Denny Hamlin (third) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Daytona International Speedway. Camry driver Kyle Busch was leading on the last lap when he hit the wall while trying to hold...
Denny Hamlin (third) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Daytona International Speedway.
Camry driver Kyle Busch was leading on the last lap when he hit the wall while trying to hold onto the lead. He ended up finishing 14th.
Hamlin led six times for 63 (of 160) laps in the 400-mile race.
Toyota drivers Marcos Ambrose (sixth) and Brian Vickers (seventh) also earned top-10 finishes in the race.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Joey Logano (19th), Robby Gordon (22nd), Scott Speed (31st), David Reutimann (36th), Michael Waltrip (37th), Joe Nemechek (41st) Patrick Carpentier (42nd) and Dave Blaney (43rd).
Six Camry drivers are in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS driver point standings -- Hamlin (sixth), Busch (eighth), Reutimann (14th), Vickers (17th), Ambrose (18th) and Logano (20th).
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
What did you see on that final lap? "It's a lot like Talladega. The guy who is leading is at the mercy of the guy who's second -- and Kyle (Busch) was trying to do everything he can to hold that lead right there. Tony's (Stewart) doing everything he can to try to win. You can't put blame on anybody. They see the checkered flag --they're both going for a win."
Can you describe the last couple of laps? "I wanted one of our cars to win so I decided to go with the 18 (Kyle Busch) right there to get around the 14 (Tony Stewart). It was a move to help a teammate. Instead of us going for the win, I felt like our best shot was for us to push the 18 (Kyle Busch). We got him the lead -- it took us out of position and let the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) get around us. But, overall, still a good day for our whole FedEx Office team."
How strong where the cars leading the field? "It seemed like the first five or six cars could just pull away from the pack at times today. The track was slick so it took a little while for us to kind of get broken away. But, once we did it seemed like our car really came in. I was pretty proud of our day. We stayed up front."
How would you describe your night? "We had a great night. Our FedEx Office car was extremely strong. I don't think I've ever had a car this strong on a superspeedway. I'm proud of our whole team. We kept it in this whole deal with the pit stops, a strong car, led a bunch of laps and at least had a decent day."
What happened during the incident with Kurt Busch on the back straight where you went below the yellow line? "I think that was a similar deal where I had a pretty big run going and the 2 (Kurt Busch) saw me coming and went to block. I didn't want to cause the same wreck that happened in the 500. I mean, I felt like if they were going to black flag me I would have been okay with that versus causing a wreck. But, I didn't go more than -- my left side tires stayed on the yellow line. I'm not sure that they went below it. I think they saw it as more of an evasive move than a move to pass. I think that's probably what their judgment was."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Kingsford-Clorox-Bush's Baked Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How happy are you with your finish tonight? "It was a great night for us. We fought hard all day. I was sick this weekend and had to have an IV, but this sixth-place finish makes me feel 100 percent better. This is one way to clear up a severe cold. There was a lot of action on the track and it was intense. We were able to keep out of trouble. I just keep growing as a driver and I just want to thank Tad and Jodi (Geschickter) and my Little Debbie Toyota team for believing in me. This was just an amazing night and another strong finish for us. I can't wait to see the points."
Are you happy with your run tonight? "We got caught up in the big wreck early in the race -- I had nowhere to go to avoid it. The guys did a great job fixing the car and getting me back on track without losing a lap. Luck was not on our side today, but we made the most of it. I am really happy with the seventh-place finishing spot, especially considering the damage to the car."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 14th
STEVE ADDINGTON, crew chief, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened to Kyle Busch at the end of the race? "We went for it right there at the end. That's part of this. This is a product of restrictor-plate racing with these race cars. What are you going to say? Everybody on this race team worked their tails off and we had a good race car. I can't say anything. I'm not pointing any fingers at Tony (Stewart). He was trying to win the race, Kyle (Busch) was trying to block him for the win, and we got turned ar ound."
How disappointed is this for Kyle Busch and your team? "Oh yeah -- it's a big disappointment. We sat there, he was patient all night long and sat there and rode. Jeff (Dickerson, spotter) kept telling him to just click off laps and we didn't have any power issues. We were just fine. We took care of tires all night long and wanted to be there at the end because we needed to have a good points day and we were in a position to go for the win and he (Kyle Busch) did and we end up wrecked. What are you going to say? I appreciate Interstate Batteries and Toyota and everybody sticking with us and we'll just go to Chicago and try to win that one."
Do you think this incident was anyone's fault? "It's part of this racing. Everybody's done it before. I feel like this is what happens on the last lap coming to win the race. It's just unfortunate for us. We killed our car and we killed Zippy's (Greg Zipadelli, No. 20 crew chief) car, too. The 20 (Joey Logano) car was involved in it."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 19th
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 MAPEI/Menards Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 22nd
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 36th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 37th
What happened to force you out of the race? "There was smoke and you can't see anything. I was on the bottom. I saw smoke for maybe a second or two, and then the car in front of me stopped. Never did really hear anything out of the spotter as to what was going on. So, I really don't know."
What were your hopes for tonight? "To win. That was our goal. We were perfect at the start then we got off a little bit. We had adjusted back and we were making our way up back through there. So, we thought we could win."
Did you have any tire issues tonight? "No, but it's a shame. This storied race track -- what a wonderful place it is to race. And you can tell you are a little bit handcuffed by the tires -- and that's not any fun."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 41st
PATRICK CARPENTIER, No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Toyota Camry, Tommy Baldwin Racing
Finishing Position: 42nd
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Prism Motorsports Toyota Camry, Prism Motorsports
Finishing Position: 43rd
-credit: toyota motorsports