Truex Jr. Makes Joe Gibbs Racing History
Joe Gibbs Racing sweeps the top-three finishers in Richmond
RICHMOND, VA. (September 21, 2019) – Martin Truex Jr. won his second-consecutive event this season, and second-consecutive race at Richmond Raceway on Saturday evening.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Race 28 of 36 – 400 miles, 300 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
2nd, KYLE BUSCH
3rd, DENNY HAMLIN
4th, Brad Keselowski*
5th, Ryan Newman*
15th, MATT DiBENEDETTO
38th, ERIK JONES
• It’s the 16th win at Richmond Raceway for Joe Gibbs Racing, which is the most in series history.
• It’s the 15th win in 28 events for Joe Gibbs Racing, which is the most in team history.
• This is the fourth straight win at Richmond Raceway for Joe Gibbs Racing.
• This is the seventh time that Toyota has swept the top three finishing positions, and second time this season (Daytona 500).
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
Great win tonight, Martin.
“Man, I don’t know what to say, I really don’t. I’m speechless. Just an unbelievable job by all my guys. Toyota, TRD, Bass Pro, Auto Owners, everybody back at the shop. You guys built some unbelievable race cars right now. Had a heck of a race with Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin) all night long really, and we just kept plugging away at it, kept plugging away at it, as we always do. We just keep digging and we never quit. Next thing you know, catching the 18 (Kyle Busch) for the lead, I’m like, ‘cool, all right, here we go.’ Man, to sweep Richmond finally is pretty awesome, as much as we’ve led here coming into this year, and just thanks to everybody. It’s pretty amazing.”
Unbelievable this redemption here at this track. It looked like there was no way Stenhouse was trying to slide you around, but somehow you spin, you keep your cool, you come back and win. How did you do that?
“Luckily, I didn’t hit anything. I just tried to keep it off the fence, tried to get spun around and get going, and we ended up – because we were pretty far up front, we got going in a pretty good spot and left pit road in a good position and then good adjustments at the end again. This is just freaking unbelievable, so we came here to get bonus points and damn sure we did that.”
Martin, congratulations! How about that! Did you see that one coming?
“Yeah, that’s unbelievable. That’s never happened to me in my whole racing career. Thanks to all the fans who came out tonight and thanks to everyone on this team, Bass Pro Shops, our Camry was really fast tonight. It takes a lot of people to make this happen. I felt pretty good coming into this race. We’ve had a lot of heartbreakers over the years in Richmond. To come here and sweep this year, it must have been meant to be. Thanks to all of our guys, Toyota, TRD, everybody who makes this happen, Auto Owners, all of our partners that let us do this, and everybody back at Joe Gibbs Racing building unbelievable racecars. Hopefully, we can keep this up. We came here to get bonus points and we sure as hell did it.”
Talk about the spin. How did you regroup?
“I just tried to stay out of the fence and get it straightened out. Luckily, we got a caution, and we ended up in a pretty good spot when we came off pit road. We had a pretty good lead there and we were able to take advantage of it. From there, we were just battling. Had to pass the 11 (Denny Hamlin), had to pass the 18 (Kyle Busch). I knew it was going to be really tough to get by both of them. Both of them were strong all night long. Track position was important. I don’t know if the 18 fell off at that long run in the end there, but we were to be a little bit better than them in the end and make the move.”
It’s great to have strong teammates. What is it like racing against strong teammates in the end?
“Yeah, you just don’t want to screw up and get into each other. I’ve got so much respect for Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin). They are great teammates, Erik (Jones) as well. We can race hard, but we race clean. We kind of threw that out there tonight and showed everybody we can do it. Those guys did a great job. They were really fast all night. It was going to come down to whomever could hit it right in the end. Fortunately, we were able to do it right. Lot of fun to race with those guys. Hopefully, we can take it all the way to Homestead and put all four in there.”
When you have a car as good as the car you said tonight, is anything less than this acceptable?
