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What drivers said after AAA 400 Drive For Autism at Dover

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Matt Kenseth – finished 1st: “It feels good to be (in victory lane). It always feels good to win. Dover has always been my favorite track. I made my first Cup start here many moons ago. It feels good to get one, and I feel like this is usually one of my better places, and it’s been a little bit of a struggle lately. It feels good to be here, for sure.”

Kyle Larson – finished 2nd: “We were really good. We were better than Matt (Kenseth) there. … I didn’t think I would catch (Kenseth), but I got another shot at him at the end and was trying to do all I could to pass him without getting into him. Matt, except for a couple of instances last year, he is probably the cleanest driver out here. I wanted to race him with all that respect and felt like I did a good job. I probably could have got into him in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2 there once and maybe got by him, but I didn’t want to do that. Looking back, maybe I should have because I could be in the Chase right now, but we will just keep working hard.”

Chase Elliott – finished 3rd: “It was definitely wild from my view. If the fans didn’t get what they wanted to see today then they need to go do something else. That was a heck of a race, in my opinion. Obviously, wish we could have come out on top. Matt (Kenseth) and Kyle (Larson) were racing really hard for the lead. I tried to steal one from them. They were a little better than we were, but we worked hard and tried to stay in the ballgame today and fortunately came out with a decent finish, just not close enough.”

Kasey Kahne – finished 4th: “We had to work really hard. The pit crew did great on pit road. We passed a lot of cars there. The adjustments got the car better. We were real tight landing/loading and then over at the three-quarter mark, too. It was tough, but we got our Farmers Insurance Chevy better as the race went and then avoided the big wreck on the frontstretch and ended up with a top five.”

Kurt Busch – finished 5th: “It was a good top-five finish. I thought we could run down (Matt) Kenseth and (Kyle) Larson. It was great running with Chase Elliott. I just smacked the fence off of Turn 2 with about 15 (laps) to go. It was like I cashed in my chip and I’m like, ‘I’m going now,’ and I overstepped the limits of the car. I got tight. I induced that tight by driving it too hard and smacked the ol’ fence. The concrete always wins. The car always has to suffer. I let my guys down today.”

Brad Keselowski – finished 6th: “This was one of those Dover races I don’t think anybody will forget anytime soon. There was a lot of chaos, and we ran really well. Unfortunately, we got caught up running second and leading a lot of laps and tore up the car. I guess the car in front of me (Austin Dillon) had a flat tire, and it just happened all too quick for me to do anything. It knocked a lot of speed out of our Wurth Ford Fusion, but we were still very competitive. I am proud of my guys to recover to finish sixth at the end. We caught some breaks with that big wreck, which probably gave us five or six spots, and then we clawed from there. We restarted ninth and drove up to sixth. It was very respectable.”

Ryan Blaney – finished 8th: “It was a long day. We got better throughout the day. I don’t know what happened to us in that last run, we weren’t nearly as good as we were the runs before that. I was confident we would finish better than that, but we will have to look back and see what we changed and what happened. Not a bad day for us. It was a good solid run and hopefully we can start stringing together some of these good finishes. … It got wild there for a while, and there were a couple big wrecks. We missed the big one. I don’t know how we missed it but somehow we did. It was definitely a strange day and definitely a strange first Dover Cup race for me.”

Martin Truex Jr. – finished 9th: “At the beginning of the race, we were a fifth-, sixth-place car and just kept working on it and when we needed to be the best car, I think we were. Just one of those deals. Wrong place, wrong time (being involved in the multi-car wreck). Frustrating, but we got a top-10 out of it, so not too bad. The guys on pit road did a great job fixing it. Just hate that it happened. I wanted to be fourth on that restart, but I didn’t want to be fourth that bad. I should have been third so maybe I should have not let the 19 beat us off pit road. I don’t know how you can see those things coming. All in all good day, just bad finish.”

