Joey Logano (second) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's rain-postponed NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway. Camry drivers Brian Vickers (ninth) and Brian Scott (10th) also had top-10 ...
Joey Logano (second) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's rain-postponed NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway.
Camry drivers Brian Vickers (ninth) and Brian Scott (10th) also had top-10 finishes.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Trevor Bayne (13th), Brendan Gaughan (27th), Kyle Busch (34th), Steve Wallace (39th), Reed Sorenson (40th), Jason Leffler (41st) and Michael Annett (43rd).
Eight Toyota drivers are in the top-20 in the unofficial NNS driver points following the Talladega race -- Busch (third), Logano (seventh), Scott (eighth), Gaughan (12th), Bayne (13th), Wallace (14th), Leffler (15th) and Annett (17th).
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your race today? "The GameStop Toyota was really fast, but it was a heck of a pusher and not much of a leader. That was the problem we had with it. We had a heck of a run there at the end to get back up there. I actually got put in the same scenario that I was in for the Cup race, sitting there in 10th with about three (laps) to go. The same scenario came up and I did the same thing, made the same move and it worked this time so that was the good thing. I was hoping that Brad (Keselowski) wasn't going to spin out because it was going to be the same thing twice. Apparently I push a lot of people to win. I pushed David (Ragan) to win here last year and pushed Brad this time. Sometime maybe someone can push me to the lead that would be pretty cool."
Did you get enough racing today? "I think I got plenty of racing. My eyeballs are about to pop out of my head."
How have you been able to improve on restrictor plate races? "I have had good cars. I've watched a lot of races and I've been hung out a lot just to realize that I need to be the pusher. I think that's what keeps you up front the most consistently without going forward or backwards. I think if you can just stay in line and go when you need to. It just seems that at the end of the race, I've been the pusher each time. Someday it would be nice if I got pushed to the win. Second place is still decent. I don't know why, but I just have a good car and being at the right time and the right place, getting lucky a couple times today. Staying out of a couple wrecks, getting loose a few times and a few hits and saved them. We've had some close calls out there, but I guess we were lucky."
How draining is it for you running both races in one day? "I think this week is different than last week. Texas was physically more demanding than this track is. This place is as much or more mentally. You're just always looking in the mirror, looking ahead and always looking for things going on around you. Mentally it probably gets you a little bit more. I was fine. I didn't have any issues or anything. Last week I was good too. It's different getting out of the Cup car and then walking over to the Nationwide trailer, changing suits and getting some food. All right, buckle back in and let's go. That's a little different than normal, but as long as we're getting the races in, I'm happy."
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
What did you see of the accident that took place at the end of the race? "Somebody wrecked the 21 (Clint Bowyer) and we just got caught up in it. It was just another big pile-up there at the end. Our car was okay. I don't think we had the strongest car on the race track, but we were okay."
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 AccuDoc Solutions Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
How was your race today? "It's Talladega. We had a good car. During the green flag stops we fell back and lost the draft a little bit. That green-white- checkered gave us a chance to get a top-10 finish like we did. Have to thank everybody on the AccuDoc Solutions Toyota. They did a good job. Unfortunately, we got wrecked right there at the end, but we got a top-10. I don't think we have anymore superspeedway races with this type of car so luckily we won't have to fix it or anything."
How do you rate your rookie season? "It's hard to set your expectations when you come into a rookie season. I learned that when I went into the Camping World Truck Series in my rookie season. You try to be realistic, but you try to be optimistic. It's a hard line to balance as a rookie. Coming into this year, it was pretty much the same issue. How do you try to be successful, but not try to be unrealistic with your expectations. We're just working at being there at the end and being on the lead lap is kind of the first thing you have to accomplish in order to even have a chance at a good finish. Capturing the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title is pretty important and learning and gaining respect, especially when you get to these places. Respect is everything. If nobody can trust you or nobody can run with you then they're not going to. That's something you accumulate through the whole year. You can't just go out there and maybe show on one lap that you're fast, you need to have their respect. I think that I've done a decent job. I seem to be able to get people like Kyle Busch to be able to work with me. We're leading the Raybestos Rookie of the Year points, which is a pretty high goal that we set for ourselves. I think people are comfortable racing around me. From all those standpoints, it's been pretty successful, but yet we want to have better finishes than we've had. We've had a couple wrecks. Even here, we had a top-10. You tell anybody, any race car driver, any team that you could get a top-10 or that you could sign a contract for a top-10 at Talladega, every single person would take it. We're really pleased with that, but we have a torn up race car too. It's always a balancing act with expectations with everything you have to do in your rookie season."
