What drivers said after Indy road course Cup race

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A look at what drivers said after Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course…

AJ Allmendinger – WINNER: “I think (the 2014 win at) Watkins Glen was something that – I mean, it was amazing to go through all the ups and downs and win that race and for (team owners) Tad and Jodi (Geschickter) and Brad (Daugherty). But in a way, it was kind of almost like a relief, as well, like I don’t ever have to be asked about will you ever win a Cup race. So you enjoy it, but at the same point you’re kind of like, ‘Okay, thank goodness now, the relief is gone, I don’t have that hanging over me anymore.’ So it kind of takes a little bit of the enjoyment away. This is, I’m like, I don’t even know – we know showing up at the road course races, we have fast race cars, but like at Indy, the way that played out, I mean, this is just pure enjoyment that I don’t – I’m going to tell them I’m retiring now. Sorry, guys. I’m done, I’m out. I’m not going to Michigan next week. I’m kidding, by the way. I’m going to Michigan. We’ve got a (Xfinity Series) championship to win.”

Ryan Blaney – Finished 2nd: “Our car looks better than most. That was a wild race, especially towards the end. I feel like we could have run 10th-12th all day and that is where we were. We just kind of got a couple good restarts and dodged some mess and we had a good shot to try to win the race. I just couldn’t put together a good enough lap and a half to get to A (Allmendinger) to try to pass. We survived all day and did a good job. The whole team did a good job sticking in there. The race got pretty crazy at the end. We almost made it a perfect weekend for Penske Racing, just missed it by one spot.”

Kyle Larson – Finished 3rd: “It was wild there at the end. My car was extremely good. Really proud of everybody on our HendrickCars.com team. We had the best car for sure throughout the second and third stage, and then just we had the caution there with like 10 to go or something and then we had to come down, put tires on, and some guys gambled and stayed out, and that kind of just got us in the mess a little bit. Was able to find my way to the front row and then just got shoved around and put in the grass. Kind of ended my shot to win there. But able to salvage a third, so happy about that, and a good points day.”

Chase Elliott – Finished 4th: “It was a wild day, but I finished fourth. It could have been worse.”

Matt DiBenedetto – Finished 5th: “There is nothing left of the car, I tell you that. We have no rad pan, no fenders, pretty much nothing left on the car. The toe was knocked out a mile and we finished fifth. All this credit goes to crew chief Jonathan Hassler for knowing the strategy and the spot we were in and throwing a ‘Hail Mary’ and running all the way until we were about out of fuel and knowing that if any caution came out we could stay out and get all the track position. This is all him. All I had to do was kind of hang on until the end, hang onto the position. Obviously, our car was missing some pieces on it so I just had to hang on for whatever we could get.”

Kurt Busch – Finished 6th: “I swear I saw a hole on the outside down the front straightaway to go to the outside of (Kyle) Larson, who blocked us a little bit. We rubbed the fence and got a little hole here but had a shot on the front row with old tires. We did all we could to battle. I put us in a hole by flat-spotting a right front early in the race with the Monster Energy Chevy. But the track has so many slow areas, there’s so much time for trouble. But all in all, we’ll take this. It’s a 6th place finish. We had a couple shots at winning but we were really just trying to navigate the day after we were one set of tires less after I made a mistake early on. But, thanks to my guys, we’ll keep digging and learn from this and find what we need to do better on some of these right-handers.”

Erik Jones – Finished 7th: “It was a major day of attrition for us in the Petty’s Garage Chevy. We didn’t really have the car we needed but kind of stuck with it all day and things played out for us, and guys were getting into wrecks and into trouble and making a lot of crazy moves. We just stuck through it and stayed on the straight and narrow and kept our car fairly clean and came home with a seventh. We’ll take a Top 10 any day and hopefully it’ll be a good stretch for us coming up with some good tracks for me and some good tracks for Richard Petty Motorsports and keep this string of good runs going.”

Austin Cindric – Finished 9th: “It is unfortunate. I felt like there were a lot of high expectations coming into today. Maybe not from my end, I just wanted to get to the end, which we did, just with a lot of damage and a lot of adversity. Then we got dumped by (Kurt Busch) at the worst time in the race. Right around the pit cycle and we lost 20 seconds. We came back from whatever it was, 26th to finish ninth. I probably could have gotten a few more spots but we stayed out of trouble on the restarts. We had a lot of close calls where I was in the middle of the pack. A lot of people I was racing around had to drop out of the race. It was a crazy day for our MoneyLion Ford Mustang. I am happy to end my Cup season with a top-10, it is what these guys deserve.”

Aric Almirola – Finished 19th: “Not the day we wanted for our Mobil 1 Ford team, but we certainly made the most of it. We got caught up there with nowhere to go and took on a lot of damage. The guys worked hard all day to keep us on the lead lap. We never gave up all day with a torn-up racecar to get ourselves a top-20. On to Michigan.”

Tyler Reddick – Finished 21st: “We had a fast No. 8 BetMGM Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE this weekend, just ended up needing a little more luck. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course is a lot of fun, really flat and tricky at first. I really started to get the hang of it during the race and was able to attack more and more during the turns as the race went on. It’s great that we were able to capture two Stage wins during today’s race. That will help with our Playoff situation and hopefully gained us some points to close the gap on (Kevin Harvick). I’m disappointed we got that damage in the closing laps of the race, since killed the momentum we had after a great pit stop and cost us a shot at a top-10 finish. The positive is that we were one of the teams able to continue on to the end. Every single point matters, and I know this team will continue to fight as the Playoffs approach.”

