Joey Logano (10th) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway.
Logano’s top-10 finish marks his first of the season and fourth at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in five starts.
Other Camry drivers in the field included Martin Truex Jr. (13th), David Reutimann (14th), Casey Mears (22nd), Denny Hamlin (23rd), Bobby Labonte (24th), Michael Waltrip (28th), Kyle Busch (35th), Kasey Kahne (37th), Brian Vickers (38th), Joe Nemechek (41st) and Kevin Conway (43rd).
Busch fell to sixth-place in the unofficial NSCS point standings after Talladega, and is now 38 points behind leader Carl Edwards.
Other Toyota drivers in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings after eight of 36 races include Hamlin (17th), Kahne (18th) and Truex (19th).
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 10th What did you think of the racing today? “It was Talladega — we were just pushing each other like a bunch of idiots. I didn’t mean to get into my teammate. Kyle (Busch) and I were working good together. We won yesterday together. We wanted it to go the same way today. We were working with each other really good again today. Our communication is really good. We know what we need to do with each other to go fast. Just got out there on the outside and spun him out. It’s a product of the racing. I think he was a little bit free as it was. When you get up there and you have to turn the wheel a little bit extra at the end, it’s enough to get him loose and I just helped him the rest of the way. It was unfortunate to get our teammate there, but there at the end I was trying to work with the 11 (Denny Hamlin) and I don’t know — there was cars wrecking in front of us, we all checked up and they keep it green. Go figure. I don’t know. I don’t know how that all works, but we lost a lot of time there. I had to go with the 34 (David Gilliland) and we pushed him up to 10th. I wish the race was 150 laps shorter than it is because it’s pretty much a waste of time the rest of the time. Either way, it’s a good run for the Home Depot Toyota. We finally got a top-10 this year. Something we can build off of for sure and we can keep going from here. We just need to keep backing these things up.”
Do you like the two-car draft? “No — I would rather be in a bigger pack. At one point we just got off each other just to save our race cars and save our bumpers. We just saved our stuff there until we needed it and we were able to push hard at the end of the race. You just ride around for the first few — we kind of used up what we had in the beginning and see what we can do. Towards the middle we just decided to ride and we were able to keep up with all of us in line. There were probably 10 of us in line. We were able to go fast enough to keep up. That was the best way and at the end you just have to push, push, push.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Finishing Position: 13th How was your race today? “Man, it feels good to finish one of these races. The last two weeks have been hard on this NAPA team, but we’ve remained focused and got a solid finish and a good bunch of points. It also feels good to lead some laps again. I’ve said it all season, I’ve got a great race team and we had a shot to win again. We just have a little more work to do to cool our cars down, but overall, our car was an improvement from the one we had in Daytona. I’m pleased.”
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Coloring Contest Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 14th How was your race today? “I’m just disappointed. Really felt like we were going to be better than that. Got in line there and had to shove. The thing got really, really hot and just couldn’t push any harder so it’s disappointing. We would get in the middle and for some reason our car would get pulled off of the car in front. We need to figure that out. The guys did a great job. Just not the finish we were looking for.”
CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 22nd
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 23rd
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Bush’s Baked Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Finishing Position: 24th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 15 Aaron’s/Auburn University Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 28th How do you feel about your race today? “I’m just disappointed. I thought we had a really good shot to win the race. Being up there in the mix, I really thought we had a chance. The team did a really good job preparing the car. This car was perfectly capable of winning, but we just made a mistake and that cost us a chance to have a shot.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Pretzel Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 35th Was your spin caused by something Joey Logano did in drafting with you? “Joey (Logano) and I worked great all day. Didn’t have any issues. We had to go to the top to get around some of those guys. I got spun out — nothing Joey did wrong. Just a product of what we’ve got. So far at every restrictor plate race I’ve been spun out — maybe it’s something I’m doing.”
KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 37th Are you okay following the fire in your race car? “I’m fine. I actually didn’t really even get in that bad of a wreck. It was more the car just got some flames in the back because of the oil I guess. I sucked up a little bit of black smoke, but that was it. I stink, too.”
What was the racing like out there? “It was actually really good. When I was with Brian (Vickers) before Brian got taken out by whoever else wrecked there early, I think, myself and the Sheriff (Brian Vickers) were working pretty well together. We led laps, we were upfront and everything was good and then we lost him and from there it was just a struggle. I didn’t have a partner, so then I went and found one. We were a lap down because we were racing by ourselves half of the time.”
What did you see happen in front of you? “I saw the 6 (David Ragan) car blow up and then cars wrecked in front of him. There should’ve been a caution coming for the 6 blowing up and then other guys started wrecking in front of him. I have no idea why they wrecked. It’s just the way it went. I saw the 2 (Brad Keselowski) go right and they went right and they started coming left, so I went left and then back right. We just ended up being in it.”
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 38th What happened that took you out of the race? “From my perspective in the car, I was riding around minding my own business and we just got hit in the door. I just saw the replay coming out of the care center and it looked like Kurt (Busch) got into the left rear and turned the 09 (Landon Cassill) and we happened to be the unlucky victim. Again, we’ve had a really good car — ran up front all day, like we’ve had many times this year and unfortunately, we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Do you feel that you have to be in two cars at once in this type of racing? “You kind of do — you have to clear yourself and clear them. You have to be able to communicate where you’re going to go. When you’re the guy in the back, it’s hard — it’s really hard. It’s hard to know where to go and where not to go and whether to keep pushing or not.”
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 41st
KEVIN CONWAY, No. 97 Extenze Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 43rd