Camry drivers Brian Vickers (second) and Denny Hamlin (third) recorded top-five finishes. Other Toyota drivers in the field included AJ Allmendinger (12th), David Reutimann (19th), Dave Blaney (22nd), Michael McDowell (27th), Tony Stewart...
Camry drivers Brian Vickers (second) and Denny Hamlin (third) recorded top-five finishes.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included AJ Allmendinger (12th), David Reutimann (19th), Dave Blaney (22nd), Michael McDowell (27th), Tony Stewart (35th), Michael Waltrip (37th) and Kyle Busch (18th).
Red Bull Racing teammates Vickers and Allmendinger recorded career best finishes for the team since joining the organization at the start of the 2007 season.
Camry drivers who led laps in today's race included Vickers (18 laps), Hamlin (17), Stewart (14) and Blaney (one).
Camry drivers have earned 20 top-five finishes and 30 top-10 finishes in 2008.
Busch maintained his lead in the unofficial NSCS point standings and is 21 points ahead of second-place Jeff Burton.
Other Camry drivers among the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings include Hamlin (fifth), Stewart (12th) and Vickers (17th).
How much does a second-place finish mean for the Red Bull team? "It means a lot. I'm so proud of these guys today. They did it all last night and today because we were a bucket yesterday in practice. They did a lot of changes and I'm real proud of them. I felt like we had the best car on the race track at the end of the race, we just didn't have any tires. We did the strategy that we had to do. Kevin (Hamlin, crew chief) made a good call. Hopefully, one day we'll get a win here. We've had a lot of those."
Are you happy with second place here today? "I'm pleased but not satisfied. I'm real proud of everybody. We had a big turnaround from yesterday. We had a really bad car in practice but we made the most of it. I had a really good car there at the end and a good strategy -- and a good finish."
What did you need to hold Kasey Kahne off at the end of the race? "We needed tires. He (Kasey Kahne) had a lot newer tires and that's all we needed. We had a great car."
What were you thinking when you saw Kasey Kahne come up behind you? "I was hoping that there would be more cars that stayed out, or those tires would hold him off. Clean aero is huge in these cars, absolutely huge, but I knew we had a great car. But, tires were important too. It was tough. When I saw him in my mirror, I wouldn't say it was over, but I knew it was going to be tough. If we could have just stayed in front of him, or got far enough ahead of him to stay in front of him for another five or six laps, I thought the tires would even out and we would hold him off. But, he was still too fast and the tires were too good."
What did you think of your chances on the restart with 20 laps to go? "Depending on how many guys behind me stayed out and how many guys had tires or not -- I knew it was iffy."
Why are the Red Bull teams having such great finishes lately? "Some of it's just time. You can't replace time and experience. Some of it is people, and in this sport, it's all about people. Jay Frye (general manager, Red Bull Racing Team) coming on board has been great leadership from the top. It always starts from the top down, but there's been a lot of other people. Jay has been a large part of it, but I don't want to give him all the credit. There's a lot of people that have come on board and a lot of great people that are still there from last year that just have not been able do what they wanted to do. Or, maybe it just wasn't the right time or place or maybe they didn't have the right guidance for leadership from the top. All around the team is growing and getting better, stronger and better people are coming on board. The people that are there are stronger and, as a team we've definitely stepped it up on the engines. I still feel like we have a little ways to go. The Hendrick cars were killing me on restarts. But, I'm really proud of those guys. I want to give them credit where credit is due."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Did you have anything at the end to catch Kasey Kahne? "We really didn't have a whole lot for the 9 (Kasey Kahne) there at the end. His car was too strong. We got to the 83 (Brian Vickers) and as soon as we got there he moved down into our line and we just couldn't make any headway. We had about a second or third-place car all day and that's where we ended up."
How did the early contact with Jason Leffler affect your car? "It actually seemed like that's when we were best. It's just a situation where he (Jason Leffler) was coming in and we were coming out. No big deal. The FedEx Ground crew did an excellent job to prepare the car. We just couldn't get it all quite figured out."
How did your pit crew help you today? "Our crew was good. They made up spots for me most of the day. It's just a situation where we just didn't have the car."
What happened with your car when you tried to pass Brian Vickers? "We just couldn't get around him. These cars are so aero-dependent -- you just can't get behind somebody and pass them. It's just tough."
