Toyota Teams Pocono II Qualifying Quotes

Toyota Motorsports

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 1st

Did you learn anything from Denny Hamlin’s qualifying lap? “I watched it on TV -- ESPN has great coverage. I think I saw that in a movie too. I learned a little bit just by watching and obviously talking to Denny (Hamlin) because he is really good here. I am kind of picking his brain all the time. My guys put together an awesome race car for me. This Home Depot Toyota is fast. I felt like we were good when we unloaded and we just worked around in race trim a lot. We kept finding things here and there. We’ll see what happens when the race starts tomorrow, but either way we’re starting in a good spot.”

How have you been able to get two poles at challenging race tracks? “It surprised me. Two poles this year at places that I’ve never really qualified well at. It goes to show how hard all my guys have been working and trying to figure out certain things. It’s awesome -- Zip (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) and the boys did awesome today. Really good Home Depot Toyota -- our car drove pretty much just the way we needed it to. I got the lap just about right. I felt like I might have been able to get a little more off of one, but after watching the tracker on TV -- that’s where I beat everybody so maybe it was good that I was conservative there.” {

Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

How do you feel about your chance to win on Sunday? “Obviously, have a really fast race car and in qualifying trim it was really fast. I think in race trim I have a pretty good car. You never know here though. The track seems to change a lot throughout the race so we just have to be on our game and I have to give Zip (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) the right information to make our race car as fast as it can be throughout the race. Starting up front with clean air is worth a million bucks here. It’s unreal, but it’s like that everywhere now since all the cars are so close. Being able to start up front and getting a good pit stall -- all that stuff is definitely going to help us out a lot for Sunday. Pretty pumped up about that.”

How big of a deal is this momentum after the recent rumors? “It’s a really big deal. Obviously, there’s been a lot of rumors around our team lately, but at the same time I don’t know if everyone has realized how good we’ve been doing lately. The last six or seven races we’ve done a good job. Indy I felt like we were going to have a good finish there and strategy just didn’t go our way. There’s not much you can do about that. We’ve been doing a good job lately and we’ve been building a lot of momentum and as we keep doing that, eventually a win is going to happen. I think the confidence in the whole team is definitely up right now, especially in me. That’s what brings wins on I think is knowing you can do it. I think it helps out a lot.”

Did you talk with anyone at Joe Gibbs Racing about Carl Edwards? “As far as I knew they were just rumors. Until my boss -- Joe (Gibbs, team owner) or J.D. (Gibbs, team president) tell me I’m not driving, that’s when I know it. What was I really going to ask them? You know. I just focused in 100 percent like I’ve been throughout my whole career and try to make myself the best race car driver I can and try to help my team out and do whatever I can there to help them. It’s been paying off lately. You go through these ups and downs -- I learned a lot throughout this last down we had at the beginning of the season and feel like I learned a lot. A lot of experience in knowing how to make sure that doesn’t happen again and becoming a leader and making sure that doesn’t happen. There is definitely a lot more to it than I thought there was and learned a lot about that.”

What kind of affect did all of the Carl Edwards rumors have on you? “It’s in the back of your mind. Obviously, it’s not in your mind when you’re out there racing and you get in a race car. That is your time to just say, ‘The heck with everyone saying.’ You are just driving. That’s nice, but when you’re watching TV and you are see little things come up on the screen and this and that it’s like, how do you not think about that because it’s right there in front of you. But, at the same time it’s like I said before, if your owners are behind you and saying its all rumors what do you have to worry about really.”

Are you happy with your race car? “The car felt pretty good there. I was excited about it. Last night me and Zip (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) talked for a while. Talked about what we needed to do here to pick up some speed and unloaded good. We had a bad point in practice and I think we were able to pull ourselves out of that part. I think we went in the direction we needed to go. It seemed like the problem with me at this place is we always start to race and we’re usually slow to start and by the end of the race we’re one of the fastest cars out there, but we never make up what we lose in the beginning of the race. We’re just trying to make sure that we’re real methodical and really smart about the way we’re going to start this race and make sure we have a really good car to start. Hopefully we’re on the right page there. We’re going down one direction and hopefully it’s the right one and we’ll see what happens when the race starts.”

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KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 2nd

Did you have to change your car setup for qualifying due to the different track conditions? “We just made one run yesterday and we felt like we were pretty competitive for when we went out. Then we worked on the race stuff some more for tomorrow and got to where we were pretty good there too and we just made the right adjustments from there, hopefully. My lap felt really good. The Red Bull guys have done a nice job all weekend again and hopefully we’re there Sunday. We just need to put a full race together and be there late in the race and have a shot if we want to win one of these things and make the Chase.”

How important is it to start up front at Pocono? “It’s definitely good to start up front here. I think it helps a little bit. This race is so long and the strategy and things that happen throughout it -- being up front early on isn’t everything, but it’s definitely not a bad thing. Red Bull car was good qualifying. Just felt like I might have been able to get a little more out of it in one and two. Other than that I felt really good. Joey (Logano) put down a great lap and ours was good, but Joey’s was really good. If we wanted the pole, we just needed to be a little faster, but it’s still a nice spot for Sunday. This race -- so many things will happen on Sunday that we watched last week at Indy just how it all changed throughout probably the last 40 laps. It will be like that again here. Just try to say on top of it and make the right decisions. Keep the car to where it’s one of the best cars throughout the race and maybe we’ll be there at the end and we’ll have a shot.”

