Denny Hamlin (12th) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Kansas Speedway.
Joey Logano (17th), Scott Speed (19th) and Martin Truex Jr. (20th) also finished in the top-20 in the 267-lap race at the 1.5-mile oval.
Other Camry drivers in the field included Kyle Busch (21st), Casey Mears (24th), Reed Sorenson (30th), Marcos Ambrose (34th), David Reutimann (35th), Kevin Conway (38th) and Landon Cassill (43rd).
Hamlin fell to second in the unofficial NSCS point standings and trails current leader Jimmie Johnson by eight points after the third race in the 10-race 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff. Kyle Busch fell four spots to seventh-place — 80 points behind Johnson.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 12th How was your race? “We were hanging around 20th for most of the day and the car just went back and forth, and even when I thought the balance was close we were just two- or three- or four-tenths off at times. We had some different stuff than what we typically had in our car for this race. I kind of was a little bit worried about it at the beginning, but I knew right away we were going to have a long day. It’s still a good fight for this FedEx team to rebound to 12th. It’s not the kind of run we want by any means, but obviously we’re not out of this by any means.” Are you disappointed in losing the championship points lead? “It’s tough. You’re going to have to run well all 10 of these races. The good part is we didn’t panic and get ourselves into a wreck or something like that. That’s the thing. It’s just you’ve got to make the most of your bad days and if this is a bad day for us then we’re going to rebound next weekend. We’re going to just keep fighting. That’s all we can do.” Do you have a target race in mind during the Chase where you need to be dominant? “I think the next few races we need to stay in the hunt and that’s going to be important for us. An important thing is to not make mistakes over these next few weeks. We need to have a shot at it going into those last five races so the next two weeks now is just about making sure we’re still in the hunt.”
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 17th
SCOTT SPEED, No. 82 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 19th
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA/Susan G. Komen Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 20th
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 21st What should NASCAR do to penalize David Reutimann for what happened? “Nothing. I thought about it more. Whatever. It’s just really unfortunate you know. These guys work their butts off and to put ourselves in the Chase and to have the opportunity to try to go after a championship and to have it end up something like that today. The guy (David Reutimann) was loose — said it on the radio. He slid up off the bottom and I got into him unintentionally and just spun him out. My fault 100 percent, but then the retaliation to a guy that’s in the Chase that’s racing for something. He’ll be here next year. He could’ve wrecked me in any of the first 26 races next year. That would’ve been fine. It’s just hard to swallow something like a day like today where we had a solid top-five car going. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) did a phenomenal job getting this M&M’s Camry to where we could run upfront and run those guys down and chase them down. And, we had a really good car going and just when we got hit there it just bent everything under the rear end. We salvaged the best we could, but still far off of where we could’ve been.”
CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 24th
REED SORENSON, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 30th
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Finishing Position: 34th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 35th What happened with Kyle Busch on the race track? “He got into me there early in the race and wrecked us, and pretty much messed up our day. That’s pretty much it.” Do you think Kyle Busch intentionally wrecked you? “He (Kyle Busch) just rolled over me. I’m on the bottom of the race track and he had the whole top of the race track to go to, and he ran over me. I got wrecked. You guys can sugarcoat it all the time, but he wrecked me. You can tell me how bad he wants it, how hard he drives, how much he wants it above everybody else. That’s all fine. You guys can say all that, but he just wrecked me.” Did you intentionally wreck Kyle Busch? “On my part? What do you think? It just got tight.” Have you had problems in the past with Kyle Busch? “We don’t have a history on the race track. There’s been stuff said, but as far as he and I, no problem. Do you think drivers in the Chase race you differently? “I don’t care if you’re in the Chase or not. You need to think about who you’re running over when you’re running over them. I don’t care who you are. If you’re in the Chase, you have as much responsibility to drive with respect as I do, or anybody else.” Do you feel bad about what happened looking back on the incident? “If you guys want me to feel bad, then yeah, I feel bad that our car got wrecked and it ruined our day. That’s what I feel bad about.”
KEVIN CONWAY, No. 7 Extenze Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports Finishing Position: 38th
LANDON CASSILL, No. 64 Little Joe’s Autos Toyota Camry, Gunselman Motorsports Finishing Position: 43rd