Toyota MENCS Pocono Post-Race Report

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Pocono Raceway
Race 14 of 36 – 400 miles, 160 laps
June 3, 2018

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, MARTIN TRUEX JR
2nd, Kyle Larson*
3rd, KYLE BUSCH
4th, Kevin Harvick*
5th, Brad Keselowski*
24th, DANIEL SUÁREZ
29th, ERIK JONES
33rd, GRAY GAULDING
35th, DENNY HAMLIN
*non-Toyota driver

TOYOTA DRIVER POINT STANDINGS**
1st, KYLE BUSCH 624 points
4th, MARTIN TRUEX JR 487 points
8th, DENNY HAMLIN 437 points
14th, ERIK JONES 322 points
19th, DANIEL SUÁREZ 258 points
**unofficial point standings

· Camry driver Martin Truex Jr. captured his second Cup Series victory of the 2018 season when he won at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.
· Truex would go on to lead 31 laps in the race at Pocono and won his third stage of the season when he won Stage 1 of the contest.
· The win was Truex’ second career Cup Series victory at Pocono Raceway – which is considered a home track for the 2017 defending NASCAR champion.
· In 14 NASCAR Cup Series races this season, Truex has two wins, nine top-five finishes and 308 laps led.
· Today’s win at Pocono Raceway was Toyota’s sixth Cup Series victory in 14 races this season with Truex winning two races and Kyle Busch winning four.
· Camry driver Kyle Busch scored a top-three finish in Sunday’s race at Pocono – his ninth top-five and 11th top-10 this season.
· Busch remains the series points leader by 87 points over the next-closest driver.

TOYOTA QUOTES

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
Were you concerned on the restart with seven to go?
“Yes, you’re always concerned on restarts at Pocono. So much can happen on those. We were luckily able to get a good one. I just can’t say enough about everyone on this team. Cole (Pearn, crew chief) and all of the guys. We did a good job last night. It’s been a really good weekend overall. I feel like we’re getting back to where we were last year. Just thankful for them. Everyone in Denver. Everyone at TRD (Toyota Racing Development). Everyone at Bass Pro Shops and 5-hour ENERGY for all their support this season on this race car. Thanks for Auto Owners for coming on board and Denver Mattress. You can’t forget about all these guys. Tracker Boats and all our friends up here at Pocono. This is a heck of a day. The 4, 18 and 78, we went at it all day long and coming out on top is pretty awesome. Thanks to Toyota Racing and all the guys out in Costa Mesa.”

What does it say about your team to go out there and get a win here today?
“It’s always fun to win. But especially when you beat the best guys out there. These two guys (Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick) were so fast today. Honestly, we were all really equal. It was a matter of who could get out front. The 4 and I stayed on tires. We felt like in practice we were really fast on scuffs. Cole made a good call to stay out and once I got in clean air, this thing was a rocket ship.”

Tell us about the last pit stop.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of conversation. Cole said stay out and I stayed out. I put a lot of faith in him and making those pit calls. You know, 99 percent of the time, he is right. Honestly, we were really fast in practice. We weren’t quite as fast as some guys. On scuffs we were really fast. We got that clean air out front, we were able to check out. Thanks to everybody here at TRD, Denver Mattress and Furniture Row. And Bass Pro Shops and 5-hour ENERGY for allowing us to do what we do. Auto Owners, TRD and everyone who makes it possible. It’s a dream to drive these race cars. Thanks to everyone at Toyota and TRD Engines.”

What made the difference in holding off Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson?
“Getting a good restart overall was good. Once we could get clear in Turn 1, we had a fast enough car in clean air that we could hold them off. Those restarts are always nerve-wracking. You never know who can get a push from behind and get a run on you. We were close to Larson on that last one and that could have made it a lot more difficult. Luckily, had great horsepower from TRD and I was able to get out front and make it happen.”

When you restarted 14th, what did you have to do to make it back to the front?
“Be patient. Our car was great on the long-run. There was a lot of cars on the short-run that were as good as we were. It’s so hard to pass here at Pocono. We had to pick them off one at a time and we stayed patient. I tried to save my tires a little bit and by the end of the run, we found ourselves fourth. It was a great comeback and just a strong race car.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Red White & Blue Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How did this race unfold for you?
“We had a really great car. The car was really fast. Being able to keep up with the guys we needed to, the 4 (Harvick) and the 78 (Truex Jr.) and the 42 (Larson). We were keeping up with the 4 there in that run where the caution came out, that ruined the green flag pit stop that I thought we were going to jump everyone in. And from there, we got the lead after that and we were out front and leading, and they threw another debris caution. That was kind of ironic. I guess it was what it was. We came back down for tires and I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if it was the clouds or different tires, but those tires didn’t mean anything. We couldn’t get back up through there for anything back up to those guys. It didn’t give any advantage. The fresh air didn’t mean anything today. That was frustrating and disappointing. We were on the flip side of that situation here last year where we didn’t pit and take tires and lost the race. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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