Toyota Camry drivers Kyle Busch (third) and David Reutimann (10th) earned top-10 finishes in tonight's race. Reutimann's result was his career-best NSCS finish. His previous best result was a 13th-place finish at Richmond last year. Other...
Toyota Camry drivers Kyle Busch (third) and David Reutimann (10th) earned top-10 finishes in tonight's race.
Reutimann's result was his career-best NSCS finish. His previous best result was a 13th-place finish at Richmond last year.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Dave Blaney (17th), Tony Stewart (18th), AJ Allmendinger (20th), Denny Hamlin (24th), Michael Waltrip (27th), Michael McDowell (32nd), J.J. Yeley (38th) and Brian Vickers (42nd).
Camry drivers have earned 15 top-five finishes and 24 top-10 finishes in 2008.
Busch extended his lead in the unofficial NSCS point standings with his third place finish. Busch is 94 points ahead of second-place Jeff Burton.
Other Camry drivers in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings include Hamlin (fourth), Stewart (eighth) and Vickers (20th).
Busch earned the fourth NSCS pole for Toyota and his second this season for tonight's race.
Toyota had the pole at all three NASCAR Series races this weekend -- Busch (NSCS), Vickers (NNS) and Johnny Benson (NCTS).
KYLE BUSCH, M&&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Can you talk about the battles your team faced tonight? "We'll take it (third-place) -- we just didn't have the car capable on the long runs to run up front tonight and win this thing. It's just unfortunate for us, but we'll take it and go on with a good points night."
What were your thoughts on the race? "I don't know -- I guess it was a long one. That's why it's always so weird here because of the extra 100 miles at the end to make in 600. I don't even know what happened to Tony (Stewart) to be honest with you. I didn't even see him fall out. We soldiered on and fought a lot of issues there. We just didn't have the car to do it on the long run like the 9 (Kasey Kahne) did. We gave our all, but our all wasn't good enough tonight."
What issues specifically were you facing tonight? "We had battery issues -- the battery just kept going dead for whatever reason. I don't know if the alternator broke or if we broke a wire or what happened to it. We'll figure it out."
How do you continue to have success regardless of the adversity? "We do, but we got up to the lead there and I thought we were pretty safe. Somehow, out of nowhere , Kasey's (Kahne) car just took off and ours got too tight, and I just couldn't drive it."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
How exciting is it to get your career-best NSCS finish tonight in Charlotte? "It was a good effort for everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota did a great job -- UPS for sticking with us through this whole program and we haven't really done much to deliver any good finishes. I think this is maybe a start for things to come and I appreciate them sticking with me and everybody at the shop. I managed to run the top side of the race track all night without knocking the right side off, so that's a good start. I enjoyed it -- the guys did a great job and the pit stops were good. All in all our team's coming together and I can't wait until the next race."
Did this race seem really long tonight? "We're passing cars and moving up through there and the next thing you know they're telling me the race is half over. The bottom line is that the car drives good so it doesn't wear on you so bad. At Darlington, that was the hottest that I've ever been in a race car. My guys have done a real good job taking care of me by piping a little more air in there so I don't whine as much. All in all, I'm proud of my guys and I'm really pleased with tonight and had a good time."
What does this run say about your team? "We're doing what we should be doing right now. It's not any one thing -- it's a bunch of little things we're doing better. It just goes to show how tough this business is when a team like Hendrick can struggle for a race or two or whatever. It just shows you how competitive and how tough it is and there's no sure things in this business. I have to thank Toyota Racing Development because the motor ran flawless the whole race."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing
Finishing Position: 17th
How did your car change from day to night? "The last third of the race we were terrible. We just tried to hang on and we just couldn't get it balanced, and cou ldn't get it turning. For the first part of the race we were really kind of good, but we just kind of lost the handle on it. It was good for a while. We didn't get the finish we wanted, but we still ran good for a while and I don't know why we couldn't make a difference there at the end. Oh well, we made it all night."
