Toyota Racing MENCS Charlotte Road Course – Post-Qualifying Report

LAT Images #95: Matt DiBenedetto, Leavine Family Racing, Toyota Camry Toyota Express Maintenance

Martin Truex Jr. was the top Toyota qualifier in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course on Friday evening.

Toyota Racing Post-Qualifying Report

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course – September 27, 2019


1st, William Byron*

2nd, Alex Bowman*

3rd, Joey Logano*

4th, Jimmie Johnson*

5th, Clint Bowyer*







*non-Toyota driver 


ERIK JONES, No. 20 Craftsman Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Starting Position: 15th

What’s your outlook for Sunday’s race?

“I don’t know, I thought we had a little bit better car than that, but I didn’t expect us to qualify much better than eighth probably. You know 15th is not where we wanted to be, we haven’t qualified well all year. It hurts pit stall more than anything and then you get some guys up in front that you’ve got to through in the first stage, get them shuffled out. We just lacked a little bit of speed obviously across the board – us the 18 (Kyle Busch), the 19 (Martin Truex Jr.) were able to squeeze in (to the next round). You know definitely needed a little bit more speed to be with those guys in the top five, I mean they’re a second faster than us almost. That’s a lot, but you never know how the race will play out.”

So winning is going to be tough?

“It won’t be easy, I mean the only good thing for us is that stage points don’t matter. Stage points aren’t going to get us in, so we can play strategy whichever way we need to get ourselves up front. We’ve seen you can get up front and contend. The 12 (Ryan Blaney) last year got up there and put himself in a spot and had things work out. We just need to get into position, but need some more speed. We’ll know more after tomorrow in race trim, but definitely all-out speed we’re a little behind.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Qualifying Position:  28th

Do you feel like you’re kind of behind the 8-ball going to the backup car? I mean, you ran seven laps out there and really couldn’t make an advance.

“We were making long runs for qualifying. This was, essentially, an extra practice session for us because it’ll get us ahead of the game tomorrow when we go and practice. I’m happy with the lap times that we turned considering we were in race trim. Yea, we’re definitely behind being in the back but the backup car results have been really, really good this year so I’m not too worried. Obviously, this is a race where points-wise, we shouldn’t really worry either.”

Why so many cars off the course today?

“This wasn’t a purpose-built road course. So, it doesn’t have the run-off areas that normal road courses would have in heavy braking areas. Turn 5 is a heavy-braking area, so on a purpose-built road course on heavy braking areas, you have kind of a run-off there when you do blow through it, you just kind of get back on track when it’s time. This track really doesn’t have that and it’s also off-cambered in a lot of spots because some of these roads were parking lots. The car’s not working properly in that area anyway and then when you overdrive in that heavy braking area and you have nowhere to run off, you crash. That’s why you see so much carnage here.”

How difficult is this track? Is it that big of a difference from last year?

“Everyone’s going to have trouble at some point. I mean, not everyone but most people will that’s out for speed, anyway. It’s not a purpose-built road course so it doesn’t have run-off areas in all the right spots which, right or wrong, you’ve got to deal with it as a driver. It’s all the same for everyone. It just doesn’t have run-off area where you really need it. Some of the corners are off-cambered, like they’re pointed in the wrong direction, so it’s just difficult in that sense. So, if you do make a mistake, it’ll be a wreck.”

What do you predict for Sunday?

“I think there’ll be a lot of wrecks. If you’re going to be competitive and be fast, you’re going to put your car in a position where it could get crashed. We’re in a position where we’ve really got nothing to lose. We’re going to have fun and try to get as far forward as we can.”

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