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Toyota Racing MENCS Martinsville Post-Qualifying Recap

MENCS Post-Qualifying Report – Martinsville Speedway
Hamlin wins his third NASCAR Cup Series pole at Martinsville Speedway

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 26, 2019) – Denny Hamlin won his third pole of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season and will lead the field to green for tomorrow’s race at Martinsville Speedway.

Toyota Racing Post-Qualifying Report
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Martinsville Speedway – October 26, 2019

TOYOTA STARTING POSITIONS
1st, DENNY HAMLIN
2nd, Chase Elliott*
3rd, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
4th, Aric Almirola*
5th, Michael McDowell*
8th, ERIK JONES
12th, MATT DIBENEDETTO
13th, KYLE BUSCH
*non-Toyota driver

TOYOTA QUOTES

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 1st

Talk about your qualifying effort.

“It was good. We definitely didn’t expect to run that fast for sure. We didn’t make any mock run and the fastest in practice was something like a 59 or something like that, so certainly caught us off guard, but really I just drove it to its capability and that’s kind of all I had. I was happy with it. I knew when I ran it, I was pretty happy with the lap, so to have the pole is obviously a huge, huge deal here.”

Two of the last three Martinsville winners went on to win the championship. Is that just coincidence or is there something specific about winning this race and not having two weeks to worry about anything?

“Two of the three, so that’s 66 percent. If they’re in the Final Four, they have a 25 percent. It is part of just numbers. It just happens to be one of those things. I think really, you don’t see many surprise winners at this race track. I think it’s really just the best guys, the best drivers really perform really well at this race track. It’s just challenging in so many different ways. It’s challenging just to tell your crew chief what’s right and wrong in the car. I think that it’s more coincidence than anything, but certainly if it was the entire field – a lot of it is just because the Round of 8 guys will always step up in the Round of 8. They spend more time on their cars, things like that, so it’s more coincidence, but a lot of it is just because those guys are great and I wouldn’t know.”

Is it shaping up to be a Denny Hamlin weekend?

“I hope so. All signs indicate yes if you were looking in a Magic 8-Ball right now. Our car was good in practice. It was good in qualifying obviously. That’s all we have to go by. I know that we’ve definitely spent a lot of time and emphasis on working on a setup for this race track. Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) has definitely wanted to spend more time on working on a setup on a race track that I’m particularly good at. You try to win at the places that you’re extremely good at and I think that the hard work and effort that they’ve done working on all that stuff is paying off right now.”

If it rains and the race track dries tomorrow, will the green race track change anything pretty dramatically?

“It will change the first 50 laps or so for sure. I think it will level off after that. The latest I saw is likely by race time, we could have sunshine. I don’t think it’ll change a whole lot, but certainly at the beginning, it will throw us all for a loop. It’s going to be the same for all of us. We definitely wouldn’t change our setup based off just that first stint. If anything, we have an advantage because we’ll have some track position, but I was confident with our car in the heat and the sun today, it was pretty good.”

What is it that you can share with your teammates that makes you so good at Marrtinsville?

“The worse thing to ever happen to me is me, Kyle (Busch) and Joey (Logano) came here and they gave us the same race car, they changed our inserts and they told us to go run 40 laps each. They analyzed all of our data and I killed them in a 40-lap run and then they studied and they got better and they beat me. That was the worse thing that ever happened to me was when (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) got that test going. It was probably Joey’s second season at Gibbs, but I remember kind of just watching them. I remember it like a book. Kyle smoked me for the first five laps and then was not good on the end. I just kind of had a good balance of all of it. They went to work and they got good at it. Kyle really stepped up at Richmond as well, not too long after, but it goes both ways. I’ve gotten so much better at tracks like Charlotte and Dover and all that because of Kyle. That’s what teammates are for is to feed off of your weaknesses and that’s what we’ve done.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Auto Owners Insurance Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 3rd

Talk about your qualifying effort.

“Yeah, it was a good effort. We had a little bit of a weird day practicing. It’s always difficult to practice here. A green track this morning pretty much and then cold temperatures – it heats up throughout the day. We pretty much threw out the first practice, we only get one really and we were off a bit. We tried some new stuff here from what we’ve been doing the last few times and had to kind of go back to home base for a while in qualifying. Luckily, we hit it pretty close. The guys did a good job there and we got a good couple laps in. Happy about it and hopefully we can stay somewhere near the front there.”

# # #

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018.

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit ToyotaNewsroom.com.



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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