. Nine Toyota Camrys started today's rain-delayed Auto Club 500 -- equaling the most Camrys to start a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race. Nine Camrys also started last weekend's Daytona 500. . Kyle Busch took over the NSCS point lead with his...
. Nine Toyota Camrys started today's rain-delayed Auto Club 500 -- equaling the most Camrys to start a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race. Nine Camrys also started last weekend's Daytona 500.
. Kyle Busch took over the NSCS point lead with his fourth-place finish in today's race. This marks the first time a Toyota Camry has been the point leader in NSCS. Busch is currently six points ahead of Ryan Newman in second and 25 points ahead of teammate, Tony Stewart in third. Busch is also currently leading the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) point standings.
. Two Toyota Camrys finished in the top-10 today at Auto Club Speedway -- Busch finished fourth and Stewart finished seventh.
. The best finish for a Camry driver in the Sprint Cup Series is third- place. Stewart ended up third in this year's season-opener at Daytona, and Dave Blaney finished third at Talladega last season (10-7-07).
. A year ago, Camry drivers led a total of 166 laps across 16 different races. This year, Camry drivers have led 155 laps in the first two races of the year at Daytona (138 laps) and California (17 laps).
. Toyota drivers have recorded two pole positions since the start of the 2007 season. Dave Blaney started first at New Hampshire (6-29-07) and Michael Waltrip captured the pole position at Talladega (10-6-07).
. The 2007 season was Toyota's first year competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), formerly the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.
. This year, five teams will field 11 full-time Camrys in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- Bill Davis Racing (Nos. 22 and 27), Hall of Fame Racing (No. 96), Joe Gibbs Racing (Nos. 11, 18 and 20), Michael Waltrip Racing (Nos. 00, 44 and 55) and the Red Bull Racing Team (Nos. 83 and 84).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Can you assess your second race of the season? "It's a good championship point's day. It was pretty cool out there to run the way we did in our Interstate Batteries Toyota. Unfortunately we didn't have quite the car to get up there and contend with those boys at the end, but overall a good day and that's all we can ask for."
Was your car as strong today as it was last night? "We had a great race car, but not quite as good as those guys at the end. The 24 (Jeff Gordon), 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and 99 (Carl Edwards) were real strong, we knew that from the beginning and in practice. Overall a good day -- a good solid point's day for us -- we'll take it. When you don't have a winning car all you can ask for is a top-five, so it's cool. The ultimate goal is to be in first-place in points all year."
How did the track change from last night to today? "Our car was good all day, it just wasn't great. Last night it was definitely pretty cool and we had a lot of grip on the race track -- it was pretty fast. There with older tires and what not, it tends to have more grip. I don't know this track really, really suits those Roush cars. I don't know if it's in their shock package or what. We have to go to work on something to find some grip and the longevity in the car, but overall a good day. It was cool to race with the 24 (Gordon) and 48 (Johnson) like that -- we aren't teammates anymore, but still we respect each other. That was fun. We'll take a fourth-place finish and a good championship point's day when we can if we don't have the car to win."
How did your brush with the wall affect the handling of your car? "At that point it hurt us a little bit. We still came down pit road running second or third -- something like that. It wasn't too bad at the point. Overall the car would run from the bottom to the top and the top to the bottom all day. There at the end it was just so loose getting into the corner I had to keep it on the bottom to slow it down and catfish and bottom-feed it. Not really do anything too out of control in order to make up ground and keep ground."
Are you excited to be the point's leader? "It doesn't mean much right here in California. If the championship was paid for -- 'woo hoo, yeah for us' -- but we've still got 33 weeks left in this deal. We'll take it now and hopefully hold on to it for a while and keep battling with the 24, 48 -- we know they'll come back strong in the points. There's going to be some other contenders, too."
TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How much did the difference from racing last night to today affect your car? "We had pretty much the same balance from last night to today so it didn't really seem like the change from day to night affected our car too much."
Were you able to see more of a difference with the Toyota engine here at a flatter track versus the superspeedway last weekend? "We need a little work right now, in all honesty. They had some problems earlier in the week and so they tamed them down for this week to make sure they would live and they did. I would rather make it live than take a chance on it being fast and not making it to the end here. That's part of the learning curve and part of the growing pains when you change like this -- trying to find what you have to do and some days you're not going to have it perfect. We'll get it there -- it's just going to take a couple weeks."
How has your team improved? "We've definitely had some good runs. A lot of it is just not giving up and overcoming adversity. We had a really good car in Daytona -- great engine, great car -- we were fast and had some bad luck with the tire going down. Here, it was not as good as a car. Truth be told, we probably had a 20th or so place car but, through great pit strategy the guys made great pit calls and adjustments on the car to get it the best we could. There are things we need to be a lot faster and we couldn't change that in a race -- we have to fix it at the shop. We made it the best we could and came out with a solid finish."
How much of a concern is it when they say you'll take two tires on the last pit stop? "The first time is always a big question mark. Some tracks like it and some tracks don't. It depends on the setup of your car and how the balance is. Fortunately it worked out okay for us. Obviously we weren't as good as we would have been on four, but the track position was worth it. The first time you do it there's always that concern, but you do it soon enough in the race that if you loose a little bit because of it you can rebound from that. The later we do it in the race, the more comfortable we are with it."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip
How did the handling of your car change from last night to today? "We danced around a little bit of a problem that we had that the car didn't like. When we finally got the adjustment that addressed the situation, which was really, really loose in then the car was too tight. We had to go back and start undoing the stuff that we had done to make it tighter. That definitely hurt us and there at the end we had a good car. We were within and tenth of two of the leaders, but by then it was too little, too late. You can't make up that much of a deficit. The car just wasn't that happy today. Early on we had lots of yellows and we could make those adjustments, but then when we had the long green flags that got us behind a little."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing
What did your team struggle with in today's race? "We struggled more this weekend than we have in the whole time that I've been with the CAT car. It was a disappointing weekend. We didn't have much practice and we weren't very good in practice so we didn't have much of a chance to make it any better for the race. It was disappointing all the way around, but hopefully we learned something. We just couldn't get the car stuck to the race track at all, it just kept slip-sliding around. We struggled trying to get any grip and we couldn't seem to make an improvement. Everybody's frustrated right now, but we'll go home and try to learn something."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip
J.J. YELEY, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
-credit: toyota motorsports