Toyota Racing Post-Race Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
400 miles, 267 laps
March 12, 2017
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS**
1st, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
2nd, Kyle Larson*
3rd, Chase Elliott*
4th, Joey Logano*
5th, Brad Keselowski*
6th, DENNY HAMLIN
9th, MATT KENSETH
15th, ERIK JONES
20th, DANIEL SUÁREZ
22nd, KYLE BUSCH
31st, REED SORENSON
34th, GRAY GAULDING
39th, COREY LAJOIE
** Unofficial finishing positions
TOYOTA DRIVER POINT STANDINGS**
1st, Brad Keselowski 132 points*
4th, MARTIN TRUEX JR. 127 points
13th, MATT KENSETH 71 points
15th, DENNY HAMLIN 68 points
19th, KYLE BUSCH 50 points
20th, ERIK JONES 49 points
28th, DANIEL SUÁREZ 42 points
**unofficial point standings
- Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. earned the first victory for the new 2018 Camry race car in Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
- Truex dominated the race, winning all three stages at Las Vegas after starting from the second position and led 150 laps (of 267).
- Camry driver Denny Hamlin (sixth) and Matt Kenseth (seventh) also finished in the top-10 at the 1.5-mile race track.
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
What was going through your mind in the closing laps?
“It was a gift. We’ve been on the other side of that plenty of times. This is the first one where we’ve kind of had it go our way. I can’t say enough about everyone on this team. They made a lot of changes last night and we said go for it, and they did. I’m really proud – this is the first victory for the 2018 Camry and to be out here on the west coast – this is a big one for us! Tons of people to thank at our team, with Barney (Visser), Joe (Garone), Furniture Row, Denver Mattress – my buddy Johnny Morris here for believing in us and coming on this car with Bass Pro and Tracker Boats. Proud of Toyota and TRD – these engines have been unbelievable this season so far. We have Auto Owners coming back this year and all our sponsors. West Coast for everybody, but it’s home for these guys – it feels really good.”
Is stage racing fun?
“It’s still hard and still tough. You still drive your butt off every single lap, I know I was. I felt like the race didn’t’ play into our hands and we had to go really long on that last set of tires and Brad (Keselowski) was better at the end and we had to stretch it and I was driving my little butt off and I couldn’t keep him behind me. We never give up and that’s why you keep fighting until the end. Pit crew was unbelievable today and you have to thank them. It’s a dream come true driving these cars for these guys and hopefully we can keep this momentum going.”
Do you feel like your team has the good luck you need this season to get you to victory lane?
“We finally got some. We definitely had our share of races where we’ve dominated and gave one away and it looked like today was going to be another one of those. The runs just didn’t work out the way we needed them. We were struggling on the really long runs. We had to run that last set of tires on that last caution longer than we did all race long. I was out of control and Brad (Keselowski) was really good on the long run. I hate that he had problems, he was strong and we weren’t going to do anything with him, but then he lost the brakes or something. A little bit of a gift, but we have given some away, so it feels good to come out on the good end for once.”
Did you feel you needed a more adjustments on your Camry in the closing laps?
“The run before with about 40 to go it just locked up and I couldn’t use more. I think that’s why we struggled a bit on that run. All in all, that’s how it goes sometimes and you don’t get the tools you need. We did what we could with it and we were going to come up short to the 2 (Brad Keselowski), but they had problems and we took advantage of it. It was a team effort and we never gave up all day long. Here we are.”
How strong was your team today?
“We did last year, hopefully we can keep it going. It’s been a good start to the year for us. We had a solid day at Daytona and ran out of gas. Had a solid day at Atlanta and had some issues that cost us some spots. We’ve been solid and this is a brand new 2018 Toyota Camry for us, so it’s been a little bit to learn. It’s been a bit different and we’re still learning so hopefully we’ll continue to grow and get better.”
BARNEY VISSER, Owner, No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing
How proud are you to see your team in victory lane?
“I’d like to thank the guys at the shop. They’ve put several hundred hours in over the last three weeks to get the bodies up with the fiasco we had in Daytona. These guys push themselves and I can’t thank them enough. It’s really special.”
JOE GARONE, President, No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing
How does it feel to get the 2018 Camry’s first win?
“It’s exciting to come into 2017 with a new model change and all the work that takes place and to be able to put the three wins together in this race with the ’18 Camry is terrific, the guys did a terrific job.”
ERIK JONES, No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing
How was your race?
“The 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry was fast enough to run in the top 10 but we just didn’t execute in the pits. We know we’re capable of running up front but we just have to make sure we execute as the race goes on. We can make up for those spots during the middle part of the race but once it comes down to the end it’s more difficult. I feel good about how we’ve run but I just want to get some strong finishes to match. We’re not getting the finishes we deserve so we just have to keep working at it.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 22nd
What happened at the end of the race?
“I got dumped. Flat out drove straight into the corner and wrecked me”