Nationwide - Team Toyota Post-Race Comments
Daytona, Feb. 26, 2012: Tayler Malsam (sixth) was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Daytona International Speedway
The sixth-place finish at the 2.5-mile Florida superspeedway was Malsam's career best result in 12 NNS starts. Kyle Busch made the first NNS start for Kyle Busch Motorsports in today's race and led two laps before finishing 18th as a result of an accident on the final lap of the 120-lap event. Four other Camry drivers led laps in the 300-mile event, including Denny Hamlin (seven), Mike Bliss (six), Joe Nemechek (two) and Kenny Wallace (one).
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Benny Gordon (12th), Joey Logano (16th), Eric McClure (22nd), Nemechek (23rd), Wallace (30th), Hamlin (32nd), Brian Scott (37th), Mike Bliss (39th), Johnny Sauter (42nd) and Jeff Green (43rd).
TAYLER MALSAM, No. 19 G-Oil Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 6th How was your race today? "Crazy -- lots of wrecks. Our whole deal was just stay patient today and it paid off. The G-Oil guys did awesome. The spotter did an amazing job keeping me out of trouble and that's why we finished where we did."
Could you see what was happening during the final accident? "I just saw smoke and the spotter was like, 'Go low,' and I drove on the apron and luckily it worked out for us. I'm just proud of all my guys, G-Oil and everything and can't wait to go to Phoenix and start the real racing."
Does this give you confidence to start the season? "Yeah, for sure. After sitting out a year and with a new team and new sponsor, that's the best way to start it right there. It's no win, but it's a hell of a start for us."
BENNY GORDON, No. 24 Kentucky Antler Company & VFI Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 12th
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 16th What happened on the last lap of the race? "I don't know. I need to see a replay. Who even won the race? Whoever won that race is going to be lucky. I thought I was going to win. I had Trevor (Bayne) pushing me there and we broke up Kyle (Busch) -- those two (and Kurt Busch). I was like, 'Alright, we got something.' We were going and they were coming up three-wide. I went to block the three- wide up top knowing that was going to leave Trevor behind, but I had to do it. Then that was -- I don't know. I got hit somewhere. I don't even know how I got hit. I got spun out, so I don't know how it happened."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 18th What happened on the final lap of the race? "I don't know where to start. I don't know what happened, but great race car. Phenomenal job by the guys. We kind of battled back from being behind much of the day. Ran up front for much of the day too, so we were kind of back and forth a little bit. Just a great race pushing with Kurt (Busch) and working with him an awful lot and being able to get up there. I thought we had the race won and then those guys were coming on the top and I'm like, 'Alright, let's see where we settle in here.' I thought when they all crashed up high that I was clear. I shot low -- as low as I could and then somebody tagged me in the back and just hooked me dead right. It was a really, really hard hit and then there was a few more after that. It just seemed like they kept coming. I swore when they all went up high -- I was the leader for a second and I was like, 'I won this thing, it's over -- I can see the checkered flag.' Then within a split second of that I was in the fence and wrecked. I can't say enough about Monster Energy and everybody there -- all the guys that built this thing. It was a fast Camry. It was fun."
How did your team perform today? "We battled back. We had some adversity that we really didn't want to see, but we had a good race car. The guys did a good job. I wish we would have finished this thing. We didn't need a tore up race car like that. That ones pretty much done."
ERIC MCCLURE, No. 14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 22nd
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 D.A.B. Constructors Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 23rd
KENNY WALLACE, No. 09 American Ethanol Toyota Camry, RAB Racing Finishing Position: 30th Was this what you expected to see today? "No. I expected more two-car tandem racing, but I'm going to tell you what -- it's a hell of a race out there. It's awesome. We're side-by-side, door handle-to-door handle. You guys got me wore out up there. I think it's great racing, just it looked like Joey Logano and the 60 (Trevor Bayne), from what I seen on the replay, it looks like something happened out there."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 32nd What did you see during the accident? "I think the Busch brothers (Kurt and Kyle) shot the middle with a lot of speed and it surprised the two guys and when it did everyone just kind of had a little bit of overreaction and here and there cars started bouncing off of each other, then it's just a chain reaction. I was in a spot -- I thought I was going to miss it, but I was kind of right there on the apron -- between the apron and the track -- and somebody came down from the top and got us. Not much we could have done."
Do you prefer the tandem racing in the Nationwide cars? "I'd like to see some spoiler cut off of these Nationwide cars. I feel like there is so much drag in them that the tandem is just such a huge factor in it. Once they get that done -- I feel like they have something good to work with here."
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 37th
MIKE BLISS, No. 44 Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 39th What took you out of the race? "Joe (Nemechek) and I hooked up early and we went up to the front, so we were trying to together and we just couldn't get together. We finally got together there, but it was too deep in the pack and I ran up on -- we were on the inside -- and I ran up on a slower car. Joe couldn't radio with me and didn't realize and just kind of kept his foot in it and kind of spun me out of the way. That's just the way it is. He didn't want to hook up until we got straight clear track, so it just turned us and it's the way it is."
JOHNNY SAUTER, No. 97 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 42nd
JEFF GREEN, No. 10 Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Finishing Position: 43rd