Denny Hamlin (second) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Hamlin led twice for 22 (of 300) laps. Hamlin tied his career best finish in the Chase,...
Denny Hamlin (second) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Hamlin led twice for 22 (of 300) laps.
Hamlin tied his career best finish in the Chase, also finishing second at Martinsville in 2006.
Camry driver Kyle Busch finished fifth in the race for the second consecutive weekend.
Brian Vickers (11th) and David Reutimann (12th) also recorded top-15 finishes at the one-mile New England oval.
In the NSCS 'Chase for the Sprint Cup,' Hamlin moved up one spot into the third position and is currently 35 points behind points leader Mark Martin. Vickers remains in eighth and is 90 points out of first-place with nine races remaining in the Chase.
Toyota drivers Marcos Ambrose (20th), Joey Logano (21st), Robby Gordon (24th), Michael Waltrip (27th), Scott Speed (31st), Mike Wallace (39th), Joe Nemechek (40th), Michael McDowell (41st) and Dave Blaney (42nd) were also in the field.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Are you happy with your finish today? "It was a solid run. We didn't really have a race-winning car until probably 50 to go after we came out there on the green-flag pit stop and we were catching the 5 (Mark Martin) and the 2 (Kurt Busch) really, really fast, a half second a lap, and I was like, 'Man, if this thing goes green we've got a shot at it.' The caution came out, and I knew that wasn't going to be good for us because it put us in the bottom lane. I got killed every single restart on the bottom lane, and I'd get stuck three-wide in the first corner and then I'd have to battle my way back. To come out second when I should have been about fifth with those restarts, I was pretty proud of that."
What was your reaction on the final lap? "With the lap car right there I checked up for the wreck. I think when the caution came out we were ahead but still a solid day. That's what our FedEx Freight team needed. We weren't that good on restarts and the 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) could really take off really well right there. So it was a great race until the end and we'll take it."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Can you talk about your race today? "That was a fight, man. I wish we could've done that last year. Unfortunately we are here in this predicament. Great effort by the whole M &M's team. The guys had flawless pit stops and Steve (Addington, crew chief) had good pit strategy today. We made the car a lot better. We made wholesale changes to this thing all day long. Congratulations to the old man. He looks like a kid again. Man, five wins. That's pretty cool. We're just trying to steal points from these guys. Like I said, I'm going to try to help out my teammate as much as I can win this championship. Today, I got up there and was able to battle through for a top- five and steal some points."
How much did this team battle back today? "We fought through a lot of adversity today. Steve and all the guys came to work and we did what we could. We changed this thing around from about a 30th place car to about a fifth. We did what we could. I'm proud of the effort because the pit stops were good. I said I was going to help out the 11 (Denny Hamlin) as much as we could, and we stole some points today."
Do you think you have a chance to win a race in these last nine? "I certainly hope so. I feel like we got some good tracks coming up that we could do some damage at. We got Charlotte, California, Talladega -- some good places for us. We just gotta work as hard as we can and try to do that. It's hard to race with those guys sometimes because you don't want to mix it up too much, but we didn't lay a fender on any of the Chasers' today and ended up pretty good."
Can you talk about your race today? "It's not a bad way to start the Chase. It's a good solid finish. We're not making it any easier on ourselves as a team. We started the weekend off and had a lot of engine problems in the first practice that put us about an hour and a half behind the competition. Then in the race, we had a lot of problems in the pits and some other problems that I think cost us an opportunity at a top-five. We still rallied for close to a top-10 and I'm really proud of that, but if we want to win this championship, we have to stop beating ourselves. That's kind of been our motto and we've done a really good job the past 10 weeks. We kind of got ourselves a little bit at the beginning of the weekend and a little bit in the race."
How important is it to start the Chase with a solid finish? "It could've been a lot worse. We could've had a bad day. We could've been in a wreck, we could've blown a motor or we could've blown a tire. It could be a lot worse than we are. We're pleased, but we're not satisfied. We need to be better and I know that we can be better."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 12th
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Bush's Best Baked Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 20th
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Sylvania Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 24th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
MIKE WALLACE, No. 64 Gunselman Motorsports Toyota Camry, Gunselman Motorsports
Finishing Position: 39th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 40th
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 36 Wave Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Tommy Baldwin Racing
Finishing Position: 41st
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Prism Motorsports Toyota Camry, Prism Motorsports
Finishing Position: 42nd
-credit: toyota motorsports