TOYOTA QUOTES - DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 4th -DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing -
Cup / Xfinity / Truck Press Releases
JIMMIE JOHNSON, 7-TIME NASCAR CUP SERIES CHAMPION AND DRIVER OF THE NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media following the Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway and discussed his final full-time season, success in the sport, and Chase Elliott’s 2020 championship. Full Transcript: -- Q. Jimmie, what did you tell Chase when you saw him after the race? And also, do you have any plans for your helmet, gloves and that type of stuff?--JIMMIE JOHNSON: I don't remember what I said to him. There was a lot of screaming. I remember him saying, "Can you believe it?"
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner and 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion ~ Post race quick win quotes:
Q. I think it's all finally starting to soak in for Chase Elliott, the sport's most popular driver, now its newest champion. Just 20 days shy of his 25th birthday, the youngest champion since Jeff Gordon won his first of four titles back in 1995. Chase, you've been asked all week time and again what it would mean to you to win this championship; you didn't have an answer back then. How do you answer that one now?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I'm not sure that I still even know. I just, man, I'm at a loss for words. This is unbelievable. Oh, my gosh. We did it. I mean, we did it. That's all I've got to tell you. Unreal.
Championship crew chief, Alan Gustafson, is now a NASCAR Cup Series champion, and very deserving. I just can't say enough about our group. I felt like we took some really big strides this year, and last week was a huge one. To come out of that with a win and a shot to come here and have a chance to race is unbelievable.
Heck, I don't know. I don't even know. This is unreal.
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang -- WHAT DID YOU NEED MORE OF? “I would have loved to have a late-race yellow for sure. I thought we were pretty fast there at the end. It’s tough. We got behind there with some track position and I fought really hard to get it back. We didn’t get it all, but got most of it. We were right there with the Discount Tire Ford and just came up one spot short.”
MARK RUSHBROOK, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports -- WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO HOW THAT RACE ENDED? “It’s incredible to see how Austin has developed from racing in IMSA with us, through trucks and then Xfinity, and to have such a strong breakout season with six wins now and winning the championship shows how much he’s developed. In this race he was just patient, looked for his opportunity and drove with a lot of confidence and got it done.”
AVONDALE, Ariz. - (November 7, 2020) – At the conclusion of the Desert Diamond Casio West Valley 200 at Phoenix Raceway, Chevrolet clinched the Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). The 2020 achievement marks the 22nd time the Bowtie Brand has captured this prestigious honor, more than any other manufacturer.
TOYOTA QUOTES - BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Toyota Service Centers Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 3rd - Great finish tonight. How was your race? “We were eating everybody lunch on the long run. That’s such our strong suit. We have a setup that just dominates these guys when we get strung out like that. I think tonight we were lacking a little bit of speed on our fire off. We went back and talked about it, and possibly, I think we were just on the splitter a little too hard and that was affecting our first couple of laps. Once the car came off of the splitter, we would get really good, so we are going to look at that. We pumped the tires up on that last restart and that was my best restart of the day, so we definitely made some gains on it. This was a really good race. 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.”
AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 6, 2020) – Sheldon Creed, driver of the No. 2 Chevy Accessories Silverado, claimed the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (NGROTS) championship with a victory in the season-finale Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway. The title is the first NGROTS career title for Creed, and second in the division for GMS Racing. It also marks Chevrolet’s 14th Driver’s Championship, and 252nd Chevy Silverado win since the inception of the series in 1995.
GRANT ENFINGER, No. 98 Champion Power Equipment/Curb Records Ford F-150 -- TAKE US THROUGH THE FINAL RESTART? “Before that Hensley made a good call to just get off sequence. We just couldn’t go on a short run. We had good speed on a long run, but just couldn’t pass after that. So we got off sequence. That worked. Hensley was leaning towards tires at the end. I was leaning against it just to do something different, and we ended up staying out. That cost us. It just is what it is. We didn’t have quite the short run speed to legitimately contend tonight, but, man, a great season by these guys. I’m gonna try not to be too sad leaving here because it’s been a great year. It’s just unfortunate the way it turned out tonight.”
CHANDLER SMITH, No. 51 JBL Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports - Finishing Position: 3rd -Overall, we had a really good finish in our No. 51 JBL Toyota Tundra. 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.”
