Camry drivers Reed Sorenson (second), Trevor Bayne (third) and Steve Wallace (fifth) earned top-five finishes for Toyota in tonight's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. Bayne's third place...
Camry drivers Reed Sorenson (second), Trevor Bayne (third) and Steve Wallace (fifth) earned top-five finishes for Toyota in tonight's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis.
Bayne's third place finish marks the career best for the 19-year old driver who also earned his second career pole for tonight's race and eighth pole for a Camry this season.
Brian Scott (sixth), Michael Annett (11th), Brendan Gaughan (17th) and Tayler Malsam (18th) also earned top-20 finishes for Toyota.
Camry drivers Jason Leffler (23rd), Ryan Truex (28th), Matt DiBenedetto (29th) and Brad Coleman (30th) were also in the field.
Camry drivers Kyle Busch (fourth), Wallace (seventh), Gaughan (eighth), Joey Logano (ninth), Leffler (10th), Bayne (11th), Scott (12th), Annett (13th) and Sorenson (14th) are in the top-15 in the unofficial NNS point standings after 19 of 35 races.
REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How was your race tonight and what did you see on the final lap? "We had a long night. We were caught a lap down pretty much the whole race there and we had to fight back. The way pit strategy worked out, we were out of tires so that was kind of laid out for us and we didn't have a choice so we stayed out. We had about 15 more laps on our tires than everybody else. There at the end I couldn't really see what happened. I saw the 60 (Carl Edwards) obviously got into the right rear of the 22 (Brad Keselowski). I just went low and hoped I could beat the 60 to the line."
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 99 Out! Pet Care Toyota Camry, Diamond-Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How do you feel after tonight's race? "It was just a really enduring race. It was hard for the drivers, it was hard for the team, but Jerry Baxter (crew chief) did a great job with the call there to not pit and got us our track position back. We had a strong enough car to be up there and that was the way it was for us in our Out! Pet Car Toyota all weekend. We unloaded fast, in the top three, qualified on the pole and then finished top three so it's a great weekend for us. Can't thank everyone enough for giving us this opportunity. It was a great weekend for us and we're happy to be in the top three."
STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5-hour Energy Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
How was your race tonight? "I am worn out, that's for sure. We raced all day long and this was the second race of the day. We were a pretty solid car right off the truck. All the guys worked real hard on it throughout the race to make it better and keep it turning all night. Feel like we had a second or third place car. We should have finished second or third and we ended up fifth. We'll take that with the results we've been having."
What did you see on the final lap of the race? "Everybody was beating on each other there at the end. It was a typical green-white-checkered finish there at the end on these short tracks. Everybody is amped up and everybody wants to win. That's just typical short track racing. It just seems like those two (Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski) have a lot of problems together and I'm sure we'll hear about it."
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 AccuDoc Solutions Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
What does it mean to have two solid runs two weeks in a row? "We were really fortunate to turn our program around and finish third and Chicagoland and come here and unload right off the truck and be pretty decent. I really thought that we were going to be a little more competitive throughout the day today just based on how we were in practice. For whatever reason, maybe the track changing and maybe there was more rubber on the track from the Camping World Truck race -- we just seem to fight right side grip -- both right front from being tight and also being loose and just slipping and sliding a little too much to be hooked up and run with the top five. Parts of the race we were a sixth place car, other parts we were a ninth place. At the end we chose to stay out on the restart with like 15 (laps) to go and I must have bumped the kill switch deal on the steering wheel because we died and we were right behind Reed (Sorenson) so we would have restarted second or third and it took me a minute to figure out what happened. When I got it restarted, we had lost a bunch of track position and they (NASCAR) didn't give us our position back so now we had chose to stay out, we had no tires and we were right where everybody came out with tires. Right behind Brad Keselowski and everything like that. I knew from that moment on that it was going to be a dog fight. With a little bit of luck, the outside lane, after the first row seemed to really get going better and the bottom got jumbled up. We did about three of the last four restarts on the bottom, but the last one on the green-white-checkered, we finally had the position we needed on the outside. I think we were P-10 and it just went rolling a couple of them got bunched up. I had a really experienced spotter, Jeff Dickerson, you guys are probably familiar with that name, spotting for me and a crew chief that this is really only his second race as a crew chief, but you would not know it. He makes calls and he keeps his cool like a veteran. Just really fortunate to have very experienced people around me and people around me that know what they're doing and can help guide me through situations when it's time to tighten the belts and go for it at the end. We were able to pick up four spots in two laps and bring home our AccuDoc Solutions with a little better finish than where we really were there at the end. That's just a tribute to a little bit of good luck and I think a little bit more experience being up there. I really got owned at California because we restarted in the top five and ended up finishing 10th where all the Cup guys blew by me and really taught me a lesson. Chicago, I felt like based upon what I learned at California, we came back and we were a lot stronger and at the end we actually gained positions and went from sixth to finish third and then tonight we gained again. I'm glad that the Cup guys come down to race with us because they've sure taught me a lot and I think it's starting to pay off a lot now."
What did you see between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski on the final lap? "I don't want to speculate because I wasn't sitting in their cars and looking out their front windshields, but my best view of it was a replay on one of those little portable TV deals from Mike Massaro (ESPN) and I saw it. To me, just from the little clip I saw, Carl (Edwards) was on the outside, but he wasn't next to the outer wall. I don't know what happened there. It's hard to speculate and I don't know what was going on. I don't know if Brad (Keselowski) moved him or anything like that. Just coming to the checkered, that's what it looked like, it looked like Carl came down a little bit."
MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry, Germain
Finishing Position: 11th
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 South Point Casino & Hotel Toyota Camry,
Rusty Wallace Racing
Finishing Position: 17th
TAYLER MALSAM, No. 10 Iron Horse Jeans Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
RYAN TRUEX, No. 00 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 28th
How much did you enjoy your first Nationwide race? "Man that was a lot of fun until I spun out. I was really surprised how well we ran. I didn't know if we would run that well. NAPA and my crew made all this happen. I just drive. I have a lot to learn but that started tonight. I was having fun out there. Really, I was. Next time will be more about racing. This weekend was getting in the field and learning. I got hot out there, but I think everyone did. Sounds like it was a cool finish."
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 20 Pizza Ranch Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 29th
How do you feel after the accident with teammate Brad Coleman? "Sore. I'll be fine. I have to thank all the Pizza Ranch folks, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing for such an opportunity. We had a good car and just being patient and biding our time. Thought we had a good run, but something happened there off of turn two. I'm not sure if something broke or a tire went down, but I absolutely could not hang on to it. Unfortunately, it tore up two of our race cars and I feel bad."
BRAD COLEMAN, No. 18 Safeway Driving Centers Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs
Finishing Position: 30th
What happened between yourself and teammate Matt DiBenedetto that took you out of the race? "Over in turn one, I saw him (Matt DiBenedetto) up high and I saw him sliding and his wheels were locked up. So when your wheels are locked, you're going to stay up there. His wheels were locked and I was going under and all of the sudden he let off the brake and rolled right down in front of me. I really had nowhere to go. I feel bad for him. He's pretty dazed and I hope he's okay. I truly had nowhere to go. The AC ran out on lap 30 so I was pretty excited because we had battery trouble and we changed that and were making our way up, but I just have to thank god that I'm okay. Really, really tough day in owner's points. I feel really bad for Kyle Busch and the whole Joe Gibbs Racing team."
-source: toyota motorsports