RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 BodyArmor Ford Mustang -- VICTORY LANE INTERVEW--DESCRIBE THE LAST FEW LAPS? “it was wild. We missed that big one barely. I don’t know how we missed it and then we got a restart on the front row and it was kind of a drag race. I’m really thankful to LaJoie, who gave me a really good push and we were able to get clear on the restart, so I appreciate the push from him. I was having to hold off the 4 and the 17 and the 7 and I didn’t really know which lane to go with down the back, so I kind of picked the middle and I kind of committed to the bottom and I guess some people got turned, but what a couple of cool weeks that’s for sure. It was a very eventful race. It’s so cool to be here in victory lane in Daytona. Maybe we’re on a roll right now and we’ve got everything going our way. Hopefully, we keep it up.”
Cup / Xfinity / Truck Press Releases
BUBBA WALLACE, No. 23 Columbia PPG Toyota Camry, 23XI Racing--Finishing Position: 3rd--Can you take us through that last lap?00“Stay in it, that’s all you can do. I needed to win. I was comfortable taking a hit if we were caught up in it. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do and I came out third. I was happy with that, but we needed to win to get in. Up and down regular season for us. Thankful for opportunity. It’s a brand new team. Everybody is still figuring each other out. I’ve always said our superspeedway stuff is good. It’s good to give us a finish we deserved. I don’t think we were a winning car, so I can’t hang my head too much, but knowing that we needed a win and we came up just short stings a little bit. Thanks to Columbia for coming aboard our Toyota Camry this weekend. It looked awesome. It looked great. It’s the cleanest I’ve ever kept a superspeedway car, so maybe I will get to take this one home. Long night with a lot of perseverance.”
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CHEDDAR’S SCRATCH KITCHEN CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
WERE YOU NERVOUS AT ANY POINT IN THE RACE GIVEN WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?
“There was definitely so much happening there during the race and I didn’t get nervous till Stage 3 there on a restart that I thought was coming, but he did a really good job of matching the move with Chase Elliott going three-wide on the bottom and we lost all the track position that we gained there in Stage 2. From that point on we had the cycles and the cautions that came when we got collected in that accident with 15 to go. Yeah, that is when the nerves kind of shot up because the car is crashed, we were out of the draft, and not really sure what was going to happen. We caught a caution and fortunately got through that last crash. Even more fortunate than that was that Ryan Blaney was able to win and if you look at the guys from third to myself, if any of those guys win but Blaney, we are having a different conversation.”
DANIEL HEMRIC, No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 5th--How were you able to come back and earn a top-five finish?--“Just a huge testament to everyone on this Poppy Bank Toyota Supra team. They did an incredible job. I hit the wall pretty hard there coming to the end of stage 1 and coming into stage 2 we really thought our day was over. The steering wheel was completely – the tow was knocked out of the car and a ton of tire rub on the right side. We pitted every single opportunity to patch it up. Eventually, by the fifth or sixth time we got it to where it was driveable and draftable and thought we had really good speed considering everything. Those guys deserve this top-five. I was hoping to give them a little bit more. You’re gridlocked there when you’re coming down to the end. That’s a huge testmant to a team effort so we’ll take it.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang -- (Involved in accident on lap 27)--“I got spun through the tri-oval. Obviously, everyone is trying to push lanes there, but it’s just really unfortunate. That’s two weeks in a row for our Ford Mustangs to get torn up -- two cars that I thought were race-winning cars, so a lot of points lost today and a lot of work to do for the next three weeks. A lot of work that a lot of the year you can look at it both ways -- half full or half empty -- that s gonna be put in jeopardy, so very frustrating. We’ll move on. That’s racing and sometimes it takes one and that’s it.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd--WILLIAM, YOU PUT UP A MAJOR FIGHT THERE WITH LATE-RACE RESTARTS TRYING TO GET BY RYAN BLANEY. WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED TO MAKE THE PASS?\--“Just the 11 (Denny Hamlin) to stay with us. He tried to shuck us into one. I had to stay with him to not sacrifice my right rear. Once you get put three-wide middle, it's game over. I gave up the lead trying to protect the top. Just didn't have the loyalty there to kind of push me to the lead.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 5th--Were some of the wrinkles in your Camry the difference in performance today?--0“I’m not really sure. We were really fast there right before that last green flag stop. We had run down the leaders from way back, I guess we restarted 18th. It was fast. We just didn’t need that caution – the second-to-last one. We got a good restart on the second-to-last one and then I tried to make a move on the 24 (William Byron) and he was so concerned with me that he lost the lead as well. Just crazy racing. Everyone is just sliding on each other, but it was a decent amount of fun.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner
KYLE, WHAT A GREAT VICTORY, BUT THERE IN THOSE CLOSING LAPS, I HAVE TO ASK – AS YOU CAUGHT ALL THOSE LAP CARS, WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT LOSING THE TIME THERE?
“Yeah, I was. Chase was already catching me pretty quick, even with me being in open track, so when I caught those, I think, four cars and got into the 38 right here, I thought I would look at my mirror and the 9 would be right on me, but thankfully had a comfortable enough gap to where I could make a mistake like that.”
“I want to say a big apology to Christopher Bell. I was inside but I wasn't inside enough, and I didn't -- I needed to have the nose a few feet further ahead, and the angles just caught there in the middle and I ended up turning him. I hate that. I race with him a lot. He's probably the one guy that I race with the most in all my racing, so hate to turn him like that. We've had incredible races together.”
“Anyways, hats off to Hendrickcars.com. Thanks for everything you guys do for me, everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon, Cliff Daniels, this whole 5 bunch. Another amazing car. I could tell from about lap 3 after I stopped making a bunch of mistakes that we were going to have a car that could win today.”
THIS IS YOUR FIFTH WIN ON THE SEASON, ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SEASON OF ALL TIME. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COME TO HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AND HAVE THIS SUCCESSFUL OF A SEASON?
“Yeah, it's awesome. I mean, it really just shows how good the organization is, all the people that they've assembled at their race shop, all the men and women. All four of us could not be getting these wins like we have been without them. Thanks to them, and thanks to everybody else I get to race for. Get to go to Iowa this week and chase another big win, so looking forward to that, and hopefully can just keep racking these wins up.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY TO ANOTHER MASSIVE CROWD HERE AT WATKINS GLEN?
“Yeah, thanks all you guys for coming out. It's been a while since we've been here, so hopefully we put on a good show for you. It was definitely a good show from my seat when the three of us were going at it for the lead in the first stage, then there in the second and third stage. Just a lot of fun today, and hope you guys enjoyed it.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd
EXHAUSTING DAY, BUT WHAT A HEROIC EFFORT IT WAS TO GET BACK THERE TO SECOND AT THE END. HOW DO YOU SUM UP THIS DAY? YOU PASSED MORE CARS THAN I THINK ANYBODY OUT THERE BUT STILL COME UP ONE SPOT SHORT.
“Yeah, I made too many mistakes to get the win, unfortunately, and made it too late in the race. Super proud of our team. Been kind of an uphill battle all day, but everybody was just super prepared coming into the day, and our NAPA team just did a really good job of fighting it.”
