Toyota teams Watkins Glen race report

Toyota Motorsports

• Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Joey Logano (third) and Kyle Busch (fourth) earned top-five results for Toyota in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Watkins Glen International.

Joey Logano
Joey Logano

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

• Busch led three times for a race-high 48 laps (of 48) at the 2.45-mile upstate New York road course.

• Camry drivers Joe Nemechek (11th), Brian Scott (14th), Steve Wallace (16th), Michael Annett (19th), Kenny Wallace (32nd) and Jason Bowles (36th) were also in the field.

• Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-15 in the unofficial NNS point standings following 23 of 34 races in the 2011 season -- K. Wallace (seventh), S. Wallace (eighth), Scott (ninth), Annett (10th) and Nemechek (14th).

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JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 3rd

How did your car handle during today’s race? “It was pretty good. We just took off too tight there at the beginning of the race and were too slow. It was my fault. I didn’t think about it enough in practice that you need to worry more about turning and more than I did. I gave us up a little bit of speed there to start it off with. Adam Stevens (crew chief) and all the other guys made really good changes on the GameStop Toyota and got it better. Really good call there at the end of the race to get us more tires and we did everything we could to get up two spots and wish it could’ve been better than that, but overall it’s not bad.”

How much does running the Nationwide Series and Grand-Am races on Saturday help you for the Cup race Sunday? “I forgot about the Grand-Am race. I’ve got to run that now. I’ve got to change modes now. It was a lot of fun. We did a good job today and it definitely helps out for tomorrow. I feel like I learned some things that can definitely help in my Cup car tomorrow. I’m excited about that tomorrow.”

What happened on the final laps of today’s race? “It was a pretty good run for us today. I’ve had a lot of fun. Didn’t take off in the beginning of the race the way we needed to. Probably my fault. I wasn’t worried enough in practice about my car turning and I probably should’ve worried a little bit more about it. I was able to -- I feel like in the beginning of the race we just gave up too much speed there. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys just made really good calls and we were able to get our GameStop Toyota faster. Just needed cautions and needed some track position. At the end, it was our opportunity and we came and took four tires, gutsy call by Adam and it was definitely worth it to get those four tires there at the end. So, I restarted fifth and maybe gave up one spot by doing that and were able to gain one spot. It was good. Wish we had a few more laps, because I feel like with four new tires it definitely came in better. It is what it is. We had a good day. I learned a lot for tomorrow so I think that’s going to help a lot and now I’m trying to get myself prepared for the Grand-Am car.”

How has Max Papis helped you with road course racing? “Max (Papis) is the man. Max is awesome. He’s helped me out a ton both on and off the race track. Obviously his road course expertise has really shown a lot through these last few road course races. Sonoma, he helped out a lot and I feel like we have a good car for tomorrow too. I think the big thing that he taught me is just knowing what to look for in a race car and knowing what you need in a road course car. I kind of started as a blank slate, ‘What do I need to do here?’ Obviously, he was sitting down in the Bus Stop here today and he would always come over the radio, and if you know Max he’s full of enthusiasm. He’s definitely got a ton of energy. If that guy can’t pump you up to make you go faster there’s no one out there that can do it. I had a lot of fun on the radio with him today. He’s definitely a big help and like I said, off the race track just the way to handle people and the way to treat certain situations. He’s helped me out a lot with that. He’s got a lot of experience and it’s good to have someone like that on your side.”

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KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 4th

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JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 11th

What happened to your strategy of saving fuel early? “Our mileage was a little off there at the beginning and really didn’t know what we were going to get for mileage, so really had to conserve, short shift. When it was time to go, we went. The sun loosened our car up a little bit. It was just a good day for our whole NEMCO Motorsports crew. AMFM Energy.com and DAB helped us out. We were able to be here. Got a car in one piece ready to go to Montreal next week.”

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BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 14th

How was your race? “That was the longest Glen race I’ve ever been a part of. I know it went green a long time. It just felt like a long race. We had a couple mechanical issues. We overheated. We fought some brake stuff. Overall, it was just a long day. The guys fought hard. I was in position for the ‘Lucky Dog’ for a while and just the nature of having a few cautions it’s hard to get back on the lead lap. Just about the type of year we’re having. We seem to finish 14th or 15th every week and we can say for a number of different reasons and this weekend it was overheating water temperature.”

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STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing Finishing Position: 16th

How was your day? “Our 5-Hour Toyota wasn’t too bad today. We were pretty good there at the start and then on our second pit stop the guys accidentally pulled all the tape off the front of the nose, so we were running a little hot. The car got really tight there on the middle run. We were kind of racing with our hands tied, because this is our Montreal car, so we wouldn’t take a chance at all of tearing this thing up. We managed to come home 16th-place. Couple guys in front of me had some bad points days. In all it was a good deal. I’d just like to thank 5-Hour Energy, Aspen Dental and all those guys for all their support and we’ll go to Montreal and hopefully have another good run.”

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MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 62 Pilot/Flying J Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing Finishing Position: 19th

Were you saving today’s Camry for Montreal? “We have another car, but it’s going to take a lot of work for these guys to turn around and go to Montreal. We met our goal. We wanted to stay on track, bring this car back without tearing any fenders and I think we brought it back without a scratch on it. We want to run better. I’m still learning on these road courses and completing laps and finishing races is what we need to do. We did everything we set out to do and hopefully take everything we learned from here and go to Montreal and try to get back to that top-10 finish we had at Road America.”

What can you apply from this race to Montreal? “There’s just so many techniques with road course racing and knowing that I’m not the greatest driver, I’m not going to go out there and try to set the world’s fastest lap time. Each lap I’m trying something different. If it works you keep trying to repeat that in each corner and then you move onto the next section trying to make yourself better there. That’s really what I concentrated on and towards the end we got better throughout the day. There’s only certain corners from here that will go into Montreal, but I learned a lot at Road American and I think we’ll take more from that race and put it into our package for Montreal.”

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KENNY WALLACE, No. 09 New York Toyota Dealers Toyota Camry, RAB Racing with Brack Maggard Finishing Position: 32nd

JASON BOWLES, No. 64 Aspen Dental Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing Finishing Position: 36th

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Max Papis , Brack Maggard , Jason Bowles , Joey Logano , Michael Annett , Brian Scott , Steve Wallace , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing , NEMCO Motorsports
Tags logano, nationwide, toyota, watkins glen