Toyota NSCS Homestead Post-Race Notes & Quotes 11-17-13

TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Homestead-Miami Speedway – November 17, 2013Toyota driver Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The win marks the 14th of the 2013 season for Toyota — a single-season high in the NSCS since joining the series in 2007.
It’s Hamlin’s first victory of the year — continuing his streak of at least one victory in each of his eight full-time seasons in the NSCS.
Hamlin led five times for a total of 72 laps (of 267) en route to his 23rd career NSCS victory and second at the Florida speedway.
Camry driver Matt Kenseth started from the pole and led a race-high 144 laps en route to his runner-up finish at the 1.5-mile speedway.
Martin Truex Jr. (fourth), Clint Bowyer (fifth) and Kyle Busch (seventh) also earned top-10 finishes for Toyota.
Other Toyota drivers in the field were Elliott Sadler (14th), Parker Kligerman (25th), David Reutimann (31st), Joe Nemechek (35th), AJ Allmendinger (36th) and Travis Kvapil (37th).
Four Camry drivers finished the 2013 season in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings behind champion Jimmie Johnson, including Kenseth (second), Busch (fourth), Bowyer (seventh) and Truex (16th).DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position:  1st
How strong was the car at the end of the race?
“It was just an amazing drive.  I knew we had a strong car.  Pit strategy worked out great for us.  We came back from the mid-20s early in the race and we drove back up there.  Just proud of Darian (Grubb, crew chief) and this whole team for giving me a race-winning car.  We tested up here and it obviously paid off with all the Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars up front.  Just proud of this whole FedEx team.”

How much momentum does this win give the team?
“It just gives us huge momentum.  We started kicking things into gear about two months ago and then last week with a horrific effort and that kind of gets your spirits down, but then to come here to Miami and back it up with a win — this is something we can think about for the entire winter.”

DARIAN GRUBB, crew chief, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What does it mean to end the season with a victory?
“It just doesn’t get much better than that.  To keep Denny’s (Hamlin) streak alive after this year and still winning races every year and showing how strong this team is — awesome team effort, can’t thank them enough.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How was the race?
“It was a really great night for us.  I’m so proud of the Dollar General Toyota team — everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin).  Especially for Denny, it’s been a tough, long year for him and this is what we all needed honestly.  This will really give us a lot of confidence heading into next season.  Happy for him.  We had a good night — we were really dominant when the sun was out.  We struggled a little bit when it went down — a lot of that will lay on the driver probably a little reluctant to get up in the groove where I needed to run to make any speed.  Overall, great day, great season.”

What has this season been like for you?
“It was just an unbelievable year for us really.  Obviously, we wanted to finish off and win the championship as good as we ran all year, but couldn’t be more proud of the whole Dollar General/Home Depot Toyota team.  They did a spectacular job all season and all day today again.  Super happy for Denny (Hamlin) to get his win here tonight — he really needed that.  Denny and Kyle (Busch) are awesome teammates and I’m really looking forward to getting into next season.  The night overall was really good for us and we were really dominant when it was sunny out and when it got dark we were off
just a little bit and then had that mishap on that restart that kind of got us behind.  Overall, I don’t think you could ask for much more.”

Did the team tell you where Jimmie Johnson was running during the race?
“I figured silence wasn’t good and I told them that I didn’t really care and didn’t really need to know unless he was in the garage and something happened to him and then we were just going to make sure we didn’t run into the wall.  Other than that we were just going to run the race and call the race and try to win.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued)
Do you get solace from the performance tonight?
“I really wanted to finish the year with a win, who wouldn’t?  But second is pretty good.  Still a great night and so fired up for Denny (Hamlin) and Darian (Grubb, crew chief) and that team.  That will be huge for the off-season for the whole organization.  It was a good night.”

Why is it so important for Denny Hamlin to win tonight?
“Everybody might not have the same outlook as me, but it’s been a struggle for him (Denny Hamlin) this year between getting hurt and being out of the car and getting back in and not running as good as he always runs.  Denny is a guy that can win every week and contend for a championship just like Kyle (Busch).  I just think it’s good.  I’m not saying he was low on confidence, but it’s good to build confidence for him and that whole team and organization to get all three cars to where we feel that all three of us can go and compete for a title again.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position:  4th
How was the race?
“It was a good race for us.  Obviously, we didn’t have the speed most of the race and really worked hard on the car to get the balance right, get the handling right.  We were pretty good on long runs all day, but just taking off we really struggled to have speed and guys would just blow our doors off for 10 laps and then we could settle in and run as good as the guys ahead of us.  It was just hard to pass once they would all get up and run against the wall.  Just made a lot of adjustments all night and finally got what we needed right there on that last restart and was able to pass some guys.  We were running the first three down there again, but just too little, too late.  I wish we could have got it figured out a little bit earlier, but proud of my guys on my NAPA Toyota and kind of the end of a great year run for us and just can’t thank all these guys enough — Michael (Waltrip, team owner) and Rob (Kauffman, team owner) and NAPA and Toyota and everybody that has made it possible the last four years to have such a good time, make the Chase and the win at Sonoma this year.  All the things we did together were special and going to miss these guys and hopefully see them around a lot next year.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 5th

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How was the race?
“We were hoping our night was going to turn out a little bit better.  Our M&M’s Camry was just too loose in and off the corner all night and we could never quite get it to where I could drive it the way I wanted to.  We were able to dig hard there on the last run of the race and pick up enough spots to hold onto fourth in the standings, which is a big deal.  This is my best points finish ever and the best together with all of these M&M’s guys.  I can’t thank everyone on this 18 team for all of their hard work this year.  Can’t say enough about everyone back at Joe Gibbs Racing for giving us great cars, M&M’s, Interstate Batteries, Toyota, TRD (Toyota Racing Development).  We had our best Chase ever and we have something to build upon for next year.”

DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How important was tonight for Joe Gibbs Racing?
“If you look at the big picture, tonight was a great night.  We got Denny (Hamlin) and the FedEx 11 team back in victory lane, that’s huge for Denny and that team.  This No. 18 M&M’s team had the highest in points since he’s been driving it. And Matt secured second in points and had a really strong day. Big picture, great day for Joe Gibbs Racing.  Really proud of these guys. They dug down hard and fought all season long.  We overcame a lot of adversity this year and accomplished one of our goals, which was not having any mechanical failures all year.  Hats off to all my guys and folks back at JGR and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) for putting together such a great product.”

ELLIOTT SADLER, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position:  14th

PARKER KLIGERMAN, No. 30 Swan Energy Toyota Camry, Swan Racing
Finishing Position:  25th

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 83 VooDoo BBQ & Grill Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position:  31st

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO-JRR Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position:  35th

AJ ALLMENDINGER, No. 47 Scott Win My Car Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position:  36th

TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position:  37th