Sonoma: Toyota teams race notes, quotes

Robby Gordon (second) was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Toyota driver Marcos Ambrose finished sixth after leading 35 of 110 laps at the 1.99-mile road ...

Robby Gordon (second) was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Toyota driver Marcos Ambrose finished sixth after leading 35 of 110 laps at the 1.99-mile road course.

Camry drivers Scott Speed (18th), David Reutimann (20th), Mattias Ekstrom (21st), Joey Logano (33rd), Denny Hamlin (34th), Dave Blaney (37th), Kyle Busch (39th), Joe Nemechek (40th), P.J. Jones (41st), Martin Truex Jr. (42nd) and Max Papis (43rd) were also in the field.

Busch is now third in the unofficial NSCS point standings following the race at Sonoma -- 141 points behind leader Kevin Harvick. Hamlin moves to fourth in points -- 151 points behind Harvick. Logano (17th) and Truex (19th) also in the top-20 for Toyota.


ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Finishing Position: 2nd

How was your race? "It was obviously a good run for us. We came here to win the race, but second-place is pretty darn close to winning it. My team needs a little bit of morale here and there. This will boost morale back at the workshop. I will say that we will come to Watkins Glen guns blazing. We'll get a lot of confidence going into the Glen and spend a bunch of time getting more rear grip. At the end of the day, that's what we struggled on with Jimmie (Johnson). At the top of the hill, it got loose on me, had to save it, Kevin (Harvick) closed the gap on me a couple times. We have to go to work on our rear tires and rear grip."

How did you get to the front of the field at the end of the race? "I think before a couple of those guys came in there, I think it was (Juan Pablo) Montoya and (Marcos) Ambrose came in early and got tires, we were ninth at that point. Couple guys stayed out. When they stayed out, it's like alright, we have to do something a little bit different than what they did. It was going to be edgy to make it from where we did on lap 66 on fuel. But, we did get enough cautions. We were able to save enough fuel. This guy (Kevin Harvick) right here raced me really clean. We did three stops. Like I said, Kevin (Harvick) and the guys had 10 laps better tires than I did. I was kind of a sitting duck. I'm fortunate enough that him and Jimmie (Johnson) were racing for points and we were able to slide in between them there."

Have you ever seen what happened to Marcos Ambrose at the end of the race happen to anyone else? "I think (Kevin Harvick) was the victor of this whole thing once before when it happened to me at Montreal. You ended up winning the race about three years ago. It has happened before. Like I said earlier, I don't know what happened to him. I'm sure he was trying to save fuel and it just wouldn't refire. (NASCAR) does have a rule that says you must maintain speed. That's the same thing that happened to me at Montreal a couple years ago. Am I happy about it? It is what it is, you know. It's about racing. What I am happy about is NASCAR did stay consistent."

Did you think you had any shot at the win after Marcos Ambrose got out of position? "Before the restart I thought I did. I was trying to anticipate when Jimmie (Johnson) would go. Like I said, I was on 10 lap older tires than the other guys out there. It just buzzed the tires at the restart. I miss-timed it a little bit and Jimmie got the jump on me. If I could have got track position, it would have been hard to pass. Like Kevin (Harvick) says, it's hard to pass. I'm sure if it was for the win, Kevin would have moved me. For second, I appreciate you giving me a little bit of racing room."

How much does this finish help your team? "On a weekly basis, let's face it right now, we're 34th in points, 33rd in points, wherever we end up. It's hard to build morale when you're 33rd, 34th in points. I think this will build us some momentum. I'm not going to say it's going to push our guys, because the guys have to get on board. I believe they'll have confidence going to Watkins Glen that we can actually win that race so we can build some momentum throughout the summer and hopefully have some good runs. We had a very good test at Indy about a month and a half ago. I'm excited about going there. We got some other race tracks we run good at. Not only Watkins Glen, but it will help us build momentum just in general."


MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Clorox/Kleenex Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 6th

What are your thoughts about today's race? "I'm disappointed. It's NASCAR's house and I'll always play by the rules. I don't agree with it, I don't like it and that's only because I lost the race."

What happened when you lost the lead? "I had the motor turned off trying to save a bit of fuel and just had trouble getting it fired again. That's it."

What were you thinking when you couldn't get the car restarted? "I'm disappointed, but NASCAR calls the shots. I was leading the race and I just had trouble getting the motor cranked back up a little bit there."

Do you think NASCAR should have made that call? "I don't think so, but that's my opinion only because I lost the race."


SCOTT SPEED, No. 82 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Finishing Position: 18th


DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 20th

How was your race? "We were up and down. It was definitely a far cry better than where we've been in the past out here. We still have a lot of room for improvement on my end. I'll keep working at it. The guys on the Aaron's crew did a great job. They just kept working on the thing all day and making it better. We were just pretty free all day and couldn't get on the other side of that, but other than that the motors ran good and the pit stops were excellent. It was a decent finish. It was a decent day."


MATTIAS EKSTROM, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Finishing Position: 21st

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 33rd


DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 34th

How difficult was today's race? "Tough day, but it happens. These guys worked really hard to get this car put back together and get back out there. It's frustrating because we were pretty good with points, even with the damage. I definitely learned a few things for next year. All you can do is get back to it next week and we like going to New Hampshire. We'll put this behind us."


DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
Finishing Position: 37th

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 39th

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 40th

P.J. JONES, No. 07 SpeedFactory.TV Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports Finishing Position: 41st


MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 42nd

What happened out on the race track? "The last one was just the victim of circumstance. We got put in by Jeff Gordon. Getting spun out there on that restart is what got us in the back there. We should have never been in that position. We've been running up front all day long with a great car. Everybody on the NAPA Toyota did an awesome job. We had a shot at running top-three or four and maybe we had a shot at winning if the thing played right. I guess Jeff (Gordon) figured he couldn't catch us on the race track he was going to spin us out on the restart."

Did you see that coming before it happened? "He was six, seven car lengths behind me coming into (turn) 11, and I did think I had anything to worry about. The next thing I know I'm spun around. If he's a car length or two back, yeah you take your defensive line, you prepare for it, him trying to dive bomb me, but he was seven car lengths back. There's no way he should have been where he was. Now I know he's going to say Juan (Pablo Montoya) was trying to pass me and I was trying to block him. I don't care. Just because he's trying to pass you, it's alright for you to spin me out? No. Let him pass you then. I would have let Juan (Pablo Montoya) pass me. If it was either get passed or spin out Jeff Gordon, I would have lifted and get passed. That's the difference between me and him. That's why I'm here, that's why he's out there and that's why I'm pissed off."


MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 43rd

What happened to force you out of the race? "Going through the gear, going to get the green -- piled-up on the front as hard as I could on the brake. People crashing in front of me. I crashed in front of some people, and people crashed in the back of me. It looked like someone in the front brake- checked. It was not like a normal accordion feeling. It was like a real stop."

How was your car up until that point of the race? "We were not very competitive in the beginning, but I was really pleased for everything we did and we got the car really competitive on the last pit stop. We were really going forward. I think we had a car to be able to finish in the top-15."

-source: toyota motorsports

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Robby Gordon , Max Papis , Marcos Ambrose , Scott Speed , P.J. Jones , David Reutimann , Martin Truex Jr. , Denny Hamlin , Dave Blaney , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Red Bull Racing , Germain Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , NEMCO Motorsports