What drivers said at Kansas

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Here is what drivers said at Kansas after Sunday’s Round of 8 playoff race:

Joey Logano — Winner: “You gotta want it man. What an amazing team this Shell Pennzoil team is. I am worn out. I spent more time in the mirror than I did in the windshield there. Pit stops got us positions nd got us the lead. The 4 was fast, real fast, especially down the straightaways. I thought if I could hold him off the first 15 laps that I would have a chance. Dirty air was the best for us. As we caught lap traffic I was able to gap ourselves as he got more dirty air and I was able to draft somebody because I was a little slow down the straightaway. Man, I am exhausted after that. We are going to Phoenix and racing for a championship again.”

Kevin Harvick — Finished 2nd: “We just needed to get off of pit road first. It came down to controlling that restart and we lost the lead there on the restart and wound up trying to battle and didn’t get the lead on the restart but just really, really fast Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang. All our guys did a great job and we had a fast car, we moved all over the race track and we weren’t the best behind somebody but I had a lot of options as they made the car better towards the end of the race. It was a good run for us. I wish we could have one, but we were one short.”

Alex Bowman — Finished 3rd: “I think it’s obviously a really good day for us. We didn’t have the car that we hoped to have.  We struggled with it quite a bit today. Still got good stage points. Didn’t really have the speed we wanted to have. But our last couple changes really got the car dialed in. We needed a little bit longer run there at the end.  I think we were the fastest car, just kind of ran out of laps. Happy and sad, a little bit bummed we lost points. A little bummed Joey won. That makes my life harder over the next couple weeks.  I feel like we had a really good day.  I’m really proud of my race team. A lot of people said we were going to go out early in the playoffs. We’re still here fighting. We’re still bringing really fast cars to the racetrack each and every week.”

Brad Keselowski — Finished 4th: “You know, here and Texas are two tracks we were nervous about. We were really fast all day, we just didn’t quite have enough there at the end. I feel like if we would have had the lead we could have won but it just wasn’t in the cards today.”

Kyle Busch — Finished 5th: “Any time you get back in the pack, it’s just so hard to pass and work your way up towards the front. Everybody is so equal and with the dirty air, trying to get through some of that stuff is a challenge. But any time we got up front it seemed like our car was way different, way better and had a better opportunity to run in the top three, top five. Even when we were on old tires earlier in the day, that was probably the best it was and we held onto third, I think, for that run there.”

Chase Elliott — Finished 6th: “Sometimes you try to get greedy (on restarts) and you end up hurting yourself. I feel like that’s kind of what I did. There on a couple of occasions, sometimes to have a big run and realize that not doing something with it is going to net you better in a couple of laps. That’s just something I need to do a better job of.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished 7th: “We had a really good Menards/Moen Ford today. I think at points we had a race winning car but just lost the balance late, which stinks. We’ll try a get a win next week in Texas. We had a great car there in the first race this year.”

William Byron — Finished 8th: “It was a good day for us by the end there. We had a couple things happen early on that we had to recover from. We took two tires early and fell back really far in the field and that was tough. We rebounded from that though and got our car tightened up which we needed. We were just too loose for the majority of the day. By the end our car was really fast and we could have ran around fifth to seventh-place and ended up finishing eighth. That’s a good day for us. We’re putting together solid runs and we just need to keep that going as the year ends.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 9th: “We were eighth in both stages and then ninth at the end. We didn’t really have much more than that. If we could have got some track position at times, the really long runs we were strong. Just restarts were really tough to fend people off. We just didn’t quite have the short run speed. Missed it a little bit there with it being so cool out today, I guess. Just didn’t have what we hoped to have. Proud of everybody on this 19 team.”

Christopher Bell — Finished 10th: “It was pretty good. I felt like my Germania Insurance Camry was really fast all day. Kind of the worst we were all day was right there in the end. It’s good to be disappointed finishing 10th. I feel at our best, we were easily a top-five car. Definitely a good day to build on. I feel like the last couple weeks, the road course we were really good, obviously, we were pretty good today, and we have a couple good race tracks for us at the end of the year, hopefully, we can execute and finish with some good runs.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 11th: “I’m so proud of my No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet team. My crew chief, Justin Alexander, and all of the guys did a great job working on our Chevy throughout the race, and we definitely learned a lot. The track was really fast today with the cold temperatures in Kansas, and restarts were wild. For most of the race we were too loose, but once we got tightened up we were able to contend and just nearly missed a top-10 finish. The bumps in Turns 1 and 2 weren’t working with us today, so we will do our homework to address that during the off-season. Overall, it was a good run for us. On to Texas Motor Speedway, where we will try to get another win before the season winds down.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 13th: “We battled loose-handling conditions, tight-handling conditions, and then found some neutral balance here and there. For such a cold day we rallied back to race for a top-10 and just came up short. We still have some good tracks left to try and get a win at in 2020.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 15th: “Obviously we damaged the car and at these tracks, you can’t have any damage on the car. I was fortunate to get a couple cautions there to get us back on the lead lap. That was as far as I could go with the damage that I had. It just hurt the FedEx Camry so bad. To finish 15th with that damage, that was the best we could probably hope for with that damage. Still, definitely had a race-winning car today. Just threw it in the fence.”

