Camry driver Kyle Busch (ninth) earned a top-10 finish after rallying from a blown tire halfway through the 500-lap race in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Toyota drivers Martin Truex Jr. (12th), Brian ...
Camry driver Kyle Busch (ninth) earned a top-10 finish after rallying from a blown tire halfway through the 500-lap race in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Toyota drivers Martin Truex Jr. (12th), Brian Vickers (15th) and Denny Hamlin (19th) also collected a top-20 finishes at the half-mile Tennessee oval.
Other Camry drivers in the race included Robby Gordon (22nd), Joey Logano (27th), Scott Speed (31st), Marcos Ambrose (33rd), David Reutimann (38th), Michael Waltrip (41st), Dave Blaney (42nd) and Joe Nemechek (43rd).
This weekend, Logano earned his first career NSCS pole position -- the first for Toyota in 2010 and at 19 years of age -- he also became the youngest NSCS pole award winner in series history.
Six Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings after Bristol, including Busch (10th), Vickers (14th), Logano (17th), Speed (18th), Hamlin (19th) and Truex (20th).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your race car today? "It just wasn't the kind of car we wanted to bring back here to Bristol. We just worked from behind all weekend long. The right front went down and I got into the wall there in about the middle of the race and things didn't look good. The guys never gave up and I never gave up and somehow we got a decent finish out of it. We need to do some more work for when we bring this M&M's Camry back here in August. We want to run better, but you need to make the bad days the best you can if you want to make the Chase and have a shot at a championship. We did what we needed to do today."
DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was the race today overall? "I'm really proud of this M&M's crew here. We worked so hard all weekend. We came here with a setup, the exact same setup that the 18 car won the last two races with. We knew the car would be free off the truck. We just waited for the track to come to us and it never did. We were so loose in qualifying - about spun out and qualified terrible, qualified 38th. Then Saturday morning we went the other way, tightened it up, jumped the fence and spent Saturday afternoon undoing it. These guys worked their butt off, they never gave up, and they never questioned what they were working on. To come out of here with a ninth-place finish, I know Kyle's (Busch) won the last two and I would have liked to have made it three-in-a-row, but I'm pretty proud of this team to get a top-10 out of that."
Did the tire catch you off guard? "It did, the tire deal definitely caught us off guard. Goodyear supplies tire data and we knew that the balance would be a little bit different than last year, but we didn't think it was going to be that much different. The first thing that caught our attention was how much it changed the balance. Then in practice there were no indications of a problem. Our tires looked fine, our wears looked good, our tire temps were good. We heard that a couple guys had some small blisters so we actually got pretty conservative and backed out some camber this morning, knowing it would hurt the turning of the car, but I didn't want to damage the tire. We still had some issues. I'm not sure, it could be setup, could be tire, could be track - we'll look at everything."
Were you surprised to get a top-10 finish after the problems during the race? "We've had a couple top-10 cars this year, we didn't get those finishes. Now we probably didn't have a top-10 car, but we got the top-10 finish. Definitely a positive change for us, but we have some work to do. We are trying to build this program. There's no magic - you're not going to come here, wave a magic wand and start winning every race. Chad (Knaus, 48 crew chief) and Jimmie (Johnson) have been at it for a long time and they built a solid program -- we're just trying to follow suit."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How was your race car today? "We had a decent car all day. Really just struggled with being tight in the center and we never could quite get it fixed. We were hanging out between eighth and 12th pretty much all day. Not the last run, but the run right before that we made an adjustment trying to go for it and it was the wrong way and it killed us. We lost and fell back to I don't know, 14th or somewhere deep in the teens. So to come back to 12th with that last adjustment, I was happy and just needed a little more time. The car was actually really good at the end. Little frustrated about it, but 12th is not a bad day. We'll take it."
How did the handling of your car change with weather conditions between the practice sessions and today? "It changed a lot after the first (practice) session yesterday. We were really good in the first session, we kind of struggled in the second. We kind of struggled with the same thing we struggled with all day today, which was just trying to get the car turning. It just wasn't turning quite good enough to be as fast as some of those leaders. We'll keep working on it. The guys did a great job on pit road again as usual. Pat (Tryson, crew chief) did good with the car. We finally stayed out of trouble for once and got us a finish. I'm looking forward to Martinsville and improving on our program a little bit more."
How did your car handle in the race? "For the first part of the race we were loose all the way through. After the first pit stop, we made a wedge adjustment and our Red Bull Camry was tight in the center. The pit crew made adjustments through race and it got better as the race went on. We were involved in the incident on lap 341 and sustained rear damage and the rear bumper was dragging. The guys did a series of pit stops and fixed the car and after that it was best it had been all day. On the last pit stop we gambled for track position and took right side tires only. Unfortunately it made the car tight and we didn't gain anything. But all in all it was a decent day and we moved up two spots in points."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your race today? "We fought an ill handling car most of the day. We just couldn't get any grip. The FedEx Express team did everything we could -- we just couldn't find a solution to our problem. When we cut down the tire that definitely put us in a bad situation. We struggled through the race to get better, but never did all afternoon. I'm just looking forward to Martinsville, that's where I've had most of my success. Hopefully we'll have a better run in our FedEx Toyota."
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Warner Music Nashville/Blake Shelton Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
What happened that took you out of the race? "Something broke and we're done. Really disappointing, but I have to thank Aaron's and everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing - everybody at Toyota and Toyota Racing Development. They have been building me great motors all year and stuff happens sometimes -- just happened to be our turn today. Disappointing, but what are you going to do? I felt like we had a really good car and this was not the way we wanted to finish. My team did an outstanding job. This was the best thing I ever drove here, by far. I think my mouth hurts from smiling so much - it was just that much fun. We'll have to do it again next time we come back."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 FrontRowJoe.com Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
-source: toyota motorsports