Red Bull teammates Brian Vickers (seventh) and Scott Speed (10th) earned top-10 finishes for Toyota in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) 524-mile race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Camry driver Marcos Ambrose (11th) also collected a top-15...
Red Bull teammates Brian Vickers (seventh) and Scott Speed (10th) earned top-10 finishes for Toyota in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) 524-mile race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Camry driver Marcos Ambrose (11th) also collected a top-15 finish at the 1.5-mile Georgia oval.
Other Camry drivers in the 341-lap race included Denny Hamlin (21st), Kyle Busch (25th), Martin Truex Jr. (27th), Max Papis (34th), Joey Logano (35th), Joe Nemechek (38th), David Reutimann (40th), Dave Blaney (41st), Michael McDowell (42nd) and Robby Gordon (43rd).
Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the unofficial point standings after Atlanta, including Speed (12th), Logano (14th), Busch (15th), Vickers (16th) and Reutimann (18th).
What do you think about the final laps of today's race? "That was pretty wild. We were okay today, we weren't great. We started out really good and then as everybody else got better we just couldn't seem to make any gains. At one point we actually probably made it a little bit worse but then by the end of the race I think we figured out how to make the car a little better. We have got to try to find a little more potential in our cars. We just don't have the grip and the speed that we really need to run with some of these guys right now, and we'll find it. From what I've seen so far this year, a lot of the teams made a lot of gains over the winter and we're still running the same thing we finished the year with. We found some gains this week that made us a lot better than last week, but we still need a little bit more."
Did the tire wear affect your car today? "Our tires were good. Our tire wear seemed to be really good. I thought the tires were great. Goodyear brought a great tire. I think some of the guys saw a lot of the Hendrick cars having tire problems which is a bad thing today. It really hurt them. But the reason they were having tire problems is they were using the tire more efficiently than we were and they were going faster because of it. So we have to find that happy medium. We need to be able to probably get a little more out of ours and they probably got a little bit too much out of theirs. But all in all I thought Goodyear brought a fantastic tire here. It was almost too good. The cars had more grip at the end of the run than they used to have on lap five, but it was still a great race."
Are you happy with your finish today? "Yeah, of course, especially because we kind of had to dog fight our way up there. We were running sort of between 10th and 15th the last half of the race. To be dog fighting up there and to be able to scrounge and make really big aggressive moves on my part and to be able to see the thing go forward, that is huge for us. This top-10 means a lot."
What does it mean to you to start the season so strong? "This is awesome. It's fantastic. I'm so happy with all of the progress we've all made and I know how much still I have to learn so I'm really optimistic for the future."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Lance/Tom's Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
FRANK KERR, crew chief, No. 47 Lance/Tom's Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
How was your team's performance today? "We just had a lot of issues. Marcos' (Ambrose) back has been bothering him all weekend. It was a good day for points. We hung in there and we got the best of what we could out of that car today so we're happy with how we finished."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Did you think you had a race-winning car today? "Us, the 2 (Kurt Busch) and the 9 (Kasey Kahne) were the class of the field for most of the day. I didn't push my car hard at all all day. I let guys pass on the restarts and I would just go right by them on 20 or 30 lapped tires. It's a shame, you know, we wish we had a better finishing day. But that is all we can ask for is to be that competitive."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your race today? "It was just a long day. We had a lot of trouble with our right fronts early in the race and somehow kept it out of the fence. We were just tight all race, but Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys just kept working on it and we were able to stay out of trouble and get back near the front towards the end. But the 1 (Jamie McMurray) and the 33 (Clint Bowyer) got together in front of me and I tried to go high to miss it and I had nowhere to go. Only thing else I can say is congrats to Kurt (Busch) and Steve (Addington), they deserve it."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 FrontRowJoe.com Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
What happened to take you out of the race? "It's just a real frustrating deal. We had a good Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron's Dream Machine and we were starting to have a pretty good day. The car wasn't where we wanted it at the start of the race, but Rodney Childers (crew chief) and the crew kept working on it and got it up into the top-10 and we were closing in on the top-five. It turned what could have been a great day into a very disappointing day."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
MICHAEL McDOWELL, No. 55 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Warner Music Nashville/Blake Shelton Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
-source: toyota motorsports