Camry drivers Brian Vickers (25th), Dave Blaney (27th), David Reutimann (34th) and Terry Labonte (43rd) will start the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis tomorrow afternoon. Three Camry drivers -- AJ Allmendinger, Dale Jarrett and Jeremy Mayfield -- did...
Camry drivers Brian Vickers (25th), Dave Blaney (27th), David Reutimann (34th) and Terry Labonte (43rd) will start the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis tomorrow afternoon. Three Camry drivers -- AJ Allmendinger, Dale Jarrett and Jeremy Mayfield -- did not qualify for the race.
The best start for a Camry in NNCS competition was when Blaney started from the pole at NH (June 30). This year, Blaney has made the most starts (18) in a Camry in NNCS competition.
The best finish by a Camry in the NNCS was when Vickers finished fifth at Lowe's Motor Speedway (May 27). Camrys have led a total of 124 laps in NNCS competition this season. Vickers has led 84 laps and Blaney has led 35 laps. Mayfield (four) and Michael Waltrip (one) have also been in front of the field this year.
How was your qualifying run? "Our lap was okay. I felt pretty good about the car, but I think the track lost a little bit for us. It didn't quite seem to have the grip it did earlier today. The car's balance was good, and I was able to get down on the white line. In general, I thought the lap was going to be about as fast as it was in practice, although it was a little bit slower."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Starting Position: 27th
How was your qualifying run? "We just tried to hit our marks. We know where we need to make up ground and make up some speed, so that's what we tried to do. The car felt just like it did in the last practice run, and it ran about the same speed. We lost a little bit at the end of practice, and haven't really got it back. We were just too tight in all four corners. We spent too much time out of the throttle, and it adds up."
Does it help your team that this is no longer an impound race? "We got enough practice today it didn't really matter whether it was an impound race or not. We thought we had enough speed during our mock runs that we could practice the car a little bit in race trim. I'm definitely relieved to know I made the race, and I hope our car works good tomorrow in the race."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Burger King Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 34th
Have you ever driven at IMS before? "I came here about four or five years ago with the Morgan-McClure team and tried to make the race. I had a couple laps here then, but the track is not like it is now."
What are your thoughts on the track? "The straightaways go on forever. It's a very unique place. Each corner is so unique. We always talk about the center of the corner, but here -- there's no center here. You're entering and exiting one corner and entering and exiting another, so it's a different approach. There's different language, too.
You never really say that you're coming out of turn one." How big does this place seem to be? "Daytona and a few places seem pretty big, but this place seems like its own country. It should have its own zip code, that's how big it feels. I'm amazed at how flat it is and how wide the straightaways are - they just go and go."
Did you watch the Indy 500 growing up? "I always watched the Indy 500 growing up with my Dad. I never thought I'd be able to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway because at that time, Indy cars were the only cars that ran here. To be able to come here and compete in a different form of motorsports, that's a pretty neat deal."
TERRY LABONTE, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 43rd
How much time did you spend working on qualifying trim with track position being so important? "We worked on both qualifying and race trim in practice, splitting the time. I felt like we were pretty good with our race practice, so we switched over to qualifying because it's so important here. We wanted to see what we could do. We didn't get as much speed out of it for qualifying as we'd like to, but we didn't fall off much in race trim, so that's good. There's not a big gap between our fast lap and our slow lap, so I feel pretty good heading into tomorrow."
How is your car handling? "Our car is handling pretty good right now. We could definitely use a little bit more speed, but I'm not sure how we're going to do that without giving up some of our handling. We'll just have to wait and see how things play out and how the thing handles early in the race tomorrow."
Can you talk about your qualifying run today? "We had a great lap going and one that would have put us comfortably in the field until I hit the wall in Turn 4. I just wish I could have turned more laps here. This is a unique track with a lot of nuances, and I needed more than the 20 laps we got in practice to become comfortable with it. I hate it so much for my crew. At least Brian will be able to represent Team Red Bull tomorrow on track. I know he will do us proud. As a team we just really need to get our momentum back."
-credit: toyota motorsports