Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. will all advance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs to the Round of 8. Kyle Busch (fourth) led the way for Team Toyota at The Charlotte Roval with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin in fifth. The Round of 8 will start next Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course
Race 32 of 36 – 109 laps, 252.88 miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Kyle Larson*
2nd, Tyler Reddick*
3rd, Chris Buescher*
4th, KYLE BUSCH
5th, DENNY HAMLIN
8th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
14th, BUBBA WALLACE
29th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
What does it mean to have a day that isn’t a horrible day at the Roval?
“We’ve run fair before here. Put the 9 (Chase Elliott) back in there and we’re fifth. Overall good day for the M&M’s Camry. We came here with a plan and we tried to execute it as best we could. We’re just okay, I wouldn’t call us stellar. We did lead that stage and get a point there so that was good. It was hard to pass and really hard to make up ground. Once everybody got spread out, everyone runs really equal. Not a lot of gain throughout the run it seemed.”
How confident do you feel going into the Round of 8 with Texas and Kansas being tracks you’ve won at in recent years?
“We won both of them within the last year so I feel like that’s a good omen for us. The mile-and-a-half programs have been really strong for us. We did not run so well at Texas with the All-Star race, but that was different, just everything. Have to keep ourselves up front and hopefully we get to start up front so that should be a pretty good starting spot for us. Looking forward to next week.”
What are your thoughts on today’s race?
“We got everything we could out of it today. If you were out front you could kind of set sail and get gone there, which is what we did in stage two. But it seemed like everyone was pretty equal in traffic. Once everyone got single-filed out, there really wasn’t anyone out there killing the field. I guess that’s prettu equal racing. Overall, pretty good day for our M&M’s Camry. Came here with a plan and we were able to execute that. We’ll go see what happens next week.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
How was your day and how do you feel about your team overall?
“I feel like we had a good day, just made a few mistakes with missing the chicane and speeding on pit road, but came back from that. Just kind of was in between trying to decide if we should pit or not and who knows, I’m not sure we had enough speed to beat the 5 (Kyle Larson) out right. We held those guys off as long as we could on the older tires. Just fell back to fifth.”
How do you feel about the reset to the Round of 8?
“We’re always ready, we always prepare to win every week. Not much changes, but I’m really excited about the way we’re running.”
Did you feel like a pinball on the final restart?
“We were just on older tires there. We chose to stay out and we went long on the previous green flag sequence. We were kind of between numbers there on if we were going to pit or stay out. We chose to stay out and take the track position to make them pass us and they passed us. Overall, a pretty good day for our FedEx Office Camry. We just didn’t have quite enough at the end.”
How do you feel about the tracks coming up in the Round of 8?
“Certainly I felt this round was statistically one of the toughest, but overall our mile-and-a-half program is very good and our short track program has been the best for us this year. We’ll see, you just never know. This thing is a three-race season. What we did for the first 32 races or whatever just doesn’t matter.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Irwin Trade Strong Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
What were you missing to be able to compete for the win today?
“Two words, rear grip. I don’t know we just couldn’t quite hit it. We were struggled and I made a lot of mistakes driving too, but ultimately we weren’t fast enough to go up there and compete for the win. Came away with an eighth place finish, which is a lot better than it was looking like we were going to have today.”
How difficult is it to be eliminated from the Playoffs?
“It’s fine, but you have to be great every time you come to the race track. We have a lot of stuff we can clean up and our potential is a lot better that what we’re performing at right now. I have high hopes moving on in my NASCAR career and hopefully I get more opportunities at that.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 29th
What happened when you came to pit road on the final caution and then the contact with the 52 car?
“We had to pit for a tire run so we got in the back. I was following the 2 (Brad Keselowski) car back through traffic and they were two wide going into the backstretch chicane. They were two-wide and two-wide and there were four cars in front of me and all I could do was slow down and let them figure it out and go. We got in there and he (52 car) just drove into the back of me. I don’t know if he was out of brakes and missed the corner and didn’t expect us. I don’t know. His car was completely destroyed and he was running last all day and he completely ran me over with three of four laps to go. It was crazy, I can’t even believe it happened, but we’re through so it is what it is.”
How do you feel going into the Round of 8?
“Feel good. So hard to tell anymore. The 550 package, you just never know. You could be the best car all day long and finish 15th or 20th. Hard to say. We’ve done good there before at both of them. Won races at Kansas and Martinsville in our Bass Pro Shops Camry. Just go do what we can and figure it out.”
Toyota Racing PR