Dave Blaney finished sixth in the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry -- recording his second consecutive top-10 after finishing third last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The No. 55 NAPA Camry of Michael Waltrip finished 10th -- equaling his best finish...
Dave Blaney finished sixth in the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry -- recording his second consecutive top-10 after finishing third last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The No. 55 NAPA Camry of Michael Waltrip finished 10th -- equaling his best finish of the season (Michigan-June). AJ Allmendinger earned his career-best NNCS finish tonight when he ended up 15th in his No. 84 Red Bull Camry. The No. 00 Domino's Camry of David Reutimann finished 29th after making contact with the outside wall on lap one of the 337-lap race. Jeremy Mayfield finished 39th in his No. 36 360 OTC Camry after experiencing gear box problems that forced him to the garage for repairs.
Ten top-10 finishes have been earned by Camrys this season. Brian Vickers had a fifth-place finish at Charlotte in May, and he finished 10th at California (February), eighth at Michigan (August) and eighth at California (September). Other top-10s have been registered by Michael Waltrip (No. 55 NAPA Camry), who finished 10th at Michigan in June and 10th at Charlotte in October, and Dave Blaney was ninth at Indianapolis in July, sixth at Michigan (August), third at Talladega (October) and sixth at Charlotte (October).
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Finished: 6th
How was your race tonight? "We got fortunate there at the end because we didn't necessarily have a sixth-place car, but we hung in there all day. The pit crew was good -- they didn't make any mistakes -- and we were able to get another solid run. Coming off the run last week at Talladega, and then to get another top-10 here tonight -- that's real good for our team."
Has your team made any changes over the past two weeks resulting in back-to-back top-10 finishes? "Things had to average out eventually. We had a lot of strong runs early in the season and didn't have the finishes to back up those runs. We're getting a few now and things tend to average out most of the time. We're not doing anything different -- our team is doing the same things they were doing before, but now we're getting results. This is what we need to do to finish out the year -- just keep improving."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finished: 10th
How was your race tonight? "It's a good thing they're not drawing a picture by our night because it wouldn't have been pretty. We really didn't have a good set-up, but I should have known because during the final practice yesterday we kept battling back and forth -- loose and tight -- and we never could seem to get it quite right. Tonight that was the case again -- we couldn't get the car to do anything right. But, there toward the end of the race I got to run in the top groove. I wasn't going to come to pit road because I could run solid lap times up top and get a better finish. I'm real proud of my team for the effort. They did a great job on the fuel cell to make sure we could pick up all we could. The team really deserved a top-10 tonight, which is a great way to top off what has probably been the biggest week in the small history of this race team."
What does it mean to get a top-10 finish in your backyard? "I like Carolina and I would have liked to have run better throughout the night, but we ran well there at the end and that's what's important. Next week is a big deal for us because we haven't made a flat track race this season. Our team needs to figure out what we can take to Martinsville next weekend that is different than anything we've taken anywhere else. I'm a typical race car driver -- we got a top-10 tonight, had a great run, and I'm worried about next week."
How does it feel to have your career-best NNCS finish tonight? "That was a big deal. We needed that -- although we had made five races previously and then missed two -- to go out there and have a strong run from start to finish. We were close to that at Fontana, but there were times where we were way off there. But, here there was really only one run there where we kind of missed it. That last change they made was incredible -- that car was on fire. I was really pretty bummed to see that last yellow come out because I really thought we could have gotten up to sixth or seventh. There on that last restart we just couldn't get the motor to clean out and we lost about five positions because of that. It's one of those things where I love the top-15 finish, but right now it's tough because I know we could have easily had a top-10."
How steep was the learning curve was here tonight? "It's a tough deal to learn and Charlotte is a tough place to get around. A lot of credit goes to Brian (Vickers) -- he's helped me out a lot in getting around here. He's really helped me with the top line of this track because he is the master at it. I talked to Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. yesterday before the Busch race and running the Busch race also helped me a ton. But, tonight is a big deal and today gives me a lot of confidence and it gives our whole team confidence when we can have a race like this. Martinsville is going to be a totally different deal next week -- it's going to be a tough race to get in and once you're in it's going to be a tough place to run well. We've tested in preparation for next week and I know the momentum from tonight will help. Just to have this one race where we have run well -- it proves that we can do this as a team. At one point toward the end of the race I was able to pass Tony Stewart for position and that felt pretty good -- I'm not going to lie."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Domino's Pizza Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finished: 29th
JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Finished: 39th
-credit: toyota motorsports