Toyota Racing - NCS Atlanta Post-Race Report - 07.11.21
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Skittles Gummies Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racin--Finishing Position: 2nd--What did you need to hold the lead and take the win over Kurt Busch today?--“It’s just the same as always. We just don’t have enough front end with laps on tires. I had everything I had early in the run and then just smoked it behind the 42 (Ross Chastain), obviously. It shows you what kind of driver he is. Just tried to fight hard after that when I got passed and had one valiant effort off of (turn) two, but didn't have enough momentum to drag him down and make him go high in (turns) three and four, and after that the tires were smoked. Great effort. Guys gave me a great piece. We were fast. The No. 1 (Kurt Busch) was definitely better than us today. I just thought I had him. And we did. But racing just didn't play out that way for us. The Skittles Gummies Camry was fast, and thanks to Toyota, TRD, Rowdy Energy Drink, Interstate Batteries, all the guys. Good piece, just not quite good enough, just needed a tick more.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Does it feel like you passed the most cars during today’s race after starting from the rear and having additional circumstances put you to the rear during the race?
“I would say that’s a fact. It’s funny you look at results and oh, you started fifth and finished third, that’s a pretty good day. We went through a lot today on our Auto Owners Toyota Camry. I’m excited to have them on board again and have a good run for them. We definitely had the speed to battle for the win at the end, just had to come from too far back. I’m proud of everyone at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), Toyota, TRD. Everyone at the shop is working really hard getting our stuff better. It just had the feel I was looking for today. We were good on the short runs and good on the long runs. I’m glad to be back running up front.”
Have we seen a little bit of a shift today in the competition level with Hendrick Motorsports?
“I think these days we are all so close. Atlanta is such a handling track. If you hit it just right, you are going to be really, really strong. It’s so hard. It’s like every other week there is different guys that run good. It’s crazy this season how it’s been. These cars have been really sensitive. It’s hard to hit it right and that’s what it takes. Whoever does it most consistently is going to be the one to beat. Hendrick cars, don’t count them out – that’s for sure.”
How was your race today?
“If you look at the stat sheet, it’s going to say we started fifth and finished third, it looks like a pretty solid day, but I had to start in the back and then getting towards the front, I think we got up to eighth or 10th or somewhere in there and we had contact on pit road. The 4 (Kevin Harvick) ran into us and we had to pit and pull the fender out and start in the back again. I got all the way back up through there. It’s one of those days. Passed a lot of cars. The first two stages was the same cars over, and over and over, which is frustrating, but in the end our Auto Owners Toyota Camry was really, really fast. We closed in to within two or three seconds from leaders, but just ran out of time there.”
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Kurt Busch*
2nd, KYLE BUSCH
3rd, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
4th, Alex Bowman*
5th, Ryan Blaney*
8th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
13th, DENNY HAMLIN
14th, BUBBA WALLACE
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.