Kyle Busch (second) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Denny Hamlin (fourth), Joey Logano (seventh) and David Reutimann (ninth) also finished in the top-10...
Kyle Busch (second) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Denny Hamlin (fourth), Joey Logano (seventh) and David Reutimann (ninth) also finished in the top-10 in the 334-lap race at the 1.5-mile oval.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Martin Truex Jr. (15th), Marcos Ambrose (16th), Reed Sorenson (18th), Scott Speed (19th), Robby Gordon (33rd) and Jeff Green (41st).
Hamlin remains second in the unofficial NSCS point standings and trails current leader Jimmie Johnson by 41 points after five events in the 10-race 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff. Busch gained four spots to fifth-place - 177 points behind Johnson.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How was Jamie McMurray able to pass you after you were so strong early in the race? "He (Jamie McMurray) was faster than me and he beat us. Nothing to it but that. Just didn't quite have it at the end. I gave it up two nights in a row."
Did Joe Gibbs put tonight's race into perspective for you at the end of the race? "Nobody can put it in perspective right now. It's very, very disappointing. Had the best car all night and gave it up. Just flat out gave it away and it's real, real frustrating to not come out of here with a win at a track that I have yet to win at and have been so fast at. Then again tonight was really fast. I'm sorry to all the guys, I mean everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, everybody in the engine shop, chassis shop - it's my job to come out here and get a win for these guys and I'm the one behind the wheel ultimately and didn't make the right adjustments and gave it up."
How disappointed are you with your finish tonight? "It's very tough and it's very, very frustrating and disappointing. I gave it all I had, but (Jamie) McMurray was just better than me and I'm sorry to all my guys. I didn't give up any, but we just didn't have the right changes. Apparently I didn't communicate enough right or something. I'm the one behind the wheel ultimately making the sacrifice and we didn't have enough."
How was your race overall tonight? "It was a really great race for us. The car was phenomenal all night, one of our best cars we've ever had. And being able to drive through people, get up back towards the front and stuff at a difficult racetrack to pass at and everything, this was a great run, a surprising run - the run that is we are supposed to have and the runs we are supposed to make happen. You know, it was a great feeling there all up until about 20 to go when we got a caution and then got beat on the caution and then in the ensuing laps to the end. Just very, very frustrating. I can't say enough about all of my guys and everybody that works, as hard as they work and do such a great job that they do. It's just very, very frustrating and you know, I apologize to everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing for just not being able to bring it home tonight. Apparently didn't have the right adjustment in the car at the end. Perfect example, two nights in a row, didn't quite find what it took last night into tonight."
What are you more frustrated with, the caution, or the restart? "Both. I don't know what the caution was for. You know, apparently there was a mouse that ran across the racetrack or something. And the restart, just trying to get going there, Jamie (McMurray) got a good restart, and I don't know if he got pushed from Jimmie (Johnson) or not, but he had a good run, good momentum getting into turn one. Then I got there and my car pushed up to the race track and got to the plate and he was already gone, nothing I could do. Couldn't even stay to his outside."
What was going on with your throttle early in the race? "It was sticking for some reason, not sure why. We have had a cable drive system I have not liked since I came to Joe Gibbs Racing, I don't know what happened to the mechanism but something apparently got wedged in there for a while and I was able to work it free. It came back to normal. Took it, about, I don't know, 50 laps or some, but got it back normal."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
How would you summarize your race tonight? "It was a battle. We were stuck from like third to fifth all day and just couldn't get it quite right. There was some stuff that we put in our car that we just needed to fine tune a little bit. Didn't have enough time to work on it during practice, but I think we have a good direction from here on out. We kept them in our sights, but that's all we could do. We were a little bit off today, but it's important that we get solid top-five finishes like this."
How do you feel being second in the points following this race? "Better than I was last year, that's all I know. We're going to a great track for us - Martinsville and then Talladega's going to be, who knows. In this race last year I blew up and last time I wrecked so I'm ahead of pace."
Are you happy with your finish today? "I'm happy with our day - a top-five. You look at our average finish over these last few weeks and we've been up and down and some people think mediocre, but that's been good enough to win the championship for probably two or three or four of the last four years. He's (Jimmie Johnson) going to do what he's going to do and run up front, we just have to do what we have to do and try to win races. I'm not disappointed at all - I'm proud of our FedEx team for fighting today. We started in the back, we came from the (Ryan) Newman spin in the front at the beginning of the race. Not too disappointed and frankly I feel like he's in our sights. He's eight positions in one race in front of us and that can be overcome pretty easily."
Is it frustrating that Jimmie Johnson still finished ahead of you in tonight's race? "He's (Jimmie Johnson) a champion and I'm not. He's figured this stuff out and he's got a great team as well as we do, but I haven't hit the 'go' button yet and I feel like there's still more left with our team. I'm minimizing my risk right now and I feel like if I'm going to have a shot to win this thing when we get to Homestead, I've got to minimize those risks. I can't be sticking it three-wide on restarts and things like that. People do and I don't. I take a little more conservative approach and it cost me five points here and there every couple races, but the main thing is that I'm not racing my way out of this thing these first five races."
Were you pleased that Kyle Busch was able to keep Jimmie Johnson behind him at the finish? "I was hoping that they (Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson) would battle a little bit more because the more they battled, the closer I got to them. I just needed them to check up just a little bit more and I could have got to them. We got killed on that restart and once again on the long run we were running the 48 (Johnson) down, but that caution came out and it really killed us at the end."
Did you think you and Kyle Busch would get a better restart on the final one? "I thought I was going to be second coming off of turn two, but for some reason that restart the bottom lane took off much better than the top and that hadn't happened all day long. My car was a little loose and I couldn't get it working up there on the restart and it just cost us a spot."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How was your car tonight? "The car was pretty good, we just fought track position all night. We ran in the top-three in the first part of the race and I thought we were going to be all right. We took two tires one time that got us back there. Had stuff on the grille and tried to get it off and messed around with that a little bit. We had one bad pit stop that got us back there too. Every time we started fighting our way back up there we had something put us back there again. That made it a little bit of a struggle for us. It was a good run. We had a good car. I felt like we had a better car than where we finished. We just fought all day to get what we had."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael
Finishing Position: 9th
How was your race tonight? "We just struggled with the balance of the Aaron's Dream Machine all night. Rodney Childers (crew chief) and the guys worked hard on pit road and making the changes, but we just went back and forth from tight to loose. We could never get the balance. We got a top-10 finish out of the deal, which I'm proud of, but I wish we could've just hit the balance one time to get up there and fight with those guys."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA / Susan G. Komen Toyota Camry, Michael
Finishing Position: 15th
How was your race tonight? "We ran in the top 10 all night. It's disappointing to finish in 15th. We were way too tight on the final run. We are continuing to try and figure out what we need to do to get the strong finishes. We just have more work to do."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Lance/Tom's Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 16th
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Extenze Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 33rd
JEFF GREEN, No. 64 Little Joe's Autos Toyota Camry, Gunselman
Finishing Position: 41st
-source: toyota motorsports