Christopher Bell (third) and Kyle Busch (eighth) both scored top-10 finishes for Toyota in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch along with his Toyota teammates of Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. are still alive in the quest for the Championship 4 that will compete in Phoenix. While Busch had a solid finish along with a stage win, both Hamlin and Truex were involved in on-track incidents.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Texas Motor Speedway
Race 33 of 36 – 334 laps, 501 miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Kyle Larson*
2nd, William Byron*
3rd, CHRISTOPHER BELL
4th, Brad Keselowski*
5th, Kevin Harvick*
8th, KYLE BUSCH
11th, DENNY HAMLIN
25th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
27th, TIMMY HILL
32nd, BUBBA WALLACE
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem/Watts/Opteon Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How were you able to come back from two laps down to claim a top-three finish?
“Adam (Stevens, crew chief) did a great job making the right calls – putting tires on at the end really helped us. We kept gaining on this Rheem Camry every pit stop. I felt like we were pretty strong at the beginning of the race and then we kind of lost the handle in the middle stages and fell back and lost some track position, so fortunate to come home third for sure. I’m really happy for this 20 group. I think we have some strong races coming up.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
You are above the cut line, does that give you something to salvage this day?
“That’s about the only thing we got out of today. Just we were off. I don’t know how we missed it, why we missed it, or what but just taking off on fire off, there’s just no grip whatsoever. We would just chatter the front tires, so we missed it today. We missed it big time. I don’t know what is going on, but that wasn’t the way to perform on the opening day today. Thanks to Interstate Batteries. I appreciate all of their people that were with us today. I just feel bad that we didn’t do a better job. We have to go back to work. Next week is Kansas – same kind of thing.”
Do you think Kansas will be similar?
“It’s going to be similar. It’s not going to be as one groove-ish fighting for the first lane of that spray. You are going to be able to widen out and race all over the track, so hopefully that should be a little better.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 Craftsman Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
What do you take away from this race?
“I think we went a different direction with our car and we weren’t just as fast as we were in previous mile-and-a-half races. I thought we were kind of a third-to-fourth place car on the long run, seventh-to-eighth on the short run. Just weren’t ourselves today in that case and then obviously getting in two wrecks at the end didn’t help, but the fact that there was a lot of attrition and the fact that the team did a phenomonal job fixing the car got us back up to P-11.”
What can you take into next week’s race at Kansas?
“It’s insane. I think we ended up gaining a point over the cut, somehow. I don’t know. It’s just a crazy day. The way these cars race where we are packed up for a couple laps, you just never know. It’s going to be the same way at Kansas. Hopefully we bring a fast piece there and we can go there and compete for a win.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 25th
Do you feel like you gave him (Daniel Suarez) enough room?
“I’m not sure. I’ll have to see it. I was definitely running tight trying to get all we could and maybe I squeezed him (Daniel Suarez), maybe he came up, I’m not sure. I don’t even know if we touched. I got loose and when I gathered it up (shown replay). Yeah, we touched for sure. It’s really fast right there and yeah, hit the splitter and went straight to the fence. Tough spot to have contact like that. I don’t know. It is what it is.”
How do you bounce back in the next couple of races?
“Try to win one of them, I guess.”