Hamlin scores milestone win for Joe Gibbs Racing at Kansas
Denny Hamlin earns fifth win of the season
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (October 20, 2019) – Denny Hamlin earned Joe Gibbs Racing their 16th win of the season – a new season-best – at Kansas Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Race 32 of 36 – 400.5 miles, 267 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, DENNY HAMLIN
2nd, Chase Elliott*
3rd, KYLE BUSCH
4th, Kurt Busch*
5th, William Bryon*
6th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
7th, ERIK JONES
15th, MATT DiBENEDETTO
29th, PARKER KLIGERMAN
38th, JOEY GASE
• Denny Hamlin earned his fifth win of the season, second at Kansas Speedway and 36th of his career this afternoon.
• It was the 16th win for Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota this season. For Joe Gibbs Racing, that is the most wins in a single season. For Toyota, 16 wins ties the most Cup Series win in a single season (2017 and 2016).
• Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. advance to the next round of the Playoffs – the Round of 8, which begins next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
FInishing Position: 1st
Let’s talk about those last two restarts and being able to hold off your teammates.
“Yeah, I just had to hold the bottom and get a good push. It was all about the push that I got from the 9 (Chase Elliott) and really the 18 (Kyle Busch) those last couple of restarts. That was the most important thing for us – to get a good restart. Once we got out front, we could hold it wide open. Our car was built for downforce, so it worked out that it was just fast enough to win.”
Talk about that last pit call – taking two tires instead of four.
“I knew track position was the biggest factor for us. As long as we could keep our car out front, it was the most important thing beyond tires. We made the right call and took two lefts there and that turned out to be the best call there.”
We talk about momentum. You came from 23rd to win and now you head to one of your best tracks.
“Yeah, I love where we are at, no doubt about it. I cannot wait to get to Martinsville. This week was just supposed to be a fun week for us, kind of check things out and make sure that we are good once we get down the road as we get to other tracks and I’m pretty happy about where we are at.”
Talk about the celebration with FedEx and your team.
“Fred Smith (CEO, FedEx) and his whole team have been so great to support me and this race team for 14 years of my career and I could not be happier to be with this company and all the associates that work there. I want to thank FedEx, Toyota, the Jordan Brand, Little Big Burger, all of this crew. The pit crew did an amazing job. Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) made the right call every time and we just had a race winning car. The second half of the race showed that. I’m glad we could pull it off.”
Denny, you are going into the next round now.
“It’s step-by-step, week-by-week. We are not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We concentrate every week as if it’s the most important one, and this win here shows that.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Any idea what happened with the throttle during today’s race?
“I had a teammate that had the same problem a few weeks back and obviously we thought we had the issue resolved.”
Do you feel like you made strides in today’s race?
“No, it’s about how we’re supposed to run. I guess if you’re not in control on the last restart then you don’t have a chance to win.”
Did you work together with your teammates to ensure a Joe Gibbs Racing Camry won the race today?
“I think we proved that point when there were three Gibbs cars on the bottom row and all we did was basically push each other and stay in line with one another all the way down into the corner.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
How was the race for you today?
“It was a good race and we had a good Bass Pro Toyota all day long. We just got off there those last couple runs of the race. When it got cloudy, we got tight and we couldn’t quite get it dialed in where we needed to. Overall, a solid day and we did what we needed to do.”
How drastically did the handling of the car change in the later runs of the race?
“For sure, we definitely got tight and just never could get back out of it. We got it freed up towards the end of the race there and those last couple runs felt good. Just seemed that whatever lane we restarted in, we fell backwards. Had to battle back from those a few times, but overall a good day for us and the guys did what they needed to do and a good, solid day here at Kansas after struggling in the spring. Congrats to the 11 (Denny Hamlin). They were really strong late in the race especially.”
ERIK JONES, No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How was the race for you today?
“It was a good day. Kind of up and down. We lost some track position there in that middle stage and it was just a struggle to get it back all day. I thought the Reser’s Camry was really good on the long run and we were kind of running those guys down before we had the caution come out late for the first of those final restarts. We just didn’t have a great short run car and it didn’t play out the way we needed it and not a clean enough race to contend. It’s frustrating when you have that fast of a car, but a good day.”
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