What drivers said after Charlotte Roval


A look at what drivers said following Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff elimination race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval:

Kyle Larson (playoffs) – WINNER: “It’s so satisfying because I really did not think that we were going to have a shot to win today. Had a lot of different emotions throughout the middle portions of that race, thinking that ‘This is so depressing and sad and crazy that I’m going to lose my shot at a championship because of an alternator issue, to, ‘OK, now we got it fixed, let’s try to get away with a top 15 finish, keeping all the fenders on it.’ I was passing some cars. We had a really good green flag cycle. I’m trying to look at the big screen. I see Denny coming up on my mirror. I’m like judging off of that, ‘OK, I think I’m towards the front here now. Man, I’d love to see a caution come out.’ Then it all worked out. Not that many people stayed out with him. I knew he was in trouble. I had just a lot of stuff work out for us. William (Byron) having to go through the backstretch chicane that allowed us to get to second. From then on I was like, ‘We really have a good shot to win now.’ Just a wild range of emotions all race long. Just crazy that I’m sitting here talking to all of you.”

Tyler Reddick – Finished 2nd: “I just flat out made a mistake and ran in the back of the 24 (William Byron). I am trying to stay as close as I can, and we are all trying to brake to the limit of the car and I got to the bumper trying to put myself back in position again to make a pass to the inside or outside. I got into the back of him ever so slightly and that is all it took to unhook the rear tires. Not on purpose. It’s just that small amount of contact that changed the trajectory that much. That was shocking to me and sure disappointing.”

Chris Buescher – Finished 3rd: “That was a fun time. I’m really appreciative of everybody on this Fastenal Ford Mustang group. We worked hard. We were able to stay on pace all day and had a gameplan and followed through and ultimately got us into the top five. I had a top three there, but it got a little rough there at the end and I made a mistake with probably five to go and unfortunately we didn’t have a shot to win because of that, but we were definitely in the hunt. That was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the day. I’m pretty thankful for everybody.”

Kyle Busch (playoffs) – Finished 4th: “We’ve run fair before here. Put the 9 (Chase Elliott) back in there and we’re fifth. Overall good day for the M&M’s Camry. We came here with a plan and we tried to execute it as best we could. We’re just okay, I wouldn’t call us stellar. We did lead that stage and get a point there so that was good. It was hard to pass and really hard to make up ground. Once everybody got spread out, everyone runs really equal. Not a lot of gain throughout the run it seemed.”

Denny Hamlin (playoffs) – Finished 5th: “I feel like we had a good day, just made a few mistakes with missing the chicane and speeding on pit road, but came back from that. Just kind of was in between trying to decide if we should pit or not and who knows, I’m not sure we had enough speed to beat the 5 (Kyle Larson) out right. We held those guys off as long as we could on the older tires. Just fell back to fifth.”

Joey Logano (playoffs) – Finished 7th: “So much for keeping it clean. That was the plan, but just ended up having a rough day, but ended up finishing seventh and even a shot at a top five or top three towards the end of the race. I’m proud of our Shell/Pennzoil team. I got into (Ryan) Preece and dumped him early in the race and that was my mistake. I just went in there too hard and needed all the racetrack, so the good thing for him is I don’t think it affected his day, but, overall, we’re moving onto the Round of 8. It’s a great accomplishment. We’re proud of that. It’s onto the next three and try to score a bunch of points maybe or get a win. That might be the easiest way of doing it.”

Christopher Bell (eliminated from playoffs) – Finished 8th: “Two words, rear grip. I don’t know we just couldn’t quite hit it. We were struggled and I made a lot of mistakes driving too, but ultimately we weren’t fast enough to go up there and compete for the win. Came away with an eighth place finish, which is a lot better than it was looking like we were going to have today.”

Ryan Blaney (playoffs) – Finished 9th: “It was a solid day. We did well in the stages and got some good stage points. We had to cycle back to the back a couple times, but with the spot we were in a lot of people they just wanted good stage points and we did a good job of that. At the end with all of those late cautions and people in desperation mode you just don’t want to get wrecked. You want to just try to finish the race and not get turned around and put yourself in a really bad spot, so was kind of little bit cautious at the end, but we did what we needed to do today and move on. It’s nice.”

