Hamlin Talking 'Chase' Preparation New England Homecoming NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota Camry drivers have combined for four wins (Kyle Busch -- Las Vegas, Bristol and Richmond; David Reutimann -- Charlotte), 17 top-fives and 31 top-10...
Hamlin Talking 'Chase' Preparation
New England Homecoming
NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota Camry drivers have combined for four wins (Kyle Busch -- Las Vegas, Bristol and Richmond; David Reutimann -- Charlotte), 17 top-fives and 31 top-10 finishes through 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races in 2009... A year ago, two Camry drivers finished in the top-three at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in the spring race -- Michael Waltrip (second) and former Camry driver J.J. Yeley (third) ... Toyota is the 'official' vehicle of NHMS and a Camry Hybrid will serve as the pace car for both races at NHMS -- the first time a hybrid vehicle will pace a NASCAR race in New England.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Is the first New Hampshire race a test for the first 'Chase' race? "We know how important those first two 'Chase' races are in terms of running for a championship, so if we are in the 'Chase' this season we want to be sure we come back to Dover and New Hampshire at our strongest. This track is faster than you would think so you need horsepower to take advantage of the long straights, but getting through and off the corner is where you win or lose at New Hampshire. It's definitely a little bit different than any other track we go to because it almost seems like it's banked in the other direction on the bottom. But, you c an go way up high or run on the bottom, so there are some options for you to find a fast line. I like the tracks that demand you to feel your way through the corner and New Hampshire is one of those tracks. You need to find that rhythm, hit your marks getting into the corner so you can roll through the center, and get back on the gas as soon as possible for the next straight."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What do you remember about your first visit to NHMS? "I was young. I remember sitting up there (in the stands) watching the race and I actually watched the (NASCAR Camping World) East race back then. We spent the whole weekend up there and it was pretty fun. It was kind of my first race weekend. I raced quarter-midgets at the time, but it was the first time I went to a 'big' race."
GREG ZIPADELLI, crew chief, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How much do you enjoy racing at New Hampshire? "For me, it's like going home. I was fortunate enough to win the first Modified and Busch North race there as a crew chief when that race track opened. I won a few other races there through my career with Tony (Stewart). I love the place. I think it's really neat how Mr. Bahre went about that back in the day and was willing to make that investment out in the middle of nowhere. I like the short track -- I like that type of racing. Obviously, going home there's a lot of family and friends that will come up for the weekend. So, I'm certainly looking forward to it."
What does Joey Logano think about racing at New Hampshire? "It's considered a home track for him. I don't know how he feels about it -- I think he likes every race track right now. Especially, with him being as young and enthusiastic as he is -- if he runs good at it then he likes it even better."
How would you evaluate your season? "Satisfied with it -- pleased. It's not where we want to be -- we want to be leading the points or at least be in the 'Chase.' We've had a lot of little things that have taken us out of a good finish when we had a good finish coming. There's not a lot you can do about that. There have only been a couple races where we just haven't been all that good. For the most part, week in and week out, we've had a top-five or top-10 car, whether we finished there or not -- and that's part of the game."
-credit: toyota motorsports