Nemechek, Rhodes and Crafton set to compete for Truck Series title at Phoenix

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Austin Hill (second) led four Toyota Tundras inside the top-five finishers in the United Rentals 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday afternoon. With the final results, Toyota has three of the Championship 4 drivers – John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton – who will battle for the Truck Series championship in Phoenix on Friday.

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Martinsville Speedway

Race 21 of 22 – 200 Laps, 150.2 Miles


1st, Zane Smith


3rd, Tanner Gray














*non-Toyota driver


AUSTIN HILL, No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises

Finishing Position: 2nd

How would you describe your day?

“Eventful for sure. I felt like we really had to work on it all day. Our United Rentals Toyota Tundra was really fighting us at the start of the race. I lost some track position early. Just kept coming in and working on it and got it better. Did some really big adjustments. Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) was being really aggressive with adjustments, which was really good. I felt like him and me worked really well together today on what I needed to make our Toyota Tundra better. We got it better there at the end. I didn’t think we had a shot at it in the end of the race and then all hell broke loose at the end and we were able to sneak by for a P2, which is what I needed here to build some confidence at this racetrack because in years past we haven’t been good here. First top-five for me here at Martinsville. I wanted it to stay green. I think me and the 21 (Zane Smith) could have raced down into three and four and who knows what could have happened if we had a shot at it. All-in-all, really solid effort. I really wanted to get a win for everybody at United Rentals since they were the title sponsor today, but just came up one short. We will build on it and when I come back here next year in the Xfinity Series, hopefully that gives me some confidence.”

MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Black Label Bacon/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing

Finishing Position: 5th

What was your side of the scuffle between you and Sheldon Creed?

“At the end of the day, I wasn’t going to wreck Sheldon (Creed). I did get in the back of the 98 (Grant Enfinger) because I wheel hopped getting in to turn one, just everyone trying to get in there and I ran in the back of the 98 and moved him up in to the 2 (Sheldon Creed), but we were fine after that point, but then we get down in three and four and my teammate drove through me just to retaliate because I got in the back of him. I understand where Sheldon is upset because he got moved up the race track, but I did not wreck Sheldon. I did not wreck him on purpose, did not wreck him at all. The 98 is the one who wrecked us off of four and ended up getting him eventually. At the end of the day, this Menards Toyota Tundra was pretty good today, just needed track position at the end.”

BEN RHODES, No. 99 Bombardier LearJet 75 Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing

Finishing Position: 7th

How would you summarize the day?

“Crazy day even though I put all of my energy into not making it a crazy day, I mean people were beating my bumper off, I was letting them go, I was doing everything I could to not be like John Hunter (Nemechek) who, our fingers crossed he got in, but he was in a really bad spot to have to watch the whole race and I didn’t want that to happen to us. We did everything we could to get our stage points and get our Bombardier Tundra clean, but still, I had my blood pressure get up there at the end just trying to avoid the craziness. Yeah, it would have been nice to get a top five or chase a Grandfather clock, but we’re here for Phoenix and now this is my first time in the final four and I have a really good team behind me with ThorSport Racing and just really, really proud of their efforts all year. It comes down to one race now and I know we can do it.”

STEWART FRIESEN, No. 52 Halmar International Toyota Tundra, Halmar Friesen Racing

Finishing Position: 17th

What did you think of everyone being that aggressive at the end of the race?

“I mean it always is everytime we are here. It’s bumper cars and that leads to cautions. It starts from the top down and that’s all you can do. You get leaned on and you lean on somebody back. I didn’t mean to wreck everyone at the end. I was just trying to lean back and protect my turf. It is what it is. It sucks that we didn’t make it farther to battle in Phoenix. Big thanks to Toyota and Halmar. We will be back here next year. Just crappy way to short track race, that’s all it is.”

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports

Finishing Position: 39th

What happened between you and Austin Wayne Self?

“I don’t know. He shouldn’t be out here if he’s just going to hook someone in the right rear and turn them in the fence. NASCAR should definitely look at that. It’s Playoff contention. You’ve got to have respect and he doesn’t. It is what it is. Hopefully we make it to the final four and we definitely will have something for them in Phoenix.”

Toyota Racing PR

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