Joey Logano won his fifth race of 2009 in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Auto Club Speedway. Logano started from the pole position and led three times for 20 (of 152) laps -- including the final seven laps. Camry driver...
Joey Logano won his fifth race of 2009 in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Auto Club Speedway.
Logano started from the pole position and led three times for 20 (of 152) laps -- including the final seven laps.
Camry driver Brian Vickers (second) also earned a top-five at California.
Camry driver Michael Annett (sixth) earned his career best result on Saturday.
Toyota drivers Trevor Bayne (19th), Brian Scott (23rd), Scott Speed (27th), Jason Leffler (30th) and Chase Miller were also in the field.
Kyle Busch (31st), who has had a fever this weekend, was replaced in the No. 18 Camry by Denny Hamlin on lap 39. The No. 18 Camry led 66 (of 152) laps today.
Busch continues to lead the NNS point standings following California and is now 155 points ahead of second-place Carl Edwards. Leffler (fourth) is also in the top-five in points after 30 of 35 races.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
What happened when you made contact with Greg Biffle early in the race? "I didn't think we had a shot at (the win) after (Greg) Biffle tried to put us in the wall. Apparently, that's the only way he thought he could beat us, but you can't put this 20 thing down. I ca n tell you what, we never quit -- kept digging all day. I definitely didn't think we had a shot at it. That was just amazing. These guys are amazing. I have to thank the fans, thank GameStop, Sport Clips, Z-Line, Coca-Cola and all the guys back at the shop that put this thing together. It's an awesome race car and it's fun to race. That was the most fun race I've ever had in my life and I didn't think I had a shot at this. I tried to salvage a top-10 out of it to bring home a 'W.'"
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 32 Dollar General Stores Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How was your race today? "It was a good run. I don't think we were ever -- there was one run where we got out there and led for a while towards the end of a run. We were better on the long runs than we were on the short runs. We had a good car. Probably the two best cars were the 18 (Kyle Busch) and the 20 (Joey Logano). They just had a little bit more and that's kind of been the trend with those guys. Don't get me wrong, I'm so proud of the effort by Braun Racing, Dollar General and Toyota, TRD -- the whole group of guys on the team for the resources and what they have. I think they do a tremendous job with them. Obviously, battling two Cup- affiliated teams with programs that are run like Cup teams, it's difficult, it's challenging. Obviously, those are two really good cars and they show it every week. I think we fought them hard. We had a good run, we raced with them all day long. We took a chance there at the end and pitted and we figured more guys were going to come in behind us and they didn't so we kind of had an uphill battle to get our track position back. By the time we got there at the end of the race, starting fourth, I felt like we had a good shot at it even though I felt the 20 (Joey Logano) car was a little bit better. I thought having newer tires would be better off, but I didn't realize until after the race was over that they told me he pitted two or three laps or six laps I guess prior to that caution (before we pitted). Some of those laps were caution, some were green flag but, nonetheless, he had fairly new tires. The difference between him and I wasn't significant. I went down in turn one right behind him and I wanted to go to the outside, that was my first reaction, thinking he had older tires because I figured he'd wash out and I'd get under him and pass him coming off the corner. He just booted on through there and we got tight and he got away from us and that's that."
Why are these races so wild? "I think its two things. One, these tracks have a bad rap because as you saw today, they can produce amazing races. You have a race track where we can run all the way against the wall, we can run on the white line and we can run everywhere in between. There was one stint there where we were running practically four and five wide for the lead, all picking different leads going through the corner and then coming back together in the straight aways. I think it makes for great racing. When the tracks wore out and slick than you can move around and find grip. The double-file restarts to the next point adds a lot to that. It basically puts you side-by-side and puts you back on even playing field instead of single-file dealing with aero issues. I think that adds a lot to it as well."
Did you have something for Joey Logano at the end of the race? "I felt like we did. I didn't realize he had tires as well. I thought he was on the same tires as the rest of the guys that didn't pit when we came in. Knowing that, I probably would have picked the outside, or I would have tried to pass him on the outside instead of running behind him. I figured with older tires he'd ride down in there and have to slow down or slide up the race track a little bit and I'd get under him coming off like I did a lot of the other guys. That was my fault, I should have known that, I should have asked at least. I just didn't think he had tires and obviously he already knew he had a good car but I felt like us having tires would have made the difference, but like I said I didn't know he was in the same boat."
MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Germain Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How do you feel about your career-best finish? "We were definitely happy, that was our best finish of the year, so far. Our team just keeps getting better. My guys impressed me this weekend. I got a younger crew chief (Ryan Fugle), this is only his second race as my crew chief. We unloaded not even close and they battled the first two hours of practice getting it and getting it and then that last half hour we thought we had a good car. We came out today and everything we did to tighten it up yesterday and we couldn't make a corner because we were so tight. We just couldn't get free enough."
Was the outside line important in today's race? "One thing I know today was how important it was to be in the outside line of a restart. If I was on the bottom I knew that I was probably going to lose two or three spots and we battled that whole run to get them back. But when we could restart on the outside, we could get two or three spots going down the backstretch and get two more through the run. That was real important for us. You could see the cars that grew some on the bottom and still could dig off and keep the momentum but that was one thing we struggled with. I can't say enough about Germain Racing. We're out there without a sponsor on the car and digging and getting the best finishes we've had so I can't be happier."
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 11 Ridemakerz.com Toyota Camry, CJM Racing
Finishing Position: 19th
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 10 AccuDoc Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
SCOTT SPEED, No. 99 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 30th
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 31st
NOTE: Kyle Busch was replaced by Denny Hamlin during a lap 39 pit stop. ***
Why did you get out of your race car? "It's just temperature. When I get in the car and I get hot, I start not being able to see exactly straight. The car was really good though. The Z-Line Toyota was awesome. Unfortunately I didn't feel it was in my best interest or the team's best interest to win this race to keep going. I probably could have. More laps and getting hotter in the seat probably would have diminished my performance a little."
How concerned are you about racing 500 miles here tomorrow? "That's another problem, is wanting to get out today in order to compete in the full 500 miles tomorrow. Fortunately, today we've got Denny Hamlin who's a great relief driver that can drive for me. I can try to go back now and rest up, cool down to try to get this fever under control and be ready for tomorrow."
DENNY HAMLIN, relief driver, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened at the end of the race? "We were running right in the middle right there and I throttled up off the corner. The 88 (Brad Keselowski), I guess was having a push, and he was coming into the left rear. So, I was looking in my left side mirror -- making sure he didn't get into us, and I was keeping my foot on the gas and the 16 (Geg Biffle) got a big run. Evidently, he got a pile on us late right there. He was there. We just came up and I was trying -- if I hold my line low the 88 (Brad Keselowski) ends up wrecking us anyway off the corner. Either way, it was going to be a bad situation."
Was this still Brad Keselowski and you battling it out? "He races hard no matter what and he's got a big chip on his shoulder -- he races that way. It's everyone going for a win right there at the end." How was it driving Kyle Busch's race car?
"It's tough to get in anyone else's race car, especially, I mean the wheel is different, the seat is different, the belts are different -- there's nothing the same between us two as far as the stuff that we have on the inside. So, that part's very hard. The feel of the car -- it was good out there at the end of the race. We just couldn't seem to take off like we needed to. It just let those guys get back to us. "
CHASE MILLER, No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 43rd
-credit: toyota motorsports