Brandon Jones (second), Trevor Bayne (fourth), John Hunter Nemechek (fifth) and Ty Gibbs (sixth) all finished well in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday night. Jones posted the best finish of the season, while Nemechek led the opening laps and delivered the second top-five finish for Sam Hunt Racing in his 49th NASCAR start.
Toyota Racing post-race recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series
phoenix race track
Race 4 of 33 – 200 miles, 200 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Noah Gragson*
3rd, Josh Berry*
4th, TREVOR BAYNE
5th, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
6th, TY GIBBS
34, JEFFREY EARNHARDT
BRANDON-JONESNo. 19 Menards/Jeld-Wen Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
end position: 2nd
What was missing in the end?
“First of all, I think this is exactly what this team of 19 needed to change this season. We’ve had speed on all these tracks so far and just haven’t gotten the results we need. It is still very early in the season. I thought when we came out of the pits there and we were ahead of him, it was going to be pretty good because the aero situations were pretty tough today and it looked like whoever was leading the race was a little hard to pass. Noah (Gragson) was leading before we all faced. We were a little quicker so I think they just made some adjustments and made it better, but still, overall, we’re pretty happy to come home second; we also got some really good stages. I can’t thank Jeld-Wen and Menards enough for being on this Supra. This is the right push we need to turn this season around.”
Trevor BayneNo. 18 Devotion Nutrition Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
end position: 4th
You fought back to the front after that penalty to earn another top five finish. How was your career?
“I have never seen a green flag on Xfinity in the last segment. We had a bad stop at the beginning and that slowed us down a bit. I tried to make up for it in the wrong place and sped up on pit road, so we had to go to the back. We go from the last to the fourth. That thing was hooked, catching the leaders, running the fastest lap times every lap and never really had a chance to recover. The only reason I look disappointed is because I’ve never had a race car this good. This Devotion Nutrition Supra was amazing in the long run and I feel like I should have won with it. Those make you sick. California, I felt Cole Custer had a better car. Here, we had the car to win, so you don’t want to disprove them, but for what we had to overcome in 100 laps, coming from behind and coming back to fourth is pretty solid.
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK#26 Stillhouse Toyota GR Supra, Sam Hunt Racing
end position: 5th
What did you learn today?
“We didn’t start very well during practice and qualifying. We qualified decently, we found a little bit of speed, but the speed on long runs was not very good. We worked hard all day and made some big adjustments from practice to qualifying and from qualifying to the race and made some more adjustments during the race. This team never stopped working on this Stillhouse Toyota Supra. We got there and led a few laps, I think it’s a first for Sam Hunt Racing, we raced in, I feel like top five, top six all day, which is a huge accomplishment for them. I had fun behind the wheel driving this thing. Anytime I can come race and be behind the wheel, I enjoy it. The more laps the better and running in the top five for this team is great. This is a great group of guys. Now our focus has returned to the truck deal next week.”
TY GIBBSNo. 54 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
end position: 6th
Bounced back from early contact for a solid top-10. How was the race in general?
“It was good. I feel like our Sport Clips Supra was pretty quick today. It just didn’t have enough speed and where they put the resin it made it harder, just a weird spot, so it made it single file and hard to pass. We went out turned and then we came from behind we had a set of tires down and then it went green all the way so we never had time to go all the way back up I feel like we had a third place car second place best of cases. Just a frustrating day. Frustrating, but we have to move on.”