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 1, 2020 – Ford claimed its first championship of the 2020 NASCAR season earlier today when it clinched the manufacturers’ title at Martinsville Speedway. Ryan Blaney’s second-place finish enabled Ford to win the coveted crown for the second time in three years and give Mustang its first championship since debuting in the series last season.
TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES:CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner
AT THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME, YOU SEE YOUR FIRST VICTORY AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY. YOUR CREW IS A LITTLE EXCITED, AS YOU ARE TOO, RIGHT CHASE? “Oh, my gosh. This is the biggest win ever for us. I’m just so proud to be able to be backed into a corner like that and have to win tonight. I feel like that’s what we’ve been missing these past four or five years and perform when we don’t have a choice. And, to do that tonight; we couldn’t ask for a better night. This is unreal. Thanks to the fans for coming out. They’re here and I love to see it! I’ve just got to catch my breath. This is just unbelievable. We’re going to Phoenix with a shot to win a championship and have a beautiful blue NAPA Camaro headed out there with a shot to win a title. What more could you ask for?
WHEN YOU HAD YOUR CAR BACK IN THE PACK A LITTLE BIT AND A COUPLE OF MISCUES ON PIT ROAD, WHAT CONCERNS DID YOU HAVE?
“Yeah, I didn’t think our car was driving as good there at the end as it was at the beginning of the race. But those last couple of pit stops made some really good changes and had a good pit stop on that last one and a good last restart. And that was the difference. Everybody makes this possible. This is unbelievable. I’m just at a bit of a loss for words. Like I said, this is the piece we’ve been missing. I feel like we’ve had the group to do this. We just have to go make it happen and we did tonight.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 5th
KURT BUSCH FINISHES FIFTH, BUT THAT DOESN’T FULLY EXPLAIN THE DAY YOU HAD. YOU GUYS PUT A VALIANT EFFORT TO PUT YOURSELF IN POSITION TO WIN THIS RACE. WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED?
“We gave it all we had. I’m really proud of my guys. Chip Ganassi Racing put up a really good fight this year to get this far, to win and to post top-five’s through the Playoffs. We crossed over our threshold. Last week, we finished seventh at Texas, fifth tonight and we’re walking around kind of kicking the ground – like that wasn’t our best effort or we could have done this or could of done that. When I started here two years ago, we finished in the top-five and were celebrating. We’ve come that far in this short amount of time and I’m really proud of everybody back at the shop, Chevrolet, thankful for Monster Energy, GEARWRENCH and all of our partners at Chip Ganassi Racing. To come here with a shot at it, we knew we had to win. It takes a team all the way through. The driver has to make good decision – spotter, pit crew, crew chief and adjustments. We just came up a little shy. Our weakest area was pit road and we know that we need to work on that. But all-in-all, I can’t thank everybody enough. It’s cool to see the evolution of where we’ve come in two years.”
YOU’VE HEARD A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY YOU GUYS ARE AN UNDERDOG COMING INTO THIS ROUND OF EIGHT. I KNOW YOU GUYS MAYBE HAD A LITTLE MORE CONFIDENCE THAN THAT. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU SHOWED THAT WITH THOSE TOP-FIVES AND THE SPEED YOU HAD HERE IN THE ROUND OF EIGHT?
“You’re an underdog when you go in ranked eighth out of eight. We had an engine problem at Kansas and that just kicked us straight in the shin. From there, we had to win. Texas, we just didn’t get the job done – we got seventh. Today, we got fifth. Those are great quality finishes, but you can’t rely on those in the Playoffs against the best of the best. Right now, (Kevin) Harvick’s not in. That just shows you how tough this competition is.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 PLANTERS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
“I drive this place so wrong. I try to roll the center really fast and then I am like oh we don’t have any drive off. You would think I would figure it out, but I kind of know what I need to do. All in all, a good day for our Planters Chevrolet. Mr. Peanut looked pretty cool. Really proud of Chase (Elliott) and making the final four there. Bummed we aren’t a part of it, but I think we have a solid shot at getting fifth in points. The progress this team has made over the past two months has been incredible. This is something they really deserve.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICOWEEN CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 16th
"Today was a good day for our Germain Racing team. Our GEICOween Chevrolet Camaro would build tight over the run, but Matt (Borland) and the guys continued to make it better with every adjustment. Our team never gives up and I had a lot of fun behind the wheel today. To finish 16th is a great way to end our final Martinsville start together as a team. We are going to head to Phoenix next week and give it everything we have to make the last race for Germain Racing a memorable one."
