Brian Scott (third) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Scott earned his first career pole and led the field two times for five laps en route to equaling his career best NNS finish.
Camry drivers Ryan Truex (13th), Michael Annett (16th), Kenny Wallace (17th), Steve Wallace (18th), Joey Logano (19th) and Kevin Conway (24th) were also in the field at Chicagoland.
Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-15 in the unofficial NNS point standings following 28 of 34 races in the 2011 season — K. Wallace (seventh), S. Wallace (eighth), Scott (ninth), Annett (10th), and Nemechek (14th).
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 3rd How was your race? “The time that a lot of guys took two tires and we took four really paid off in the long run. The way that the first couple cautions fell, I felt like the end of the race was going to be a long run race and it was. Kevin Kidd (crew chief) and all the guys on my Shore Lodge Toyota did an awesome job making adjustments — keeping us in it for the long haul. I think there at the end we were a little faster than Carl (Edwards), but he was a little better in the traffic, and we just got a little too loose. After some of the luck we’ve had and had a fifth-place run ruined at Montreal, to be able to finish third here is a pretty good day.”
What does this finish mean to your season? “This just makes me more excited to hurry up and get the off weekend over with and get back to racing. We’ll go to Dover and hopefully have a good run — another track that I really like.”
How do you feel about today’s finish? “I feel really good about our run. It’s good to be back in the media center to actually do one of these things — it’s been too long. It’s good to see your faces. We had a good day all day long. We got the pole, led the first lap, but the 22 (Brad Keselowski) was really strong. We knew we were going to have to battle him all day and we needed to get our car better to do that. Through series of good pit stops and good adjustments from Kevin Kidd (crew chief), we started getting our No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota where it needed to be and I think that the long runs towards the end of the race really played to our advantage and our favor and we were able to make up a lot of ground, pass a lot of cars and have a pretty good race with Carl (Edwards) there for second.”
What do you think is needed to continue to get good finishes like today? “Just the consistency that we have in the team. To have a solid crew chief and the group of guys that we have on our team, and then to continue to put fast race cars on the race track. Racing with the Cup guys is the best experience that a Nationwide guy can get. You’re not going to get to that level unless you’re racing them. It took us a little bit to really hit on my feel for these new cars — going from the old Nationwide car and not having any Cup experience. But, we really have kind of started to find that and really dial in on it. Our performance has been a lot better than our finishes have shown lately. Today, I think it shows where our performance is capable of a team in a field full of a lot of Cup drivers. I’m proud of the effort and we just need to keep having runs like this to make it happen more often.”
RYAN TRUEX, No. 20 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 13th How was your race today? “We had a top-10 car. We just spun at the beginning there — I spun there — and we had to make our way back. The same as last week, but at mile-and-a-half tracks it’s a lot harder to make spots up than on a short track. We just battled back and forth — tight and loose.”
What happened when you spun? “I don’t know if the 88 (Aric Almirola) got loose under me or what. I got hit in the left rear. I don’t know if he got loose or got pushed up into me, or what.”
RYAN TRUEX, No. 20 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) Does it mean anything to come back from the early spin to finish among the top-15? “Not really. We had a better car than that. We should have finished at least top-10.” How are things working with Joe Gibbs Racing? “Everything is working right. They have fast cars every weekend. Need to just not start off these races with such bad luck. Last week it was the ignition. This week we spun out.”
MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 62 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing Finishing Position: 16th
KENNY WALLACE, No. 09 Federated Auto Parts Toyota Camry, RAB Racing with Brack Maggard Finishing Position: 17th
STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing Finishing Position: 18th
JOEY LOGANO, No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 19th
KEVIN CONWAY, No. 87 NEMCO Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 24th