Atlanta: Toyota teams race report

Kyle Busch (second-place) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Camry drivers Joey Logano (sixth) and Jason Leffler (seventh) also had top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile...

Kyle Busch (second-place) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Camry drivers Joey Logano (sixth) and Jason Leffler (seventh) also had top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile Georgia oval.

Camry drivers Busch (74 laps) and Kasey Kahne (17 laps) combined to lead 91 of the 195 race laps. Busch led the most laps in tonight's race.

Kahne started tonight's race from the pole position marking his first NNS pole this season, eighth in NNS and 44th for Toyota since joining the series in 2007.

Other Toyota drivers in the field included Brendan Gaughan (16th), Kasey Kahne (19th), Michael Annett (21st), Trevor Bayne (24th), Brian Scott (28th), Reed Sorenson (34th) and Steve Wallace (35th).

Nine Toyota drivers are in the top-15 in the unofficial NNS driver points following Atlanta - Busch (third), Bayne (seventh), Wallace (eighth), Logano (ninth), Leffler (10th), Gaughan (11th), Annett (12th), Scott (13th) and Sorenson (15th).

***

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finished: 2nd

How did your race unfold? "Unfortunately, it didn't quite fold the way we wanted it to, but we had a fast NOS Energy Drink Camry. Real proud of the guys. They gave me a car that could contend for the win. Just didn't quite have enough there on the short run to keep up with him (Jamie McMurray), once we got about 25 or 30 laps on it - we could really start reeling him in and pass him. Typically, it's always a long run car that wins here. (Kevin) Harvick beat me last year with a long run car. We were real fast on the short runs, but that wasn't the case tonight."

Did you have anything for the leader the last few laps? "No. I think that was actually the 88 (Jamie McMurray) car going away. My car seemed to run the same pace most of the night. I really couldn't do a whole lot to make it go any faster. I could slow it down a little bit, but I really couldn't make it go any faster. So, if I hit my marks every single lap, which I might have missed two laps in the last 20 laps -- but that's all I had. So, we came up short tonight. Unfortunately, the race is five laps shorter than a typical mile-and-a-half, but I think probably we could have had him if, there's always an if in this sport, I guess."

***

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finished: 6th

How did your car handle in tonight's race? "We struggled from when we unloaded today. I don't know - we just weren't that good. Some of it is probably that I just don't have this place figured out completely. Some of it is just that we don't go on restarts lately. I don't know why that is, but the last two or three races, restarts have been terrible. Last year we used to do good on them. Something we need to look at and figure out. It's been a real problem. We'll get it. We knew going into today that it was going to be a rough one because this is probably one of our worst race tracks. It's sixth and we'll move on."

***

JASON LEFFLER, No. 10 ABF Freight Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 7th

Are you pleased with the seventh-place finish? "It was good, it was a good, solid night. Eddie Pardue (crew chief) and the guys did a good job. We finished seventh and that is good. We had a bad pit stop there on that last pit stop and that got us behind. We couldn't make up for it. All in all, the guys have been working their butts off and we've had fast cars. We've just had a hard time getting to the end of these races. I guess we should just be grateful that we got to the end tonight."

How did tire strategy play into tonight's race? "That one run where we swapped where about half the field was on a different strategy that was wild. We were passing cars so fast. That was the way it used to be about 10 years ago when the tires were soft everywhere. It was kind of fun. Tire strategy was pretty important and we had a good run today - I'm happy with that."

***

BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 Atlanta Title Loans Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
Finished: 16th

***

KASEY KAHNE, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 19th

How did your car handle in tonight's race? "We had a really fast Great Clips Toyota and just got really loose there for a while. We kind of got that fixed and then I rubbed (Brad) Keselowski and just got too close to him and rubbed my right front. Then the tire went down and that kind of ruined our race. We had a top-five car, we just didn't finish there."

***

MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Valvoline Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finished: 21st

TREVOR BAYNE, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Diamond-Waltrip Racing
Finished: 24th

BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 AccuDoc Solutions Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 28th

REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 34th

STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
Finished: 35th

-source: toyota motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Jason Leffler , Jamie McMurray , Kasey Kahne , Brendan Gaughan , Reed Sorenson , Joey Logano , Michael Annett , Brian Scott , Steve Wallace , Kyle Busch
Teams Germain Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing