New Hampshire Quotes and Notes
Denny Hamlin Quotes
What are your feelings on New Hampshire Motor Speedway
“It is a great track and a place that has been good for this team in the past. We seem to run a little better here in the summer than we do in the fall so we’ll be trying to run as well as we have here in past summers but also take something with us to learn from. This track is faster than you would think so you need horsepower to take advantage of the long straights, but getting through, and off, the corner is where you win or lose at New Hampshire. It’s definitely a little bit different than any other track we go to because it almost seems like it’s banked in the other direction on the bottom. But you can go way up high or run on the bottom so there are some options for you to find a fast line.”
FedEx Express Notes
Daytona Recap: Denny Hamlin finished 25th in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway after being collected in a Lap 153 incident in the 160-lap event on the 2.5-mile, high-banked oval. Hamlin was charging to the front with drafting help from teammate Kyle Busch as the checkered flag neared, but contact from another competitor on the frontstretch sent Hamlin’s #11 FedEx Office Toyota spinning through the infield grass and back onto the track, where he was hit multiple times. Hamlin was forced to pit road for extensive repairs, finishing four laps down to race winner Tony Stewart. Hamlin started 23rd in the 400-mile event, but a loose race car prohibited him from running in the big pack throughout much of the race. He stayed in contact with the draft while crew chief Darian Grubb worked through wedge and track bar adjustments during pit stops to help tighten up the #11 machine. A two-tire stop late in the race gave Hamlin the track position he needed to compete for the victory before the on-track incident. The finish drops Hamlin two spots to seventh in the NASCAR standings following Daytona, 92 points behind leader Matt Kenseth after 18 of 26 regular season races.
New Hampshire Preview: NASCAR heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 301-lap event at the ‘Magic Mile.’ Hamlin owns a Series-best 9.0 average finish among active drivers at Loudon (tied with Tony Stewart), including a victory in the summer 2007 race at the track and five top-five finishes in 12 starts. One year ago at New Hampshire, The FedEx Racing team played the fuel strategy game to perfection, overcoming early track position, a mid-race spin and an ill-handling race car for a hard-earned, third-place result. Hamlin restarted third with 56 laps to go and worked into second behind leader Ryan Newman as both were trying to conserve fuel to make it to the end of the 301-lap race. Hamlin saved enough gas to take the checkered flag third behind Newman and Stewart.
Kyle Busch Quotes
What do you think about the upcoming New Hampshire race?
“Loudon is tricky for me. For some reason, I haven’t been able to figure it out that well here with the current car. With the old car, we were pretty decent there. I remember 2006, I think, one of the last races we ran with the old car – I won that one. So, it’s been one of those places that’s just kind of tricky sometimes to figure out for me – just the flatness of the corners, how hard do you get into the corner, how much brake do you use, how much do you let the car roll, how hard to get back on the gas – there’s so many different things you’ve got to work through at Loudon. I’ve got one of the best teammates in the business to help me with that with Denny (Hamlin). I definitely use him a lot when we go there on those weekends. Hoping we can carry on our success that we had there last time. Maybe better, obviously, than that. We finished 11th I think. We’d certainly like to get up in the top-10 and contend for better finishes at Loudon with our Interstate Batteries Camry. I know that place is pretty special to Dave (Rogers) and his family, so I’m hoping for we can deliver for him this weekend.”
Do you approach Loudon as a speedway or a short track race?
“Loudon is definitely a short-track race. It’s a lot like Phoenix. You have some good speed down the straightaway, but definitely a lot of braking getting through the tight, paperclip-shaped corners.”
The New Hampshire race is one of the shortest on the circuit. How do you approach that race knowing you might have a little less time to get to the front at the end?
“Essentially, at Loudon, you’re looking at how good your fuel mileage is and you have to look at when you have to make your last pit stop since that’s what everyone looks at. You end up running it almost like a road-course race because you do want to be the first guy on the last round of pit stops to pit. You want to get in there, get your tires and fuel, and then stay out the rest of the race and keep your track position since it’s so important there. It’s just a challenging race because it is so hard to pass there. You can’t be two-tenths faster than a guy and be able to pass him because everyone typically runs the same speed. You’ll have it where the leader might be a tenth better than the second-place guy, but everyone is separated by so little that it takes a mistake on someone’s part in order to pass them there.”
When you make a mistake at Loudon, does it cost you a little bit more because you have less time to recover?
“You don’t because you’re always on edge there. You’re trying to go as fast you can into the corners, as deep as you can into the corners while rolling as much speed, or just a bit higher than everyone else so you are able to get back to the gas sooner. You’re going harder than everyone else in order to make the straightaway a little bit longer and get your momentum built back up. It’s definitely a challenging racetrack – not one of my best racetracks, I’ll admit that. I have won there in the past so, if we get a good car, I guess I’ll need to have a really good car, apparently. Then we might have a shot to win there.”
