There's a saying that "teamwork makes the dream work," but does that actually hold true for the Toyota camps of Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing?
The alliance between the organizations has made for a remarkably successful season for Toyota, but as the next elimination round of the Chase gets underway Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, there might not be room for all of them after Talladega.
Martin Truex Jr. won two of the three races in the Round of 16, as Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin all comfortably made it through on points.
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As all five drivers are vying for the same prize, Edwards is optimistic all of them will still be in the running for a championship when the Round of 8 kicks off at Martinsville Speedway.
"I don't see any reason why we can't all five make it to the Round of 8," Edwards said. "We've got great cars, great engines and really good teamwork. If we could get Cole (Pearn, crew chief for Martin Truex Jr.) to tell us everything, that would help. But, I mean seriously, those guys are so good that it gives us a lot of optimism, because everybody's looking up and looking forward."
But the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing driver also realizes that they all need to turn it up a notch to catch up to Truex.
"If we didn't know what engines and chassis and setups those guys had, it'd be really easy to say they've got something -- they've got something special that we don't have -- but knowing what they have and knowing what they're able to do with it, that's a motivator," Edwards added. "I've been telling people this week I really believe you're going to see the other four JGR cars really step it up because Martin is that rabbit out there that we're all chasing and we know it can be done."
Edwards sees Truex's dominating performance in the Chase as a positive for the Toyota camp as a whole.
"I think in the end that's a gift to have somebody in your camp or close to you that can do that," he added. "We really feel like we can step it up a little bit and run really well, so I don't think there's any concerns in our camp."
Busch, the defending Sprint Cup champion, also feels confident that all five drivers can advance, but he is also preparing for the unexpected.
"I think there's a great opportunity for that," Busch said. "Last year, Denny Hamlin had a hatch issue I believe and he was eliminated, so there's anything that can happen and that's why we run these races and you've got to run these things all the way to the end."
We'll see how the the next round plays out, but as five Toyota drivers try to lock themselves into the eight spots available over the next three races, it's bound to get interesting.