Two Camry drivers earned top-five finishes in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway -- Marcos Ambrose (fourth) and Scott Speed (fifth). For both drivers, it was also their career -first NSCS start on...
Two Camry drivers earned top-five finishes in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway -- Marcos Ambrose (fourth) and Scott Speed (fifth). For both drivers, it was also their career -first NSCS start on the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
Two additional Toyota drivers earned top-10 finishes in today's race -- Brian Vickers (eighth) and Joey Logano (ninth).
Camry driver Kyle Busch led the most laps with 42 of 188 laps, but finished 25th after being involved in an accident late in the race.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Joe Nemechek (14th), Max Papis (18th), Michael Waltrip (21st), Denny Hamlin (22nd), David Reutimann (26th), Robby Gordon (29th), Jeremy Mayfield (32nd) and Scott Riggs (41st).
Five Camry drivers are in the top-20 in the unofficial NNS driver points -- Hamlin (fifth), Busch (sixth), Reutimann (11th), Vickers (17th) and Ambrose (19th).
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
Are you happy with a top-five finish in your first Cup start at Talladega? "That was a wild finish. I just hope everyone is alright. It was the most spectacular thing I've ever seen in my life coming across the finish line looking at a car upside down like that. This is crazy racing, it really is. We can try and legitimize as much as we'd like but it's insanity on four wheels."
Who did you work with the best in the draft? "No one. I probably made three good choices all day to get myself up there and from that point I was just hanging on. I've just got to thank my crew. We've got a brand new bunch of people together and we're really just gelling and I'm just so thankful to Clorox and Kingsford and Little Debbie is on the hood today to give them their first top-five."
Where did you get the 'Australia' bucket hat that you've been wearing today? "This hat has been lucky for me today. I got it from a honeymoon couple that came all the way from Australia to see us today and we've had a lot of luck to get out there. I'm just really thankful that we brought the Little Debbie car home in one piece."
How did you come back from a lap down at the beginning of the race to your first top-five Cup finish? "Honestly, the race worked out really lucky for us the whole time. We put ourselves out of the crash there (at the end) and I think the one friend that I've got out there, Kyle (Busch), was a lap down and ended up being right behind me with five to go and that's what pushed us up to the front. It was just a race that worked out for us. It's all luck here."
What was your strategy at the end of the race? "I was in the right place at the right time, I guess, like everyone who is up there. It was kind of crazy. It was very difficult to get any kind of help from anyone. As soon as someone would get behind me they'd pick another lane. At the end it just so happened that Kyle (Busch) was behind me a lap down and he just basically pushed us to the front. I always had a train behind us. That was really lucky for us and we were fortunate and it turned out that we just had a good result. It was a good point's day for us as well."
What does it mean to get a top-five at the Cup level? "It's a big point's day for us. We've had really unlucky races up to this point. Daytona was just a total disaster but I think now I'm about square because I think we got lucky in a couple places here this weekend. This is crazy how things work out."
Where does today stack up in your racing career? "It's definitely great to make steps forward as this whole venture has been in the stock car scene. Every time you make steps forward, you make progress and you get better. It's a huge accomplishment for me. I feel very fortunate to have that opportunity. I can't say enough about Red Bull giving me this opportunity. I went from being a Formula 1 driver to them saying, 'Well, what do you want to do next?' To get them behind me to get through up to these learning stages, that's a commitment for sure, especially financially. Red Bull has been great for me. I want to stay with them forever."
Were you happy with your finish today? "It was a wild race to say the least. It was really wild to start and then really wild there at the end, but kind of calm in the middle. The Red Bull Toyota guys did a good job. It was tough, though. We had a lot of damage. We got caught in that first crash early and we definitely didn't have the car we needed after that. I think we made the most of what we had."