Trevor Bayne – finished 10th: “Sometimes, we haven’t felt like this season we got the finishes we deserved, and today we didn’t get a finish we deserved, but we will take it. The shoe was on the right foot today. It is nice to get a finish like that after not having a great weekend. We were really tight all day. That last run we were pretty fast at the end of it. We will learn from it, come back next time and count our blessings here and take a top 10 happily. I was on the edge of my seat out there for sure. It is a really grueling race track. You can’t let your guard down for a second, or it will bite you. We saw that in practice and saw that in the race. I am just glad to get out of here without any wounds.”

Paul Menard – finished 11th: “Yeah, it was a struggle. We just could not get going on restarts. After 20 laps we were pretty good. We got a little lucky with all the wrecked cars.”

Clint Bowyer – finished 12th: “Yeah, just crazy. It is what it is. I’m happy with the finish. We have got to get better. Definitely, we just keep gaining. We’ve got to keep doing what we are doing and keep persevering here and hopefully, we will be where we need to be and meet our goals at the end of the year.”

Rodney Childers, crew chief for Kevin Harvick – finished 15th: “We had a good car. We had driven from 20th back to fourth there before the caution. You had a couple of guys stay out and caused a big mess on the restart and got tore up. The guys did good on pit road to keep it out there and keep it going and at least get a decent finish out of it.”

Landon Cassill – finished 19th: “I feel really motivated right now to figure this car out. We have had good finishes and good runs without taking off yet. We are really motivated and communicating about what this car needs. I am excited about that. I am glad we got a 19th place finish because it keeps your attitude up while you keep your head down working on the car.”

Joey Logano – finished 22nd: “We couldn’t see (the big multi-car wreck). When you are stacked up on the restart like that there isn’t much to be able to see at all. Unfortunately, it looked like the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) had trouble getting going and it stacked us up. I tried checking up and going to the bottom like we were going to miss it and got hit from behind and that sent me into it more. We have been the victim of circumstances the last few weeks. It is what it is. I am not going to say it was bad luck. We put ourselves in position to be back there on our pit stop. It is our fault. We have to smarten up and get a little better at every little area. We had a decent car. We weren’t the fastest car, but we were a top-five car for sure. Things happen.”

Jimmie Johnson – finished 25th: “I got a great start in second gear. As I went to put it in third (gear) and came across the shifting gate it never went into third. It actually got locked in the neutral area of the transmission. I had plenty of time. Martin (Truex, Jr.) was plenty patient with me and I was trying to get third, and I couldn’t. I tried for fourth and third and fourth, and I finally got hit. Just a freak deal with something with the transmission. I’ve never had that happen to me in my career.”

Carl Edwards – finished 28th: “I didn’t see much. I was trying to give Kurt (Busch) a little room, it looked like he got choked up and as I looked at the replay it looked like I moved down a little and (Kyle) Larson got underneath me. I don’t think he meant to do it, but it surprised me. I didn’t know he was that close. We’ll just chalk it up to racing, but the hard part is we felt like we were going to win that million bucks for those kids, and I felt like we could win this race. It’s tough not to be out there.”

Greg Biffle – finished 29th: “I didn’t see anything. I just saw cars stopped in front of me and there was just no way we could stop. The spotter was telling me to go low, which I am not sure if that was the right move either. I don’t know if there is anything I could have done. I just tried to stop as quickly as I could. There was just no time to stop, I guess. (It’s) really frustrating. We had probably a top-12 car there and it was going to be a good day for us. It was the first time we had run this well in awhile.”

Kyle Busch – finished 30th: “We either missed something today or we had something break – just something wasn’t right. Got really, really, really evil there about lap 230 or lap 250, something like that, and I was having a real hard time holding onto it and even making laps. Just trying to check everything out and see if there was anything that was broke, but obviously now there’s a lot of things broke and hard to decipher what we can figure out and learn about what we might have had happen there today. Just a tough break.”

Aric Almirola – finished 31st: “It just stinks we all got stacked up like that. I banged up my hand. I think I may have a broken finger, it is pretty sore and swollen. We worked really hard to get back on the lead lap, and we were actually making a lot of progress it just took us all race to get back up on that lead lap. I hate that our day is going to turn out like that. That is a shame. Then to make matters worse I think I have a broken pinky finger. That isn’t very many is it?”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – finished 32nd: “They started wrecking way up in front of us. I couldn’t really tell what was going on. I got to the outside and thought we had missed (the wreck), but the No. 13 (Casey Mears) came up the track, he got collected in it.”

Austin Dillon – finished 33rd: “I think it was the brakes. I was complaining about them before that, having to pump them up. I am just frustrated. Had the same issue at Bristol, and we come here and we have another issue with the brakes. I’m frustrated, but we had a good car. Our Chevrolet was fast, and we had good shot of running top 10, top five depending on track position. We will just have to get them next week.”

Tony Stewart – finished 34th: “Well, the track bar broke, and the back of the car flops back and forth. I don’t know what more there is to say about that. It just broke. … We had been fighting, the car was acting weird for the last 80 to 100 laps. I’m sure it was already starting to break, and it finally just broke the rest of the way.”

Matt DiBenedetto – finished 40th: “(The wreck) kind of came out of the blue. We had a decent car and were running OK, and then it drove off into (turn) one. Either something broke or it blew a right front. We’re not really sure. I hate it for my guys. They worked hard. We changed everything going into the race, it’s unfortunate. Thank you to Cosmo Motors, the whole team at BK Racing. I’m always grateful for the opportunity and we’ll go get them next week.”

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Winners and losers from Las Vegas

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WINNERS

Paul Wolfe — Great call to have Joey Logano not pit before the final restart. Of course it helped that six other cars stayed out. Still, the top two cars came down pit road and Logano, running third, stayed out and won.

Matt DiBenedettoFinishes second in his second race with the Wood Brothers.

Jimmie JohnsonScored his first top-five finish since last summer’s Daytona race.

Bubba Wallace Decision not to pit allowed him to finish sixth, giving him his best Cup finish on a 1.5-mile track.

LOSERS

Todd Gordon and Greg Ives— For every high, there is a low. Gordon apologized on the radio to Ryan Blaney for calling him to pit road while leading before the final restart. Blaney finished 11th. Ives called Bowman to pit road while running second before the final restart. Bowman finished 13th. Ives tweeted that he was “VERY frustrated with my call at the end not to game on old tires, especially in Vegas.”

19 pit crew — Martin Truex Jr.’s pit crew got him into the lead under caution after Stage 2 but he had to return to pit under that caution to tighten loose lug nuts. Said Truex after the race: “We just need to quit having mistakes on pit road.”

William ByronLined up second on the final restart but contact with Matt DiBenedetto led to a tire rub and Byron falling back before he was involved in the crash that ended race. He finished 22nd.

Ross Chastain says his finish ‘unacceptable’ in place of Newman

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He scored a 10th-place finish in the first stage and ran as high as fifth Sunday in a car he never raced before.

Ross Chastain still had a harsh evaluation of his 27th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the No. 6 Ford, which he drove in place of an injured Ryan Newman.

Chastain finished two laps down after causing the final caution on a Lap 262 spin, which he judged “unacceptable,” along with his restart performance (“guys kind of ate me alive”) as a substitute for Roush Fenway Racing.

“It’s hard to get out of the car after you have a top-10 car, and you go and run into people and pick the wrong lanes on restarts and then spin it out at the end,” Chastain said. “That’s pretty silly. Just a lot of mistakes on my end and then at the end just overdriving and for one position to be the first car a lap down. That’s unacceptable.”

Chastain had an average running position of 16.87 over the 400-mile race, which went south after he pitted under green from 15th on Lap 217 of 267. The yellow flag flew five laps later, and Chastain took a wavearound to restart 21st.

(Photo by Will Lester/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On the restart, he made contact with Kurt Busch and pitted under green to fix a tire rub, which left him a lap down when he spun with five laps remaining.

