TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Race 21 of 36 – 400 miles, 160 laps (*138 laps complete – race shortened due to weather)
Monday, August 1, 2016
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS — at Pocono Raceway
1st, Chris Buescher
2nd, Brad Keselowski
3rd, Regan Smith
4th, Kevin Harvick
5th, Tony Stewart
7th, DENNY HAMLIN
8th, CARL EDWARDS
9th, KYLE BUSCH
17th, MATT KENSETH
28th, MATT DiBENEDETTO
32nd, DAVID RAGAN
38th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
TOYOTA DRIVER IN NSCS POINT STANDINGS — following Pocono Raceway**
1st, Kevin Harvick 709 points*
4th, KYLE BUSCH 634 points
5th, CARL EDWARDS 626 points
8th, MARTIN TRUEX JR. 577 points
9th, DENNY HAMLIN 576 points
10th, MATT KENSETH 569 points
30th, DAVID RAGAN 287 points
36th, MATT DiBENEDETTO 203 points
**unofficial point standings
· Denny Hamlin (seventh) was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Monday’s rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Pocono Raceway.
· Camry drivers Carl Edwards (eighth) and Kyle Busch (ninth) also earned top-10 results in the weather-shortened race.
· Martin Truex Jr. earned the pole position for Sunday’s race and led the first 16 laps (of 138) before a right front tire went down on lap 21 and resulted in his Camry hitting the wall and a 38th-place finish.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How was your Camry in today’s race?
“My car was pretty fast. It’s fast by itself for a few laps and then we lose a little bit of speed, but I think we had a top-three or four car.”
Is it frustrating as a driver to have weather halt the race?
“It’s frustrating but it’s mountain weather. We’re up here in the mountains and stuff comes and goes. We’re in the middle of summer where there’s pop-up showers all of the time so it’s just we get lucky here sometimes but more times than not we fight the weather up here for sure.”
CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 Stanley Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
How good was your Camry race car?
“I think our STANLEY Toyota is better than eighth-place, so I really wanted to go racing. We were hoping it cleared up for these fans with everyone waiting around an awful lot. We have a pretty good STANLEY Toyota and I would have liked one more shot at it.”
What has it been like trying to plot your race strategy around the weather this weekend?
“I tried to keep up with everything for a little while and I just said, ‘Heck with it, I don’t know what everyone is doing, what tires everyone is on.’ Dave (Rogers, crew chief) has a good plan. There for a little while it looked like it was going to work out I let a couple guys get by that I shouldn’t have.”
What do you think of Chris Buescher winning at Pocono?
“He’s a good guy, great driver and I know how hard those guys have worked. I’ve been able to talk to Bob (Osborne) a little bit. That would be – I don’t want to say it’s neat because we want to win – but I’m happy for them. Bob (Osborne) brought me here the first time and we won so as bad as we wanted to win this thing with our STANLEY Toyota, I’m real happy for those guys. They’ve earned it. They’ve been working hard this year.”
What are your thoughts on all of these weather conditions?
“This is interesting. If we weren’t trying to get the race in this is pretty cool weather. It’s kind of neat.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s 75th Anniversary Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 9th
How was your Camry in today’s race?
“Our car was okay. We were really, really fast when we were by ourselves but anytime we got to within five lengths of the guys in front of us, we just couldn’t do anything with it. Just got really aero tight this time. We weren’t that bad when we were here last time. I’m not sure what’s different for us. We just didn’t quite figure it out.”
What was it like on the race track with all of the fog?
“I thought it was fun. The spotters said, ‘Hey I can’t see,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay, fine whatever let’s keep going.’ I think all of us can pretty much handle ourselves. We’re not idiots but occasionally we do look like we are. I guess you’ve got to play it safe when you’re around all of us out there.”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 17th
What do you think of Chris Buescher winning Pocono?
“I’ve seen Bob Osborne win a lot of races with Carl (Edwards), so I think the situation they had nothing to lose and do something like that to hope it works out. He’s a good guy and a great race car driver. I’d hoped we get to go back to green and run, 17th is not where we want to end the day. We had a car that probably could have went from fifth to tenth. We were okay, just got loose in track position with the way the cautions flew and pitted and restarts.”
Did you think you had a car that could make its way back to the front?
“Depends on what you classify as the front. I think we could probably pass several cars. I’m not sure we can get much further than 10th with restarts and getting jumbled up and getting some spots through turn one once we get single-file, I’ve had a hard time passing today. We were a lot better the last race here when we had track position where today it was hard to make up much ground.”
MATT DiBENEDETTO, No. 83 EJ Wade Construction Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 28th
DAVID RAGAN, No. 23 USA Network Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 32nd
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing
Finishing Position: 38th
What happened to cause your Camry to hit the wall?
“Just blew a right front (tire). A lug nut bounced off the ground, fell in behind the wheel behind a pit stop. It’s just bad luck honestly. I knew something wasn’t right in (turn) one and two and I got real tight off of (turn) two on that restart and went down the back and was like, ‘Ah, it feels okay.’ And, as I got closer to the tunnel turn I felt it start to go down and by the time I let off and tried to slow down it was just going straight for the fence.”
Are you worried about being able to get this car fixed to use later in the season in the Chase?
“That was my initial thought after it happened is like, ‘Alright, let’s go to the garage and make sure we don’t blow another tire and destroy the thing.’ God, it was so good. I mean, unbelievable that it happened the way it happened. They told me how it happened on the pit stop. A lug nut spun off, hit the ground, bounced behind the wheel somehow and knocked the inner valve stem off. Crazy bad luck and just a shame. The car was so good. I was literally on cruise control and driving away. I don’t know – frustrating but it’s racing I guess.”