This is what the drivers were saying afterwards Sunday’s playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
Christopher Bell – Winner: “It’s no secret that he didn’t like the song. The first episode, I thought we were on to something. I started from 14th to ninth, I thought if we can do that well, we will have a good day. Then, things went wrong as soon as we reached the second stage. I don’t know what they changed (Adam Stevens). We threw the kitchen sink at it, as we went from being one of the worst cars on the road to one of the best cars in the end.
Ryan Blaney – Finished 2: “We just needed partners. The race car was great. I couldn’t shoot 10 or more laps. I think the coldness of the track helped the guys. I think we were better in the hot, less hot conditions where the race car was empty and went down quickly. That helped us a lot.”
Blaney to the right of the cutline after Homestead
Ryan Blaney says that the No. 12 was the best for a long time all day after finishing runners-up at Homestead-Miami and he had little to share when asked about what happened to Kyle Larson on pit road.
Tyler Reddick – Finished 3: “Yeah, it was a disappointing day. I was hoping we’d get more out of it. The finish was what we wanted, but we didn’t run as well as we wanted all day, which was disappointing. I don’t know, it’s been annoying me ever since we went to a combined team in the Cup side. Everyone runs the fence, and there is no penalty if you make a mistake and hit the wall.
William Byron – Finished 4: “We never found a way to run in our car, so we struggled to shoot. I was doing everything I could to shut it up; Move my line and try to get the breath out (of Christopher Bell), but it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t get through the center well enough to keep from moving. But our Chevrolet No. 24 Liberty University was strong all day. We just needed more at the end, but we did well, well positioned and positioned ourselves to win. “
AJ Allmendinger – Finished 5: “We started the race at number 25 and climbed up to the top 10 from there. The process was tough – you got to one end of the race and we had a big fight in the middle of the race. The leader of our group made the best arrangements there, and we had a great atmosphere and I was able to move. I thought we were probably one of the fastest cars at the end, but overall, a very solid day. It’s always nice to finish in the top five. “
Bubba Wallace – Finished 6: “Ooh, disappointing day, disappointing sixth place. But, proud of our effort today, that’s what it takes. Don’t give up. We just need to be better. We have to look at what we’ve done from Saturday night to today and not do it again and start better to put ourselves in contention. I thought that our pit crew put us back in the game there today. Not what we had for our 23 McDonald’s Grimace Toyota team, but overall, a really good result.
Aric Almirola – Finished 9: “We had a solid top 10 today even though I made a mistake on the road with myself. We finally had something that worked for us with a caution that brought us back into the game. We got some speed in our Smithfield Ford Mustang today. We needed a top 10 as a team after the year we’ve had and what we did at Homestead It’s great. We didn’t give up today after coming back from 30, going to the penalty, and coming back.”
Austin Dillon – Finished 10th: “We had a solid practice session on Saturday that made us competitive on Sunday. Our Chevy was fast all day. We finished in the top 10 in both sessions and we were gearing up for the finals to push for the win. We played a game of strategy and the cautions seemed to fall our way. In the last stage of the race, we came in fifth and there was a problem on the pit road that made us restart in 18th. We would have liked to go ahead at the end, but it was not in the cards for us. However, a good recovery for our team to finish in the top 10.”
Ryan Preece – Finished 13th: “A good day for our 41 team. We spent a lot of the first session trying to make our car a little stronger to be able to run at the top, but our entry and exit were good all day. Our car was fast and we were able to make gains all day with the track hole. I wish we could have got another place at the end, but it was a good day for us and we will take 13th place.”
Erik Jones – Finished 14th: “A good day, ups and downs, for the 43 Allegiant Chevy team. We had some good races and some bad races, but all in all, it ended up being a good day. We needed that. We’ve had some bad finishes; some weren’t all our fault; we were in a bad spot. just. It’s good to come home and have a good day, and I hope to go to Martinsville and get a little better.”
Chase Briscoe – Finished 17th: “We couldn’t really stay on the road. I felt like our car was good enough to run forward. We managed to get past the 23XI guys who finished in front and finished, about half way through to 11th or 12th, then they got a penalty which just killed our day. Disappointing but, overall, we had a fast car, which is great for our mile and a half program. But it’s really disappointing.”
Kyle Busch – Finished 18th: “We were very solid throughout the race. Crew chief Randall Burnett and the RCR crew guys made changes at every point but we didn’t hit anything that made it right. One bright spot for us was the pit crew. Those guys did a solid job on the pit lane today. . Not the finish we wanted, but we’ll be back next week at Martinsville Speedway.”
Chris Buescher – Finished 21st: “Yeah, that was a brutal day. We worked hard on this Fastenal Mustang and we got it right. We started the race very strongly and went down and had no chance to come back. The caution didn’t fall at the right time for us and about the time they started to go around the green flag something happened. We couldn’t get the rest we needed. We got good speed and I feel like with the same tires there at the end we could have moved a little bit. But it wasn’t like that.”
Justin Haley – Finished 23rd: “I felt like I had a problem with my steering all day. We shot very hard with no pressure and we couldn’t drive. We made solid changes throughout the day, but of course there was a big story. Hopefully we can get back together and go to Martinsville. “
Denny Hamlin – Finished 30th: “We tried but it didn’t work. Unfortunately Toyota’s Sport Clips team. We fought well today – a tough break. “
Joe Gibbs Racing has lost Hamlin and Truex Jr.
Joe Gibbs Racing drivers face problems at the same time at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Denny Hamlin struggling with steering and Martin Truex Jr. suffering from a dead engine.
Ross Chastain – Finished 31st: “We were out of the top-10 and we needed to get back into the Top-5 there. We needed to be careful with our luck to get back into the mix. I missed a place – I don’t think it was anyone else’s fault, just being in the top four.”
Kyle Larson – Finished 34th: “I was just trying to push as hard as I could.” He (Ryan Blaney) had a great car and I felt if he could get out of the leader’s lane, he would either win the race or beat me. I was just trying to expand my hole, and I honestly felt like I was doing a pretty good job. I didn’t expect him to be as late as he was. But in retrospect, it seems like I missed a lot. “