John Hunter Nemechek — Finished 17th: “Our No. 38 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang was ‘speedy fast’ today. We fired off pretty decent and made a couple of slight adjustments throughout the day to get us to an even better place. We picked up some damage at the end of Stage 2, but my guys on pit road did a great job and we were able to overcome and stay competitive for the rest of the race. We never gave up and managed to come away with a top-20 finish. I’m really proud of my Front Row Motorsports team and so thankful for the effort these guys put in each and every week.”

Bubba Wallace — Finished 18th: “A pretty uneventful day for us. That was the best car we’ve had at a 1.5-mile track in a really long time. We did our homework. The guys did a really good job getting our No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Cash App Camaro ZL1 1LE kind of where we needed it all day. We started out really good and maintained that. We got a little behind on that last pit stop – a little on the tight side. But the pit crew was beyond flawless today, so super proud of them. Great effort for us for Kansas Speedway – come out of there with a good run and learned a lot heading into Texas Motor Speedway. We’ll see what we’ve got.”

Michael McDowell — Finished 19th: “It was definitely a long day for us here at Kansas. We didn’t start off that great, but Drew and everybody on this Love’s Travel Stops team did a really good job of getting our race car faster near the end of the race and we were able to make up some spots and bring home a Top-20 finish. It was a decent day, but we definitely had higher expectations, for sure. It was just really nice to get a decent finish, as the last few weeks have been pretty rough for us.”

Ty Dillon — Finished 24th: “Our GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE was a lot better there at the end of the race. We just didn’t have the speed overall that we needed with this package. You have to have so much downforce in the car to make up any ground on the track. Our Germain Racing team never gives up and even though the timing of a couple cautions didn’t go our way, we battled back to finish 24th. We have three races left together and our focus now shifts to Texas next week.”

Tyler Reddick — Finished 25th: “We had good speed in our No. 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at Kansas Speedway today. It was hard at times to get a feel on the handling of our car since it felt like it would take about seven to eight laps for the front tires to come in today, but we did a better job adjusting throughout the race this time than during our first trip to Kansas earlier this year. It felt like for most the day I was snug on entry to the corners but then would become loose on center and exit, so a lot of our focus was on figuring out what changes would help me the most overall. We just have a couple other things to continue to work on as a team to put ourselves in better contention at these races. I thought maybe I had a right front tire going down a couple laps before I got into the wall towards the end of Stage 3, but it was tough to tell if that is what was happening in that moment. That’s a feeling I’ll definitely put in my notebook and learn from.”

Clint Bowyer — Finished 26th: “I’m disappointed because it looked like we were going to have a top-10 today. It was all about the restarts out there. We just got some damage and had to pit. It’s pretty frustrating because I wanted to leave here with a really good finish. I appreciate what the track (on the pace laps) and NASCAR did before the race. It was good to see the fans and be home today.”  

Daniel Suarez — Finished 27th: “We had a pretty positive result the last time we were here (18th place in July), but today we couldn’t make our car as good. We had probably a 30th-place car – 29th – and we ended up 27th. The balance of our GF Machining Solutions Toyota was actually decent, but we just needed more speed if we were going to be able to fight for a better result.”

Kurt Busch — Finished 38th: “Everything is so buttoned up these days in the engine department. I haven’t seen an engine problem in years. No fault of anybody at Hendrick engines. We’re running hard here. We were running top five and there’s a ton of RPM down the front-straightaway with the tail wind. We were right in the mix. We were doing the deal. I just couldn’t quite clear some guys to get into that top three or four and then our car would come back to us on the long run after about lap 30. It’s a shame for everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing. Having an engine failure in the Playoffs – it’s just like a huge parachute that slows you up. We’ll pack that parachute up, throw it away and we’ll go to Texas to win.”