Truex nearly drives to victory in first Xfinity Series race in 10 years In Atlanta

LAT Images

Martin Truex Jr. (second) and Harrison Burton (third) drove to top-three finishes in their Toyota Supras in the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday evening.

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Race 6 of 33 – 250 miles, 163 laps

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS

1st, Justin Allgaier*

2nd, MARTIN TRUEX JR.

3rd, HARRISON BURTON

4th, Noah Gragson*

5th, AJ Allmendinger*

9th, DANIEL HEMRIC

15th, SANTINO FERRUCCI

20th, TIMMY HILL

22nd, JESSE LITTLE

27th, DAVID STARR

32nd, MASON MASSEY

37th, BRANDON JONES

39th, CHAD FINCHUM

*non-Toyota driver

TOYOTA QUOTES

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 54 STANLEY Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 2nd

Good return to the Xfinity Series, but did the penalty cost you?

“I’m not sure to be honest with you. We got back up there, but was kind of out of tires at that point. We got close, but the last 10 laps the right rear was really smoked off. I just had to use too much to get there, but I just want to thank everybody at STANLEY and JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) for letting me do this. It was fun until I screwed it up. I hate it for these guys, but just came up a little short at the end there.” 

Can you recap your day and how hard were you driving that Supra?

“Harder than I needed to once I got in the back. Thanks to STANLEY and everybody at Toyota for allowing me to do this, everybody at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) for allowing me to do this. It was a lot of fun. I definitely hurt our chance at winning when I sped on pit road. Not making excuses, but this tach is a lot different than what I’m used to and it was really hard to see it. With all that said, still a pretty fun day and to come back to second, just ran out of rear tires at the end of the race there. Got to second and then just ran out of juice. Needed another pit stop and maybe another set of tires and we could have done something. All in all, it was a fun day.”

HARRISON BURTON, No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 3rd

How was your car handling as the track changed and your tires were wearing out?

“It was a fun day and fun running up front all day. Battled some adversity and got really loose in the middle of stage two there. Worked real hard to get the car better and finally got our Supra really fast in one and two and not quite fast enough in three and four. Our strength all day was just running the bottom in three and four, I could really out-wrap people. Eventually I just lost that and had to come off the bottom over there. One and two was the best we were all day, just had to give up three and four to do it. Just have to find the happy medium, but we have something to work off of and finally have some momentum rolling.”

DANIEL HEMRIC, No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 9th

What happened with the pit stop and then post-race between yourself and Noah Gragson?

“Pretty simple. He (Noah Gragson) had no idea what was going on out on the race track. We come down pit road and the guy pitted behind us when you accelerate when I was pulling into my box and it made me have to steer around the guy going to the 9’s (Gragson) box. I backed up and yes, it messed up both of our pit stops. I backed up and he decided to put it in reverse and cram into the right-front fender and knock a hole in our Poppy Bank Toyota Supra nose. We had to pit again and fix it. That was completely deliberate and it was absolutely ridiculous. Where I come from, you get your eye dotted when you do stuff like that.”

You said Noah Gragson backed up into your Supra?

“Oh yeah, crammed it into reverse and backed up. Punched a hole in the nose of our car. Punched a hole in our car and I got one punched in his eye. We’re even.” 

Where did the problem with Noah all stem from?

“We had both struggled. He had issues in the crash early, and we just struggled with speed with our Poppy Bank Toyota Supra. We were working on it constantly. Dave Rogers (crew chief) was working on it to get it closer to where I needed to be. I came to pit there during that caution and I went to pull into my box and we had a guy who went to leave at the same time in the box behind us, and created me to have to go long, pull in the 9 (Noah Gragson) box and back up. I guess he was oblivous to what was going on and what my situation was, so by time the 9 got in his box, he crammed it in reverse and purposely drove the back of his car through the front of my Supra. If you punch a hole in my Supra, you are liable to get punched in the eye for that and that’s what happened.”

You have to keep racing each other this year, so what happens going forward?
“Like I said, there’s a hole in the front of my car and he got popped in the eye, so from where I stand we are in pretty good shape.”

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