Three Camry Drivers Advance to Second Round of NASCAR Playoffs

NKP #19: Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops

Martin Truex Jr. came from the back of the field to finish seventh as the top-finishing Camry driver in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

Race 29 of 36 – 248.52 miles, 109 laps


1st, Chase Elliott*

2nd, Alex Bowman*

3rd, Kevin Harvick*

4th, Clint Bowyer*

5th, Brad Keselowski*








*non-Toyota driver

•                Martin Truex Jr. raced his way to the front on Sunday afternoon, becoming the top-finishing Toyota driver in the NASCAR Cup Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course with a seventh-place finish.

•                Truex, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch all advanced to the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs while Erik Jones failed to advance in his second Playoffs appearance.


MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 7th

How would you characterize your day?

“It was up and down for sure, you know? To start from the back like that and get penalized in the beginning for avoiding a wreck, missing the chicane to avoid a wreck and you penalize us is kind of stupid. We started from way behind there and made our way up. Got to second and just didn’t have a good enough car to take the lead and then all those heat cycles again, I just got really loose. We probably should’ve got tires, but we didn’t expect all of the cautions at the end.”

Talk about your day. Are you ready for Round 2?

“Oh yeah, I’m ready. I think the team is ready.  We had a hell of challenge on our hands today, starting from the back, so to get up to second and be battling for the lead late was good. We just didn’t expect so many cautions at the end. All those heat cycles heated my tires up and I just was wicked loose at the end. The last three or four laps, I couldn’t hold anybody off. Luckily, the power steering held up. That was a good thing.”

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

Finishing Position: 19th

How did you miss today?

“Just missed it overall. Having a backup car and having to go to the back and then through that wreck that happened in Turn 1 we got caught in, had to go to the back again. We just couldn’t ever make it back towards the front. Just not enough passing zones. You can’t really get the flow going at this race track, so it’s just kind of – you just wait on the wrecks, you try to avoid them and get the best finish you can.”

Were you more relaxed today knowing you already made it to Round 2?

“Yes. There was no stress. Certainly we knew that we were moving on, but you still like to run well. It was just one of those weekends where if we do, we do, if we don’t, we don’t.”

How much of a gamechanger was the new chicane?

“I don’t know. I think the track raced close to the same. There’s just so few passing zones really and it’s so narrow and it’s off-cambered in a lot of spots. Passing is just difficult generally at this race track and it just seems like we’ve got to get a little bit better here.”

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

Finishing Position: 40th

How tough is it not to make it to the next round?

“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating not just to even have a chance throughout the whole race, you know? We didn’t make it to the first stage and it wasn’t our fault. That’s probably the most frustrating part is getting taken out and nothing you can do about it. We’ll have to keep going all year, win some more races and come back and start over again in next year’s Playoffs.”

And just like that, Erik, your Playoffs are over.

“It’s unfortunate. We just had three really bad weeks and it’s some of our own doing and some not our own doing, but it’s racing. We’ve got really fast cars. I know we can probably go out and win some more races this year, which is I guess a consolation prize. I’d love to be moving forward here and challenging for the championship. I thought we could’ve went pretty deep this year, but it’s just the nature of the Playoffs. The Craftsman Camry – we were struggling today here early on, but we were going to fight all day and unfortunately we didn’t get that opportunity. We’ll keep racing all year and you know next year, come back and improve on what we can.”

Toyota Racing PR

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