“If I hadn't have let them down there, I think we would have had a shot at it, but congrats to Kyle (Larson, race winner), Cliff (Daniels, Crew Chief), all the guys on the 5. Happy for everybody at HMS. Hendrick Motorsports has been working extremely hard, and not only do the people deserve to win, but Mr. Hendrick deserves to win. Really happy for him, and I'll try to clean some things up and make less mistakes next time. Maybe it'll work out.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
“We had a solid run and ended up sixth in the No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1 1LE. Lost the fifth spot on the last lap, unfortunately. We had a good car and it was a good run for us. We started mid-pack and worked our way forward, so I’m happy with that. Definitely a solid road course finish for us and we’ll keep moving forward.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CHEVROLET ACCESSORIES CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 10th
“We had some good speed in our No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE today but just needed the balance to be a little better overall. I was really tight throughout most of the day, especially on landing through the turns. It didn’t seem to matter which way I was turning, I just couldn’t get the front to rotate like I needed it to once I got through the first third of a turn. The adjustments we made during the day seemed to help during the last stage of the race and I was able to grab the tenth spot on the final lap. It’s good that we were able to leave the track with another top-10 to help us with the Playoff cutline. I wish we were able to finish a little higher up, but we will have a good shot next week to show what we can do at another road course. There’s no other group I’d rather be fighting with to make the Playoffs, and I know they’ll all continue to fight through the coming weeks.”
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 42 MYMCDONALD’S REWARDS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 12th
“Tough day at Watkins Glen (International) for the No. 42 MyMcDonald’s Rewards Camaro ZL1 1LE. I think Kurt (Busch) and I both struggled for turn. There was quite a bit front chatter and it was just hard to get through a lot of the rights. That’s hard on a primarily right-hand turn track. Our left and rights balance was off just a little bit.”
“The pit stops helped, but we just started too far off. We definitely played the right strategy to keep cycling up. I went for one spot there at the end, I think for eighth, and gave up four to finish 12th when I ran it out of gas. A lesson learned there. I needed to save a straightaway more and I didn’t; I went for it. Live and learn.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 COWBOY CHANNEL CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 15th
“What a day at Watkins Glen International. We started the race 16th in the No. 3 Cowboy Channel Chevrolet and finished ninth in Stage 1 to grab a couple of stage points. We struggled a little bit through the esses but overall handling was pretty good today. I think we could have finished well inside the top-10 if things would have gone just a little differently. I made a mistake that cost us maybe five spots when a car ahead of us slammed on the brakes and I just didn’t anticipate it. Good job to everyone on this RCR team all day. Everyone fought hard, just as they have all season. Thank you to The Cowboy Channel for their support. We’ll go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course next week ready to battle.”
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 CLEAN HARBORS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 27th
“The day started off okay. The No. 43 Clean Harbors Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was good, and we made our way forward. Then we lost track position and got too far back, spun-out and never caught a caution to get caught back up. Not a solid end, but we proved to have an okay car. We just lost the balance a bit through the middle of the race, and got too free and didn’t really have it where we needed it. We will head to another road course next week. I think we learned some good stuff and got a few things better that will carry over.”
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang -- Finished 8th
“Our Busch Light Apple Ford was decent today. We just had to go into fuel mileage savings as soon as we came in the pits that last run, and just kind of ran our pace and finished where we finished because we couldn’t afford to run out of gas. So, they did a good job and had a good strategy. We scored a few stage points and had a solid finish, so we’ll go to the next one.”
CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang -- Finished 9th
“We’ve only got three top 10s now, so you’ll take any of them you can get. I felt like we ran up front a lot of the day, but still weren’t quite good enough. I felt like earlier in the race I was a little bit better and as the race went on I don’t know if the other guys got better or we just got worse. Obviously, we’re in a position where we’ve got to go win, so ninth doesn’t necessarily cut it for us, but, overall, it was a good day. We got stage points and finished in the top 10, so we’ll go on to Indy. We know we’ve got to get it better if we’re gonna win one of these and just from a balance standpoint I’ve still got to get better, too. We’ll go on to Indy and back home next week. Obviously, that one is super special, so we’ll try to capitalize there.”
