What drivers said after All-Star Race at Bristol

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Chase Elliott — Winner: “I can’t believe it. What a better night to have fans back than tonight – y’all are awesome. There’s nothing like Bristol. There’s nothing like the lights here. There’s nothing like racing here. I’ve never won here – what a race to do it. Just really proud of our team tonight and rebounding. We’ve had a really tough couple of weeks and just felt like we had kind of gotten off base and I felt like I was struggling. Just tried to hit the reset button this week, and came out and put on a great performance – great car. Just can’t thank all our partners enough, everybody that makes this happen. All those No. 9 hats and t-shirts up in the stands – love to see it.”

Kyle Busch — Finished 2nd: “It seemed like we were mired in 10th most of tonight and then the last couple adjustments really helped us. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) did a great job helping the car and making it better. I got a good restart. I think I went from 12th all the way up to fifth so that was a huge bonus for us getting that track position. Overall, just have to keep fighting.”

Kevin Harvick — Finished 3rd: “There were a couple laps there that I had to spend a little more time in traffic than I needed to to get back to the front, but our Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang guys did a good job. I think that was the right call. That was our only chance. We weren’t gonna beat (Chase Elliott) where we were sitting on the same tires, so it all came down to getting past those cars for the first couple laps, but, in the end, it was definitely one lane.  Much different than I thought it was gonna be.”

Brad Keselowski — Finished 4th: “We had a solid night in our Discount Tire Ford and great strategy by Jeremy Bullins. (Chase Elliott) was dominant but we gave him all we had.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 5th: “We started in the back and we just didn’t have a great balance to start. Overall, just chipped away at it. Just not enough time. 140 laps around here goes real quick and not enough cautions to kind of let us get up there. It took 140 laps to move up 10 spots so that’s all we had.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished 6th: “We managed to win Stage 1 but fought a tight condition most of the race. I should have pitted at the end of Stage 2, but it was a fun event and glad to see fans back in the stands at Bristol tonight. We’ll be ready to go racing for real on Sunday in Texas.”

Joey Logano — Finished 7th: “We fought the handling a little bit tonight and really were a bit surprised by the final stage going caution free. Great pit stops on pit road all night from the Shell-Pennzoil crew. We gained spots on every stop; the guys were lights out.”

Alex Bowman — Finished 8th: “Not completely the night we wanted, especially after starting up front. Frustrating to go backwards there. I was really pleased with our final adjustments there at the end. We started out way too loose into the corner and struggled to get any rear grip in the car. Over the course of two stops, we made the exit worse instead of helping the entry. On the last stop we changed up what we were doing and really helped the car. For the last 15 laps we were just buried there trying to pass guys. To get back to eighth was really good. This will give us a good notebook for when we come back in the playoffs. Ran out of laps, but congrats to Chase (Elliott) and the guys on the win.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 9th: “Great job to all of our guys. We definitely deserved to be in this race today. We learned some things today. Can’t wait to get to Texas this weekend and continue the momentum to get us a win.” 

William Byron — FINISHED 12th: “I had fun in the All-Star race tonight. It wasn’t the result we hoped for. It was really awesome to see fans back too which added a whole new level of excitement. On to Texas.”

Cole Custer — Finished 16th: “I am pretty pumped that I got to run my first All-Star Race. It wasn’t the night that we wanted though for our Haastooling.com/Autodesk Fusion. We couldn’t get a handle on it. The track seemed to change since the spring race. We will move on to Texas.” 

Matt Kenseth – Finished 18th: “It was a tough night for us. We just couldn’t get the balance where we needed it to be. We got the car handling better late in the race, but with such a short race that didn’t help us too much. It’s always fun to race at Bristol, just wish we could’ve been more competitive.”