- Camry driver Kyle Busch was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Delaware’s Dover International Speedway with a second-place result. Kevin Harvick won the race.
- At the conclusion of the first, three-race eliminator round of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff, the ‘Challenger 16,’ Camry drivers Matt Kenseth (first in points), Denny Hamlin (third), Carl Edwards (fourth) and Busch (ninth) all advanced into the second-round of the championship hunt.
- Busch started the race ranked 13th in points and was able to race his way into the second round of the Chase with his second-place result.
- In addition to Busch’s result, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kenseth finished seventh on the 1.058-mile track.
- Busch led the field five times for 19 laps (of 400), while Kenseth pace the field on three occasions for 26 laps.
- Camry drivers Clint Bowyer (14th), Edwards (15th) and Hamlin (18th) also recorded top-20 finishes at Dover International Speedway.
- With his 14th-place finish, Bowyer was unable to race into the top-12 overall to advance to the ‘Contender 12,’ the second round of NASCAR’s postseason. Bowyer ranked 16th in points after Dover – 50 points shy of the 12th-place cutoff to advance to the next playoff round.
- After three of 10 Chase races, four Camry drivers have advanced to the second round of the Chase where all 12 drivers’ points will be reset to 3000 each as the series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway next Saturday night.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How strong was the race car today and did you have anything for Kevin Harvick?
“I just can’t say enough about my team first of all, everyone on this whole Interstate Batteries Camry team – they did a great job for me and gave me a great piece with the limited amount of time in practice that we had and the conditions of practice that we had. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) did a great job guessing right and giving me a really great race car for today to run up front like we did. It was fun, we did our job. We had a second-place car today and we finished second. We have a lot of room to gain though to catch that 4 (Kevin Harvick) car, he was lightning fast today. No catching those guys.”
How closely were you monitoring the points during the race?
“I wasn’t doing any. I think when you’re in the position that we were in when we were running second there the whole race, you don’t have to watch it. You just do the best you can and that was the best that we were going to do today. Fortunately we came out with that finish and second-place was what we needed to do. Those other two guys were right behind us on our tail. It’s a bummer for whoever all always gets knocked out of these rounds, I’ve been there and it’s no good to have your season end so short or so quick in the Chase, but it is what it is sometimes and we have another round to go here. The points reset so we’re back even with those guys and hopefully we can have a good, solid next three races.”
Do you feel good about the finish today and transferring to the next round?
“It’s definitely good. I can’t say enough about my team – these guys did an awesome job. They prepared a great race car for me and gave me the piece that I needed in order to go out there and perform and run like we did today. We had a second-place car and we finished second with it. Nothing to hang our heads about there. We just have to get a little bit better or actually a lot better to catch that 4 (Kevin Harvick) car. The things that we needed to do today we did. The first 300 laps it seemed pretty simple and then the last 100 laps it got a little crazy with tire strategies and restarts and things kind of going on and trying to figure out who and how hard you had to race people and people wanting to race you real hard even though they’re just racing for the best finish they can get.”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How was the race today?
“It was a challenge, a very big challenge. Once the track got a little rubber on it we just lost a hold of the track and kept losing track position little by little as well. Just couldn’t get going anywhere.”
How will you approach the start to the next round of the Chase?
“Just ready to get back to work – have to have our ‘A’ game next week.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 14th
How do you feel after today’s result?
“Our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota was good today – I’d say a top-five car. We just had some bad luck with that loose wheel early on. We got two laps down, but were able to make those up. No one had anything for that 4 car (Kevin Harvick) though. Real proud of everyone at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) for all their hard work to get us in the Chase. Just sorry we aren’t able to go to the next round.”
CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 Arris Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 15th
How was the race?
“It’s cool that all four JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) Toyotas made it to the next round. We had a bolt or something get stuck between the right-front wheel and the hub when they put it together so just kind of crazy, but fortunately we had enough points and moved on to the next round. Now we start all over again. Fun race though, those long green flag runs were a lot of fun and I have to thank ARRIS and everybody for being here today. It was cool to have all of them here. Like I said, all four JGR Toyotas moved on.”
How do you feel heading into the next round of the Chase?
“That’s what’s so neat about this format is now everybody is even again so we go through this all over again. It sure is pressure-packed. We just need to have three good solid weeks like we did the last three and keep moving.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
What happened early in the race that put you a lap down?
“I sped on pit road and put us a lap down. Sped again when I was the lucky dog and put us nearly another lap down so I just fought all day one lap down and had probably a fifth to 10th place car, but just raced with the lap down cars all day because I made mistakes.”
How do you feel starting the next round of the Chase?
“We’ll see, felt pretty good about what we had here. Wish we could have run a little more competitive, but we have some good tracks coming up. Looking forward to it.”
DAVID RAGAN, No. 55 Aaron’s Online Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 22nd
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 83 Cosmo Motors Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 34th
JJ YELEY, No. 26 Maxim Fantasy Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 35th
JEB BURTON, No. 23 Dr. Pepper/Estes Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 43rd