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 21 Menards/Moen Ford Mustang -- Finished 11th
“I think we were an eighth to 10th-place car. We probably finished a couple spots further back than what we could have got. We caught that whole group of cars at the end and just ran out of time. It was solid. We were lacking a little bit of speed, but it was a day I thought we maximized. We made good adjustments. Hassler made the perfect adjustment there at the end and it was as good as our car was gonna be without practice. There were things I wanted to change, but you can’t when you don’t have practice.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 3rd--How much of a battle was it for this third-place finish?--“It was quite a battle. James (Small, crew chief) did a great job with our Reser’s Fine Foods Camry to get track position to put us where we needed to be. We didn’t quite have the speed on the longer runs to take advantage of that track position. We tried hard and thanks to everybody for working hard. We’re a little behind those two (Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott) right now on road courses, they’re really, really fast. I just had to burn my tires off to try to stay with them and then in 20 laps they’re gone. Heck of a fight, but we’ll take a third or a podium as they say in road course racing and go to work and try to get better.”
AUSTIN HILL, No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises--Finishing Position: 1st--What was it like watching and waiting for the lightning delay?--“It was nervewracking, that’s for sure. I didn’t know if we were going to go back green or not, but it feels so good to win on a road course. I’ve been wanting to win on a road course for a really long time – even back in the K&N days, I felt like I would get around the road course fairly decent and finally we had a race that does everything we needed to do. I was really biting my nails there and then when that rain came and I didn’t know what was going to happen with the lightning and all that. Everybody at United Rentals and HRE (Hattori Racing Enterprises), they gave me a really good piece today and we were able to go out there and get it done. Really cool, really special to get a win at Watkins Glen. First time back in 20 years or so, it’s really special.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang --”We just weren’t quite good enough to fire off. I felt like Ty was probably better than me and AJ most of the race, but I gave it my all and took the lead on the restart and probably wasn’t good enough to hold it. We’ll take it and move on. It was a solid day for points with our Carshop Ford Mustang. Like I said, I just wish we would have been able to hold the lead after that restart, but probably not good enough.”
ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW -- DID YOU SEE THAT PERFORMANCE COMING THIS MORNING? “Honestly, I did. This is by far one of my favorite racetracks. I love coming up to the New England area and racing. I love this racetrack. I had this race won a couple years ago and I gave it away. I lost it, and I am so glad to win a race here with this race team. God is so good. We’ve been through so much and I’ve just stood the test and kept the faith. The team, everybody, they’ve just been working so hard. Smithfield, Ford, Go Bowling, Pit Boss Grills, everybody, Honeystinger, Shady Rays Sunglasses. There have been so many people that have just continued to support us through the crappiest year ever, and, man, this feels so good for them. My pit crew, they did a phenomenal job on pit road. All the guys that work on this car, they just keep fighting. They just keep digging, bringing the best race car they can bring every week and it is no doubt, we have struggled, but, guess what? We’re going playoff racing.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 7th--SOLID DAY ALL AROUND. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU NEEDED THERE AT THE END OR THROUGHOUT THE DAY TO MAKE GAINS?---“I think we just needed grip. I was just a little bit too free. Once we finally got some grip in it, my long run kind of faded a little bit. My team made some improvements, so that was good. I feel like with the improvements, we probably finished a spot or two better than we maybe would have before. It’s good to get the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE back into the top-10.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 54 DEWALT Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 1st--What is it that you have figured out about New Hampshire?--“What I’ve got figured out is that I’ve got really, really fast race cars to drive. I just love being here with Joe Gibbs Racing. All these Supras that I’ve had the last three times I’ve been here have been amazing. Hopefully my Camry is just as good tomorrow, but if feels good to win, finally got DEWALT in victory lane. I know it’s been a long time coming.