Toyota Racing Post-Qualifying Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway – March 1, 2019
TOYOTA STARTING POSITIONS
1st, Kevin Harvick*
2nd, KYLE BUSCH
3rd, DENNY HAMLIN
4th, Austin Dillon*
5th, Daniel Hemric*
18th, ERIK JONES
23rd, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
26th, MATT DIBENEDETTO
32nd, PARKER KLIGERMAN
36th, JOEY GASE
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualifying Position: 2nd
How would you sum up that qualifying session tonight?
“It got a little crazy, but it’s the games that you’re going to play through the whole thing of just trying to put yourself in the right position, be the right distance behind and still have your car handling properly. It will be interesting going forward. Certainly will be some attrition here and there, but as long as it’s more exciting, we’re all for it.”
How difficult is it to gauge when you all leave pit road together like that?
“I think the spotters have a good idea of what they need to do in that sense of how much time you need to leave pit road. There were some guys there that were trying to pin the other guys behind and did catch the back two cars to where they didn’t make it on time. It worked out well for us.”
What is the strategy to this qualifying format with the waiting game on pit road?
“You’re trying to do the best you can to put yourself in the right position, whatever that position might be – we really don’t know and we’re trying to figure it out. Also, leave yourself enough time there to get a couple laps especially in the final round. There were some countdowns going on there where some guys were trying to figure out how they could possibly catch the tailend of that pack there not getting two laps and it was pretty successful as it looked like they caught two guys in the back that were kind of right there on the edge. Proud of our whole FedEx Toyota team and definitely second is faster than our car is capable of doing by itself. Did a good job of drafting there and putting ourselves in a good position to have a shot.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Chocolate Bar Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualifying Position: 3rd
How do you look at that qualifying session?
“Whatever the fans like. That’s what it’s all about, I guess. It’s interesting. It’s not about the fastest car, it’s about putting yourself in the right position and you have to have some luck on your side to get to the start-finish before time runs out.”
Was it fun?
“It’s stressful and not as easy as it would be I guess if we were all by ourselves. But that’s what we’re doing.”
Did you need help or friends to help move around and draft?
“It’s not going to happen. The No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) got the pole because he pulled the move I should have pulled. He was right behind me. I was behind the No. 8 (Daniel Hemric) and I thought about going to the low side in Turn 3 and 4 to cut distance and just get back to the start-finish in short as I could, and the No. 8 ran middle, which I decided to go higher than him. Then the No. 4 went underneath me and got alongside of me and cut that distance and got the pole.”
Are you a fan of this?
“No. Not really. It’s whatever.”
ERIK JONES, No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualifying Position: 18th
How was the car during the qualifying run?
“It was alright I guess. We just didn’t have it. There’s only so much you can do. You have to get the right tow, the right push and we didn’t have it there. It’s unfortunate. The Sport Clips Camry is driving okay, just not enough to make it into the last round.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualifying Position: 23rd
How was your qualifying?
“We didn’t get the right run. I tried to make two runs there in the second round there and neither were very good. Just didn’t do a good job of putting us where we needed to be. I felt like it was the right spot there in that last run and I just couldn’t quite stay up close enough to the No. 12 (Ryan Blaney). He started sucking up the guy in front of him and I couldn’t close. I am not sure we were just off a bit I guess speed-wise.”