Hamlin's Michigan Grooves Reutimann Ready for 'Chase' Challenge Red Bull Racing Needs to Rally NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota Camry drivers have combined for six wins (Kyle Busch -- Las Vegas, Bristol and ...
Hamlin's Michigan Grooves
Reutimann Ready for 'Chase' Challenge
Red Bull Racing Needs to Rally
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota Camry drivers have combined for six wins (Kyle Busch -- Las Vegas, Bristol and Richmond; David Reutimann -- Charlotte; Joey Logano -- New Hampshire; Denny Hamlin -- Pocono-2), 25 top-fives and 47 top-10 finishes through 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this season ... Hamlin is solidly fifth in the NSCS point standings with four races remaining to get into the 'Chase' for the Sprint Cup championship playoff ... Camry drivers Busch (13th), Brian Vickers (14th) and Reutimann (16th) are battling for a position in the top-12 in points ... Busch is currently 58 points out of the 12th-place position and Vickers (96 points) and Reutimann (155 points) are also trailing the 'Chase' cutoff.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Are you looking forward to going back to Michigan? "Going back to Michigan -- you come from race tracks (Pocono and Watkins Glen)that kind of don't relate to it at all. We had a good car when we were there about a month ago and we want to just build on that. It took nearly all practice and all race to get it to where I felt good. The good part now is we get to start with that at the beginning of practice. Just getting it going is what takes the most time."
How do you go about finding the right grooves at the Michigan track? "You just think about what you're going to need to have to pass. You arc into the corners and make sure you can get off. You think about the things that you struggled with in races past and you work on that in practice. Even if you don't have that problem necessarily during practice you think about, 'Well, in the race it got that way.' That's how we go about the process of making our car better."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Do you feel like you can make-up ground in the point standings at Michigan? "I haven't really looked at the run down, but after leaving Watkins Glen I didn't expect it to be great news -- so I haven't really paid any attention. We just go to the next race and try to make up a little bit of what we lost. We're not going to be able to do it all in one race, but you can definitely start with one race and that's what we are going to try to do. Earlier this year, we didn't have a great set-up on the car at Michigan, but I feel like we will be a lot closer this time. A lot of guys struggled there in the race earlier, so we just need to be one of those guys that doesn't struggle."
Will you consider this season a success if you don't make the 'Chase?' "For me personally, no. We have come so far, but you get to the point where you should be able to get in the 'Chase' and you should be able to run well every week. We've missed that mark on occasion, not very often, but sometimes we do. For the organization, yes, it has been a successful year I think. We have been able to win one race so far and have some good top-five finishes and do some really good things. From a driving standpoint, I feel like it would be a little bit short."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Is Michigan one of your favorite race tracks? "It is definitely on my list. Michigan is one of those tracks that a lot of drivers consider one of their favorites. It's simple why they feel that way. -- just watch the action on Sunday. There will be guys running up high, down low, all over the place. It also allows drivers to run wide-open, side-by-side. I just love that and I think most race car drivers want to have the opportunity to go down into the corner and pick a line where somebody is not running and try to make your car go faster. I pulled off a top-10 finish not too long ago because I was able to run right up against the fence. Some guys didn't go that high, but it worked for me. It's a track where you can run any line and have success."
How do you feel about your chances to gain points toward the 'Chase' at Michigan? "We're going into Michigan optimistic. We need to be able to capitalize on a track that traditionally we perform well at. We need to be able to do what we did last time. We qualified on the pole. Those places, where we've had some pretty good runs at those style tracks, are where we need to capitalize. It does seem like the mile-and-a-halves are the tracks that we can be pretty good on. We have to gain as many points as we can in these next couple of races. We need to put a strong number on the board -- too many cars are alive with too many variables. It's still so wide-open. We need to go for the best overall finish that we can."
-credit: toyota motorsports