- Kyle Busch was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Watkins Glen International with a second-place result to race-winner Joey Logano.
- Busch started eighth in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 Camry and led three laps (of 90) en route to his fifth top-two finish in the past seven races.
- Busch is now 30th in the NSCS point standings and currently eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship with four wins in the last seven races. He would need to stay within the top-30 to compete for the title.
- Camry driver Matt Kenseth earned a fourth-place result, marking a career-best finish for the veteran driver at the Upstate New York road course in 16 career starts. His previous best finish was eighth-place in 2012 and 2003.
- Clint Bowyer (sixth) and Carl Edwards (eighth) also earned top-10 finishes for Toyota on Sunday.
- Four Camry drivers are now in the top-20 in the NSCS point standings with Kenseth (seventh), Denny Hamlin (10th), Bowyer (14th) and Edwards (15th).
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What was it like behind the wheel?
“Well, it was fun and challenging all at the same time and I guess that’s all we can ask for as race car drivers. Man, I don’t know. I don’t know what my emotions are, I’m just happy for this team and happy with what these guys are doing. Adam Stevens (crew chief) and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, they’ve been building some really good race cars and I appreciate TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and their engine and everything. Good day. I had a chance. I could’ve went up there, I could’ve raced the 22 (Joey Logano), I could’ve passed him. I felt like I was better than he was, but my crew chief called in scared on the fuel situation from last week and I don’t blame him. We definitely didn’t want to run out again. We wanted to make sure we could be there at the end. Logano swept the weekend here and that was pretty cool to be able to do that at a road course so good for those guys.”
Did you know you are in the top-30 in the point standings and Chase eligible at this point?
“Yeah, we knew we would be. It was just a matter of time. That was probably another reason we didn’t need to run out of gas and have an issue here today. Again, this M&M’s Crispy team they do a phenomenal job. I can’t say enough about Monster Energy, Toyota, Skittles and everybody that’s part of our program. I appreciate them.”
How difficult is it as a driver to save fuel?
“It’s challenging. There at the end we didn’t have to save but we weren’t sure that we were still going to be able to make it. We didn’t want to do the same thing we did last week – the 22 (Joey Logano) and the 18 ran out. But, this week we made it. It was a solid day for us. I really can’t say enough about this whole M&M’s Crispy team. They do a phenomenal job for me. Adam Stevens (crew chief) and these guys – they’ve got it clicking right now man. It was fun to drive up through the field. It was tough, challenging, exciting all at the same time. I guess that’s all you can ask for as a race car driver. Had some fun today and just thank Toyota, Snickers, Skittles, Pedigree, Monster Energy and everybody on our car that gets us here and hopefully we can have some more wins before this Chase starts. I feel like we can and the way we’re running we should have no reason not to.”
How well will you sleep tonight knowing you are currently top-30 in the point standings?
“Well, that depends on how much is in the tank you know when they go through scale and figure out how much is still left in it. If I had enough left in it to go chase that 22 (Joey Logano) down, I know I could’ve got there and we could’ve had a race for the win and seeing how all of that was going to play out. I can’t believe the 4 (Kevin Harvick) made it as far as he did so those guys did a phenomenal job of being able to save what they could and still to come home third man, I mean, you run out of gas and come home third. I run out of gas and come home 21st, but totally different circumstances.”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
Are you excited to get your first career top-five finish at Watkins Glen?
“We ran pretty good. We just the way the strategy played out I had to save a lot there with Kevin (Harvick) and I thought the 22 (Joey Logano) and the 18 (Kyle Busch) would go right by us and they got there and we actually had a lot of car left but we were just trying to save fuel. I didn’t think I’d get back around the 22 without running out of gas at that point so I had to save a little bit and get behind Kyle and make sure we made it to the end.”
What does it mean to you to finish strong at race tracks you haven’t always done well at?
“It’s always fun to feel like you overachieved I guess and we probably did that today. I messed up qualifying. We had a much better car than qualifying. I just made a big mistake there and it’s just so hard to pass. It’s hard to get your car to do what you want even on a road course just being back in all that air was so much harder than being upfront. So, once we had a chance to get it up front I thought we had a pretty competitive car.”
How would you describe your day?
“It was up and down for us. After Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) made that call we were kind of counting on a lot more cautions and didn’t really get them. I’m sort of surprised we made it to the end. I’m really thankful we did. Kevin (Harvick) was – we were both kind of on the same plan. We were both saving and then when Joey (Logano) got there I just didn’t think I was going to be able to hold him off and not run out of gas. So, after I let him I just tried to make sure we made it to the end. I wish we would’ve had a little more where I could’ve ran a little harder because I was by far the most competitive I’ve ever been here.”
How was the racing on that last run?
“Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and everybody down there did a great job. Had good stops and he had a great strategy. We didn’t think it was going to work out whenever we pitted and there was a caution the next lap and we had to pit. But, we had enough fuel in our Dollar General Camry. It was pretty fast when we were upfront. I knew Kevin (Harvick) was on the same plan and had to save too and I really wanted to pressure him but once Joey (Logano) got by me and Kyle (Busch) was there we just tried to make sure we made it to the end.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 Maxwell House Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How was your race?
“It was good. It was just solid. We never really were able to capitalize on strategy or anything like that. Just never was a big player in the game but we did what we needed to do.”
CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 Stanley Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
DAVID RAGAN, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
How was your race?
“That’s two weeks in a row that we’ve run out of fuel on the white flag lap and cost us a top-five, top-10 finish. Our Aaron’s Dream Machine team are doing great. They’re bringing fast cars to the race track and we’re doing everything right. We’re being aggressive trying to get as good of finishes as we can, but if we could improve our fuel mileage and strategy just a hair we’re really close. That’s certainly disappointing. We had great pit stops, good strategy and came up a little bit short at the end of the day.”
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 83 Burger King/Cosmo Motors Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 26th
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
JJ YELEY, No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 30th
JEB BURTON, No. 26 Maxim Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 39th