GREG ZIPADELLI, Crew Chief, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened at the end of the race? "We got a flat -- another tire that wouldn't hold air. It's hard to believe. We were so loose that entire run because we knew we needed to be there at the end. It's just stupid. We must have run something over or had a small leak or something. I would say we lost a tire with a five-and-a-half second lead. I don't even know what to say -- I'm so frustrated. I feel bad for everybody at this Home Depot team. We kept digging and all day we did a good job. We knew we needed to keep our car where it was and it would be good at the end and we did exactly that and it just fell short." Were you on older tires?
"We just ran a little more than a fuel run and we were 15 laps short from taking it. There was no tire wear at all. We must have run something over, had a slow leak or something and it blew out because it happened pretty quick."
How important would it have been to win this race tonight? "Every race is important. We are a team that has run good most of the year and haven't capitalized on it due to circumstances like this and other situations. I don't care what weekend it is -- every race is important."
J.J. YELEY, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing Finishing
Can you tell us what happened in the incident between yourself and Dale Earnhardt Jr.? "The 24 (Jeff Gordon) looked like he was trying to stay on the lead lap. As they went into turn three, it looked like he moved the 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) up, he got in the marbles and bounced off the fence. I was running up in the same spot and I don't know why he slowed down as fast as he did, whether he was going to try to get to pit road, but he came to an abrupt stop there. I was just trying to get off the fence and get down out of the road and couldn't get turned quick enough and I ran in the back of him. When I did, it punctured the oil cooler and made it to where they are going to have to cut the front clip off this thing to get it going again. I was a lot faster running around the top. I just moved down to the bottom to let (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. go by and just passed another car and was getting my momentum built back up. As I dove into turn three, I saw him get up there and it didn't look like he was going to hit the fence and then he got into it. I just had no place to go and couldn't get slowed down and couldn't get turned and ran right into the back of him."
Have you figured out what happened to your race car? "No, I haven't. We knew we had a problem the last two runs and we had the left-rear wheel work loose toward the end of a run, but it stayed on. At the beginning of that run it started vibrating a little bit. The first time it happened was very gradual and the last time it happened it was very, very sudden. It was like one lap it started with the vibration and a couple guys got by me and the next lap it just completely came off. I really hate it for the Red Bull Toyota team. We were the fastest car on the race track and we were really moving and that was with the left-rear loose. Its a couple years now where we've led a lot of laps here and haven't been able to close one. Hopefully, we'll get one soon."
Could you feel the wheel starting to go? "The last couple runs it started to work loose a little bit and we weren't really sure exactly why. I have a lot of confidence in my pit crew guys -- they won the All-Star Challenge so we know they're good. We've got to get to the bottom of it for sure. We had such a fast car -- so, so fast. I'm just so proud of these Red Bull guys. That last time and every time it just sort of worked loose a little and it stayed on with just a slight vibration. The last time obviously it picked up a vibration for about two laps and then it just let go and came off the car. I really hate it for everybody on the team and also for that tire getting away. It's part of the sport, but we're going to find out where that thing went because I guess they went and took the tire away from them so we'll send them some Red Bull stuff."
How frustrating is it to have something happen for the second straight race here after having such a strong car? "It is definitely a little frustrating. This was the first race for the new chassis at Red Bull and I'm really proud of those guys -- they did an awesome job. Obviously, we were the fastest car here -- very similar to last year and we just didn't have the luck or something. We're missing something there to be able to seal the deal."
What did you think about where the tire landed? "I'm not really sure where it went, but somebody said that it got into the infield. Obviously all the fans are aware of that and its part of the sport. It happens very, very rare, but when it does happen we need to see why. We're going to find out exactly where it went and I guess NASCAR took the wheel from them because they want to find out what happened to it, but we're going to send them some stuff."
What does it say about your team to have run this well tonight? "It says a lot -- everyone at Red Bull does such a good job and works so hard. It's been a really long road. Last year was really difficult for everybody, but we've made so many gains. We just have to finish it off -- we've got it to where we can lead laps and where we can stay in the top-20 in points. Now we just have to finish it off where we don't have any problems week in and week out."
-credit: toyota motorsports