What drivers said after Kansas

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A look at what drivers said after Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Kansas Speedway…

Kyle Larson (playoffs) – WINNER: “I don’t know (if I’m the championship favorite). I think looking at the drivers in the Round of 8, you can make a strong case for every single one of us, why we could win the championship at Phoenix. So, I don’t know. I don’t think you can pick a favorite. I think maybe, yes, you can look at me as being the favorite because of the momentum and stuff that we’re on and all that. But I can make a case for any one of the other seven drivers, why they could beat me and beat any of us. Anybody can win I think in the final eight right now.”

Chase Elliott (playoffs) – Finished 2nd:

Kevin Harvick (playoffs) – Finished 3rd: “We were just getting tight at the end of the runs and the 5 (Kyle Larson), 9 (Chase Elliott) and 1 (Kurt Busch) cars could really hold it wide open. I needed to get past (Larson) so I was trying to hold it wide open and had a lot of wheel in to it and got a little tight as we went to the last half of that run. I am really proud of everyone on the Subway Ford Mustang. We closed a huge gap at 1.5 mile race tracks and everyone is doing a great job.”

Kurt Busch – Finished 4th: “We did everything right, we just didn’t combo it all together at the perfect time. Pit road was awesome. (Crew chief) Matt McCall and all my guys, sticking together this late in the year with the team switching over. Just thank you to AdventHealth. I wanted to give them a good run and we were there. We did all of this right and it was so much fun racing right in the mix. It’s the little things that make the big difference. We freed it up on that last run; it got too tight. When you’re running with the big dogs, you have to do everything right. Thanks to Chevrolet and Hendrick power. That was a big deal today. Thank you to my guys at Ganassi. We’ll keep chipping away.”

Denny Hamlin (playoffs) – Finished 5th: 

William Byron – Finished 6th: “Yeah, it was tough for us. On the first one, we got a good chunk of them and we got inside the top 10 and restarted ninth. Just didn’t really go anywhere on that one and it took us a while to kind of get back up there. But yeah, just a bummer we had that issue. I feel like we were executing a really good race and probably had the best car. We just had that issue and it took us out. We will rebound. This RaptorTough.com Chevrolet looked really good and we have had so much speed this year. It’s just a bummer to not get more wins, but I feel like our time is coming. We just have to keep at it.”

Martin Truex Jr. (playoffs) – Finished 7th: “It was a long day. You never quit fighting in these things and all you can do is the best you can do. Just kept working on it and kept making adjustments and do what we could. We were able to get back on the lead lap there and take the wave around with the quick caution and battle from there. All the guys did a great job on this Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry and it was pretty fast. Just sixth or seventh, where we finished was about where we were going to be. I would have liked to have done without that damage; it was pretty fast before that. Unfortunate the way that deal worked out, but we’re still in it and we’re still fighting and we look forward to next weekend.”

Joey Logano (playoffs) – Finished 9th: “Yeah, we made decent restarts and our pit crew was good today and got us some spots. We were able to get the restarts and get up to the top four or so and then from lap two to 10 I just couldn’t stay with them. I went to the bottom they would pass me on the top, if I went to the top they would pass me on the bottom. I just couldn’t hold them off. From lap 10 on, we were as good as the top three or four cars, we just had last the track position at that point. We were too far back to be able to do much and try to strategize ourselves to the lead somehow. We tried the long run there in the first stage. We just didn’t really get the opportunity to do much. On to Martinsville. One more shot to do it. It is crazy watching this thing. They are trying to give it away it seems like. I have never seen so many issues in this round. Yeah, it seems like survival was the key in this round so far.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 10th: “We had a really fast No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE today at Kansas Speedway. We ended up with damage in Stage 1 and never recovered, so it really says a lot that we were able to finish in the top-10. It was hard-earned by everyone on the team, for sure. We were running solidly in the top-10 in Stage 1 when another car fenced both of us. We had a lot of right-side damage, but we fixed it the best we could. Most of the rest of the day was a struggle because the damage was affecting our handling. By the end of the race, our car was pretty decent. Late in the race I got into a playoff contender and I hate it for everyone involved. It was side-drafting. It’s part of what we do, but I still hate that it happened. I tried to save it the first time, and the second time I just lost it. Overall, it was a good day for the Get Bioethanol team, and I am so proud of everyone at RCR and ECR for preparing fast Chevrolets.”

Alex Bowman – Finished 11th: “Kind of a frustrating day. We had a good Ally Chevy, but just fought being loose all day. We have two races left to get the finishes we want and that’s what we plan to do.”

Brad Keselowski (playoffs) – Finished 17th: “That was a heck of a race. We are all just fighting to hard. I am bummed I didn’t get more out of it. I had a heck of an opportunity to score a lot of points and make next week easy. We still aren’t in a bad spot but not as good as spot as we could be.”

Chase Briscoe – Finished 19th: “It was a tough day with the DEKALB Ford. The handling just was never where we needed it to be. The team did a good job of making something out of it, getting one of the laps back that we lost. We will just take it and look to Martinsville.”

Parker Kligerman – Finished 20th: “Thanks to Gaunt Brothers Racing, Toyota and Fast Checkout for being awesome to work with today. It was definitely a day where we struggled on the short run and were really fast on the long one. It was just a matter of me learning and trying to figure stuff out in the second half of the race. We needed a Lucky Dog or something to go our way to get back on the lead lap. We could’ve easily finished in the top-15. I probably asked for one adjustment that made us go back a little bit. Overall, a successful top-20 day. I don’t think that’s a miss at all after hopping back in a Cup car after two years. It was one of the best Cup cars I’ve ever driven.”

Tyler Reddick – Finished 22nd: “These RCR Chevrolets are so fast, and once again we were able to run up front and contend in the No. 8 Caterpillar Dealer Tech Chevrolet. I absolutely hate how the day wrapped up, but I can’t say enough about RCR and how hard everyone has worked this year to make our 550 package better. I’m gutted that we haven’t won yet, but I know we are capable. Our Chevy was strong all day, and it felt good to run up front and lead for a bit today. It was really windy out there and I could definitely feel the wind pushing our car around during the race, but (crew chief) Randall Burnett and all of the guys did a great job adjusting on our car. Cautions didn’t fall our way today, and we also had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a tire going down with less than 20 laps remaining. That really ruined our chances of a solid finish. Overall, I’m so proud of this team and I know we are capable of winning.”

Kyle Busch (playoffs) – Finished 28th:

Erik Jones – Finished 29th: “Tough day for the Petty’s Garage Chevy. Never quite had the balance where we wanted and then cut a tire down that put us way behind towards the end. Hopefully we can rebound at Martinsville.”

Ryan Blaney (playoffs) – Finished 37th: “Yeah, we got run into from two lanes below me. I have no idea. Obviously, it hurts. Finishing 37th is not prime. We didn’t have a great day but we did a good job of fighting back and getting back into the top-10 but then just got wiped out when we had plenty of room. That sucks. It is very unfortunate.”