Brian Vickers (fifth) earned the best finish by a Toyota in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Other Camry drivers in the top-20 included Denny Hamlin (13th) and Kyle Busch (18th). Other Toyota drivers in...
Brian Vickers (fifth) earned the best finish by a Toyota in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Other Camry drivers in the top-20 included Denny Hamlin (13th) and Kyle Busch (18th).
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Michael Waltrip (25th), Robby Gordon (26th), Joey Logano (30th), David Reutimann (32nd), Scott Speed (35th), Marcos Ambrose (38th), Max Papis (36th), Joe Nemechek (39th) and Dave Blaney (41st).
Five Camry drivers are in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings following today's race in Atlanta - Busch (seventh), Vickers (11th), Reutimann (12th), Hamlin (14th) and Waltrip (16th).
Do you think you had a car capable of winning the race? "I definitely think we had a good car. We always seemed to have one of the best cars - if not these best car - at one point throughout a run. At times it was in the middle, at times it was at the end of a run - most of the time, it favored the end of a run. I was really hoping it would stay green to be honest with you. It was going to be a great race to the finish with Kurt (Busch) and I. He was doing a great job. Touche to those guys. I'm really proud of the Red Bull guys. We had a great car. Ryan (Pemberton, crew chief) and the guys did a tremendous job and gave me a great car. We fought all day, and lost it there at the end on the pit stop."
What do you think would've happened if the last caution didn't come out? "We would've finished first or second, or wrecked trying. We obviously had the better car there at the end. Kurt (Busch) and I were running the same line, so it wasn't going to be easy to pass him. On the last lap, you can stick it off in there wide open to run it against the wall and hope for the best. You can't do that until then. Those guys did a good job, congratulations to them. He was driving his butt off as well. I'm really proud of the Red Bull guys as far as building the car. I had a great car all day."
Did you think you could've passed Kurt Busch for the win? "I think we definitely had a car for it. Kurt (Busch) was better at certain parts of the run, and we were better others. We obviously ran him down. We were both running the same line, so it was going to get interesting when it came down to the end, but it was going to be an exciting finish for the fans. Congratulations to Kurt (Busch) and that team - they did a great job. It was fun racing him down there at the end. We were both rim-riding about as close as you could get to the wall. I was really proud of the car by the Red Bull team. It was a great car all day. We had to fight back through some troubles, but we did. Unfortunately, we just lost it there on the last pit stop."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 13th
What did you battle with your car in the race? "We struggled loose all day - same thing we struggled with at the other two intermediate races that we've had so far. Just really loose and couldn't get it tightened up. We practice really well and just can't figure out what we have to do to get our car handling better during the race."
Were you affected by track conditions and track position? "Track and track position - we got mixed up there when that caution came out for the guy on pit road. It really mixed up the field and put us in the back. We weren't in a bad position, but with all the lapped cars it put us back there and it really changed the handling of our car quite a bit."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
STEVE ADDINGTON, Crew Chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened to your car today? "We were on pit road and we got caught, but we just missed it today from the get-go. We should have never been in that situation. I tried to come down pit road a lap or two before we should have went, just because people started pitting and we were going to start losing time to the guys with new tires and that decision just bit us."
What was the problem with the race car? "We missed the balance here. We weren't that bad yesterday, we didn't make that many major changes to the car between happy hour and the race today. We just missed it and it was a bad day - we have them."
Did the early caution for the crew member hurt your run today? "We didn't have a good car today from the start. The caution hurt us and getting caught two laps down there - from there its just a battle. You're not going to get it back with the 'lucky dog' and there's only nine cars on the lead lap at that time. The way it cycled through when the caution came out it caught a lot of people a lap down, but that just puts you back in traffic and then its harder to work on your car. We just had a bad race."
What was the biggest complaint from Kyle Busch about the car today? "No grip out of the race track. We started making gains on it there at the end and then we could make it last for about 30 laps and then it would go away. We made gains on it, but we just need to look and see. I told them not to touch the car and we're going to take it back and look at it."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 25th
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Jim Beam Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 26th
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 30th
How did you feel about the run you were having in the race? "We had a decent run going from what I picked up, but a typical race for what we've been so far. We kind of struggle in the beginning and as I get the hang of it and know what I want in the car and get a better feel then we start picking it up. That was good, I feel like I learned a lot coming to this race track for the first time. Running decent like that was good. We got screwed up on the pit strategy and lost a lap there. I probably lost a lap at the beginning of the race. Realistically we would have been one lap down if I would have been on my game in the beginning of the race and we didn't have the caution come out then we would have had a decent run. It's just part of being a rookie."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 32nd
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Kingsford Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 38th
What happened that took you out of the race? "We blew up - not sure what went wrong there. We were trucking along there pretty good. We lost a cylinder for about 50 laps and then it finally went. I just hoped I didn't oil the track down for everybody else. It's been an unfortunate day for us - we had a lot of speed here in practice and its just shame that we couldn't convert."
Do you know what happened to your motor? "There's a lot of motor issues this year for all manufacturers. I don't really know - I'm just driving it. I'm not privy to the insides of the motors as to what's really happening. It's a shame for us, but we'll bounce back. We've had a great start to our season and we'll turn up at Bristol and hopefully get it done there."
What did you think about your gas man that brought out the first caution? "I'll look at the tape - I'm not sure. We don't want to ruin anybody's race - especially NASCAR's. We want to play by the rules and do everything right. If we did something wrong then we need to look at it and not do it again."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 39th
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Toyota Camry, Prism Racing
Finishing Position: 41st
-credit: toyota motorsports