Kasey Kahne (fourth) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Dover International Speedway.
Camry driver Kyle Busch (sixth) also finished in the top-10 at the one-mile concrete oval — his 17th top-10 of 2011.
Mayetta, N.J.-native Martin Truex Jr. (30th) started the race from the pole position for his sixth career NSCS pole.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included David Reutimann (13th), Brian Vickers (14th), Denny Hamlin (18th), Bobby Labonte (26th), Joey Logano (29th), Casey Mears (35th), Joe Nemechek (39th) and Michael McDowell (40th).
Busch is now eighth in the unofficial NSCS point standings — 15 points behind leader Kevin Harvick — after three of 10 Chase for the Sprint Cup races. Hamlin remains 12th in the standings — 68 points behind the leader.
KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 4th How was your car today? “We had a strong Red Bull Toyota throughout the race and at times we were the best car, but at the end I got a little bit tight. Then I had a great restart and I thought we were going to get to second and Jimmie (Johnson) just was coming down getting into (turn) one, so I let him go rather than wreck him. That was kind of our race, but we ran well. The team’s still fighting hard even though there’s some uncertainty with the guys, some of the guys. The Red Bull guys are still fighting hard and doing a really good job. Kenny Francis (crew chief) called a good race and we were right there all day.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 6th How would you assess your race day? “I don’t know, it was alright. We had a pretty decent Interstate Batteries Camry and fought for a top-10 spot all day long. When it was too tight, it just didn’t have enough turn to keep speed in it and when it was too loose there was just no rear grip to go fast. Just missed a little bit. Track position was a lot and we kept our track position today, which is good. We fought hard and we held in there as hard as we could and to come out here with a sixth.”
How do you look at the Chase with seven more races after closing in on the points margin? “It’s deceiving because you shave points off, but then you lose two spots . It’s alright. It’s the margin. You’re back, which is all that matters. We’re still in the thing, so you keep fighting and keep doing what you know how to do and hope that your Michigan setup works pretty good at Kansas.”
Are you glad you don’t have to come back to a track like Dover this year? “There’s nothing wrong with Dover. Dover is a great race track — it’s fun. This is one of our better race tracks. We’d like to come back here more rather than a place like Loudon or Talladega or something like that. There’s some good tracks coming up. Anything can happen, you know we saw it today. (Tony) Stewart won the first two races and didn’t run very good at all today. You just keep fighting. What are we now, seven long more weeks.”
Did you think you would get a better finish today? “It’s hard to put it in perspective that we feel good about a sixth. You know, we came out of the pits there the last stop and were fourth and got up to third and I felt like if the car would just stay where it had been all day — just a little bit tight — we would have been able to hold those guys off. But, we went so loose. We have no idea why it went that loose. I was just barely hanging on the last 30 laps of the race. Lucky to come out of here with a sixth. It’s better that we got there than we fell further back.”
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 13th
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Finishing Position: 14th
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 18th Were you battling a tight race car during the race? “Yeah, we were pretty much tight all day, just couldn’t really get a feel for it. No matter what we did, really it stayed tight all day. It was kind of — we kind of didn’t have that good of a car today.”
What challenges does a tight race car present to your race team? “Well, we couldn’t get to the throttle on exit because of it. With this race track you really have to be able to put the power down and on this one we just couldn’t. Our front end wouldn’t hold it.”
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Grilling.com Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Finishing Position: 26th
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 29th
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 30th
CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Finishing Position: 35th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 39th
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 HP Racing, LLC Toyota Camry, HP Racing Finishing Position: 40th