Richmond International Raceway -- September 11, 2009 Kyle Busch (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Richmond International Raceway. Busch led once for 30 (of 250)...
Richmond International Raceway -- September 11, 2009
Kyle Busch (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Richmond International Raceway. Busch led once for 30 (of 250) laps.
Chesterfield, Va., native Denny Hamlin started on the pole and led three times for a race-high 101 laps and finished 17th after his car got loose and made contact with Kevin Harvick while racing side-by-side.
David Reutimann (fifth), Trevor Bayne (seventh) and Scott Speed (10th) also finished in the top-10 for Toyota.
Camry drivers Michael Annett (25th), Justin Marks (31st), Jason Leffler (32nd) and Coleman Pressley (41st) were also in the field.
Busch currently leads second-place Carl Edwards by 201 points in the unofficial NNS point standings.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How was your race car tonight? "It was a good, solid run. The Z-Line Camry was decent, but unfortunately just didn't have enough for the front guys. The 60 (Carl Edwards) was real strong and the 33 (Kevin Harvick) was real good. The 88 (Brad Keselowski) was running us down there at the end and we barely beat him. These guys have all picked up some grip. Unfortunately, they've caught up to us and they're catching us competition-wise and everything. We're behind the eight ball a little bit and hopefully we can still win a couple more before the year is out."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 32 Dollar General Stores Toyota Camry, Braun
Finishing Position: 5th
How was your race? "We had a pretty good night. We just needed long runs in the Dollar General Toyota to do what we needed to do. We just couldn't get that quite at the end, but Trent Owens (crew chief) and the guys did a great job - everybody at Braun Racing - they really enjoyed the night. It didn't start out too well but Trent (Owens, crew chief) and those guys worked on the thing. We beat on it and got it where it was pretty decent towards the end. We just needed a lot of green-flag laps and 15 laps just wasn't going to cut it for us."
Did the last caution hurt you or did need fuel to finish the race? "I didn't know if we were going to run out or what the deal was. I didn't even ask. I just kept going and they kept saying we were getting quicker and quicker and gaining on the guys but they had a pretty good lead on us. It was tough to gain whenever you give up that much at the beginning of the run. I'm proud of my guys. Good pit stops and just a good effort all around."
Did your car improve as the race went on? "When we started out I was a little bit concerned that we weren't that good to begin with. Trent Owens (crew chief) and the guys worked on it and made it better each run. The Dollar General Toyota just needed longer runs. Not 20 laps but we needed 50 laps to really, really get going and we just didn't have that at the end -- 15 laps wasn't going to do it for us. I'm really proud of my guys at Braun Racing, Toyota, Toyota Racing Development and everybody did a phenomenal job. It was fun tonight. They just told me it's my best finish here ever so maybe we can do one better than that tomorrow."
How much will running this race tonight help you for tomorrow's Cup Series race? "The cars are drastically different. You used to be able to compare the two and you really can't do that any longer. We've got a pretty good Aaron's Dream Machine over there with Rodney Childers (crew chief) and the guys. We got it really good during the course of the day and then we messed it up a little bit -- and I messed it up in qualifying. I didn't qualify the car as well as we should have but I think we've got a good car for tomorrow."
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 11 Ridemakerz.com Toyota Camry, CJM Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How difficult was it to drive a car that you've never driven before and finish in the top-10? "It's kind of been the common theme all year. I've never been to most of these tracks besides Bristol and Iowa. I'm fairly new to the 99 team and I'm not in the car every weekend so every weekend is a fresh start. This is what I'm used to. They did a really good job adapting. They had the car hooked up pretty good for me there. We got a little bit tight on long runs. Short runs I think we were the best car out there. The first 10 or 15 laps nobody had anything for us so that caution at the end was exactly what we needed but unfortunately we got held up a little bit by the 1 (Martin Truex, Jr.). He (Martin Truex, Jr.) went three-wide on the green flag and I thought we were spinning out but luckily we held onto it. The brakes started going away there at the end because this is such an aggressive race track. Without the brakes going away, I think we had a top-five car there at the end."
How happy were you with your team tonight? "To see them adapt to my driving style and fix the car around me was awesome to see. They've got a great team, great spotter, great crew chief, everybody. It was just a lot of fun this weekend. I had a good time."
When did you find out that you were going to race in the 11 car? "Tuesday night. It was awesome. Heck, they even got a suit all stitched up for me and everything. It was great to be able to come here and race. I thought I was going to be off for like a month and a half until Texas and I found out about this and I was really excited. Hopefully I'll do some more races. I've enjoyed working with them. I don't know how much they enjoy working with me though. They might kick me out. No, it was a lot of fun, clean racing and the car is in one piece. That's important, too, especially for a team like this that is not a Cup funded team. So every car counts. They do a great job with what they have and it's a great group of guy."
SCOTT SPEED No. 99 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
How was your race? "We were really great on the long run but we had something wrong with the car kind of all day and we couldn't figure it out. On the short runs on good tires we wouldn't go anywhere at all. It wasn't near as good as we were last time here so we've got to go back and figure out what was wrong with it. In any case, it was really great in the long runs so it's better than nothing."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 20 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 17th
What happened between yourself and Kevin Harvick with 50 laps to go in the race? "I was doing everything I could just to hold him off. I think there was about 50 (laps) to go or something like that. I was just trying to hold him off and paid the price. I just over drove it into turn four and got into the side of him. I was content with going ahead and spinning, that way I could at least get a caution and come in and work on my race car and put new tires on it. I didn't know he was still down there at that time. I throttled up and he was there and took it right in the door."
How strong was your car prior to the incident with Kevin Harvick? "We had a car that could contend for a win. We were good on the short runs. We weren't as good on the long run on the last run, but it seemed like we were the best car on the long run on the first run. We worked on it and I think we kind of found a happy medium, but I think the 33 (Kevin Harvick) and the 60 (Carl Edwards) were the class of the field late in the run and that's what it came down to actually."
What caused you to get into the side of Kevin Harvick's car? "I just got loose up there high. I knew I was slower than the 33 (Kevin Harvick) and the 60 (Carl Edwards), but I was just trying to hold on and that's all I could do. I just got loose and I needed the whole race track to save it, but unfortunately Kevin (Harvick) was there. I'm glad it didn't ruin his night and I'm sure he didn't need that caution at the end. It was a good day for the Z-Line Toyota, but I just got a little loose."
MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry, Germain
Finishing Position: 25th
JUSTIN MARKS, No. 10 Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 31st
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 32nd
COLEMAN PRESSLEY, No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Toyota Camry,
Finishing Position: 41st
-credit: toyota motorsports