When Martin Truex Jr. won the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on July 8, it kicked off a remarkable hot streak for the two affiliated Toyota Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams, Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing.
Truex’s victory at Kentucky was the first of eight wins in 11 races for JGR and Furniture Row.
Over those 11 races, the six drivers for those two teams have combined to lead 78.8 percent of the total laps run. That translates to 2,390 laps led by the six Toyota drivers vs. a combined 642 laps led for the 30 or so Chevrolets and Fords typically in the Cup field in any given race.
Or to look at it another way, five of the six JGR/Furniture Row drivers — all but Daniel Suarez — have led at least 134 laps in the last 11 races. In that same period, Kyle Larson has led 250 laps, which makes him the only Chevrolet driver to lead more than 100 laps. Brad Keselowski (167 laps led) is the lone Ford driver to be out front for more than 100 laps in those 11 races.
In this span, JGR’s Denny Hamlin has led 213 laps, which is more than all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers, all four Stewart-Haas Racing drivers and all three Richard Childress Racing drivers combined. Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time Cup champion, hasn’t led a lap since Daytona in July.
Unless one of the Ford or Chevrolet teams suddenly finds some speed, the last eight Cup playoff races could well see more of the same from JGR and Furniture Row.
And that is to say, utter and total domination.
Will someone step up over those eight races?
We’ll find out soon enough, starting this weekend at Dover International Speedway.