Post-Race Notes & Quotes
Kansas Speedway – October 6, 2013Toyota driver Matt Kenseth was the first Camry driver to the finish line (11th) in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.Kenseth started seventh and led the field once for 21 laps (of 267) on the 1.5-mile track.
Fellow Camry Chase for the Sprint Cup competitor Clint Bowyer (14th) also tallied a top-15 result in the 400.5-mile event at the Kansas track.
In addition to the laps led by Kenseth, Camry drivers Travis Kvapil (26th) and Kyle Busch (34th) each led one circuit.
Other Toyota drivers in the field included Martin Truex Jr. (19th), AJ Allmendinger (20th), Denny Hamlin (23rd), Cole Whitt (31st), Brian Vickers (32nd), David Reutimann (37th) and Joe Nemechek (41st).
After the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup 10 race championship playoff, Kenseth leads the series standings by three points over second-place Jimmie Johnson. Busch ranks fifth (-35 points behind first) in the standings and Bowyer is in ninth-place (-55).
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
How was what you called the ‘evil-est’ of race cars?
“Is that a new word? I made that up. It was a struggle all day — even when we were in front, it was a struggle. I’ve been so incredibly spoiled this year — I haven’t had to drive a car like that in a long time. Everybody was on the same tires — you can’t really blame that — but it was just incredibly treacherous and I was just so loose I was ready to crash pretty much at all times of the race, so Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) did a nice job with some strategy calls and I still lost all our track position, but good adjustments at the end. We drove back to 11th, which definitely isn’t what we wanted or what we need to contend for this thing, but it was a good save for as bad as we were.”
Was it an up and down day?
“It was. We were just really out of control all day loose. It was just really hard to drive the car all the time and Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) did a good job making it better there at the end. My crew did a good job. We had good strategy, good adjustments and got back and salvaged a respectable day out of it, but certainly not what we wanted.”
How was the racing today?
“That’s the worst conditions I’ve raced in I don’t know how long — probably since they paved Charlotte probably and had that hard tire. This right side tire was obviously not the answer. I’m sure Kevin’s (Harvick) happy, but other than that I think everybody kind of struggled with it. Congratulations to Kevin. It was just a tough day. We had to battle back all day — I’d get us behind. Our car was just so loose — we’d get behind on restarts. It was a good comeback — 11th isn’t what we need to be doing every week. But, you know, it couldn’t be worse.”
Do you feel fortunate to leave Kansas with the points lead?
“I feel lucky for not being wrecked. And I feel really fortunate to still be leading the points. It was not the day we wanted — both the last two weeks. We struggled a little bit and still salvaged — it could have been worse — we could have been backed into the fence. Proud of this team — they didn’t give up on me today. They worked really hard on it. We’ll go racing next week.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 Raspberry 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 14th
How was your race?
“We had a pretty crazy day today with a lot of cautions. The number 15 team battled some handling issues early, but once we got some track position I thought we were pretty good. The 5-hour ENERGY Toyota had speed and we did a great job getting up toward the front, but as the weather and track conditions changed we struggled a little bit getting the car to turn in the center of the corner. I thought for sure we were going to come out of there with a top-five. That would have really helped us gain some ground in the points. It didn’t turn out that way, but we’ll take what we got and move on to Charlotte.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 19th
AJ ALLMENDINGER, No. 47 Scott Product Win My Car Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Finishing Position: 20th
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 26th
COLE WHITT, No. 30 Swan Energy Toyota Camry, Swan Racing
Finishing Position: 31st
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 32nd
Are you okay after the accident?
“Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks. Yeah, I just hate it for this Aaron’s Toyota team. These guys did a good job. We had a really fast car and we were good at the beginning, but once we got it right we were really strong. We just lost our track position with the pit cycles. The 99 (Carl Edwards) and the 18 (Kyle Busch) got together, took us out. After that, I think the splitter just got knocked down too much. We were still handling okay, but we were on the splitter really hard. Going through (turns) one and two, I just thought we had too much gas and it was on the splitter and then as soon as it came up off the splitter it just came around — that or a tire went down — but it happened so quick I’m not sure. I don’t think it was a tire, but we had so much damage it was possible. More than likely, it was just on the splitter and once it popped up it just got away from me.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 34th
What happened to cause the accident?
“I have no idea what happened on the last one. All I know is we’re in Kansas — right?”
Does Kansas still give you problems?
“Obviously, and apparently everybody else does too. Just run over the 18 (Kyle Busch) car and get what you need.”
How do you feel about the championship chase?
“We’ll just have to work hard. We’ll just have to keep doing what we’ve done and getting us to this point all year long and that’s been consistency. And every other track except Kansas seems to be able to bode well for us, so we’ll see what happens and if it doesn’t happen — then it doesn’t happen. It wasn’t meant to be.”
Does this diminish your championship hopes?
“It certainly hinders it. But, we’ll just try to get back in it. Try to work hard and see what falls our way and if it doesn’t happen — it doesn’t happen.”
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 37th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Calvert’s Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Finishing Position: 41st