What drivers said after Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard

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From the race to the heat to the wrecks, drivers had a lot to say after Sunday’s Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Here are some of their comments:

Kyle Busch – Winner: “No, I guess I didn’t. I hoped it would be like that and be that good. This Skittles Camry was awesome; I can’t thank everyone from Skittles enough and everyone from M&M’s and their 75th anniversary year this season with us. Of course, Interstate Batteries. This Toyota was awesome today; it was just so fast and able to get out front and stay out front. Not even some of my teammates could challenge. This thing was hooked up and on rails. I can’t say enough about Sprint and everything they’ve done for our sport. Of course the fans – thank everyone for being here and everyone watching on TV – you guys are awesome. We appreciate all of our partners at Joe Gibbs Racing. Adam Stevens (crew chief) and these guys are a phenomenal group, and I’m proud to be with them. It’s fun to come out here and have such a dominant piece at Indy. They don’t come along often, so I was just hoping I didn’t screw it up.”

Matt Kenseth – Finished 2nd: “It didn’t seem like it (if he had anything late in the race for teammate Kyle Busch). We never got in front of him all day, and the clean air is always really big here. It was a great day for our Dollar General Camry. We did not have a good Friday, did not have a good Saturday and pretty respectable Sunday. We were pretty competitive all day, just never got quite to the lead to see what we had.”

Jimmie Johnson – Finished 3rd: “It says a lot (rallying back to finish 3rd). We’ve been working really hard to get our cars where they need to be. We’re still not happy, but we’re getting closer. I’m very proud of the effort today. Unfortunately, a mistake on my part in that second segment, trying to get in the pits I got dinged for speeding and then rallied from like 24th back. So, I’m just very proud of this race team, and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports and I’m very proud to run this red car and represent all the men and women who work in Lowe’s stores all around the country. We got third, but I wish we would have gotten a win.”

Denny Hamlin – Finished 4th: “(Our race) was great, our FedEx Camry was great it got through traffic well as you saw going back to 20th with that penalty and driving to the front. Proud of the effort by our whole FedEx Camry team. It’s disappointing to just get a top-five. We had aspirations to come here and win. Like I said, you have to be perfect in every part of the race team, especially on race day to win these races, especially track position races, and we just had one big mistake on pit road, and we at least came back and got a top-five.”

Kyle Larson – Finished 5th: “I don’t know that I was expecting much more than a top five, really. I didn’t know we’d have that speed in our car. And we were probably a fifth or seventh-place car. But I was able to get some good restarts there at the end. It was just a solid day for the whole Target team. The Energizer Chevy was good from the start, which helps. We qualified good for once, and it was just a solid weekend. It was a good one.”

Kevin Harvick – Finished 6th: “Yeah, I thought I had a flat tire, and the car was just really tight.  I am kind of disappointed there at the end; I was in a pretty good spot and on the restart the pace car was consistently going way too slow.  It’s unfortunate they can’t correct small problems like that.  I just couldn’t get going and got the No. 78 (Martin Truex, Jr.) and the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) in front of us and wound up on the outside and then we were just treading water from there.  But, all-in-all everybody did a good job, we are definitely off a little bit.”

Joey Logano – Finished 7th: “It just was not good (his last restart) I had a decent restart the first time, and the second one I probably had just as good of a restart, but the 20 got underneath me and I was kind of stuck from that point and kind of fell into the clutches of the tires behind me. I was trying to stay down and be where I needed to be to get in front of them, but they just kept turning underneath me. I hate that we finished seventh, but it’s probably where we deserved to finish from a speed point of view. I thought our execution went very well today to give us an opportunity to win, but we couldn’t quite get it done when it mattered.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 8th: “They were wrecking all over the place on those restarts and that was costly for us. Our Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota was fast all day, but being caught in the outside lane for those restarts at the end really hurt our chances.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 9th: “Solid day.  We struggled getting track position. We had one of the fastest cars during the middle of the race. We really had to work hard to get up through there.  Restarts … we struggle man. I got to get going on those restarts.  I tried something on that last one, but it hurt me a little bit. I was able to get a bunch of it back and finish kind of where we were supposed to finish. I’m proud of my guys. We can keep working on this and see what we can do going forward. Good points day, too.”

