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KYLE BUSCH RETURNS TO VICTORY LANE

SONOMA, Calif. (June 28, 2015) – Camry driver Kyle Busch returned to victory lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) for the first time on Sunday since his accident at Daytona International Speedway in February. Busch led a total of 17 laps (of 110) in today’s race at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California.

This is Busch’s 30th career NSCS victory and 26th in a Camry since joining Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota in 2008.

Toyota drivers have now won four times in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 – Busch also won in 2008, while Clint Bowyer (2012) and Martin Truex Jr. (2013).

This is Toyota’s 69th NSCS triumph since entering the series in 2007, and fourth of the 2015 season. Denny Hamlin (Martinsville), Matt Kenseth (Bristol) and Carl Edwards (Charlotte) also have visited victory lane in their Camrys this year.

With the Sonoma victory, Busch now needs to move into the top-30 in the NSCS point standings to secure a place in this year’s Chase and join his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammates in the championship playoff later this season. After five races back, he’s now 37th in the driver standings.

Bowyer (third) earned his eighth top-10 finish at the northern California road course and was charging hard for another Sonoma win before Kyle’s older brother Kurt passed him for the Busch family’s first one-two series finish.

Four Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings – Matt Kenseth (ninth), Hamlin (13th), Bowyer (16th) and Edwards (17th).

The NSCS returns to action at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, July 5.

Select Toyota NSCS Driver Quotes:
KYLE BUSCH
, No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
What does it mean to get this win?
“This is awesome – it’s unbelievable. Can’t say enough about my team, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing. I can’t say enough about my medical team that got me back in shape and ready to go behind the wheel. And my brother (Kurt Busch), he certainly was hard on Clint (Bowyer) and I think certainly gave me a ten lengths and then gave me another eight. Man, I can’t say enough about M&M’s and their support – they’ve been behind me so much through the years – not just this year but through the years. M&M’s Crispy has done an awesome job this year and we have an exciting thing coming out in Kentucky, so I’m excited about that – the promotion is pretty neat. Interstate Batteries, Skittles, Pedigree, Snickers, Sprint – thanks to Sprint for all the years that they’ve been here and of course the fans. It’s pretty cool. I pulled up here and blew the tires and the thing wouldn’t make the turn (into victory lane) and I blew the rear tires off of it. I was like, ‘Alright, park it right here and we’ll walk in.’ Walking in on a broken leg and a broken foot, nothing better than doing that.”

Can you race your way into the Chase?
“Yeah, we have our work cut out for us, we knew we did in the beginning and I knew we put us in the hole in points. It’s unfortunate that we’ve had a couple crashes. I hate it for my guys, they don’t deserve to be in that spot. They have certainly worked hard all year long. David Ragan and Matt Crafton, those guys that have filled in for me, those guys never gave up and kept fighting hard the whole time, so I appreciate them for that and they deserve to be in the Chase. As much as I can do, that’s what we’re going to do. Adam Stevens, this is his first win as a Cup crew chief, so this is pretty special. My wife is here, she flew in this morning. So it’s awesome to have her with us today. Brexton is at home though, he didn’t want to fly six hours, so we let him stay at home this time. This is so cool.”

How do your legs feel?
“My foot hurts a little bit, not as bad as I expected it to. It actually hurt worse in practice. I think I warmed it up on Friday. It felt pretty good on Friday. Thanks to Fox – thanks to you guys and all of our broadcast partners for being around and filling in for the first half of the year and looking forward to the second half.”

How does it feel to be back in victory lane?
“I don’t know if they can all understand how it feels. There’s some sentimental fans out there for sure, the ones that are cheering that normally wouldn’t cheer for me. It’s definitely special to be here in victory lane in a Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma. We broke this streak of 10 different winners – I won here in 2008. It’s been a long time, but man, it’s so cool to come home one-two with my brother (Kurt Busch), that was really awesome. I can’t say enough about him for helping me, actually. He gave (Clint) Bowyer a heck of a run, gave me a gap a couple times – that was pretty good. Thankful for that. I can’t say enough about this whole M&M’s Crispy team, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, everyone at M&M’s were all behind me. All my partners, Toyota and Interstate Batteries – it’s just a phenomenal opportunity for me to be here in victory lane, walking into it.”

How were you able to pass Jimmie Johnson for the final race lead?
“I felt like the sooner the better. I couldn’t let him (Jimmie Johnson) hold me up. I couldn’t let him break my momentum and everything I had going. It would just take too long for me to get it back. (Clint) Bowyer would catch up to me by then. I was fortunate to get by him (Jimmie Johnson) and then he tried to set sail, hit my marks. Those last three laps I was trembling a little bit, just trying to not screw it up and saw my brother (Kurt Busch) get behind me and played blocking for me. He wants to win and we’re competitive any time we get out there like that. Just an amazing feeling to be here in victory lane. Can’t say enough about my medical team that helped me and helped me get back into shape. Just so excited, this is cool.”

