What drivers said after New Hampshire race


Here’s what drivers said after Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Matt Kenseth — Winner: “This has never been one of my good tracks, but Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) has a great setup here and I have great teammates. Certainly when I first got here, Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin) taught me a lot about this place that I applied every lap today. Just fortunate guy to be driving this thing, when they drive this good it definitely makes my job a lot easier.”

Tony Stewart — Finished 2nd: “I feel like we are getting better each week now. (Mike Bugarewicz, crew chief) is doing a great job on the box. You can see the confidence not only in him, but all the guys on the team. Our Chevy’s are fast right now.  I feel like we are gaining on it. What we said, I don’t know when we said it, we were talking about you crawl before you walk, walk before you run, run before you jog and job before you sprint. We are definitely running right now. I feel like we are getting pretty close to this sprint at the end.”

Joey Logano — Finished 3rd: “We were awful to start the race. We tried some new things thinking that we needed to get better here. This is a track that we’ve been a second‑ to fifth‑place car here the last five races, so we tried something different, and we went from sixth to 20th or so pretty quick early in the race, almost went down a lap, and we aborted that mission in the middle of the race and went back to what we normally do. We got our car to be an eighth‑ to 10th‑place car, so we started picking them off slowly one at a time.’’

Kevin Harvick – Finished 4th: “I’m disgusted to tell you the truth. It’s the same thing every week. We just make mistake after mistake and until we clean that up we don’t have a chance to win races putting ourselves in a hole every time we make a mistake. It sucks because the cars are plenty fast, but we are just not executing.”

Greg Biffle – Finished 5th: “It was a great run with (Kyle Busch) there toward the end. We finally had a chance to race with those guys a little bit. We are still working hard on these cars to get them faster. There was a lot of attrition there at the end that got us in the top-five but once we got up there we were pretty fair racing with the 18, 4 and 22.”

Jamie McMurray – Finished 6th: “We had good pit stops and had good restarts. You have to have all that here. The race kind of drew out for a little while and we had long green flag runs.  Then in the last 40 laps we were just crazy on all those restarts. It seemed like on some of them you wanted to be on the top, some of them you wanted to be on the bottom. The guy in second is at such a disadvantage on those restarts, especially when you start spinning the tires. So, a really solid day for us today.”

Ryan Newman – Finished 7th: “They checked up in front of me and I got (Carl Edwards) and crossed him up and took about three other guys out. But, that was ‘racing’ I guess, from my standpoint. Maybe they see it that way. Maybe they don’t. But, just let them know it wasn’t on purpose. We had about maybe a 15th-place car and to finish where we did was definitely good.”

KYLE BUSCH — Finished 8th: “Our Interstate Batteries Camry was fast today. We just didn’t need all of those cautions at the end. The car was strong on a long run. We still seemed to battle the balance and just kept going loose and tight at different points on the track. Given how much we led we are a little disappointed with eighth, but we’ll take it and look to Indy next weekend.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Finshed 10th: “All weekend we definitely didn’t think we had a top-10 car. We fought hard though. Everybody on this Fastenal team worked really hard and we caught some breaks at the right time and the right lane on restarts at the right times. We made it work. I think that we have some more to work on, and I think we know where we can make up some time. We will come back and hopefully be a little bit better next time.”

Ryan Blaney – Finished 11th: “I am disappointed in myself. We had a really good Fusion there about halfway through the race and sped on pit road during our green flag stop and that set us back a lot. Luckily we were able to get a wave-around and it worked out. We just kept missing wrecks and got lucky on that caution at the end to salvage a decent day. I messed up for two weeks in a row and that is unacceptable. I have to clean up my act for upcoming races.”

Jimmie Johnson – Finished 12th: “It was a tough day. We had a fifth-to-eighth place Lowe’s Chevy and I just messed up sliding through my pit. That was disappointing, for sure.”

Brad Keselowski, – Finished 15th: “We were probably a fourth or fifth place car all day today. We were solid right up there. There at the end there was a restart and some guys got jumbled up in front of us and we were in the middle of three and got squeezed. We bounced off (Kurt Busch) and got hit by (Joey Logano) and cut down a tire and had to come in. We got back up to 15th, which I guess all things considered isn’t too bad.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 16th: “A lot of positives we can take out of today. I think looking forward to the Chase and what we’re trying to do with this team, this is a big relief to come here and be able to run well. We knew this was one of our tough tracks and if we could come here and get through here good in September then we’ll be set up to start pretty good in the Chase. All in all, total team effort and the pit crew was great today, the best they’ve been all year by far. We’re doing everything right, but we’re taking some on the chin here, but this isn’t when it counts so we’ll just keep our heads up and keep working. Our race cars are fast and everyone is doing a great job. Sooner or later we’ll get everything straight.”

Trevor Bayne — Finished 23rd: “This wasn’t the finish we were looking for. We fought hard all race long but just got shuffled out there on that last restart. I’m proud of the effort my guys on this AdvoCare Ford gave this weekend and we’ll look ahead to Indy and see what we can do there.”

Alex Bowman – Finished 26th: “I can’t thank Hendrick Motorsports and all these guys enough. They took me to my worst race track by far and made me look good. I just have to thank Mr. H. I had such an amazing time. Everybody, Greg (Ives, crew chief) and all the guys were so welcoming. I hate the circumstances and really hope Dale is feeling well, but I had so much fun today. Obviously, I hate that we didn’t get the finish we deserve.”