Tony Stewart – Finished 11th: “When we got the checkered, we just didn’t want to come in quite yet. I wanted to run one more lap, and Jeff was around us. Before that last green run, I told my spotter to go get his spotter and said after this thing is over, we needed to go a lap around here together because it’s likely the last time we’ll get both a chance to do that. I couldn’t think of a better guy to share that with than Jeff … This has been the most relaxing Brickyard I’ve ever had and probably the most fun I’ve ever had in the Brickyard. It was nice to win those two races, but it was stressful to do it. We really enjoyed it, had a lot of fun from start to finish … (As for his finish) I really did the team wrong here.  I got a penalty on the last stop, and that is a green flag stop that turned into a yellow and got us a lap down.  But we fought and got our lap back. So, fought back and got something respectable out of this.  Didn’t leave anything out there.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Finished 12th: “It wasn’t a bad day. This was definitely our best Indy performance across the board – qualifying, practices, the race. We still have a lot of work to do. We know where we need to work, we just have to make sure we get that and I think it will translate to all of the other racetracks we go to. The flatter race tracks we struggle at, so at Pocono next week we can hopefully get some ideas to help with turn two and turn three because that’s the biggest key for us is to get our car through the corner and off. I felt good with everybody on entry and through the center I just need to get a little bit better, but it was nice to come home with the Sunny D Ford in 12th.”

Jeff Gordon – Finished 13th: “Better than last year, it didn’t go very well and it was a fight, wow. The challenge to be out there against the best, especially on those restarts – I got my butt kicked on those restarts and it’s embarrassing – while I was filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and I hope he’s doing well, but I need a fill-in on restarts. … I’m going to need some practice on restarts for Pocono (next week’s race, where he’ll also fill in for Earnhardt). On one hand, I’m relieved that this is over. On the other hand, I would have liked it to go a little better. And a thank you to Tony Stewart, it meant a lot to me that he wanted me to make that last lap with him. … (Is Pocono his last race) “Whew!  It it’s this hot, I hope so!  My thing is that I can’t wait to talk to Dale Junior and debrief him on how today went and see how he’s doing. I want him in the car as soon as possible.  I’m too old to be doing this stuff. But to come here and do this race and finish a decent 13th, I think I can do better next week for him and then we’ll just go from there.

Chris Buescher – Finished 14th: “It was a good finish for us. We had a couple things finally go our way and stayed out of the wrecks in front of us. It is nice to have a little bit of luck and decent speed. We worked hard this weekend and got it close. It got better through the weekend and it is my first time in a Cup car here at Indy so we will definitely take that finish.”

Brad Keselowski – Finished 17th: “It was a long, hard day. We just weren’t quite as fast as the Gibbs’ cars, but we were competitive.  I had a shot at it at the end when we came in and put tires on, but got caught up when the 19 spun out.  I thought we actually had a shot at winning it and kind of stealing one on tires, but when that wreck happened it took away any shot we had.  There was too much damage, but that’s just part of it.  There was nowhere to go, but that’s definitely not the result we wanted for sure.”

Kasey Kahne – Finished 18th: “We had pretty good restarts throughout the race, but just real tight and we never really could get it out of it except after the tires would wear out it would free up just off tires getting hotter.  We were just tight all day.”

Carl Edwards – Finished 35th: “It felt like I just got tight. Got down there, and whoever was on the outside of me. If indeed that’s what happened, I apologize. That’s pretty frustrating. I don’t know if I came down or they came up, but it felt like I got in there and scrubbed that right front. I was having a lot of trouble the first corner on the outside. I thought it would stick when went down there. It’s hard for everyone who got caught up in it. That’s tough.”

Ryan Blaney – Finished 36th: “I didn’t really see much (his wreck). I unfortunately got back there, and I didn’t see who got together. I thought I was by it and then the 31 spun out and I didn’t have anywhere to go. I’ll have to rewatch it on replay, but it stinks. I thought we had a decent car. We kind of put ourselves in a hole and we were trying to fight back from that and this just made a bad day worse. We’ll just go to Pocono next week and try to get better.”

