Truex Jr. top Toyota driver at Kansas, takes second place

Camry driver Martin Truex Jr. (second) was the first Toyota driver to the finish line in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Kansas Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Truex also finished second in the spring race at the Kansas Speedway.

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 2nd

How does it feel to finish second again at Kansas Speedway? "Well, it's a lot different mood after this one too. After the first one I was disappointed. Today, I'm happy with my team and my race car we had all day. We really had to battle for this one. We got track position early. We got up towards the top- five and we had a strong car -- a little bit tight. Then we got caught out by that caution deal and had to go all the way to the back. Just tough to pass, so it was a battle all day long. Proud of the guys on the NAPA Toyota -- they never gave up. Just kept digging all day long. That's a good run for us, for sure. Just a little bit too tight there at the end there to run with Matt (Kenseth). A good run and we'll go on to Martinsville."

What did you think of the track? "I thought the track was great. The outside lane is going to come in really, really good -- probably by next year, I would say. Their winters here are pretty rough and I expect it will weather the track in really nicely. Once the track gets to where it doesn't need to get rubbered-in so much to get any grip and the tires, we can soften the tires a little. This place is going to be awesome with the progressive banking. You could already feel it today coming in. The tire is just kind of hard and it was hard to work that outer groove in, but once the outside got working it was actually pretty darn good. It's going to be a cool, racey track here in the future and they did a great job with it."

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Benefitting Avon Foundation Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 6th

How was today's race? "It was just a long day -- frustrating. I think I started on the outside one time early in the race and just every time it just killed me. We were obviously set up for fuel mileage and after the cautions kept coming, it just kept digging us more and more in the hole. Restarts kind of killed us all day long, but we gained on them -- but not near enough."

What's your plan for the upcoming races? "We've just got to keep digging. You've got to keep gaining on them. I was hoping to gain a little bit more than that, but we had a solid day and just frustrating though."

Did today's race seem crazy? "Yeah, it was just -- man, I don't know. For us, if we got hung up on the bottom every restart it was worth a position -- maybe two and it just wasn't much fun. But, it is what it is. I don't know what the hell was going on behind us. They kept wrecking. It seemed like every 20 laps we would have a caution. That wasn't much fun."

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 13th

How was today's race? "Frustration -- just never got a chance to race. Every run I either had to save fuel or get caught by a caution and then go a lap down, get a wave around and it's just -- got caught by two cautions today -- we had good track position. I drove to the top-five on the first run and then we took four (tires) and the entire field took two (tires) and put us in the back of the pack and we were no better than the back-markers at that point."

"Well, this is a race where when you got the other guys you're racing finishing eighth and ninth -- you've got to beat them, especially wrecked race cars shouldn't be there, so we just shot ourselves in the foot a lot today. We'll just try to rebound at Martinsville. It's been a good track for us. And not a complete destroyed day, but we'll try to make the best of it."

How did this race compare to the April Kansas event? "It's a different track. There's nothing that's similar."

What made today so challenging? "The challenge is your track position. Nobody could pass anyone after five laps on the restart, so you just -- you do the best you can for five laps to pass guys and then you just ride around in circles until someone blows a tire."

How much was it car and how much was it pit strategy? "Fifty, fifty. We got caught twice and our car sucked, so those two things attributed to a 13th-place finish."

Did it feel like a crazy race from the driver's seat? "It was uneventful. I had to save fuel every single run to just try to run with the other guys and when I got to the top five we took four (tires) and the whole field took two (tires) and it put us back in the 20s and you just can't make up those positions out on the race track. It's just too hard to do, so we missed it today -- both with the car and strategy."

MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 24th

How was today's race? "That's disappointing, but it was a heck of a run today. We just couldn't buy a break. The caution fell every time we made a pit stop. I think we came from a lap down twice. We had a fast car -- our Toyota was awesome today. We'll get them in Texas."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Halloween Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 31st

How did the accident with Ryan Newman happen? "Everything is just on edge. You're really slipping and sliding and fighting for as much grip as you can find out there, so I come down the back straightaway. I come low a little bit to protect the bottom and try to make sure I could keep my line down there -- I've been losing spots on the top all day. Then (Ryan) Newman just ran up on the back of me and got me loose -- I've been loose all day -- and then he ran into the back of me and spun me out, so just impatience. There's still 80- something laps to go. I don't know what that was for or why or whatever, but I'm glad he's wrecked along with me and he'll get another one here before the year is out."

Why did the accident occur? "It's impatience. I mean, there's 82 laps to go or something like that when we just got wrecked, so there's still plenty of racing to go. There's still another pit stop to go. You've got to get some green flag stuff going on. I don't know what was going on behind us and in front of us -- (Greg) Biffle wrecked too, but just I don't know. Like I said, everybody's fighting for every ounce of grip that you can get and there's not much out there, but at some point you've got to be patient enough to know there's still 80 laps to go."

Source: Toyota Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Ryan Newman , Martin Truex Jr.
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Race report
Tags bowyer, busch, hamlin, martin, toyota, truex, waltrip