Kansas Speedway - October 4, 2009 Denny Hamlin (fifth) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Kansas Speedway. Camry driver David Reutimann (eighth) also earned a top-10 at the ...
Kansas Speedway - October 4, 2009
Denny Hamlin (fifth) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Kansas Speedway.
Camry driver David Reutimann (eighth) also earned a top-10 at the one-and-a-half-mile oval in Kansas City.
Kyle Busch (12th) and Marcos Ambrose (14th) combined to give Toyota four top-15 finishes at Kansas.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Scott Speed (27th), Joey Logano (28th), Max Papis (32nd), Robby Gordon (34th), Brian Vickers (37th), Michael Waltrip (38th), Dave Blaney (40th) and Joey Nemechek (42nd).
Hamlin currently sits sixth in the unofficial NSCS point standings following Kansas, 99 points behind leader Mark Martin after three of 10 races in the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Vickers is 12th in the Chase, 250 points back.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Are you satisfied with your race today? "It was a solid run. I felt like maybe we could have finished a little better than that. That low lane just wasn't the place to be on the restarts -- lost a little bit right there with the 48 (Jimmie Johnson). It was a good day overall for our FedEx Freight team. It's better than what we usually run here. So, we're going to keep digging."
Is it good to get back on track after your performance at Dover? "Yeah, it definitely is. A solid run for us. We didn't need that caution at the end. I'm not sure the 16 (Greg Biffle) -- what his gas tank was going to allow him to do. I feel like our car was good. We got it better and better through the course of the day. I got on the inside line on that last restart behind the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and he was struggling with two tires. So, that held us up for a few laps and kept us from a top-two or three finish. Overall, it's still a good day for us."
What do you need to do to improve on the intermediate tracks? "We just need to get a little bit better in a lot of different areas. I have some ideas on what we need to do when we unload at the next mile-and-a-half that I think is going to put us in the ballpark closer. That way we can fine tune it in practice."
Does this finish help you get closer to the Chase leader Mark Martin? "It was good for us. I said if I could take a top-five today I'd be definitely really happy, but I just wish I had another shot on that restart and been on the outside lane instead of the inside. It's just the inside lane was really bad today. But, it was a good run for us. There was nothing but Chase guys up front, pretty much except for (David) Reutimann. We just got to keep chipping away at the lead. We're closer to the lead, but we also let a lot of guys get a little bit closer to us today."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
Are you happy with another top-10 finish? "We had a really, really good car at the beginning and then we kind of got off there through the mid-point and couldn't tighten it up. We had to tighten it up, then we got it too tight and then there at the end we had a right rear wheel loose and it was vibrating pretty bad, so we kind of just held on for what we could get there. All in all, it was a really good day. I had a good race car and the guys did a good job - pit stops were good. Everything went pretty well so I'm pretty encouraged. I felt like we could have been a little better there at the end but we still ended up okay."
Do you have a strategy for the rest of the season? "You just go as hard as you can to try to win races and try to learn some stuff for next year. It is really no different than your approach has been all year. We'll try to gain a little momentum through the last part of the season for the off-season."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 12th
Tell us about your day and what caused you to drop back at one point? "We didn't qualify well, but our M&M's Camry was strong enough to get up to the top -10 pretty early. We had a good car with the balance, but it didn't have enough speed. It still hung up there towards the front though. On one of those restarts, I got into some dirty air from the three cars racing in front of me and just misjudged it and got my right side into the fence. We had to tread water and wait until the next pit stop, but really proud of the guys for hanging in there, battling back, and getting that good of a finish after getting into the wall like that."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 14th
Can you talk about your race? "We had a good day. It was way better than what we had in practice. I think we made good inroads on our one-and-a-half-mile programs and I'm looking forward to next week."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 28th
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 32nd
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 MAPEI/Menards Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 34th
What happened to take you out of the race? "I just want to get out of Kansas to be honest with you. It's been a long weekend for me. I thought we had a good car today and we started out a little tight. It got worse and worse, and never could get a handle on it. I was up on top of the track trying to chase grip and find some grip. I got into the marbles and just lost it and that was completely my fault and I feel bad about it. I hate it for the guys. We just weren't as good as whole as we needed to be today. We just absolutely weren't. The engine was the only thing that just put us out of our misery. It's not what we wanted, obviously. We were really looking to get to a mile- and-a-half and have a good run, but what do you do ?"
Does this end your chances at the championship? "Anything is possible. I don't think we're out of it yet but it definitely doesn't help. It hurts quite a bit."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 38th
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Prism Motorsports Toyota Camry, Prism Motorsports
Finishing Position: 40th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 42nd
-credit: toyota motorsports