Kyle Busch (10th) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Camry drivers Brian Vickers (15th), Bobby Labonte (17th) and Kasey Kahne (18th) also earned top-20 finishes at the historic two-mile speedway.
Kahne started on the outside of the front row in today’s 400-mile race and led a race-high 48 (of 160) laps.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Martin Truex Jr. (24th), Joey Logano (25th), Denny Hamlin (27th), Casey Mears (29th), David Reutimann (36th), Michael McDowell (37th), Joe Nemechek (38th), Mike Skinner (40th) and T.J. Bell (42nd).
Busch gained one position and is now fourth in the unofficial NSCS point standings and is 16 points behind leader Carl Edwards, and Hamlin ranks 11th in the standings.
Other Toyota drivers in the top-25 in the unofficial point standings after 20 of 36 NSCS races include Kahne (15th), Logano (19th), Truex (23rd) and Reutimann (24th).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 10th
Were you surprised with your finish? “Characteristically, for us here and for the damage and everything that we had today on the M&M’s Camry -- certainly. Definitely had no idea that the day would be so ugly, but yet come out of it smelling like a rose I guess. All in all, the guys did a great job. We worked our butts of this whole weekend trying to get something out of nothing. Just could never get the car to be fast off the beginning. The first couple laps of a run -- that kind of hurt us qualifying a little bit and marred us back in traffic. Got up front and on one of those pit stops there, I didn’t know the 14 (Tony Stewart) was coming around me. I guess I should have seen his pit board. We collected into the 14 on pit road and tore up the car and were salvaged back in traffic the rest of the day. Then had a pit strategy there at the end to try to make it on fuel and we did. Commend Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys for giving me good fuel mileage and the JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) engine shop did a nice job today. We’ll take 10th and go on to Pocono.”
What challenges did you face in the race? “We fought track position the whole day and once we did get it, we were up front and running top-10 much of the day. Then on that pit stop there where Tony (Stewart) was coming in and I was coming out -- we made contact. It was our fault -- the 18 car. We should have waited for Tony to come in, but I didn’t know he was coming. I have to rely on Dave (Rogers, crew chief) to tell me that. All in all, we salvaged along from there and then we got back in traffic. We knocked the nose in and it was an ugly way to salvage a 10th-place finish, that’s for sure.”
Is Indianapolis a race track that you find difficult? “Indy has never really been one of my favorite places anyways just because it’s so hard to run around here and gain track position or even pass. If you could pass people, sure, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. You can get stuck behind a guy for 50 laps and not be able to make a move on him. That’s just frustrating, but it’s the same for everybody. A lot of guys are better at it than others and I would say that I’m not very good at making track position here. Like I said, we did the best with what we had.”
How much fuel did you need to save in the closing laps? “We had to save two to three (laps) -- whatever that means. What surprised me really was that those guys that were running up front that were running hard and making it. Like the 27 (Paul Menard) made it -- the 78 (Regan Smith) made it. Those guys, I expected them to run out. They must have had just enough. By our calculations already, we figured out that was it. We barely made it back into the pits according to what the paper says.”
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 15th
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Huggies Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Finishing Position: 17th
KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 18th
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Platinum Filters Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 24th
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 25th
How was your race car today? “We started off terrible -- kind of like we expected. I hate that we finished 25th. We got the car pretty good. The guys kept getting the car better. Got to the point that at least we had decent speed in it. We couldn’t make it on fuel -- we don’t get good fuel mileage and that’s a problem. That’s what we get for not getting good fuel mileage -- we finish 25th. We did a good job getting better, but it’s frustrating -- getting the car better and being better and then having a fuel mileage race. Seems like anyone can win these things these days -- you have to get lucky these days more than anything.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 27th
How do you feel about your finish? “It was a disappointing finish for us. We found ourselves in the top-10 for most of the day. We’re hoping something gave up in the front end. We had the characteristics of two different race cars once we had that second to last stop. Disappointed in our effort. I felt we would be a little bit better than this today, but just wasn’t there.”
Was the heat a factor? “It wasn’t a factor for me. It might have caused the front end to give up in our race car. That is something we have to check out. We’ve been fighting that here on these hot race tracks. These cars are just giving up too much speed. Towards the end of the day we just didn’t have a good car.”
CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 29th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 36th
How do you feel after hitting the wall? “I’m okay. Just disappointed. We actually had a really good Aaron’s Dream Machine -- I know everybody says that. Really moving forward one car at a time and having to do some stuff on track position to get ourselves track position to show how good we could be. I just cut a right front tire or something getting into (turn) three. Probably can’t pick a worse place for it to happen. When the right fronts down it won’t turn. Unfortunately, hit the wall pretty hard. But, you know, you don’t hit stuff soft anymore -- you’re going pretty fast. Hats off to everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota Racing Development -- a great motor today. Just didn't get it finished. Qualified bad, but we were moving up through there and just didn’t get a chance to show what we could do.”
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 HP Racing LLC Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports Finishing Position: 37th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 AMFMEnergy.com Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 38th
MIKE SKINNER, No. 60 Big Red Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 40th
T.J. BELL, No. 50 Green Smoke Toyota Camry, Gunselman Motorsports Finishing Position: 42nd
By: toyota motorsports