Denny Hamlin earned a fifth-place finish in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway. Camry drivers Brian Vickers (11th) and Michael Waltrip (18th) also finished in the top-20 Sunday afternoon. Other ...
Denny Hamlin earned a fifth-place finish in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway.
Camry drivers Brian Vickers (11th) and Michael Waltrip (18th) also finished in the top-20 Sunday afternoon.
Other Camrys in the field included Dave Blaney (22nd), David Reutimann (24th), Tony Stewart (26th), Ken Schrader (28th), Kyle Busch (29th), Scott Speed (30th) and Mike Bliss (39th).
In the NSCS 'Chase for the Sprint Cup,' Stewart fell to eighth in the unofficial point standings. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Hamlin (11th) and Busch (12th) are also in the top-12.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
How was your race car today? "If you had a Hendrick car you had a superior car over everyone else. It's just been like that ever since we've been here at Martinsville. Those guys have just got something figured out. They're building something into their race cars. It's not parts and pieces that you're changing here at the race track. We've done all that and we've maximized our race cars as best you can and we're at best a third-place car to the 24 (Jeff Gordon) and the 48 (Jimmie Johnson). We've just got to keep working on it and see if we can't get them later."
Does this fifth-place finish build your confidence for the rest of the 'Chase'? "It definitely feels good. It's a reliever for us. We needed to stop the bleeding for sure, so I'm excited to make it to the second half of this 'Chase'. We've had a rough start and a realistic goal for us is to try to get to the top six or seven in points and I think that's very feasible."
How much did the track differ from the spring race here at Martinsville? "The track was a little bit different. We had a little bit of temperature change -- looks like about 15 degrees warmer. Our car reacted basically the same as it did in the spring. We stayed where we were and everyone else caught up and passed us."
Did you have a top-five car today? "We did and we lost it there at the end. It just didn't seem to be as strong in those last two runs. We made some adjustments on that second-to-last stop and it really hurt the car. We didn't have a really good short run car anyway, but really proud of the Red Bull guys. This was probably our best short track car that we've ever had. That has been our weakest link at Red Bull since we started and just really proud of the effort. We probably had a top-five car if the race played out the right way."
What were you fighting in the car on the final runs? "Just traction off (the corner). On the new tires, for some reason, we just didn't seem to have the traction off that the other guys did. I just really seemed to fight that, but later in the run it didn't seem to affect us as much. They seemed to really be able to get the throttle down and I couldn't."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
How was your car towards the end of the race? "I got into the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) there towards the end of the race and that got us behind. I am sorry for the guys for that because we were having a real solid run. We need to work on getting these cars to turn better in the corners and that is something we will work on during the off-season."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing
Finishing Position: 22nd
How was your car handling today? "I never thought we got that thing handling very good. There were times during the race where we could run pretty good -- especially on the long run, we could get pretty good. The car just wasn't very good on the short runs or early in the run. We were just average. We got what we could get and survived it -- we didn't get turned around any. We struggled yesterday in practice and at times we got better today. Then we had a couple bad runs and lost the car and we were kind of done."
How was your first NSCS race? "After practice we thought we would be able to come through the field. We really struggled today -- we had brake issues all day long. This is a really long day when you have 500 laps to complete. The good thing is that we picked up some spots in the points and we completed all 500 laps."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 24th
TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 26th
KEN SCHRADER, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racin g
Finishing Position: 28th
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 29th
MIKE BLISS, No. 00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 39th
-credit: toyota motorsports