Denny Hamlin was victorious at Darlington Raceway on Saturday to give Toyota its 199th win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Hamlin led 14 laps, including the final three, to score his sixth Xfinity Series win at Darlington.
Xfinity Series regular John Hunter Nemechek earned the pole for Saturday’s race in the No. 20 Toyota GR Supra and won the first two stages of the race. Nemechek led 99 laps and battled down the stretch to finish third.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Race 25 of 33 – 200.8 miles, 147 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, DENNY HAMLIN
2nd, Austin Hill*
3rd, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
4th, Cole Custer*
5th, Josh Berry*
15th, COREY HEIM
17th, SAMMY SMITH
27th, MATT MILLS
28th, KAZ GRALA
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 19 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
What are your thoughts on earning your sixth Xfinity win at Darlington today?
“Yeah, I’m just proud to do this for Gordon Logan and everyone at Sports Clips. He’s been such a supporter of my career for such a long time. Thank you to Sport Clips and Help a Hero. Appreciate everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing for the opportunity to come and do one Xfinity race per year and it’s great to have a win.”
How long did it take to find a rhythm in the car today?
“It took a while. I really needed some long runs, but I really didn’t want to show everything we had until the very end of the race there. We really did a good job of maintaining what we had and man, it was going to be cool to see that race play out, but still it was a great win.”
How were you able to get the win today?
“These cars just drive so different than the Next Gen does. Really, I just maintained my pace and kept them within shouting distance and then pounced when I really needed to.”
What is it about Darlington Raceway that you love?
“First, I’ve got to thank our sponsors in Sport Clips, Toyota, TRD, FedEx, Coca-Cola, Interstate Batteries, Jordan brand, Logitech, Shady Rays. Man, it just suits my driving style really. I don’t know how else to explain it than I feel like you can manipulate the car to do the things you really need it to if it’s not perfect. And, a driver, when he feels like he can make a difference, you like the race track.”
How much confidence does this give you for tomorrow’s Southern 500?
“I thought our car was pretty good over on the Cup side. I’ll go and work on it tonight. I feel like there’s some things we can improve on, and we’ll work with the team to get it there. I’m obviously very confident.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 20 Pye Barker Fire & Safety Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
Are you disappointed with the finish today?
“I’m just frustrated with myself. I didn’t make the right adjustment the last stop and it’s on me. I said I didn’t need an adjustment and probably did. It sucks coming up short here twice with such fast Toyota GR Supras both times. We’ll keep plugging. Solid points day for us. Gained some points back on the 21 (Austin Hill), I think that puts us back to second in points as well. Go to Kansas next week to finish out the regular season and hope to go win all three stages instead of two.”
What is your outlook going into Kansas?
“I think for us, it’s just continuing to push as hard as we can. We’re here to win every single week and we’re going to try and do that. That’s it. I wish I would’ve been in Denny’s (Hamlin) seat and him pushing me instead of me pushing him, but that’s how it works sometimes.”