David Ragan – Finished 37th: “We just blew a left rear tire and slapped the wall. We were okay. We never just could get the track position. I felt like we had a top-25 car. We raced there in the mid-to-high 20s and just without a lot of cautions – a lot of opportunities to work on our race car – we were just kind of stuck. It’s really hard to pass here and felt like our Brandeis Toyota was okay. We could race around some decent cars, but just never could have the track position to really see what we could do. … Ran over something and cut a tire on the front straightaway. Tried to get it slowed down and just couldn’t slow it down quick enough.”

AJ Allmendinger – Finished 38th: “The No. 6 car (Trevor Bayne) was just kind of slow off Turn 4. I was trying to time it. He was just kind of in the way, so I just tried to time it a little bit and make the pass. I just nicked him as I went by with my right-front. Honestly, I didn’t think anything of it and evidently it poked a hole in the radiator when it did it. Barely had any damage to the car so I’m not sure why it got the radiator so bad, but lost water pressure and it blew up. … I think there are positives. I think we can get the back of our cars really good when we focus on that. Got to keep working on the front of the car. It would have been fun. I was finally having fun there working on the race car.”

Greg Biffle – Finished 39th: “We blew a right-front tire and went straight into the fence. We were either real loose or real tight, and we just couldn’t get the balance right. We’ve just got to get them to turn a little better. … I don’t know what happened.  The right-front went down at the end of the straightaway.  That’s the worst possible place, but unfortunately, it happened. We were a little bit tight on that run, and it’s just toast.” … (The heat) wasn’t that bad, really. I was doing pretty good.”

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Blown tires end race early for several Texas contenders

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A Goodyear official said that air pressures that teams were using contributed to some drivers blowing tires in Sunday’s Cup playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. all crashed while leading after blowing a tire. Among the others who had tire issues were Alex Bowman, Chris Buescher Cole Custer and Christopher Bell twice. 

“We’re gaining as much information as we can from the teams, trying to understand where they are with regard to their settings, air pressures, cambers, suspicions,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing Sunday. “For sure I can say without a doubt air pressure is playing into it. We know where a lot of the guys are. Some were more aggressive than others. We know that plays a part.

MORE: NASCAR says it missed William Byron spinning Denny Hamlin under caution 

“I’m not saying that’s the only thing, but it’s certainly a factor, so we’re just trying to understand everything else that is going on with regard to specific teams. We know a lot of guys have not had issues. We’ve had guys put full fuel runs on tires, but, obviously, other guys have had issues. We’ll be working with them to try to sort through that is.”

Eight of the 16 cautions were related to tire failures that caused drivers to spin or crash.

“It’s not a good look, that’s for sure,” Ryan Blaney said of the tire issues others had. “How many leaders blew tires tonight? Three or four?

“You just don’t understand what is making these things do that. From last week to this week, it’s really unfortunate. It’s just luck now.

“You never know if you’re going to blow one. You go into (Turn) 3 almost every lap with 40 laps on your stuff and I don’t know if one is going to blow out or not. That’s not safe. That’s for sure. Running (180) into (Turn) 3 and the thing blows out and you have no time to react to it. It’s unfortunate. I hope we can figure that out.”

Blaney said he was confused that the tires were blowing partly into a run instead of much earlier.

“It was weird because those tires didn’t blow right away,” he said. “Like the pressures were low. They blew like after a cycle or two on them, which is the weird thing.”

Asked how he handles that uncertainty, Blaney said: “Nothing I can do about it. Just hope and pray.”

After his crash, Elliott was diplomatic toward Goodyear’s situation:

“I’m not sure that Goodyear is at fault,” he said. “Goodyear always takes the black eye, but they’re put in a really tough position by NASCAR to build a tire that can survive these types of racetracks with this car. I wouldn’t blame Goodyear.”

Tyler Reddick, who won Sunday’s race at Texas, said his team made adjustments to the air pressure settings after Saturday’s practice.

“We ran enough laps, were able to see that we had been too aggressive on our right front tire,” he said. “So we made some adjustments going into the race, thankfully.”

This same time was used at Kansas and will be used again at Las Vegas next month in the playoffs. 

Reddick is hopeful of a change but also knows it might take time.

“I just think to a degree, potentially, as these cars have gotten faster and we’re getting more speed out of them, maybe, hypothetically speaking, we’re putting the cars through more load and more stress on the tire than they ever really thought we would be,” he said. 

