Martin Truex Jr. (eighth) and Kyle Busch (10th) both scored top-10 finishes in Sunday’s rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Fellow Toyota drivers Bubba Wallace (11th) and Ty Gibbs (13th) also finished in the top-15 after a more than three-hour rain delay in a race that was already delayed by more than 12 hours. The outcome resulted in Truex missing the Playoffs by only three points.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Daytona International Speedway
Race 26 of 36 – 400 miles, 160 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Austin Dillon*
2nd, Tyler Reddick*
3rd, Austin Cindric*
4th, Landon Cassill*
5th, Noah Gragson*
8th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
10th, KYLE BUSCH
11th, BUBBA WALLACE
13th, TY GIBBS
25th, DENNY HAMLIN
36th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
What did you think of your chances on the initial restart?
“We got in a decent spot and just couldn’t keep up. I was wide open the whole last run there. It’s a shame, it stinks, but just too much damage to do what we needed to do.”
What kept you from being able to make it up front to advance to the Playoffs in the final 16 laps of this rain-postponed race?
“We just had too much damage at the end. We had a good spot on the restart and we got a good restart. We got the 2 (Austin Cindric) up front, which is what we were trying to do, but just couldn’t keep up. Just too much damage. It’s s shame. We knew it was going to be tough with so many cars out of the race and the distance between me and the 12 (Ryan Blaney). It was going to be hard to hang on to fourth or better with a car that torn up.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
What happened in the accident before the red flag came out?
“Honestly, it was just the previous lap, there was nothing there and then that lap it was just – it just dropped. So what do you do? You can’t checkup that fast so you just have to try to drive through it. Thankfully, I was on the high side and I saw water and I saw everything and saw everybody wrecking in front of me and I got on the fence right there and started rolling right on the wall. Everybody was coming across the track in front of me. I was then just trying to figure out everybody to slide back down and get out of the way and for me to continue on my merry way. There’s really nothing you can do in that situation. It was way too late to call anything and overall I felt good about our car all day. Our Interstate Batteries Camry was fast and we had good speed. Ran up front, led some laps and won a stage.”
BUBBA WALLACE, No. 23 DoorDash Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
How did you feel about your race overall today?
“I didn’t have that feeling that I’ve had at previous speedway stuff. Our DoorDash Camry TRD was good, but it wasn’t great. Made the necessary moves to get us up to the front, but I didn’t do a good job of keeping it at the front. At the same time, you’re kind of focused on the big picture. Fell to the back a little bit and knew we could get back up there and we did. But then luck ran out. We did miss two wrecks and got caught up in the third and the fourth. We salvaged a good finish, but what we needed was a win. All in all, it’s Daytona and it’s a crapshoot.”
How would you evaluate your regular season of 2022?
“If we’re being honest, we did not do a good job. A lot of mistakes on my end. I admitted that over and over again. I didn’t do the best job for the team and overall we just didn’t execute at all levels and it put us in this spot. That’s sports and that’s life. We recognized the problems and we’ve made the necessary changes and improvements and that’s all you can ask for. With those changes and improvements have come better results. Just have to build off that and continue to push on through the last 10 races.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Cares Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 25th
What happened going into turn one?
“We ran into rain in the middle of turn one and just lost it.
Is there anything that could have been done?
“Just throw the caution before the rain came. We had rain down the front. So about 10 seconds before we got into turn one, it was raining. I’m sure the fans felt it and then they watched us all pile in there.”
Are you okay after that impact?
“Just shook mostly. The hit was just massive. It was my first one in this Next Gen and it was legit.”
How was your race car today?
“We were super-fast. I thought I made the right moves at the right time and I got to the lead at the right time, but also a bad time because we were the first ones to get to the rain.”
What can be done moving forward to keep this from happening again?
“Better officiating, that’s all we can do. Like New Hampshire, we’ll learn from this for sure.”
Is there anything specific that hurts after that hit?
“No, just my whole body. My jaw hurts. I feel like my jaw is one of those boxers that gets their whole face demolished. It was certainly the first real big one I’ve had in this car and everything they’ve been telling us, all the other drivers, it’s legit.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 36th
What happened in the accident that ended your day?
“It looked like the 43 just got a little loose and after that we were all along for the ride. Just disappointed. Just a stack up – normal speedway racing. Disappointed for our group. This Rheem Camry was up front and we were running up front, but this is a product of Daytona and Talladega, ultimately speedway racing.”