How focused are you on the wild card to get in the Chase? “I care because I want to make the Chase. That’s kind of where we started the season -- we want to win races and we want to make the Chase and I feel like the Red Bull guys are capable if we put an entire race together. We just need to keep working on that. We’ve been close, we’ve had a really good car at a lot of these races this year. But I don’t think we’ve put that entire race together and that’s something that we’re working hard at, but the wild card is getting close to being our only chance of making the Chase. If we can win one, stay consistent and keep the points then I think we’ll have a shot at that. These are some really good tracks for my team and myself over the years and we just need to stay after it and hopefully grab one.”

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MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 3rd

Are you happy with your starting spot for Sunday’s race? “It’s been a while since I’ve qualified upfront so it’s good to be up here. We had an interesting day here yesterday. Everybody knows how tricky Pocono is to get around. It’s very, very tough to get your car around in all three corners. We unloaded yesterday in qualifying trim and went through the first practice focused on qualifying and really kind of struggled to be honest. In the second practice, we worked on our race stuff and found a lot of things that helped our car and got the car fast and comfortable and driving the way I think we needed to. So, we went into qualifying this morning with a totally different package. We worked with something we had learned from race trim. Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all of the guys did a good job on our NAPA Toyota tuning it up and making the right, educated guesses so to speak and we were able to have a good lap this morning. It wasn’t a perfect lap. I missed turn three by just a couple of inches and that was probably the difference. I’m proud of my guys and it’s nice to be starting upfront here at Pocono. It’s very important to do that and I

How does this effort help your team at this point in the season? “Obviously, we’re all optimistic and everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) and our NAPA team has been working really, really hard to make our cars better and find some consistency. We’ve had a tough season for sure. We’ve had a lot of DNF’s and a lot of crummy luck at some places, but we’ve had some good runs too. At the same time, we haven’t been consistent enough. That’s really what we’re looking forward to doing. My new crew chief Chad Johnston has done a really good job since he came on. It just seems like we had one good week, one bad week, one good week, one bad week. We need to find some consistency and today was a good start for us. It’s been a while since I’ve qualified well here. We had a good run here in the spring race -- we ran top-10 and we qualified 30-something. Good turnaround for that. I’m excited about the job that he’s been doing and the guys on the team. All we can do is just keep working our hardest and try to figure things out. I feel like we’re heading in the right direction, but again it’s a matter of making things happen. Certainly we feel like we should easily be in the top-20 in points, but we’ve had a lot of DNF’s and stuff. We just need to go out and run upfront and try to win a couple of races here and hope to make something out of our season.”

Were you surprised no one was able to beat your time during qualifying? “I’m not sure. Some guys came close at the end and Kasey (Kahne) went out quite a few cars after we did. Carl (Edwards) was right there two or three cars to go and he was real close too. Obviously, going out earlier was better. A green race track here is always faster and certainly it didn’t hurt going out early. For us, we made some good adjustments on our car and our car was a lot better than yesterday when we qualified. The guys did a good job. For sure, it was a good starting spot for us.”

Is racing at Pocono special for you since you are from nearby New Jersey? “It does. I can remember coming here as a kid. I never came to any Sprint Cup races, but they used to have the Modified race here -- the ‘Race of Champions.’ They’d run half of the front straightaway and they’d put barricades in and I’m not sure where the rest of the track was. It was kind of crazy -- they ran through the infield somewhere. I can remember coming here and doing that. My dad raced here, my uncle Barney (Truex) raced here and so it’s always neat to come back and like you said, close to home. Kind of a third home track for me. I’ve got three of them that I consider home tracks. It’s always fun to come up here.”

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DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 6th

How was your qualifying lap? “It was okay -- still had some issues with hitting the track, but other than that it was just a solid lap. It’s actually tough because you don’t know what kind of speed the track actually has in it until you really go out there and try to get aggressive with it. It was a good lap for us and obviously a big improvement from what we had yesterday.”

How did your car handle in race trim yesterday? “In the second practice, our car was extremely good we felt like -- especially over the long runs. We know we have a really good car and that’s the good part.”

How important is this race to you? “It’s big for us obviously. Really, the only bad finishes we ever have here is because of something catastrophic happening to our car. We always have a solid car and we always have a car that can contend for a win and this time should be no different.”

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KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 11th

Are you happy with your race car this weekend? “The M&M’s Camry is pretty good. We unloaded and felt pretty strong about how we unloaded. Just kind of working back and forth a little bit on just a little bit tight and a little bit loose here and there, but overall it’s been good. We qualified decent. Wish we were a little bit better than that, but considering what we feel like we left out there we could’ve been a topfive car.”

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BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Reese Towpower-Highland Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Finishing Position: 22nd

Are you happy with your lap? “It was obviously a pick up from yesterday. The weather is a lot different. I feel like it’s okay, but when you go out like we do and you don’t have the normal draw thing like we used to have, which I thought was okay, and now you know you’re going to get beat up here probably. I don’t know. I’m not sure how good it’s going to be, but we are obviously better than where we were yesterday. We struggled here last race and I think we’re a step better -- a small step.”

Do you enjoy racing at Pocono? “I do. It’s just one of those places, man, you’ve got to have everything just right. Everything has got to go your way. I’ve come here with really, really great race cars and that’s been a key when you have that. That makes it a whole lot easier for you. But, we’ll see. Hopefully we’ve got a better race car than we had here the first race of the year. If we get some track position at the end and fuel mileage that’s what it’s all about anyway.”

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BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 26th

TODD BODINE, No. 66 HP Racing LLC Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports Finishing Position: 30th

CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 32nd

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 33rd

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 43rd

MIKE SKINNER, No. 60 Big Red Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: DNQ

T.J. BELL, No. 50 Green Smoke Toyota Camry, Gunselman Motorsports Finishing Position: DNQ

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags logano, nascar, pocono, sprint, toyota