races and the calls he's made. Everything is really going well, it's just a matter of us just getting better as a team and working together more and building up a little bit of a notebook. Things have been going well here lately and hopefully this will be the start of a lot of good things to come."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Cavalia Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 13th
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 15th
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 16th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
Finishing Position: 22nd
TODD BODINE, No. 64 Toyota Camry, Gunselman Motorsports
Finishing Position: 28th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 29th
-source: toyota motorsports