, No. 18 Z-Line Designs/Racing for Kids Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How was your run tonight?
"It was alright. We had really, really fast race car. Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and the guys did a great job. I think we were a little bit better than what the 20 (Denny Hamlin) was but it just shows how pivotal clean air is. He was out-front all night. He even took two tires there on that caution when we took four and we got behind on track position a little bit. We passed our way up through there and thought we were going to run them down and just kept getting tight behind lap cars and then started just maintaining pace with Denny but was never able to gain anymore on him. That last restart there through one and two we had a good restart actually. Him (Denny Hamlin) being on the outside and for as close as you race around each other around this place you can get sucked around so easily. I knew better of it than to wreck both of our cars to just roll out a little bit out of turn two and fend for myself down the backstretch with the 88 (Jamie McMurray). Fortunately I was able to keep second. It just feels really, really bad that you can't pass here."
How frustrating was this race?
"That's what this place is. It can really, really frustrate you very fast because you're racing your guts out and sometimes can't pass people. It's tough on drivers. It's tough on equipment, especially. I'm just proud of the fact that we came out of here without a mark on the car tonight so that was good. I think we were going to take this one to Charlotte so that will be good for us and unfortunately we had a rough day on the Cup side, but whatever polesitter."
Were you confident in your decision not to pit on that second to last caution?
"If you don't get out-front after the last pit stop you're stuck. That's it. You're stuck and you couldn't pass. Denny (Hamlin) was good, don't get me wrong. He had a very fast race car as well as we did. You just can't pass at this race track. It's so aero sensitive. You get stuck behind people. We saw it last year with Mark Martin. He came with the lead off pit road on the last pit stop in the Cup race, led the last 40 or 45 laps or whatever it was -- tomorrow night is going to be fun."
Did you have doubts about that call to stay out after you did it?
"I had doubts about it. Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and I were talking back and forth. Jason wanted to pit. He said, 'Let's come.' And he didn't say if the 20 (Denny Hamlin) stays out or if he comes. He didn't say regardless the point. So we kind of had a little miscommunication there. When I saw the 20 stay out I thought, 'I'm going to stay out.' Then when I saw as many guys come behind us I was like, 'Oh, that was the wrong call. We're going to get run over here. These guys are going to come and get us.' But our cars were really fast tonight, but on the other part they were really fast on restarts. The tires kind of came back pretty quick and you could get back going pretty well. It's hard to race that fast around this race track that close together and not wreck, but I guess I thought better or wrecking and finishing second tonight."
-source: toyota motorsports