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“We were a little off handling, but overall car speed, we just didn’t have enough,” said Hamlin. “Our next best teammate was 10th, so as an organization we have got to get a little better, especially on the short tracks. It seems like we were a little bit off all year, and that was all it had, that’s for sure. I was pushing for everything I had. The FedEx Camry just didn’t quite have enough today, and we ended up fourth.”Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr. also earned a top-10 result at Phoenix with a 10th-place finish on Sunday while Kyle Busch crossed the finish line in 11th.
Brandon Jones (third) was the top-finishing Toyota in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race at Phoenix Raceway. Jones finishes the season ranked a career-best sixth in the NXS championship standings.
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“This was a really good race,” said Jones. “I thought that we were the ones that were going to be competitive enough to win the race. I think the whole year as a whole was phenomenal really. It was definitely one of the best years I have had in my career, so couldn’t be more thankful for that. We have a lot of momentum building for that next year.”Brandon Jones
Harrison Burton officially claimed Rookie of the Year honors at the wave of the green flag on Saturday and went on to finish in sixth place.
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“I think the biggest thing for me (this season) was just having confidence in myself,” said Harrison. “These Xfinity Series cars are so tough to drive. You are always on the edge of grip if you are going fast. I had a great time this year building that confidence. We had a win early at Auto Club and that really kind of made me a better driver. Once I kind of knew I could get to victory lane and was confident in my team that we could get it done, that made things easier.”Harrison Burton
Burton is the third Toyota driver to earn NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year honors.
Chandler Smith finished third in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Phoenix Raceway on Friday night. Smith led four Tundra drivers who earned top six results, including Christian Eckes (fourth), Raphael Lessard (fifth) and Stewart Friesen (sixth) who completed Toyota’s top-10s finishers at Phoenix.
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“Overall, we had a really good finish in our No. 51 JBL Toyota Tundra,” said Smith. “We just missed it on our splitter heights this weekend and ultimately it killed us, especially with how deep we started in the pack. We stayed out on that late race caution, got some track position and executed.”Chandler Smith
On Saturday afternoon, Love earned his first career ARCA Menards Series West Championship with a 14th-place finish at Phoenix Raceway. The 15-year-old California native scored three wins, nine top-fives and 10 top-10 finishes in 11 starts during the ARCA West season.
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