“There were a lot of small mistakes on my end, but I learned a ton,” he said. “The car deserved a lot better finish.  Obviously, we showed that early and I just didn’t have great restarts. I just have to be better.

“RFR and everybody puts so much into these cars, and ultimately I’m the one holding the wheel.  We had such a good first stage and had so much confidence and from there I just started making mistakes.”

Chastain, who finished 10th in Sunday night’s rain-delayed Xfinity race, will be driving the No. 6 for Roush while Newman recovers from his Daytona 500 crash. In a statement from the team Sunday morning, Newman indicated he plans to drive again this season, but no timetable has been provided for his return.

Chase Briscoe wins rain-delayed Xfinity race in Las Vegas

Chase Briscoe
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Chase Briscoe won Sunday’s rain-delayed Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, beating fellow Ford driver Austin Cindric by almost three seconds to claim his third career Xfinity win.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver led 89 laps in the race, which began late Saturday afternoon but was red flagged on Lap 51 due to rain.

Briscoe and Cindric were the only Ford drivers in the field.

Ryan Sieg placed third to earn his sixth career top-five finish and his first on a 1.5-mile track.

The top five was completed by Daytona winner Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton.

“That was really a team win,” Briscoe told Fox Sports. “We were really good, then as soon as the sun went down when we were in dirty air, we just weren’t really good. In clean air, obviously there at the end we were really good. … This is something I feel we can do all year long.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

More: Click here for race results.

More: Click here for the point standings.

WHAT’S NEXT: Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway at 4 p.m. ET Feb. 29 on FS1.

Chevy drivers positive about new Camaro body after Las Vegas

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Positive reviews are in from a few Chevrolet Cup drivers after their first race on an intermediate track with the updated Camaro ZL1 1LE body, which was introduced this year in an effort to improve the manufacturer’s performance after two lackluster seasons.

Those reviews are backed by the final results for Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

After the chaos created by a last-lap crash, six Chevrolets finished in the top 10. They were led by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and Jimmie Johnson placing in the top five.

That followed Chase Elliott leading 70 laps and winning both stages before his one-car incident in the middle of the final stage.

In last year’s spring race on the 1.5-mile track, only two Chevys – Kurt Busch (fifth) and Elliott (ninth) – finished in the top 10. Three Chevy drivers combined to lead 23 of the race’s 267 laps.

“We’re trying to just understand this new Camaro body and the setup that needs to go with it,” said Johnson. “We’re close, but there’s still a little bit more work for us to do on our car to get the balance between the clean air and the traffic closer. But for the first try on a downforce track, the guys did a really nice job.”

Johnson earned his first top five since last July’s race at Daytona. He placed 19th in this race last year.

“It’s really rewarding to see,” Johnson said. “Last year when we left here, we had quite the opposite feeling and were pretty worried about what the year was going to hold for us. So, it’s really nice to have that change of perspective now. There’s a lot of Chevys up front, one of our Hendrick cars led for a while. So, we’re going the right way.”

Johnson’s teammate, Alex Bowman, was running in second when the final caution came out inside 10 laps to go. After his team chose to pit, Bowman placed 13th.

“This new Camaro, for its first time on a downforce track, I’m just really pleased with it so far,” Bowman said. “I think it’s going to be really good for us. Obviously, I’m bummed out to finish 13th after staring at a second place or a win. But it’s part of it; it’s how racing goes. We win as a team and lose as a team. It just didn’t go our way there at the end.”

Last year, Chevrolet only earned seven wins, with two coming on 1.5-mile tracks. Bowman claimed one of those at Chicagoland Speedway.

Added Bowman: “Compared to how we started the last two seasons, I think we’ve got something for them this year.”

One Chevrolet driver said it was “still early” for assessing the new bodies.

“I think the Hendrick cars were really good,” said Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson, who placed ninth. “I felt about the same as last year. So, we just have to continue to get better.”