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.”
Cup / Xfinity / Truck Press Releases
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.
-JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 ROMCO Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports -Finishing Position: 1st - Are you starting to make a statement with this team right now? - “Yeah, I definitely think so. I feel like we’ve been making a statement all year. I feel like we’re one of the favorites every time that we show up to the race track. I can’t say enough about Eric Phillips (crew chief) and all these guys. Everyone, the pit crew, everyone at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), the fab shop, machine shop, chassis shop. Everyone does so good with building our trucks and I’m just lucky enough to be behind the wheel. It’s amazing to get win number four here. I haven’t won with ROMCO Equipment on board yet in my career so finally we were able to get them a win. There’s 250 of their employees here today so huge shoutout to them as well as the fans.”
SONOMA, CA – (June 6, 2021) – Kyle Larson’s return to his home state of California brought the Hendrick Motorsports driver his third win of the 2021 season when he took his No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE to victory lane in the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. In back-to-back races, the 28-year-old driver swept both Stage wins and led a race-high 57 laps to capture his first road course victory and ninth-career victory in 239 starts in NASCAR’s premier series.
The triumph is the fourth-consecutive victory for Chevrolet Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, continuing to lead all manufacturers in the overall win count with seven thus far in the 2021 season. The victory, Chevrolet’s 12th win at the 2.52-mile/12-turn road California road course, brings the winningest manufacturer in motorsports its 802nd all-time NASCAR Cup Series win. Hendrick Motorsports now sits at an all-time record of 22 race wins on road course circuits, more than any other organization in NASCAR Cup Series history.
Hendrick Motorsports has been no stranger to dominance on road courses. Larson’s victory brings the organization its sixth win in the last seven road course events. Chase Elliott, who finished in the runner-up position, gave Hendrick Motorsports its fourth consecutive 1-2 finish, tying a NASCAR record set in 1956 by Carl Kiekhafer Racing. Chip Ganassi Racing teammates posted strong top-10 finishes, with Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, finishing sixth; and Ross Chastain, No. 42 Clover Camaro ZL1 1LE, taking the checkered flag in seventh. Alex Bowman drove his No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE to a ninth-place finish, giving Chevrolet five of the top-10 positions in the final running order.
Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota) was third, Joey Logano (Ford) was fourth and Kyle Busch (Toyota) rounded out the top-five finishers of the race.
The NASCAR Cup Series season continues next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, June 13, at 8 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Autotrader Ford Mustang -- “We’ll take it. We had the tire issue the first run and that got our strategy off. Paul did some different things and we were able to get some stage points in the second stage. We had nothing to beat the 5, if I’m being honest, but our Autotrader Mustang was good enough to finish top three or four. We kind of did that one stop strategy the last run there and got to where we were probably a third-place car if we had the same tires as the cars racing around us, but, overall, we’ll take that considering how it was looking in the beginning. It’s fun to be out here in Sonoma again and great to see so many fans back out in the grandstands and around this racetrack.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 3rd--Where were they just a little bit stronger than you today?--“I think just a little bit everywhere. Right-handers, I just couldn’t lean on the left rear like I needed too. I didn’t quite have the drive off. Moreso than that, I didn’t have the short-run speed. I think the really long runs was really our only chance there. All of those cautions at the end killed any chance we had. I’m proud of the guys on the Bass Pro Toyota, JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), TRD, everybody that makes this possible. Just not quite good enough. The Hendrick cars are really strong right now. They are really fast. They are making a lot of grip. They are making our job tough. We definitely needed long runs at the end, not all of those cautions.”
TY GIBBS, No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 3rd--0What else did you need today?--“I felt like we lacked a little bit of overall grip. It took us a little bit to fire off, but my guys did a good job. We kept fighting there. It kind of sucks. The 16 (AJ Allmendinger) did us a little dirty there. I feel like there is a point, you know, we are racing in Xfinity cars at road courses. It’s always going to be rough, but he took it to the next level. I guess I was a little torpedoed. I got the 22 (Austin Cindric) knocked him out, but yeah, I didn’t really have anywhere to go. That’s just part of it – part of the end of these races, things get rough. Next time, going forward. I know what I need to do and my guys are going to work hard. Overall, good day. I will take third place. We were in the top-three I felt like all day and we led some laps. That was good. Going out of here positively. Thanks to everybody that was watching.”
