New Hampshire Quotes and Notes
Denny Hamlin Quotes
How do you approach this weekend’s race at New Hampshire?
“This weekend is definitely a race that I think our FedEx team can win. We were very strong there in July and probably gave up a win, but that’s why winning these races is so hard. I know that Darian (Grubb) is going to bring a fast car, and I know that our team is eager to get back out there and put together a solid race from start to finish. We’re still in the title hunt and there are nine more weeks to achieve our goals. We have to take it race-by-race, starting on Sunday.”
FedEx Express Notes
Chicagoland Recap: An unfortunate miscue on pit road left Denny Hamlin without enough fuel to make it to the finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, with the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota running out on the final lap to finish 16th in the Chase for the Sprint Cup opener. Hamlin made his final pit stop of the day from fourth place with less than 40 laps remaining, looking for an adjustment to help tighten up the car while receiving four fresh tires and a full tank of gas. However, the FedEx crew was so quick on the stop that the fuel tank wasn’t full when Hamlin pulled away. Crew chief Darian Grubb informed Hamlin that he was four laps short of making it, forcing him to conserve the rest of the way, finally running out just before taking the white flag. He coasted to the finish line in 16th place behind race winner Brad Keselowski. Hamlin started eighth and ran in the top-10 throughout the 267-lap event on the 1.5-mile oval. Battling a loose condition on corner entry, Hamlin and Grubb worked together to dial in the #11 machine. They got the car at its best just before the final stop. With the finish, Hamlin is fourth in the Chase standings following Chicago, tied with Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer after the first of 10 playoff races. They trail leader Keselowski by 15 points. Jimmie Johnson is second, followed by Tony Stewart.
New Hampshire Preview The Series shifts back to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Round 2 of the 2012 Chase. Hamlin dominated the summer race at the one-mile Loudon oval, leading 150 of 301 laps en route to a runner-up result. A slight miscommunication with Grubb saw the #11 machine take four tires on the final pit stop while the other front runners took just two, and Hamlin relinquished the lead to restart 13th after the final caution. With the faster car on the track, Hamlin sliced through the field as the laps clicked, picking off positions throughout the final run before running out of laps to catch eventual winner Kasey Kahne. Hamlin’s 8.5 average finish at New Hampshire is the best among active drivers at the track, with nine top-10 finishes in 13 races, and only one finish outside the top-15 in his career at Loudon.
Kyle Busch Quotes
What do you think about this weekend’s New Hampshire race?
“Loudon is tricky for me. For some reason, I haven’t been able to figure it out that well there with the current car. The first race there this season was the best car I’ve had there with JGR. We just had some bad luck hit us like we’ve had a lot this year. 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 are 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 in Denny (Hamlin). I definitely use him a lot when we go there, but also hope I can help them, as well, this weekend. I know that place is pretty special to Dave (Rogers) and his family, so I’m hoping 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’s 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 as 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.”
Kyle Busch: Nearing a New Hampshire Win
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 18, 2012) – The final finishing position in the box score didn’t nearly tell the story of Kyle Busch’s day the last time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visited New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon this past July.
After scoring his ninth career Sprint Cup pole, the driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) jumped out to an early lead. But a pit-road speeding ticket, coupled with pit-stop issues, put the team in a hole early. Despite the issues, Busch & Company rallied back into the lead by lap 197.
But just as Busch hit pit road for right-side tires and fuel under green, an untimely caution waved for the blown engine of David Reutimann, forcing Busch to take the wave-around and start at the tail end of the lead lap in 18th, virtually ending any opportunity at a high finish.
He managed to cross the strip 16th at the wave of the checkered flag, which didn’t nearly indicate that July performance, which was in stark contrast to several disappointing runs Busch has had at New Hampshire since joining JGR in 2008. Now in his fifth season with JGR, Busch has scored just two top-fives in nine races there in the No. 18 car. Even though his results don’t show it, Busch and crew chief Dave Rogers know they hit on something in July, and they have a feeling a New Hampshire win together could be just around the corner – in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300.