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 MOTORTREND CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 24th
“This was only my second time at Martinsville Speedway in four years, and I definitely learned a lot today in the No. 8 MotorTrend Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We fought pretty much the same problem all day, just too tight in the turns from about two-thirds of the way in through the exit. My team did everything they could today, and we tried every adjustment we could think of to loosen our car up but nothing seemed to stick. Our changes would help for a handful of laps on each restart, but then the track would rubber up and the tightness would return every time. Not our day, but I’m thankful for my team for sticking with it all race long and continuing to fight. We’ll look to finish out the season strong at Phoenix Raceway next weekend.”
HARRISON BURTON, No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 1st - What does it mean to win at Martinsville? “It was a really fun race. Martinsville is one of those places that’s really cool to win at. For me in particular because my family is from here. There’s a guy in a hot dog for Halloween. The fans here are awesome. It’s amazing to win here at what is one of my home tracks I would say and do what my dad did. I think it was his first Xfinity win was here.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Pirtek Ford Mustang -- “Our goal for the entire day was to leave here with smiles on our faces going to Phoenix and to be able to do that is a big box checked. I know our guys worked really hard on our Pirtek Ford Mustang in anticipation of this race -- a lot of blind decisions having to be made with the race car and how we come here. To lead laps early shows that we were prepared and from there we lost a little bit of track position. Other guys were able to take advantage of tire strategy and from there I just played really conservative with my lane choice on restarts and just being able to make sure we could keep all the fenders on it. It’s so frustrating to race that way. I feel like I’ve had to race that way the entire playoffs and that’s obviously not my style, so I’m excited to go to Phoenix, have some fun, and race for a championship.”
AUSTIN HILL, No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises - Finishing Position: 35th - What happened out there aand how do you respond? - “We aren’t 100% sure what happened, but it was definitely blowing up on us. The first stage, I thought we had a tire going down maybe. We lost some track position and then got back to the lucky dog and then as soon as I got to the lucky dog, we started blowing up. It started cutting in and out, so I guess it’s those really great built Ilmor engines. They like to breathe fire. It’s just frustrating to potentially end your season on an engine failure like that. Everybody at HRE (Hattori Racing Enterprises), all of our partners, everyone that makes this deal happen deserves a lot better. We should definitely be in this final four. It’s frustrating. I can’t even put it in to words what I’m feeling right now.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Skittles Zombie Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 1st--How were you able to balance saving fuel and staying in front of Martin Truex Jr.?--“I don’t know. Just kept getting great leadership and mentoring from Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and Tony (Hirschman, spotter) and those guys kept talking to me and kept reminding me about saving and being able to do what I could. Trying to stay in the draft as much as I could on the straightaways. It ran out coming right in here to do a burnout, so I had enough to get a little bit of a burnout. I don’t know if it will make it back. I can’t say enough about Adam Stevens and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. I appreciate all your hard work. Everybody at Toyota and TRD. This Skittles Zombie machine looked bad to the bone and it’s really, really awesome. I had to do a zombie remake here (helmet). This is what everybody looked like on their phones around here for the last three days. Everybody just zombied around. I wasn’t planning on that, but it kind of worked with this weekend, but more so with the times. This is going for auction. People can buy their tickets to win the raffle -- $18 a piece at BundleofJoyFund.org or go to KyleBusch.com.”
RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang -- “Not a bad night for our DEX Imaging Ford Mustang. We had pretty decent speed all day and led there a little bit and then kind of fell back, but ran in the top five most of the night. I just lost a little bit of speed at the end. My car felt pretty good, but just couldn’t really keep up. The track got super cold and grippy at the end. It gained grip with the night time coming, but, overall, not a bad day. We’ll take a top five and go on to Martinsville. We were really good there earlier this year and I look forward to getting back.”
TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES: ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 ACRONIS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 5th
“Not the day we really wanted. Had a really fast car, but pit strategy didn’t completely go our way. Some restarts were painful. When the sun came out, it was really fast. Some guys were really trimmed out and as cold as it was it seemed to really help them. Bummed out with fifth. I feel like we probably had the best handling race car and just came up a little short. Overall a good day and proud of everybody. So proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for bringing really great driving cars to the track every week. Proud of everyone at Chevrolet and a big thanks to Acronis for being on board.”
