Martin Truex Jr. expanded his points lead with two stage wins and a runner-up finish at Michigan International Speedway. His teammate, Denny Hamlin, followed him to the line. Christopher Bell (13th) made an incredible comeback after suffering damage in the event to come home in the top-15.
Bubba Wallace (18th) again extended the advantage over the Playoff cutline to 58 points, while Ty Gibbs (11th) moved back inside the provisional Playoff field with three races remaining in the regular season. Gibbs holds a three-point advantage heading into Indianapolis on Sunday.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Michigan International Speedway
Race 23 of 36 – 200 miles, 400 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Chris Buescher*
2nd, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
3rd, DENNY HAMLIN
4th, Brad Keselowski*
5th, Kyle Larson*
11th, TY GIBBS
13th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
18th, BUBBA WALLACE
30th, TYLER REDDICK
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What more did you need?
“I think we just needed a little longer run. I felt like we were a little better, but it is just really hard to pass the leader on equal tires. We had an unbelievable Auto Owners Toyota Camry. Hats off to everybody that puts the work in these things, Toyota, TRD, Bass Pro, Resers – everybody that supports us. It was a rocket – just the leader in clean air is really, really hard to pass. We just didn’t quite have enough, but all-in-all a good day.”
What is the big takeaway as we head closer to the Playoffs?
“We are excited. Every week we feel like we have a shot to win, that is all I can ask for. It’s exciting to come to the track every weekend knowing what these guys are going to bring me. Hopefully, we can keep it up. It would have been nice to get a win today, but all-in-all it was a good day, strategy kind of shook us up a little bit. We were luckily able to get our track position back all day because of our speed. One more stinks – it’s been tough to get a win here. We’ve been really good here in the past. Just can’t get it done, hopefully next year.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 Mavis Tires & Brakes Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
What happened on pit road?
“Yeah, I just stalled it and couldn’t get it refired. Something with the ECU – just had to get it refired and cycled it there. I thought we were really close with the 19 (Martin Truex Jr.). I thought he got through traffic better than I did all day, and it looks like the 17 (Chris Buescher) was pretty good too. That’s no shock – he showed some speed yesterday. Showed some things on the track that I felt like – caught my eye. Track position was king, we just never got to be up towards the front enough until the very end. Proud of the whole Mavis Toyota team – we will go onto the next one.”
How different was the track from yesterday to today?
“It wasn’t a whole lot different. These conditions are cooler – cloudy, more on-throttle time, harder to pass. But that is kind of what you get here at Michigan – it’s a track position, track strategy track.”
TY GIBBS, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 11th
Can you talk about your run today?
“Yeah, I feel like we had a great Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD. I just didn’t do my job. I didn’t execute. I need to do a better job – be smarter, better race craft. I don’t know if that’s more studying or what. Just didn’t do a good job today. I appreciate all of the team effort. We had a great car – I just didn’t do my job.”