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang -- “We started a little bit off the eight-ball. We didn’t have enough short run speed, and got to where we could recover from that and just trying to figure out which one was our strength and which one was our weakness. Trying to be good on the short run and hold on for the drive on the long run, so we probably made the wrong call there with the final adjustment, but I think it was gonna be the right thing to be able to battle with the 54. I could have been a bit more of a jerk to pass the 7, but it wasn’t worth it, so it was a good fight between the 18, the 7 and myself. It was fun racing, so we’ll move on. Obviously, it was a solid points day for the Car Shop Ford Mustang. We have a good little off week for the guys to re-juice and get ready for Watkins.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Skittles Gummies Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racin--Finishing Position: 2nd--What did you need to hold the lead and take the win over Kurt Busch today?--“It’s just the same as always. We just don’t have enough front end with laps on tires. I had everything I had early in the run and then just smoked it behind the 42 (Ross Chastain), obviously. It shows you what kind of driver he is. Just tried to fight hard after that when I got passed and had one valiant effort off of (turn) two, but didn't have enough momentum to drag him down and make him go high in (turns) three and four, and after that the tires were smoked. Great effort. Guys gave me a great piece. We were fast. The No. 1 (Kurt Busch) was definitely better than us today. I just thought I had him. And we did. But racing just didn't play out that way for us. The Skittles Gummies Camry was fast, and thanks to Toyota, TRD, Rowdy Energy Drink, Interstate Batteries, all the guys. Good piece, just not quite good enough, just needed a tick more.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 GEARWRENCH CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner--HOW ABOUT THAT, KURT? MORE SIGNIFICANT, OBVIOUSLY IT'S THE BIG PLAYOFF WIN AND PUTS YOU GUYS IN THE PLAYOFFS, BUT THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO BEAT YOUR BROTHER HEADS UP ON A GREEN FLAG RUN FOR THAT LONG.--“Hell yeah, we beat Kyle! I taught that kid everything he knows; he should be grateful. What a battle. What a genuine, awesome, old-school racetrack, and I just asked the track today, last time here on your old asphalt, can I have an old guy win, and she answered. Thank you, Atlanta Motor Speedway!--This has been one of those years where I knew we were going to have our back up against the wall with trying to get above the cutoff line and race hard and race smart, and to have GEARWRENCH in Victory Lane, this is their last race of the year, they're with us all year, and with Monster Energy, I couldn't have two great primary sponsors. What a Chevrolet today, hell yeah!
RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang -- “It was definitely a long, hard-working day. We weren’t that good, to be honest with you. The front was pretty numb. The rear was stepping out and just kind of all over the place and we worked on it all day and just got a little bit better and a little bit better. That long run there at the end kind of played in our favor. We kind of got going there pretty good at the end, but, overall not a bad day for our Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang and back to running top five, which is good for us. We’ve been struggling a little bit lately, but proud of everybody on the 12 group today.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang --NOT A BAD BOUNCE BACK FROM HOW YOU STARTED. “Between being the last one on old tires and everything we went through for today -- not even close on our Car Shop Ford Mustang. Unfortunately, that was the position we were in last time we were here and came with a new setup and tried to make things work today and we found ourselves in about the same position or maybe worse. I know there’s a lot we’ll learn from today and definitely do a lot of self-reflecting to make sure I can create a better environment affect like this, but just really unfortunate. Like I said, I think we minimized damage there at the end. Probably the highlight of my day was the middle of five on the restart by my doing and gaining spots from it, so we’ll move on.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner
CHASE, WHAT AN INCREDIBLE DRIVE FROM 32ND TO THE WIN. I LOVE THAT VICTORY CELEBRATION. YOU WANTED TO SEE EVERYBODY HERE AND THANK THEM FOR A TERRIFIC TAKE.
“Absolutely, I wasn't going to miss anybody. I appreciate y'all coming out. Thank you for spending your 4th of July with us. I hope you enjoyed the show. Man, it was a hot day. But a lot of fun, man.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 SiriusXM Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 2nd--How did you make it all the way up to second?--“Yeah, we just had a really, really good Camry. Our SiriusXM Camry was really strong, and this place has been really good to me in the past. I knew that we would be pretty fast coming in here. In practice and qualifying, I felt like I under drove the car a little bit, but through practice and the race I knew we would be pretty good.”
CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang (Finished 6th)--“I thought we were good enough to run fourth there at the end but my engine shut off. It was really cool to run sixth and be the best Ford today. We definitely had a lot of adversity with not getting a qualifying lap in and then the penalty at the beginning. I felt like we had a really good car on the long run. I am proud of that. It was a good day overall. We needed that. We will go on to the next one and see if we can get better.”
TOYOTA QUOTES--KYLE BUSCH, No. 54 M&M’s Ice Cream Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 1st--After two off track excursions, how did you get it done on that last run?--“Obviously tires, you know, that was the saving grace for us. We had tires left over and the 16 (AJ Allmendinger) didn’t and when we came and put tires on, I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get through that many cars. But man, not sure what happend on those last couple of restarts, just a malay on the start going down the straightaways and I really couldn't see what was happening. There was a wreck between two and three and we were fortunate to be on the right side in order to get through that stuff without too much damage to our race car. Can’t say enugh about M&M’s Ice Cream, go get some cookie sandwiches to celebrate 4th of July this weekend. It’ll cool you right off. Thanks to M&M’s of course, a lot of people to thank. Mark McFarland (crew chief) and the ARCA team, they came and helped me this weekend, so winning with those guys and then Chris Gayle, all the Xfinity Series shop, all those guys and girls that help prepare all these cars. This was a fifth entry, so that’s a lot. Also, this might sound weird, but Joe Nemechek and John Hunter. They’ll know why. Obviously it was really unique to have the opportunity to run this race today and prepare for tomorrow. I hate I tore up my Cup car, but I think we’ll still be fast and hopefully tomorrow will look a lot like this day.”
PR-AUSTIN CINDRIC SET TO DRIVE NO. 2 MUSTANG FOR TEAM PENSKE BEGINNING IN 2022
Former Champion Brad Keselowski Will Depart Organization at End of 2021 Season
Press Conference Transcript Added
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW--“You have to be good at everything and that is what this team has proven throughout the year. I am just the one that gets to drive these Ford Mustangs. I am excited about it. I had to execute in every facet and we had everything thrown at us today. I am super proud of this Car Shop Ford Mustang team. Everybody who partners up with us. To finally get one here. Ever since I have been racing ARCA it feels like this one always gets away, so I am really excited.”
TY GIBBS, No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 2nd--How hard were you digging for this win?--“Just pushing as much as I can. It feels good to leave everything in the racecar. Just trying my hardest. I made some mistakes. I think I could have maybe crossed him over a little bit better. Lap cars helped me. They were kind of in the way. Overall, just a good day. I’m happy to drive a Xfinity car. I’m thankful to be in this series. Thank you to all of my crew, Chris Gayle (crew chief), everybody who works on my Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Mini’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 1st--I don't know where to start with this one. Kyle Busch winning at Pocono. Have you ever had a more bizarre win in your life? Stuck in fourth gear for a hundred some laps.--“Yeah, stuck in fourth gear. About out of gas (laughter). Just saving, just riding, playing the strategy the best, we could with what was given to us. Just can't say enough about everybody on my team, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, TRD, all the work they're putting in. Sometimes these races aren't always won by the fastest car, but I felt we had the fastest car. Even though we were in the back and behind and having to come through and persevere through being stuck in fourth gear, no clutch, all that stuff. It's all burned out. Nothing left in this M&M's Minis Camry. It was awesome today. Thanks to Rowdy Energy, Interstate Batteries, Stanley, Rheem, everybody that works on this car. A lot of our M&M’s friends are here today, so it’s really cool to have them here back at the track. Thanks to Rowdy Nation, all the Kyle Busch fans up there supporting and pulling for us. Really great to pull off another win here at Pocono. Feels good.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Detroit Engines Ford Mustang (Finished 3rd)--“We ran a really good race but just didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end like those others guys did. They beat us on power and fuel mileage. We have a lot of work to do to keep up with those guys. I am really proud of Jeremy Bullins and the team. They had the setup really well and it put is in position and we ran a great race today and maximized our day.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd--YOU SAVED ENOUGH TO GET HERE. HOW DID YOU DO IT?--“I don't know. It's surprising finish for us. Our HendrickCars.com Chevy was really loose for a majority of the race, then we got a lot of nose damage there on one of the restarts. Was off on speed. I felt like after that.”
