Denny Hamlin recorded his second NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) victory of 2008 tonight at Dover. Hamlin started second and led the field three times for 131 laps in his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 Joe Gibbs Driven Hot Rod Oil Camry. It was...
Denny Hamlin recorded his second NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) victory of 2008 tonight at Dover.
Hamlin started second and led the field three times for 131 laps in his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 Joe Gibbs Driven Hot Rod Oil Camry. It was his second NNS win at the Monster Mile'.
Earlier this season, Hamlin registered a NNS win at Richmond driving a JGR NNS entry.
Camry drivers have now won 10 of the first 14 NNS races this year and the last eight consecutively.
Along with Hamlin, other Camry drivers who have won NNS races this year include Tony Stewart (four wins) and Kyle Busch (four wins).
Other Camry drivers in the field tonight included David Reutimann (fourth), Joey Logano (sixth), Mike Wallace (eighth), Jason Leffler (27th) and Busch (28th).
Toyota drivers led 199 of 200 laps in tonight's race -- Hamlin (131 laps) and Busch (68 laps). Camry drivers have now led a total of 2,043 laps in NNS competition since the beginning of the 2007 season.
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finished: 4th
Can you talk about your run in a back-up car? "We finished fourth in a back-up car. These back-up cars seem to go pretty good. Great pit stops all day and great adjustments. We were just a little too tight in the center to run with those guys when we needed to. Overall if was a pretty good effort. I have to thank Aaron's and everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing -- they build real good cars and the car we brought to race got burned up so we went to a back-up and it was pretty good."
How crazy was it on the track during the race? "It wasn't too bad out there. Everybody was pretty respectful, for here. The car drove good and the pit stops were awesome so I have no complaints. Our car needed to be a little better in the center, but all in all it was a good effort."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finished: 6th
What did you think of your race today? "What put us behind was having to battle back all day and not able to get that track position like we needed. Overall I would say it was a decent day."
What did you learn during the race? "I will say that the cars pick up a ton at the end of the race because the cars that you pass early in the race seemed to pick up a lot. I think that last pit cycle heated our tires up a little and got the car tight. Early on in the run, my car was a little free and I could get it to turn. There at the end I think we were a little tighter than the 64 (David Stremme), but then at the end we just wore that right front out trying to get too much out of it."
What did you expect in today's race? "I expected a race like any other race -- a lot of competition here and I expected that. I have to congratulate Denny (Hamlin) and those guys for winning the race. This is not what I was looking for -- I was looking for a top-five or so. Sixth place is good too, but I'm not happy unless I win."
Did the rain delay make you more anxious for your first race? "It was more time to think about it and more time to wait on it. I had waited long enough so it wasn't really too big of a deal."
Can you talk about your first Nationwide Series run? "The GameStop Toyota was pretty good all day. I guess we were a sixth-place car and we finished sixth. I thought we might have been a little better. I might have screwed up there in the pits. We came in and got pinned in behind the nine (Kasey Kahne) a little bit and I pulled up and then he was stuck so he put it in reverse and backed over my left front fender. We had to come back in and pull that out so that kind of put us behind for the rest of the day trying to get track position. Overall I thought it was a good day. The whole team did good but I was hoping for that top five, though."
How tough was today, especially hanging around all day with the rain delay? "I actually wasn't too nervous which is really surprising. I woke up this morning a little nervous but it seemed like after qualifying I was my normal, goofy self for some reason. No, I didn't have many nerves even during the rain delay. I just hung out and when it was game time, it was game time but I never really worried about it too much."
Can you compare the competition today with guys you've raced in the past? "They race you really hard especially when you come down to game time there with 20 or 30 to go they pick it up quite a bit. We were able to pick up a little bit but I think the heat cycle really got us too tight there. I was hoping for that top five but those guys are cool to race with. They race you really hard and they race you really clean, though. They're going to give and take in the beginning of the race but when it's time to go it's all out. It was a fun time out there."
How difficult was it for you to maintain your patience after the incident on pit road? "At that point I was pretty ticked off at myself but we knew what we had to do. We just had to get by all of those cars and get our track position back, have some more good pit stops and get back in that race. We got back up to fifth and I feel like the team did a good job there. All of us worked good together. Coming into that last pit stop Dave (Rogers, crew chief) asked me what I needed and I didn't really want to change a whole bunch. I was really free on the front side of the run and I'd get pretty tight at the end. I guess I wish we had freed it up a little bit."
Do you really mean that you aren't happy with a sixth-place finish? "I'm not going to be happy unless I win. I say that everywhere I go. Everyone is here for the same reason and that's to win races. But it was a good points day for the whole 20 team in owner points standings. That is what we needed today. We needed to finish the race and needed to get a top 10 but me being tough on myself like I always am -- I always want more."
Are you relieved to get this race behind you with all of the hype and media attention? "Yeah, 10/4 on that -- yeah definitely, definitely, definitely glad to get this behind me. It's been coming up for lord knows how long and to get it behind me and get all of the stuff out of the way and run the 17 other races I've got now and focus on that and not about all of this other stuff now -- that's cool. I'm looking forward to going to Nashville. Somewhere I've been before. I've tested there a lot in the Cup cars so that should be a good place for us, too."
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Finished: 27th
What happened between yourself and Kyle Busch? "I just lost it. I took my teammate out and I have to apologize to everybody at Braun Racing. We had a top-10 going and they had a great car. I apologize to everybody at Dollar General and Great Clips -- that was just one of those deals on the restart. He got on the outside and I got loose and I clipped him. It happened to me last week and I'm sorry for all those guys -- they work hard and now we have two torn up race cars."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Finished: 28th
What happened that took you out of the race? "I don't know what (Jason) Leffler was thinking there. I went to the top and got a huge run on the top side and was going to clear about three of them -- he drove up two lanes to hit me. I don't know what else I could have done to this Dollar General Toyota to miss it. Just frustrating -- I hope Todd (Braun, Team Owner) and I can talk and take care of that." Do you think Jason Leffler should not have been racing you that close through the turn? "Duh. You get air pulled off the side of you and you wreck. Just very irresponsible driving."
-credit: toyota motorsports