What did you see in the wreck on the final lap? "All I saw was that staying on the bottom that was about the only line moving there at the end. I saw the 88 (Jamie McMurray) get sideways. I tried to judge where they were going to go and it looked like they were going to stay right on the apron to the banking of the race track. I ducked down and got next to the grass and it looked clear to me. Right there at the end, I think some car came down right in front of me and that's when we piled the front up. Started leaking water and just tried to get to the finish line. I really didn't see any of the wreck other than the 88 get sideways, me turning down to the apron and thinking I was going to make it through and then a car came down in front of me and me nailing him pretty hard. I don't know who it was. Everything happened so quick, I didn't even get a chance to see. I hope he's okay, I hit him driver's side and luckily I'm okay. Just busted the radiator and made it difficult to find my way to the start-finish line. I was just driving by what my spotter was saying, I couldn't see anything. Luckily we didn't run into anything else or hit anything else and we made it to the finish line for a top-10."
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Diamond-Waltrip Racing
How was your race car today? "Our Aaron's Toyota wasn't very good in qualifying, but we were really good in the race. We were a much better pusher than we were leading the race. I was able to make some moves toward the end to get us up to the top-five, but then when we were up against the wall on the last run, there was just nowhere for me to go and I got wrecked."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 South Point Casino & Hotel Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
How was your race car today? "Our Toyota Camry was pretty darn strong. We would get to the front, get a little hot and then go to the back and keep waiting. I screwed up and got a pit road penalty and the pit road penalty put us a lap down. We were racing almost for nothing there. I really couldn't tell you what happened, I was so far in the back. These things you're nose to tail, you can't see and I just know the last race on that race car and unfortunately it didn't get to come home in one piece and didn't have a good run to end it."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened that took you out of the race? "It started wrecking in front of me and I went low, missed everything and then was turning back up to the race track because there's grass down there and you have to get back to the race track before you get back to the corner - somebody came out of nowhere and just flat-sided me in the right side door, turned me sideways and hit another car. I don't know where they're going, but you can't follow in with two other cars that are wrecking in the grass in front of me. We got ourselves behind because we were idiots. We had too much tape on and overheated and got behind. Then we got run over coming to pit road from behind. Had a tire rub, had to come back and got a lap down. All around, just mismanaged day."
STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5-hour Energy Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
REED SORENSON, No. 10 Braun Racing Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
What happened that took you out of the race? "I don't know what happened so I'll have to see a replay. Somebody got the 60 (Carl Edwards) turned. I saw him get turned and you're kind of stuck wherever you are and you have to kind of just hope to get through it and he (Edwards) came back up the track there in front of everybody so it wasn't fun."
Were guys being too aggressive too early in today's race? "I don't think so. The dumb thing is we were at our competition caution lap for our competition yellow and people were racing like they were trying to win the race. Kind of silly to do that."
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Are you disappointed to be taken out of the race so early? "Yeah, it is. Figuring we were one lap from a competition yellow there so that was kind of a bummer. Everybody on the outside -- I was kind of on the outside because it's the safe place to be and just got cleaned out. That happens here at Talladega. It's just kind of a bummer though that early in the race. There was a lot of fun to be had, but not anymore."
MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
What happened to take you out of the race? "There's not much to say. We were all frustrated because we were one lap away from the competition caution. Those spots aren't going to matter when you're coming down pit road. It sucks. This is one of my favorite races and to be out on lap 19 it just takes all of the fun out of it. We're done with these cars, we'll start building our new ones and go to Daytona and have some fun there. I guess the only good thing to come out of it is we don't need that car anymore"
-source: toyota motorsports