“I know Goodyear will fix it. That’s what they do. It’s going to be a process. I know they’re going to be on top of it. Hey, they don’t want to see those failures. We don’t want to see them either. They’re going to be working on looking through and trying to find out exactly what is going on. We’ll all learn from it.

“It’s a brand-new car. It’s the first time in the history of our sport we’ve gone to an 18-inch wheel and independent rear suspension. All these things are way different, diffuser. All these things, way different. We’re all learning together. Unfortunately, just the nature of it, we’re having tire failures.”

NASCAR says it missed William Byron spin Denny Hamlin under caution

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A senior NASCAR executive admitted that series officials did not see William Byron spin Denny Hamlin under caution on the frontstretch of Sunday’s Cup playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway. 

The missed call could have major implications in the playoffs — even if series officials decide to penalize Byron later this week, as was hinted Sunday night. 

The issue occurred after Martin Truex Jr. blew a tire while leading and crashed in Turn 3 on Lap 269 of the 334-lap race.  

With the caution lights illuminated, Hamlin slowed. Byron hit him in retaliation for forcing him into the wall earlier. Hamlin spun across the infield grass. NASCAR did not put Hamlin back in his original spot before the contact and did not penalize Byron.

“When we were in the tower, we were paying more attention to the actual cause of the caution up there and dispatching our equipment,” Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition said after the race. “The William Byron-Denny Hamlin thing, we had no eyes on. We saw Denny go through the grass.

“By the time we got a replay that showed the incident well enough to do anything to it, we had gone back to green. I’m not sure that that issue is completely resolved as of yet. We’ll be looking at that when we get back to work.”

Miller did not elaborate on what NASCAR could do this week.

Hamlin expressed his shock on social media at Miller’s comments:

Miller explained how officials missed the Byron-Hamlin incident: “The cameras and the monitors that we’ve got, we dedicate them mostly to officiating and seeing our safety vehicles and how to dispatch them. By the time we put all those cameras up (on the monitor in the control tower), we don’t have room for all of the in-car cameras to be monitored.

“If we would have had immediate access to (Byron)’s in-car camera, that would have helped us a lot, being able to find that quickly. That’s definitely one of the things we’re looking at.”

Race winner Tyler Reddick said NASCAR needs to address the situation to avoid other contact under caution in the future.

“In William’s situation, whether he ran him over on accident or on purpose, there should be some sort of penalty for him on that side because he’s completely screwed someone’s race up, whether it was on purpose or not,” Reddick said. “I feel like there should be something done there.

I’m sure (NASCAR will) make some sort of a decision. I’m sure there will be something they’ll address this week, updates, on NASCAR’s side. I’ll be curious to see what that is. We can’t really have this where you dump someone under caution, they go to the back and you don’t. That could potentially be an interesting situation in the future.”

Byron said he hit Hamlin to show his dissatisfaction for being forced into the wall. 

“I felt like he ran me out of race track off of (Turn) 2 and had really hard contact with the wall,” Byron said. “Felt like the toe link was definitely bent, luckily not fully broken. We were able to continue.

“A lot of times that kind of damage is going to ruin your race, especially that hard. I totally understand running somebody close and making a little bit of contact, but that was pretty massive.”

On the retaliatory hit, Byron said: “I didn’t mean to spin him out. That definitely wasn’t what I intended to do. I meant to bump him a little bit and show my displeasure and unfortunately, it happened the way it did. Obviously, when he was spinning out, I was like ‘I didn’t mean to do this,’ but I was definitely frustrated.”

Hamlin didn’t see it that way.

“I guess we can just wreck each other under caution,” Hamlin told NBC Sports’ Kim Coon. “I tried to wreck him back. I don’t think we touched. I’ve got to look. I don’t think we touched. Obviously he sent us through the infield under caution.”

Asked about having a conversation with Byron, Hamlin said: “I keep hearing these guys, but I’ll just add it to the list of guys when I get a chance they’re going to get it.”

Hamlin and crew chief Chris Gabehart both were frustrated with NASCAR not putting Hamlin back to second after the contact. Instead, NASCAR put him outside the top 15. After pitting, Hamlin restarted 19th. Byron, after pitting, restarted 10th. 

