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And the Toyotas shall lead them

October 01, 2012, Andrew Shain, Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com

Coca-Cola Family drivers Hamlin, Logano and Labonte finish in top 15 at Dover

The Toyota division of the Coca-Cola Racing Family set the pace at Dover as Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Bobby Labonte bested the rest of the contour bottle crew.

In the title hunt, Hamlin and Tony Stewart remain among the top five in the Chase.

Here's the Twitter view of the Coca-Cola Racing Family's day at Dover, with tweets taken from team and driver feeds.

Denny Hamlin

Dover finish: Eighth

Chase standings: Third

Hamlin won the pole, led 39 laps and spent all but one lap inside the top 15 at a track that has not been a favorite in recent years. He needed a late fuel stop to finish the race, and that cost him some track position. He is 16 points out of the Chase lead.

Reports from Boris for JGR (@joegibbsracing) as the race progressed: [Crew chief] Darian Grubb on radio- "Let's keep our heads in it and execute just like we've been doing."

Sunny and warm out here [Sunday] is affecting car handling. Usually loosens cars up, causing rear end to slip.

Hamlin already starting to lap cars.

Another thing affecting car handling is the amount of rubber building up on the track. Hearing "tight center & off" from our guys.

Hamlin has been able to open up a .4 sec advantage on the 48 [of Jimmie Johnson, who came into the race as the Chase leader].

@DennyHamlin to crew chief -- "Thank you for making driving at Dover bearable for me!"

48 beginning to close on the 11. This was a good chance to see how the car reacts to 2 tires.

Fan @PattiStevenson asked about Hamlin's gas situation. The reply: Cannot make it from here.

48 just went into fuel saving mode. [Teammate Kyle] Busch and Hamlin cannot make it from here, so we aren't backing off.

Hamlin going all out. Planning on just a splash of fuel.

Hamlin hits pit road for a splash and go this time by.

Hamlin (@dennyhamlin): Me winning a fuel mileage race. "Well that was awesome. I just managed to be a little bit slower than the field there at the end to win it."

Grubb (@dariangrubb): Great to be disappointed in 8th but still disappointed.

Joey Logano

Dover finish: 10th

Season standings: 18th

Despite getting caught two laps down at one point, Logano nabbed his second top-10 at Dover this year and his third consecutive top-10 finish.

HDR (@HomeDepotRacing): Early @joeylogano is saying he's loose. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff says everyone else saying the same thing. P13.

Boris for JGR (@joegibbsracing): Caution! Logano had pitted, Hamlin and Busch had not. Someone blew a tire.

HDR: Ill-timed caution. Trapped us 2 laps down while running p10. We will see how it all shakes out.

HDR: 100 laps in and @joeylogano is p14 still a lap down. Says car is better but lost some turn in the center.

Boris for JGR: Logano -- "I'm beating everyone with my drive off the turns!"

Boris for JGR: Logano right behind the cars he needs to pass for lucky dog spot! Running fast lap times.

HDR: Still p10. Car is loosest it's been all day right now. Still racing for Lucky Dog.

Question from @JGR_Bailey: how's the 20 on gas. Boris for JGR's reply: Saving as well.

HDR: Solid 10th place finish for @joeylogano at @MonsterMile despite never getting Lucky Dog and running out of fuel late.

Joey Logano (@joeylogano): Had a pretty good car [Sunday] just got caught down 2 laps by short pitting. Fought back for a 10th.

Bobby Labonte

Dover finish: 14th

Season standings: 24th

Labonte spent time inside the top 10 before an unscheduled stop. Still, the popular veteran stretched his fuel mileage to score his best Dover finish in four years.

Reports from JTG Daugherty Racing ?(@NASCAR47): @Bobby_Labonte on radio, letting crew chief know what other cars are up or down on right side track bars... For comparison sakes ...

Car losing total grip, not quite where @Bobby_Labonte wants it to be. Guessing that is a common sentiment.

Caution just as @Bobby_Labonte was entering pit road, Brian Burns yelled for him to stay out! Low on fuel... Caught a nice break, P-7.

Bobby has a problem, needs to pit ... did not say what problem is.

@Bobby_Labonte tires look fine after unplanned pit stop, no damage found, pressures seem normal.

@Bobby_Labonte says he is a little loose in and a little loose off, P-8 need to pit in 15 laps, unless a caution comes first.

Going to give up ground to fresh tires but we can make it on one more stop. Restarting P15, old tires, low fuel. Lap 313 of 400

Crew Chief Burns telling @Bobby_Labonte his fuel mileage on last run was worse than prior run which would put him short on fuel, Bobby will adjust style to save fuel.

@Bobby_Labonte running 1/2 throttle for a few laps, giving up track position but ensuring he has enough to make it to the end. Still P-14, 27 laps to go

Finished P-14, wild day, roller coaster ride! Great effort by the crew, never gave up on it. Solid finish!

