This weekend’s grueling battle in the Richmond Raceway left NASCAR drivers with a wide range of emotions, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. For some drivers, the short track provided a much-needed change of pace and improvement in luck. For others, however, it was a nothing short of a nightmare. The only thing that every NASCAR driver can agree on, no matter which place they finished, is that they’re looking forward to this weekend’s triple-header in Martinsville.
Unsurprisingly, the winner of this weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 Cup Series race, Denny Hamlin, felt positive about his performance and the 0.75-mile race track in his post-race interview. “Yeah, just great strategy there,” Hamlin said. “Just drove as hard as I could. Just so proud of this whole FedEx Camry team, man, just never giving up.”
“There was no doubt in my mind,” Hamlin continued. “Maybe just a little, but they got this car right there towards the end. Wow, unbelievable. … We needed a data point, something, a good run to kind of balance ourselves on other tracks. Obviously I think we got it here.”
Good speed. Different strategies. Fun race. Everyone at @JoeGibbsRacing & @ToyotaRacing have been working so hard, great to see it finally pay off as an organization. Thank you @SIRIUSXM for the support. Looking forward to @MartinsvilleSwy. #TeamToyota pic.twitter.com/nsfnsQnhQX— Christopher Bell (@CBellRacing) April 4, 2022
NASCAR Drivers With Unlucky Results Comment on Richmond Raceway
Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell both described the Toyota Owners 400 in a positive light. However, both drivers scored top 10 finishes in the short track. What about the drivers a bit further down the results? Understandably, they weren’t quite as cheerful.
“It was a tough day,” said Trackhouse Racing driver Daniel Suarez, who took 16th place in Richmond. “I just feel like we missed it the entire weekend. We didn’t have the speed (Saturday). We didn’t have the speed in qualifying.”
“Today was a battle,” Suarez continued. “I feel like we were OK in the long runs at times, but overall, we just didn’t have a lot of speed. We just have to go back home and try to learn what we did right, what we did wrong and come back strong.”
Thought the track was going to go one way after practice, and it went the opposite. The guys made some great adjustments and got us a lot better, just gave up too much ground early on. Take the positives and move onto the next one👊🏻— Cole Custer (@ColeCuster) April 3, 2022
Justin Haley, who finished in 29th place, understands that there’s no point in dwelling on a less than ideal finish. All he can do is try to improve next week. “We couldn’t catch a break today,” Haley said. “We bounced back early from our drive-through penalty but struggled with an ill-handling car for the majority of the day. [Then] we had a pit-road issue on our last green-flag stop, which really sealed our fate at the end. I’m looking forward to getting to Martinsville and putting today behind us.”