Camry driver Denny Hamlin earned his fifth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) win in Monday's postponed race at Pocono Raceway. Hamlin has recorded three wins in eight NSCS starts at the 2.5-mile triangular track. The 28-year-old led a ...
Camry driver Denny Hamlin earned his fifth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) win in Monday's postponed race at Pocono Raceway.
Hamlin has recorded three wins in eight NSCS starts at the 2.5-mile triangular track.
The 28-year-old led a race-high 91 (of 200) laps in the 500-mile race.
The win marks the 16th victory for Toyota in the Cup Series and the sixth victory for a Camry this season.
Brian Vickers (sixth) also earned a top-10 finish for Toyota and moved up one position in the unofficial NSCS point standings to 14th - now 104 points out of the top-12 'Chase' for the Sprint Cup positions.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Kyle Busch (16th), Scott Speed (23rd), Joey Logano (27th), David Reutimann (29th), Michael Waltrip (31st), Robby Gordon (33rd), Marcos Ambrose (34th), Patrick Carpentier (37th), Joe Nemechek (39th), Dave Blaney (40th) and Mike Wallace (43rd).
Six Camry drivers are in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS driver point standings -- Hamlin (fifth), Busch (13th), Vickers (14th), Reutimann (16th), Ambrose (18th) and Logano (19th).
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
What does this win mean to you? "We've come close in a lot of races this year and come up short. Definitely had some angels with us today. Patrick's (Mullen, tire specialist) mom passed away, our tire guy, a couple weeks ago and my grandmother (Thelma Clark) a few days ago. I'd like to thank everyone at FedEx and Toyota and WileX and Gillette and Coke and everyone that has supported this deal. It's been a long time coming."
How much did your pit crew help with the win today? "We did a great job on pit road. Those guys picked me up and just got me ahead of the guys I needed to get past on the last run and we just drove it to the front from there. We got with the 00 (David Reutimann) and I've got to apologize to him. I just wanted to win so bad."
MIKE FORD, crew chief, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Did you think you had a race-winning car today? "From lap one, I knew we had a good race car. I was curious with the race track being so green, the work that had been done, if you started good, you weren't going to stay good. By that competition yellow at 20, it looked like our car came in really nice, after about five or six laps. My biggest concern at that point was, is the track going to stay consistent and how are we going to chase it. Our car was pretty good. We really just made very small changes all day. I'm kind of surprised it didn't change.
J.D. GIBBS, president, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How proud are you of Denny's accomplishment today? "I told him (Denny Hamlin) earlier, we're going to lobby for a few extra races at Pocono. It worked well for us. It was an emotional race for us across the board. We came so close so many times but something bit us, and we'd come up short. That meant a lot for the guys. For Denny (Hamlin), this weekend, losing his grandmother, another guy losing his mom, it was just a real emotional race for us that was long overdue. I think we'll really enjoy this one."
What happened with your car toward the end of the race? "The car really came to life before the second to last run after the air pressure adjustment in the pits. We just needed a bit of track position at the end -- but the car was great. This team continues to come on strong. I'm so proud of the effort everyone is putting into trying to make the Chase. We moved up another spot today to 14th. If we keep doing what we have been doing the past month, we will continue to make up ground on the leaders each week."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 16th
How was your race today? "We ended up on a little bit of a different strategy than some of the other guys and the cautions didn't fall right for us. We fought tight for most of the day, but it got loose on me trying to gain some spots after a restart. We just never really got the handling exactly where we wanted it. There at the end, we managed to salvage something out of a day that could have ended up much worse."
STEVE ADDINGTON, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Did you have to make a lot of adjustments during today's race? "I think we started off the best we've had here at Pocono. We made a slight adjustment on it on fairly early in the race. One particular run we got really loose, but we weren't making big adjustments there. We were just taking little swipes at it. We got it pretty good where he (Kyle Busch) was fairly happy with it at one point. But it comes down here to two tires or four tires and when you pit for fuel. We played our strategy and the cautions fell and kind of got us behind. He got back in traffic there and drove it down into (turn) three and got loose on him and he got into the fence. We had to come in and work on it and put tires on it. Kyle (Busch) did a great job of getting back up to 16th. It's a pretty decent from where we were about 25 laps to the finish."
How did your car handle during the race? "Our car was really good all day. We were a little bit off on the setup on our last run but our car was still pretty close to being spot on. We were running top-20 there at the end but got a little bit abused by some of the others and shuffled back. We kept good track position though and tried to stay out of the craziness there at the end. It was a good learning experience for me though to run competitive with these guys all day."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 29th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 31st
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 33rd
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 iRacing.com/Kingsford/Clorox Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 34th
What happened to take you out of the race? "Not sure what happened there. We were running in the top-10 and all of a sudden David (Reutimann) got turned by the 11 (Denny Hamlin) car and I had nowhere to go. That pretty much ended our day."
PATRICK CARPENTIER, No. 36 Toyota Camry, Tommy Baldwin Racing
Finishing Position: 37th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 39th
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Prism Motorsports Toyota Camry, Prism Motorsports
Finishing Position: 40th
MIKE WALLACE, No. 64 Air Combat USA/Fred's Toyota Camry, Gunselman
Finishing Position: 43rd
-credit: toyota motorsports