Joey Logano (third) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Saturday's 200-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Phoenix International Raceway. Logano started from the pole position and led the first 23 (of 200) laps in the Joe Gibbs...
Joey Logano (third) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Saturday's 200-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Logano started from the pole position and led the first 23 (of 200) laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 20 GameStop Camry.
Reed Sorenson (fifth) and Steve Wallace (10th) also earned top-10 results for Toyota at the one-mile track.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Brian Scott (11th), Cole Whitt (15th), Kyle Busch (16th), Michael Annett (18th), Ricky Carmichael (21st), James Buescher (22nd), Ryan Truex (23rd), Brendan Gaughan (27th), Jason Leffler (33rd) and Martin Truex Jr. (34th).
Eight Toyota drivers are in the top-15 in the unofficial NNS driver points following Phoenix -- Busch (third), Logano (seventh), Wallace (ninth), Leffler (10th), Gaughan (11th), Sorenson (12th), Annett (13th) and Scott (14th).
The JGR No. 18 Camry, primarily driven by Busch, currently leads the unofficial NNS owner's point standings -- holding a 41-point lead with one race remaining in the 2010 season.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How was your race? "It was so-so, I guess. You know at the beginning of the race we were okay. We led some laps from the take off but we weren't -- I knew Carl (Edwards) was definitely faster than the 12 (Justin Allgaier) at the beginning of the race. We made little adjustments here and there. We got the balance better but I didn't feel like we got any faster. I don't know. We had a decent run in the GameStop Toyota, just thought we were going to be better than that after practice. Carl (Edwards) had his car hooked up today, we had nothing for him. I don't think anyone had anything for him, he was pretty fast."
Where did you lose ground on Carl Edwards? "Everywhere, he basically had that thing hooked up pretty good. Down there in (turns) one and two you're tight in the center and loose off the corner. He (Carl Edwards) looked like he was a little bit better than me in the center and off the corner he was every bit as good as I was. He just had that little bit there in the center and in (turns) three and four he just carried more speed all the way through the corner. Just a little bit faster than us. One to go, we're going to go to Homestead and win."
Are you satisfied with a third-place finish at Phoenix? "We worked on our car and got it better on the short run but not as fast as the 60, Carl (Edwards) was just really fast. We did everything we could to get ourselves better, but didn't have the speed that we needed to. We were a little bit short, I don't know. I go into this place, one of my favorite race tracks and you expect to be up there with a shot to win. We were close, we just needed a little more speed. The last 15 laps we were as fast as he was. Overall, we had the pole today, I thought we were going to have a shot at winning it but came up a little bit short. We'll go to Homestead and try to get one more win there."
REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Did the sun play a role in today's race? "It just made it slick. The sun out here is pretty brutal, it gets the track hot and slick. We had more of a difference between sets of tires than really the track changing -- that's what we were dealing with."
Was it hard to maneuver your car after the power steering went out? "It wasn't fun, I don't want to do it again, I can tell you that. We were actually catching the 22 (Brad Keselowski) and were pretty fast. I went left and the car just went straight, I couldn't turn the wheel and it was the power steering. To finish a race like that, it wasn't very fun. It was hard to run fast laps like that. I was able to kind of maintain on the guys behind us, but it kind of hurt us there at the end. Other than that, the Dollar General team did great. It was a great day for us with another top - five. We were getting close to getting the car where we can win a race, we just didn't get up there fast enough. All in all it was a great day for the Dollar General Camry."
STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 09 Shore Lodge Toyota Camry, RAB Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
How was your first Nationwide Series race? "I think it work out pretty good. We come here to run top-15, and we ended up 15th. It was good. It's what we wanted. We obviously didn't get the qualifying run we wanted and that made it tough for us to come forward. The pit crew was on all day. We really made up some spots here on pit road. We made some up on the track, too. We raced with some big names and I think we learned a lot. And, if I just get some more chances I think I can really run good in the series. I think everything went pretty good."
How much did you learn in today's race? "I learned a lot lap-by-lap. It was so hard to -- I just kept making mistakes because it was my first time out there. I'd make a mistake. Every time was different. We had a couple of short runs and then the long run at the end that we didn't expect. Our car just got away from us and I kind of drove it pretty hard and maybe wore out the tires too much. A little bit of everything. I think we had a really good car and if we could have had a pit stop there at the end I think we could have come back and got close to the top-10. All in all it was a good day."
Did anything surprise you today? "A lot. Like I said, it's just a big learning curve. Once I kind of started figuring it out it was time to learn something new. It was trying to learn something to use it later in the race and it really didn't work because later in the race is different than the beginning. I need some seat time to figure it out, but I think I can."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 NOS Energy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 16th
JASON RATCLIFF, crew chief, No. 18 NOS Energy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What type of tire problem did you have late in the race? "We must have run over something. It was after the last caution. Before that I thought we were making good gains on the car. It was getting closer to the 60 (Carl Edwards). We still didn't have what we needed to race the 60, but after 40 laps on some of the previous runs our lap times -- we were able to close in on him just a little bit. It would have been nice to see what would have happened there if we didn't have that problem. But, we must have run over something and then whatever we ran over must have knocked a belt off the rear end and the rear end got hot. So, that didn't help us any either."
What do you think of today's results make the owner's point standings closer? "It's going to make it exciting. You hate that it comes down to something like that. We got one more race to go and all we got to do is be one point ahead."
MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Pilot Flying J Coffee Toyota Camry, Germain
Finishing Position: 18th
RICKY CARMICHAEL, No. 10 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
JAMES BUESCHER, No. 11 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 22nd
RYAN TRUEX, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Diamond Waltrip
Finishing Position: 23rd
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 Alliance Parts Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace
Finishing Position: 27th
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 33rd
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 00 Travis Pastrana Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip
Finishing Position: 34th
What happened to take your car out of the race? "I'm not real sure what happened there -- something broke on the race car. Just a tough day, we had a decent car throughout practice and made some changes last night and just went the wrong way with the car. The car got really, really tight and we were falling back then we got run into and got our fender bent -- that made it worse. I'm not sure what happened right there with the spin and the wreck. The car just spun out and out of the blue. I'd been really tight and it just spun out, I'm not sure what happened. We'll look into it but it's a tough day for all these guys, it's very frustrating. We've had some really good runs in this car this year and today we were just way off. It was a rather frustrating day."
-source: toyota motorsports