HARRISON BURTON, No. 20 Morton Buildings/DEX Imaging Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing-Finishing Position: 1st - Did you think with one lap to go that you would have a shot at Noah Gragson? - “We had such a fast race car. I’ve never driven anything harder than that last corner in my life. I don’t know how it stuck. I think this might be my first win with Morton Buildings on the hood and with DEX as well. This Toyota Supra was so fast. I’ve never spun out and then come back and won so that’s kind of cool. We were obviously pushing the limits all day with speed. That’s just kind of what we came to do was to be fast and to win our first stage of the year was a good sign. To do what we did on that last lap was incredible. I don’t know how it happened, but I’m pretty damn glad it did.”
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang -- FINISHED 1st - YOU PICKED A GREAT DAY TO HAVE A GREAT DAY WITH YOUR FIRST WIN SINCE THE PANDEMIC. WALK US THROUGH THOSE LAST 40 LAPS AND THE BATTLE WITH KEVIN HARVICK: “You gotta want it, man. What an amazing team this Shell Pennzoil team is. I am worn out. I spent more time in the mirror than I did in the windshield there. Pit stops got us positions and got us the lead. The 4 was fast, real fast, especially down the straightaways. I thought if I could hold him off the first 15 laps that I would have a chance. Dirty air was the best for us. As we caught lap traffic I was able to gap ourselves as he got more dirty air and I was able to draft somebody because I was a little slow down the straightaway. Man, I am exhausted after that. We are going to Phoenix and racing for a championship again. Heck yeah!”
TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES (INCLUDING ALEX BOWMAN AND CHASE ELLIOTT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS):
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 CHEVYGOODS.COM/TRUCK HERO CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 3rd
“It seemed like we needed a really long run there at the end. We were pretty free all day and snugged it up and snugged it up. We got our Truck Hero Camaro running a little better but didn’t really have much right rear grip. There at the end, just running wide open and it finally came back to us. I kind of burnt the tires off of it to try to get there in the first place. It is a bummer. I messed up coming to two (laps) to go and cost us any chance that we had. It is still a really good day for us. Thanks to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. We are building great Camaros, just came up a little short today.”
KANSAS CITY (October 18, 2020) – Kyle Busch (fifth) led Toyota with a top-five finish in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. He was joined in the top-10 by Martin Truex Jr. (ninth) and rookie Christopher Bell (10th). Truex had to battle from starting in the rear due to a pre-race inspection issue, but he drove inside the top-10 by the end of the first stage. He battled for a top-10 position throughout the race. Denny Hamlin (15th) won the second stage and was running for the win. Shortly after the start of the final stage, Hamlin made contact with the wall and was forced to pit road. He was able to get his lap back and drove back to a top-15 finish.
CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford Mustang (FINISHED 1st) -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW - “First off, I just want to dedicate this to Brian Egans. He lost his life last week and was a close family friend's brother-in-law. I am happy we got him in victory lane. I am super happy to be locked into Phoenix. It is going to be a lot less stressful the next two weeks. That will be nice. I can’t say thank you enough to everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. This Ford Performance Racing School Mustang was lights-out. This is the car we had at Vegas. I want to take it to Phoenix because of how good it was. It is so cool to get all our partners in victory lane. HighPoint.com, Fields Production Alliance Group, Mobil 1, Go Bowling. It has been an unbelievable year but we have three more to go get.”
AUSTIN HILL, No. 61 Toyota Tsusho Toyota Supra, Hattori Racing Enterprises - Finishing Position: 5th - How did you pull off the top-five finish tonight after running top-three in the Truck Series race earlier in the afternoon?
Ford Performance Zoom Call Transcript, Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang, announced last week that he will trade his steering wheel for a microphone and transition to the NASCAR On Fox broadcast booth in 2021. Bowyer, who was eliminated from championship contention on Sunday, joined this week's Ford Performance Zoom call to talk about his decision and hopes for winning on Sunday at his home track -- Kansas Speedway.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE, PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our race winner, Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet.
Chase, we'll start with questions for you.
