Joey Logano finished third in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway. Logano's finish marks the third-consecutive top-five finish for the 18-year-old in the past three races ...
Joey Logano finished third in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway.
Logano's finish marks the third-consecutive top-five finish for the 18-year-old in the past three races (Nashville-first, Phoenix-third, Talladega-third).
Camry rookie Scott Lagasse Jr. earned a career-best finish with an eighth-place result in just his second superspeedway race.
Other Camry drivers in the NNS race included Jason Leffler (sixth), Scott Lagasse, Jr. (eighth), Kyle Busch (10th), Michael McDowell (15th), Brian Vickers (20th), Michael Annett (21st), David Green (24th), David Reutimann (29th) and Michael Waltrip (40th).
Busch continues to lead the NNS point standings with 1,219 points and is currently 62 points ahead of second-place Carl Edwards.
Five Camry drivers are in the top-10 in the unofficial NNS driver point standings -- Busch (first), Leffler (fourth), Logano (fifth), Lagasse, Jr. (eighth) and McDowell (10th).
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How was your race today? "It was good. It was eventful and we made it to the end so that's definitely a plus. The guys on the Great Clips Camry and this 38 team all around at Braun Racing everybody is doing a great job. The fab shop, the motor department, John Dysinger, I've got to thank him. We had a fast car we just mixed it up there at the end and made the wrong move on the last lap and still ended up sixth so it wasn't all that bad."
Are you happy that you had another good point's day today? "It is a great points day today. We're just building on all of this momentum."
SCOTT LAGASSE JR., No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Toyota Camry, CJM Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
How was your first Nationwide Series race at Talladega? "I'm not a plate racer at all especially not with these things. I love it now. I liked it a little bit at Daytona and I had a good time here. It's unfortunate that I got stacked up and I just couldn't get it down and hit the nose in. We were just trying to gain respect and be smart today and I think we did that. Roman (Pemberton), my spotter, did a really good job up top keeping me from doing anything dumb and really just learning. I learned a ton and I hated to see that second to last caution there because the 18 (Kyle Busch) had a head of steam up top and that's where it really ran well down the backstretch I thought we'd be heading to the front at that point. What can you say? These guys build great race cars. We just have to keep learning like we are and we'll be competing."
Did the car run hot during the race? "Yeah, that's what happened to us in the middle of the race. We were running hot so we just kind of shuffled ourselves out of the way and got it cooled back down. It really stayed running there the whole time - to knock the nose like that and I guess it's not terrible but to run that well. Toyota is obviously doing a good job. I'm having fun. This is a great group of guys to have a good time with."
How important is it to bounce back with a top-10 after last weekend at Phoenix? "It is important. Of course everybody was frustrated. That was our first fully in-house car and it ran really well but the attitude we took was we were there, we were running fine, it wasn't anything that anybody in our group could've done any different so you just put your heads down and come here. Unfortunately, we wanted to take that car to Richmond and we're not going to take it now. This thing is good. This thing is real good."
How did it feel to lead at Talladega? "It was pretty cool. At that point I was trying to just, 'Ok, if this is the end of the race how do I hold these guys back there for as long as I could?' It was really just a bunch of moving around, learning, and trying to figure out what happened linewise if I went high and if I'm pulling them with me a little. That's where you try to use everything you've heard. It was cool and I'm not sure I took it in yet because I was too busy trying to plan on the end of the race hoping we could get ourselves in that position."
How difficult is it to try to learn when you are trying to focus on everyone racing around you? "I don't know. The thing I did was I went to Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. after practice because I ran with him a little bit and asked him some questions - could I hit him in the tri-oval? Could I hit him harder? I tried to learn as much here at practice as I could but for me the key is they gave me a great race car where I could and I wasn't in over my head the whole time. I was able to just be smart and have a great spotter up top. Roman (Pemberton) did a really good job. It was really just a day of learning. There were times where you shot out of the hole and you're like: 'Wow, how did that happen? I need to figure that one out again.' I've got a couple more races before I figure this plate stuff out I can promise you that."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
JASON RATCLIFF, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Were you happy with your team's performance today? "Kyle did a great job today. It got a little scary there at the beginning so he dropped back and tried to make sure he had plenty of room incase something did happen to get out of the way. Once he got to the front he was really strong. The guys did a good job on pit road keeping him up there. He was really happy with the car. We got shuffled out there with about 20 to go and he worked his way back up to third and then in one of those cautions (Matt) Kenseth came up and hit us in the rear so we had to pit. We needed to do the right thing and make sure that a tire wasn't rubbing. So we came down pit road, fixed it, restarted 29th and drove up to 10th by the end. We're fairly happy for that but we know we had a car good enough to win the race. We were in position, we just couldn't quite get it done."
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 47 Tom's Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 15th
Are you happy with a top-15 finishing position today? "It was okay. We just had a hard time getting people to go with us again. Everybody just gets so antsy there (at the end) and you get three-wide. We moved forward. We didn't put a lot of emphasis on our superspeedway program this year just because it's so expensive to come to these places. So we've really focused our energy and resources at the short tracks and mile-and-a- halves because it's a place where you can put the driver back in the element. We came through and ended up in the top-15 so it's not a bad day."
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 32 Dollar General Stores Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 20th
MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
DAVID GREEN, No. 07 Toyota Camry, SK Motorsports
Finishing Position: 24th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 10 Copart.com Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 29th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 40th
What happened that took you out of the race? "Somebody hit me - I don't know. Was it the 29 (Clint Bowyer)? I didn't see it and I don't know what happened. I just want to say what a great job Jerry Baxter (crew chief) and the guys on the Aaron's Camry did. Last week at Phoenix we had a fast car and again today and have nothing to show for it. They keep giving me cars like that it's going to be a good year for us. I'm watching on your screen back there and whoever is in that one car hit me in the butt and spun me out. It's a black car."
Do you have a defense for Clint Bowyer blaming you for the wreck? "If he would watch the video he would see that there was a man that drove over the top of me and spun me out. Clint (Bowyer) made a butt of himself at Bristol with stupid remarks and if he wants to continue to be an idiot then we can play that game -- I don't mind. I just prefer to be nice to people."
-credit: toyota motorsports