Alex Bowman (eliminated from playoffs) – Finished 10th: “Pretty early, I would assume. I probably don’t catch that until it’s been a bit, right? I’m not sitting thee staying at the volt gauge. But there pretty early, we knew we had a volt issue. It acted like it threw the belt, So, we came down and put a belt on it and it didn’t. Don’t know what we had going on, but it’s unfortunate. It’s tough to make a car live long here without any brake fans and tire cooling, but Greg (Ives, crew chief) and all the guys on the No. 48 Ally team did such a good job letting me know what I needed to do to get it to the finish line and what I could and couldn’t do with fans; and we put a battery in it at one point and kind of went from there. I hate it. I’m glad we got a top 10. I’m exhausted. I’m just mentally drained after the roler coaster that was. But it’s good to get a top 10. I wish we had more. Congrats to the No. 5 (Kyle Larson, race winner). The kid is super-human. It’s cool to see. I’m really happy for Kyle.”

William Byron (eliminated from playoffs) – Finished 11th: “It was great. We had a really good car in two of the three races in this Round and today we had an amazing car, probably capable of winning, but just didn’t have things go our way there. At that point when I got up to third, my tires were shot, and there were only two laps to go. I wasn’t going to win, and made a mistake to not finish third, but at that point I was just mad.”

Chase Elliott (playoffs) – Finished 12th:

Austin Dillon – Finished 15th: “It felt good to run in the top-five in our No. 3 Whelen Chevrolet today at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. I just wish we could have finished up there at the end. Track position was so important, and crew chief Justin Alexander made great calls all day to keep us out front. We ran solidly in the top-five, and as high as second, throughout Stage 2 and for most of Stage 3. Unfortunately, the cautions didn’t fall our way. At the end of the race, we couldn’t turn in a lot of places where we needed to be able to turn. Still, I’m proud of this RCR team and our overall road course performance this year. We’ve improved so much as a team and have been able to put together solid road course performances all year. We’re headed to Texas Motor Speedway next, and we’re going to try our hardest to find Victory Lane.”

Cole Custer – Finished 18th: “That was a rough one for us. We got caught up in two incidents on the track, but I’m proud of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com team for never giving up and continuing to work to get our car better. The lap times we were putting down were fast, but we were just stuck in the back of the pack, where it’s harder to pass. We’ll take what we learned and head to Texas.”

Brad Keselowski (playoffs) – Finished 20th: “It wasn’t pretty, but the team did an excellent job helping me fight through it, which was really nice. It was a really frustrating day, but we built a good enough cushion at Talladega to be able to afford a little bit of a rough day and get through it.”

Chase Briscoe – Finished 22nd: “Our handling was so off today, and the team continued to make adjustments on it but it just wasn’t stable enough to out-brake guys and make up any ground. We finally got to a place where it was much better in the last 20 laps or so, but we’ll have to go back and look at what we can do to start off in a better place in the future.”

Aric Almirola – Finished 24th: “We just didn’t have the handling in the braking zones today. It’s tough because our turn in the corners were better, but the back was so loose when trying to out-brake someone. We’ll learn from it and move on. Looking forward to Texas next weekend. We almost won and had a good run this year in the All-Star race.”

Martin Truex Jr. (playoffs) – Finished 29th: “We had to pit for a tire run so we got in the back. I was following the 2 (Brad Keselowski) car back through traffic and they were two wide going into the backstretch chicane. They were two-wide and two-wide and there were four cars in front of me and all I could do was slow down and let them figure it out and go. We got in there and he (52 car) just drove into the back of me. I don’t know if he was out of brakes and missed the corner and didn’t expect us. I don’t know. His car was completely destroyed and he was running last all day and he completely ran me over with three of four laps to go. It was crazy, I can’t even believe it happened, but we’re through so it is what it is.”

Kevin Harvick (eliminated from playoffs) – Finished 33rd: