What drivers said after Dover

0 Comments

Here is what drivers said after Sunday’s Cup race at Dover International Speedway:

Alex Bowman — Winner: “We won Richmond (Raceway) and then had a really rough couple of weeks there. We went to some really good racetracks for us and struggled. I told the guys last week, ‘We’re still the same team that did it at Richmond’. This is another really good place for us. I’m just so pumped for Ally. It feels right to put the 48 back in victory lane here after how many races that this car has won here. Mr. H (Rick Hendrick) is here. I don’t think I’ve won with him here before, so that’s really cool. Just so proud of this pit crew.”

Kyle Larson — Finished 2nd: “I honestly don’t know if there was anything I could have done differently to win the race after we came out second on pit road. I would choose the top behind him, get to second every time. Maybe I could have chose the bottom on restart, but I still don’t think I would have stayed with him till he was inside or anything like that. Probably would have fell back to third or so. I feel like we maximized our day. We were all so equal. I think any of the four of us could have been out in the lead. That person probably would have won. Just, yeah, we were all equal. Their pit crew did an awesome job. Our pit crew has been amazing all year, too. Like I said, I’m not disappointed or upset about this second because I feel like there wasn’t anything else I could do.”

Chase Elliott — Finished 3rd: “I really felt like we were pretty close, balance-wise. It was just kind of a matter of how your restart went and where you fell in line, unfortunately for us. But I’m happy for Hendrick Motorsports. I don’t know when the last time that finish has happened. It’s probably been a while for any team. … Just proud of our whole team. Everybody, HMS, I feel like we have a really talented group of people that work really hard. It’s just nice to see their hard work awarded like that, in that manner, in that type of domination. Those guys led, I guess Kyle and Alex, pretty much led the whole race. Really cool. Just really proud of everybody. Glad to be a part of the team.”

William Byron — Finished 4th: “Yeah, that was awesome. For us to finish 1-2-3-4 is just a credit to a lot of great people at the shop, Chevrolet, Axalta, and all the people that support us to get us the resources; and then our teams, the crew chiefs, drivers and pit crews executing really good races. For us, it’s been going for a while. We’ve just got to get a little bit. It sucks to be fourth, but I think we’re close. We just have to work on some things on our car, get the right feels, but we’re getting really close. So, we keep chipping away. We’ve had two fourth-place finishes in a row. We’ll take it and move on.”

Joey Logano — Finished 5th: “A little bit too late. We had some debris go through the grille early in the race, so we were pretty good beforehand and then knocked a big hole in the nose and that’s why the turn went away, so it took a while to repair that and get everything to where it needed to be and we didn’t really get that until the last run and it’s a rocketship. The Shell/Pennzoil Mustang was really fast. I was able to drive from I think it was 16th to fifth in that last run there and had the 24 in the old sights, but didn’t get there in time. Overall, very proud of the team and their recovery today. We definitely got dealt some adversity and we made the most of it. I wish it was a win. I wish we maybe could have raced those guys, but, overall, we’ll take that considering the way it was going.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 7th: “We probably had a fifth- to sixth-place FedEx Camry. (Kevin) Harvick and I kind of battled to see who was going to be next behind the Hendrick cars. We just thought we would try to get a tire advantage there and we came out ninth and we were really slow on the short run. Our car wasn’t very fast for 20-30 laps. We kind of just held in ninth and another caution came. I thought maybe we should pit to double our tire advantage, but then we would have restarted 15th and again, we weren’t fast on new tires. I just don’t know how it would have turned out any better or worse than seventh, where we ended up.”

Tyler Reddick — Finished 8th: “I’m very proud of my No. 8 Cat Linkage Pins Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team today. We really had to fight hard for our eighth-place finish at Dover, especially after the speeding penalty on pit road after our first stop of the day. Entry seemed to be the biggest issue for us during the first half of the race. I just needed better rotation to get through that portion of both ends of the track quicker. My crew chief, Randall Burnett, and the team did a good job of keeping after the track with our adjustments today and giving me feedback based on our SMT data. We really hit on something towards the end of Stage 2, which allowed me to get up in the top 10 for the start of Stage 3. Track position was key today, even more so than fresh tires for us, so once we got up in the top 10 we did everything we could to stay there, even though that meant staying out and making it a much longer final run for us on tires when those mid-stage cautions came out in Stage 3. It was a battle to hang on during that last run, but it paid off for us today with our fifth top-10 finish in the last seven races.”

