What drivers said after Road America


A collection of driver quotes following Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Road America…

Chase Elliott – Winner: “Just really, really proud of our team. Yeah, we really kind of struggled yesterday and never got into a good rhythm I didn’t feel like on my end. And I thought we could be a little better with the car. Made a lot of changes overnight. Kind of started the day. I thought that I liked it – I thought. But I just still wasn’t in a good rhythm. About halfway I felt like I started to kind of put things together, start minimizing some mistakes I’d been making all weekend, then started finding some pace. So, yeah, after that it got fun. I was able to get a flow going, get in rhythm. Then from there we were able to get on — we kind of got caught up from our bad starting spot, got on the same strategy as the leaders. From there, we were able to go to work. Had things going good enough to keep up and get by those guys.”

Christopher Bell – Finished 2nd: “Yeah, I think it was close, closer than anyone else was to the 9 (Chase Elliott). That was good. At the end of the race everyone was telling me that I was matching if not a little better lap times, so never had track position to start up there with him and see what we had against the whole run. I’m sure he was saving a little bit to make sure if there was a restart there or something, but that was a lot of fun. The SiriusXM Camry was really good, and I knew that we would have a really good week this weekend.”

Kyle Busch – Finished 3rd: “We kept working on it, making adjustments there. We just did not have the tire life the 9 (Chase Elliott) did. That was incredible. He was able to drive away from us. His braking was really good, but his drive off was awesome. They beat us by far today, but proud of the Skittles America Mix bunch. Everybody on this Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry did a good job. We all ran up front. We all had good speed. It showed that we were close. That was all we had, but overall good day fighting through traffic. It was really uneventful because we jumped the stages, so that kind of gave us that track position there at the end. We didn’t get very many points today doing that, but I feel like we are in a good spot. Hopefully, we will go get them next week.”

Kurt Busch – Finished 4th: “It was fun. I really enjoyed Road America and just the whole challenge of running here; posting good laps early with fresh tires and then managing the tires on the long run. I knew our strategy was to go for Stage points; which man, I was going to have to work hard today. I gave it everything I could. So, I think we got a lot of points with the Monster Energy Chevy. … I’m just really proud of our group to come here. I worked through the simulator work and worked through everything we could. I put one tire wrong today and gave up one point to (Kyle) Larson in Stage 2. I really enjoyed coming up here today and the Wisconsin people were great. There were tons of old school gear that I saw from racing back in my Penske days. The fans here were just ecstatic that the Cup Series was here. It was a lot of fun.”

Denny Hamlin – Finished 5th: ”I thought that was kind of what I was capable of and what the car was capable of. A combination of both. I’m proud of our FedEx Toyota team. They gave me a good car; I just need to find three or fourth tenths here and there at this big of a track. It’s like three hundredths at an oval track. If I can do that, I will be right in the game.”

Chase Briscoe – Finished 6th: “I thought we were good enough to run fourth there at the end but my engine shut off. It was really cool to run sixth and be the best Ford today. We definitely had a lot of adversity with not getting a qualifying lap in and then the penalty at the beginning. I felt like we had a really good car on the long run. I am proud of that. It was a good day overall. We needed that. We will go on to the next one and see if we can get better.”

Ross Chastain – Finished 7th: “Seventh-place here at Road America in our No. 42 AdventHealth Camaro ZL1 1LE. We got good stage points and a good finish. Proud of the effort from all the men and women at Chip Ganassi Racing to bring two really fast hotrods. Kurt Busch and the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevy was fast and we were too. We were around each other all day and had speed passing a lot of cars. … Proud of AdventHealth, Clover, McDonald’s, and Moose for all the support. It puts a little calming factor into everybody I think now. We’re still going to bring fast cars. It’s been a crazy week. We still race for Chip Ganassi and Team Chevy; and we’re going to keep pushing and keep trying to win.”

Tyler Reddick – Finished 8th: “We worked really hard on prepping for these road course races over the offseason, and it’s great to see all the hard work pay off when we have a solid day like today. I was really happy with the speed and handling of our No. 8 Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE right from the start of the race today. It handled so well that I was worried about adjusting on it at all today, but my crew chief, Randall Burnett, and the team made some good changes on air pressure throughout the race that helped me with all around rotation through the course. We stayed out during Stage 2 and played a little bit of strategy to grab our first Stage Win of the year, which is great for our points situation in the standings. By doing that, we did trade-off a little bit and have to climb back up through the field in the final stage, but I was confident we had both the speed and handling to do so today. It got a little tough during the final laps of the race when I felt like my brakes were starting to fade, but we were able to fight through it and grab another top-10 finish.”

