Marcos Ambrose (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (WGI). Ambrose started 11th and led three times for eight (of 90) laps in the event. Kyle Busch...
Marcos Ambrose (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (WGI). Ambrose started 11th and led three times for eight (of 90) laps in the event.
Kyle Busch (eighth) and Martin Truex Jr. (15th) also recorded top-15 finishes at the upstate New York road course for Toyota.
Camry drivers Max Papis (22nd), David Reutimann (23rd), Joey Logano (33rd), Robby Gordon (36th), Denny Hamlin (37th), Boris Said (38th), Joe Nemechek (39th), P.J. Jones (41st), Michael McDowell (42nd) and Scott Speed (43rd) were also in the field.
Hamlin fell three spots to sixth in the unofficial NSCS point standings after Watkins Glen, but he and Busch (seventh) are still safely inside the top-12 cutoff with four races remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
What happened at the end of the race? "I don't know. Maybe just a bad set of tires or something. Just after the last pit stop, we really had nothing for them. Just lost the balance of the race car and struggled. Congratulations to Juan (Pablo Montoya) -- he had a great race. It was a lot of fun racing there in the middle part of the race. It was neck and neck. We're both not running for a championship so there wasn't much left out there. It was a real thrill to compete against a guy like that."
How was your race weekend? "It's been a good weekend for me. I got to tell you it doesn't feel nice finishing third. I want to win so bad in the Cup Series, this was a really good chance for me. We had a good race car. Something went wrong in the last pit stop. We lost the handle on the race car, maybe a different set of tires, slightly different spring rate in the tires. We lost the handle on it. I had nothing for (Juan Pablo) Montoya there towards the end. Congratulations to him. He drove a heck of a race. Just a lot of fun racing a guy with that much talent. He was swinging around the corners, jumping curbs, locking tires. It was just a really good battle, something I'll take away from this weekend as a memory I'll never forget."
Did you have trouble on restarts? "Yeah, there's always a balance between fuel mileage and drivability. We had a great carburetor on Friday. Running some mixtures on it. Didn't have any issues. But today it stumbled trying to get power down in these cars, it's difficult. Have to be nice and smooth on the gas pedal. The carburetor would have a hiccup, I'd blow the tires off it. It was a drama. It didn't help. It's not what cost us the race. The last set of tires cost us the race. Something happened. We didn't change tire pressure, didn't do anything. The car went away on us and it was a handful. Proud of the guys. Proud of Little Debbie for being a supporter of mine. Three years ago to the today was a Little Debbie race for me here and I feel proud that I finished in the top three every year for them. It's been fun. It hurts not to win, I've got to be honest. Doesn't feel nice. Looking at the weekend as a whole, winning and a third, a pole position, it's been a good weekend for me considering I haven't locked in my 2011 plans yet."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
Can you talk about your race today? "The guys gave me a deep starting spot on the preparation, but the M&M's Camry was fast all day. It was decent, anyways. Wish our brake package was just a fuzz better. I felt like I was losing a little bit there from where I was in 2008. But overall, I passed a lot of cars."
What happened before the start of the race? "Lead was loose. We didn't have all the spacing right inside the frame rails. Sometimes it can happen by getting a piece of -- we have little flat three-inch piece that can fall down and then all of a sudden they can stand back up. So, that could've happened."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip
Finishing Position: 15th
Can you talk about your race today? "It was okay. We battled hard. Obviously, we struggled in qualifying on Friday and made a lot of changes for the race. It wasn't bad. We had a lot of brake trouble. I could only run about five or six laps before a lot of fade in the front brakes, so it was really hard to pass. We fought our way up there once and spun out because the brakes went away. I got to wheel-hopping. I was inside the 77 (Sam Hornish) trying to pass him, and instead of spinning him out, I just spun myself out because I didn't want to take him out. We ended up getting back to where we were running. We got back to the 77 there at the end. We actually passed him and he passed us back. We just battled all day. The car wasn't where we needed it, but we battled and got a decent finish with it."
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 22nd
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael
Finishing Position: 23rd
Can you talk about today's race? "We did the best we could today with the Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, but it was a struggle. We were very, very loose all day and just never got in front of it. I would have liked a little better finish, but right now I'm just happy we don't have any more road courses this year."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 33rd
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Speed Factory Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon
Finishing Position: 36th
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 37th
What happened to take you out of the race? "A dive bomb. It's so stupid. We are racing for eighth to 10th place. Just guys dive bombing each other. That's the way these road course races are. I hate it for the FedEx team. That's part of it I guess. We were back there in the first place. It's just a frustrating day. We had a 10th place car all day. It's just at the end guys are just going for it. I really didn't see who took out the 48 (Jimmie Johnson), but I know in front of me the 18 (Kyle Busch) dive bombed the 31 (Jeff Burton). The 77 (Sam Hornish) dive bombed me. There was just nowhere to go. The 48, when he spun he just lit them up where nobody could see anything and I just hit him and had nowhere to go. We were racing for 10th-place, we weren't racing for a win. It's just lack of respect out there for each other and that's the way these races have gotten towards the end."
What happened to take you out of the race? "The team did a great job. I was biding my time, just waiting for the end of the race to really go after it. Me and Tony Stewart, I guess he was just doing his deal and I was doing my deal and our deals collided. That corner bit me twice this week. I don't really know what he was thinking. That was just hard racing, double-file restarts. All the restarts were wild. They were a blast. I had a great time in this car. It was a great opportunity for me to be in a top team. I'm just really sorry I just disappointed the guys. The car was flying. He was off the track and it looked like he's trying to get back on. I didn't quite know he was there. I thought he filed in behind me. I'm a Tony Stewart fan. I'm not gonna [complain] and moan about him or say anything bad. I just feel bad for these guys. I don't know what I could've done different. Hopefully he could tell me what I did wrong because I don't think I did anything wrong. Man, I sure had a good time driving these cars. It's exciting racing and this track is so great. This Red Bull team is great. They gave me wings, but I didn't expect to be flying around in circles. I wanted to be flying around the winner's circle at the end of the race. I think we had a top-five car."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 39th
P.J. JONES, No. 07 Speed Factory Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 41st
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 55 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
Finishing Position: 42nd
-source: toyota motorsports