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What drivers said after the Advance Auto Parts Clash

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Joey Logano swooped in to win the Advance Auto Parts Clash after his teammate Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin collided on the last lap while Hamlin led.

The win is Logano’s first in the exhibition race and Ford’s first since 2004.

Here’s what most of the 17 drivers in the field had to say after the race.

Joey Logano, winner – “The Toyotas are so selfless, I guess is the way to look at it. They are able to work together and think of one car of winning, and they’re really good at that. We had to think the same way as Ford and with Stewart-Haas and the Penske cars and we were able to get a good enough,  run to work together enough to break them up and make the passes and then there at the end was kind of a mess. Everything was going really fast. Everything was going on and I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Kyle Busch, second place – “When (Joey Logano) got so far out in front that he was a lone duck and I feel like if we both could have worked together then we could have tracked them back down and then the three of us could have gone for the win instead of just automatically giving it to the 22. Just trying to see what (Alex Bowman‘s) mindset was with it all and figure out what got him to that decision. Overall, good day and I need to eliminate some mistakes here for myself on this M&M’s team – the guys did a great job, the guys executed really well.”

Alex Bowman, third place – “It’s easy; hindsight is 20/20, right? It’s hard to see. I was on the top with all that stuff happened getting into Turn 1 and I didn’t know (Joey Logano) was out there by himself. So, he’s (Kyle Busch) probably right. We probably could have caught the No. 22 and had a shot to win it, but at the same time, he didn’t work with me much all day, either. A lot of guys hung us out every chance they got. So, to come home third shows what a great race car Hendrick Motorsports brings to the track.”

Danica Patrick, finished fourth – “If you’re gonna have one track where I’ve had good races, you kind of hope Daytona is one of them or maybe the one. It would be great to get a 500 win, but it’s great to run up front. We start off with the biggest race of the year. … The way that the cars are handling in the heat of the day more. It’s a nice, sunny day. We’ve got plenty of humidity out there from all the rain, but it’s good practice for the 500, more so than it would have been if we would have run at night by all means.”

Kevin Harvick, fifth place –  “It went really well. For us, we were very fortunate that the race wound up in the day, a lot like the 500 is going to be, just because we didn’t really know what we needed and where our balance was going to be, so we were really loose to start the first 25 laps and were able to get that fixed. Speed is not an issue. Circumstances just needed to work out a little bit differently, but, all in all, I’m excited for the week.”

Brad Keselowski, sixth place – “Once you make contact the banking kind of wedges you two together. It’s unfortunate. I had to make the move. I know all the other drivers are back watching and they know not to make that block on me again … I think I’ve been in position to win it three or four times – in second or third in like the last two laps and it kind of falls apart with something, but you’ve just got to keep knocking on the door.”

Daniel Suarez, finished eighth – “I really felt like I went to school. I went to school with this race, racing with all of these guys and learning about the aero of the car and how the tires fall off. The fall off is not even close to the Xfinity cars and I learned that today. And how the car works – it works really, really different. There’s nothing similar in a race like this with 75 laps in a pack of 17 cars that I can practice. I think my team did an amazing job. They put me in the front and gave me the opportunity to finish in the top five and we just came a little short I guess.”

Jamie McMurray, finished 10th – “It was okay. Drafting is hard when you get to the rear if there are not 30 cars or so on the track. Especially when the bottom lane got lined up because you just couldn’t get enough cars on the outside. It was pretty good. I kind of liked running in the day versus the night. I thought that was good. Handling wasn’t a big issue. I thought it was going to be a bigger concern because it is pretty warm right now. But it is early in the week and it seems like as the Trucks run, the Xfinity cars, it gets slicker by Sunday, but overall it was a pretty good time. We didn’t scratch our car, which is awesome to survive a plate race.”

Austin Dillon, finished 12th – “It’s hard to be the Lone Ranger out there. If you look at the race, the top five were all team cars and I didn’t have a teammate in the race or anybody to work with. I am really proud that I was able to run up there with those cars knowing how important it is to have help. I was involved in the wreck at the end so I ended up cutting the right-front tire and that caused us to limp home to a 12th-place finish. Overall, though, it was a good run. I learned a lot and I thought I drafted pretty well.”

Denny Hamlin, finished 13th – “There’s really not much I can do differently at the end. Perhaps staying in the middle lane there through one and two and trying to side draft. (Brad Keselowski) had help from the 22 (Joey Logano). I was in a bad spot there. He was just coming so much faster than what I was. There’s not much that I could have done to defend. We lined up so well as Toyota teammates throughout the race that once those guys started breaking that up and leapfrogging, (Keselowski) had commitment from (Logano) and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) and when they were able to back up there that really put us at a speed differential.”

Kyle Larson, finished 14th (garage after penalty) – “It is an odd way to be done I guess. But this race doesn’t matter for points. … I think it will just take a few incidents like we had to remind everyone of the rules, or explain what the rules mean. It seems like the teams were a little confused after the driver’s meeting.”

Martin Truex Jr., finished 15th (crash) – “I was having trouble with my mirror all day. I just flat cut in front of (Kyle) Larson and spun myself out so it was our own mistake. We didn’t get the mirrors quite right in the car before the race and then just trying to fit in the hole I wasn’t sure I could fit in and trying to get track position towards the end of the race. Completely my fault but glad we didn’t tear up a lot of race cars there.”

Jimmie Johnson, finished 16th (crash) – “It’s bizarre because it drove really good everywhere else, then off of (Turn) 4 the first time I had a handling problem was when it broke free and I got into the No. 41 (Kurt Busch) and then after that it was really loose. After that caution and the last long stretch before I crashed again. Just off of Turn 4. The sun certainly sits on that edge of the track a little bit harder than anywhere else. We will take some notes and learn from those mistakes and apply that to the (Daytona) 500 car.”

