The Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover International Speedway brought the first round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup to a close.
Here’s what the Sprint Cup field had to say about the race.
Martin Truex Jr. – Finished first: “We’re not messing around I guess. I don’t know — what else can you say? We are here to get it done and golly, I’m telling you, just the best bunch of guys you could ever ask for. It’s just amazing to drive their race cars and do what we were able to do. I’m just ecstatic. So many people to thank again. I mean, this is just unbelievable. Especially here I love this race track. It’s been considered a home track for me for a long time. It’s been since ’07 since I won here. Have a lot of heartbreaks here, but all in all just a phenomenal race car again today … Golly, man, it’s just – I’ve got to pinch myself. It’s unbelievable.”
Kyle Busch – Finished second: “We’re not bad. I mean, obviously our cars are really fast, we just haven’t been able to find all of it that the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) had so far. Those guys are doing a phenomenal job, but can’t say enough about everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, (Toyota Racing Development). This M&M’s Camry today was really, really good and class of my field, my zip code, my area code. But, we just kept working on it all day long. We had loose, tight, both and it was just better to be on the looser side and just try to maintain the rear tires and keep them underneath you for the long haul and see what you could get. All in all just need a little bit more speed.
Chase Elliott – Finished third: “It’s been a decent weekend overall. We’ve been working on our car throughout the weekend and I feel like we got it the best we had had it there two runs before the end, which I guess was a good time to try to get it with that long green flag run things kind of worked out for us to get a couple of extra spots that would have been hard to get otherwise. I’m proud of the effort. Really really cool to move on this weekend, I’m proud of that like I said, this group has been doing a really good job. I’m proud of all these guys and we are excited to get on to Charlotte.”
Brad Keselowski – Finished fourth: “We had a decent day. We wanted to be just a little bit faster, but we’re just kind of gnawing away with these top-fives here these first three races, which is good. Of course, we want to get the wins, but top-fives will carry you a long ways.”
Matt Kenseth – Finished fifth: “We weren’t bad, we were just a little off all day and when you don’t get cautions that’s just kind of where you end up. Struggled a little bit passing, it was hard when I’d lose track position on a restart or what have you to get back through there I’d just kind of get stuck wherever we put my car. Then there we had a decent pit stop and good strategy and they put it in fifth and I was able to hang onto that.”
Joey Logano – Finished sixth: “Overall, we did what we had to do. The points are back to zero and we can head to the next round and try to get a win. Every track is different. Dover is obviously a beast of its own. It’s a very cool race track, but everything is so different compared to where we’re gonna go next week to Charlotte and then Kansas and Talladega. They’re all gonna be a lot different for sure, but we’ll take what we learned here for next year and I’m sure there are some things that we can apply to the next race, but most of it is kind of track-specific.”
Jimmie Johnson – Finished seventh: “Well I think today was a different set of circumstances on pit road. It was certainly, I think Chad (Knaus) still questions exactly what happened, but when I was coming into my pit box the No. 18 and the No. 43 were just leaving theirs and they were directly behind my box. I had to slam on the brakes and get turned and get underneath those guys to come in and I was pretty close to my box so I assume that just threw the rhythm off the pit stop and somebody came off the wall early. Certainly a mistake, but it’s not one that I’ve ever had happen on the No. 48 team. Thankfully, we had a strong car that we were only a lap down and still ended up seventh. I do feel like one got away, but very proud of this Lowe’s race team. I’m happy to be advancing we are certainly thrilled about that, but feel like one got away today.”
Austin Dillon – Finished eighth: “The race played into our favor. We did have a fast race car, I’m proud of that. I’m proud to be moving on to the Round of 12 where I have some really solid tracks, one being Talladega where we were able to finish third earlier this year. Just too proud of this AAA team. We didn’t panic. I had a lot of people telling me not to worry. We didn’t have a good practice, and we had a fast race car today, a really fast race car.”
