Nashville: Toyota teams race notes, quotes

Nashville Superspeedway - April 3, 2010 Reed Sorenson (second) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Tennessee's Nashville Superspeedway. Camry drivers Kyle Busch (third), Joey Logano ...

Nashville Superspeedway - April 3, 2010

Reed Sorenson (second) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Tennessee's Nashville Superspeedway.

Camry drivers Kyle Busch (third), Joey Logano (eighth), Michael Annett (ninth) and Brendan Gaughan (10th) also had top-10 finishes at the 1.33-mile track.

Logano earned his ninth career pole for today's race - 33rd for Toyota since joining the series in 2007. He also led a race high 122 (of 225) laps.

Camry drivers Trevor Bayne (12th), Brian Scott (15th), Mikey Kile (33rd), Steve Wallace (36th) and Jason Leffler (39th) were also in the 225 lap race.

Eight Toyota drivers are in the top-20 in the unofficial NNS driver points following the Nashville race - Busch (fourth), Logano (seventh), Annett (10th), Wallace (11th), Bayne (13th), Scott (14th), Leffler (15th) and Gaughan (16th).

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REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 2nd

Did you feel like you had a car that could beat Kevin Harvick in the closing laps? "Even when there was 10 laps to go, I thought we could get him (Kevin Harvick) and with five laps to go, I still thought we could. It was a great day for Dollar General. This is their headquarters and I'm real proud to drive their car here. I wish we could have gave them a win. I could taste it, that was a feeling that I felt in this car a few times last year and the second time this year we've already felt it again. These guys do a great job and I can't wait till next weekend."

How was your race? "It was up and down. We were a top-three or four car all day and then the way those green flag stops fell and everything that went along with that, we got shuffled back. We had a missing lug nut once and had to wait in the pits -- that hurt us. We had to work our way back through the field a couple times, but our car was good enough to pass people. We were pretty good on restarts, which helped a lot. Fortunately, we missed that big wreck that was right in front of us. That was because of the way pit cycles had gone through - that was nice to miss that. There at the end I thought we had a shot to catch the 33 (Kevin Harvick), but just fell short a few laps."

What did you think of the tires today? "The way these tires are they seem to be a little bit different than the ones we ran here in the past. I think they said the 15 (Michael Annett) did it earlier in the race and he seemed to do okay when he did it so I knew that two tires would be okay. I think clean air is really important too. I think that's what helped the 33 (Kevin Harvick) win. I think if he would have started where we did or maybe right in front of us with some traffic in front of him then we would have been able to get around him. Clean air was his best friend. On that restart, we got around the 62 (Brendan Gaughan), he was starting right in front of us and he had been struggling all day so I knew we had to get around him pretty quick. Got around him and then took a few laps to get around Kyle (Busch). By then the 33 was 30 car lengths or so in front of us and we just steadily caught him. He was just too far out there."

Do you feel like you can win races this year? "When we ran this car last year, we had a second and a third the two times I ran this 32 car. Now I have another second. Every time I get in this car, we're fast. These guys do a good job and we're going back to Phoenix next week and I'm in the car again - I look forward to that. Going into this season, I feel like I definitely want to win some races or at least be like today and have a shot at it. Today proved that we could do it so we just have to keep working hard so we can get a little bit better so we can win."

How much of your setup from today can be used for the June race? "I think quite a bit. We just have to go back and look at where our problems were because we kind of fought the same problems in the race that we did in practice so that's a good thing. It stayed pretty consistent. Just go back to the shop and look at that. That is a ways down the road and we have a lot more stuff coming up that we have to worry about first. We will definitely go back and write down those notes. If we can fix those two little things that we have a problem with then we can apply it to the June race."

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KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finished: 3rd

How strong was your race car on the last restart? "On that last restart I just couldn't get to the outside of (Kevin) Harvick. If I could have got there, I might have been able to hold him off and get through (turns) three and four, but just couldn't get there. It was a tough fight all day. There were some points in the race where we were battling back in traffic and it was a little hairy, a little sketchy and with this tire - I just didn't think this tire was what we needed here. Maybe we can relook at some things. I thought last year's tire was really good. Overall it was a good day. I have to thank the guys. They plugged around all weekend - they did an awesome job trying to come back. We fought through this thing. Can't thank Jim Sexton (Z-Line Designs) and Z-Line Designs enough, NOS Energy Drink, Toyota, Marquis Jet, Combos and of course the fans. Unfortunately, we just didn't quite have what it took to keep up with those guys today. We probably had a fourth or fifth place car and we ended up third. Good run for us, but we would certainly like to be up there fighting for the win."

