Toyota places four in the top seven at Dover
Solid days for Truex, Hamlin, Busch and DiBenedetto
DOVER, Del. (October 6, 2019) – Martin Truex Jr. was the highest-finishing Toyota Camry driver as he crossed the finish line in the second position this evening at Dover International Speedway.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Dover International Speedway
Race 30 of 36 – 400 miles, 400 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Kyle Larson*
2nd, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
3rd, Alex Bowman*
4th, Kevin Harvick*
5th, DENNY HAMLIN
6th, KYLE BUSCH
7th, MATT DiBENEDETTO
15th, ERIK JONES
• Martin Truex Jr. took the lead from his teammate Denny Hamlin with less the 10 laps to go in the second stage to earn an additional Playoff point. Truex has now won stages in three of the last four events.
• On Saturday, Hamlin earned his second pole of the season and 32nd of his career. He added another Playoff point by leading 114 of the first 120 laps in winning the first stage.
• Matt DiBenedetto was the highest finishing non-Playoff driver in seventh position.
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Martin, you led 15 laps today and you came home second. How big of a factor did traffic play today?
“It was about everything to be honest with you. We got the lead there at the end of stage two. Got that stage win. On the pit stop, we had the issue and lost track position and then the whole third stage we were behind. We were catching him at the end – we got close – but just unfortunate. We win and lose as a team. The guys will clean it up; I’m sure. It’s cool to come home second after that with how hard it was to pass.”
A 54-point day for you today. How does that ease your mind heading into Talladega?
“Yeah, it’s good. Every week is just about doing the best you can and getting all the points that you can. Positive day for us today. Had a shot at the win today and came up short. Been nice to have that win and the free pass, but second is the next best. Good job to all of the guys. Just a good solid day here at Dover. Wish we could have won again, but that’s how it goes.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Talk about losing the lead late in the second stage.
“I thought the 22 (Joey Logano) was trying to stay on the lead lap, but they said he was 24 laps down and so he was kind of air blocking us and we lost the lead, and we lost that stage. Then after that we lost control of the race and the track got tighter. There were no cautions to pick up the rubber. We just got tight. Once we lost control – lost the clean air – it was so difficult to pass. I needed to be up front with as tight as my car was, so I just lost the lead and backpedaled from there. Top-five, this track, I’ll take it every week.”
What was your concern with the engine?
“I missed a shift on the last restart. The car changed tones and lost a little power, but it’s next year’s motor which is not concerning any more this year. Certainly, I was concerned that we weren’t going to make it.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How was your race?
“I don’t know, speeding on pit road never helps. We probably finished about where we should’ve I guess, maybe one spot better, but that’s it.”
How good was your race car since Friday?
“It was good in its own air, but anytime you got in traffic…I lost one second of lap time and just couldn’t get it back.”
Where do you go from here as you go to Talladega?
“It’s a completely different thing. You try to go to Talladega and race and survive. I don’t even know, we haven’t talked about that. That’s Tuesday. We’ll figure it out.”
MATT DiBENEDETTO, No. 95 Dumont Jets Toyota Camry, Leavine Family Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How did you guys grind out this one, Matt?
“All day, inching forward. Very little by little. That was the team, just so you know. Wheels (Mike Wheeler, crew chief) and my whole group, pit crew, everybody, making really good adjustments. This was the first time we’ve had Dumont Jets on the car in quite a while and I was like ‘this Dumont Jets car is flying’. But no, it took a lot of discipline today. The car was really fast. Even faster than seventh-place, but you get in situations with the dirty air and with the high downforce it was a lot harder to pass. The fastest drivers had to be a lot more disciplined. You had to stay behind them and not abuse your stuff and wait for traffic or situations to pounce.”
You are not in the Playoffs, but still a lot to race for. Talk about what days like this mean.
“It’s been big. It’s really neat. I love working with this team. They are such good people. I’m so appreciative to work with them. I’m so glad this whole second half of the season has really turned around where we have been knocking off a bunch of top-10’s, so it’s really important to us. We’re trying to get in the top-20 in points. We’ve been climbing up big time the second half of the year running where we probably deserved to run. I hate that we aren’t in the Playoffs, because we have been contending like a Playoff car. But it is what it is. I’m just thankful we’ve had some good solid runs. This Toyota has been running fast.”
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