DAVE ROGERS, Crew Chief of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
As a native New Englander, New Hampshire has always been a homecoming race for you and a track where you won in the Nationwide Series in 2008. What does New Hampshire Motor Speedway mean to you?
“There’s a lot of memories there. I love going back to the Northeast, but I also like to go back there and race. It’s very exciting for my entire family. My boys are old enough to where they can fly up on the JGR plane with me and hang out with my family and friends from up there, so it’s just a really neat experience all around when we get to race at New Hampshire and I’m hoping we can get our Interstate Batteries Toyota to victory lane to make things even better.”
When was your first trip to New Hampshire? Was it as a fan?
“I was there for the inaugural Nationwide Series race (in 1990). The first four years that the Nationwide Series raced at New Hampshire, we were there. I was also there for the inaugural Cup Series race at the track. The one race I remember like it was yesterday was when Joe Nemechek and Dale Earnhardt Sr., raced door-to-door for the last few laps and put on a great show for the fans. I don’t remember exactly what year that was (1992) but it was a long time ago.”
You won the 2008 Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire as a crew chief for Tony Stewart. What did that mean to you to go to victory lane that day?
“We went to inaugural Nationwide Series race there and we sat in the stands as fans and had a great time as a family. Then you go to 2008 and you go there as a crewmember and my father was there and you get to go to victory lane and share that experience with him. That was special. I think it was the first time my Dad had ever been to victory lane for a NASCAR race. It was really exciting and very emotional. We got that win with Tony Stewart, who is a good friend of mine. Tony made it really special for me. He gave me the firesuit after the race and congratulated my whole family, so it meant quite a bit to me and to my entire family.”
When was your first trip to New Hampshire working on a NASCAR team?
“The 1999 Cup Series race with the 20 car was my first race back to Loudon as part of a team. It was Tony’s (Stewart) first Cup race there, as well. That was the first time I worked on a car as part of a team at Loudon.”
Was there anyone back home in Marshfield, Vt., who helped you become who you are today?
“I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by great people my whole life. I look up to my dad more than anybody. He wasn’t really big into racing, but I see a lot of his personality in me. He taught me to never quit or give up, to never be satisfied with second. That motivates me. He’ll be at the race with us again this weekend and that will be a lot of fun. I had some great teachers at Twinfield High School (in Plainfield, Vt.) – some great people who just really taught me and my classmates about what the books say, but also how to be a respectful person. I had some really great leadership from up that way and, hopefully, they’ll be watching.”
Kyle Busch: New Hampshire Homecoming for Crew Chief Rogers
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (July 10, 2012) – Native New Englander Dave Rogers has spent many special moments with his family at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, but two days in particular stick out for the crew chief who hails from nearby Marshfield, Vt.
Rogers and his father attended the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire in 1990 as fans, but a return trip in 1992 to see the late Dale Earnhardt and Joe Nemechek battle door-to-door over the final laps is something that has stuck with him to this day.
Fast-forward to June 2008, when Rogers wasn’t in the grandstands but atop the pit box as Nationwide Series crew chief for former Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Tony Stewart. That day, Stewart delivered Rogers’ first win as a crew chief at the track just a two-hour drive from where he grew up. It was an emotional day for the New Englander. Rogers’ father Davis C. Rogers was able to experience NASCAR victory lane for the first time, and Stewart, knowing what it meant to Rogers and his family, gave him the firesuit he wore that day.
Along with that Nationwide Series win as a crew chief, Rogers also visited victory lane at New Hampshire as a NASCAR Sprint Cup crew member – winning with Stewart in 2000 as his lead engineer on JGR’s No. 20 team.
Now the 38-year-old Sprint Cup crew chief for Kyle Busch and the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, is hoping his talented 27-year-old driver can deliver another special New Hampshire moment for him and many family and friends expected to be in attendance on Sunday. That’s something Rogers’ friends and family would welcome, particularly his father Davis, who remembers fondly the 1990 trip to New Hampshire with his son when the Nationwide Series made its first visit to the 1.058-mile oval.
Busch has also enjoyed plenty of success at the “Magic Mile” throughout his career, having scored a Sprint Cup Series win in July 2006 among his six top-10 finishes in 14 starts. He’s also scored three wins, one pole and four top-five results in six Nationwide Series starts at Loudon to go along with three wins, one pole and six top-10 finishes in seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
In keeping with the family theme this weekend, Busch and Rogers would like nothing more than to celebrate in victory lane with many families that are Interstate Batteries dealers and distributors from New England and across the country.
With the marathon-like 36 race Sprint Cup Series schedule, Busch and Rogers don’t have much time to attend many, if any, family reunions. But, they’ve had Sunday circled on their calendar in hopes of bringing the celebration to them in victory lane as they shoot for the top prize in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301.