Daniel Suarez — Finished 9th: “The No. 99 CommScope Chevy Camaro was strong. Most of the race I felt like the entire race we were probably a top-15 car. But, with good adjustments we gained some track position and that gave us the opportunity to finish in the top 10. There is still a lot of work to do, definitely. Right there at the end, I was tight. I was against the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin), the No. 41 (Cole Custer) and all these guys, but we were able to hold them off and get a decent finish. But we have to keep working and win a trophy.”

COLE CUSTER — Finished 10th: “I’m pretty pumped about our top 10 today. That turned out to be a pretty solid finish. It’s been pretty rough, so it feels great to have a solid result and have something to build on. The HaasTooling.com Mustang was best at the end of the race, and that’s always a good feeling. Hats off to Mike (Shiplett, crew chief) and the guys for sticking with it and giving me a good car at the end of the race. I can’t wait for COTA.”

Bubba Wallace — Finished 11th: “I thought our balance was good enough to keep us right there at the edge of the lead lap. Cautions definitely felt our way to keep us in the game. That gave us a mental reset, but as the runs went on, we noticed that our speed was top-10 lap times. It’s just so hard to pass and make ground when everybody’s fighting for half-a-tenth to a tenth. It was a good call by (crew chief Mike Wheeler) and the team to keep us out late, and I was able to hang on. I had to fight some guys off to salvage that finish but that is what it takes. You have to stay mentally tough all day long. Everybody’s going to test you. It was a good day for our McDonald’s Toyota team.”

Kurt Busch — Finished 13th: “Such a tough way to end an otherwise strong run for our team. We were able to pass a lot of cars and race from near the back to the top 10 by the beginning of Stage 2. The guys did a nice job on pit road today, we just had an issue with a malfunction on the jack for the final stop. That put us back at the tail-end of the lead lap cars. I hate if for the Yorktel and Caregility folks that were here to watch us race today. There is no quit in this team, so we will move-on and keep digging.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 14th: “Overall, the balance of our RCR Chevy was pretty good to start the race. We found a line at the bottom of the track that worked well, but I was worried about tire wear, so I didn’t move down there until closer to the end of the stage. We were pretty good in Stage 2 but handling was just sort of blah during the middle of the run when cloud cover cooled off the track and caused our Chevy to become freer. It came back to us to end the Stage and we were able to secure a few stage points. At the end of the race, the cloud cover returned and that affected our handling. We just couldn’t keep up with the track. We’ll regroup as a team and head to the Circuit of the Americas next week.”

Ross Chastain — Finished 15th: “Fifteenth. What I would have given a few weeks ago to finish 15th. But today, we showed a lot more promise on this No. 42 Moose Fraternity Chevrolet. We had more speed than that, we just got really tight. The last set of tires, we made no adjustments. We were the best we were all day on our second-to-last run. On that set of tires, we ran a few laps. A caution came out, we did the opposite of the leaders. Didn’t do anything to the car, fired back off tight; very tight. I’m kind of baffled why that was. So, I just kind of had to hold on and not get into anyone’s way too much, and ran 15th there at the end. Man, it did feel good to run up towards tenth. We’ll keep building.”

Erik Jones — Finished 22nd: “Just struggled all day with the Medallion Bank Chevy. Never could get the feel we were looking for. We fought all day to try and bring home a decent finish. Hopefully have some notes to make some changes when we come back again (next year).”

Matt DiBenedetto — Finished 24: “We tried to throw some things at our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang going into this weekend, and unfortunately it didn’t work out,” DiBenedetto said, adding that he pushed the ill-handling car as hard as he could without taking undue risks. “We just had to be smart.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 35th: “Obviously not the day we wanted to have. We had been doing really good improving each race, and I felt like we started off pretty good, but I’m not sure what happened. There was no warning and I just lost the right rear just before the stage end. I hate it for these guys. They work so hard. Hopefully we can rebound next week at COTA and get back going in the right direction, just shake it off. We’ll be OK.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 37th: “I’m OK. That was another hard hit. My body is hurting. It doesn’t want to take any more hard hits like that. It’s just such a trying year. I don’t know what exactly happened. I think something in the suspension broke. It wasn’t like a right-front went down. It wasn’t like all of a sudden. A couple laps before that I felt like I was laying on the splitter pretty hard, which is unusual that far into a run, and I kind of mentioned it on the radio and then went down into turn three, the worst possible place — well, there’s no good place at Dover to have a suspension failure or a tire go down — but our guys deserve so much better.”