Toyota Racing NCS Post-Race Recap -- Kansas 10.18.20
KANSAS CITY (October 18, 2020) – Kyle Busch (fifth) led Toyota with a top-five finish in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. He was joined in the top-10 by Martin Truex Jr. (ninth) and rookie Christopher Bell (10th). Truex had to battle from starting in the rear due to a pre-race inspection issue, but he drove inside the top-10 by the end of the first stage. He battled for a top-10 position throughout the race. Denny Hamlin (15th) won the second stage and was running for the win. Shortly after the start of the final stage, Hamlin made contact with the wall and was forced to pit road. He was able to get his lap back and drove back to a top-15 finish.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Race 33 of 36 – 400.5 miles, 267 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Joey Logano*
2nd, Kevin Harvick*
3rd, Alex Bowman*
4th, Brad Keselowski*
5th, KYLE BUSCH
9th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
10th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
15th, DENNY HAMLIN
20th, ERIK JONES
27th, DANIEL SUÁREZ
34th, TIMMY HILL
39th, CHAD FINCHUM
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
How did your car handle throughout the race?
“Any time you get back in the pack, it’s just so hard to pass and work your way up towards the front. Everybody is so equal and with the dirty air, trying to get through some of that stuff is a challenge. But any time we got up front it seemed like our car was way different, way better and had a better opportunity to run in the top-three, top-five. Even when we were on old tires earlier in the day, that was probably the best it was and we held onto third, I think, for that run there. I don’t know, just really cool to always have the M&M’s Halloween scheme this time of year. It’s really cool. Hope people go and download the Treat Town app on their device and have a happy Halloween. I appreciate M&M’s, Toyota, Interstate Batteries, Rheem, Stanley – we’ll be back next week.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 9th
You looked very strong early in the race and drove from the back to the front of the field but seemed to stall out around the 10th position. What happened with the race car?
“I think that’s because that’s about all we had. We were eighth in both stages and then ninth at the end. We didn’t really have much more than that. If we could have got some track position at times, the really long runs we were strong. Just restarts were really tough to fend people off. We just didn’t quite have the short run speed. Missed it a little bit there with it being so cool out today, I guess. Just didn’t have what we hoped to have. Proud of everybody on this 19 team. Thanks to everybody at Bass Pro and Toyota. We’ll do what we do. We’ll just keep fighting. Today is over, it wasn’t a terrible day by any means, but not what we needed to get to the final four. Try to pick it up for Texas next week and Martinsville should be good too.”
What is the confidence level heading to Texas and Martinsville to win one of those races?
“It’s high, I know we can do it. Just a matter of hitting it right really. We’ve not hit it right in a while. We’re good enough to win at least and we’ve been close. We’ve been second, third, fourth a lot of times and today, ninth in unacceptable for us. That’s the way it goes and that’s racing. This stuff is hard. We’ll go back to work. I know we can win at one of the next two, we just have to hit it right.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 95 Germania Insurance Toyota Camry, Leavine Family Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
Solid top-10 in your second Cup Series race at Kansas. How was your race as a whole?
“It was pretty good. I felt like my Germania Insurance Camry was really fast all day. Kind of the worst we were all day was right there in the end. It’s good to be disappointed finishing 10th. I feel at our best, we were easily a top-five car. Definitely a good day to build on. I feel like the last couple weeks, the road course we were really good, obviously, we were pretty good today, and we have a couple good race tracks for us at the end of the year, hopefully, we can execute and finish with some good runs.”
Next up is a track you won at in both the Xfinity Series and Truck Series. What are you looking forward to as you head into Texas?
“Texas is very unique -- the way turns one and two are different from turns three and four. It was a good track for us in the spring. It was really hot, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the temperature change affects us, but I love going there. It’s pretty much back to home for me. It should be a good one. I always look forward going to Texas.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 15th
How did the contact with the wall change your afternoon?
“Obviously we damaged the car and at these tracks, you can’t have any damage on the car. I was fortunate to get a couple cautions there to get us back on the lead lap. That was as far as I could go with the damage that I had. It just hurt the FedEx Camry so bad. To finish 15th with that damage, that was the best we could probably hope for with that damage. Still, definitely had a race-winning car today. Just threw it in the fence.”
How do you assess your chances at Texas and Martinsville?
“We can win every week. Every week we’re up front. I think we can win next week. We can win the week after that and we can win the week after that. Not too worried about having to go out there and win because I know we can do it.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.