Toyota Racing - NCS Road America Post-Race Report - 07.04.21
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 SiriusXM Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 2nd--How did you make it all the way up to second?--“Yeah, we just had a really, really good Camry. Our SiriusXM Camry was really strong, and this place has been really good to me in the past. I knew that we would be pretty fast coming in here. In practice and qualifying, I felt like I under drove the car a little bit, but through practice and the race I knew we would be pretty good.”
Did you feel like you had a car good enough to win?
“Yeah, I think it was close, closer than anyone else was to the 9 (Chase Elliott). That was good. At the end of the race everyone was telling me that I was matching if not a little better lap times, so never had track position to start up there with him and see what we had against the whole run. I’m sure he was saving a little bit to make sure if there was a restart there or something, but that was a lot of fun. The SiriusXM Camry was really good, and I knew that we would have a really good week this weekend.”
Are you surprised about how good you are at road course racing this year?
“I wouldn’t have expected my first win to come at a road course, that’s for sure. Last year in the Cup Series, the road course races were probably my best races speed wise. I don’t know. I feel like we have been bringing really good Camrys to the road courses and it’s definitely a good package for JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) right now.”
Does this run give you confidence going into Atlanta?
“Yes and no. Atlanta was definitely a struggle point for us, but we are building on a little bit of momentum here coming off of Nashville – that was a good race – Pocono 2 was a really good race and then here. Maybe we can continue to build on that and be good at Atlanta.”
What a rally for you and your team.
“That was good. That was really strong. I’m really proud of this 20 group. They brought a really strong SiriusXM Toyota Camry to the racetrack, and it showed. I’m glad we were able to get a good finish out of it.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Skittles Red, White & Blue Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How did you get all the way to third after starting last?
“I don’t know. We kept working on it, making adjustments there. We just did not have the tire life the 9 (Chase Elliott) did. That was incredible. He was able to drive away from us. His braking was really good, but his drive off was awesome. They beat us by far today, but proud of the Skittles bunch, everybody on this Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry did a good job. We all ran up front. We all had good speed. It showed that we were close. That was all we had, but overall good day fighting through traffic. It was really uneventful because we jumped the stages, so that kind of gave us that track position there at the end. We didn’t get very many points today doing that, but I feel like we are in a good spot. Hopefully, we will go get them next week.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Top-five finish. Is that about where you felt like your car was all day?
“Yeah, pretty much. I thought that was kind of what I was capable of and what the car was capable of. A combination of both. I’m proud of our FedEx Toyota team. They gave me a good car; I just need to find three or fourth tenths here and there at this big of a track. It’s like three hundredths at an oval track. If I can do that, I will be right in the game.”
Do you feel good about this finish?
“Yeah, considering I have never been here before. Look at the guys in front of me, they have raced here before, so yeah, I feel good about it.”
TY DILLON, No. 96 Lure Lock/Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Gaunt Brothers Racing
Finishing Position: 26th
What did you get out of today what did you accomplish today?
“We had a long way to go from practice and qualifying to get into a contention speed zone. We did good. We improved and improved. P.26 is a good run for what we had to put together today. We would have liked to get more out of it, but I’m pretty proud of the effort to not make any mistakes. I had a little mess up earlier in the race, but to come back and to get a good finish for this Lure Lock/Bass Pro Shops Camry is a good day.”
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RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.