Toyota Racing - NCS Charlotte Qualifying Notes - 05.28.22
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing--Did that turn three and four feel as good as it looked?---“Yes. Just the reps I’ve run down there in practice and then in my first run and the first round, I had reps down there, so I knew what I needed in my car. Just forward thinking that this track was going to get a little better and wanted to get the most distance we could off if the track continued to grip up.”
What would it mean to you to check the Coke 600 off your list with a win tomorrow?
“It’s a lot. He (Chris Gabehart, crew chief) knows how much this race means to me. I’ve had such fast cars here. Crazy luck that I’ve had here over the years and mistakes that I’ve made that have kept us from winning, but man, I really want to get this one, especially being a Coke partner for all 18 years or whatever of my career. It’s just been great to be partners with them. We have a great FedEx Ground Toyota this weekend.”
Where has the speed come from with the Toyota contingent?
“I think the Toyotas have really shown great speed on the mile-and-a-halves all year and it really started at Las Vegas early in the year. We were all really four or five of the best cars at that track. Really that trend has continued at most of the mile-and-a-halves. We still have some work to do at the other tracks, but it’s very encouraging that this is the bulk of our schedule to be running well at these types of tracks. To see all the Toyotas up front and haven’t had the top-four in qualifying since 2017, that’s a really cool thing. To have my little part in that on the ownership side is really cool.”
How strong has your car been today?
“It’s been really a great day and the end result was probably the perfect scenario for me to have an ideal day. Our car’s been good, it’s been good off the truck and we just continue to tune on it quite a bit and then just kind of thought that once this thing got into the night that you would want to run the low line through three and four so I just continued to get as many reps as I could doing that and it looked like that was kind of the difference maker in the lap itself. Happy about it. You talk about the long relationship I’ve had with Coca Cola that I’ve had for 17 or 18 years now, being part of the Coke family and not winning this race has been pretty frustrating. Certainly, in the resume column, this is at the top of the list by far and the team knows how badly I want it. Anytime we can start with a head start on the field like we will on Sunday, that’s a good thing.”
- The last time Toyota swept the top-three starting positions: July 2018 - Pocono
- The last time Toyota swept the top-four starting positions: November 2017 – Homestead-Miami Speedway
- The last time Toyota earned five of the top seven starting positions: June 2017 – Dover Motor Speedway
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.