Toyota NSCS Texas post-race notes and quotes

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Kyle Busch finished third behind race-winner Joey Logano and second-place Jeff Gordon.

Kyle Busch was the first Camry driver to the finish line in Monday’s running of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch finished third behind race-winner Joey Logano and second-place Jeff Gordon.

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

· Three other Camry drivers registered top-10 results. Brian Vickers recorded a fourth-place finish, Matt Kenseth was seventh and Clint Bowyer ended up in eighth-place.

· The fourth-place finish by Vickers was his best result of the 2014 campaign in the first seven races of the year.

· The top-five performances by Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Vickers (Michael Waltrip Racing) marks the first time this season where two Toyota teams had drivers finish together in the top-five.

· Toyota drivers have now registered 703 top-10 NSCS results since the beginning of the 2007 season.

· Camry driver Denny Hamlin (13th) added a top-15 finish.

· Three Camry drivers led laps in today’s 340-lap event. Hamlin was ahead of the field twice for a total of 20 laps, Busch led the field once for 10 laps and Bowyer led a single lap.

· Four Camry drivers are in the top-15 in the unofficial NSCS point standings following the first seven races of the season -- Kenseth (second), Busch (fifth), Vickers (ninth) and Hamlin (13th).

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 3rd

How was the race? “It was a good afternoon for us. I felt like the second-to-last run I got Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and my guys a little bit behind on adjustments and we got really, really loose when the sun popped out. It kind of cost us a little bit of track position to the leaders and then the last stop after that we were really good. We mowed them back down about two seconds throughout that run, but I was just so far back. We were going to finish third and then of course the inevitable comes out with the yellow and you have to come down and get tires -- just way too long out there on tires.

I chose four just because I absolutely killed my stuff about three laps prior to that caution coming out so I knew that was our only chance. Interstate Batteries guys did a great job for me here today -- good job there on pit road to get me out front. Just drove the hell out of it there those last two laps and got all she could and come home third. Good, deserving finish for us here today.”

How were you able to come from the back to the front in the race? “Yeah, I’m having fun that way. The Interstate Batteries Camry was good and allowed me to do that. I thought we were really good there. We took the lead and led there for a little bit. But, Jeff (Gordon) was definitely faster than us through the middle stages of a run and then I felt we could equal out at the end of a run. Man, the Penske guys just came out of nowhere – they were superfast. You know it was an interesting race. I can’t say enough about my guys. There on the green-white-checkered I thought we had a chance and was really hustling it trying to give it everything I had, I was just way too tight. Luckily we came home third. Third is about what we deserved, it was where we were at before the caution came out there at the end.”

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing - Finishing Position: 5th

Did the team give it everything to win there at the end with the two-tire pit stop? “We really did -- that was a great call by Billy (Scott, crew chief) and the whole crew. The pit guys did a great job all day and they did a good job on that last stop, obviously when it mattered most. Really proud of everyone on this Aaron’s Dream Machine team -- it’s a great campaign this week, we were letting all the fans know that you can own it, we don’t want them just to lease it, we want them to own it and it’s great to get a top-five here. Just really proud of the effort. We probably didn’t have a car to win, but we made the most of it. We’ll learn from this and we’ll move on to the next race and we gave it our best there at the end.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 7th

How was this afternoon’s race? “We just didn’t qualify well and then we just really struggled. So, we just started -- we were just really far off. We were really loose. We got a little bit better, but really nothing we could compete with.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 Willie’s Duck Diner Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing - Finishing Position: 8th

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office/March of Dimes Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 13th

How was your race this afternoon? “Obviously, we had a great car at the beginning of the race. Once I got back in traffic, the car didn’t drive as good. Couldn’t make up any track position and the car took a long time to come in. Our car was way better than 13th. Disappointed with that -- we had a top-five car -- just didn’t finish that well. Made some mistakes on pit road.”

Was it difficult to make up track position after the pit road penalty? “Yeah. We had an opportunity. We got back into the top-five or six, but that’s where we stayed. Track position was everything. I had to give myself a chance on pit road.”

COLE WHITT, No. 26 Swan Energy Toyota Camry, Swan Racing - Finishing Position: 31st

ALEX BOWMAN, No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing - Finishing Position: 32nd

PARKER KLIGERMAN, No. 30 SMS Audio Toyota Camry, Swan Racing - Finishing Position: 40th

Toyota Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Race report
Tags alex bowman, brian vickers, clint bowyer, cole whitt, denny hamlin, kyle busch, matt kenseth, nascar-cup, parker kligerman, texas 500