What drivers said after the Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway

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Carl Edwards won the rain-shortened AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway to clinch a spot in the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Here’s what Edwards and the rest of the field had to say Sunday night.

Carl Edwards – Winner: “We were in a bad spot if we went green again, but, like I said, the last run before it rained I think we could’ve held them off. I’m not sure. (Joey Logano) was really good on the bottom. My car was starting to go away. I ran pretty hard there at the start, but man, that’s fun. And, Martin (Truex Jr.) did a great job. If we wouldn’t have beat him off of pit road, obviously, we wouldn’t have got this, but man it was really fun chasing him down and racing with him the run before that.”

Joey Logano – Finished second: “The team did a very good job on executing when we needed to. Just, you know, didn’t have enough laps. It seemed like the momentum swung the other way about three or four laps to go before the caution came out when I started catching the 19 pretty rapidly. Unfortunately it just started raining. That was the end of the race … You know, it is what it is. We’re going to be close. There’s a lot of cars that are going to be close going into Phoenix. It’s going to be entertaining. It’s going to be probably the closest Phoenix race we’ve ever seen as far as points.”

Martin Truex Jr. – Finished third: “I needed another stop. I needed it to go all the way to the end. We were really good on the long runs. We were really good on new tires after green flag stops. I was really hoping it would go all the way. That was going to be our only chance to win after that last restart. Was hoping it did. Cole (Pearn, crew chief) was telling me how far out the rain was, that he thought. So he was keeping me in the loop on that. I was just like, There’s nothing I can do, I need 20 more laps to even have a chance.”

Chase Elliott – Finished fourth: “You are never happy. Obviously, I thought we had a pretty good car. I don’t know that we had anything for those guys, at least on the short run. If it went real long into a run, I thought we could slightly run with them, given the right track conditions and whatnot. We will do our homework and get ready for the next two.”

Kyle BuschFinished fifth “That was a hard-fought top five right there. That was a battle for sure by myself behind the wheel, but, of course, my pit crew did a great job being able to get the tape on the nose and being able to fix that earlier in the race. And, of course, (crew chief) Adam (Stevens), some great calls being able to fix that car. It was a handful for sure early on, but we made it a heck of a lot better there at the end. I just wish that those long runs were actually real long runs. We had so many sets of tires tonight that everybody was short-pitting the long runs and only running 40 laps instead of what a fuel window was, about 55 laps. So, I couldn’t make up the time that I wanted to on the long runs against those guys.”

Kevin Harvick – Finished sixth: “Our Busch Beer Chevy was off. We were tight, we were loose, and we were kind of all over the place. We could take off okay, but we would fall way off at the end of a run. I just want to apologize to (Austin Dillon). He kind of came up there and he slid in front of me and got loose and when he checked up I hit him again. That was not anything I wanted to see. All-in-all everybody battled and did all they could, and we just didn’t have a fast enough car.”

Matt Kenseth – Finished seventh: “We were just kind of middle of the road. We qualified decent, we kept that track position. Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) did a good job. One time we pitted early and got a few spots and got up to fifth but then we just got behind on the second-to-last pit stop and when I get behind people we were just kind of mediocre. I just couldn’t really pass anybody but if you put me in line in fifth I could run fifth. Unfortunately a couple of those guys got in front of me and I couldn’t get back around them. So, we had a good stop our last one, had a good restart and got a couple spots but that was about all I could get.”

Kasey Kahne – Finished eighth: “We drove up, the team did a great job, the pit stops were nice, but we just never had the speed I wanted that those probably five or six guys had. We had a great performance from 33rd to eighth and we battled all night long. Everybody worked hard we just want to be a little better.”

Denny Hamlin – Finished ninth: “I think the hardest thing is we lost our pit selection and we kept getting blocked in by (Alex Bowman) each stop. He had to try to get out as well from whoever was in front of him. Just a bad part of losing your pit selection, you don’t get a good spot and I thought he was a little bit wide a few stops and it really slowed our stops and lose positions on pit road where we usually gain and then I was on the outside just about every restart. Nothing really went well for us on pit road, average day.”

Ryan Newman -Finished 10th: “Our Grainger Chevrolet was a real challenge for us tonight. It pushed when I was in traffic and was loose off of Turn 4. We basically ran in the top 18 all day. (Crew chief ) Luke (Lambert) made a series of calls and by halfway, our car ran the best in the high line and that’s pretty much where I raced. Then we heard weather was coming and when it did, we stayed out and got the top-10 finish. I’m proud of the guys on pit road for the solid performance. It was a long rain delay, but we all hung in there and got a good finish.”

