TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Darlington Raceway – September 6, 2015
- Toyota driver Carl Edwards was victorious in Sunday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at South Carolina’s Darlington Raceway.
- The victory marked Toyota’s 75th win in NSCS competition and was Edwards’ second of the season (Charlotte).
- Edwards led the field three times for 15 laps (of 367) en route to the win at Darlington.
- Camry drivers Denny Hamlin (third) and Kyle Busch (seventh) also earned top-10 finishes on the 1.366-mile track.
- With his finish at Darlington, Busch is now locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup by ranking 27th in points and sitting 51 points above the 30th-place cutoff.
- Hamlin recorded his 100th career top-five result in Sunday’s race.
- Four Camry drivers are now in the top-15 in the NSCS point standings with Kenseth (seventh), Hamlin (eighth), Edwards (12th) and Clint Bowyer (15th).
CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How were you able to recover and win at Darlington?
“Our guys never quit. JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) is unbelievable. These guys have been working so hard. I cannot thank ARRIS enough and I know a lot of fans came down to enjoy this race. It’s the 75th Cup win for Toyota – Toyota, TRD (Toyota Racing Development) – everyone has been so amazing. We started this team and they all believed in us – Stanley, Subway, Comcast Business, XFINITY, all the fans and Sprint. Jeff Burton – the first time I came here we sat and watched tape at Jack Roush’s office at his shop and I just can’t thank everyone enough that helped me. Darian (Grubb, crew chief) did a great job.”
How much fun did you have with this aero package at Darlington?
“I don’t think I can get in trouble for how much I liked it, but I loved it – this is as good as it gets. All the Sport Clips folks were there too off of turn two. This is what it’s about. We’re sliding cars, tires are falling off – this is the style of racing – if there’s any chance we can run this in the Chase, I hope we can do it. It was an awesome day. Thank you Joe Gibbs (team owner), thank you very much.”
What do you think of your team renaming the Darlington to ‘Carlington’?
“They made it ‘Carlington’ for a couple of moments, but this is the Southern 500. This is just huge.”
How were you able to recover and win the race?
“We call Darian (Grubb, crew chief) Kenny Rogers because he’s a gambler and someone actually put a Kenny Rogers poster up in the hauler. He’s not scared to try things and make it happen and everybody just did a great job tonight. My pit crew was amazing. I mean, these guys – they’re unreal. They won the race for us and just so proud to be driving this car with these people.”
How does it feel to win the Southern 500?
“I don’t know how to describe it. Just anybody out there that’s worked on something, that’s working on their dream or something that they want to do – just never quit, never give up and keep digging. That’s all it takes is just persistence. I’m just so fortunate. I just feel like I’m blessed and just so many things have gone my way and I’m just very, very grateful.”
How were the races closing segments?
“That was a lot of fun racing with Brad (Keselowski) and Kevin (Harvick). I mean, that’s as good as it gets. We were pushing each other as hard as we could without bumping into each other, blocking each other just enough that the other guys would put up with it and that was really fun racing. This is what NASCAR is about. We’ve got this lower downforce package, we can race close, the Goodyear tires fall off and it gets hard to drive. This is fun.”
What was the last restart like?
“I was spinning the tires pretty badly. I think Brad (Keselowski) was spinning the tires. Denny (Hamlin) is the only one that got a really good restart and three wide and I just kept my foot in it. I mean, it’s for the Southern 500 and fortunately we all made it through there, but I didn’t look in the mirror once. I just stayed in it and kept going.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
What did you notice during the last restart from watching the replay?
“There’s not much – if it’s not a teammate, maybe I’d of gassed it a little bit further into turn one, but I just needed Carl (Edwards) to move up into the race track a little bit to give me a little bit of air on the inside and I maybe had a run at him. My guess is he wanted to win the race just as bad as I did. Congratulations to those guys and had a great restart. Sport Clips Toyota was really fast on the long run – we just never got long runs today. I’ve never seen a Darlington with that many cautions before and our car was so fast once we got 20 laps on our tires, but we struggled on restarts. I’m happy with third considering where we were with about 20 or 30 to go.”
How would you evaluate this aero package after tonight’s race?
“It’s the package we need to run from now on. It’s unbelievable how much tire fall off there is. You’re sliding around, there’s more wrecks, which is unusual but it’s a good thing because guys are messing up. That happens every now and then in racing. It’s a lot of fun from our perspective and it’s something that we can look forward to.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How does it feel to qualify for the Chase?
“Making the Chase was something we weren’t all sure was possible after my injuries. It’s a great opportunity to be with these guys on this M&M’S Crispy team. They’re working really hard at Joe Gibbs Racing – we’ve got a lot of speed and I think all four cars have a really good shot at this championship. I had my hands full tonight. I think I just got a little behind on what our adjustments needed to be for the race, but our whole team just really turned this thing around and it turned out to be a solid finish for us.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 Buddy Baker Tribute Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 17th
How was your race?
“Yeah, it’s unfortunate. There’s so much hype around this race and it’s one you want to be good at. We just didn’t give up too much. I think we’re still in good shape. You’re never good until you’re in, but we did the best we could. We didn’t have much of a piece tonight.”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 83 Cosmo Motors Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 25th
JEB BURTON, No. 23 Estes Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 31st
JJ YELEY, No. 26 Beds for Kids Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 34th
DAVID RAGAN, No. 55 Ol’ Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 40th
What ended your race?
“When I spun out the first time and we kind of dug ourselves a hole, I don’t know if we had a tire going down or what. I got really loose in (turns) one and two, dropped my track bar a good bit going down the back straightaway and just spun out in turn three. That was certainly unfortunate. We had a really fast Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota and on a long run I felt like we had a top-six or seven car, but overall I felt like we had a 10th to 12th-place car. Just trying to be smooth. Hadn’t put a scratch on it all night and we dug ourselves a hole and got a lap down and the car was still decent and I don’t know why (Paul) Menard was real aggressive and just wrecked us coming off of turn four. I’d gotten loose and the 7 (Alex Bowman) and I kind of door slammed in turn three and Menard had a run and I don’t know if he was going to try to push me where I could clear the 7 or if he was mad or upset, but, yeah, he just turned us. Yeah, it was unfortunate to tear up a good race car like that and that’s kind of the way the cookie crumbles here at Darlington sometimes. When you get yourself in a hole, it’s tough to dig your way back out.”