Busch had enjoyed plenty of success at the “Magic Mile” at the start of his career, having scored a Sprint Cup win in July 2006 to go along with six top-10 finishes in 15 starts overall. Outside the Sprint Cup ranks, Busch has scored three wins, one pole and four top-five results in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Loudon to go along with three wins, one pole and six top-10 finishes in six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at the 1.058-mile oval.
Might this finally be the weekend Busch, Rogers, and the M&M’s team will have things fall into place for them in the form of a magical finish together at the “Magic Mile? If the last trip there is any indication, they could be the ones to watch come Sunday afternoon.
Joey Logano Quotes
“I feel like we have nine races left this season and that we have nine races left to possibly go after another win or two. And I’m really encouraged as to how we have been running as of late. In Chicago, we were strong all weekend long. We practiced in the top-10, qualified in the top-10 and raced all day long in the top-10. Now, I think we can build on that and keep that momentum going. I really think that there are two or three race tracks left on the schedule that we have a good shot at winning. We just need to keep working hard and know that just because we are not a part of the Chase that we can still go out there and compete for wins.”
“A lot of people ask me about New Hampshire since I won here back in 2009. But this is not one of my favorite tracks. I’ve always just kind of struggled at this track. It’s just the type of place that you have to hit the setup on just right and if you aren’t just right, then you can have a long day. Earlier this year, we fought a tight center and loose off condition which just seems to be a common problem at this track if your car isn’t handling just like you’d want. We’ve got some notes to go off of and I’m pretty confident we will have an even better starting spot when we unload. It would be a lot of fun to go out there and win our second New Hampshire race.”
No. 20 Home Depot Toyota News & Notes:
- LOOKING FOR ANOTHER WIN AT HOME TRACK: New Hampshire Motor Speedway is not only Joey Logano’s home track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, but the one-mile facility also holds a special place in Logano’s heart. In 2008, Logano made his first-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start when he drove the No. 96 for Hall of Fame Racing at New Hampshire. The youngster then 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 at age 19, came in an event that was shortened by rain in which Logano and his Home Depot team played pit strategy perfectly. When Logano crossed the finish line at Pocono to win his second Sprint Cup Series event earlier this season, he famously said how finally felt to win one the right way, with “no stupid rain.”
- LAST “OFF WEEKEND” FOR LOGANO: Some weekends, Joey Logano stays super busy. Other weekends not so much. Most of that relies on his NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule for any particular track. With this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Kentucky Speedway, it will mark the last weekend as a non-companion race with the Sprint Cup Series. It will also mark the last weekend that Logano will be off from Nationwide Series competition and be focused solely on the Sprint Cup Series. And that is fine with Logano, who prefers when he’s running the Nationwide Series with the additional track time. Already this year, Logano has six wins, four poles and eight top-fives and 12 top-10s in just 16 Nationwide Series starts.
- NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS BEEN FULL OF HIGHS AND LOWS: Joey’s rookie season victory at the “Magic Mile” hasn’t been his only successful run at the track. In fact, Logano has also recorded finishes of fourth (summer 2011) and ninth (summer 2010) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to give him three top-10 finishes in eight career starts. In his last two visits to the track, Logano has come away with 14th-place finishes each time, including in the summer race earlier this season. Qualifying at NHMS has been Logano’s biggest challenge, with his best-career start coming in the summer race of 2010, when he started 11th.
- WEEKEND APPEARANCES: Joey will make two appearances while at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300. On Sunday morning, he will sign autographs for his fans at his merchandise trailer beginning at 10:00 am. Logano will then make an appearance at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sylvania hospitality chalet at 10:30 am on behalf of Toyota. All of Logano’s weekend and public appearances can be found on his official website, www.joeylogano.com.
- RACE INFO: The Sylvania 300 at at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon, NH; 1-mile oval) is set for Sunday, September 23rd at 1pm ET. Watch and listen live on ESPN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.