Greg Biffle

Dover finish: 16th

Chase standings: 11th

Biffle started sixth, but handling woes pushed him out of the top 10. He then experienced a tire problem that put him outside the top 25. Though he rallied to 16th, it was a frustrating day for a driver trying to capture his first title. He lost two Chase positions and sits 51 points out of the lead.

No. 16 3M Team (@163MTEAM): Biffle says he's loose in and loose off, needs help in the middle of the turns. P9 with 45 laps complete.

3M Racing (@3MRacing): 7 of the 12 #Chase drivers are a lap down including @GBiffle in 13th. But don't worry, there's a lot of racing left

No. 16 3M Team: Biffle says the car is handling a little bit better, one lap down in the 14th position, 110 laps complete

3M Racing: No. 16 3M/Scotch-Brite Ford Fusion to pit road for a tire issue just before the halfway point. Pitbulls changing all four just to be safe.

No. 16 3M Team: Topped off fuel under caution, Biffle told to save, about one lap short now

Greg Biffle (@gbiffle): Sorry bout the rant folks!! But it happens ever once in a while!!! There is always next week

Tony Stewart

Dover finish: 20th

Chase standings: Fifth

The reigning series champion could not overcome losing laps from an ill-timed caution flag soon after he pitted. Stewart's finish was his best in his past five Dover races but cost him a spot in the Chase and dropped him 32 points behind the leader.

Reports from Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng): A little tight in the center of the turn and loose off is the early report from Tony. P23 at lap 32.

Untimely caution here at lap 68. Just made a stop for 4 tires, wedge adjustment and fuel prior to the caution. Will take the wave around

Despite being a lap down Smoke continues to pick up positions, running lap times comparable with the leaders. P17 at lap 112.

A blistering pace by the leaders has just placed the 14 in the 2-laps down category. P17 w/report the car is a little too free this time.

Lap 218: Smoke says car is coming to him but it takes too long. P16.

Ryan Newman

Dover finish: 21st

Season standings: 15th

Newman started eighth but, like his teammate Stewart, he lost laps with a caution and an ill-handling car. He dropped a spot in his fight for 13th place in the points, which gives that driver a trip to the season-ending NASCAR banquet and bonus cash.

Reports from Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng): Lap 20 - @RyanNewman39 is 11th. Says his car is a little bit free in, tight in the center and loose off. He's more loose than tight - 11th

Caution creates confusion for @RyanNewman39. Had committed to pit but didn't make it before caution light came on so he drove through pits

When told could pit with leaders @RyanNewman39 missed pit road ... told his crew he was sorry - still trying to sort out where his position is

Lap125- @RyanNewman39 says the balance of his car is too tight. He's 11th and one lap down

Bad news for @RyanNewman39 - his car had gone from way too tight to way too loose. At lap 159, he is 15th one lap down

Jamie McMurray

Dover finish: 24th

Season standings: 20th

McMurray qualified 20th and spent a portion of his race hovering just inside the top 10, but he slid back and could not get himself back toward the front.

Reports from EGR ?(@EGRTeams): #AAA400 lap160/400- @jamiemcmurray says the car is still pretty loose, currently P19.

#AAA400 No. 1 team decides to take the wave around under this caution to get one lap back, hoping for a quick caution.

Jeff Burton

Dover finish: 27th

Season standings: 19th

Starting 39th, Burton would get inside the top 25 but struggled with his car. He also got caught laps down after a pit stop. The finish was his worst at Dover in eight years.

Reports from Jeff Burton ?(@RCR31JeffBurton): Spending a little time with the family (minus one) prior to the green flag @MonsterMile-PR

JB reports the CAT Chevy is real loose. P28 with 20 compete @MonsterMile -PR

Caution came out as gf pit stops were cycling through. JB came in on lap 63 for tires, fuel & chassis adjust. - PR

Opted to stay out during the caution to take the wave around. Will restart p24, 2 laps down to the leader -PR

The car has become tight this run according to JB. P25 with 280 complete - PR

JB being instructed to save fuel, about three laps short. -- PR

Bad weekend altogether. we didn't run well and then when we took chances to get laps back it bit us every time. Just have to keep digging!

Danica Patrick

Dover finish: 28th

Patrick started 38th and gained 10 spots for her second-best finish in her limited Sprint Cup campaign this year.

Reports from Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng): Lap 62: @DanicaPatrick reports car is tight. Will pit in about 10 laps. P32.

Lap 70: @DanicaPatrick was about to pit and decided to stay out as she saw the caution was about to come out. Will pit soon.

Lap 134: @DanicaPatrick reports car is turning better but still needs more adjustments. P30.

Lap 249: @DanicaPatrick pits for 4 tires and fuel. Car getting better. P29. @GZipadelli pleased with progress of both driver & car.

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