Toyota Motorsports press release
Mark Martin (second) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Martin led once for 44 laps in his first race driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Kenny Wallace (11th), Mike Bliss (15th), Tayler Malsam (16th), Joe Nemechek (20th), Eric McClure (25th), Jason Bowles (27th), Kyle Busch (33rd), Brian Scott (34th) and Jeff Green (40th).
MARK MARTIN, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 2nd
How was your first Nationwide Series race with Joe Gibbs Racing? "Thanks to Joe Gibbs and everybody at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Interstate Batteries. This Toyota was awesome and they were awesome. I needed to run a race to see if I could find a few things that maybe we could work on to improve. I got a few ideas, but that was one serious beat down Ricky Stenhouse just put on me there at the end. That was a serious beat down, man. I almost wrecked the car about four or five times -- probably five or six times. It was just like I can't do it -- man he (Ricky Stenhouse) was gone."
How was your race at Las Vegas? "This was so much fun -- it was such a great race car. It's so fun to be a part of Joe Gibbs Racing. I'd like to do some more of these. We have some on the schedule, but no sponsorship so far. Heck, I don't know, I enjoy watching these things on TV, but that was a good view I had right there -- I enjoyed it. That was a serious beat down that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. put on me that last run. I have to admit I almost wrecked the car five times trying to keep up with him and finally just had to surrender. I just about wrecked it I don't know how many times. He was just gone."
Did you have fun in today's race? "I did, I'd just like to start by saying what a special treat it was to be able to join the Joe Gibbs organization, JGR, it's just something that we've wanted to do for a long time and the stars didn't line up until now to do it. J.D. (Gibbs, president) and I had a little fun with it for sure. It's a real privilege -- I would like to do more of it, but there's no sponsorship for that right now. I have six more on the schedule if we could stir something up. It sure was fun to work with Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and all those guys."
What's your secret to running well at Las Vegas? "I get to drive really fast cars. That's what it is -- really fast race cars. Lucky me."
How much fun are the NNS cars compared to the NSCS cars? "I'm going to tell you something. My Cup car drives way better than this car. I -- whew, I don't know -- you saw me almost wreck I don't know how many times today. Man I can't wait to get back in that Cup car. I didn't think it was so slick yesterday, but today it was a handful. I never was real comfortable out there."
KENNY WALLACE, No. 09 RAB Racing Toyota Camry, RAB Racing with Brack Maggard Finishing Position: 11th
How was your race? "I tell you what, it was a good day for us. The track was really fast and I hate it. Me and Kasey Kahne were just going at it the last couple laps and I got by him and then he got by me on the white flag lap or two laps to go, I just couldn't hold him off. It was a good run for our team. I wanted top-10 really bad, but we needed to stop the bleeding. We ran good the last two weeks and we don't have anything to show for it because of the wreck. This heals some of the wounds. Now we'll go to Bristol which is really good for me and I'm looking forward to it."
MIKE BLISS, No. 44 Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 15th
TAYLER MALSAM, No. 19 G-Oil Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 16th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 D.A.B. Constructors Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 20th
ERIC MCCLURE, No. 14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 25th
JASON BOWLES, No. 81 American Majority Toyota Camry Finishing Position: 27th
KYLE BUSCH, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 33rd
How was your race? "I hate this for my guys, we would have been alright -- probably an eighth, ninth or 10th-place car. We'll go get them in Fontana. I know Bristol is next, but you know, we need to work on our next intermediate track."
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 34th
Are you okay? "Yeah, I'm fine. I hate it for our team. We had such a fast Dollar General Toyota all weekend. I ran up front all day and we were just in lap traffic and I got caught on the bottom and the 60 (Trevor Bayne) came around me and these cars are so dependent on that side-force aerodynamically that he started sucking me around with the big air I made. I should have spun it out to the inside but I tried to save it and it ended up hooking and we went head first into the wall. The most disappointing thing is that we were just so fast and the guys did such a good job and for something like that to happen, I hate it. We showed good strength on these 1.5-miles and we're going to be a force to be reckoned with."
Is the track bumpier than in the past? "It's bumpy and it's slick. Turn three and four gets the sun baked on it all day and you're slick both on the front and the rear -- you can be tight and loose both over there and that's what we were. We made an adjustment on the pit stop and unfortunately our car didn't get any better, we went the wrong way. Then we got sucked around -- it was an error -- should have just spun it out. There was nothing I could do. When a car passes you that close, it just sucks you around. I should have just spun it out and I tried to save it to be a hero and instead we ended up in the wall."
How did you end up making contact with the wall? "Unfortunately, I just got trapped working through lapped traffic. I had the 60 (Trevor Bayne) outside me. This track -- it heats up in the day -- and it felt tight and loose down there, and just slick. The 60 (Trevor Bayne) got around me and it sucked me around. And, you can go from a hero to a zero pretty quick in this sport. I tried to save it when I should have just spun it out, and it ended up hooking and going hard into the outside wall. I just hate it. Everyone on our Dollar General team did such a great job all weekend. We had a really fast car. We had a car capable of winning. I think we kind of went the wrong way on the last pit stop. Now, our day is over."
JEFF GREEN, No. 10 Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 40th