Denny Hamlin (fifth) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Pocono Raceway. It was the 29-year-old's seventh top-five result at Pocono in 10 starts and his eighth top-five finish of ...
Denny Hamlin (fifth) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Pocono Raceway.
It was the 29-year-old's seventh top-five result at Pocono in 10 starts and his eighth top-five finish of 2010.
Camry driver Martin Truex Jr. (ninth) also earned a top-10 finishes at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania oval.
Camry drivers David Reutimann (17th), Kyle Busch (23rd), Joey Logano (25th), Scott Speed (26th), Reed Sorenson (32nd), P.J. Jones (35th), Todd Bodine (37th), Marcos Ambrose (39th), Joe Nemechek (40th), Dave Blaney (42nd) and Michael McDowell (43rd) were also in the field.
Hamlin is currently in third in the unofficial NSCS point standings following Pocono -- 260 points behind leader Kevin Harvick. Busch sits sixth in the points -- 356 points behind Harvick. Reutimann (18th), Logano (19th) and Truex (20th) are also in the top-20 for Toyota.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
How was your race car in Sunday's race? "We just fought it all weekend. Had speed for a couple laps, but other than that it was just hard to get a handle on. We drove back up there as good as anyone with those tires at the end, but track position was so important that we just couldn't overcome it. We didn't have a car that could overcome it like we had in the past."
Were you prepared for the race to be shortened due to weather? "We didn't want it to end in rain and that was a good thing that everyone made the effort to get this race completed. It's a good weekend, but obviously we're a little disappointed because we feel like we should win here."
How was the handling on your car? "It just didn't have the power or the things that the cars usually have when we come here. Even when I would get stuck in second, third, fourth -- I usually was able to drive by those guys with a better handling car and today we had about the fifth-best handing car and that's where we ended up."
Did you think you had a shot at the win today? "We definitely feel that we could have won here and it was a great opportunity, but at this point we could win just about anywhere. We still have five more."
Could you have challenged for the win if the race hadn't gone green at the end? "We just didn't have enough laps there. In the previous races where we came from mid-pack there at the end, we had a few cautions to help. We just didn't have those cautions today and truthfully, we didn't really have the race-winning car like we had here in the past. We fought this car all weekend, but it's a new car and sometimes it takes a while to get the bugs out. We came through there as good as anyone with those tires."
How important was track position in the race? "It was just hard to get any track position. Track position, like Indy, anyone that could get out front would really take off. Greg (Biffle) and those guys chose to take two (tires) and with no cautions, that's the right call. If there's cautions at the end that bottle the field back up, it might not be the best call. Things worked out kind of against our strategy there towards the end, but that's what happens."
Was this a fifth-place car? "Our car was about that far off all day. We just couldn't get the handle on it and never really had a dominant car like we had in the past. It was a new car so we kind of have to work through things, but still, we came through the field as good as anyone I guess you could say. To get a top-five, I'm fortunate really that the race went the distance."
Did you think the race was going to be crazier at the end? "I told my spotter to stay on his toes because you know how these last few restarts usually are at Pocono. It's a typical Pocono race, you have guys out front that didn't take as good of tires or two tires or no tires and then the guys with four tires about mid- pack trying to go forward. That's where it usually causes disaster, but today everyone kept it clean at the end. I saw there was a bad wreck in the middle. It just worked against our strategy, we were hoping for a caution there at the end."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip
Finishing Position: 9th
How was your race? "It was okay. I guess ninth is a pretty decent result for our NAPA Toyota looking back on Friday and how bad we were when we got here. The guys worked hard all weekend. Like I said, we struggled on Friday, struggled during qualifying and worked real hard on Saturday throughout practice. We made a lot of head way. At the start of the race we weren't very good throughout the race. A little bit of strategy played into it. We were sitting about 12th before we took the two tires, so we gained a few spots. We were about a 12th or 15th-place car and we finished ninth. That's the kind of days we like to have and the kind of days we've needed to have for the last two months, we've just been caught in wrecks. I'm just glad we got a decent finish out of the NAPA Toyota and I'm proud of all the guys on the team."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael
Finishing Position: 17th
What did you think of today's race? "That was a tough day. I feel like I raced as hard as I could, we had a good Aaron's Dream Machine most of they day, but it just didn't work out for us. The weather made things a little crazy as far as strategy -- some cars taking two tires, some taking four, some taking fuel only. We had a couple red flags, some rain. It seems like we had a little bit of everything today. I just wish we could have finished a little better. We'll keep working on it and try again next week."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened to the race car today? "This was a tough race for this M&M's Toyota Camry. The guys worked really hard today. We thought we had a really good car coming off the truck Friday. I freed the car up a little bit too much for qualifying, Kyle (Busch) got loose and it really put us back all weekend. It's just so tough to make up track position. You see the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) car lead most of the race, he falls back to 10th and he's done. Clean air means so much. So, we fell behind. Kyle (Busch) did a good job getting up towards the top-10 then the bottom of our duct work came unsealed and the car started to overheat and after that we lost the handle. We worked the rest of the day to get it the best we could but we couldn't get it fixed. We tried to make repairs on pit road but it's too tough. You're going to go down a lap and at that point we were trying to salvage as many points as we could. Once the duct work came loose, our fate was sealed."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 25th
P.J. JONES, No. 7 SpeedFactory.TV Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon
Finishing Position: 35th
TODD BODINE, No. 64 Fred's Hometown Discount Store Toyota Camry,
Finishing Position: 37th
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Clorox-Kleenex Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty
Finishing Position: 39th
What happened to your car? "We dropped a valve in the motor. A lot of guys are using third gear off of turn one, me included and maybe that's what caused the engine to let go. You know it's a lot of momentum here, a lot of R.P.M. and we push the engine to the limits. It's just not our year. We've had our fair share of troubles this year and this weekend has been no exception."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 40th
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
Finishing Position: 42nd
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 55 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
Finishing Position: 43rd
-source: toyota motorsports