BUSCH, JONES SCORE TOP-THREE FINISHES AT BRISTOL
All three Toyota Playoff drivers advance to the Round of 12
BRISTOL, Tennessee (September 19, 2020) – Kyle Busch (second) and Erik Jones (third) drove to top-three finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway to lead Toyota in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday evening for the NASCAR Cup Series. Busch had a great night, scoring the stage win in the second stage to earn a Playoff point and drove to a second-place finish to advance to the next round of the Playoffs. Denny Hamlin (21st) and Martin Truex Jr. (24th) battled damage throughout the evening and will also move on to the ‘Round of 12’.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Bristol Motor Speedway
Race 29 of 36 – 266.5 miles, 500 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Kevin Harvick*
2nd, KYLE BUSCH
3rd, ERIK JONES
4th, Tyler Reddick*
5th, Aric Almirola*
21st, DENNY HAMLIN
24th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
26th, DANIEL SUÁREZ
28th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
37th, TIMMY HILL
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Why was the 18 just not able to pass the 4 car in the closing laps?
“Just didn’t have enough at the end. The guys did a great job and gave me a really great piece tonight to contend and at least be up there and be close. Unfortunately, just didn’t have enough. Lapped cars were definitely a problem. It’s part of racing. You have to try to get around them where you can and there was just no room for me to do what I needed to do with a couple of those opportunities to get past them.”
Were you concerned that you could get around Harvick?
“That was earlier in the race when he drove away by like six seconds. He (Kevin Harvick) obviously had the better car, the faster car than us tonight. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) made some good adjustments on that last run in order to keep us in the ballgame and keep us close, but I think the 20 (Erik Jones) kind of stayed consistent with us too, gap-wise. I don’t know, just came up short. What do you say?”
How tough was it to chase Kevin Harvick in those closing laps?
“We had a really good Skittles Camry; it was fast and the team gave me a piece to contend with at least. We definitely weren’t the fastest car. The 4 (Kevin Harvick) was definitely the fastest car. We made some adjustments there the last run and got closer and better. Just lapped traffic. Gotta go where they ain’t and man, where they are, you want to be. We got the lead from the 4 there on the last run and just got stuck with the 22 (Joey Logano), as usual, him being a dickhead. Then the last lap, I don’t even know who the hell the black car was that just stopped on the backstretch. That’s it, we lost.”
ERIK JONES, No. 20 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How was your race tonight?
“It was, I guess, a solid day. I felt like we had a good car out there in the end. We had to start in the back and that took a while to work through there and get some track position. It’s pretty challenging to pass here even though it’s a short track. A good run. The Auto Owners Camry got better all night, and honestly, the last run of the race was our best. We got up there into third and I kind of knew I couldn’t beat those guys straight up. So, I tried to stay a little bit on the front half of the run and run at the end hard and just kind of ran out of time. I had just got to those guys when I took the checkered, so a good day. It was nice to be up there in contention at the end, but close again at Bristol. Especially in this race. We’ve been close a few times, just want to close one out here soon.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
Can you talk about the incident with Martin Truex Jr. in the middle of the race?
“I think he (Martin Truex Jr.) must have been on the splitter or something when he came out after he took a green flag pit stop. He just kind of went straight off of the corner. I was running the top and when he went straight, he saw he was going to hit the wall, so he slammed on the brakes and I was going, so I jammed up under him. That was unfortunate. That was bad luck for us. I think he was a couple laps down, but they were fighting their car all day. I’m sure they got in the next round, but we just had some bad luck. We drove up to fifth, and I felt pretty good. We caught the lead within three seconds – drove to them within three seconds, so I was pretty happy about where we were going to be, and then we crashed.”
# # #
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 40 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 nearly 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2019.
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 www.toyotanewsroom.com.