Pocono: Toyota Motorsports preview

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for five wins, 15 top-five results, 30 top-10 finishes and three poles after 13 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the...

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for five wins, 15 top-five results, 30 top-10 finishes and three poles after 13 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the NSCS point standings -- Kyle Busch (second), Denny Hamlin (fifth), Martin Truex Jr. (14th), Joey Logano (18th) and David Reutimann (19th) ... Red Bull Racing Team announced it will swap crew chiefs and supporting personnel -- with crew chief Ryan Pemberton moving to the No. 82 Camry with driver Scott Speed and crew chief Jimmy Elledge moving to the No. 83 Camry with Casey Mears ... Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team vice president and general manager, will be available to talk with media about the switch Friday at 10:30 AM at the No. 82 hauler.

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What makes the Pocono track so unique? "Pocono is really unlike any other track. The turns all have their own characteristics, but they are all relatively flat and those are the kinds of corners that I feel I am the best on. Turn one is a very wide sweeping corner, but it's got a little bit of banking to it. So, you need to have a car that basically will stay up in the banking. The second corner, the tunnel turn, is very flat and it's very fast. That's really where you can gain a lot of time on guys -- it drives a lot like a road course corner. And the other corner is like a short track -- almost like Phoenix in turns three and four -- it's very flat and very wide and it comes out sweeping to the long straightaway. It's a lot like a mixture of different race tracks, a track that rewards a guy who is very smooth on corner entry and I think that plays into my strengths."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Are you confident of competing for a championship this year? "I feel really good about where we're at. I feel our chances are good. At the beginning of the year, we started out a little slow. We had some 20th-place finishes, finishes in the teens, and now, recently, in the last six or seven races, we've clicked off some top-10s and top-fives in a row. We had a win at Dover, a third-place at Charlotte. Now, we go into the summer stretch. Hopefully, we can get some good runs and keep up our momentum with our M&M's Camry going, similar to what we've done so far this year."

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Do you enjoy racing at Pocono? "I enjoy the (Pocono) track. It is challenging with the three turns being different, the surface being old, wore out and bumpy. It's a huge challenge to get a car to go around there the way you want it to. Pocono is almost as close to home as Dover which is where I spent a lot of time up there as a kid skiing in the wintertime. The 'Race of Champions' for the modifieds used to be at Pocono and I would watch my dad and uncles there. It's another track I consider kind of a home game. I've had some good runs there in the past. The last couple times there haven't been too good for me. Looking forward to going back there with my new team, see what kind of car we'll bring, and I think it should be a great weekend for us."

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Do you feel your team has a chance to make the Chase with your recent success? "There is only one way to approach this thing -- we are here to make the Chase. Everyone on the crew truly believes that we have what it takes to make a run and get into the top-12. We had a couple tough breaks early in the season that put us behind a lot of the other teams, but we've been finishing races and making strides each week. Just a couple weeks ago we were 30th in points and now we're 19th, so things are starting to go our way and we're consistently racing each week with the leaders and bringing home top-five or top-10 finishes. We just need to keep doing what we're doing right now and I believe we'll be there right when we need to be."

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What makes Pocono so different from other tracks on the schedule? "It's definitely a different type of track than any other on the circuit. It's a tough place to get the car good because all the turns are so different. It's just a balance to try to get close everywhere in order to get the car drivable in all the corners. Last year, Pocono was the first track that I saw for a second time in a Cup car and we made a lot of gains in the August race."

-source: toyota motorsports

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Casey Mears , David Reutimann , Martin Truex Jr. , Denny Hamlin
Teams Red Bull Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing