Camry driver David Reutimann earned his career-first Sprint Cup Series win in today's rain-shortened race a Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway. Today's win marks the fourth NSCS win for Toyota in 2009 and 14th win since joining the series in ...
Camry driver David Reutimann earned his career-first Sprint Cup Series win in today's rain-shortened race a Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Today's win marks the fourth NSCS win for Toyota in 2009 and 14th win since joining the series in 2007.
Reutimann has made the most starts in a Toyota with 224 total Toyota starts (74 NSCS, 74 Nationwide Series and 76 Camping World Truck Series starts).
Four additional Camry drivers finished in the top-10 in today's race - Robby Gordon (third), Brian Vickers (fifth), Kyle Busch (sixth) and Joey Logano (ninth).
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Denny Hamlin (11th), Scott Speed (18th), Marcos Ambrose (26th), Dave Blaney (28th), Michael Waltrip (30th), Joe Nemechek (37th), Scott Riggs (38th) and Max Papis (42nd).
Five Camry drivers are in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS driver points -- Hamlin (fifth), Busch (sixth), Reutimann (13th), Vickers (16th) and Ambrose (20th).
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How does it feel to win your first Sprint Cup Series race? "What are you going to say? It certainly wasn't the prettiest win, but somebody has to win these things. Rodney (Childers, crew chief) made a great call and told me to stay out. We need to come in and work on this thing to make it as good as we need to anyway and we're probably going to lose some positions on pit road so we just stayed out and took a gamble. I have to thank Aaron's, Lowe's Foods, Sprint and most of all the fans for hanging out here all day long. They've been troopers here. It feels really good. When you envision yourself winning your first Sprint Cup race you envision it a little bit different. It's so hard to win these deals that we'll just take them any way we can get them."
What does it mean to have your father ('Buzzie' Reutimann) here today? "It's the fact that he's here. We always talked about the fact that we were going to mess around and win one of these things and he wasn't going to be here. Fortunately whether it was the truck series, the Nationwide Series and now the Cup Series - he's been here for all of them. It feels pretty good."
What does it mean to have Darrell Waltrip announcing your win in today's race? "I have to thank DW (Darrell Waltrip) - he gave me my first shot and I know he was going to fire me or he probably wanted to with all the stuff I was tearing up, but I appreciate the whole Waltrip family for sticking beside me. Michael Waltrip gave me the opportunity to go racing in the Cup Series when nobody would have ever even thought of giving me the opportunity. We got this one today and hopefully the next one we will earn it."
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Jim Beam Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 3rd
What was your strategy with the rain in today's race? "Part of it was watching the computer screen. We were sitting there 20th or 21st and sat there and watched it. We knew if we pitted then we were going to come back out 21st or something like that. If we stayed out then we had an opportunity to finish in the top-five and we didn't know how many people were going to stay out. Ryan's (Newman) crew was on their game and so was (David) Reutimann on theirs. We were probably a 15th place car - ran with Kyle (Busch) for a long time on that one long run. When you start back in the back it's just hard to pass. We worked our way to 18th at one point and we were running 20th when that caution came out."
What can NASCAR do about big races like Daytona and Charlotte being rain-shortened? "It was just unfortunate - Mother Nature just didn't cooperate. They obviously tried to dry it (race track) time and time again. I didn't think it would get called this early, but at the same time we've got to have cars back at the race track next Friday and we are here in Charlotte, but it is Monday - its not a Sunday race. It's going to be a short week already for our guys. There's more rain coming and they've tried for a while. I'll take third - lucky for us, but unfortunate for the fans who obviously paid good money to come and watch a good race and I think NASCAR did a good job trying to get the track back green again."
What does this finish do for your program? "For me this is a momentum builder for us. We've had some decent runs - we finished 15th at Richmond a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately we got caught up early at Darlington - success breeds success and I think this will only help us. We've been focusing really hard on our race cars and this is another clean race car that we get to bring home so that will help us as far as building up ammunition to go to the race track with."
