Tundra teammates Ben Rhodes (second) and Christian Eckes (fifth) scored the top-finishes for Toyota in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway. The two ThorSport Tundras were running one-two coming to the white flag, but a wild finish and accident coming to the checkered flag mixed up the final results and sent several trucks crashing and spinning through the infield.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Race 21 of 23 – 100 Laps, 250 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Matt DiBenedetto*
2nd, BEN RHODES
3rd, Bret Holmes*
4th, Ryan Preece
5th, CHRISTIAN ECKES
7th, CHASE PURDY
10th, TYLER ANKRUM
11th, KADEN HONEYCUTT
12th, CLAY GREENFIELD
14th, CHANDLER SMITH
15th, TIMMMY HILL
20th, STEWART FRIESEN
22nd, MATT CRAFTON
23rd, TY MAJESKI
24th, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
25th, JOHNNY SAUTER
26th, COREY HEIM
BEN RHODES, No. 99 Kubota Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What happened in the final lap of the race with the accident?
“As the saying goes, I haven’t’ seen the replay. I can’t help but feel that I had a hand in on that big one somehow. I believe that I went up to block and came back down and the hole was already filled and I didn’t know it. Split second decision. I hate it for my team and everybody at ThorSport most of all. They worked so hard to get these trucks there and we were right there to lock our ticket into Phoenix and now we have to really put in the work at Homestead to make sure we get in for another championship run. I just know we were on the bottom and I had a really, really good push. I felt like I got pushed out a little bit in the trioval, but again, I haven’t seen a replay and I saw the outside start to pull out and I knew we were going to lose momentum as that group pulled out. But they had a run still somehow and as I moved up to block, they filled the gap and I think I made contact, but again, I haven’t seen the replay for sure. Just hate it for Kubota and everybody involved. It’s s shame to be that close to punching your ticket and not get it.”
What would you have done differently on the final lap to try to get the win?
“Honestly, I think everything worked out fine until the last few hundred feet. If I could change it, I would have just stayed right on the bottom. I’m not saying we could have got the win, maybe we would have had second, but we wouldn’t have a torn up race truck right now. A lot of things would have been better for really everybody involved.”
CHRISTIAN ECKES, No. 98 FarmPaint Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
What happened in the final lap of the race?
“Just wrong lane. I thought the 25 (Matt DiBenedetto) would push me better than the 32 (Bret Holmes) and I was just wrong. They passed us and I tried to do some different moves. I’m not really sure what happened there at the end, I’m not sure if the 51 (Corey Heim) bailed on me or what. Coming to the checkered, I finished seventh and had a decent points day and the truck is mostly in one piece. We’ll move onto Homestead.”
TYLER ANKRUM, No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Hattori Racing Enterprises
Finishing Position: 10th
How was your race overall?
“Had a pretty good handling truck. It was a little darty, but we ran up front all day long and inside the top-10 and were running sixth there at the end. Just made a wrong decision to push the 51 (Corey Heim) and he spun. Actually happy to finish at race at Talladega. I can say for once that I want to come back. We’ll have a better speedway truck for the next one.”
TY MAJESKI, No. 66 Tenda Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
What happened in the final lap of the race that ended your race early?
“We were just trying to make some moves at the end and trying to get the top formed and it just never came through and got passed by a couple trucks there at the end. Coming out of four, they all started wrecking and we were in the top lane and in the top lane, a lot of times you really don’t have anywhere to go. Got into a few trucks and another superspeedway race in the infield care center.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 24th
How was your race today?
“Up and down. Maximized stage points there with Chandler (Smith) in the first stage and in the second stage, put ourselves in a good position to gain as many points as possible. Just didn’t work out there at the end. Stuff happens and I was one of the trucks that was spinning through the grass there. Probably lost around 10 or 12 spots there by spinning through the grass. It hurt our points day a little bit and we’re now just four points behind the cut going into Homestead.”
COREY HEIM, No. 51 JBL Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 26th
What happened on the final lap of the race?
“I’m really not sure. I haven’t seen a replay, but just going for every spot I can get and it looked like we had a chance to win with our Tundra TRD Pro. Generally this is how it goes at Talladega, it’s unpredictable and you know, one driver doesn’t cause a wreck. There’s going to be another one half a lap later. Did everything I could today with my JBL Tundra TRD Pro today. KBM gave me a great truck and looking forward to the next one for sure.”
Toyota Racing PR