Toyota Racing NCS Post-Race Recap -- Charlotte Roval 10.11.20
ERIK JONES, No. 20 Craftsman ACE/CMN Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 3rdHow tough was Chase Elliott in today’s race? - “I knew we were there and had tires. We were in a really good spot, but I knew that 9 (Chase Elliott) was really fast and has been pretty tough to beat here the last few years. They’ve got something figured out, they’re really quick here. I was just kind of losing time to him everywhere. He caught me and I couldn’t hold him off more than a couple cars. The Craftsman Camry was good, it was good to get a top-three. Probably a little bit better than what we ran, but we’ll definitely take it.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How eventful were the closing laps for you?
“Had a little bit of a run on them coming to one to go and probably stuffed it in there a little too far. Tried to get out from inside of him (Kurt Busch) and hit that water back there and from there it was all over. Little too aggressive there at the end. Overall, just a so-so day for the Bass Pro Toyota. We had decent speed, not winning speed, but had a lot of fun out there, especially in the rain.”
How do you feel heading into the Round of 8?
“For sure. We have some good tracks coming up for us. Looking forward to Kansas next weekend for sure. See if we can’t go get one there, it’s been a while.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 30th
What was the thought process when you stayed out on old tires?
“I don’t know. Just trying to get everything we could get. You come into a race like this and you throw a couple Hail Mary’s and they rarely work, especially when you don’t have the car. That 9 (Chase Elliott) car is spectacular here and it was superfast. I followed him for a lot of laps trying to figure it out and he just gets smaller and smaller as he’s driving away. I don’t know, it’s not just this race. It’s a whole season and it’s a culmination of things that led to this and led to our elimination. We knew it coming into this round that this was going to be the hardest round for us to get through. Pretty much impossible and it was. We weren’t able to make up enough or get a win. We’ll just have to fight for a win here the rest of the year.”
Can you sum up the way the Playoffs played out for you?
“It’s just been the year. Nothing has played out and been on our side. It’s just been unfortunate circumstances, a lot of bad luck. These guys on this M&M’s Camry team never give up and they fight all year long and every race and every lap, every pit stop as we can see. Man, just one of them off years. It’s been a terrible year for me. As other sports greats would say, there’s many other drivers that would love to have a year that we’re having, but it’s just frustrating to know how good we are and what we’re capable of and being champions from last year to not come out here and be able to succeed and be able to win. Fact of the matter, if we could win, we would be a heck of a lot better off. I knew this round was going to be trouble with the year we had. I was right.”
Did you think you had anything to win when you stayed out rather than pit for tires?
“No. We probably would have been third or fourth or somewhere in there. The 9 (Chase Elliott) was stellar. They have the best car here. We got closer this year than we were last year for as fast off as we were last year, I felt like this was at least a decent run or a better run for us. Still have a lot of work to do to try to get better. I’m not sure what it is, but we lack a lot of drive off the corners.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.