Toyota teams race notes, quotes

Richmond

• Camry driver Kyle Busch earned his second win of the season in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Virginia’s Richmond International Raceway.

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

• Busch led four times for 235 laps (of 400) en route to his third win in the last six starts at the three-quarter-mile oval.

• Busch has recorded 17 wins in a Camry and 21 career wins in the series.

• Chesterfield, Va.-native Denny Hamlin (second), Kasey Kahne (third) and Brian Vickers (10th) also earned top-10 results for Toyota.

• It marks the first time Camry drivers have swept the top-three spots since Toyota joined the series in 2007.

• Other Camry drivers in the field included Joey Logano (11th), Bobby Labonte (24th), Martin Truex Jr. (27th), Casey Mears (28th), David Reutimann (31st), Michael McDowell (40th), Mike Skinner (41st) and Joe Nemecheck (42nd).

• Busch moved up three spots to third-place in the unofficial NSCS point standings following Richmond, and is now 30 points behind leader Carl Edwards.

• Other Toyota drivers in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings after nine of 36 races include Hamlin (17th) and Kahne (18th).

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KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Pretzel Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 1st

Why have you been so successful at Richmond? “I learned from Denny Hamlin last fall, and I’m not going to say what I learned. He might know, but we did a good job at doing what we needed to do there early in the run and once we got out and had to go through traffic and stuff like that. Traffic kind of fell our way so we were able to pick our way through there. We didn’t really get held up through there too much. I can’t say enough about these guys. Dave Rogers (crew chief) and this whole M&M’s team did a flawless job at getting this car prepared. The new tire that Goodyear brought here this weekend made it especially difficult for most of the teams, and us too. We were the best here this weekend. I’m real proud of these guys for digging in deep and pulling it out here today. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going and go to Darlington and to Charlotte -- one of my favorites.”

How close was your race car on fuel? “Close. We were out. It doesn’t matter what you need past the checkered flag, but we made it to the checkered flag so that was awesome. I just can’t say enough about this whole M&M’s Pretzel team. These guys did such a great job tonight and this weekend in general -- this year, also. I just can’t say enough about them. They’ve been there for me. Can’t thank the Mars associates and employees this year for their support -- a few of them here with us tonight. And, of course, Interstate Batteries, Toyota, Marquis Jets, Sprint and the Sprint Cup Series. I’ve got to thank those guys. They do a great job for our sport. We appreciate the fans and of course NOS Energy Drink too, I’m sure plenty of them had that tonight.”

Was your car affected by the drop in temperature? “A little bit. It seemed to actually tighten up. Typically, we don’t see that here, but it did get a little bit tighter. We kept making adjustments all night long and working on this Camry to get it to where it would be competitive on the long run. It seemed to be that way this whole weekend. It was running like it was a long run weekend. Lo and behold it turned out to be that way at the end of the race. We just had to preserve and save what we could there with the 11 (Denny Hamlin) working real hard at trying to chase us down. We had just enough to get through traffic, and traffic kind of fell our way too that we were able to get here.”

How are you going to celebrate this win and your birthday on Monday? “I don’t know. Actually, I’ve got to go to work. I’ve got to go to Joe Gibbs Racing on Monday. We’ve got some competition meetings and stuff like that. We’ll be doing that and then after that I don’t know. We’ll see what the wife (Samantha) has in store.”

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DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 2nd

Are you happy with tonight’s finish? “I’ll be honest with you, I’m happy to get a good solid run. Happy for our teammate. A one-two finish is great for Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle (Busch) finished second to me here last time in this race so I’m not disappointed. We finally had a race where nothing really went wrong. We just got beat by our teammate today.”

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Where was Kyle Busch better than you on the race track tonight? “He (Kyle Busch) was just so good on restarts. He was making up a lot of ground and once he got out-front he kind of set his own pace and that’s something that’s very important on this race track. Once you get out-front you can set your pace and set how hard you want to run. Congratulations to them. They worked real hard on their short track program. Obviously, a one-two finish is good for everyone.”

Can you build on this finish going into Darlington next weekend? “I think so. I think we have a great shot to win there. We won there last year. This is what we need with our FedEx Freight team is to get back on track. I just can’t say enough for everyone at (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) for kind of sticking with it and we’re going to get back to a top-10.”

Are you disappointed you didn’t win tonight? “I wanted to win, but we also needed a good, solid finish and we got that today. I can’t be too disappointed. We got beat by our teammate. That’s the one person you want to beat you. Kyle (Busch) has really worked at getting better on the short tracks and we were just dead equal for the most part. He just got out in front on the restart and we just couldn’t chase him down.”

Are you happy with your finish tonight? “We had a great night. I was biding my time pretty much the whole race. Would let guys go on the short go to try to be better on the long run. Just didn’t quite have enough for Kyle (Busch) there right at the end. Our cars were just dead equal. I’d gain a little bit, I’d lose a little bit and just that’s who you want to beat you is a teammate. It’s a good one-two for Joe Gibbs Racing. Obviously it’s a good weekend for our FedEx team to kind of get back on track.”

Is it tougher to lose to your teammate knowing you have the same equipment? “Not really, because we were pretty much dead equal right there at the end. Everyone knows Kyle (Busch) is as good as it gets and I feel like I’ve helped him on the short tracks. He’s helped me a ton on the intermediates. It goes hand in hand. When he runs well it helps us. We need days like this for Joe Gibbs Racing.”

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KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 3rd

How was your race tonight? “Our Red Bull Toyota ran great all night. It was fun. The track was so slippery with this tire that we were all just babying the throttle throughout the race runs. I thought that’s when we were probably our best was on the longer runs. We weren’t quite good enough for the (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) cars. They were really good tonight. It was still a good run. The guys did a great job and it was nice to get a top five.”

How is your knee feeling following the race? “It actually feels really good. It feels fine and I didn’t have any problems during the race. I haven’t even thought about it. It felt great.”

How was your car on fuel mileage in the closing laps? “We were sitting good with fuel mileage. The (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) cars were -- those two guys were the guys to beat all night. But, we were good. That was a great run for the whole Red Bull Toyota team. The guys did a great job on pit road. We had to adjust the car throughout the race because the track seemed to get slipperier, and the car was just slippery -- the tires were slippery. It was an interesting race. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad we got a top-five. We’ve come off three bad ones and at least we can get one good one and go to Darlington -- one of our favorite tracks.”

Are you happy with a top-five after coming off knee surgery? “I’ll take a top-five for sure. Denny (Hamlin) helped me by two with the win, but I’ll take a top-five. It was good for us. We’ve been struggling a little bit, and I think that will get everybody excited and we can go to Darlington, Dover and Charlotte. Some of these good tracks for us and run well.”

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BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 10th

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 11th

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Kingsford Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Finishing Position: 24th

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Finishing Position: 27th

CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 28th

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 31st

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 Racehp.com Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports Finishing Position: 40th

MIKE SKINNER, No. 60 Big Red Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 41st

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 42nd

-source: toyota teams

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Michael Waltrip , Mike Skinner , Michael McDowell , Kasey Kahne , David Reutimann , Martin Truex Jr. , Brian Vickers , Carl Edwards , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Red Bull Racing , Germain Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , NEMCO Motorsports
Tags kyle busch, richmond 400, sprint cup