Five Camrys started today's race. Dave Blaney was the highest qualifier (started third), finished 26th after leading 27 laps. Jason Leffler was the highest finisher with a 14th-place result. Toyota drivers David Reutimann (15th), Michael McDowell (32nd) and Todd Bodine (37th) also competed in the race. Camry drivers (five) have notched a total of 576 laps led across 15 races. Reutimann (Nashville, Talladega, St. Louis, Bristol and Memphis) has led 287 laps. Leffler (Daytona, Nashville, Darlington, Indianapolis and Bristol) has led a total of 141 laps. Brian Vickers has led 87 laps (Michigan, California and Kansas) while Blaney (California-1, Atlanta, Nashville-2 and Homestead) has led 46 laps. Bodine (St. Louis) has led 15 laps. Camry drivers have 15 top-five and 36 top-10 finishes in NBS competition.
In 124 starts this year, there have been two victories and four poles earned by Camry racers during Toyota's inaugural year in NASCAR Busch Series competition. Leffler visited victory lane at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis (July) and Reutimann won at Memphis Motorsports Park (October). Poles have been won by Blaney at California (February), Leffler at Daytona (July) and Bristol (August), and Reutimann at Texas (November). Unofficial point standings following tonight's race show Reutimann earning the second position and Leffler finishing third in Camry's first season of NBS competition.
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Bruan Racing Finishing position: 14th
What took you out of contention tonight? "We beat the right side of the car in at one point, but other than that we had a really good car. On the second pit stop the guys got the side of the car fixed and then the car came to life. Overall it's been a good year and I'm real proud of the whole team. We'll get ready to go again next year."
Do you think you can contend for the championship next season? "I really think we can go after the championship next year -- especially if we have a better first half than we did this year." D
AVID REUTIMANN, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing position: 15th
How did you get put a lap down near the end of the race? "When we pitted it was an inopportune time and got caught a lap down when the yellow flag came out. That's the way it goes and you take your chances. We had a great car and the pit stops went great. Everything went just like it needed to go with the exception of getting the yellow at the wrong time. I'm disappointed with that but I'm proud of my guys and we had a great car."
Can you assess your 2007 NASCAR Busch Series season? "It was pretty good. You don't start the season saying 'we want to finish second' -- you want to win. We had good cars all year. We struggled a little early on and then Jerry (Baxter, crew chief) and I really started to communicate better. I think we did good anyway. I knew what he needed to hear and he knew what I wanted when I asked for it. It starts to show in the race cars. It's been a fun year and we are ready to go back racing next year."
Are you going to contend for the championship next year? "We definitely have a good enough team to go after the championship next year. I don't see any reason why not to try for it next year."
What do you think about going to a new motor in 2008? "It breaks my heart to see it go. To me, that's the perfect motor -- it runs all day and makes great horsepower and doesn't break. You can't ask for anything more. I have all the confidence that the motor they give us next year will be every bit as good. I ran a version of that motor in my first Craftsman Truck race and it's been awfully good to me. It's kind of like loosing your best friend. I'm sure Toyota will give us something that will be just as good and I'm excited about that."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 10 Hass Avocados from Mexico Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Finishing position: 26th
What happened that took you out of contention in tonight's race? "I don't really know what happened -- we kept getting looser and looser all night. I really don't know where I got all the body damage on the right side of the car. It's all caved in and I don't know when it happened. Then I spun the car all by myself -- I was really loose early in the runs and I should have just hung on and waited, but instead I spun the car. After that we just couldn't get the handle back so we just had to ride around after that." Do you hope to run more NASCAR Nationwide Series races next season? "I hope so -- this car was unbelievably good in the early portion of the race and I just screwed it up."
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 00 NAPA/Best Western Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing position: 32nd
TODD BODINE, No. 03 Germain Toyota Dealers Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing position: 37th
-credit: toyota motorsports