Denny Hamlin – Finished 23rd: “I’m not going to harp on it. You have to live with the result. You know why? Because you can’t change it. (Chase Briscoe) can’t change it. I can’t change it. I got crashed. He made a mistake. It happens. I think he was in desperation mode like he said and it came at my expense. Certainly, if the roles were reversed down the line – he’s certainly going to be here awhile – I’m probably not going to cut him any breaks at the end. It all comes back around one way or another. It doesn’t mean I’m wrecking him. It just means I won’t cut him any breaks from here on out.”

Cole Custer – Finished 25th: “We had a really good day in terms of execution and sticking to our plan. Unfortunately, that changed toward the end and we were involved in a wreck during overtime. Our Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang was a top-five car but luck wasn’t on our side, so we’ll head to Michigan and give it another shot.”

Chase Briscoe – Finished 26th: “There at the restart, everybody is trying to out-brake each other getting into one and we all kind of missed it to a certain extent. I was getting ran wide and had nowhere else to go. I knew I was going to go through the grass. It was just a matter of do you go through it slow or gas it wide-open and hope you get through it. I don’t know if there would have been a penalty if I had gone through it slow but that was my only chance to win the race at that point. I went for that and stayed on him tight and knew (A.J. Allmendinger) was right behind me. He was on newer tires. A lot of guys were getting lazy through that turn and would just swing it out wide and leave the bottom wide open. So I was kind of all over him (Denny Hamlin) in the esses and when I went to go underneath him I just clipped him in the right rear. He was already trying to get back to the left so it just turned him right around. It is unfortunate for them. They were probably going to win the race if (Allmendinger) didn’t get to him. For us we got a penalty and I don’t even know where we finished. It is frustrating to be that close. You can taste it and imagine what it would be like and then it gets taken away. I have a lot to be proud of. I feel like I showed that I belong here and I will get another chance next year.”

Ross Chastain – Finished 29th: “I have no words. That’s one of the craziest races I’ve been in. It ripped the paint off one of those times the curbs came up and started losing oil at the end, so I pulled off. I don’t know. But we were okay. We were pretty fast. The Clover Chevy was okay. We were probably a 10th place car and yeah, on to Michigan.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 31st: “We knew strategy would be important today so our RCR team worked hard on a plan and adjusted throughout the race, and our hard work and preparation paid off. The Dow MobilityScience Chevy was tight on the lefts and loose on the rights to start the race, but by Stage 2 handling was pretty good and we were able to finish the stage second to grab some valuable Stage Points. Stage 3 was nothing short of wild. I had nowhere to go and ended up with too much damage to finish the race. Honestly, it was frustrating and disappointing. We took a historic race like the Brickyard and turned it into a demo derby. Truthfully it’s not the track’s fault. It’s the drivers’ fault. Everyone wants to just run over curbs. I do hope the fans loved it though. With only two races remaining in the regular season, we’ll be bringing our A-game to try and get wins at Michigan and Daytona to lock ourselves into the NASCAR Playoffs.”

William Byron – Finished 33rd: “It was so weird. I’ve never had that experience. Like, I come through that corner the same every single lap. We were running fourth there behind (Kyle) Larson, and he gets over the curb in the same spot and something, like after he hit with his right rear, it like peeled up. And as soon as I got there I hit something and it just threw me completely off line. It tore the front end right off of it. Yeah, I wasn’t offline at all. I was actually safe because I saw what happened to him and it looked like he jumped in the air with his right rear. And so I was like, man, let me try to get a little bit further left and I obviously nailed something that came up off the track. Just a bummer. This Axalta Chevrolet was really fast. We weren’t as fast as the No. 5 car (Kyle Larson), but we were a second-place car and made a couple of mistakes early that cost me some track position that we got back. I think we were poised to finish in the Top 5 there. It’s definitely a bummer.”

Joey Logano – Finished 34th: “Thank God those tire packs were there. The hit wasn’t that hard at all. The tires absorbed a lot of it. I don’t believe in luck but that time I feel like it was just bad luck. Wrong place at the wrong time and unfortunately it ended our day. We had a decent run coming to us and maybe a top-five finish for our Shell Pennzoil Mustang and the next thing I knew I was airborne and headed to the wall. I had a lot of time to think about it. I was just along for the ride as a passenger knowing what the end result was going to be. All the fans were cheering right there. They were happy to see me get out which was good do see. It will be an exciting finish to watch on TV I guess.”

Christopher Bell – Finished 36th: “Just a bunch of carnage, that’s for sure. Whenever you are packed up like that racing, you are just kind of following the guy in front of you. I didn’t really see much, just a bunch of crashing.”

Daniel Suarez – Finished 37th: “Somebody wrecked the lap before. I didn’t know who it was. But the lap before, I went through fine. I was on my line. I was making sure I was on the right line because I wanted to keep that car on the right side. I was on the regular race track and I hit something almost like the curb was on the race track. I have no idea. I haven’t seen the replay really, I just know that the curb came apart.”