Q. Do you enter these road courses just knowing that you're going to have a great car? Do you enter these now with some sort of swagger? Does this success even surprise you? Because it's so rare to rattle off this many road course wins.
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, no, we definitely don't show up just expecting to be good. We show up trying to be better than we were last time. I thought we did that today.
I thought our car was better than it was here last year. I thought I was better than I was last year. Didn't pile drive the barriers this time. That was good. Was able to finish it off the right way, which is always encouraging.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang -- WITH ALL THAT WAS ON THE LINE TODAY IS THIS A DAY WHERE YOU JUST TAKE SECOND AND MOVE ONTO THE NEXT ROUND? “Yeah, we won our league (laughing) because no one was beating that other car -- the Chase Elliott and Alan and that whole 9 team. They’re light years ahead of us when it comes to the road course, I mean everybody even their teammates. I can’t really put my finger on it. I got a good look of what it was and watched him cruise around not even trying and he would keep on driving away from me. Overall, I’m proud of what our Shell/Pennzoil team did today. We had to come in here and execute. Obviously, there were plenty of crazy things that could have happened starting in the rain, going to slicks, stage points, trying to get ourselves in position. Obviously, there were times that the 18 was in the spot and we were racing the 88 with only a couple points between us, so it was close, it was stressful, but I feel a lot better now and will be able to sleep well tonight and then fire away to try and get into that Championship 4.”
ERIK JONES, No. 20 Craftsman ACE/CMN Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 3rdHow tough was Chase Elliott in today’s race? - “I knew we were there and had tires. We were in a really good spot, but I knew that 9 (Chase Elliott) was really fast and has been pretty tough to beat here the last few years. They’ve got something figured out, they’re really quick here. I was just kind of losing time to him everywhere. He caught me and I couldn’t hold him off more than a couple cars. The Craftsman Camry was good, it was good to get a top-three. Probably a little bit better than what we ran, but we’ll definitely take it.”
BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Toyota Service Centers Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 10th - What a crazy race. What was it like from your seat? - “I was hopeful of some dry, because we did a ton of testing at the TRD sim this week on wet and dry. I got really good at running on the dry, so I was hopeful of that. Obviously with the rain, I went to conserve mode. That’s kind of where I stayed. I slowly, slowly worked up to getting a little more throttle in areas that other cars were beating us in. I think by the end of the race, I was really confident in my Supra. The only issue I have with the rain is the visibility – not being able to see very well, but that is what other people were fighting at the same time.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Wurth Ford Mustang -- “I think a top-five effort was pretty likely there. I probably made one small mistake that kept our Wurth Ford Mustang out of the top five, but to race a car in the dark, in very, very wet conditions, pouring down rain with no headlights, no tail lights, splitter clearances being at dry minimums, I can assure you that no other race car can experience what we experienced today in our race for better or for worse. I’m sure it was entertainment for anyone at home, but I look forward to Kansas, Texas, Martinsville and Phoenix surely just for the fact that we don’t have to do that again.”
Team Penske And Austin Cindric Reach Multi-Year Contract Extension
Team press release: Xfinity Series Title Contender to Race Full NXS Season and Select Cup Series Races in 2021 and will move to the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford Mustang in 2022 and Beyond
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 1st -How did you pull this win off today? - “Just a lot of attrition. We just played the strategy and the numbers game to run in the back until we were locked in. Just things worked out. We finally got one back. This one was unexpected to say the least, but proud of this whole FedEx team, Toyota and everyone at JGR for bringing great race cars. Today we’re obviously thinking about JJ Damato (JGR executive) and his two kids. Really excited about this win. This was unexpected for sure.”
