Championship 4 drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin finish second and third

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Martin Truex Jr. (second) and Denny Hamlin (third) came up just short of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday evening. Their Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch (seventh) and Christopher Bell (ninth) joined them inside the top-10 finishers.

Toyota Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

Phoenix Raceway

Race 36 of 36 – 312 laps, 312 miles


1st, Kyle Larson*



4th, Ryan Blaney*

5th, Chase Elliott*






*non-Toyota driver 


MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 2nd

What more did you need to go and pass Kyle Larson?

“I don’t know. Clean air seemed to be a good bit of an advantage there. Whoever got out front was there for 20, 30, 40 laps and then the long run cars would start coming around. I don’t know. Ultimately, we needed to beat them off of pit road. It’s unfortunate, but we win and lose as a team. I’m really proud of our efforts this year. Big thanks to everyone that makes it possible – Bass Pro Shops, Auto Owners, Reser’s Fine Foods, Toyota, TRD, Sherwin Williams, Oakley, Textron, Noble Aerospace, all of our partners. That’s three times that we’ve been second and that sucks. Second hurts, I’m not going to lie, especially with the car we had and the job the guys did. That’s racing as they say, and sometimes you’re just not on the right side of things. We were on the right side of things to get the lead there, and weren’t able to hang on to it. If we could have had the lead, I think it would have been over, but that’s kind of how the 5 (Kyle Larson) did it. They had a hell of a season, congrats to them. Gosh, dang, it sucks. I hate it.”

What was going through your mind when you pulled onto pit road?

“Just how close we were again. ’18, ’19, ’21, that’s three years that we were right there. We had a car capable of winning, just for whatever reason it didn’t go the way we needed it to and then at the end there, we didn’t have quite enough speed to get to the 5 (Kyle Larson) and then around him. I thought he would stay on the bottom a little longer and I would have a shot, but he moved up and then I couldn’t do anything on the bottom, so it is what it is. They did a great job. They had a great season, congrats to them. We will go back and try next year.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 3rd

How strong did you feel your race car was in the closing laps and could you have caught Kyle Larson?

“I really liked where we were at with 25 (laps) to go. We were just exceptional in the long run, which wasn’t too surprising. Started running the 19 (Martin Truex Jr.) back down there and got within a couple car lengths. Obviously, that debris caution changed a lot. Special congrats to (Kyle) Larson and their team. Any time you win 10 races in a year, you’re absolutely a deserving champion. They did a great job on the last pit stop and got him out there. It was over after that. Proud of my team, great effort adjusting on the car all day getting it so much better. Thank you to our partners at FedEx, Toyota, Jordan Brand – just a really good year, a really, really good year. It just didn’t pan out. We needed that thing to go green and it didn’t.”

Toyota Racing PR

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