Toyota MENCS Michigan Post-Race Recap

by Official Release On Mon, Jun. 11, 2018

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Michigan International Speedway
Race 15 of 36 – 266 miles, 133 laps
June 10, 2018

1st, Clint Bowyer*
2nd, Kevin Harvick*
3rd, Kurt Busch*
5th, Paul Menard*
*non-Toyota driver

1st, KYLE BUSCH 664 points
2nd, Kevin Harvick* 589 points
3rd, Joey Logano* 566 points
4th, Brad Keselowski* 514 points
5th, Clint Bowyer* 510 points
6th, MARTIN TRUEX JR. 506 points
8th, DENNY HAMLIN 468 points
14th, ERIK JONES 346 points
21st, DANIEL SUÁREZ 265 points
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings

· Camry driver Kyle Busch claimed fourth-place finish as the top-Toyota entry in Sunday’s rain-delayed and shortened Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

· Busch started from the rear of the field following a pre-race inspection issue, but worked his way into the top-five overall by the end of the race’s second stage.

· Toyota’s Denny Hamlin (12th) and Erik Jones (15th) also finished in the top-15 overall on the two-mile track.

· Busch continues to lead the Cup Series point standings after his result at Michigan and holds a 75-point advantage over his closest competitor.

· The event started over three hours late due to rain and ended on lap 133 of a scheduled 200 as the rain resumed.


KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Red White & Blue Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 4th

Why were the Stewart-Haas Racing cars so tough today?

“No, the blue ovals were just tough today – it wasn’t anything about SHR (Stewart Haas Racing). They go down the straightaway really, really fast. We have a hard time keeping up with them there, but our car through the corner was really awesome. The M&M’s Camry was really good there after yesterday’s practice. I thought we had something for them and if it was going to be a little bit hotter and sunnier today, I felt like we were going to be really good. That just wasn’t the conditions for today, so chilly and cool and lots of grip and that was better for all those guys, but we gave it a hard fought fight and come home with what we could there – a fourth. Not too shabby. I thought we had third and then Kurt (Busch) blew my doors off on the straightaway and we’ve just got to get better there and try to make it up and be able to put on a fight here later on this year.”

Did you have anything for them if the race continued?

“If it would have went green the rest of the way, I felt like we could keep up with them. I felt like our long-run speed was better than theirs and if we could have had some green flag stops and maybe made up ground on that we would have been alright.”

Could you have done anything else?

“I don’t know. We were the lone Toyota up there fighting with all the blue ovals, so, you know, they were super, super fast. They go down the straightaways really quick and we had to struggle to be able to out run them there, but through the corners, we were really good, so Adam Stevens (crew chief) and myself and our team and our organization, we did our job, so all we can do is keep trying and keep getting better, keep trying to bring home a good fight and it doesn’t matter how sharp your knife is – you ain’t going to beat a gun fight.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 12th

What was it like out there today with more rain looming?

“We had a really fast car. We just didn’t get to show it. Got stuck on the bottom line all but one restart and just – we just had a very good car. Just never got to get up there and race and show it and that’s frustrating, but can’t help the weather.”

ERIK JONES, No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 15th

What made the competition so strong today?

“They’re very fast for sure. I think this track definitely suits what makes them go right now and it showed – they were up front and they were fast. I thought we had maybe an eighth-place car at best, but, you know, we were just trying to maximize our day. Obviously, I didn’t think we had a car that was capable of winning the race, so we were just trying to do the best we could and have a solid week. It is what it is. I don’t know that we have anything for them right now, but we’re working hard to catch them and we’ll hopefully be better here soon.”

Is it enticing to try to stay out knowing the rain is coming?

“Yeah, I mean, it is. It’s definitely – you want to. Part of you wants to, but part of you wants to play it safe. You know, we kind of looked at the radar and it kind of looked like things were going to stay away for a minute and we were going to get the full race in, but we knew if it rained it was going to be over. It’s getting too late in the day, so part of you wants to stay out, but part of you wants to play the safe bet and try to outsmart those guys another way.”

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