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 21 Menards/Tuscany Ford Mustang -- POST-RACE INTERVIEW BEFORE PENALTY RULING WAS ANNOUNCED. - WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? “It’s just a crazy finish. I haven’t been able to really process it. I just really want to get this thing in Victory Lane. This Tuscany Faucets team. I feel like this is the same story a lot of times, just heartbreak. My wife and I have had a stressful week again just with the uncertainty -- always fighting for my life -- but I’m so appreciative of this team. The Wood Brothers, I want this 100th win for the Woods so bad. Our alliance with Team Penske, Ford -- I appreciate them putting me in this car. It’s so much fun to drive and have a shot to win. Denny did a great job. Deja vu. Holy cow. Denny deserves all the support in the world. He’s an incredible racer. He was my biggest threat. I tried to block all I could. My spotter, Doug, did a great job. This is tough.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO FOR YOUR RV CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 3rd - "I'm so proud of the effort for Germain Racing and GEICO. We are all fighting for jobs next year, including myself, so that's the foot you want to put forward at one of these races winding down. It's been a great run with this team and hopefully we can all work together in the future. I knew it was going to be hard to push anybody in front of me with these noses having a little too much point, but our GEICO For Your RV Chevrolet had enough speed to hang in there. I fell back to sixth in line, but when they all started to get into each other, I knew my outlet was to the bottom to have a chance to win and that's what we are here for. I stayed on the bottom to hopefully be in position to win low if something were to happen. But to finish third - my personal career-best Cup finish and Germain's best Cup finish as a team - is something I'm really proud of. It was a fun day and a long day. Thanks to all the fans who came out today too. It was good to have them here with us. I'm just extremely grateful to GEICO and Bob Germain for everything they have done for me the last four years."
TALLADEGA, Alabama (October 3, 2020) – Brandon Jones (fifth) earned a top-five finish to lead Toyota in the Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday evening. Jones’ finish puts him above the Playoff cutline heading into the final race in the Round of 12 at Charlotte next weekend. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammates – Harrison Burton and Riley Herbst – were both involved in on-track incidents leading to finishes outside of the top-20.
CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang -- (Finished 20th)
THAT BLOCK YOU THREW ON THE 9 AT THE END, WALK ME THROUGH THAT AS YOU WERE TRYING TO KEEP THE LEAD: “Yeah, at the end you are doing everything you can to protect the runs and he is doing everything he can to make moves. It is just part of racing here. It was exciting, at least on my end. I about wrecked two or three times trying to block
TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES: KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner
YOU GREW UP RACING AT THE BULLRING OUTSIDE OF THE 1.5 TRACK HERE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, DREAMING OF THIS MOMENT. AND NOW YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING YOU COULDN’T DO IN 21 PREVIOUS TRIES HERE IN LAS VEGAS, AND THAT IS TO WIN AT YOUR HOME TRACK. AND TO WIN DURING THE PLAYOFFS HAS GOT TO RANK RIGHT NEAR THE TOP
“This is what kids dream of when they grow up racing. You dream of winning at your hometown track. And for two decades it’s kicked my butt. And tonight, with this Monster Energy Chevy, I’m in awe. I knew the race would come to us. We needed to get to nightfall and one of those quirky Mac McCall (crew chief) pit sequences finally unfolded. We got lucky. You’ve got to be lucky. And you have to be lucky in any race, but we did it tonight with teamwork and pulling through and just not giving up.
“This is Vegas and I miss the fans. I miss them so much. My dad and my mom, they were there every day at the track pushing. And Brexton, my nephew, won last night. Those thoughts were running through my head because my hometown is special. This Vegas place is special. So, thanks to Brendan Gaughan and South Point and everybody that makes this happen at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I couldn’t be happier.”
YOU SAID YOU’VE GOT TO BE LUCKY BUT YOU ALSO HAVE TO BE GOOD. HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO HOLD OFF THE NO. 21 (MATT DIBENEDETTO) AND THE NO. 11 (DENNY HAMLIN), WHO HAD FRESHER TIRES THERE AT THE END?
“Yeah, the No. 11 (Hamlin) had a ton of speed. I was wide-open. And you just have to manipulate the draft. I pulled out some old drag racing skills on the restarts. I knew that was our strong suit. We just put ourselves in position and we held off. Chip Ganassi was up in the suite somewhere and I could feel him breathing over my neck, I want to win. And we did it.”
EVERYONE HAS BEEN SORT OF DREADING THIS ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS GIVEN THE TWO TRACKS AHEAD, TALLADEGA AND THE ROVAL. YOU CAME IN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PLAYOFF STANDINGS AND YOU’RE GOING TO LEAVE AT THE TOP OF THEM. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SECURE THE WIN SO EARLY?
“That’s part of the system. It’s an incredible feeling to not have; well, it’s sinking in. No Talladega worries. No Roval worries. But we’re still going there to get points. We’re still going there to add up what we need to do to win this championship. So, thanks to Chevrolet. Thank you guys, and Jim Campbell, and everybody at the Ganassi shop. This Monster Energy Chevy was fast.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 LLUMAR CAMARO ZL1 L1E – Finished 5th
“I guess it is good to be disappointed in a fifth-place finish. We did not need that caution to come out in the middle of the pit cycle like that. I thought it was going to be ok for us, but we just couldn’t get through traffic as well as we needed to. We had a really fast LLumar Camaro. Thanks to everyone at Hendrick Motorsports, because they have been working super hard. Our program is continuing to improve and I just feel like this is another Vegas race that go away from us. At least it was a good points day, which is what we need.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 25th
“Just a bummer of a result tonight. We really had a good car. We needed to keep adjusting to keep up with the track but we were running inside the top 10 before that caution during green-flag pit stops. Then we could never rally back unfortunately. Being stuck back there, we then got caught up with two laps to go and couldn’t recover.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO MILITARY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 26th
"Our GEICO Military team battled all night long. At the start of the race, the car didn't have enough rear grip to charge and make speed, but Matt (Borland) kept chipping away at it. Our Chevrolet continued to get better throughout the race. The caution came at the wrong time after our green flag pit stop there at the end, which trapped us a lap down. You can't control those things though. I'm looking forward to Talladega next week. It is important to our Germain Racing team to finish these final six races strong and we will keep working hard to do that."
BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 DOOR DASH CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 28th
“Awful. Just missed it. On to Talladega.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOWFROST CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 32nd
“We had a strong DOWFROST Chevrolet tonight at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We were doing what we needed to do. We were a solid, top-five car in Stage 1 and Stage 2 and were able to earn some points during the end of the stages. We weren’t so fortunate in Stage 3. We were issued a safety violation on pit road with less than 80 laps to go and had to restart at the tail end of the field. We shook it off because we knew that we work well under pressure. We made our way up to 20th and were in pretty good shape, actually, because we were three cars behind the No. 1 and we were probably going to run long. But then I suddenly lost all steering and the water pressure gauge pegged at 400 degrees. We made quick repairs but lost nine laps on pit road and that pretty much did us in. I’m proud of this team for continuing to fight. We’ve got two races left in the Round of 12 and we’re not giving up. It’s on to Talladega Superspeedway where anything can happen.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CAT MINING CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 38th
"We had a fast No. 8 Cat Mining Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at Las Vegas, just didn't really have any luck on our side tonight. I was a little tight to fire off, but we had good overall speed in our car. Unfortunately, after our first pit stop of the night, we had a loose right rear tire so we had to make a second stop to fix that and fell a lap down. It's frustrating to have a car as fast as the one we had and be trapped a lap down, but as a team, we knew we still had a lot of time to get back on the lead lap and into the mix before the race was over. On the final lap of Stage 2, I got into the wall pretty hard and it ended our night early. That's not the way our team wanted tonight to go with our Cat Mining Chevy, but we'll look to regroup next week at Talladega Superspeedway."
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 21 Menards/Duracell Ford Mustang -- “Two seconds at Vegas. It’s tough to come that close, just wanted it so bad for this team. I love driving for the Wood Brothers. I want that number 100 for them so bad and for Menards, the whole family and everything they do for us and the team, and having Duracell on the car this week, we’re keeping her charged up good. Motorcraft/Quick Lane, Ford, Roush Yates Engines, all these folks that allow me to drive a really fast hot rod. Our car was the best it had been at the end, just couldn’t get control on those restarts. The 1 car, Kurt, did a great job. We had completely different ratios for the restarts and once he gained control of the race, he played the right games on the restarts, knew what we had on our weakness there. Man, it’s tough to come that close. I just want it so bad, but I’m proud of the team. They did a great job. My pit crew did a great job tonight and really earned that one for us.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing - Finishing Position: 3rdHow was your race today overall? “We had a dominant car today and I’m proud of the whole FedEx team for giving me such a great car. By far the best car I’ve had in Las Vegas in a long time. It was really, really good. Happy with it and this new tire here. We’ll run that a few more times this year. Really encouraged by the way we ran, but very disappointed that we didn’t get a win. It’s just been the way that the Playoffs have gone. Whoever stays out the longest puts themselves in a great spot to win.