Was the repaved patch on turn three a problem today? "Just when you would get a big run on a guy, everybody would try to crowd down there and take that lane away from you. It did make it interesting at times. I did see the 16 (Greg Biffle) and myself were able to pull off a couple slide jobs in turn three which I'm surprised didn't end up in any wrecks. It's interesting. It adds another element -- I guess you could say -- to the racetrack. It's unique, for sure, to have a fast lane way up there like that, and then have an option to go way low if you have to."
Can you talk about how hot it was in the race car today? "It wasn't as bad when I got out of the car. I was able to stand on my own two feet. But it was just -- it doesn't hit you till you get vertical for some reason, when you're in that race car and you're sitting down. You notice you start cramping up a little bit, but as soon as you get vertical outside of that race car it just seems like all the blood leaves your head and goes somewhere else. I definitely needed to sit down right there, everyone did it looked like. It just was a grueling race. This one's a real long one anyway. The temperatures were hot and we didn't have that good of cooling inside of our race car. The AC worked fine, but we don't have any kind of driver fans or anything, which is something we need to probably look into in the future."
How does it feel to get your best career Sprint Cup finish today? "Everybody at Red Bull Racing, first off -- great job to everybody at Red Bull, back at the shop, the 83 and 84 guys, and BV (Brian Vickers) did a great job. To have us 12th -- and honestly that was a terrible finish for us, we got screwed by that yellow when Kyle (Busch) spun. We were about to pit and that put us back to 23rd. We probably should have been sixth, seventh or eighth -- right around there -- with Kurt (Busch) amd Matt (Kenseth)."
Is it good to put together a solid weekend? "Yeah. We've been definitely -- the 84 guys -- have been on their 'A' game for qualifying. I feel a lot more comfortable in running in qualifying -- going and getting a lap and still making the race and not overdoing it. But, we've just been missing that good race to go out there. So, it's good to finally just put everything together."
Are you and Brian Vickers working well together as teammates? "I think that Red Bull -- we are building new chassis back at the shop -- kind of in-house stuff. New components that we're doing on the chassis. I really think that's really what it is. We had two completely different set-ups on the cars and they both worked pretty good. Track position was key. My pit crew did an awesome job. They struggled a little bit last week -- just like all of us did. They were on their game today."
What did you learn from watching Mike Skinner run your car? "Just to be confident in myself. There was stuff wrong -- the 84 guys, we just needed to get better as a whole and it wasn't all on my shoulders. It wasn't all on my shoulders. I'll always take some blame for it. We just need to keep getting better as a team. As a whole, that it all wasn't on my shoulders. When I got back in the car I was more confident and just trust myself more."
Do you feel the organization has turned the corner since Charlotte? "I think a lot of that is everybody at Red Bull and Toyota, in general, we're getting better. The biggest thing is we are building new chassis at the shop. We are doing a lot of testing, where before we weren't doing a lot of testing. It's just paying off."
What impact has Jay Frye had on the organization? "Jay (Frye, general manager, Red Bull Racing Team) has just brought a lot of organization to this team. He has a lot of NASCAR experience that just kind of goes from top to bottom -- from everybody at the top to everybody at the bottom on the team. It shows."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 43rd
What happened to put you out of today's race? "I saw the 26 (Jamie McMurray) get high, get loose -- and thought he faded back further than what he did when the 84 (AJ Allmendinger) passed him. Didn't know he was out there still. We broke the mirror trying to adjust it there before the race and couldn't see anything out my right rear quarter panel. So, I couldn't clear myself. The spotter didn't say anything so I apologize to McMurray for wrecking their day, but it (sucks)."
STEVE ADDINGTON, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How do you get over this type of race weekend? "We just had a bad weekend in Pocono -- that's all we can really say, I think. We had a car where we were back up there in the top-20 -- we were passing the 26 (Jamie McMurray) for 17th or something like that. Just trying to get back to the top-10. Had it going there and I think we had a good enough car to get there -- it just didn't end that way." What repairs did you make to the car?
"We had to replace all the front lower chassis points and the whole front end. We cut the whole front end off that had the radiator mount and all that in it. Juts replaced the whole front end. The right front lower control arm pivot points had to weld back into the chassis and all. Right there at the end the pin that holds the sway bar arm on broke -- that's why Kyle (Busch) spun out. Nothing to gain there -- no sense in tearing anything up anymore than we already had."
Do you forget the race weekend? "That's all we can do. We've had a great year. You can't sit here and dwell on one weekend. Not a whole lot we can do about it. All we can do is get ready to go to Michigan and be prepared when we get there."
-credit: toyota motorsports