Toyota NSCS Martinsville Post-Race Notes & QuotesBy Official Release
TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Martinsville Speedway – April 7, 2013
Clint Bowyer (second) was the highest finishing Camry driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway.
Toyota drivers Kyle Busch (fifth) and Mark Martin (10th) also earned top-10 results at the half-mile oval.
Martin substituted for injured Camry driver Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 FedEx Camry at Martinsville. Brian Vickers will take over the No. 11 beginning next week at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch (56 laps), Matt Kenseth (96 laps) and Travis Kvapil (one lap) all led laps during Sunday’s 500-lap race. In 26 previous Martinsville starts, Kenseth had led a total of 73 laps.
Other Camry drivers in the field included Vickers (11th), Kenseth (14th), Bobby Labonte (21st), Joe Nemechek (34th), David Stremme (36th), David Reutimann (38th), Travis Kvapil (39th) and Martin Truex Jr. (40th).
Three Camry drivers are in the top-12 in the unofficial point standings, including Busch (fourth), Bowyer (eighth) and Kenseth (10th).
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 RK Motors Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Did you think you had a shot at the win in the closing laps?
“Well, last year I had the upper hand with tires and it just didn’t work out. That time I was on the outside and it definitely was the opposite of that. Just proud of the RK Motors Toyota. The guys did a good job. Brian Pattie (crew chief) and everybody on this 15 car did a good job bringing a fast car. It’s just disappointing — she was just tore up too bad. We was lucky to get back up where we were and make some good adjustments. All in all it was a good day. 5-hour, Peak, AAA — everybody that’s a part of this car — it’s a good program and a good group of guys. Just wish I’d had that clock.”
Did you have as strong of a car in the race as you did in practice?
“We did — disappointed for sure. We had a fast car all weekend long and really thought we were maybe going to be walking out of here with a Grandfather clock. I tore the car up pretty bad over here off of (turn) four. I checked up and I got hit from behind, pushed into the 1 (Jamie McMurray) and all hell broke loose. All in all, second place isn’t bad, but it sure sucks right now.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Was your car strong enough to win?
“I thought through the middle we had a pretty good piece and we had something to challenge them with. There at the end when it was go time just didn’t quite have enough in this M&M’s Camry — just not enough turn and not enough drive off. We have to work on all those things. It’s all about minimizing your time off the throttle here and we didn’t figure all that out here this weekend.”
Do you think you made the right call by staying out on the final caution?
“I don’t know what anybody that came (to pit road) finished, but we just — getting stuck on the outside lane on restarts just kills you. We fought hard up there and tried to do what we could and just had to fade gracefully I guess you’d call it. The M&M’s guys did a great job today and gave me a really good car. We keep finishing top-five here all of the time, but it’d sure be nice to figure out some sort of secret that could get us into victory lane here. It would be nice to bring home a Grandfather clock, but not this week.”
MARK MARTIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
How was the race?
“It wasn’t that great of a result — we were capable of a little bit better, but we just kept stumping our toe on Friday and then we had a setback when we were about to get into position. I just want to thank Joe Gibbs (team owner, Joe Gibbs Racing). I did not fill Denny Hamlin’s shoes, I can tell you that much. He (Hamlin) is the master. I enjoyed this opportunity — it was fun.”
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55 Jet Edge Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
How was the race?
“Considering everything we had to come through it was a decent day to come in 11th. Considering we got in that crash early — a bunch of cars, like a 10-car pileup. I’m not sure what caused the wreck up in front of us. Had a lot of damage on the car, went a lap down and came back from that. The Jet Edge guys did a great job preparing it. Then there at the end we drove all the way back up to the top-five and blew a left-rear tire. I think we cut it. We had great tire wear and I can’t imagine we wore the left-rear out. Who knows? That put us another lap down. Then we came back from that to a solid 11th.”
How will you approach your first race in the No. 11 next week?
“Hopefully, trying to win. I really hate it for Denny (Hamlin). I’ve been in his position before where you’re passion has been pulled away from you. I just want to get in the car and do the best I can for him and for FedEx, Toyota and (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) until he can return.”
What happened between you and Kevin Harvick after the checkered flag?
“I don’t know — I have to talk to (Kevin) Harvick about it. We haven’t really raced that much all day and then he (Harvick) just wrecked us after the checkered flag. It was a blatant, pretty blatant — he just turned right into us. The 10 (Danica Patrick) and I were racing pretty hard. I got to her and got under her several times and she ran me down in the marbles, ran me across the curb, was blocking pretty bad so I put the bumper to her a little bit. If you’re going to block — if you’re going to run me across the curb then you have to expect to get the same in return. We raced hard all day and we raced clean with a lot of people. I would say I did the same with Danica — I didn’t try to wreck her. If you’re going to run me through the marbles then what am I going to do?”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 14th
How was the race?
“We ran really great — that’s the best we ever ran at Martinsville and the best car I’ve ever had here by far. That part was all good. We just didn’t get the finish, which is disappointing — we’ve got to start getting some finishes. I had a great car and that’s the good part.”
What adjustments did the team make during the race?
“I’m not really sure — I thought we were pretty good until about lap 350. I think the track got a little tighter and we got a little off. We could still hang in the top-five, but then we got shoved back to sixth or seventh on a restart and then I just could not go anywhere on new tires.”
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Bush’s Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 34th
DAVID STREMME, No. 30 Swan Energy Toyota Camry, Swan Racing
Finishing Position: 36th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 38th
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 39th
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 40th