Denny Hamlin made a late move and survived an overtime restart battle with his teammate Kyle Busch to drive to his first 600-mile win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s Hamlin’s second victory of the season, and fourth for Toyota. Busch finished second while Christopher Bell battled back from numerous issues throughout the night to finish fifth.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Race 14 of 36 – 600 miles, 400 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, DENNY HAMLIN
2nd, KYLE BUSCH
3rd, Kevin Harvick*
4th, Chase Briscoe*
5th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
12th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
28th, BUBBA WALLACE
31st, KURT BUSCH
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
Can you tell me what this win means to you?
“It's so special. It's the last big one that's not on my résumé. It meant so much.
Man, I just can't thank this whole FedEx team enough. Jordan Brand, Shady Rays, Toyota, Coco-Cola. I've been a Coke family driver for 18 years. Never won the Coke 600 before. This means a lot. Man, we weren't very good all day. Just got ourselves in the right place at the right time. What a battle there.”
How does this win feel?
“So good. It’s a big one. It’s one of the three majors we’ve got in our sport and it’s one that I haven’t won. To be part of the Coke family for as long as I have, to finally win is awesome. My daughter was really excited about this Coke machine that we were going to win. Can’t thank my partners enough – FedEx, Toyota, Coca Cola, Sport Clips, TRD (Toyota Racing Development), the Jordan Brand, Logitech, Shady Rays – all those guys. We were just hanging around all day and then we had some good fortune there with other guys getting each other and finally had one go our way.”
How were you able to avoid the last wreck and what happened from your perspective?
“I knew that they were all going to drive in way too deep so I actually backed up the corner so I got a good run off because you just never know what can happen and it kind of just played out luckily how I was hoping. Those guys slid in there and they were going to drive in deep and they were on older left side tires. Man, that was a fortunate win for us.”
What does this mean with a substitute crew chief tonight?
“It means a lot and something I was worried about all day. One thing I was worried about all day was just the communication with Sam (McCauley, substitute crew chief), I’m so used to Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) and then to have two very young and new guys over the wall for us, it worried me, but they did a fabulous job handling the race of knowing when to push and knowing when to have a smart stop and they honestly kept me in it and gave me a chance.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Red, White and Blue Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Was there anything else you could have done?
“No, I don’t think so. We didn’t have a good enough day to be even in that position, so just a strong fight all night by this M&M’s team. I give honor to those we remember on Memorial Day weekend. I appreciate the opportunity and being able to do that. We had Sergeant Thiem on here with us this weekend. We tried to come with victory lane, and honor him, but unfortunately, one spot short.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Yahoo! Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
With everything you went through, how were you able to bounce back and finish inside the top-five?
“Really the only reason we got up there was because everyone crashed at the end of the race and gave us an opportunity, but this Yahoo Camry was every bit as capable as the guys that beat us. Disappointing day for sure because I feel like we had something that could contend for the win, but top-five is nothing to hang your head about.”
KURT BUSCH, No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 31st
What happened in the accident that ended your race?
“We had a winning top-five Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD, we did. Just was hoping we would have enough tires to get to the end and the sequences that everyone was on. Billy Scott’s (crew chief) a great leader. We’ve wrecked a lot of cars this year and we were just wrong place, wrong time this year. Bubba (Wallace) was in front of me and tried not to hit him. I think I hit about 15 different things. And I tried to crank it up and was like, ‘Nah, she’s done.’ This is a rough situational event. Fast car and I’m really proud of my guys. I’ll be at the shop on Tuesday helping them tear it down.”