“I don’t know, man. I don’t know that we have crazy expectations. We just go out there and get all we can. What a job the team did. I mean, it’s just unbelievable. To win this way is pretty incredible. I’ve never done anything like that in my life. I don’t know, when things are rolling, they just are, and again, just a lot of people to thank, a lot of people responsible for putting me in this position and giving me these race cars, my buddy Johnny (Morris, Bass Pro Shops), I know he’s up there in Canada with some friends fishing and they’re watching tonight, so have one for me, guys. Thanks for everything, and just everybody, Auto Owners, Toyota, TRD, all the guys in Costa Mesa building the engines. It takes a lot of people to get this stuff done, and to be able to race with Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin) like that all night was a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can keep it going. Bonus points are awesome, so we’ll try to keep getting them.”
COLE PEARN, crew chief, No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Cole, I know that center turn was something that you wanted in this car all night. How big was that at the end there just to be able to track Kyle Busch down?
“Yeah, it was huge. We had to keep working on it all night. We had good speed, but it was just a matter of staying up with it and adjusting. It’s hard when you’re racing your teammates and they’re looking at what you’re doing and you’re looking at what they’re doing and those are the guys you’re racing. Just an awesome night for JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing). Just want to thank everybody back at the shop. I don’t know, everybody works so hard this time of year, and then just to let them know all their hard work is paying off is pretty awesome.”
JOE GIBBS, Team Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing
How strong is this team?
“A great night for us. I am really proud of these guys and the guys back at the shop. We have so many great people, and I wish they could all be here to celebrate. It was a great team effort by everybody, all four cars, just a thrill. This doesn’t happen very often. We are going to enjoy it. The Lord blessed us with a great night.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Hazelnut Spread Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Kyle Busch finished in second, just couldn’t hold off Martin Truex Jr. there. What more did you need to hold him off in that long run?
“I don’t know, I don’t think we were as good as him all night long. Martin (Truex Jr.), the car, the combination thereof, us, the combination of, just lacked a little bit. You know, like the 11 (Denny Hamlin) lacked a little bit more than us. Just weird, I don’t know. We led a lot of laps. We were up front a lot. But when I was out front, he could keep the closest distance to me. That kind of worried me for a finish like that in the long run. But our M&M’s guys did a great job, and we brought a fast race car here to Richmond, and I think all the JGR cars were pretty respectable there, so really awesome job by everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota, and being able to have some really good pieces to go out there and race with.”
You led the most laps. You’re now clinched into the next round so you don’t really need to worry at the Roval. How do you treat that race and maybe the next round knowing that?
“Last year, I thought we were going to be all right and finish okay, but then we all decided to follow everybody else off a cliff. It was pretty ugly. But overall just ‑‑ you try to go into that race, it’s a newer type of track, and I don’t know that everybody has got it quite figured out exactly yet. With this new aero package, it’s going to be different and of course, too, with the new chicane it’s going to be different. We can go out there and attack it and try to try to get a win, try to get some stage points, get ourselves a bit of a cushion here, I guess, more over the rest of the guys.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
A strong run today for Denny Hamlin and this 11 team and a third‑place finish to go along with it. Ultimately, what were your teammates ahead of you able to do with your cars that you couldn’t with yours?
“Just seemed like the long run speed they really had quite a bit more and a little bit more turn, a little bit more forward drive, just everything – every little bit. It just seemed like it was about a half a tenth a lap there on average, and 19 (Martin Truex Jr.) just had a really good long run car. We were kind of third best there, that’s kind of where we ended up. Happy with maximizing the day that I thought I was capable of, and good effort, and we’ll go to the Roval and have some fun now.”
49 points you collected today, 55 points now above the cut line. How much assurance does that give you headed to the Roval?
“Pretty sure. You know, just go there, run a normal race, everything should be fine. We just try to move to the next round and go to work from there. I think we’re really close to where we need to be. Every time we come back to a track for the second time, it seems like we run quite a bit better. Tonight, we were just a hair off.”
# # #
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018.
Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit ToyotaNewsroom.com.