How was your race? "It was a decent run for us. The car was challenging all weekend for us. We just never could find the balance that we were looking for. It was a good effort by the team. The guys did a great job on pit road all day. We made a lot of changes. There wasn't just one change that we made on a pit stop. We made about five changes every pit stop just trying to find something. Unfortunately, just started so far behind the eight ball to begin with that we just had a hard time getting back to where we needed to be. The car was good there toward the end of the race and we were able to get a third place finish. Pleased with the effort, a little disappointed by the result, but we could have been a lot worse."

What did you fight in the race car? "We fought balance really bad. We fought really loose entry, center with the rear of the car and then tight center off with the front of the car. We just never really could find the balance we were looking for. It was just so edgy turning off the wall into the corner that you were almost having to hold the wheel straight sometimes to not get so loose on entry. Then once you got to the center, then you would give it wheel and just shock the tire. It was a real fine balance on how to go around there."

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JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop/Legend of Zork Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finished: 8th

How was your race today? "It was very frustrating. We had a winning race car and a car that could run up front. We led a lot of laps and gave it away. We should have pitted. Should have seen the other cars pitting behind us and come down pit road and we didn't. It all backfired right in our face when we had to make that green flag stop and then the caution came out six or seven laps later. It stinks when you have a car that can win a race and we finish eighth with it. It's embarrassing, but at least we have fast cars and can win a pole. We need to figure out how to finish these things up front."

***

MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finished: 9th

How do you feel about your race today? "At the beginning of the year our goal was to run in the top-10 for the whole race and put ourselves in position. We got ourselves to run in the top-10 and now when we're in that position we need to figure out where we need to be in order to be better at the end of a run. We would take off and pass two or three cars and give up three or four spots later in the run. We met our main goal, which is running in the top-10 all day and we did that. I'm real proud of the guys - best pit stops all year. I don't think there's a mark on the car so we're happy and we can take this piece on to the next mile-and-a-half."

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BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 South Point Casino & Hotel Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
Finished: 10th

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TREVOR BAYNE, No. 99 Toyota Camry, Diamond-Waltrip Racing
Finished: 12th

How did your car handle in today's race? "We did a lot of talking on the radio today trying to figure out how to make our car better. We came here from Bristol with a really strong car and I was expecting a lot more out of the weekend. That pit crew we have is phenomenal. I felt like all day we were going backwards, but that's because they would get me to the top-five every pit stop so then we didn't have a good enough car to run top-five so we just dropped back to about 10th. We ended up 12th. That's not a bad day after some of the bad races we've had this year, but its not as good as we'd hoped to do either. I know these guys are going to work hard on it. They've been working on these Toyotas a lot to get them into the top-five and I know we can do it. We just didn't hit it right this weekend. We'll be back at Phoenix with maybe a better car and we'll give them a run for their money there."

***

BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 15th

MIKEY KILE, No. 10 AccuDoc Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 33rd

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STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
Finished: 36th

What happened that took you out of the race? "We all got a lap down there because we all pitted and the caution came out. That put us three and four wide going into turn three there. Everybody was racing for the 'lucky dog' trying to get back on the lead lap. We were just four wide. I haven't seen the tape so I really don't know what happened. I think I got right-reared. I don't think it was anybody's fault, just tough racing. It's a shame, that's two weeks in a row with really hard wrecks and that puts us back in the points. We have to go to Phoenix, keep our heads up and run harder."

Was the racing crazy today? "It's just the nature of it. There's a lot of different opinions, but these guys have to have a lot more sense than to make it four and five wide going down the backstretch at Nashville. This isn't a big track and it's stupidity. You get paid to finish good and you have to take a lot of chances. That's just part of it, but we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

***

JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 39th

What happened that put you in the garage? "I don't know. My recollection is that the 1 (James Buescher) just lost it and got into us and crashed us. When I was under him, I was able to control my car, but obviously he wasn't able to control his. There's a lot of racing - it's a little early in the day to be racing that hard, but I guess I should have known better. It was probably just my fault, but he's the one that lost his race car. It's torn up pretty bad. It's a shame, this Great Clips Camry was really good today - this is one of our better tracks and now it's going to be a DNF (did not finish)."

Are you angry that NASCAR parked you for the rest of the race? "I always get penalized for things that I don't do on purpose. I can tell you that my car was really fast there, but it was hard to control. I could have blown a tire or something. We were fast enough to catch a lot of cars that weren't torn up and drove right back up to him (James Buescher). It's just frustrating when you get taken out early like that, especially by a car that's not as fast as you. Who know what happened."

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Jason Leffler , Kevin Harvick , Trevor Bayne , Brendan Gaughan , Reed Sorenson , Joey Logano , Michael Annett , Brian Scott , James Buescher , Mikey Kile , Steve Wallace , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing