What drivers said at Kansas

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Denny Hamlin — Winner: “He (Kevin Harvick) got loose there and when you get in clean air, I think it was probably the first time he was in clean air all day. I saw him get loose and I saw kind of blood in the water there, so we just ran him down. Obviously, I thought (Brad Keselowski) had a really, really fast car and there were a couple others. We just did a great job of getting it right when it really, really mattered. This is how you win them.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI — Finished 2nd: “I thought Denny (Hamlin) and I were probably pretty close to equal the second half of the night. It was just a matter of who got out in front. We didn’t get out in front on the restarts there and he was able to take advantage and bring home the win. All in all, it was still a really good day.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 3rd: “We were catching them; I just needed more time. I don’t know, every time we got the lead, the caution would come out and guys with two tires (in front of us) and we would be sixth or seventh and battle our way back. That was really the difference tonight. Every time we got the lead, we gave it up on strategy and then had to battle back. At the end, ultimately, we just ran out of time.”

KEVIN HARVICK — Finished 4th: “We needed a miracle. Our Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang was really loose. We got a couple good restarts and had a couple good laps but we were in trouble there regardless if it didn’t just keep going yellow. Our guys did a good job keeping us in the fight all night but we definitely have some work to do.”

Erik Jones — Finished 5th: “This is what we needed; we needed a really good points day. It kind of seems like we’ve been in this spot the last couple of years unfortunately. It feels good to climb out of it. The Reser’s Camry was really good. We started really deep and just could never quite get up to the front and get some clean air. I kind of made a mistake on that last restart, I was trying to push too hard to get to the outside and gave up some ground there on those guys and had to make that back up. Good effort. Pit crew did good and the team gave me a good car. We just have to keep doing that and keep wracking these points up and hopefully get a win.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 6th: “I am pretty eager to get a W. This race team has been doing a great job. We have been running really good. A long time ago I would have given anything to just run top 10 every week and run like we have been running but when you start tasting victory and run up front and race around those guys, you want to seal the deal and go to victory lane. Tonight we were just a little bit off. We didn’t have as good of a car compared to the field as we have the last several weeks. I am proud of my guys. We keep chipping away and building up that points buffer to the cutoff which is nice but now we are ready to go get the W and some bonus points for the playoffs.”

Cole Custer — Finished 7th: “Thanks to the guys for fighting all day. It definitely wasn’t the prettiest day, but we made something of it. Right there at the end was the best I had been in the top groove all day. It feels good to get another top-10 and take a few days off before we go to New Hampshire next weekend.”

Alex Bowman — Finished 8th: “Rough night. We threw about every adjustment at our Camaro that we possibly could. Thankfully, we were able to finally get it a little better there towards the end and go back towards the front a little bit. Hate that we lost a bunch of spots on that last restart – just wide open and some people drove around us. We’ve got some work to do, for sure, we know that. But getting a good, solid finish this week was good and a good momentum-builder back in the right direction.”

Kurt Busch — Finished 9th: “The car was a little tough at times throughout the race. We struggled on some of the restarts with tires on heat cycles, but thanks to my guys on this Monster Energy Chevy. We battled hard together and never gave up on working to make it better and try to find the sweetest spot to run. We just need to keep after it and turn these top 10’s into better results.”

William Byron — Finished 10th: “It was a solid finish for us – we needed that for sure for the playoffs. We started the race way off. We were really loose – just really struggling. The guys, Keith (Rodden, filling in as crew chief) and everybody made a lot of great adjustments throughout the race. It really got us in a position where we could attack. As soon as we got probably 10 laps on our tires, the car felt pretty good. We just stayed out there on no tires, really ran there with(Brad Keselowski) and was able to pass him back for the lead. I thought we were looking really good. Unfortunately, the two tires didn’t really work out for us there at the end. I think we just had too many laps on the left side and struggled there.”

Kyle Busch — Finished 11th: “That wasn’t the finish this M&M’S Fudge Brownie Camry deserved today. We were tight most of the race and I just got into the wall there. We are making progress and think we showed that tonight. We will go back, get ready and head to New Hampshire next week.”

Chase Elliott — Finished 12th: “Man, that was a long night. I appreciate the effort of my NAPA team. We just need to clean it up and are going to move on to New Hampshire.”

Tyler Reddick — Finished 13th: “We had a fast No. 8 I Am Second Chevrolet on the long runs tonight at Kansas Speedway. We just needed a little more on the short runs. It was a tale of two extremes almost, where we fired off extremely loose but about halfway through the race built way too tight. I was able to run the top during Stage 1 before anyone else really could, and that allowed us to climb well up into the top 10 to get some valuable stage points. As the night went on and our car got tighter, I wasn’t able to run up there as well and had to search around for speed to try to keep up with the changing track conditions. Luckily, we were able to avoid a handful of wrecks during Stage 3 and started to climb back up through the field once we were able to loosen our Chevrolet back up a little bit. In the end, we just needed a couple more longer runs to really be able to get back into the top 10 tonight.”

Clint Bowyer — Finished 14th: “Man, we were so loose in the first two stages. We worked hard on it and got it better in the final stage. I don’t know how the heck I didn’t wreck in that (Lap 177) big wreck. We got some damage then we dodged a couple more (wrecks) after that. It was a tough race, but nobody on our One Cure team gave up and our pit crew helped us out a bunch tonight. It’s good to be back in the top 12 in points. That will help our qualifying spot in New Hampshire. It’s always good to be back home in Kansas. I just wish we could have had the fans here tonight. We really missed them and ready to get them back to the track.”

Ty Dillon — Finished 15th: “My GEICO guys fought for it tonight. We had a rough start to the race, but we never stopped chipping away at it. Everyone on this Germain Racing team kept digging, (crew chief Matt Borland) made our Camaro ZL1 1LE better with adjustments and we brought home another top-15 finish. This is our third top-16 finish in four races and I’m proud of our team for working hard. We will look to keep this momentum rolling in Loudon.” 

Michael McDowell — Finished 16th: “That was a very eventful night. Our car was super loose to start the race, but (crew chief Drew Blickensderfer) and our guys worked really hard all race long to make consistent improvements to our No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford Mustang. Missing some of those wrecks near the end definitely helped and we took the checkered flag P16, which is another solid run for us and a good points day.”

Daniel Suarez — Finished 18th: “It was another good execution day, I’m proud of everyone. It took a while for the track to come in and we struggled with the rear end being loose and trying to make the Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Camry turn in the first part of the race. Dave (Winston, crew chief) did a good job with the adjustments and we were running pretty good at the end. Communication was really good tonight. I have to say good job by my spotter (Steve Barkdoll) for helping me get through all the trouble that happened in front of me. We all know we need to get faster. We just need to keep building. Once we get all the pieces together, we’re going to be good.”

John Hunter Nemechek — Finished 19th: “We weren’t too bad to fire off, just a little on the tighter side, and the track freed up as the night went on. I didn’t have a lot of front grip at the top, so couldn’t really run the same line as some of those other guys. Restarts were crazy tonight and we managed to stay out of trouble for most of the race, but the car came around on me towards the end there. I’m still proud of the effort from everyone at Front Row Motorsports to still bring home a top-20 finish after the night we had. We’ll shake it off and get ready for New Hampshire next week.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished 20th: “We had a decent DEX Imaging Ford today. We were loose most of the race and tried to get the car tighten up with the track conditions constantly changing. Unfortunately, I got in the wall and we had to make an unscheduled stop. We’ll put this behind us and move on to New Hampshire next week.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 27th: “We headed into Kansas Speedway with goals of backing up RCR’s 1-2 finish from Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, and I really think we could have done it if it weren’t for the wreck we were involved in. Our handling was off to begin with, but we stayed in it and kept making the American Ethanol Chevrolet better and better. We finally got it dialed in and were battling for 12th on a restart in Stage 3 when chaos broke out in front of us. We had nowhere to go and ended up with a lot of damage. We were missing a lot of parts, but we did the best we could to nurse our Chevy to the finish. It’s just a shame because we were just as good, if not better, than the cars who finished up front. We could have had a top 10, easily, if it weren’t for that wreck. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Ryan Preece — Finished 34th: “To be honest with you, we had a fast race car right there at the end. It’s frustrating for all of us at JTG Daugherty because we’ve been working really hard and probably had a top-10 car there at the end. I’m alright, just ready for this year to turn around.”

Joey Logano — Finished 35th: “I felt it going into (Turn) 3 right before we took the green and I felt it kind of landing on the splitter and honestly thought that the left front shock went bad. It wasn’t like it was flat, it was just down a little bit. Maybe it was bad judgement on my part. I just thought it wasn’t that bad and didn’t want to lose all our track position for something I wasn’t sure of. Hindsight is 20-20 and I apologize to everyone that was involved in it. It just stinks. It is one of those judgement calls. You are coming to the green and swerving your tires and something feels funny and you just aren’t sure.”

Matt DiBenedetto — Finished 36th: “I couldn’t tell what was going on. I just tried to go low. I saw guys checked up off of (Turn) 2. I didn’t see it. I just got clipped in the right side. Nothing I could do different. I am not going to lie. I am pretty frickin irritated. We have had garbage luck the last couple of weeks.”

Bubba Wallace — Finished 37th: “It was a frustrating ending. I thought our Richard Petty Motorsports team could overcome our obstacles today at the Kansas Speedway. We were really free – I think we had a tire going down right before we spun. And then got it too tight, so we kind of went through the full end of the spectrum. Started to get our way back right and just got caught up in someone else’s mess with nowhere to go.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Finished 40th: “A fire started in the cockpit. Something electrical under the dash. So, it’s a bummer to end the day like that for our Kroger team. I felt like we had a really good shot at a top 10 if we kept dialing our car in. I really like Kansas. I’m glad we’ve got kind of an off-week now before New Hampshire so we can regroup.”