Toyota Post-Race Recap
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
The Clash at Daytona International Speedway
Exhibition Race – 187.5 miles, 75 laps
Sunday, February 10, 2019
TOYOTA MENCS FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Jimmie Johnson*
2nd, Kurt Busch*
3rd, Joey Logano*
4th, Ryan Blaney*
5th, Alex Bowman*
14th, KYLE BUSCH
15th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
17th, DENNY HAMLIN
20th, ERIK JONES
Kyle Busch (14th) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday afternoon’s The Clash exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.
Busch and teammates Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. all qualified for the event after winning pole awards during the 2018 season.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Chocolate Bar Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualifying Position: 14th
Is this more of an indication of what we saw last year in the Daytona 500 with a lot of blocking that created a lot of issues?
“I don’t know exactly. I wasn’t necessarily – I was paying attention obviously, just when I was behind the 1 (Kurt Busch) I was so focused on him I guess and the move that kind of went to the bottom I saw the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) making a move on the 21 (Paul Menard). I don’t know if the 21 came down and what all contact initiated it and just tried to squeeze through the hole before the 21 got back up to me but couldn’t do it. It’s just a product of kind of what we’ve got going on just with everybody trying to make runs sometimes and when do you get those runs you try to make sure that they stick and you can get past a guy so the side draft is really important and there’s not a lot of room for the cars to move around like they tend to do. Overall, I thought we had a good race going and I wish we would’ve ended up being able to finish it but we look forward to the 500 now.”
How is your ankle injury feeling after being in the car?
“It’s fine. Just messing around with my son and just playing on the trampoline and stuff like that. I guess I can’t hang. It is what it is. I’ll be fine next week. I’m moving and I’m walking and everything. It’s just a bit tender, but overall it will be alright.”
What did you see from your perspective at the end of the race?
“We were just running along on the top there. It looked like the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) thought he had a run and took it to the bottom of the 21 (Paul Menard). I don’t know how they made contact or what happened but it ended up getting the 21 kind of squirreled out and he shot back across the track. I was trying to squeeze through that whole up again the fence and just wasn’t able to make it. We crunched up a pretty good M&M’s Toyota Camry. It’s unfortunate for all of our guys. We come down here every year working as hard as we can to build speed in our cars and all we do is go out there and destroy them. That’s unfortunate and frustrating at the same time. We’ll be back here next week and try and chase after a 500.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR, No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 15th
What happened from your perspective at the end of the race?
“It was a big crash. I saw the 21 (Paul Menard) sideways in front of me, the 1 (Kurt Busch) go down the track and turn the 21 and that’s all I saw. There was crap everywhere.”
Did you learn anything in today’s race that you can take into the Duels and Daytona 500 next week?
“Just get restarts on the outside and stay there and hopefully stay near the front somewhere. Pray the new package is better here than this one is.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 17th
Do you feel better here than what we saw at Talladega with Team Penske grouping together?
“I think cars were skewed in Talladega and with the new rules, you’re not able to do that as much with the track bar. Relative to competition, they’re a little bit closer, which allows them to not just overpower us like they did at Talladega?
How much is it taking air off the spoiler when you get a bumper on the back of the car?
“It’s crucial. Any time you can get up beside somebody by an inch or so it just is such a big parachute on either side of the car. The moment you can break that plane, it’s amazing how much these cars get drug back versus cars in the past.”
Is that something you feel you need to work on or something you need to keep away from?
“Really, I try to work on the defense of that more than anything. You know it’s there. You just want to put yourself in the position that if you’re going to get passed, put them on the correct side of what side you want to get passed on that way you have a good defense when you get beside them.”
Is there a better weather scenario to compensate for that?
“Typically, when the weather is like this, it makes it more of a raw speed thing. The runs I feel like are a little bit bigger than what they are when it’s slicker and there’s more handling issues. I think that tonight or today was just one of those deals where everyone was kind of rushing to beat whatever deadline there was – I guess it was this. I hate running up top like we were running right there. I despise it. But if you don’t do it, you’re going to get shuffled back like I did.”
ERIK JONES, No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualifying Position: 20th
What happened from your vantage point?
“I didn’t see very good. I haven’t seen a replay, but it looks like the 48 and the 21 were pushing and just got caught up. We were kind of mid pack and kind of got pushed into the wreck, so it’s unfortunate. Our Sports Clip Camry is pretty good, we just could never really get up front. I think we learned some good stuff for next week which is a positive, so we’ll apply it and hopefully be good Sunday.”
What was it like drafting with a larger pack of cars?
“Everybody was getting more and more aggressive. We knew the rain was coming. Everybody gets pushing and shoving and things get moved around. The car drove really good which is a positive for me at least. We’ll keep working on it and hopefully have a good car for the 500.”