Martin Truex Jr. (third) and Denny Hamlin (fourth) earned season-best results inside the top-five finishers in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Bubba Wallace (ninth) joined them inside the top-10. Despite a 16th-place result, Christopher Bell retains the points lead heading into Talladega.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Race 9 of 36 – 210 miles, 400 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Kyle Larson*
2nd, Joey Logano
3rd, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
4th, DENNY HAMLIN
5th, Chase Briscoe*
9th, BUBBA WALLACE
16th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
18th, TY GIBBS
22nd, TYLER REDDICK
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Did you have anything for the two in front of you?
“Yeah, I really don’t know. We kind of had a crazy day with our Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD. Finally, just got a little bit lucky and got back on the lead lap and we just kept working on our car. We were so loose all day long, and then there at the end we got a whole lot better. It was fun in the end – passing a lot of cars to get up there, but still needed to be a little bit better. Proud of everyone for sticking with it and grinding one out today.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
Can you describe your thoughts on this package and those last few laps?
“The package was terrible – it’s either the package or the tires. You can’t pass. Cars that I was lapping 10 laps before, we caught a caution, and I couldn’t pass them for second. It’s very difficult. Next Gen racing is all about strategy, execution on pit road – that’s who wins. Rarely does the car that dominates or the best car, win, simply because you can’t control the race when you need too – at least we couldn’t. We made a great strategy call at the end to get positions back.”
What more did you need that last run?
“I just needed to stay in the lead. It’s the biggest thing – just like Richmond. When you get the lead, you have to stay there. Just had unfortunate timing of that caution in the green flag pit stop cycle. We pitted, which put us towards the end of the lead lap cars. Cars that I was just lapping 10 laps prior – I couldn’t pass them. It is Next Gen racing with these tires and this aero package –there is no passing. You saw the 41 (Ryan Preece) dominate the race, and then he got caught and went to the back and that was it. That’s just what we’ve got.”
BUBBA WALLACE, No. 23 McDonald’s Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 9th
Nice recovery for you today, Bubba. Can you talk about your race?
“Yeah, for sure. J.R. (Houston), my engineer, and I just walked to figure out where that last section was. I’m 95 percent sure I was good, obviously, I was speeding, but I was like there is no way. Anyways, it is good to just stay in it, mentally for myself and the team and pull that strategy there. I was calling that tire in the restart zone for three laps – I’m like call it, this is our chance. We capitalized. All-in-all, it was an okay day. We are missing something. This is one of my favorite tracks and we come here and run sixth-to-ninth every time. We need to be better, but overall, proud of our McDonald’s Toyota Camry group. We will just keep on digging.”
Toyota Racing PR