Matt DiBenedetto – Finished 10th: “I thought the adjustments we made and everything we did to get the car ready to qualify were great and the race, it was pretty clear we were a short-run car. That was very evident. But we made the most of it all day. The adjustments were good. The guys did a great job all weekend. We have been working hard to get our road course cars better and it was nice to get a glimpse of some hope and speed and to lead laps. I know we have to work on our long run speed a little bit. That was cool. I wanted to get Menards and Dutch Boy a good run because we have had some bad circumstances this year so it was nice to get a top-10 and lead laps.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 11th: “I’m proud of everyone who works on the No. 3 Dow Salutes Chevrolet. We knew we had our work cut for us since we started deep in the field, but if there’s anything this Richard Childress Racing team has proven this year, it’s that we aren’t afraid of grinding it out. We passed a lot of cars on old tires in Stage 1, which really shows how fast our Chevy was. It was hard to get track position today, but we finally clawed our way into the top 10 to start Stage 3. Overall, 11th is a solid finish with what we overcame, so nice job to the pit crew, spotters, road crew and everyone involved with today. Thanks to all of our troops, especially the 1,903 veterans and active-duty military members featured on the No. 3 Dow Salutes Chevy this weekend. It was great to highlight them, Team Rubicon and Dow’s Military Degree Equivalency program on the July 4th holiday. We’re headed to Atlanta next, and we’ll do our best to get a win there.”

Brad Keselowski – Finished 13th: “We had a hard-fought day in our Snap-on Ford. This is a tough track and we fought hard to make the most of our day with what we had.”

Aric Almirola – Finished 14th: “I’ll take a 14th-place finish at a newer road course. Our Smithfield/Pit Boss Ford just needed more rear grip and speed to race with the top guys. We’re continuing to build on our road course program. All of the fans who came out on Fourth of July weekend was awesome to see. On to Atlanta.”

Joey Logano – Finished 15th: “We struggled today overall with handling and braking. The guys on pit road did a great job on each stop, grabbing us positions every time, just needed a little more to be super competitive. We’ll regroup and we’ve got a few weeks before we hit another road course and we’ll be stronger at Watkins Glen.”

Kyle Larson – Finished 16th: “Yeah, hate to give up points, but there’s still a lot of racing left before the playoffs start. We’ll just keep trying to do a good job in the stages. It would be nice to get back and win some stages, win some more races and pad our bonus points. Obviously, it would be good to beat Denny (Hamlin) and get those five extra. Really shooting for it. You can tell he’s really shooting for it too. He was really aggressive today. Those five bonus points are important.”

Cole Custer – Finished 17th: “It was a rough day at Road America, but it was awesome to be back for the holiday weekend. We had a solid car. We just struggled with a loose-handling racecar and didn’t have the short run speed we needed. I’m pretty excited to get to Atlanta and slip and slide around.”

Erik Jones – Finished 19th: “Was a fight all day for the SCAG Chevrolet. We stuck with it and came home with a top twenty. Think we learned some things for the next road course and hope for some more improvement there.”

Ryan Blaney – Finished 20th: “Lacked some overall grip early in the race, felt like we made some good adjustments but then taking the damage really set us back for the rest of the day. The good news is, we head to Atlanta next week and the last time we were there we won.”

Ty Dillon – Finished 26th: “We had a long way to go from practice and qualifying to get into a contention speed zone. We did good. We improved and improved. P.26 is a good run for what we had to put together today. We would have liked to get more out of it, but I’m pretty proud of the effort to not make any mistakes. I had a little mess up earlier in the race, but to come back and to get a good finish for this Lure Lock/Bass Pro Shops Camry is a good day.”

Austin Cindric – Finished 38th: “I only had one wheel drive and when you only have two other ones spinning with 750 horsepower it is a bit challenging. It was quite dramatic taking the lead and then immediately losing everything. Not a weekend I am necessarily happy about. To have the opportunity to show up at this race track with extremely well-prepared race cars and have a shot to win both races is really great for someone in my position. But I want to make the most of it and I put way too much into it to have it go that bad, especially when you get moved out of the lead and then take it back as clean as possible, and then this is all you’ve got. That is racing. That is my motto for the weekend. I appreciate Pirtek and everyone at Road America for coming out to support us. It has been a great weekend.”

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

William Byron wins Cup pole at COTA


William Byron will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron won the pole with a lap of 93.882 mph around the 3.41-mile road course Saturday. He becomes the first Cup driver to win a pole at four different road courses: Charlotte Roval (2019), Road America (2021), Indianapolis road course (2021) and COTA (2023).

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick, who had posted the fastest lap in Friday’s practice and fastest lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday. Reddick qualified at 93.783 mph.

Austin Cindric (93.459 mph) qualified third. Former IMSA champion Jordan Taylor, substituting for an injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, qualified fourth with a lap of 93.174 mph. AJ Allmendinger (93.067) will start fifth.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

Ross Chastain, who won this event a year ago, qualified 12th. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd, former world champion Jenson Button qualified 24th, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st and IndyCar driver Conor Daly qualified 35th.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at goprn.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy with a high of 80 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: COTA Cup starting lineup

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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NASCAR Saturday schedule at Circuit of the Americas


Saturday will be a busy day at Circuit of the Americas, as all three national series are on the track.

Cup will qualify ahead of the Craftsman Truck and Xfinity Series races.

The forecast Saturday calls for sunny conditions and no chance of rain all day. The high is expected to be 69 degrees during Cup qualifying, 76 degrees at the start of the Truck race and 81 degrees for the start of the Xfinity race.

Zane Smith looks to win his second consecutive Truck race at the road course in Austin, Texas. AJ Allmendinger seeks his second consecutive Xfinity win at COTA.

Saturday, March 25

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 10:30 a.m.  — Truck Series
  • 2 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup qualifying (FS1)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (42 laps, 143 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 5 p.m. — Xfinity race (46 laps, 156 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)