How do you feel about the rain shortening today's race? "I'm disappointed -- would have liked to have finished the race because I know we had a car capable of winning. It would mean so much to get a win at Lowe's. We get closer and closer to winning each time we come here. We'll just have to wait a few months longer (until October) for another chance. NASCAR did a good job trying to get this thing in for the fans -- the weather just didn't cooperate. Fifth is a decent finish and good points day for us."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How strong was your race car? "We had a fast Camry - that M&M's Toyota was pretty good there on the short runs. We were making gains on it there for the long runs too. Getting stuck in traffic kind of hurt us. Weather - you can't do anything about it really. We knew it was coming, we knew it was here, but we weren't going to be able to ride around under caution for more than five laps. That was all we had of fuel left. We had to come down and put gas in it. Fortunately a lot of guys like us took four tires so we didn't lose that much ground. The 99 (Carl Edwards) and the 83 (Brian Vickers) took two (tires) so they got out in front of us. It only hurt us two spots so we finish sixth."
STEVE ADDINGTON, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How do you feel about the outcome of the race?
"I was looking at the radar all day long and the rain would get close to us and break up, we'd get a few little sprinkles in and they'd stop the race. I thought we'd wait to later than 6:30 to call this since they do have lights here. I'm running a different race than they [NASCAR] are running. I'm racing against the guys that we raced against all day long and if it went back green, we were sitting in the catbird seat again. I'm just really proud of Kyle (Busch) and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing and all these guys on this team because they worked their butts off and we had a sixth-place finish to show for it after leading the most laps again."
What can you take away from this race? "We learned a lot. We hadn't run this setup here at Charlotte. We tried something different and I don't think we're that far off now -- we can take that to other places, even going into Dover this week."
Does Kyle Busch push the car too much even when he has a comfortable lead? "He knows -- I just let him drive and run his race. We got a little too loose there that one run, it was a change on a set of tires to fix what we thought he was saying and it was just too far. You never know - we're still learning some of this stuff. Just a little hiccup in the process today."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 9th
Do you think you would have gained more positions if the race went back to green? "I think one more green flag run would have been great and would have let me get by the guys that didn't get tires. The Home Depot Toyota was really good. We lost our brakes after one of the rain delays. I was taking care of my brakes and getting in (the corners) easier and actually was running faster that way. Apparently there's something there and hopefully it will help us in the future. Usually it rains out when we're ninth - that's my best finish and this will be the third time. Hopefully I can get this thing in the top-five one of these days. I learned a lot today and this was probably one of the best runs that we've had since Darlington even. I'm happy we're running good again - that's cool."
How strong was your race car today? "We had a very good car - on the long run we were real good. Just a tough deal - I think we had a top-five car at the end of the runs there - not as good. I killed the brakes on it probably 150 laps into the deal and just had to start changing around my line a little bit and it actually helped me - just not driving into the corners as hard and not abusing the right-front (tire) as much. It actually helped me a lot - hopefully for the future too. That was good and overall we learned a lot and we can keep building on the momentum over here at the 20 team. Hopefully we can go to Dover and do the same thing again."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Kingsford/Clorox Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 26th
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Prism Motorsports
Finishing Position: 28th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 30th
What does it feel like to get your first win as a team owner in NSCS? "It's incredible to be able to progress from where we were in '07 as a new organization, and then compete all throughout the latter half of '08 and into '09 at a level I've been really proud of. We've seen cars run in the top five, a couple of solid finishes for me last year late in the season with a chance -- late in the race at Daytona with a chance to win. I'm real proud of the progression and real proud of the job that David (Reutimann) did today. Obviously his crew chief made an awesome call. I think they were surprised that more people ahead of them didn't make the same call. But what a great call. You got to be proud of the result because these things are really hard to win. David (Reutimann) and I both have been in position to win races before, had fate take it away from us. So I like to think of this as payback. David (Reutimann) won the race, and I couldn't be happier.
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 37th
SCOTT RIGGS, No. 36 Toyota Camry, Tommy Baldwin Racing
Finishing Position: 38th
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 42nd
-credit: toyota motorsports