TOYOTA TALK: Chase Chances for Brian and Busch Hamlin Happy and Hopeful NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota Camry drivers have combined for eight wins, 30 top-fives and 57 top-10 finishes through 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this season ...
Chase Chances for Brian and Busch
Hamlin Happy and Hopeful
NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota Camry drivers have combined for eight wins, 30 top-fives and 57 top-10 finishes through 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this season ... Hamlin is fourth in the point standings with one race remaining before the 'Chase for the Sprint Cup' championship playoff begins ... Vickers earned the pole at Richmond earlier this season and Busch claimed the race win ... Seven Camry drivers will compete in Wednesday night's 'Prelude to the Dream' dirt late model race at Ohio's Eldora Speedway -- Marcos Ambrose, Dave Blaney, Busch, Robby Gordon, Hamlin, Logano, Reutimann and Vickers.
What will be your strategy for Saturday night's Richmond race? "I think our strategy is going to be to gain the most points as possible and we can't get tied up on what everybody else is doing. I think I would be lying if I said we weren't going to stay on top of it and be aware of it. No different than at Atlanta -- when I was racing with Matt (Kenseth) and Kyle (Busch), I knew that I was also racing those guys for a spot in the Chase. The best thing that we can do, and the most important thing we can do , is not make a mistake and have a bad finish. We have to have a good one. We went out there earlier this year and sat on the pole, so hopefully we can do that again, lead a lap and get five bonus points and then try to win the race to collect as many points as possible. My focus is just going to remain on passing whoever is in front of me and if we're leading, then trying to stay in the lead."
Are you worried about Richmond being the track where you need to have a strong finish? "It's been an up and down track for us. I have two poles there, but I haven't won a race there. I like Richmond -- it's a good race track and a I enjoy racing there. I would like to have the average finish there to be the average that I have at some tracks going into this race for the Chase. We just need to go there and repeat the same thing we did earlier this year, which was get the pole and then find a race package that works for us."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How do you handle the pressure of being on the bubble to get into the Chase? "The pressure is on for sure. We just have to do what we need to do. It's not these two races -- Atlanta or this race coming up at Richmond that is going to put us in the Chase. It's more of the season that we've had that has kept us out of it. We've struggled a little bit this year and haven't been as good as we've needed to be and unfortunately we're in this predicament. Last year, we were one of the best cars all season long and were solidly locked in the Chase. Things can change in a year. We're trying to get ourselves back in position to get into the Chase and run hard, run strong and try to come out of Richmond with a good finish."
What will your strategy be entering the Richmond race? "Our strategy is just going to be the same as it's been the whole year -- we just go out there and try to run the best we can. Fortunately, we won the Richmond race in the spring so we feel like we can go back there and do well this time. I run well there about every time I've been, so that's good. If we have another good, solid run like a top-10 or top-five run, then we really don't need to change anything. We'll have to do everything we can to try to win the race."
Will you watch the other drivers near the bubble spot during the race? "No. There's nothing you can do to change what they're doing. You can't make race calls for those guys and tell them that they need to pit or whatever so there's really no point in going through that frustration and trying to figure out where those guys are. You just see what it boils down to at the end of the day."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What does it mean for you to make the Chase again this year? "It's great for our whole FedEx team. It's a pretty good accomplishment to make it four years in a row -- every year that we've tried. I just can't say enough for this team. If we keep running the next 11 (races) like we have this last 10, they're going to have to watch out for us."
-credit: toyota motorsports