Kurt Busch, finished 17th (crash) – “I was just minding my own business in the low groove and we got tagged in the right-rear. It’s kind of a shame – all of the hard work and the effort everybody puts into the off-season – Doug Yates and his engines and everybody from Ford and everybody at Stewart-Haas, all of the effort put towards building a car and we didn’t even make it to the first pit stop, so it’s kind of a bummer.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. defends Kyle Busch’s surly mood after the Coca-Cola 600

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CONCORD, N.C. – A second-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 left Kyle Busch in an irate mood, which is perfectly fine, according to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

A seemingly agitated Busch, cupping his face in his hands after sitting down, entered the media center at Charlotte Motor Speedway Center shortly after 12:30 a.m. Sunday. It was roughly 10 minutes after Austin Dillon scored the first victory of his career in NASCAR’s premier series by stretching his final tank of fuel for 70 laps.

Was Busch surprised that Dillon made the checkered flag? What did it mean for a driver to get his first win?

“I’m not surprised about anything,” Busch snapped. “Congratulations.”

He dropped the mic on the dais. There were no further questions.

Shortly afterward on Twitter, Earnhardt took up for his peer (whom he replaced at Hendrick Motorsports in 2008).

Busch, who hasn’t won since last July at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (a span of 28 races) gave more elaborate answers shortly after exiting his No. 18 Toyota, which finished 0.835 seconds behind Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet.

He apparently didn’t realize until late in the race that his pass of Martin Truex Jr. (who led a race-high 233 laps) with a lap remaining was for second instead of the victory.

“This M&M’s Camry was awesome tonight,” Busch said. “It was just super fast. I mean we had one of the fastest cars all night long and then (Truex) was probably the fastest. There at the end, somehow we ran him down. You know he got a straightaway out on us, but there that last 100 laps we were able to get back to him and pass him so you know that was promising for us there at the end in order to get a second-place finish, but man just so, so disappointed.

“I don’t know. We ran our own race. We did what we needed to do and it wasn’t – it wasn’t the right game. We come up short and finish second.

“It’s a frustrating night, man. There’s nothing we could’ve done different.”

Another Cup driver took a different view of Busch’s tirade.

Martin Truex Jr. takes Cup points lead after Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

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CONCORD, N.C. — Martin Truex Jr. took over the Cup points lead with a third-place finish in Saturday’s Coca-Cola 600.

The Furniture Row Racing driver, who led a race-high 233 laps, also extended his lead in the playoff standings by winning the second stage and bringing his total to 16 points.

Kyle Larson, who had led the standings for eight consecutive races since Phoenix International Raceway, fell to second in the rankings after crashing and finishing a season-worst 33rd. Larson trails Truex by five points in the race for the regular-season championship (and 15 playoff points).

Click here for the points standings after Charlotte.

Results, stats for the 58th annual Coca-Cola 600

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With a fuel gamble, Austin Dillon won the Coca-Cola 600 for his first NASCAR Cup win.

It comes in his 133rd start and is the second win for Richard Childress Racing this year.

Following him was Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin.

Click here for the full results.

Austin Dillon returns No. 3 to victory lane for first time since Dale Earnhardt’s last win

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CONCORD, N.C. – Austin Dillon scored his first Cup victory in his first start with a new crew chief, bringing an iconic number back to victory lane in NASCAR’s premier series.

Stretching his last tank of fuel 70 laps, the Richard Childress Racing driver won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I can’t believe it,” Dillon told Fox Sports. “I was just really focused on those last laps.”

It was the first victory on the circuit for the No. 3 Chevrolet since the late Dale Earnhardt’s win at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2000. Richard Childress Racing mothballed the number after Earnhardt’s death on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 but brought it back with Dillon in 2014.

Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress, was making his debut with crew chief Justin Alexander, who replaced Slugger Labbe last week.

Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin.

Jimmie Johnson was leading before running out of fuel with three laps remaining, handing the lead to Dillon.

“I was just trying to be patient with (Johnson),” Dillon said. “I could see him saving (fuel). I thought I’d saved enough early where I could attack at the end, but I tried to wait as long as possible. And when he ran out, I figured I’d go back in and save where I was lifting, and it worked out.

“I ran out at the line and it gurgled all around just to do one little spin and push it back to victory lane.”

With the victory, Dillon qualified for the playoffs, joining RCR teammate Ryan Newman (who clinched a berth by winning at Phoenix International Raceway).

Dillon becomes the 10th driver to score his first Cup win at Charlotte, joining David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Charlie Glotzbach, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears and David Reutimann.

Who had a good race: Kyle Busch charged to second in the closing laps, following up a win last week at the All-Star Race. … Truex dominated Charlotte for the third straight year, leading a race-high 233 laps. … Joe Gibbs Racing placed three drivers in the top five, and rookie Daniel Suarez was 11th. … Rookie Erik Jones finished seventh, giving Furniture Row Racing two top 10s in a race for the first time.

Who had a bad race: It was over for Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski on Lap 20 when they were collected in a bizarre wreck as a result of a chain reaction from Jeffrey Earnhardt’s engine failure. …  Points leader Kyle Larson finished a season-worst 32nd after a crash. … Danica Patrick hit the wall twice (at least once because of a tire problem) and placed 25th.

Quote of the race: “My fiancée wrote in the car, ‘When you keep God in the first place, he will take you places you never imagined.’ And, I never imagined to be here.” – Dillon after scoring his first Cup victory.

What’s next: 1 p.m., June 4 at Dover International Speedway on FS1.