What drivers said after Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas

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Here’s what several drivers and one crew chief had to say after Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

Brad Keselowski, finished 1st: “This is really, really great. It seemed like there were plenty of challenges, whether it was pit road or the weather or cautions. They threw everything they had at us today but this team was too strong and we were able to fight them off and get to victory lane.”

Joey Logano, 2nd: “Congratulations to Brad and also for Team Penske getting a 1-2 finish. That is what we set out to do every week. I am proud of what we did. Gosh, we finished second so many times, Daytona and qualifying. We will go get them next week. … I know we are only three races in, but I am getting antsy (for a win). We have good speed in our cars, we will be alright.”

Jimmie Johnson, 3rd: “Track position was pretty important. The series of events leading up to that last restart kind of had us deeper in track position than we needed to be for the win. We still got a third, which is good, but those top three or four cars were pretty equal. It was just real hard to get there and get inside of somebody. I was impressed Keselowski) was able to sit behind (Logano) that long and finally get by and not wear his stuff out in the process. But, decent day for us all-in-all.”

Kyle Busch, 4th: “We struggled really, really bad all weekend, we were horrible. That’s not at all where we should have finished considering how it started. It was a good day. It wasn’t a win, but we were doing a good job doing what we need to do to keep top-fiving it and the wins will come. … If I were to grade our weekend, for progress it’s an A-plus, but for being as bad as we were and ending up right there it would probably be a B or B-minus.”

Austin Dillon, 5th: “We killed ourselves today. To come back to a fifth, I’m blessed and the good Lord was looking out for us. The cautions fell right. We really have to pick it up as a group, me included, on pit road. It was disappointing because we had such a fast race car. At one point in time we were way faster than the leader. We just put ourselves behind. But, we had a shot there at the end and if we were good enough to win we would have done it. We have a little more work to do. I think a win is in the future, though.”

Ryan Blaney, 6th: “This was really satisfying. It was a good day for us. We needed a good finish after last week, and it is nice to go out here and we all had fast cars. Congrats to the 2 team, they did a great job coming back from that speeding penalty and made a great call at the end. Good job by them and good job by our team.”

Rodney Childers, crew chief for Kevin Harvick, 7th: “We had a good car overall. Everybody did a good job most of the day. We had a bad pit stop and got us behind and then kind of turned our whole day around from there. We couldn’t come close to making it on fuel there at the end like (Keselowski) and (Logano), so we didn’t have any option, but to come down and top it off again and put tires on it. Just got to get better. We have given them away the past two weeks and just have to do a better job.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., 8th: “The one thing that I really like (about the new low downforce package) is I can drive up to guys with that little spoiler on the back, I’m not really stuck behind people like we used to be. A lot of the drivers are wanting to keep going in this direction and even further. I wasn’t really so sure about that, but now I feel like that might be a good move to go even less downforce. I don’t know if the blade needs to get shorter, but these things are sealed off on the ground. There’s a lot we could do to the bodies and stuff to take some downforce out of them. I’m sure NASCAR is looking at that. We can’t just keep taking the blade off, but we could probably take a little of an inch off and not really tell the difference.”

Kurt Busch, 9th: “We fought hard. Driver made a couple of mistakes on a restart and speeding on pit road. We just had to battle, battle, battle and just never got into a good rhythm. We just felt like we were battling from behind.”

Martin Truex Jr., 11th: “We just didn’t have it today. We could have used another caution close to the end. The car wasn’t right and it was sure disappointing to see those other cars get by me. An 11th-place finish is nothing to brag about or nothing to get depressed about. It just wasn’t our day. We’ll move on to Phoenix and hopefully be more competitive.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 12th: “I put my guys behind when I sped on pit road with only 100 to go. That was tough to battle back from and Nick (Sandler) made a great pit call and took the wave around and we ended up catching a caution and we fought back really hard there. I thought we were a 10-12th place car all day, so to come home 12th after a mistake by me, I am really happy with that. We have to make sure we don’t make those mistakes so we have shots at top-five finishes. If not for that mistake, we could have been really good there at the end. All in all I am really happy.”

AJ Allmendinger, 14th: “Hard fought day. … At the end there I thought we were decent, the best we had been all day, just nowhere to go. We took what could have been a really bad day and really put us way behind to start the year and salvaged a decent day out of it. Not totally happy, but I think we are making gains. The car has speed in it, just a little bit off. It’s just frustrating. I just got us behind. We weren’t great, but we had gotten the gap to kind of get in that safe zone where we could make our own day out of it and I put us behind.”

Carl Edwards, 18th: “Our day was okay. I still don’t know exactly what happened (with his accident). I got hit and it would have been alright I think if I would have stayed out instead of come in. I thought the car was more damaged, so I came and had to start in the back. Overall, I thought we recovered really well.”

Matt Kenseth, 37th: “I have no idea, honestly. I went into turn one and I wasn’t really hardly turning yet and just spun out before I had any idea what happened. I don’t know.”

Chase Elliott, 38th: “Just disappointed. What a fast race car. I appreciate everybody working hard. I feel like we made a lot of gains this weekend. Just a terrible job on my behalf. That is pitiful. We have run three races and finished one. Just a bad job on my end. I ought to know better to miss a wreck like that.”

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