Joey Logano Quotes
“It’s always a lot of fun to go back to New Hampshire and head towards home. This track is pretty special because it’s about as close you get to Middletown (CT), so there is always a lot of old friends and family that come to the track and cheer us on. And we always stay pretty busy around this event between appearances and visiting places like David’s House and CHAD, which have both been very important to me since I broke into the big leagues of the sport. On top of that, rain or not, I still got my first Sprint Cup Series win at New Hampshire and that is something that you just can’t take away no matter how you look at it. It was nice to win another race in Pocono earlier this year and to do it the right way. But a win is a win and we were able to win the race that day through a great pit call. So this whole area is really pretty cool.
“We are running well right now and we just need to keep that going. Outside of the win, New Hampshire is a place that I’ve not really run that well in the past. It is a tough racetrack to get a hold of because you need to have a really good handling car. But things are going well right now, we are bringing fast cars to the track, Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and my communication is great right now and all of the guys on the team are doing awesome. We’ve still got a lot of momentum right now and knowing we should have even had better finishes in Michigan and Kentucky than we did helps. So we just need to keep it up and we’ll let the points take care of themselves. But we’ve worked out way into the Wild Card spot and now we just need to defend that. Winning another race would help for sure.”
No. 20 Home Depot Toyota News & Notes:
- LOOKING AT THE SECOND WILD CARD SPOT: With his fourth-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Joey Logano moved himself into position for the second Wild Card spot in the Chase just behind Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Logano, on the strength of five top-10 finishes in his last seven events, moved up two spots in the point standings following his fourth-place run and is the second highest of four drivers ranked between 11th and 20th in the point standings who have won a race in the 2012 season. The two drivers with the most wins that rank between 11th and 20th in the standings will earn the two wild cards spots for the Chase. If drivers have the same number of wins, the drivers highest in the point standings will earn the spot. Both Logano and Busch have one win a piece, with Busch 12th in the point standings and Logano 14th.
- A BUSY, “HOME TRACK” WEEK: Being from the Northeast (Middletown, CT), New Hampshire Motor Speedway weekend is always quite busy for Logano and this race week is no different. Things start on Tuesday when Logano will treat Joe Gibbs Racing employees to a “victory lunch” for his win at Pocono. On Wednesday, Logano will be in Cromwell (CT) on July 11 for the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce member breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. He will then head to Toyota of Wallingford (859 North Colony Rd. Wallingford, CT) for a meet and greet and autograph session with fans from 4-7pm. On Thursday, Logano will make appearances at two of his favorite charities in the Northeast. He will visit David’s House at 11:30am and then head to C.H.A.D. (Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock) at 2pm. Logano will also once again participate in the Governor’s Breakfast Friday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
- NO NATIONWIDE RACE THIS WEEK: For the second time in three weeks, Logano will feel a little funny when Saturday afternoon rolls around. While Logano normally runs the NASCAR Nationwide Series companion events, Logano will be sitting out this weekend’s race, much like he did in Kentucky. The event was never on Logano’s season schedule due to sponsorship. Ryan Truex will race the No. 18 Grime Boss Toyota in the Nationwide Series this weekend, leaving Logano on the sidelines watching. Logano has two top-five finishes in three-career Nationwide Series events at Loudon.
- WANTING TO GET A “REAL WIN” AT NHMS: New Hampshire Motor Speedway holds a special place in Joey Logano’s heart. Not only is the track considered his “home track” on the circuit, but the youngster also earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the “Magic Mile” coming back in his rookie season of 2009. However, if you ask Logano, what he wants most is to win another Sprint Cup Series event at New Hampshire and to do it by taking the checkered flag after 300 laps. Logano’s win in 2009, which made him the youngest ever Sprint Cup Series winner, came in an event that was shortened by rain in which Logano and his Home Depot team played pit strategy perfectly. Last month, when Logano crossed the finish line at Pocono to win his second Sprint Cup Series event, he famously said how finally felt to win one the right way, with “no stupid rain.”
- NO OFF WEEKEND FOR THE OFF WEEKEND: Following the New Hampshire Motor Speedway event, the Sprint Cup Series will look at its final off-weekend of the season before making a big run to end the year. While most drivers will take vacations or just spend some time at home with their families, Logano is proving to be a real racer and will continue with on-track action. Logano will head north of the border and race in the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body at Riverside International Speedway on July 21. The annual Super Late Model event is one of the biggest of the year in Canada and has previously been raced in by NASCAR drivers Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Craven, David Reutimann, and Regan Smith, who is the only NASCAR driver who has managed to take the prestigious IWK 250 crown from the local drivers.
- WEEKEND APPEARANCES: Logano will make two public appearances this week/weekend while in New Hampshire. The first will come Wednesday evening, when the driver will sign autographs at Toyota of Wallingford (859 North Colony Rd. Wallingford, CT) from 4-7pm. Logano will also sign autographs at his merchandise hauler at 9:30am (tentatively) Sunday morning.
- RACE INFO:The LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon, NH; 1-mile oval) is set for Sunday, July 15th at 12pm ET. The race will be broadcast on TNT (TV) and PRN (radio).