Who did you work with the best in the draft? "I'd say the typical guys we usually work with. The 2 (Kurt Busch), the 17 (Matt Kenseth), the 48 (Jimmie Johnson), but unfortunately there at the end all of them were crashed."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 9th
Did you feel you had a chance at the win in the closing laps? "Going down to the end of the race I had thought that the 6 (David Ragan) was going to hook up and we were going to go. I kept backing up and backing up and we never hooked up -- I don't know why. He hit me once and we tried to go, but we couldn't stay together and keep going. We ended up losing spots because of it. I am just disappointed that we ran good and we were up there and then you lose a bunch of spots at the end of the race."
Did you have a chance to block the 09 (Brad Keselowski) and the 99 (Carl Edwards) at the end of the race? "You can't stop them -- they have so much more speed and you can't ever block them in time. It's horrible, there's nothing you can do. You're out there and you do everything that you think is right. Everything just gets so jumbled up there at the end and I guess I should have just stayed in line and stayed where I was, but I don't know."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 14th
How pleased are you with the run you had today? "We basically ran this one out of our pocket and picked up a little sponsorship from Malibu Shower Company. It was a good day -- we ran well. I got a little bit of damage on my car, but those guys were driving crazy out there. It was a crazy day. I can't believe the wrecks we had weren't worse than they were. We were back in the next group on that last wreck and I saw a car up in the air."
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 22nd
Did you think you were in a bad position when you were involved in the wreck? "When they started going backward and they were single file I didn't want to be back there at that point in time. Me and a lot of the guys that I was racing around didn't want to be back there. That is what ended up causing the wreck. They were trying to make their move forward with 15 (laps) to go and 10 (laps) to go and that's what caused the wreck. Just the guys not necessarily holding their lines."
How were you able to push so many cars to the front? "The problem is that you are so limited to your pushes by your water temperature and I couldn't push him (Ryan Newman) anymore. Once we got to the lead, we got out there so far that the 17 (Matt Kenseth) had a big run and went down there and passed us. Once that happened we were set that we were going to be in the back of the pack. I knew our chances of getting in a wreck were going to be greater. We just got hung out at the wrong time."
What happened in the accident you were involved with late in the race? "It looked like I was in the middle, I had someone underneath me and the 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) was up in the third lane and he was coming down just to get a push from me, but I was already in there and ended up hooking me into Kyle (Busch) on the inside of me. It all started with me and the 42 (Montoya)."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 25th
STEVE ADDINGTON, crew chief No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened that took your team out of contention to win? "It's just a product of this racing with this car here. (Jeff) Burton came by and said he was sorry, he said he was trying to help him and he just spun him out. That it was totally his fault and he didn't mean to and that he was trying to help so what are you going to do. You sit up on that box and you feel helpless all day long. The Pedigree Toyota Camry was very strong. I'm very proud of my guys. They fixed the damage to the right side and we came back to lead the most laps again, I guess. We've been doing this a lot lately and not getting the finish out of it. It was a good effort for the team and a good effort for everybody on the 18 car."
How frustrating is it to sit on the pit box in a race like this? "It's what they want. All you can say is that it's a product of the racing. It was like this before and it's going to always be like this when we come to these places. You just hang on and hope that you're in the right line and that the spotter and the driver pick the right line at the end of the race to go win it. I think we've been pretty good at these places so I can't complain a whole lot."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 26th
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 29th
JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 41 Big Red Toyota Camry, Jeremy Mayfield Motorsports
Finishing Position: 32nd
SCOTT RIGGS, No. 36 Toyota Camry, Tommy Baldwin Racing
Finishing Position: 41st
What happened to take you out of the race? "I'm not real sure. We were three- and four-wide too early, that's for sure. I saw we were three-wide and I saw the 17 (Matt Kenseth) pull down and as soon as Matt (Kenseth) pulled down somebody got under him and then I saw Matt (Kenseth) try to go back up and I saw smoke and then I saw everybody going for their own territory and trying to get away. When you're that close together things like that are going to happen for sure. It's just the nature of the beast being here. Looking back at it, I should've been smarter and just fell to the back. When I saw guys going three- and four-wide this early in the race I should've just fell to the back and waited for everybody to get sense back to them."
-credit: toyota motorsports