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:--KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 METROTECH CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner
YOU SWEPT TONIGHT! WHAT IS THE EMOTION, NOT ONLY TO WIN THE COKE 600, BUT TO CLOSE IT OUT, DOMINATE A RACE, AND GET IT DONE?
“Yeah, it feels good. It was not easy. I felt like I had to fight off William (Byron) and Chase (Elliott) a lot. It kind of worked out there in that last run. The No. 43 (Erik Jones) had to pit and pulled out in front of me, and I just towed with him for a while and stretched my lead out. We had a good car there in that last run. Awesome! It feels great to be the guy to help Mr. Hendrick break that record, finally. This is awesome. We haven’t seen this many fans in forever. Thanks to all you guys for coming out. I hope we put on a good show. Thanks to MetroTech, Chevrolet, HendrickCars.com, and everybody who allows me to drive this No. 5 car. And thanks to my No. 5 team tonight, too. They were great tonight. My pit crew did awesome. We had awesome pit stops, especially on the green flag stops, too. That really allowed us to get the win tonight.”
YOU KICKED IT OFF THIS YEAR WITH A BRAND NEW TEAM AND A BRAND NEW ORGANIZATION FOR YOU. HALFWAY THROUGH THE SEASON, YOU ALREADY HAVE TWO WINS. WHAT IS IT LIKE? HOW CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT THIS TEAM IS DOING RIGHT NOW AND WHAT MR. HENDRICK HAS?
“When I got to talking to Ricky Stenhouse last year, I was like I think I’m going to end up in the No. 5 or the Hendrick cars and he was like, you’re going to be really good in that thing. And I was like, I don’t know. But it’s been better than I could have ever imagined. For us to lead as many laps as we have this year and contend for as many wins as we have, and now to get our second win at a Crown Jewel event, too, it feels great. I’m just very lucky that Mr. Hendrick was able to put together a deal for me. It’s just awesome. I’m living a dream, for sure.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd
“I’m just happy for the boss (Mr. Rick Hendrick); happy for Kyle (Larson), Cliff (Daniels, crew chief), and everybody on the No. 5 team. They’ve been kicking ass since February and they deserve to win. Rightfully so. They did a great job tonight; ran a great race and made no mistakes and the best car won. I’m proud of Hendrick Motorsports. I feel like everybody, like I’ve been saying, is just pulling in the same direction and it’s really showing. I’m just proud of our company and excited as the No. 9 team, specifically, for more opportunities ahead, and to try and get a little better and see if we can’t get it dialed in."
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 4th
BYRON ON RACING CHASE ELLIOTT:
“It was hard racing. I was trying to get second there and cost myself third. With this package, you just have to get the side draft at the perfect spot. I feel like we just missed where that was. We just didn’t have quite enough. Congrats to the No. 5 (Kyle Larson, race winner) guys. They were lights out. We’ll go to work and try to get that.”
TALK ABOUT THE HENDRICK MILESTONE. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE PART OF THE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS ORGANIZATION.
“It’s awesome. We are bringing really fast cars right now and I feel like it’s really fun to be at Hendrick Motorsports right now. We’ve just got to work, on the No. 24 team, just a little harder to get the little bit more than we need. But we’re really close. We can do it at times during the race. We just can’t put it all together. I feel like we probably should have finished third tonight. We finished fourth, but we’ll take that.
I thought we were really good. It’s just hard to get the lead and I feel like if we could have kept the lead, we could have maybe won. We just never did. We were good enough to win but it just didn’t quite happen.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY PATRIOTIC CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 5th
“Hats off to Greg (Ives, crew chief) and the Ally 48 team on making really good adjustments to get us where we needed to be and get us in the top-five. So cool for Hendrick Motorsports to be the all-time wins leader now. Our Ally Camaro was a handful all night, but glad to get a top-five out of it.”