How much closer does it feel to breaking the top-30 and getting into the Chase?
“Now I don’t have to bust my butt and overdrive the car every week in order to get wins. Now I can just concentrate on running top-three, top-five, top-eight – just getting those finishes and points. If we can do that, the points have got to come and fall on the line. Of course, more wins would certainly help us, and that would only help our cause and allow us to get to the top-30 quicker, but we have to take it in moderation here and be smart about it. I can’t say enough about it. It’s so cool to win here in Sonoma, to win on a road course and of course to win for Toyota – their support that they pour into this race track – it’s really cool to be here.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Did you have anything for Kyle Busch on the final restart?
“I was just in the wrong line. That restart there, Kyle (Busch) got up on the inside of us and wasn’t able to get underneath of him. Then I got hung up with Matt (Kenseth) and thought we were both going to work. Tore our car up real bad. You get so close – drove my ass off. I tried, just came up a little short. Kyle had a really good short run car and after a handful of laps I was able to get by him on the run before that. I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. I was just going to have to go. I tried to get up through him and get rough with him and beat him to it, but he beat me to that situation and won. A good weekend for us. Billy Scott (crew chief) and all these guys on the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota – two solid weekends. Wasn’t what we came out here to do, but had a lot of fun.”

How strong was the car this weekend?
“We weren’t just able to capitalize – I think we were probably a second or third place car. It seemed like for whatever reason the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) came on really good there. The 41 (Kurt Busch) was probably the fastest car all weekend long. We were right there with him. Fun to come out here in wine country and be able to compete like that. This is where we need to be running. We need to be able to go to these regular race tracks and keep this momentum and confidence level up that we have when we come out here. It’s unfortunate – you get that close and you want to get greedy.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 18th

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 21st

MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 29th

JEB BURTON, No. 26 Maxim Fantasy Sports Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position:  32nd

DAVID RAGAN, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 39th
What happened on the race track with Carl Edwards?
“On these restarts you can really gain or lose a lot. If you an inch, a lot of guys take a mile and I really knew that we were both putting ourselves in a bad situation right there watching the replay. It’s tight through there, but if I give a little bit to Carl (Edwards), three or four guys are going to get around me. We had a great Aaron’s Dream Machine, I can’t say enough about everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota for working hard and really bringing some fast Camrys out here. I felt like we had a chance to win this thing today. Just proud of Brian Pattie (crew chief) and everybody for giving me a chance to run well here. You have to be aggressive on these restarts and I felt like I was in a good spot there. We were 50-50 and I just raced him for a spot and it’s just one of those things. I don’t regret what I did, if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it again. A lot of times I’m a little too conservative and I give these guys too much. I’m glad I held my own and had a good car today, but it just wasn’t going to do it.”

What happened earlier in the race with Martin Truex Jr.?
“I didn’t get together with the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.), the 78 ran me off the race track, just body slammed me. I was just trying to get back on the race track. That’s a great instance where the 78 just absolutely did me wrong and I’m trying to get back on the race track. That’s unfortunate for him, it’s never good to see anybody tear up their race car. Martin would probably not do that again if he had an opportunity.”

What happened on the race track?
“You know, Carl (Edwards) and I were just racing hard for spots. We both had good Toyota Camrys. We had good tires, we had a very, very fast Aaron’s Dream Machine and I just can’t layover on these restarts. I don’t even think I was aggressive, I think I was just holding my own. We were racing for a spot. It looked like Carl got over the rumble strips and we just touched. Carl and I are really good friends and certainly no hard feelings. Just one of those things. Carl doesn’t want to give an inch, I didn’t want to give an inch, because guess what, you have five or six guys breathing down your neck and if we give each other a little bit of slack, they’re just going to pass you or run over us and that happened to me earlier in the race, I tried to be a little more conservative, take care of my tires and take care of my fenders and guys just run over me. You have to hold your own. If I have to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change anything. Maybe just give Carl a little bit more room in case he runs over that rumble strip we won’t collect one another.”

CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 Stanley Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position:  40th
What happened in the accident with David Ragan?
“I don’t know. I just hate it for Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) – they put so much effort into this. Fortunately we’ve got a lot of Stanley tools over there to work on this thing. David (Ragan) and I were just close racing trying to get through those esses and it looks like my left-rear hit his right-rear – I wondered why it pitched the car hard. I thought worst case we were just going to bump doors. That’s probably my fault there. Stanley doesn’t usually do concrete movement things, but I guess today they did. Frustrating – I love this place and I wish I was still out there racing. This is my favorite track.”

Were you racing hard with David Ragan when the accident took place?
“We were just racing and David (Ragan) and I race really well together, but it was just one of those deals where we came off of turn seven dead even and both of us wanted to see who would kind of give first. My left-rear hit his right-rear and it was pretty small contact, but it bounced both the cars sideways and ruined our day. Probably my fault, in fact that part is my fault, but it’s frustrating because I love this race track and I was having fun. Just want to be out there racing. It’s a tough one to have to sit out.”

How difficult is that part of the race track?
“That turn is tough, but that’s fun. I got in there, I got beside him braking and you just have to try to complete the pass at that point. Just maybe should have gave it back to him. It can go so many ways, you just have to stay aggressive. I hate it for David (Ragan) and his guys – they had a good run going.”

JJ YELEY, No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Finishing Position: 41st

Toyota NSCS Driver Finishing Positions — at Sonoma Raceway
1st, KYLE BUSCH
3rd, CLINT BOWYER
18th, DENNY HAMLIN
21st, MATT KENSETH
29th, MATT DIBENEDETTO
32nd, JEB BURTON
39th, DAVID RAGAN
40th, CARL EDWARDS
41st, JJ YELEY


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