Martin Truex Jr. scored his fourth win of the season in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday evening. Truex, Denny Hamlin (second) and Christopher Bell (third) finished in the top-three positions. It was Toyota’s 12th top-three sweep in its Cup Series history, and first this season.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Race 28 of 36 – 400 laps, 300 miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
2nd, DENNY HAMLIN
3rd, CHRISTOPHER BELL
4th, Chase Elliott*
5th, Joey Logano*
9th, KYLE BUSCH
32nd, BUBBA WALLACE
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Red White Blue Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
With the stars and stripes on his car, 20th anniversary of 9/11, Martin says, This one means a lot. How about in front of these Richmond fans to win on the 20th anniversary, a big time for the team, as well, Martin?
“Yeah, it’s a big day. It’s an important day in our history. I think all of us here – yeah, we’re proud to win, and this car is amazing and there’s so many people to thank, but what a day to win on. It reminds you of the honor and the privilege it is to get to come out here and do this. All these great fans that come out here, we couldn’t do any of these kind of things without the men and women that take care of us and all the first responders, police officers, firefighters, the military, you name it. NASCAR is very patriotic and we’re very proud, and Johnny Morris is very patriotic; that’s why this thing is red, white and blue. So very proud of everybody to be able to do this today.”
How much of the finish of this night, finishing with the win, was about the start of this night and making up for that when you had to come down pit road right off the start?
“That was frustrating; I’m not going to lie. But I knew we’d have a good enough car to overcome it. It felt pretty good the first couple laps. Just one of those things; you’ve got to put it out of your mind and you’ve got to go race, and we knew there was a lot on the line tonight. Very happy to get to do this and go to Bristol without any worries next week is always fun.”
How good does it feel to win for the first time in a while?
“Yeah, it’s been a while. We talked last week about how much speed we’ve had in these things, and just thanks to all my guys and everybody at JGR, Toyota, TRD, Bass Pro, Auto Owners, Reser’s Fine Foods, Oakley, Textron, everybody that helps us. We couldn’t do it without them. Very lucky to get to do this, as I mentioned, and very proud to win here tonight.”
What a special night for you and the team, congratulations.
“Thank you. I’m really proud of this one. It’s a big day. 20 years ago, something big happened to us and I think for all of us here, we are really fortunate to get to this. I think we understand how lucky we are to live in the best country in the world. We are very proud. We are very patriotic. We are very much thinking about those that lost their lives 20 years ago and honestly all of our first responders, firefighters, police officers, men and women of the military, we couldn’t do this without any of those people. We are very lucky to live here. We are very lucky to get to do this. Obviously, winning is just icing on the cake.”
When did you know your racecar was good?
“I knew right away. The first three laps I ran and then had to go to the back. That was a tough one to swallow. I knew I wasn’t the control car, but I let the 11 (Denny Hamlin) nose out ahead a little bit there but then he spun the tires. What am I supposed to do there? Am I supposed to stop in front of the field? I don’t know. I think that was kind of a bad call, a bad decision because there is nothing I could do about it. Luckily, we were able to overcome it. When those things happen, that’s all you can do. Focus forward. These guys stuck with me. They didn’t get mad. We all just kept our cool and we were able to come home with a W.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How many more laps did you need there?
Yeah, just a couple more. But our pit stops were a little slow there and we lost about two or three seconds, maybe four on pit road those two stops. We were coming, just we got off track with our car right there in the middle stages of the race, but overall Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) and the team made great adjustments there at the end on the FedEx Camry, just needed a couple more laps, that’s all.”
Do you feel like you guys are back on track where you want to be?
Well, it’s go time now. Ultimately it’s the time where you’ve got to bring your best. All JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) team had fast cars for all of us today, and we just — I really wish we would have got two in a row, but regardless, still a great day for our team.”
Can you describe you evening?
“Just two more laps. That’s really what I needed. We got a little bit off track with our car in the middle of the race, but there in the end, we definitely made the right adjustments and was coming, just a little bit too late.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 DEWALT Salute First Responders Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Were you pretty happy with it by the end of it?
“Yeah, I mean, I think obviously all of our Joe Gibbs Racing cars were extremely fast, so hats off to everyone back there at the job, Toyota, TRD that gives us the resources that we need to come out here and do good. We knew going into Richmond that this is one of our better racetracks, so we needed to capitalize on that and get all the points we could. Really proud of everyone on this DeWalt Camry. They worked hard. The start of the race was a little bit disappointing to give up stage points in Stage 1, but we did good; we got some points there in Stage 2 and got a good finish out of it.”
How do you feel about your points position going into Bristol?
“Yeah, I feel good about it, and Bristol is a really good racetrack for our company and me. It’s just you can get caught up in stuff so easily at Bristol. It’s nice to have a buffer and hopefully we can go to Bristol and have an uneventful event.”
How was your car tonight?
“I think we were the bottom of the four (Joe Gibbs Racing cars), which was disappointing, but still a third-place run. It’s funny I was telling you how good our cars were and it seemed like we were going to run 1-2-3-4 there. I don’t know what happened to Kyle (Busch) there, but really, really good day for Joe Gibbs Racing as a company and for us with this DeWalt Toyota Pristine Auction car. Hopefully, that got us a little bit of points gain going into next week.”
Toyota Racing PR