BOWMAN ON THE HENDRICK MILESTONE:
“It’s really cool to be a small part of it. Four of those (wins) were from us, so that’s pretty neat and pretty special. We want to add a lot more to that list, but it’s cool to be a small part of it.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
“I am so proud of everyone on the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER Off Road team. We had some adversity today, but this RCR team rallied to get over everything and put together something at the end to be proud of. The Coca-Cola 600 is a long, grueling night and a lot of it is just about who can have a clean race. We didn’t have the cleanest of races, but we rebounded well. We earned stage points in every stage tonight, and did a great job of keeping up with adjustments as the track changed. Even when we fell back in the running order we kept our cool, didn't give up, and were able to drive back into the top-10. Everyone did a great job. If we keep bringing cars like this to the track, we will win races. The most important part of the night was riding with Chief Special Warfare Operator David A. Fegyo on the windshield header and honoring our military with a patriotic Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet."
CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang -- “That was a heck of an effort by our team and Roush Fenway to get our Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang from a 27th-place starting spot to eighth. We knew why we were there when it happened, but to have that drive forward and get up to the top 10 and ride around there all night, and be able to make up spots on long runs, I’m proud of that. It’s a good night. It’s a long race. We executed really well on pit road. Everybody did a really nice job, so I’m proud of that.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Red, White & Blue Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 3rd--Hard fought third-place finish. How do you feel now after a weekend with practice? Is this team on the upswing?--“We would certainly like to think so. We’ve had some strong runs and we’ve had some runs that were better than the finishes that we got out of them as well. Overall, we had a really good piece – strong from start to finish there. We just kept trying to make some little tweaks to it, and make it a little bit better. I don’t know what happened on that final pit stop. We got out in front of those guys, but they had the momentum to get by me I guess and I was just too loose and too sloppy on the front side with some speed, but once we got rolling there, we got a lot better and we able to run them back down, but we just couldn’t get back by them. Great night. Thanks to M&M’s, Toyota, TRD, Cessna, Rowdy Energy, Interestate Batteries, everybody who does such a great job for us.”
TY GIBBS, No. 54 Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing--Finishing Position: 1st--How did you come back through the field and get back up front to win this race?--“First off, I just want to say sorry to the 99 (Chase Briscoe) and Chase and his crew. I didn't hit him, but I definitely helped him out with him getting loose there and it was not my intention. Already wrecked myself so, I just want to say sorry to them more importantly than this entire win. It's just awesome. I'll take it. This is a good day we got one more to go. So, I just want to say thank you all the fans out there and hell yeah.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 CarQuest Auto Parts Ford Mustang -- “We really picked residency in P4 for much of the day, so, honestly, all in all P2 is not bad. You obviously want to win the race and we put ourselves in position to have a shot and some days that’s all you can ask for. I’m happy to get the CarQuest Ford Mustang up with a chance. We were carrying 30 names of fallen heroes from the CarQuest family on the back of our car, so happy to represent them well today and move on to next week. One for the notebook.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 METROTECH CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Pole Winner--NINTH-CAREER POLE FOR KYLE LARSON. WELL DONE, YOUNG MAN. DID YOU FEEL LIKE IT WAS A POLE-PRODUCING RUN?--“It felt really balanced. A lot of times if that’s the case, you would think it might be slow. I wasn’t sure. I honestly didn’t even know what the No. 9 (Chase Elliott) ran for a lap. It was cool when they said I was P-1. Awesome to put our No. 5 MetroTech Camaro ZL1 1LE on the front row. Really cool for Chevrolet, too. There’s a lot of Chevy’s towards the front of the field in qualifying, so that’s nice.”
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Thousand.com Ford Mustang -- “Today was a good day. We qualified well. Our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang had good speed and I think probably should have been wide-open in three and four, but I gave it just a little bit of lift and that’s on me. -- HOW PLEASED ARE YOU WITH THAT? “It’s nice to practice. Our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang got a bunch of laps in yesterday to try and hone in on exactly where we want the balance for the race and what we think we need in our car. To come out and qualify good is a testament to the whole team. Everybody is working hard. I know it’s not exactly where we want to be as far as performance, but I feel like we’re getting better. We did better at Kansas and we’ll just keep plugging away.”