Phoenix II: Toyota teams race notes, quotes

Reed Sorenson earned a third-place finish in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Phoenix International Raceway. Mike Bliss (eighth) and Kyle Busch (ninth) also earned top-10 finishes for Toyota. Camry driver Denny Hamlin led...

Reed Sorenson earned a third-place finish in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Mike Bliss (eighth) and Kyle Busch (ninth) also earned top-10 finishes for Toyota.

Camry driver Denny Hamlin led twice for 91 laps before a spin on lap 158 relegated him to a 12th-place finish.

Toyota drivers Trevor Bayne (14th), David Reutimann (18th), Michael Annett (20th), Jason Leffler (27th) and Chris Cook (43rd) were also in the field.

This season, Camry drivers have recorded 14 victories, 65 top-fives, 122 top-10 finishes, and have led 3,719 laps.

Busch now leads the unofficial NNS point standings by 190 points over second-place Carl Edwards with one race remaining this season. Once he takes the green flag next weekend, Busch will clinch the 2009 NNS driver's championship.

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MIKE BLISS, No. 11 Ridemakerz.com Toyota Camry, CJM Racing
Finishing Position: 8th

How was your car today? "I really thought we'd run better. We were just tight all day and just could not get it to turn center off. We fought it all day. Some decisions Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) and I talked about, we just left it too tight. We should have had the car a lot freer. But, we finished eighth and I guess that's good."

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KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 9th

JASON RATCLIFF, crew chief, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What happened early in the race to put you guys behind? "We felt pretty good about our car yesterday in happy hour and didn't make a lot of changes to it this morning. We just didn't start off right there. He (Kyle Busch) wasn't happy with it and then I'm not sure what happened. We spun out there on our own and the 29 (Clint Bowyer) ran into us a little bit or we collected the wall, whatever happened. From that point on we were just trying to survive. The guys did a good job on pit road. We just fell a little bit short of clinching it. I think all we have to do is start next week and we'll be the champions for 2009. We're happy about that, we wish we would have had a better run today at Phoenix. Clinching the title today would have been great. But, of course it would have been great to do it last week. It just wasn't meant to be today. All we have to do is start next week and we should have it."

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DENNY HAMLIN, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 12th

How was your race? "We had a good car at the beginning and it looked like -- I chose the outside line to see if it would work and it just didn't work and we lost track position and then our car got really loose on one lap and I just ended up heating up the right rear tire too much and then got shuffled back. I just didn't have the car right there at the end to be able to race those guys."

What happened with you and Brad Keselowski? "I got into him in the center of (turn) one and two. I don't know if we got loose or something and then after that he (Brad Keselowski) spun us. I can sit here and bash him for the next 20 seconds or so and give you all a bunch of sound bites and everything, but I'm just happy I signed up for next week's Nationwide race. In turn there's a lot of guys that owe him, there's a lot of guys that have a lot of chips that they're going to cash in and I'm just going to be the first at the pay window."

Do you think that NASCAR needs to get involved with Brad Keselowski at this point? "Nah, nah I'll take care of him, it's no biggie. I got him. He'll learn the hard way. I run these races for fun and he's (Brad Keselowski) in it trying to get second in the points. He's going to run Sunday's and I'm racing for a Chase and he's racing to make sure he stays in his seat so I'm just going to do my job and if the opportunity arises I'm going to handle the situation the way I should and the way anybody else would."

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TREVOR BAYNE, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 14th

How was your first race at Phoenix? "We got to pass a lot of cars, that's for sure. We started 37th after qualifying and going out first, that killed us. I love this race track. It's one of the most fun places I've been just because you get to drive it. It's not riding around holding the steering wheel. We had a pretty good car at the beginning. We followed the 18 (Kyle Busch) and the 29 (Clint Bowyer) all the way up through the field. Once we got to about 12th we leveled off with everybody. We kept trying to adjust it and made some good adjustments and we made some bad adjustments and unfortunately some bad adjustments were at the very end. We had to try something, we were maintaining where we were at and we needed to try moving forward. We just lost too much rear grip and fell back a couple extra spots. I think if we would have left it alone we could have stayed in the top 10, but you know you have to try stuff. You have to keep moving forward because you know everyone else is going to be. It was a good run, I guess. Good job in the pits. The car was halfway clean until about 20 (laps) to go and then they got in the right side of us in the wreck in turn four. It was a decent day and we learned a lot."

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DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 10 Beringer Vineyards Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 18th

MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers/Germain.com Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Finishing Position: 20th

JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finishing Position: 27th

CHRIS COOK, No. 47 ConstructionJobs.com Toyota Camry, JTG Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 43rd

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Jason Leffler , Trevor Bayne , Mike Bliss , David Reutimann , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Brad Keselowski , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson , Chris Cook , Michael Annett , Kyle Busch
Teams Germain Racing , JTG Daugherty Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing