Denny Hamlin (fifth) was the top finishing Toyota in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Phoenix International Raceway. It was his 12th top -five Cup result of the 2008 season. Camry driver Kyle Busch (eighth) also earned a top-10...
Denny Hamlin (fifth) was the top finishing Toyota in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Phoenix International Raceway. It was his 12th top -five Cup result of the 2008 season.
Camry driver Kyle Busch (eighth) also earned a top-10 finish at Phoenix. It was his 21st top -10 in 35 Cup races this year.
Marcos Ambrose (18th) and Dave Blaney (20th) round out the top-20 Camry finishers at the one-mile oval.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Tony Stewart (22nd), Michael Waltrip (24th), David Reutimann (25th), Ken Schrader (27th), Scott Speed (40th) and Brian Vickers (42nd).
With one race remaining this season, Toyota 'Chase' racers sit ninth (Hamlin), 11th (Busch) and 12th (Stewart) in the point standings.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What are your thoughts about tonight's race? "It was a good run, for sure. We just struggled to find what we needed in this FedEx Ground Toyota. It was just a little bit off all day. If we could get out of pit road ahead of those guys, we probably could stay in front of them. Right there we were about a fifth-place car all night. It was a good points day for us and we got ourselves back in the top-10 -- that's what it's all about."
Are you glad you climbed a few spots in the 'Chase' standings? "It's important, it's a big deal. I missed it last year and watched it on TV. That part of it sucks, that's for sure. You want to get on stage and you want to thank your crew and thank your sponsors and everything -- they deserve it and have their driver up there on their driver up on that stage each and every year. I want to get up on stage and thank all these people that supported me -- all the FedEx employees. I wasn't able to give that to them last year so hopefully we'll do it this year."
What can we look forward to at Homestead? "A lot of people having a sigh of relief that the season is over, for sure. It's definitely been a long year for us. The traveling gets tough. We're just looking forward to hopefully solidifying our spot in the top-10."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your race? "We battled tight-loose all day and never really got it right. We've got a lot of work to do."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How was your race today? "I feel proud of the guys. It's a decent day for us. We're getting closer to the top-35. We'll go to Homestead with a lot of confidence."
How was the handling of your race car? "We had it for a while, then we lost it. We got it back, then we lost it. It was a great day for us. Every race I'm getting better and better with these guys and just really looking forward to next year."
How do you find driving the Cup car? "The cars are just hard to drive and they are hard to handle, and they are hard to feel comfortable in."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Bad Boy Mowers Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing
How was your race car today? "We've run better tonight than we've run on the flat tracks in a long time. It wasn't bad, we just couldn't quite get good enough. Any of the changes we made didn't really help us. We kind of had what we had -- we didn't really help it all day. We hung in there. If we had just been able to stay on the lead lap we would have been in good shape. We had one run where we just got down and the yellow came out."
Did you have any problems with your race car? "It was the same thing all weekend. It was really different from one end of the race track to the other. In turns three and four I felt fine, I had good speed through there. In turns one and two I was really, really tight when I laid into the brake pedal. We didn't really fix it all weekend."
TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened at the end of the race? "Whatever could go wrong there at the end, did. We went from running in the top-10 to getting wrecked -- twice."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
KEN SCHRADER, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing
What happened on the race track when the No. 38 of David Gilliland ended up on top of you? "There was a lot of smoke. My spotter said there's no one out there and I throttled down in the gas. We saw a spin and we all started stopping and that's where it ended. I tried to slow down, closed my eyes, screamed a little bit and it was all over. Honestly, I didn't see much. I got out as quick as possible because David (Gilliland) was still trying to get going and he was burning rubber all over me. Luckily, I don't think anyone got hurt."
What happened to make your Camry hit the wall entering turn three? "Something was getting loose -- I haven't the slightest idea what it was -- if it was a tire or a mechanical piece on the car. Luckily, it happened on the backstretch and I had time to lead into the impact and absorb some of it because it was a really good, hard hit. It's amazing how hard you can hit at short tracks sometimes. We had good car. We were coming back from unfortunately a bad qualifying effort and I'm really proud of the Red Bull guys. I think we would have had at least a good points day. I don't know if we could have gone for the win or not, but it's too late now."
-credit: toyota motorsports