Toyota MENCS Richmond Raceway Recap 4.13.19

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Richmond Raceway
Race 9 of 36 – 300 miles, 400 laps
April 13, 2019

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
2nd, Joey Logano*
3rd, Clint Bowyer*
4th, Kevin Harvick*
5th, DENNY HAMLIN
8th, KYLE BUSCH
14th, ERIK JONES
24th, MATT DIBENEDETTO
33rd, JOEY GASE
*non-Toyota driver

Camry driver Martin Truex Jr. was victorious in Saturday night’s
Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, winning his first Monster
Energy NASCAR Cup Series event in 2019.

Toyota drivers have won three-consecutive MENCS events including
victories at Texas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond
Raceway.

Truex led a race-high 186 laps (of 400) on the way to his 20th
career-series win and 18th victory in a Toyota Camry.

Denny Hamlin (fifth), who tonight made his 400th MENCS start in a
Toyota, and Kyle Busch (eighth) also finished in the top 10 at
Richmond.

TOYOTA QUOTES

MARTIN TRUEX JR, No. 19 Auto Owners Insurance Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 1st

How important was the win tonight?

“I’m really excited to win here at Richmond. I’ve always really
enjoyed this track. I’ve always loved coming here. The short track win
– everybody kept asking me when it was going to happen. Tonight we
didn’t have the best car, but we’ve lost here with the best car a
bunch of times. We just fought, we battled. Thanks to Auto Owners – a
lot of Auto Owners people here. Toyota Owners 400 – to win here in a
Toyota was huge. I’ve got my buddy up there. I just won him 10 grand.
We’re just really excited. Everybody at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) is
doing a great job and with Toyota. Just a blessing to drive these race
cars and have an awesome team. We’ve been chipping away at it and
hopefully we can get better from here on out.”

How concerned were you about Joey Logano catching you at the end?

“I was struggling the last 40 laps. I had no front turn. I was just
real, real tight in that last run. You just had to hold them off.
Being out front was important tonight. Thanks to the pit crew, they
kept us out there. They had a tough year and a tough week last week.
We beat up on them pretty good all week after Bristol and they had the
best stop of the year tonight. Just really proud of everyone. Really,
really happy to get our first win with (Joe) Gibbs and definitely our
first short track win is pretty awesome too.”

Explain to everyone how disciplined you have to be with drivers
closing in on you in the closing laps.

“It’s really tough, Jeff (Gordon). I don’t know how you explain it
other than it’s like driving in the snow and trying to hit a line of
six to eight inches in the center of the corner. It’s just – it’s lack
of grip. The car wasn’t doing anything I wanted to do that last run.
We got really, really tight. Being out front was really the key and
trying to do all I could to not screw up and hold those guys off. It
was definitely really, really difficult.”

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

Finishing Position: 5th

Talk about your race tonight.

“We really closed on the leaders there at the end. We were fast,
really fast the last 20 laps. We just didn’t have enough time. We
battled from the back and really couldn’t gain a whole lot on
restarts, but just really grinded our way two or three positions each
run and found our way up in the top five there at the end. I could at
least see the leaders. Certainly a great day for our FedEx Camry. We
wanted to win but we just didn’t have the winning car. We would have
liked to have tuned it during happy hour, we just didn’t have enough
time.”

Is there anything you could have done differently during tonight’s race?

“Not really. I think we maximized what we had out of our car. We just
didn’t quite have the car to battle with those guys until late in the
day and by then they had just built too big of a lead.”

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