“The man wrecks you under caution and he gets no penalty?” Gabehart said on the team’s radio. “What are they doing?”

Said Hamlin after the race: “I can’t argue the rules with them inside the car and the team did everything they could to try to make a case but ultimately we went spinning through the infield under caution.”

The result is that Byron finished seventh. That puts him third in the playoff standings. He’s 17 points above the cutline going into next weekend’s race at Talladega.

Hamlin finished 10th and is sixth in the playoff standings. He’s eight points above the cutline. 

What drivers said at Texas Motor Speedway

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What drivers said during and after Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway, where Tyler Reddick scored his third win of the season, outrunning Joey Logano by 1.19 seconds:

Tyler Reddick — Finished first: “I was extremely worried, I’m not going to lie. Unfortunately, just about every time we’ve had fast cars, we’ve had some tire problems. Yeah, that last run the right sides were vibrating really, really hard there. I was just trying to maximize and use the gap that I built over Joey (Logano) just in case. I mean, every time we’ve had a strong car, we’ve been bit by something. This will make that, the pain of not making it through (the first round), a little bit easier. Even though, yes, it would have locked us into the Round of 8. We’re winning races. That’s what we’ll keep trying to do.”

Joey Logano — Finished second: “Yeah, the tires, if they aren’t blowing out then they are square. They were shaking like crazy. That is what happened there the last run. The last couple of runs really, just shaking the car. We got tight a couple runs and last time I got one that was off in the rear and we got loose. I think (Tyler) Reddick was fighting the same thing from what I heard there. You get that close to the win and you just know that if you just had that it might have been good enough to win the race. At the same time we should be happy that we scored a bunch of points today. It is bittersweet, I guess. It was a successful day for points scored. We got stage points in both stages and we were able to get a bunch by finishing second there. Yeah, it was a sloppy race for everyone on the track. We were just able to position ourselves really good at the end. Paul (Wolfe) did a good job calling the race and putting four tires on when we needed to and putting two tires on when we needed to cycle forward.”

Justin Haley — Finished third: “This was a long, challenging race. We finished third at Darlington earlier in the season and started pretty much last there, as well, so it’s pretty cool to have another really great run for this Kaulig Racing team. Our No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1 definitely wasn’t what I liked, but we kept working on it and actually when it turned dark, we got some good track position and made a heck of a run out of it. I’m really proud of everyone at Kaulig Racing. At the end, I was just worried that the right rear is going to go down, so I was just trying to make it to the end. P3 is everything we could want right now.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished fourth: “It was a long night, for sure. It didn’t start out very good at all. We got better and better through the night and throughout the day we were able to win a stage and claw our way back from pretty far back in the pack there that last run to get to fourth. I thought our Mustang was probably the best car at the end. We just couldn’t pass anybody. Overall, not a bad night. A pretty wild night. Luckily, we were able to put together a solid race.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished fifth: “The first 90 percent of the race we were struggling. We couldn’t get the balance of the car right. We would be too loose or too tight and could never find where we needed to be. After that red flag, I think the nighttime coming in kind of helped us a bit. With 80 to go we were hoping to catch more cautions and make it on fuel, and we were able to get our track position that way and it ended up working out. We did what we needed to do for our Rush Truck Centers Ford. We were not a fifth-place car. We weren’t even a 15th-place car. To steal some points like that is huge. Going to Talladega, we are not in a massive hole, and that is the most important thing. We will go there and hopefully have a little luck go our way and see what happens.”

Erik Jones — Finished sixth: “It ended up being a solid day for our FOCUSfactor Chevy team. The day started out a little rough. We were just struggling with the balance and got it better late in the race. We ended up taking tires with about 30 laps to go and were able to come back through the field for a sixth-place finish. I’m proud of that. We struggled at Texas in the All-Star race, and we got a lot better from then to today. It’s good to have a good week. We needed one after the last few weeks. Hopefully, we can carry some  momentum to Talladega next weekend and try to close one out there.”

