Joey Logano (third) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Delaware’s Dover International Speedway.
Kyle Busch (sixth) and Denny Hamlin (ninth) also recorded top-10 results for Toyota at the one-mile concrete oval.
All three Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Camrys finished in the top-10 today in Dover.
It marks the second time in three races and third time this season that all three JGR drivers finished in the top-10.
Other Camry drivers in the field included Reed Sorenson (16th), Marcos Ambrose (20th), Casey Mears (29th), Scott Speed (32nd), Martin Truex Jr. (34th), David Reutimann (35th), Kevin Conway (37th), Mike Bliss (40th) and Joe Nemechek (41st). Hamlin maintains the unofficial points lead with a 35-point advantage over second-place and race-winner Jimmie Johnson after race two of 10 in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff. Fellow Camry driver and JGR teammate, Busch is third (-45 points). Hamlin’s current point lead is the largest after two races since the Chase format began in 2004.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 2nd How did you feel about the race today? “I’m just trying to catch my breath. That was a long race. We had a good Home Depot Toyota – a really good car. We had a good car in practice too. We had to start in the back, but felt like we did a good job working our way up there today and made good adjustments on this race car. Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) did a good job. Pretty happy with it. I feel like we were close to winning that thing. Came up a little bit short, but either way it’s better than last year.” What did you have to work on with your race car today? “I think that’s typical stuff that we’ve had every weekend. We started towards the back thanks to me in qualifying. The guys did a really good job getting my car good in practice and had a really good car in Happy Hour. Just battled along all day and got the Home Depot Toyota real good. Just a little tight here and loose there, just playing around with it. Our car was good – I don’t know if it was good enough to win, but I felt like we were close and I’m excited about that. Want to thank Home Depot, Toyota and all those guys. It’s definitely a good run for us. We still have to work on our consistency. We wrecked last week, we finished third this week so we have to somehow figure out how we can do this week in and week out.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 6th Do you feel like you should have finished better in today’s race? “We definitely had a better car than where we finished. There through about lap 300 or so, I thought we had a car capable of winning. We were fast. If I drove it a little bit over my head and a little harder, it was faster than the 48 (Jimmie Johnson), but I about wrecked a couple times so I just backed up and rode there. Waited for another pit stop to try to adjust on it and we did and we couldn’t get the tight back out of it. We were loose and then we tightened it back up and once we did that last tighten up, we just couldn’t get it back. We were just too tight the rest of the day. I don’t know what happened, we just lost some lap time. We thought we should have finished second. That’s where this Interstate Batteries Camry should have run. The 48 was probably the best car today. We’ll take it. Not where we want to be, but another solid top-10, what are you going to do?” Are you comfortable with where you are in the Chase after Dover? “We could have been a lot better today. I’m disappointed with that. We should have been second, that’s where we should have finished. We got loose there and then we made an adjustment to tighten it up and we just never got the tight back out of the car. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) did a great job. All the guys did a great job on pit road. I feel like we’re fine where we’re at, but we’re not showing anything yet and maybe we don’t have to do that until five races to go.” Should anyone be surprised that Jimmie Johnson won the race today? “With his (Jimmie Johnson) track record here, with the way he’s able to rebound after bad performances – those guys, they came out here and knew what they had to do and they did that and they produced. We felt like we were right there and capable of running with them, but unfortunately we just missed a couple things.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) How was your race overall today? “It was a good day for us, but man, legitimately we had a second-place car. I thought that we had something for Jimmie (Johnson) with about 100 (laps) to go. I could gain on him, but I was just over-driving the car and I figured we had another pit stop left so let’s just wait and ride around here and relax a little bit. After that, the car just built up a tight – a tight that I just could never get back out of the car. Unfortunately, the Interstate Batteries Camry was just that good, but didn’t finish quite where we wanted to. Overall, a good day. The guys were solid on pit road, everything went well – communication and all was there. It’s a solid day. The average is going to be a sixth, but with our ninth – that doesn’t quite give us what we want. We were hoping for a second or third today.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 9th Are you happy with your finish today? “It was a decent day. I said in my head today that the number was eight. We missed it by one, but it was a good fight for the FedEx team. We didn’t have the best car today, but we fought through and made something of it. This is what we needed to do to get by this weekend and we feel like we can run with them from here on out.” How do you feel about your position in the Chase moving ahead to tracks that you consider to be strong for you? “I feel good about it. This is a huge obstacle for us. This track has bitten us in the Chase for the last four years so to get out of here keeping the point lead at least. I know these guys are charging, but this was our biggest obstacle we had to fight. From here on out I feel like it will be better.” Are you happy you survived this track? “It was important for us to survive. That was one of the things, we’ve either wrecked here or broke here or just ran like crap here in the points in the past. To get out of here with this kind of finish is a good look for our team. I fully anticipated losing the point lead when I left here, but to be able to keep it is good. I’ve got a little buffer going into the tracks that we’re strong at.” Is this the most comfortable you’ve felt after two Chase races? “Yeah, for sure. This is the best position I’ve been in.” Do you think everything with Kevin Harvick is behind you for the rest of the Chase? “I think so. It is on my part. All we’re caring about right now is focusing on just getting top-fives and top-10s from here on out – and wins at the tracks that we know we can win at. For me, I think it’s important that we just move on from this and it’s a learning lesson.” How do you keep this momentum going? “You go next week and you finish strong again and that’s all we can do is just keep building on the momentum we have and as bad as a ninth-place spot sounds for us, here at Dover we’re going to take it. We’re going to take a top-10 here because the past four Chase races have been absolutely miserable for us here. Even though you come in here with a new mindset every single time you come here, it’s still in the back of my mind that this place has just got the better of me.” Is it déjà vu to have Jimmie Johnson back in the Chase hunt with his win today? “I don’t think so. I think everyone anticipated that he (Jimmie Johnson) was going to make a charge here. He wasn’t going to run 25th every single weekend and we definitely knew that he was going to come on strong. He’s the champ. He’s the one that set the standard over the last four years and he’s the guy that ultimately we feel like we’re going to have to beat in this whole thing.” How do you not let Jimmie Johnson’s win affect you? “I think I’ve ran four years here, I’ve never seen Jimmie (Johnson) once because he’s always been so far ahead of me and I at least kept him in sight today. To me, I think we’re catching him.” Were you trying to stay quiet in today’s race? “I was running by myself all day. It was a lot like it was here in the spring. Nobody was around me all day so it was kind of uneventful. If somebody would come up, I would let them pass. Track position is so hard at this race track and the rubber that builds up on the race track makes it so hard to pass that you are almost racing this track like Darlington now. No one is really racing each other anymore. It’s a challenge in itself just to keep your own car straight much less have to worry about anyone else.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) Do you believe this race was more of a statement by your team? “I think so. I think a lot of people are just waiting for us to slip up, like we have done in the past. I just don’t see that happening this time around. I just think our team is too focused at this point and we’re running too well for that to happen. I think it’s going to go all the way to the wire. My opinion, I think there’s going to be a handful of guys that are going to be racing legitimately for this championship at Homestead. Hopefully we’re one of those groups. That’s a really good track for us. I just don’t see anyone really running away with it this year. The competition’s just too strong.” What does it mean to have Joey Logano finish third in today’s race? “I’d like to acquire his (Joey Logano) feel. He’s got a great feel for this race track. It’s something that we can learn. I like it when Joey runs good because that’s more information that we can tap into for our 11 team. When the 20 team doesn’t run good or the 18 (Kyle Busch) team doesn’t run good, it does not help us one bit. We need all of our cars running competitively for that information exchange to work right. So the better that 20 runs, and hopefully if he keeps that momentum up, keeps running good, then he’s going to be a guy that’s hopefully in between us Chasers when I need him for a point or two. I think that’s going to be important.”
REED SORENSON, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 16th
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Bush’s Baked Beans/Scott Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Finishing Position: 20th
CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 29th
SCOTT SPEED, No. 82 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 32nd
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 34th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 35th
KEVIN CONWAY, No. 7 Extenze Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports Finishing Position: 37th
MIKE BLISS, No. 55 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports Finishing Position: 40th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Heat Redefined.com Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 41st