Toyota Racing NCS Post-Race Recap -- Talladega 10.4.20
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 1st -How did you pull this win off today? - “Just a lot of attrition. We just played the strategy and the numbers game to run in the back until we were locked in. Just things worked out. We finally got one back. This one was unexpected to say the least, but proud of this whole FedEx team, Toyota and everyone at JGR for bringing great race cars. Today we’re obviously thinking about JJ Damato (JGR executive) and his two kids. Really excited about this win. This was unexpected for sure.”
How did you pull this win off today?
“Just a lot of attrition. We just played the strategy and the numbers game to run in the back until we were locked in. Just things worked out. We finally got one back. This one was unexpected to say the least, but proud of this whole FedEx team, Toyota and everyone at JGR for bringing great race cars. Today we’re obviously thinking about JJ Damato (JGR executive) and his two kids. Really excited about this win. This was unexpected for sure.”
Were you aware that you went below the yellow line and were you forced there?
“They were crashing in front of us. Obviously, I got forced down there just like the 21 (Matt DiBenedetto) and others did. There were a bunch of us that all crashed down there.”
What does it mean to tie total number of wins with Bill Elliott?
“So much. He (Bill Elliott) was my childhood hero growing up. That’s why I’ve always been No. 11 to be honest is because of the days when he was running for Junior Johnson. Just an amazing day.”
What happened in those final laps to get you to victory lane?
“A lot of stuff happened for sure. I don’t know if the 21 (Matt DiBenedetto) was running out of gas, but they obviously got shuffled there. They were crashing up top. I think the 20 (Erik Jones) hit the wall and then started coming back down, which forced I think me and the 24 (William Byron) down to the apron. Just was able to overcome. This is one of those that you don’t plan on winning, but we got away with one today.”
Did you run in the back early in the race by design?
“I hate to say it, but you have to play the game. You have to get to the next round. To win the championship, you have to win the last race and you have to get to the last race. For us, we played the strategy to play the numbers to make sure we got locked in and then win the race.”
What makes this win special for Joe Gibbs Racing?
“JJ Damato (JGR executive) was a great friend of ours at JGR. Just really thinking of his two kids right now. It’s really, really sad what happened to unexpectantly lose him. We’re all thinking about him.”
ERIK JONES, No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How was your race today?
“It was good. Obviously, wish we could have won it there at the end. We had to throw a big block and got in the wall, but still came back and finished second there. Good day. The car was strong. The Sport Clips Camry had good speed and we led a lot of laps. Just didn’t totally play out at the end. You can’t ask for a lot more. We were there and coming to the line with a shot to win.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
Was this a typical Talladega race for you?
“For me, yes. It was textbook, as perfect as Talladega could go for us. Just nowhere to go obviously in that last wreck. Proud of the effort, strong car. We wanted to get stage points and we got a stage win, that was a nice little bonus. Had fun up until the crash. Just wrong place, wrong time. Wish we could have ran until the end. We had a really fast Bass Pro Toyota. Thanks to all the guys back at the shop and Toyota, TRD and everybody. Go to the Roval and have some fun next week.”
How do you see the race going for you at the Roval next week?
“I feel good about it. I think the Roval is a good track. You just never know in these things. I feel like we can go there and win and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
Did someone just try to push you through there and spin you out?
“Yeah, I guess. The car was just real slow due to all of the damage, obviously, so I’m just holding up the line. I was trying to draft off the guys in front of me and I’m pushing too much backwards on the guys that are trying to push me forwards and it creates a wreck. Oh, well. The M&M’s Camry guys did a great job and just wish there was more for it. I just hate it when I’m right.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.