“Cliff (Daniels, crew chief) and everybody did a really, really good job managing the race, coached me through saving fuel there at the end. Was hoping that the 18 (Kyle Busch) was going to run out. I saw the 11 (Denny Hamlin) running out. I was, Okay, they're teammates, they got to be close to running out.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Power Up Premium Trail Mix Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports--Finishing Position: 1st--When you got the caution, what was going through you mind?--“We didn’t have enough time there. We were running him down. We definitely had a really fast Power Up Toyota Tundra. Overall, huge shoutout to all of my guys. They never gave up. We weren’t very good in Stage 1. We kept working on it. Just thankful for the opportunity from Toyota, Jack (Irving), Tyler (Gibbs), David Wilson, Kyle (Busch), Samantha (Busch) that put this whole deal together. I’m proud of everyone at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), all of these guys, I feel like I have the best team in the garage and one of the best pit crews as well. How about all of these fans out here. I’ve never seen so many fans and so many campers here at Pocono. It’s really cool to see.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner
DID IT FEEL THE MOST DOMINANT BEHIND THE WHEEL?
“It was a great day. We never really had to run behind people, so I don’t know. If one of my teammates got out front again it probably would have been hard to pass them. This Valvoline Chevrolet was really good. It cut the middle of the corner really well and our pit crew did an awesome job again. That number one pit stall helps a bunch, too. This crowd is awesome!”
YOU DID A BURNOUT FOR THE ENTIRE CROWD, FROM ONE END OF THE GRANDSTAND TO THE OTHER
“Yeah, I was going to do something here and then I looked down there and thought, yeah, there’s a lot of fans down there, too. I need to go to the end. But we had enough rubber and fuel leftover to do a good burnout there at the end. I can’t say enough about everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com, Valvoline, and thanks to everybody who has been a part of this team this year. I just hope we can keep it going.”
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 42 CLOVER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd
FIRST CAREER CUP TOP-FIVE, HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
“Really good. To come to a 750 hp track – lifting, sliding and moving all over the race track trying to get forward drive, it was really good.”
WHAT DOES THIS BATCH OF TOP-10’S SAY ABOUT YOU AS A DRIVER AND THIS TEAM RIGHT NOW? SONOMA, A ROAD COURSE IN THE RAIN AND NOW HERE.
“It’s finally on a circle track, that’s all I’m happy about. I’m happy about the road courses, I just don’t really know what it’s happening. Here, I know why. I know what we did. I know what I’m doing to drive the car. Road courses, it’s not really pre-planned. This is pre-planned. It’s what we all grew up doing.”
ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang -- “We had a good car, just, my goodness, we don’t have anything for those Chevrolets right now. They’re making grip and they’re getting up off the corner. It’s so hard to race with them. I can roll the center as good as some of the guys in those cars, if not a little better, and then it’s tough to keep up. But we have made huge strides to close the gap. Our race team is doing a great job scrounging and scrapping to build better race cars and it’s nice to come here and run up front, run in the top five and at least be in the mix, so it feels good. We’ll just keep building on it. The All-Star Race was a good race for us. Today, again, was a good race for us, so we’ll just keep grinding.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 9th--Bounced-back from a mid-race penalty and scored a top-10 finish. How was your run?--“I feel like we were probably a back half of the top 10 car, so we finished where we should have. It was a lot of work though. I hope to make it a little bit easier in our DEWALT Camry next time.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 54 M&M’s Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 1st--You are back in victory lane in Nashville. Congratulations on the milestone--“Thank you very much. Awesome day. Thanks to JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), Toyota, M&M’s. Obviously, being a part of M&M’s all these years – M&M’s stayed with me and for them to be here with me for the 100th Xfinity win is awesome. I can’t say enough about Interstate Batteries, Rowdy Energy, Cessna, Xfinity, and the fans, Stanley, Rheem, everybody. Interstate Batteries again, Norm (Miller), he’s my boy. It’s so cool to get 100 here, and get done what we needed too. I didn’t want this to go on much longer. It’s all good. It’s been a true testament to all of the people I’ve worked with. This group here is really, really special and doing great things and I’m just glad to be a part of it.’