Jimmie Johnson – Finished 11th: “It didn’t quite go as planned. We were planning on a day race and the setup of the car was not so happy at night. We were making gains on it and getting there, but a little too loose with it being a night race.”

Alex Bowman – Finished 13th: “We took off really strong and had a really good first run. The second run we didn’t get a great restart but we were fast and passing people and cut a right-front tire. We had some right-front damage and feel like that kind of killed the front-end aero wise a little bit for the rest of the day. We kind of really fought just balance, really never got the race car happy, and kind of was out of the racetrack with front and the back. But, Greg (Ives, crew chief) and everybody tried really hard. We were a heck of a lot better than 13th, just frustrating couple of restarts, got raced kind of ridiculously by some guys.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Finished 16th: “Our Fastenal Ford was probably the best it had been all weekend. We progressively made it better each run. I wish it would have gone back green because we had new tires and I think we could have gained some more positions there at the end. Overall it was a good day for our Fastenal team.”

AJ Allmendinger – Finished 17th: “This place confuses me for sure. I felt like I needed a little bit more rear grip, but if we tried that we got way too tight. When we got tight I was really slow and really unhappy with it. We would free it back up and I would have to kind of hang on to it, but it was faster. For how we have been here that is way better. I’ve got to still do my homework going into next year about this place and figure it out.”

Kurt Busch – Finished 20th: “We just missed the setup. It’s a Chase race, it’s kind of important and we missed it again.”

Paul Menard – Finished 27th: “The rain from earlier cleaned off the track and there was no rubber at the beginning of the race. It took awhile for grip to come in, so we worked through that with adjustments on pit road. (Crew chief) Danny (Stockman) made good calls to get us where we needed to be but then we had a tire go down. That put us behind for the rest of the night. Proud of my team as always for not giving up.”

Trevor Bayne – Finished 30th: “We fought all race long. Our AdvoCare Ford just struggled to find the right handling all night which made it really tough out there. We’ll regroup from this and get after it in the last two races of the season and end this year on a strong note.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 37th: “(Kevin Harvick) tucked down to my door tighter than anybody did all night.  He knew how tight he was on my door and that is why I got tight and slid up in front of him. He didn’t check (up), but he had the opportunity to. He didn’t like it that the silver spoon kid was out-running him tonight. So we will be alright, we have two weeks left and we just want to come out and win a race.”

Casey Mears – Finished 39th: “I’m fine. I didn’t even hit anything but the grass. I don’t know who, somebody hit me from behind.  When they checked up, I had to check up because the guys in front of me where trying to peel off the wall to keep from hitting the No. 3 (Austin Dillon). I felt whoever was behind me put me in the grass. I hit the grass and it blew the whole front end off the car. It is unfortunate because we really didn’t hit anything other than the grass, but it ended our night.”

First short track win slips away from Martin Truex Jr. on pit road

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Another short track race, another broken heart for Martin Truex Jr.

For the third time in four starts at Richmond Raceway, Truex led the most laps, and it didn’t result in victory.

The Furniture Row Racing driver, making his 450th Cup start and his 75th on a short track, saw his shot at winning the Toyota Owners 400 vanish on pit road.

After leading 121 laps from the pole, Truex lost the lead to Kyle Busch on a pit stop with 30 to go in the scheduled distance.

Truex was in second when the caution waved with nine to go in the scheduled distance. But when the dust settled, Truex found himself in 11th.

A problem with the jack as his team changed left-side tires was the culprit. After having to pit again under another caution, Truex ended the night in 14th.

“Pretty disappointed that we didn’t get at least a chance,” Truex told Fox. “It’s unfortunate, but I don’t know what we have to do to win one of these short-track (races) and get everything to go the way we need it to. Tonight, we beat ourselves, so that’s unfortunate. The guys did a really good job with the race car. We were awful at the start of the race, and I thought we were really in trouble. Just fought all night long and tried to stick with it and make good adjustments and put ourselves in position to try to win another one and just came up short.”

In Sept. 9 playoff race at the 0.75-mile track, Truex led 198 laps before crashing in overtime. In the September 2016 event, he led 193 laps before finishing third to Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.

