TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Pocono Raceway — June 9, 2013
Kyle Busch (sixth) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway.
Camry driver Denny Hamlin also earned a top-10 finish with an eighth-place result in the 160-lap event.
Hamlin has recorded 10 top-10 finishes in 15 career starts at the 2.5-mile triangular track.
Other Camry drivers in the field during the 400-mile race included Clint Bowyer (15th), Mark Martin (19th), Travis Kvapil (20th), Martin Truex Jr. (23rd), Matt Kenseth (25th), Bobby Labonte (27th), David Stremme (28th), David Reutimann (32nd), Joe Nemechek (42nd) and Jason Leffler (43rd).
Three Camry drivers are currently in the top-10 in the unofficial NSCS point standings following Pocono — Bowyer (third), Kenseth (sixth) and Busch (seventh).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How was your race car?
“We just kept working on our M&M’s Camry all day. The car was loose in turn three all day, but we got the car feeling pretty good towards the end. We probably had a seventh-place car all day long and found ourselves in third on the last restart. I just couldn’t get going for some reason on that last restart. I just didn’t do a good job there and we found ourselves in sixth. We’ll take that and go on to Michigan.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
How frustrated were you with your race car’s handling?
“We weren’t competitive. Really, we were a little bit off all weekend. Really eighth is about where I thought we were going to end up. I’m proud of the whole FedEx Ground team. My pit crew gave me a chance to at least battle those guys for a few laps by picking me up like four or five spots on the last stop. We’re fighting it. We’re just trying to do everything we can and grind and finish good when we don’t have a winning car. And, by no means did we have a winning car this weekend.”
What did it feel like to have less horsepower this weekend?
“It was a tough day. I think all of us had to play defense on the straightaway which is really tough, but I made the best of it. It’s about where I thought we would end up, but we need wins and we’re going to have to be aggressive and do everything we can to do that. Obviously, this finish helps us a little bit in points — so it’s a good day as far as that’s concerned. I’m proud of my whole FedEx Ground team. They picked me up five spots or something like that on the last (pit) stop and that’s incredible. They’re keeping us in it and hopefully we’ll get us a win here next week.”
Do you think you have what it takes to get yourself into the Chase?
“Yeah, I think so. We’ve got some great race tracks coming up for us. Typically during the summer we have a lot of really good race tracks for us, so very optimistic for our team.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 RK Motors Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 15th
MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 19th
How was your day?
“We executed a great race. We did a good job with what we had. I’m proud of the effort that everybody put in. We were just down on speed a little bit and on handling a little bit. Our engine ran good. We were fine with the engine. We just couldn’t get through the corners as good as we needed to get up there and fight for it.”
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 20th
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Tools Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 25th
How disappointing was it to have something happen late in the race after having such a good run?
“I mean, disappointing. I thought we had a pretty solid car. I thought we had a top-five at the very worst or seventh or eighth-place car. Whenever you don’t finish where you are running it’s always disappointing.”
What happened to make you fall back on the restart?
“I honestly don’t really know. It just quit making power. Whenever that restart was, with I don’t know how many laps to go we restarted fifth or whatever the second time — the first time we restarted fifth it was running fine and then that last one it just quit making power. It didn’t really miss, it just stopped running.”
What happened with the spin with Juan Pablo Montoya late in the race?
“I honestly don’t know. We were having our engine problem and to be honest with you without watching I don’t know if I didn’t leave enough room. I don’t know if he got loose underneath me and ran in the side of me. I really, honestly, don’t know. If I didn’t leave him enough room, sorry. If I did leave him enough room and he got loose and spun out underneath me that’s just racing. I hate to use that term but it just is. I was going backwards really fast and trying to hang on as much as I could in the corners and we just got together. Like I said, I’m not really sure which one it was.”
What did it feel like to have less horsepower in your race car this weekend?
“It was fine. The 18 (Kyle Busch) and 11 (Denny Hamlin), I think, finished up okay and we were fine before we had the problem. We were okay. Jimmie (Johnson) had us covered, but there was a couple runs where we were pretty respectable. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I think we had the tools if we had the car just right to win until whatever happened to it.”
Did the damage on the front of the car come from when you hit Dale Earnhardt Jr. on pit road?
“I don’t know. I think so. That was dumb on my part. I was just looking at my pit stall and everybody kind of got going to the line and checked up for pit road speed and I hit the brakes and wheel-hopped and slid right into him (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). So, I’m not sure when that happened.”
Was there ever a point in the race where you thought you had something for the 48?
“He (Jimmie Johnson) was gone. He was gone from the first practice yesterday. It was his race to lose all weekend.”
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Clorox Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
DAVID STREMME, No. 30 Lean 1/Swan Energy Toyota Camry, Swan Racing
Finishing Position: 28th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 32nd
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 42nd
JASON LEFFLER, No. 19 Plinker Tactical Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports
Finishing Position: 43rd