Denny Hamlin – Finished ninth: “So-so day. We knew it was a so-so day and that’s what we did. It’s so hard to race and be aggressive when you have to race to not make any mistakes. We knew we were plenty fast enough today to just do what we had to do, but you can’t make any mistakes on pit lane so you’re a little bit slower. Behind the wheel I’m a lot more conservative than I would be and that equals about a ninth place finish and that’s where we were.”
Tony Stewart – Finished 13th: “I’m pretty excited about our day. We were much better than we were yesterday. Really proud of our team. We kept making it better all day. That is good as we had.”
Carl Edwards – Finished 14th: “I’m so grateful that we made it to this next round because now it’s a zero-zero ballgame. We did not run well these first three races. We really struggled. This place is usually one of our best. Our ARRIS Camry, we’ll work on it and get ready to go racing next week. Now we’ve just got to put all of this behind us and go onto Charlotte.”
Kurt Busch – Finished 15th: “Really proud of this team. We deserve to move on to the next round, but a day like today really tested us to let us know that we’ve got work to do. I’m ready for the challenge. Today was a challenging day, but thanks to our Monster Energy fans, Haas Automation fans, employees, everybody. We are not here just to advance through (a) round, we are here to do well and be a force towards the front. I like Charlotte and I like Kansas. We will see how they play out. We need to gain points there because you can’t go to Talladega expecting a good finish.”
Ryan Newman – Finished 17th: “Unfortunately we had a fast WIX Filters Chevrolet and nothing to show for it today. It was at least a top-10 car. We got caught on pit road when the caution came out early on and that put us down two laps and then we had several tire issues that prevented us from racing back onto the lead lap. It’s pretty frustrating, to say the least, and very disappointing for this team. We had a really good car. Congratulations to the No. 3 team for making the transfer into the next round in the Chase.”
Paul Menard – Finished 22nd: “This wasn’t the afternoon we had in mind today at Dover. The Duracell/Menards Chevrolet had speed this weekend, but starting 26th we knew we had a lot of cars to pass. We kept adjusting on the handling of the car, but the leaders were running such fast laps we fell a lap down. The speeding penalty put us even more laps down and we just didn’t have the cautions we needed to get those laps back.”
Chris Buescher – Finished 23rd: “Now we go back to racing the same way we did this weekend. Nothing really changes. We’ve got the opportunity to test a little bit more and we still have the opportunity to take chances for the rest of the season, but I’m really proud of the guys for all the work this year. To even be in the Chase was a really big deal for Front Row Motorsports and this 34 team. My hat’s off to everybody who has worked so hard this season. It’s unfortunate this is the end of our Chase, but it was a pretty good deal to make it in our first season.”
Kyle Larson – Finished 25th: “There wasn’t much we could do. I cut the right front tire down and got in the wall and still had good speed in the race car after that but it just didn’t work out. Our team has come a long way this season from where we started the year. We were pretty awful at the start of the season but then got a win at Michigan to lock ourselves in the Chase. That was good. I know we have the speed to have made it past a couple of rounds but it’s my typical luck I guess, where it just doesn’t work out.”
Ryan Blaney – Finished 38th: “I think we just blew a right-front (tire) pretty bad. We were running pretty good before that and I wasn’t really getting tight, I was kind of just riding around, and blew a big hole in it. We’ll have to look at it and see what happened, but it’s a shame. We got our car pretty good that second run and were driving up through the field pretty good. I would have liked to see what we would have had if we had a couple more chances to work on it, but we’ll try to get it fixed and make some laps. It’s a shame we couldn’t run good today but it’s a testament to our team of not starting very good and getting a lot better in one pit stop, so that’s something we can take away.”
Jamie McMurray – Finished 40th (engine): “It’s really hard when you run bad, but the fact that we have run so well the last two months and have been very consistent, both cars. You will have things like this happen. It’s frustrating that it happens at this point when you can’t really afford to have anything bad go wrong, but Hendrick motors have been pretty amazing for the last six years I think, five years that we have had them. I think I have only had two motor failures they just both have happened in the Chase.”