Bubba Wallace claimed his second career NASCAR Cup Series win in Sunday afternoon’s race at Kansas Speedway. Wallace led 58 laps (of 267) en route to his dominant victory as he held off his team owner and Toyota teammate, Denny Hamlin in the closing laps. Hamlin scored a second-place finish and was followed to the checkered flag by Camry drivers Christopher Bell (third) and Martin Truex Jr. (fifth).
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Race 27 of 36 – 400 miles, 267 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, BUBBA WALLACE
2nd, DENNY HAMLIN
3rd, CHRISTOPHER BELL
4th, Alex Bowman*
5th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
26th, KYLE BUSCH
34th, TY GIBBS
BUBBA WALLACE, No. 45 Root Insurance Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
What does this win mean to you?
“Man, just so proud of this team, so proud of the effort that they put in each and every week. Just thankful for the opportunity, right? Took this jump from an idea two years ago from a text from Denny before it all even happened. He was ready to get the deal done. Appreciate him. Appreciate MJ, Curtis, Gene. Everybody on that side of things, everybody at 23XI. Men and women there, they work their tails off. Just so proud. Pit crew was awesome today. We had one loose wheel. Just thankful. Thanks for the opportunity, and thankful to shut the hell up for a lot of people.”
What does it mean to race as hard as you had to? The one at Talladega was a little different, and then to have Denny Hamlin chasing you at the end.
“Yeah. I knew Denny was going to be strong. That's the things I look at, is he wasn't that good at the beginning of the day, and he comes up and finishes P2. And that's what I want to start doing. When we don't have the best days, just capitalize on moments like that. It's cool to beat the boss, but man, we were just lights-out today once we got to the lead, and it was a lot of fun.”
Were you anxious all day?
“It's funny. I ran into my old crew chief, Jerry Baxter after the truck race, and I text him. I said, Jerry, I think it's going to be a good weekend. We called our shot. What a really cool paint scheme on our Toyota Camry root. They've done a lot for me in my career in a short amount of time. To throw honor to the people we lost on 9/11 is incredible. To put this in victory lane is really cool.”
How did you stay focused?
“Been doing this for a really long time. I haven't won a race like that in a really long time, but just knowing getting excited is going to mess you up, so it was just cool, calm, and collected, and here we are.”
Do you want to say anything to the fans, your fans?
“True fans that are out there, thank you, guys. I love you. It's been a tough road. You guys are the best. Let's keep this train rolling. Thank you.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 Acumatica Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What are your emotions right now with Denny Hamlin the driver finishing second, but the owner wins the race?
“It’s a good overall day. Just still frustrated about the first half of the race. We just aren’t executing all that well. Got to thank Acumatica for coming on, if you want to improve your business, they can help you do it. Thank you for coming on for Kansas. Really happy for our 11 Toyota team. They really fought hard and in that last half, they really made the car quite a bit better. Just really happy about the outcome and really happy for the 45 team and Bubba Wallace and Bootie (Barker, crew chief). Bubba’s just really worked hard on his craft and we’ve given him fast race cars and now he’s showing what he’s got.”
How hard were you trying to catch Bubba Wallace in the closing laps?
“I nearly wrecked to try to catch him and then I got bad loose and nearly got in the fence. I was driving as hard as I could. Nothing will ever come free if you’re driving for me. If you think I’m going to let you win, you better go get another job. Just so proud of the whole team.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 DeWalt Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
What more did you need to maybe go get the victory?
“Just got off a little bit on our balance that last run, but overall a great points day and very proud of everyone on this DEWALT No. 20 team. Great day for Toyota and happy for Bubba to get a win. He was really deserving, really fast all day. Great points day. We'll move on and try and win one.”
How proud are you of this race team?
“I'm very happy that we're finally getting the results that this team deserves. Our speed has been there all year, and I feel like we've given up a couple good finishes. Last couple of weeks we've been building on it, and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 26th
What happened when you spun?
“Just got really loose and it snapped around me. Then I had damage from going through the grass. Kind of ruined the rest of our day, but it was whatever happened on that pit stop that set us backwards to get us back in traffic there. Tried to make an adjustment to the car to make it faster and it did make it faster, but definitely made it looser.”
Do you feel confident going to Bristol next weekend and advancing to the next round of the Playoffs?
“Not with the luck of this year, nope. We’ll go and try hard and if what Bristol has always been to me occurs, we’ll be fine. With the way this year has been, if that occurs, it’s going to be ugly.”
TY GIBBS, No. 23 McDonald’s Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 34th
What happened that took you out of the race?
“I don’t really know. We were just a little free and got ourselves back running in a bad area. We got a little bit of contact I think, but I haven’t seen the replay yet. We had a really fast McDonald’s Toyota Camry TRD. Thank you Toyota for all the support and McDonalds and Monster Energy. I feel like we should have run really well today and we didn’t. All of my teammates cars were good. I just need to work on my craft and need to make the car a little tighter. We had the right adjustments there and we were good right then, but just didn’t have enough time to go right after the green and then we were in the wall. Not really sure how, just haven’t seen the replay.”