Daytona: Toyota teams qualifying quotes, notes

JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Starting Position: 4th Did you have any concerns about the repairs on your car before qualifying? "No, not really because every guy on the crew told me that its back to where it was...

JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Starting Position: 4th

Did you have any concerns about the repairs on your car before qualifying? "No, not really because every guy on the crew told me that its back to where it was if not a little better. When everybody tells you that it gives you a lot of confidence. The guys on the Great Clips car did an awesome job -- I have to thank Scott (Zipadelli), he came in this winter and its been really good so far so I am looking forward to a great season. We will have a good starting spot tomorrow we just bottomed out pretty hard down there in one and two right on the bottom with the front-end so that kind of hurt some of our speed. All in all it was a good lap and pretty happy with these guys -- proud of them for sure."

What happened when you got loose in practice yesterday? "When you get that far along on tires it's going to become a handful. What is was, going into the corner on old tires, the wind blowing, we put fuel in it on old tires and it just caught me out. It's trimmed out and it's built for speed. Out front it's really high. You have to be careful what position you put yourself in, but tomorrow is going to be fun and we'll be hanging on."

How proud are you of your race team? "I have to thank every one of them. The car was beat up pretty bad -- body-wise, from the quarter panels on back they had to rebuild it on the shop floor. I have to thank all the boys at the fab shop and these guys on the Great Clips crew and everybody else at Braun Racing for all their help. The car's fast and tomorrow is when the fun starts. We've been sitting around all week. Drafting practice -- we didn't get a whole lot of drafting practice and tomorrow is going to be really cool. We're going to be sliding around and hopefully this Great Clips car will be really fast. I have to thank everybody at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and Triad and Toyota -- if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be near as fast as we are so have to thank everybody. I'm pretty excited about tomorrow for sure."


JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 8th

How is your car handling? "We tried to get the top spot obviously, but I think the GameStop Toyota is pretty good. I figured we'd be decent after our mock run yesterday. I think it races good too in the draft. I don't have anything to compare it to as far as sucking up to other cars and all of that. I felt like I was able to make a pass when I needed to and as long as I get some helpers out there I think I'll be okay."

What is the difference between the Cup cars and the Nationwide cars? "Night and day, I promise you. I get in this thing and even if it doesn't handle that great it's still way better than the cars over there. It's just kind of a privilege to drive these cars. I talked to J.D. (Gibbs, JGR president) and I said, ‘Man, these things are a lot better.' And he goes, ‘That's why you don't get paid as much to drive these cars.' I see now. Overall, it's going to be a fun race and I'm going to gain a lot of experience for the Home Depot Toyota in the 500."

Do you think you have a car that can win tomorrow? "I think all of the guys did a great job at the GameStop Toyota. They worked really hard and we've got a top-five car, I think. It might be a little better than that still. It drove good in the draft yesterday during practice so I'm looking forward to getting out there tomorrow."


MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 11th

How was your qualifying lap? "Uneventful -- the RPMs were the only thing that I knew to go by and what it was supposed to run. They said it should turn about 7000 or 7100 and it turned 7200 so I figured I was going faster than they thought I would be going. We ran a little bit better. They thought we would run a 20 and we ran in the teens so I am really proud of the guys and looking forward to tomorrow."

How excited are you to get back in a Nationwide car? "Not only tomorrow, but also going to California and on down the road. I'm looking forward to getting to race and be a part of the team that started all this stuff for me and working with Jerry (Baxter, crew chief) and the guys. I'm optimistic about how we'll do this year and I'm looking forward to running my first Nationwide race in a Toyota -- that's pretty cool."


KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 13th

How close is your car to being able to win tomorrow? "It's good in race trim -- it feels great. For some reason we have just been struggling on straight-away speed here. We can't get it above 7,150 on RPM. We had the restrictor plate change for the Toyotas as well as the gear rule change so both of those tend to hurt us a little. Joey's (Logano) car has been slick and it's been slick the whole time, last year and everywhere. We expected him to be about a tenth to two-tenths quicker than us anyway. The 38 (Jason Leffler) and those guys did a good job putting their piece back together, but I think our Interstate Batteries Camry should be good tomorrow and we'll see how it races and see what we can do with it then."

Are you happy with your qualifying lap? "It's kind of what we expected. We weren't expecting anything better than that so we'll just take it and go into tomorrow. Today doesn't really matter -- we're just here about tomorrow."

Do you feel better being up front to start tomorrow as opposed to farther back for tonight's truck race? "Not really -- the truck race last year we started in the back and came up through a long ways. We ended up second and that was cool. The Nationwide race again we were second, we felt like we had a good car, but (Tony) Stewart beat us out. That's (Joey) Logano's car this year so we'll see what the Interstate Batteries Camry will do tomorrow."


MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Starting Position: 18th

Are you pleased with your qualifying lap? "That was actually better. I told everybody that we brought a car here to win the race -- we didn't really care about qualifying. You do need to be up towards the front half of the pack just to stay out of some of the races early on, but we brought a car here to win a race tomorrow. That's about six-tenths better than what we ran when we mocked up so we're real happy with it. The guys had a great overall effort."

Will anybody draft with you tomorrow in the race? "It's going to be tough, but I think there will be some Toyota teams out there that will stick together and go towards the front. I got lined up with some Roush guys the other day and I think they saw that we have a car that is going to the front either way. They might as well come with us and help us. I think there will be Toyota teams sticking together."


SCOTT LAGASSE JR, No. 11 Incredible Pizza Toyota Camry, CJM Racing
Starting Position: 19th

How was your qualifying run? "We didn't really care much about qualifying here. You hate it. We came here to race and have a solid day and gain respect. The car is really drivable right now and that's the goal. You can go from the back to the front here in no time. We kind of saw that in the last couple of practices yesterday. Our car is pretty good. It drives real well. It goes from the back to the front and I can shove some guys around. I think we're sitting pretty good and where we need to be right now."

Have you had any luck getting other guys to draft with you? "That's what we spent the last two days doing, really. That was our plan coming down here -- to put me in something really solid. It drove pretty good. We went out in the practices and just really ran with good guys and you saw it on speed charts that when you run with good guys you go faster. I'm just trying to gain respect because I know that I'm new to this. I've done a little plate racing but never in these cars and not a whole lot. I'm going to have to earn their respect and that's what I'm hoping for out of this weekend."


DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 10 Camping World Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Starting Position: 21st

How has it been so far in your first race with Braun Racing? "It's a bit strange, but I got a great opportunity over here with the guys at Braun. That, and coming down here and not being guaranteed in and having to get in on time, that's another deal we haven't been used to. We'll just see how things pan out. Hopefully, we'll be good enough to get in and have a good car tomorrow." How do you think your car will be for Saturday's race? "I feel like it will draft pretty well. It drove really good in race trim. It is what it is. You kind of got what you got. You can't really do anything else to them. You throw everything you can at them and hope it sticks. We'll just see how it pans out."


BRIAN VICKERS, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Starting Position: 27th

How was your car been so far this weekend? "So far, it's been a really good car. It drafted really well. We made one qualifying run -- I guess you could call it that -- at the very beginning of the first practice. We didn't put a lot into it, just knowing there's not a lot you can do. We focused mainly on race trim. We were really happy with the car in race trim, it handled really well. It seemed to draft well and suck up well, so we focused on that. It qualified as good or maybe better than we expected, and hopefully we'll have what we need tomorrow."


DAVID GREEN, No. 07 SK Motorsports Toyota Camry, SK Motorsports
Starting Position: 37th

How do you think your car will run in tomorrow's race? "This team got started January 20 and we had 19 days to not only prepare for California and Vegas but here at Daytona as well. We needed about a couple more hours of practice or maybe another day but it's fine. We didn't expect to run much faster than that anyway. Our goal here might be a little bit different this weekend than it is in July, because here this weekend we just need to get a good, solid race under our belt. A brand new team, brand new everything and building blocks for the future. I'm proud of the guys back at the shop, and you hear that all of the time, but literally 19 days ago we had nothing but a bare chassis there and we got things ready, converted and ready for down here. We had to also convert our California and Vegas stuff."

How is your car handling? "That's one thing we worked on and probably more important than just raw speed. I know the Toyota stuff is good enough that it's going to be fine racing. Our goal was to just make sure the car drove good because if we do that, that's all we can do on our behalf and at that point in time the draft takes care of itself. We almost got there and we've got a couple more tweaks that we need to do to our car. We will have to incorporate that on our pit stops and go from there. A lot of things happening in a short period of time."


MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 47 Tom's Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Starting Position: 41st

Were you happy with your qualifying effort? "That's actually better than we ran in our mock run. We literally ran only one mock run here. This car has a lot of downforce in it. We really built this Tom's Camry to race on Saturday. Hopefully, it's going to be hot and slick -- we're going to need it to be because this thing has a lot of downforce and it will be good on old tires. Hopefully when everyone is slipping and sliding, we'll be driving this Tom's snack to the front."

Do you think your past experience here at Daytona will help you find drafting partners in the race? "Absolutely. Even being a rookie in the Nationwide Series, the good thing is running Cup last year. You're able to build some relationships and some friendships out there. It sort of gives you a little bit of credibility with the guys out there. I think we'll be able to find some friends tomorrow. We ran two superspeedways at the Cup level, so hopefully we'll hook up with some of those guys and get to the front."

-credit: toyota motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Jason Leffler
Teams Germain Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Toyota Racing