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang -- “I wish we would have been able to regain our track position there a little bit better. That’s probably the only thing we could have done to avoid getting wrecked there. I drove all the way down to the grass and got right-reared and went head-on into the wall. It’s unfortunate for our Car Shop Ford Mustang. We obviously had some speed early and were kind of trying to recover. We got out of the groove there for a while and thought we were making some gains. We learned a lot today, but it’s a shame. Every time we get up to a 100-point points lead, we end up getting wrecked. It’s frustrating, but that’s racing. There’s nothing you can do.”
GRANT ENFINGER, No. 98 Champion/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing--Finishing Position: 3rd--Did you think you were going to be able to hold him (Ryan Preece) off or was he coming to hard?--“I feel like we had the track position, he was just able to get me on the restart and I was able to get him back a little bit. It was fun racing there with Ryan (Preece). You know, I like racing with racers, so that one was special. I wish we could have come home with the win. We had the advantage with the track position, just used up the tires a little too much. I don’t really know what we really could have done diffrently, maybe started the pressures a little lower or something like that, but he was just too good for us there at the end. I feel like if I could have maintinaned the pace I had the first 20 laps of that run I could have held him off there at the end, but he was just coming too hard and I had used up our tires. I knew I was using them too hard, I was sliding the right rear and right front and just using too much and he was able to get by us. Heck of a night for this Champion Fire Equipment Toyota Tundra. Really, really proud of JRod (Jeriod Prince) our crew chief. He made a ballsy call and it put us in a position to win the race. Unfortuately we didn’t get it done, but very, very proud of that call and if he stays that aggressive, I stay that aggressive, Christian (Eckes) stays that aggressive, maybe we have a shot at this owner’s title.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang -- Finished 2nd--“It feels like running second to the Hendrick cars right now is an accomplishment. They are just stupid fast. I had him off turn 4 but they just have so much speed. He just motored right back by me, like damn! It feels like a first-in-class day with the Discount Tired Ford. The team did a great job of executing and getting us in position, we just didn’t have enough speed to make the most of it. It was good execution day though and I am proud of that.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner--WE HEARD YOU SAY ‘THAT PLAYED OUT EXACTLY LIKE YOU PLANNED’. THE SEASON YOU’RE HAVINGT, HE ALL-STAR WIN WITH YOUR NEW TEAM AND YOUR FOURTH WIN ON THE SEASON. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE LIVING A DREAM?--“Definitely. Honestly, I can’t believe it. That second run there, we were really bad and I was like, ‘man, we’re in trouble’. I went backwards that round, so I was like we’ve got an uphill battle. I did not imagine seeing myself winning this race today. Cliff (Daniels, crew chief) and everybody works so hard on this thing and made some good adjustments throughout the first, second and third rounds and got us in position.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Odyssey Battery Ford Mustang -- Finished 3rd ---“We faded halfway through the race. We were really good to start with but didn’t quite have the pieces to keep up with the track for the PJ1 fading away. Overall it was a great race and good to get a playoff point. It was a good points day. I am happy to have a lot of people with Odyssey Battery here supporting us in their 25th anniversary. It is funny, the last time I did a suite appearance was the last time we had a normal race in Fontana. I am proud to have them as great partners for us and hopefully, we keep the momentum going.