In his 75 short-track starts, Truex has earned eight top fives. The last two have come in his last two trips to Martinsville Speedway.

What drivers said after Richmond Cup race

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Kyle Busch — Winner: “I think the difference for us tonight was just the adjustments. Trying to stay with the racetrack all night long. Adam Stevens (crew chief) and my guys did a phenomenal job. I think one of the other keys to the night was just my guys – my pit crew – they got us out front when it mattered the most those last two pit stops. They were awesome tonight on pit road.”

Chase Elliott — Finished 2nd: “Just very fortunate circumstances there at the end for us with the way the restarts went. Having a short run there at the end was definitely in our favor. So it was nice to be on the good end of things for the first time in a while. Looking forward, we have to be realistic about how we ran tonight. I think the result shouldn’t weigh into how hard we worked this week because we have some work to do. I think that we have to keep that in mind.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 3rd: “We just got better as the race went on. We were 13th, 15th, something like that in the first half of the race. Just weren’t very strong. We just made some really good adjustments that got us rolling towards the front, especially on long runs. We got to the top five, then we had some pit stops there. We gained a few spots there. But, you know, restarting on that outside line, it was a huge deficit. I just couldn’t get the grip that I needed to try to run with (Kyle Busch) side‑by‑side into Turn 1. That’s all I wanted, to be within one car length getting into turn one, and I just couldn’t get it.’’

Joey Logano — Finished 4th: “We had a really good Shell Pennzoil Ford early in the race and got a couple stage wins early, which was great. We maxed out those points, which is awesome. We just lost the handle on the car and fell back to sixth or so. We had a bad pit stop and lost a bunch of spots and then had a really good pit stop and got them all right back and were able to come home with a top five. I wish I could rerun that. I feel like we can do better if we tried again. I am sure the whole field would say that. I am proud of the speed we showed at Richmond. Just want to be a little better.”

Kevin Harvick — Finished 5th: “No more restarts. We were terrible on the restarts there compared to three or four of those guys. I was spinning the tires getting going there on the restarts. All of the night taken into consideration we were way better than we have been in the past and that is an important race for us to figure out where we need to be with all of the things that didn’t go right tonight and be ready for when we come back here for the playoff race.”  

Jimmie Johnson — Finished 6th: “We had to start the race on the tires we qualified with, and as soon as we got those tires off the car, we were a very competitive car and were able to stay on the lead lap. And with the long green-flag runs, we were able to still stay on the lead lap and work our way up through the field. I don’t know what we’re missing on scuff tires, but that’s something we’ve got to figure out.”

Kyle Larson — Finished 7th: “We weren’t very good all race long. And then I ended up getting the Lucky Dog there and then lost a lap … so that was kind of a hiccup on our part. I was able to get the Lucky Dog again and then charge from wherever we were to seventh the last laps. So, we salvaged a really good finish, which was good.”

Clint Bowyer — Finished 9th: “We had a really good car. It’s just frustrating there at the end. All hell breaks loose. We lost a couple of spots on pit road, and that gets you back, and then you get on the outside and get stuck behind somebody that spun their tires, and you knock the front fender in on the 24 because he spun his tires. The next thing you know, you’re 10th thinking, ‘Boy, how did this night go to ruin so fast?’ Then it’s just beating and banging and everybody dive-bombing on the bottom. Those cars that are a lap down you’re lapping, and all of a sudden sticking it in three-wide with nothing to lose at the end. It’s a shame that a good, positive night ends up being like that, but that’s racing at this place.”

William Byron — Finished 12th: “I sped on pit road, and I guess I was just pushing the last segment there in the corner, and we were a little bit too fast coming onto the straightaway. Overall, a really good night. We got stage points, I think we finished fifth in both stages, and I think we finished 12th, but overall learned a lot and can just really build on this.  I love racing at short tracks. It’s a blast and definitely learned a lot from this.” 

