Truex Extends Points Lead With Runner-up Result

Martin Truex Jr. extended his points lead with a runner-up finish at Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday evening. Both Truex and Denny Hamlin (third) spent time in the lead as the Toyota drivers combined for 131 laps led of the 300-mile race. Hamlin also added to his Playoff bonus point total with a victory in the second stage. Christopher Bell joined his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates inside the top-10 as the Oklahoma-native was scored in seventh.


Toyota Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

Nashville Superspeedway

Race 17 of 36 – 399 miles, 300 laps



1st, Ross Chastain*



4th, Chase Elliott*

5th, Kyle Larson*


14th, TY GIBBS



*non-Toyota driver 



MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 2nd

What needed to go differently there in the end?

“Just needed to get the lead. Once we lost it – I probably made a move picking the bottom on the restart, just too loose on the long run. I could hang with whoever leading, just could never get off the corner to make a move – just lacking the side-bite, overall, just burning off the rear tires a little bit too much. I was really loose there at the end of the race too. Just needed a little bit. I’ve got a lot of speed, just could never get the balance where we needed it to be. Without having clean air, it was difficult. Overall, good night for our Bass Pro, Tracker Toyota Camry. The guys are doing a great job, just that close again. If we can keep doing this, we will be in good shape.”


You will leave with the points lead. Is that a net positive?

“Yeah, especially if we gained on them – if we extended it, that’s always good. That’s a lot of points at the end of the regular season to get that – a lot of bonus points, we will take all we can. I was disappointed to not get the stage win. We had it kind of wrapped up until that tire got away on the 45 (Tyler Reddick) but that’s kind of how these things play out. We weren’t just quite fast enough to take the lead, and that was our issue. Just burning the rear tires off and getting too loose on the long runs.” 


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

Finishing Position: 3rd

Where did the car go there in the end?

“The field is so close. Everyone is running the same times. It’s really hard. I think we had a third-place car the entire race. The 19 (Martin Truex Jr.) was a little better, and the 1 (Ross Chastain) came on strong there in the end. That’s all we had with our FedEx Ground Toyota. Just an optimized day with no mistakes. We gave ourselves a chance – just didn’t have quite fast enough car today.”


How would you describe the racing today?

“The side-by-side is really because whoever gets out front sets the pace. With everything being the same on the cars, the track position means more than anything. You just have to battle. I saw some great three-wide racing early on those restarts, but just wish I had a little more sped, that’s what we needed.”


CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 DeWalt Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 7th

How was your race?

“It was a pretty solid day and something that we can build off of. We had a great start to the season and then a terrible stretch of races these last couple of months, so between Sonoma and here, it seems like we’ve got it turned around a little bit, so it was a pretty good showing for the DeWalt Camry.”


Passing cars was something you proved you could do today, so how much confidence does that give you moving forward?

“Nashville is a place – and especially today – with long green flag runs. If you were better than the guys, you could move around and make passes. In the end, with the last stage going green, I feel like it shook out pretty much. Good cars ended up in the front, and I was kind of a fifth-to-10th place guy all day.”