William Byron — Finished seventh: “Yeah, he (Denny Hamlin) ran me out of room. The toe link. We’re lucky we finished. It was really, really hard contact. It wasn’t like just a light contact or anything like that. Yeah, I didn’t mean to obviously spin him out over there. Obviously, I’m pissed off — just not going to get run like that. We’ve always raced so well together. I don’t know what it was all about. The 19 (Martin Truex Jr.) took his air away, he ran out of racetrack, so he chose to run me out of racetrack completely. Again, look, it’s not like it was just contact. I thought we were going to be done. I went to go show my displeasure. I didn’t mean to hit him and spin him out. There’s a ton of guys that do this and go do something like that. I see it all the time. I’m just not going to get run like that. Yeah, there’s really no reason. We’re running second and third I think. Had a shot to win. Killed our car, for sure. That was a bummer. We’ll probably talk. Look, we’ve never had issues, so I didn’t really get it. … Yeah, it was uncalled for. Feel like we handled it.”

MORE: Texas Cup results

MORE: Texas Cup driver points

Kyle Larson — Finished ninth: “You try to shake it off the best that you can and go out there and put together some good runs. We were able to overcome all the spots that we would lose on pit road. I felt like I drove from the back to the top five or six — almost every run. Really, really good car. Proud of the effort there at the shop, the piece that we brought here to Texas. It’s good we were above the cut, but yeah, we’re plus 16. I feel like we could have been plus 34 or something at least. Bummer there. Potentially could have won the race, I think. We had the best car. The weather delay really hurt, too. I think we were by far the best when the track was hot. When it got cooler out, I got loose, everybody seemed to get faster. It was just harder to pass. I mean, hopefully I would love to get some stage points (next week at Talladega), pat ourselves a little bit, cross our fingers and pray to God that we see a checkered flag.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 10th: “I guess we can just wreck each other under caution. I tried to wreck him (William Byron) back. I don’t think we touched. I got to look. I don’t think we touched. Obviously, he sent us into the infield under caution. I keep hearing these guys. I’ll just add it to the list of guys when I get a chance. They’re going to get it. It all just works itself out. We’ll be racing each other at some point. He’ll lose a lot of spots because he’s racing me. This is hard racing, obviously. I’m fine with hard racing. But wrecking me under caution is obviously not what we were bargaining for.”

Daniel Suarez — Finished 12th: “It was a tough day. We got decent points, but the car wasn’t what we were hoping for. The entire weekend, we were kind of off. The car had good speed, but the balance of the car wasn’t good. We just have to continue to work. I think we had a decent points day. We just have to continue to work and get better.”

Ross Chastain — Finished 13th: “There were just a lot of ups and downs today. We cycled up to get stage points. The balance was neutral all day, but we got loose when we wanted it to be our last pit stop. We pitted and then we were back there in the very back for the second-to-last restart and got involved with the No. 10 (Aric Almirola) there. We just struggled with the balance the last 80 laps or so, but other than that, it was a good day for our No. 1 Renu Camaro ZL1 team.”

Austin Cindric — Finished 15th: “I felt like we had a really fast Discount Tire Ford Mustang. We made the right changes throughout the day. I would say we didn’t execute very well at the beginning of the race but passed a lot of cars throughout the day and then got caught up in somebody else’s mistake that took us out of a top five or top three or even a shot at the win. I am very upset about it. Getting stage points has been our weakness as a race team. We were able to get that in both stages today and really grind one out and show a lot of poise but have nothing to show for it so I am pretty upset about it. We are still on offense. We will put our heart and soul into it just like everyone else does. I have a great team behind me and I believe in myself and believe we can make the Round of 8, whether that is with a race win or on points. But it was a missed opportunity tonight, for sure.”

Ty Dillon — Finished 16th: “Today was a back-and-forth day with strategy. Our Black Rifle Camaro had good speed. We brought a good piece, and I thought it raced well, just the strategy was kind of back and forth. I think we made the perfect call there at the end of when to pit, and it was looking like we were going to get a top 10. I just caught a little bit of the slime in turn one and had a big moment and lost spots, unfortunately. I’m proud of our effort, proud of the speed in our Camaro. It’s been a lot of fun to drive these fast cars the last couple of weeks.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 17th: “We had a really fast True Velocity Chevrolet tonight at Texas Motor Speedway, so thanks to everyone at RCR and ECR for working hard to give us great equipment. We led the field in practice on Saturday, had a decent starting spot and were strong for a lot of the race. It was nice to lead some laps and earn some stage points. Strategy just didn’t play our way. We lost some track position at the end of the race, and it was really hard to make it up.”

