Michael Waltrip finished 23rd in the No. 55 NAPA Camry after starting 16th. The No. 22 Caterpillar Camry of Dave Blaney finished 31st after starting fifth and battling handling problems throughout the race. Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 44...
Michael Waltrip finished 23rd in the No. 55 NAPA Camry after starting 16th. The No. 22 Caterpillar Camry of Dave Blaney finished 31st after starting fifth and battling handling problems throughout the race. Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 44 UPS Centennial Camry finished 34th after starting 33rd. The No. 84 Red Bull Camry of AJ Allmendinger finished 35th after starting 43rd in his first Nextel Cup start in nine races. Jeremy Mayfield finished 37th in his No. 36 360 OTC Camry after starting 31st.
Camry drivers have led a total of 137 laps across nine races in Nextel Cup events this season. Brian Vickers has led the most of the Camry contingent with 95 laps over five races (Atlanta, Bristol, Texas, Charlotte and Michigan). Blaney has led 35 laps over four races (Atlanta, Richmond, Darlington and New Hampshire). Mayfield has led six laps over three races (Bristol, Charlotte and Watkins Glen), and Waltrip led one lap at Michigan (June).
Blaney earned the first NNCS pole for Toyota at New Hampshire International Speedway (June). Six top-10 finishes have been earned by Camrys this season in NNCS competition. In addition to Vickers' fifth- place finish in Charlotte (May), he ended up 10th at California (February) and eighth at Michigan today. Other top- 10s have been registered by Michael Waltrip, who finished 10th at Michigan (June), and Dave Blaney who finished ninth at Indianapolis (July) and sixth today at Michigan.
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finished: 23rd
How was your race tonight? "We fought all night and the highest we got was 23rd -- that's when the checkers fell. We had a good restart there with 30 laps to go -- I got up on the outside and was able to get past about three guys. Then I was good enough to hold them off. We learned a lot today -- we really needed to race our COT (Car of Tomorrow) in order to get some data. We really haven't been able to race those (COTs) very often because of our woes early in the year. Tonight was a good night -- we wish we could have finished better. We started off slow, but Bobby Kennedy and the boys just kept adjusting on it and we were able to get it better and better. That feels good when you're running your best at the end."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Finished: 31st
How was your race tonight? "We were terrible early-on -- we went straight backwards. Then we pitted under green and the caution came right out when we left the pits so we lost laps and just couldn't come back from that. We did get the car better to where it was running top-10 speeds. At least we figured out what was wrong with the car early, but we just got too far behind to get a good finish." What did you think of the racing on the new surface here at Bristol Motor Speedway? "It was a 180-degree difference from the normal Bristol race. I thought it was fun -- if your car was good then you had no problem passing people and that's what racing is all about."
How was your race tonight? "We started off tight -- we were okay for awhile, but then we were too tight. The race went green for so long early in the race and we started so far back that we struggled to stay on the lead lap. Once I got lapped, I got in behind some of the guys running in the top-10 and ran their line one time -- all of the sudden we were one of the fastest cars on the race track. We started running people back down and I could see Kasey (Kahne) actually coming back to me -- that made me feel pretty good. Then the lug- nuts on the wheels came loose and we only had two left so we had to pit. I took a chance to pit and just knew that the yellow flag would come out and it did. I got three laps down, but still thought we could be okay and pull off a decent finish. Then we got spun, which tore the back of the car up and made the wing higher -- that made us tighter. I guess the good thing was that we finished the race and at the end we were the fastest we had been all day."
How much did your team use tonight as a COT test? "I think once you go down a couple laps you do start to use the race a little more as a test. But we got the car better and we were competitive at the end. It's the little things that we look at -- we were a lot better than we were when we showed up here the first time and we ran 85 more laps than we did here last time. Considering this is the first time we've raced in nine weeks, it wasn't like we were just running around in the back -- we were competitive. It may not have looked that way, but we were. Now we can go to California knowing we can make a race again and go do it."
-credit: toyota motorsports