Joey Logano (14th) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. Camry drivers Michael Waltrip (17th) and David Reutimann (18th) were also in the top-20 at...
Joey Logano (14th) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California.
Camry drivers Michael Waltrip (17th) and David Reutimann (18th) were also in the top-20 at the Fontana race track.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Scott Speed (21st), Marcos Ambrose (23rd), Kyle Busch (24th), Brian Vickers (29th), Max Papis (35th), Denny Hamlin (37th), Robby Gordon (38th), Joe Nemechek (39th), Michael McDowell (40th) and Dave Blaney (41st).
Hamlin started the race from the pole and led 21 laps before being involved in an incident on lap 190.
Suffering from flu-like symptoms this weekend, Busch was replaced in the No. 18 Camry by David Gilliand on lap 62.
Hamlin sits ninth in the unofficial NSCS point standings following California, 219 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson after four of 10 races in the 2009 Chase 10-race championship playoff. Vickers is 12th in the Chase, 351 points back.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 14th
How was your race car today? "We started off really good. I thought we had something to work with and we were going to have a really good race car -- a top- 10 for the first part of the race. We made one pit stop and it went to crap. I don't know what happened. We went junk and couldn't fix it. Eventually, we swung for the fence and it was too far, so we went to the other side of the fence and we started backing it back up from there. I don't know why we went good to complete junk like a light switch."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 17th
How was your team able to improve your position throughout the race? "The team did a good job on pit road -- I'm real proud of them. They used the strategy and got us a couple laps back. Then there at the end there was a huge crash and I got through it -- because we got caught up in our share this year -- and I made a good move to get through it. We can run okay at times, but every time there's a bumpy track the NAPA car is evil -- it just bounces too much. I report it and we work on it but we we're never really able to improve it. I'm disappointed in the way we preformed, but I'm equally as enthusiastic about o ur work ethic. We worked hard -- we didn't give up. We knew there were options and opportunities. We took advantage of those and I couldn't be happier about that for my team."
Can you talk about the Michael Waltrip Racing team going back to Charlotte after the organization's first win there earlier this year? "It's been special all year long to have something like that to celebrate. Being able to know that all that we've done, and as hard as we've worked, and all we've struggled through, to get to a point where we are competitive now. Then, to be able to put an explanation point by that with the victory and know that was the end of a whole lot of hard, hard work. It was a time when a young group could put their arms around each other and say, 'We have a long way to go but that was a step in the right direction.'"
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
Finishing Position: 21st
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 24th (Busch was replaced by David Gilliland during a pit stop on lap 62)
Are you going to stick around and watch the rest of the race? "I'm going to go lay down for a little bit and see if I can't get some fluids or something in me at the infield care center. The car was decent, so I'm real proud of the effort by these guys. I appreciate them sticking behind me. I'm sorry I had to get out."
How are you feeling? "I'm not feeling well. I was coughing real bad out there. Maybe now I'll go lay down and get some fluids or something and try to get better. We've been fighting it for several days."
Did you pass any information along that will benefit your replacement driver David Gilliland? "The car wasn't bad. It was a little bit tight for me and we were trying to loosen it up and see if it could get where I like it. We started getting a little loose in. Hopefully, it's not too loose for him."
DAVID GILLILAND, relief driver, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How hard was it to get into Kyle Busch's car today? "It was a little bit different. It was an experience, for sure. Without practicing it and stu ff, we just never could get it right today. We fought tight in the center and kind of struggled with that and were loose in. All in all, I'm thankful for the opportunity with M&M's and Joe Gibbs Racing to come out and do this. It wasn't a horrible day. It could have been a lot worse I guess, but we were obviously looking for a little bit better finish."
What was different about this experience? "Just getting in during the race, while the race is going under caution and all that. I've never been part o f anything like that. I'm glad I could help out today and hopefully Kyle (Busch) feels better here soon."
Does this give you a preview of your races you'll have with JGR? "Yeah, I think so. I think Charlotte as a whole and an organization, they (Joe Gibbs Racing) run a little bit better at Charlotte than they do here. We'll be able to practice and do everything else and have a couple hours to tune the car to kind of what I need. I'm excited and looking forward to next week, especially."
Who asked you to sub for Kyle Busch? "Steve Addington, the crew chief, came over and talked to me. I've known Kyle (Busch) for a while and with everything coming up with JGR in the upcoming weeks, I think it was a fit."
How was your race? "About halfway through the race it started to feel like something was wrong with the shocks. When we pitted on lap 160, the crew confirmed the right rear shock tower was broken. They put a bunch of rubbers in the right rear to compensate for no right rear shock. We received front end damage during the wreck at the end of the race and had to go to the garage. The guys did a great job repairing what they could and getting us back on track. We ended up picking up six spots by going back out. The Chase has been brutal for us so far. The last two races have probably been our two worst of the season. I'm looking forward to getting to Charlotte where we usually run well. Hopefully we can catch a break there."
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 35th
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 37th
What happened out there that forced you out of the race? "Made contact with the nose of the 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) and ended up taking ourselves out. It was just a dumb mistake. We'd just gotten the lead on pit road. Not a smart move."
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 RGM Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 38th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 39th
MICHAEL McDOWELL, No. 36 WAVE Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Tommy Baldwin Racing
Finishing Position: 40th
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Prism Motorsports Toyota Camry, Prism Motorsports
Finishing Position: 41st
-credit: toyota motorsports