Four Camrys started today's race: Brian Vickers (21st), Dave Blaney (31st), Johnny Benson (36th) and Jacques Villeneuve (41st). Toyota has two poles this season. Blaney started first at New Hampshire in June and Michael Waltrip captured the pole...
Four Camrys started today's race: Brian Vickers (21st), Dave Blaney (31st), Johnny Benson (36th) and Jacques Villeneuve (41st). Toyota has two poles this season. Blaney started first at New Hampshire in June and Michael Waltrip captured the pole at Talladega in October. Camry drivers have two top-five finishes this season. Blaney finished third at Talladega in October, and Brian Vickers finished fifth at Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.
Toyota Camry drivers have earned 11 top-10 finishes this season. In addition to Vickers' fifth-place finish at Charlotte, he has a pair of eighth-place finishes at Michigan (Aug.) and California (Sept.), as well as a pair of 10th-place finishes at California (Feb.) and Atlanta (Oct.). Waltrip has two 10th-place finishes at Michigan (June) and Charlotte (Oct.). Blaney finished third at Talladega (Oct.), was sixth twice -- once at Michigan (Aug.) and again at Charlotte (Oct.), and ninth at Indianapolis (July). Two Camrys finished in the top-10 at Michigan (Aug.) for the first time in NNCS competition when Blaney finished sixth and Vickers finished eighth. Two Camrys also finished in the top-10 at Charlotte (Oct.) when Blaney was sixth and Waltrip finished 10th. Camry drivers have led a total of 163 laps across 15 races in NNCS events this season. Vickers has led the most of the Camry contingent with 106 laps led over seven races (Atlanta, Bristol, Texas, Charlotte, Michigan, California and Talladega-2). Blaney has led 39 laps over six races (Atlanta, Richmond, Darlington, New Hampshire, Kansas and Talladega-2). Mayfield has led six laps over three races (Bristol, Charlotte and Watkins Glen), and Waltrip has led eight laps over three races (Michigan, Dover-2 and Talladega-2). Reutimann led one lap at California (Sept.) and two laps at Talladega (Oct.). Allmendinger led one lap at Atlanta (Oct.).
How was your car handling today? Did you lose your brakes out there? "We lost our brakes again and the balance was changing substantially in the run from front to rear. The brakes started locking and I was having to push the pedal in going into the corner and then pull it back with my foot. We missed on the stuff a little bit. Randy (Cox, crew chief) did a good job making the car substantially better all day. We just have to figure the COT out -- we have to figure out what these things want for the front-end geometry, shocks, camber and all that stuff. We are not getting out of the tire what we need to get out of it. We realize that and we are working hard at it. We have to just keep working."
Are you looking forward to the season finale? "Man, it's been a long year. I'm excited to put the year behind us. To be honest, I'm excited to drive these real race cars for one last time. These COT's are far from a real race car. It's going to be fun to get at least one last run in the old car."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Finishing position: 31st
What happened when you spun out on the backstretch on lap 234? "I just lost it all by myself. All day we were really loose and really tight -- we were just all over the place. I don't know, I just lost it there a little bit. That's how we were running all day -- we weren't very good."
Is your team ready to run the COT full-time next season? "We are obviously not ready -- we have a lot of learning to do. We're hit and miss. Sometimes we are good and other times we aren't. We need to find what it takes to be more consistent."
Are you looking forward to the season finale? "I'm just ready to be done for a couple of weeks."
JACQUES VILLENEUVE, No. 27 UNICEF Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Finishing position: 41st
What happened to take you out of the race when you spun on the backstretch on lap 138? "We were all the way up there and there was someone on the inside and I didn't know there was someone on the outside and I just noticed them once I was already spun and touched them. I'm not sure what exactly happened and I'm very sorry."
What do you think of your first trip to this flat one-mile oval? "It was fun once we got the car running better. Earlier in the race it was a little challenging."
Did you gain the experience you needed with today's race? "We got enough laps there. The car was very tight there and we fixed it with pit stops then it became fine and we were fighting our way back."
What does it mean to you having three Indy 500 champions racing here? "It means that the series is becoming more and more popular and everyone wants to get in it."
-credit: toyota motorsports