Toyota MENCS Texas Qualifying Recap

Toyota Racing Post-Qualifying Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Texas Motor Speedway – March 29, 2019

1st, Jimmie Johnson*
2nd, William Byron*
3rd, Chase Elliott*
4th, Daniel Suarez*
5th, Austin Dillon*
*non-Toyota driver

American Muscle

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

Qualifying Position: 6th

How do you feel about what’s happening in these qualifying rounds?

“It’s frustrating and that’s all you can really say about it. It’s just frustrating.”

Was your car strong in qualifying?

“Our balance was terrible all day. We are so fortunate to be sixth. I can’t even tell you. We were at the front of the pack luckily and was able to set the pace of when we wanted to leave and that’s really the only thing that got us where we’re at.”

What do you need to work on for the race?

“Just try to get our balance better. Right now, our Camry is just bouncing so bad that we have to work on that to get competitive.”

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

Qualifying Position: 11th

How do you think qualifying played out?

“It’s just frustrating every week. We qualified better, but we didn’t even participate in the draft. We just went out by ourselves and put a lap down. We were happy just to make it to the last round at this point. The Craftsman Camry, we had a good car. It’s just tough. You have to get the right pole and the right draft and it’s not always easy to get.”

Do you have a solution to the qualifying format?

“I mean single cars is the easy one, but I know we don’t want to go there. I don’t know. We’ll just have to keep going with it. We’re trying to learn, we’re trying to get better at it, which I feel like we have gotten better at it, but you’ve just got to keep working at it.”

What is your outlook for Sunday’s race?

“It’s a good starting spot. You want to start up front here. It’s a hard place to pass at right now with the repave. I actually think it will be a little better here with this package. We’ll see how it goes, but I like this place a lot and I’m excited to get going this weekend.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Qualifying Position: 16th

Do you feel your team can make the car better for you like they often do?

“Yeah, we have a lot of work to do. I’ve got my hands full and hopefully we can fix it. If not, it’s going to be a long day.”

Why was getting off pit road more chaotic this week than other tracks?

“The apron is so tight over there, and there’s only two lanes over there, and we’re all trying to go through there three-wide to get that spot. It is what it is.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR, No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Qualifying Position: 20th

What went wrong during qualifying tonight?

“Just in the wrong spot. Guys were racing side-by-side in front of me and it’s just one of those things. I can’t control everybody else and I felt like I was in a decent spot coming to the first lap – or to end of my first lap – so I could get a good second lap. They got side-by-side in front of me again, and they slowed up, and I caught them so fast going into one, that I had to slow up and either run through them or blow the corner. Just wrong spot and it’s just silly. This qualifying deal needs a bit of an overhaul in my opinion.”

Do you have a solution to fix qualifying?

“Take the plate off and let us qualify like men, drive them. That’s all I got.”

MATT DiBENEDETTO, No. 95 Procore Toyota Camry, Leavine Family Racing

Qualifying Position: 26th

Is improving this qualifying format a matter of learning from your mistakes week after week?

“It’s crazy, and the real solution that everybody knows is single car qualifying. Or send them one at a time and spread us apart, put three on the track at a time so you can still call in group qualifying…I don’t know. I’m not sure, but like I’ve heard, it’s their sandbox and we’re playing in it, so we have to learn from our mistakes and try and make the best of it like Clint (Bowyer) said.”

Were you surprised all the drivers waited as long as they did in the first round?

“No, I don’t think anything surprises me at this point after these circuses of qualifying we’ve been through and have kind of learned to adapt to. It is what it is, and I can complain about it all I want, but we just have to try and make do with it. It’s a little bit of a gamble, or luck of the draw.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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