Erik Jones — Finished 13th: “Just a really tough day. We really just didn’t have the right car from the start. I wasn’t too sure about it during practice, but once we fired off we realized it was going to be a pretty big struggle all day. We hung with it and fought hard and came home with an OK finish, but just need to get a lot better for the next one.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 14th: “Pretty disappointed that we didn’t get at least a chance. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t know what we have to do to win one of these short-tracks and get everything to go the way we need it to. Tonight we beat ourselves, so that’s unfortunate. The guys did a really good job with the race car. We were awful at the start of the race, and I thought we were really in trouble. Just fought all night long and tried to stick with it and make good adjustments, and put ourselves in position to try to win another one and just came up short. Frustrated, but proud of everyone for the effort and hopefully we get them next week.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 15th: “Richmond Raceway has always been what I consider the hardest track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit, so I was really proud of our efforts in Stage 1. Our AAA Camaro ZL1 was really good. We were the fastest car on the track for most of the run and were able to race our way from 23rd to eighth and earn a few stage points. Once the race transitioned to night, we lost some of the magic. We just weren’t as strong. I put us in a bit of a hole by earning a commitment line violation coming to pit road, but we worked hard and had a good shot at the end. It was just hard to find a line that made moves.” 

Matt DiBenedetto — Finished 16th: “A 16th for us at Go Fas Racing is a heck of a run. We outran some really, really good cars all day. Our car had crazy-good long run speed and of all days for us to have really good long-run speed, today was definitely the day. But even at the end when we had the green-white-checker, we were able to pass a couple of good cars and pick up a spot or two. The team did a really good job. You know how great of a run that is for us.”

Daniel Hemric – Finished 32nd: “Obviously the results and the finish isn’t at all what we came here to do, but we started the race too far off and we lost so many laps there the first run and that put us behind for the rest of the night. With it going green like it did, I didn’t get to show how much better we got our Camaro ZL1 there throughout the race. I thought we could take off in top-15 speed after we got to work on it for the first time. It just took us getting to pit road to give us that opportunity.”

Ryan Newman – Finished 37th: “Richmond Raceway is one of my favorite tracks and to run just outside the top five, get assessed a pit-road penalty and then battle back onto the lead lap says a lot about this No. 31 Childress Vineyards Camaro ZL1 team. It’s unfortunate on the restart with 30 to go that we got into the back of a car. Everyone started checking up, and I just hit him square in the back. I did all I could, but the damage cost us our race. I’m just so disappointed right now. We had a good car and a finish that doesn’t reflect it.” 

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Late cautions help Chase Elliott to yet another runner-up finish

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Chase Elliott‘s Cup career will always be measured against Bill Elliott’s, his Hall of Fame father.

Saturday night at Richmond Raceway, the third-year driver matched his father in a stat both impressive and underwhelming.

Elliott, who remains winless, finished second for the eighth time in 86 Cup starts.

Bill Elliott was a runner-up eight times before visiting Victory Lane.

But Chase Elliott, whose result was aided by a series of late-race cautions, was the first to admit it wasn’t a product of the team having turned the corner completely in a mostly disappointing season.

“A very fortunate (set of) circumstances there at the end for us with the way the restarts went and having a short run there at the end, definitely in our favor,” the Hendrick Motorsports driver said. “It’s nice to be on the good end of things for the first time in a while. We have to be realistic about how we ran tonight. The result shouldn’t weigh in to how hard we worked this week because we have some work to do.”

Though he started a season-best second in the Toyota Owners 400, Elliott wasn’t a factor in the race’s outcome until he restarted in the top five for two restarts during final 11 laps. He finished seventh in Stage 1.

The second place was his second top five of the season (third at Phoenix) and just the fourth for HMS overall.

The No. 9 Chevrolet pulled off the feat despite not having crew chief Alan Gustafson, who was completing a two-race suspension for an L1 penalty after the Texas race.

In the first race without him, Elliott was involved in a Lap 3 crash at Bristol and finished 29th, 27 laps off the lead.

“I think we’ve been getting better, for sure, over the course of the past handful of weeks,” Elliott said. “I thought last week was really probably our best effort as a company. Obviously we crashed at the beginning. I felt like our car was solid throughout the whole weekend. Obviously, our teammates ran well.”

But Elliott said the team needs to be “realistic” about how the first night race of the season went.

“I think anybody amongst our team would say the same thing,” he said.  “I’m not knocking anyone, anybody on my team or whoever, but we all know we need to do better.”

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Points after Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway

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With his third consecutive win this season, Kyle Busch padded his points lead over Joey Logano with a victory in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. He now has a 56-point lead and 17 playoff points.

Logano won both stages of the 400-lap affair, his first stage wins of the season.

Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick finished third and fourth, respectively.

Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five.

Earning 39 points for his second-place finish, Chase Elliott is 25 points behind 16th and a playoff berth in the standings.

Click here for full results.