Sunday, Feb 05

Two Top-Fives for JGR in Las Vegas

Kyle Busch (third) and Denny Hamlin (fifth) scored top-five finishes to lead Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. With the finish, Hamlin moved above the cutline with a six-point advantage over fifth. Christopher Bell was taken out in an early race accident while running in the top-five. Bell finished 34th and goes to Homestead-Miami 23 points below the Playoff cutline.

 

Toyota Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Race 33 of 36 – 400 miles, 267 laps

 

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS


1st, Joey Logano*

2nd, Ross Chastain*

3rd, KYLE BUSCH

4th, Chase Briscoe*

5th, DENNY HAMLIN

7th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.

22nd, TY GIBBS

34th, CHRISTOPHER BELL

36th, BUBBA WALLACE

*non-Toyota driver 

 

TOYOTA QUOTES

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 3rd

How were you able to recover from the challenges you faced in the race today to get a third-place finish?

“I don’t know, just kept fighting and digging hard all day long. We had a really fast M&M’s Toyota Camry TRD anyway. Not as good as the Penske guys, they really have a hold of this place. We worked on ours all day long and got it better. Top-five car and got a third-place finish. Just salvaged what we could there after a lot of ups and downs. Thanks to the guys, good pit stops all day, and I left a little early on that one when we lost the wheel. All in all, we had a good recovery. Thanks to Rowdy Energy, Interstate Batteries, Rheem, Stanley, Breathe Right. This is a good a good finish here. Just trying to get back into the top-10 in points, that’s where it’s at.”

 

How was your race overall today?

“We certainly clawed our way back from a lot. To begin with, we had a really fast M&M’s Toyota Camry TRD so that certainly helped a lot of things to be able to come back up through the field there a couple times. Had tires there at the end, had a good restart, punched a couple holes and got ourselves in good position there. A good, solid finish, but wish we had a little more obviously, want to win before the year’s out and that would mean a lot to a lot of people. We got a top-10 in points to go get and we’re working on it.”

 

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 5th

Can you talk about what you had to go through today to get a top-five finish?

“Honestly, I thought we were going to be a little bit better than we were today but starting 31st and to get a top-five in the second stage and top-five for the race is pretty decent. We just had one bad stop there at the end that kind of took away our track position, but we got most of that back. Pit crew did great. The guys did a great job adjusting from yesterday. We moved in the right direction and moved up in points. Just need to keep plugging along.”

 

CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem-Opteon Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 34th

What was your view of that accident, Christopher?

“Just the 23, Bubba (Wallace) got run into the wall and obviously, retaliation on his side. We got the short end of the stick.”

 

How do you feel about your chances at Homestead and Martinsville to get to the Championship 4?

“The good thing is I feel better about winning one of those two races than I did winning the Roval. We’ve just had really, really strong Camrys – really all year long. We will see if we can go pull another rabbit out of the hat.”

 

How disappointing is it to have your championship chances impacted by an incident like this?

“It’s disappointing because our performance is capable of racing for the championship, and it doesn’t appear that we’re going to get to. Just disappointing.”

 

What happened between Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson from your perspective?

“Bubba (Wallace) got run into the wall and then he retaliated on the 5 (Kyle Larson) and wiped us out.”

 

Do you believe Bubba Wallace should be penalized for his actions?

“I don’t know. Follow protocol of whatever they’ve (NASCAR) done in the past.”

 

BUBBA WALLACE, No. 45 McDonalds Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing

Finishing Position: 36th

Was the contact with Kyle Larson intentional retaliation on your behalf after he ran you into the outside wall?

“Cliff (Daniels, 5 crew chief)) is smart enough to know how easy these cars break. When you get shoved in the fence, deliberately like he (Kyle Larson) did, trying to force me to lift – the steering was gone, and he just so happened to be there. I hate it for our team. We had a super-fast car – not on short run speed, we were kind of falling back there and (Kyle) Larson wanted to make it a three-wide dive bomb. He never cleared me. I don’t lift. I know I’m kind of new to running up front, but I don’t lift. I wasn’t even in a spot to lift, he never lifted either and now we are junk. Piss poor move on his execution.”

 

At this speed, is retaliation an acceptable thing?

“Stop fishing.”

 

What is the message that you wanted to send to Kyle Larson by going up to him after the incident?

“He (Kyle Larson) knows. He knows what he did was wrong. He wanted to question what I was doing, and he never cleared me. I just hate it for our team. Our McDonalds Toyota Camry was super solid – just needed to find a little bit on the short run and get the balance where we needed it. It would have been like Kansas and now the car is junk.”

 

What is your reaction to Christopher Bell being involved in this?

“Sports.”

 

What happened in the initial contact from your perspective?

“He (Kyle Larson) tried to clear me and there was nowhere clear and just stayed in the gas. I lifted and it was too late at that point. Everything broke and we were wadded up.”

 

Did you retaliate against Kyle Larson?

“Just racing right. Just have to do better, be better.”

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