Motorsports Brands - Toyota Driver Comments Pocono
Pocono, Jun. 10, 2012: Camry driver Joey Logano claimed his first victory of the season in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) at Pennsylvania's Pocono Raceway. Logano started from the pole and led the field four times for 49 laps (of 160) -- including the final four circuits -- en route to his second career NSCS triumph. Logano's first career NSCS win came at New Hampshire in 2009. At 22 years and 17 days of age, Logano is the youngest winner in the 2.5-mile track's history. Camry drivers Mark Martin (second), Denny Hamlin (fifth) and Clint Bowyer (sixth) also recorded top-10 finishes on the triangle-shaped track. Camry drivers led a combined 65 laps (of 160) at Pocono, with Martin (four laps) and Hamlin (21 laps) joining Logano (49 laps) in pacing the field. Other Toyota drivers in the field included Martin Truex Jr. (20th), Bobby Labonte (22nd), Travis Kvapil (26th), Kyle Busch (30th), JJ Yeley (36th), Joe Nemechek (37th), Mike Bliss (38th) and Landon Cassill (43rd). Four Camry drivers are now in the top-15 in the unofficial NSCS driver point standings -- Hamlin (fourth), Truex (seventh), Busch (12th) and Logano (15th). Camry drivers have now won 43 races and 37 pole positions since the beginning of the 2007 NSCS season.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 1st What were you thinking when Mark Martin passed you on that late restart? "I said, 'Aw man, I screwed up.' I knew my car was better than his and the clean air is worth so much. Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) and the guys gave me one heck of a car. The brake package on this thing was amazing. I was able to out-brake a lot of guys into (turn) one all day and made some passes there. I didn't want to get in the back of Mark (Martin) there, but he was kind of running in with speed and he was getting free and I just kind of stayed right there. It's just awesome to finally get to victory lane the right way. I got to thank Sprint, the Home Depot, Toyota -- to all our sponsors that help us out so much throughout the year -- sticking with us. Man, you don't know how much this means."Was the bobble Mark Martin had what you needed to make a move? "Yeah. I saw the bobble coming off of (turn) three and it's my chance. It's so hard to pass. Had about one shot to get him and to really get it back. I was going to be on suicide watch if I gave it away like that. But, man, it was awesome to get it back."
What does this win say about you with many people talking about your future? "I hope it shuts them all up is what I hope. I tell you what, it just means a lot for this whole team. Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) to get his first Cup win for him -- man, it means so much. You don't understand. Man, it's just cool."
How difficult was today's race? "The most difficult thing was to pass. Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) did a good job getting me to the clean air, and I tried to give it back. And I got it back there at the end. Man, it's awesome to get the Home Depot Toyota to victory lane. I felt like we had a car that could have won this in the fall here at Pocono. And, to get the pole like we did and win the race it's huge -- it's unbelievable."
MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 2nd What happened with the contact between you and Joey Logano late in the race? "We were racing hard man. I wanted to win it so bad. I just want to thank Ken Butler (Aaron's), everybody from Aaron's, the fans -- because that's why Ken Butler and Aaron's gave me this chance -- (and) Michael Waltrip. These guys are awesome. What a great race team. I'm so thankful that I have a chance to bid for a win. I wanted it really bad. Believe it or not, I fought for it tooth and nail."
MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing (continued) What did you think of Joey Logano's performance today? "He raced for it. He was fast from day one of testing. He certainly didn't get that one handed to him, especially my pulling off that last restart. So, you know, maybe things will start to turn. He's been kind of in a stall in his career or in his progression with the Cup Series, but it looks like the last couple of weeks that maybe that's starting to turn. I've always known since I saw him drive at 11 years old that he could be a Cup champion. I knew it then."
How has it been working with Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development)? "They've (Toyota and TRD) been very, very helpful with us at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) for sure. This is my first experience with them and there are a lot of racers that help us with the engines and the technology. And, I really enjoy them and they've embraced me and that's been nice. They have really made me feel welcome. I think that we had good power today and enough durability to make it to the end here, so that's a fine edge there. We did have some problems at Kansas and they worked really hard to get those fixed up and to continue to be able to -- this is a really, really competitive series and it's amazing what they've been able to do and I appreciate their help so much."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 5th How was your race? "It was a tough day. We just had a lot of contact out there. We just struggled all day. We ran out of fuel and things like that -- to come home with a top-five is a great day. Joey (Logano) -- this is about Joey. He's done a great job for us at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) and obviously this is a big win for him."
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 6th How was today's race? "That was a crazy day for the 5-hour ENERGY team, but I'm glad we ended up where we did. The Toyota TRD (Toyota Racing Development) engines looked strong today. We were having a little issue with our temperature, but we got it figured out and finished strong. I'm happy for Joey Logano -- that's a big win for him and the Toyota folks. I wish Mark Martin could have held on and got the win for the MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) guys, but overall it was a solid day. That should help us in the point standings."
BRIAN PATTIE, crew chief, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing How was today's race? "Up and down, for sure. We made some good adjustments. I think the engineers did a really good job making some changes overnight. We haven't had speed since we've been here and it shows that we did whenever we had track position. Putting oil in it -- from that to a speeding penalty early put us behind, so we had to gather our senses there and do some strategy and it paid off."
What was happening with the speeding penalties? "I don't know that they have that section -- sector 10 -- if they have the footage off or something like that. They say we're 60.45 (miles per hour) and I'll bring up the data and make sure. Now that we have data we can prove to them what we are running now. I'm sure we'll get with NASCAR, but I'm sure a lot of people -- I'll let the other guys that didn't have such a good day go deal with them guys. It was a long day, but another top-10. We'll move on to Michigan."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 20th
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Bubba Burgers Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Finishing Position: 22nd
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing Finishing Position: 26th
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 30th Was there any warning you were having an engine issue? "The warning was it just started smoking under yellow for some reason, so without going any further and hurting something underneath it at least now we have a chance to take it apart and see what's happening piece-by-piece."
How frustrating is it? "It's very frustrating. These guys here at Joe Gibbs Racing and everybody on this 18 M&M's team deserves better than this. It's unfortunate that we just aren't getting the results that we need. I felt like today we qualified really well -- we should have been up there. We got knocked back on the first lap in traffic by a stupid move and we're fighting our way back through and then we have another engine issue. We're putting ourselves in a hell of a hole and it's not going to be easy to come out of it."
JJ YELEY, No. 49 JPO Absorbents Toyota Camry, America Israel Racing Finishing Position: 36th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Finishing Position: 37th
MIKE BLISS, No. 19 Humphrey Smith Racing LLC Toyota Camry, Humphrey Smith Racing Finishing Position: 38th
LANDON CASSILL, No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing Finishing Position: 43rd What happened to put you out of the race? "It's just sometimes when you try to take it easy at the beginning you can get yourself in trouble, so it doesn't even matter who did what or where or how it happened. I just hate this. I feel like I just kind of lost it getting into (turn) three there and it's just too bad for this team. We work really hard on this car and this setup for three days and got it really good and qualified 15th, but I think we'll have something to take to Michigan. I just really hate it. This is two really tough weeks in a row for my guys and to have wrecked race cars is a reflection on me. So, I'm going to go back and do my work and make sure I can get this thing going a little better."