What drivers said after Pocono race


Kurt Busch – Winner: “Well it’s special anytime you win.  For (crew chief) Tony Gibson to be out this week because of a lugnut issue we had to overcome a lot.  Johnny Klausmeier our interim crew chief, our lead engineer, he stepped up and when you do that it makes you really feel about that team camaraderie, that team chemistry and that team effort.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 2nd place: “Really we lost the race on the restart. The 24 (Chase Elliott) and me were racing pretty hard.  He was really trying to get his lead back, and he knew if he could get the lead, he was going to win the race.  He got me loose a little bit.  That slowed us up some.  The 41 (Kurt Busch) got a good run on him, and I didn’t do a good enough job holding him off.”

Brad Keselowski – 3rd place: “It was a long day, but overall a decent weekend for the Miller Lite Ford. It wasn’t really two pit penalties, it was two NASCAR penalties and I’m not sure I really know what happened there. The team guys can probably give you a better answer, but we fought back really well. At the end I think we were capable of winning the race with a really fast car, even with the right side door torn up. I guess we had a little contact there when the 48 was spinning, so it shows how fast we were today. We had great pit stops, but just didn’t bring home the win. But we’re really close and been really strong and consistent lately, which is something we’re proud of.”

Chase Elliott – 4th place: “We certainly had I feel like one of our best days of the year personally.  I thought for us to be able to contend and lead laps all day and have a car that could fight for the lead the majority of the day I thought was great.  Obviously I made a big mistake there behind Dale in the tunnel after that restart.  I wish I had been a little more patient and given ourselves a better chance, but you live and you learn.

Joey Logano — 5th place: “We battled hard today. I got us behind by getting that damage. I rallied back a little bit with some good pit strategy by (crew chief) Todd Gordon and the guys on the box. We were able to rally through on the restarts. The restarts are fun. You will half of them and lose half of them. I had a couple winners and a few losers. Once you get through the restarts it kind of is what it is. It was a fuel mileage game at the end to try to save enough to stay where we were but not give up any spots. Nobody ran out though.”

Kasey Kahne – 6th place: “The car was really solid today. It was fun to drive. It was good to drive all day long. I enjoyed that side of it. I think we can take something very similar to Michigan next week. To me, it’s a similar race track in a lot of ways and so hopefully that will still work next week as well. The speeding penalty was just pushing the lights. I was running what I usually run and we might have just been a little aggressive, but we fought back from that.”

Matt Kenseth — 7th place: “We had a great race car. Just had really, really poor restarts and if I did have a good restart, then there was like somebody getting checked up in front of me and I’d lose more spots. I just gave them all up on restarts. Honestly, I think we had a car that could challenge for the win. I just couldn’t figure out how to get to turn one.”

Carl Edwards — 8th place: “It was a long, tough day. They guys worked hard though. We did well on pit road. Every restart something would happen. I was just struggling with the restarts, but just tough day. That’s a tough race track right there. It’s really hard to get an advantage on someone.”

Kyle Larson – 11th place: “I knew we were going to be close on fuel, so I just started saving a lot and hoping the other guys would run out and we’d have enough to make it to the end. So, I only gave up one spot there to (Ryan Blaney). We would have run 10th if I didn’t save as much. But, I had it in the top 10 and could have been better than what I thought we’d finish; I think we were 11th and that’s still not bad.”

Ryan Newman – 12th place: “We got as high as fifth-place but over the course of the race, it was evident that we were missing a little bit on our handling. On a positive, we ran a clean race and learned some things. Like I told Luke (Lambert, crew chief) after the race, I’m looking forward to Michigan (International Speedway) next weekend.”

Trevor Bayne – 13th place: “This is a solid finish for us. (Crew chief) Matt (Puccia) made a great call for two tires on that last pit stop that really gave us the track position we needed all day. Unfortunately some of the guys with fresher tires were able to work their way by us but we were solidly in the top 10 before we had to start saving fuel there toward the end. We’ll get after them again next week in Michigan.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 15th place: “We really struggled on Saturday during practice so to leave Pocono with a 15th-place finish is an accomplishment. Our team is doing exactly what we need to do in the point standings, so hopefully we can keep these strong finishes going and get ourselves into the Chase.”

Martin Truex Jr. – 19th place: “We weren’t great, but had a shot at a much better finish than 19th. It was not the weekend we obviously wanted, but you just have to take what is given to you and move on. Michigan should be a good track for us and hopefully things will go much smoother.”

Danica Patrick – 32nd place: “That definitely wasn’t how we wanted the day to go. I’m not sure what happened there with Tony (Stewart), but I’m proud of the effort from my Nature’s Bakery team to get our car back on track to make the most of the day.”

Paul Menard – 33rd place: “It’s been a long week, and to have this strong of a car but to finish where we did, isn’t what our team deserves. We’ll look at our notes and address problems that need to be fixed for July when we come back to Pocono.”

Landon Cassill — 36th place: “They just started wrecking in front of me so I went low to miss them and it looked like (Danica Patrick) shot down the race track and clipped my right rear and just hooked me into the fence. I didn’t really see what started the wreck but it is just a shame when you don’t get through them.”

Austin Dillon – 37th place:  “I knew early on we had an issue. We tried to take tape off during our pit stops to alleviate any possible problem with the brakes. I knew exactly what it was when we hit the wall. This doesn’t help us in our bid for the Chase.”

Matt DiBenedetto — 40th place: “We had a really rough start to the race in the first place. (Martin) Truex (Jr.) was pulling out of his pit stall and we were coming in and there was some sort of miscommunication there and I feel bad for him. We tore our car up there and tried to fix it – got it where it was drivable and going into one something broke or not sure what happened. It was probably something damage related and we went and killed the wall. I hate that we can’t get any luck. Hopefully, we’ll get on track soon.”