Noah Gragson — Finished 21st: “Solid run by our No. 16 Freedom by Ed Morse team. We had a lot of fun out there and ran up in the top 10 for a lot of the race. I’m really thankful and grateful for the opportunity with Kaulig Racing, Freedom by Ed Morse, and the entire Morse family. I had a lot of fun out there. It was a long, long race. We had some strong runs there throughout the race and got sent by the 11 late in the race when we were running like 10th or 11th. That’s part of it. You’ll have that, but we’ll keep working hard and try and be better in the future.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 31st: “I blew a tire. Simple as that. I guess the same thing as everybody else has been having. Man, I’m ready for this year to be over. Strong Bass Pro Shops Camry. Really strong car. Went to the back and passed a lot of cars today. Spun out in the first stage and I was like, okay, what was that all about. Good car — couldn’t do too much with it. Just kept going to the back and as soon as we got track position the unthinkable happens. It’s a shame. It’s a crazy day for sure – a lot of blown tires.”

Chase Elliott — Finished 32nd: “I’m not sure that Goodyear is at fault. Goodyear always takes the black eye, but they’re put in a really tough position by NASCAR to build a tire that can survive these types of racetracks with this car. I wouldn’t blame Goodyear. Something came apart. I could hear it flapping in the right rear fenderwell. I don’t know, but if it wasn’t down, it was certainly coming apart. One of the two. It’s not a great position to be in for sure, but it is what it is now. … We were actually decent here for once, so that was nice while it lasted. We’ll go to Talladega and try to get a win and go on down the road.”

Cody Ware — Finished 33rd: Team manager Robby Benton said Ware had discomfort in his ankle and would be checked again by medical personnel in Charlotte. “He has been treated and released. We are thankful to the track crew here. We had a bit of a delay going through the normal protocol of x-rays and reviews and making sure there were no fractures. All of that came back clear. He will be on the team plane with us to return to Charlotte tonight and we are happy he is okay. No broken bones. I feel like we will probably follow up just as a precaution. He will see a specialist with Ortho Carolina once we get home. For as hard of a hit as that was, we are thankful it is as clean as it is and he will be okay to go home tonight.”

Christopher Bell — Finished 34th: “Just the second right rear blown of the day – that was disappointing. I’m in a pretty bad spot now. Talladega – I guess we are going to go roll the dice. Roval, I think we will be all right. Road courses haven’t been our strength, but we have been good at a couple of them. I don’t know if we are going to be able to get out of this points hole, but we will give it our best. To have two right rears go in the first half of the race is very strange. I don’t know. It’s a very disappointing day. We are probably going to be in a deep hole now.”

Kyle Busch — Finished 36th: “I was just getting closer to the 11 (Denny Hamlin), and I knew if I tracked him, followed him in the lower groove, I would lose ground, so I went to the high groove where I was making time in the spray and the sticky stuff, but it is not so sticky, apparently, I crashed. I’m trying to go, trying to race. Banana peels out there for me. Too many conditions that you’ve got to be around or go around or figure out or be smarter about. I guess I wasn’t very smart. I didn’t know as a race car driver you could push too hard, but certainly it was a resin issue. I guess you would think being a hundred-and-something degree track temp it would be activated and ready to go, but I tried to get in it earlier than everybody else. Once these cars snap, they are gone. They are not like the old one where you have a little bit of time to react and catch it, but yeah, just trying hard trying to go and conditions are not ready. Banana peels out there it seems. When that stuff is not activated, it is just ice.”

Texas Cup results: Tyler Reddick wins

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Tyler Reddick won Sunday’s 500-mile NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Several playoff drivers, including point leader Chase Elliott, ran into trouble during the race as numerous teams experienced tire problems.

MORE: Texas Cup results

MORE: Texas Cup driver points

The race was pockmarked by cautions and extended by a red flag for rain.

Following Reddick, who won for the third time this season, were Joey Logano, Justin Haley, Ryan Blaney and Chase Briscoe.

Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. both led the race in the late going but were victims of blown tires.