Toyota MENCS Darlington Post-Race Recap

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Darlington Raceway
Race 25 of 36 – 367 laps, 266.5 miles
September 2, 2018

1st, Brad Keselowski*
2nd, Joey Logano*
3rd, Kyle Larson*
4th, Kevin Harvick*
5th, Chase Elliott*
*non-Toyota driver

1st, KYLE BUSCH 1038 points
2nd, Kevin Harvick* 999 points
3rd, MARTIN TRUEX JR 883 points
4th, Kurt Busch* 835 points
5th, Joey Logano* 818 points
10th, DENNY HAMLIN 738 points
13th, ERIK JONES 679 points
20th, DANIEL SUÁREZ 487 points
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings
American Muscle

· Kyle Busch (seventh) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Darlington Raceway.

· Camry driver Erik Jones (eighth) also finished in the top 10 while Denny Hamlin, who started from the pole position, logged a 10th-place result.

· With his top-10 finish, Hamlin clinched a spot in the 2018 MENCS Playoffs, joining fellow Toyota competitors Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Jones.

· Busch continues to lead the regular-season point standings with one race left before the playoffs commence on September 16.


KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Skittles 1998 Retro Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 7th

Talk about your race tonight.

“We never are very good here. I don’t know what the problem is. Just fought a lot of things and tried to make the most of the effort. We made some good changes on pit road, but just nothing there at the end could free us up for the short run to make our Camry very fast. Hard to make lap time at the end.”

ERIK JONES, No. 20 Sport Clips Throwback Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 8th

What happened tonight?

“We had a really good car. It’s funny, you look at the last lap time and we were the first or second-fastest car. We just needed a long time to come in. I mean we needed 15 laps to get going and that’s just kind of how it was. I knew if they came down to some short restart stints, it was going to probably hurt us quite a bit unfortunately. The Sport Clips Camry was good. You can’t complain. We worked hard on it all night and had a fast car – had a car that I think if it would’ve stayed green, maybe we could have contended with (Kyle) Larson. You know Larson didn’t win either, so sometimes it’s just not your night to have a shot and tonight wasn’t ours.”

There was one lap where your crew chief Chris Gayle said your strategy would’ve been perfect, but it didn’t work out. Was it that kind of a night?

“We were on a different strategy than most of the other guys in the top three. We came a lap early because we were just trying to get out of that mess of cars with tires were in. It just didn’t work out. The caution came out and we got trapped a lap down and had to take a wave around and got stuck back in traffic, so along with that and not being good on the short run, it was kind of a big mess. Unfortunate we didn’t get a better result. A good night overall.”

Two top 10s at Darlington now. Do you get this place?

“I don’t know about that. I like it for sure. I enjoy coming here and I’ve had two really good cars. I’m looking forward to getting back next year. I really want to win this race someday. That’s the ultimate goal, so we’ll keep working at it. I thought today we were very close to being a car that was capable of it and just needed some longer runs and some more things to work our way and maybe we could’ve had a shot.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing

Finishing Position: 11th

You had a fast car at the beginning of the race, but didn’t quite finish where you wanted. Talk about your night.

“It’s really disappointing to have a car that good to be up front and have that many troubles on pit road. It’s pretty disappointing. We have to clean it up. Playoffs are coming. We do that in the playoffs and we’ll be out in the second round.”

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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here