Trevor Bayne (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Virginia's Richmond International Raceway. Camry drivers Reed Sorenson (fifth), Denny Hamlin (sixth) and Kyle Busch (ninth) also had...
Trevor Bayne (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Virginia's Richmond International Raceway.
Camry drivers Reed Sorenson (fifth), Denny Hamlin (sixth) and Kyle Busch (ninth) also had top-10 finishes at the three-quarter mile oval.
Busch drove the No. 18 Toyota Kimmy/Z-Line Designs Camry, featuring the paint scheme from the 'Kimmy' Sponsafier television commercial and wore a matching pink fire suit in the 250-lap race.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Jason Leffler (14th), Steve Wallace (16th), Brendan Gaughan (17th), Michael Annett (20th), Ryan Truex (26th), Tayler Malsam (33rd), Brian Scott (38th) and Kevin Lepage (43rd).
Nine Toyota drivers are in the top-15 in the unofficial NNS driver points following Richmond - Busch (third), Bayne (seventh), Wallace (eighth), Leffler (ninth), Gaughan (10th), Logano (11th), Annett (12th), Scott (13th) and Sorenson (14th).
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 99 Out! Pet Care Toyota Camry, Diamond-Waltrip Racing
What adjustments did you make on the race car during the event? "I was definitely a little worried there on that first long green flag run. We were just way too tight in the center of the corner. At the beginning of the run we would be free in, but we just had to kind of ignore that to get it freed up in the center. The run before the last one, we were really, really strong, but we went a little too far there at the very end so I didn't have anything for those leaders. Really excited about this run we had today. That was awesome to get a top-three here with these new cars. Everybody at our shop has worked their butts off to get these new cars right and they were that way when we unloaded. Just a great run for this Out! Pet Care Toyota."
REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
How was your race car in tonight's race? "We just kind of picked our way through all night. We got into the top-10 pretty fast and rode there under the long green flag runs. We were able to get a good restart on the very last restart there and jumped ahead a few spots. We pulled away from everybody behind us and that was where we deserved to be. Everybody on that Dollar General crew did a good job and we're pretty happy with a top-five."
DENNY HAMLIN No. 20 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Are you disappointed with your finish tonight in front of your home crowd? "I thought it was about where we were going to finish when we started the day. I kind of knew that was where we were going to be. It's just part of it. We feel like we're a little bit behind with our Nationwide new car program and the team has got to work to get better."
What did you think of the new Nationwide Series car? "It was alright. It definitely needs some work, but really it drives better than what our Cup car did when we first drove it. They've come up with so many good things to make those Cup cars drive better and once they do that with this car it should be fine."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Toyota Kimmy/Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finished: 9th
JASON RATCLIFF, crew chief, No. 18 Toyota Kimmy/Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Did you feel you were able to make gains on the race car tonight? "I thought we made gains on it. At the start of the race, the car was good enough to run top-five, but it looked like we were really going to have to work on it to get it back in the top-three. At the end of that long green flag run, it kind of took off and started running towards the front and after that green flag stop, came out second and actually we were hanging around with the 33 (Kevin Harvick) and were running him down a little bit in traffic. I thought we had something and then the next stop, for whatever reason, we either over-adjusted, under-adjusted or something and it slowed back down a little bit. Who knows what we would have had there at the end if we wouldn't have had the incident. It's just unfortunate. Those things happen, you hate to see it. We have a problem in that area that we are going to have to go back and work on with this new car. I don't know what happened, we'll just have to investigate it. When we lost our track position, we were done. It would have been nice to see what we had there at the end, I thought we were making the car better and Kyle (Busch) was doing a nice job of letting him know what he needed to go faster. I think we could have run with those guys at the end and possibly had a shot at winning."
Are you making progress with the new Nationwide race car? "I think so. I think when we can get up there and tonight we weren't where we wanted to be, but we felt like if we get our adjustments right and if the conditions were right, we were close to getting up there and running with those guys in the top-two or three. I think we're making gains on it. We have to keep working and we have to keep working hard if we're going to make these cars where other cars are at. We're not even close and I think there's a lot of room for us to grow with this car. That's exciting - knowing that we really haven't worked very hard on these cars and we have a lot more we can work on and we can still go out and fight our way to the top-five and even the top-three. I think we get a few months under our belt through the winter then we'll be strong next year with this new car."
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 Loan Max Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Germain.com Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
RYAN TRUEX, No. 00 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How do you feel about your run tonight? "That wasn't what we were hoping for. We were pretty loose at the beginning and we struggled. But the second half of the race we were good. That last run we were as quick as the best cars. It was too little too late. That stinks. I wish we could run this race again right now because I think we'd have a really good finish. That's just part of the learning curve and we start better at Kansas."
TAYLER MALSAM, No. 10 Iron Horse Jeans Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 BigSpot.com Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
KEVIN LEPAGE, No. 56 Hyatt Place Richmond Airport Toyota Camry, Mac Hill Motorsports
-source: toyota motorsports