What drivers said after Clash at the Coliseum

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Here is what drivers had to say after Sunday’s Busch Light Clash exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum:

Joey Logano – WINNER: Of all the Clashes, this is probably the biggest Clash win you can imagine. First time coming to this historic venue, like I said, being able to do that together as a team. Also some of the adversity we fought through, what Paul (Wolfe) was saying earlier. We were 26th on the board. That was me trying really hard to go as fast as I could go. To see everybody come together, not just the 22 team, but Team Penske in general, to be able to all lean on each other, what we learned in practice, ultimately put together a really good package to where it qualified well, we were able to win our heat race, keep track position, be good on the long run, which was a bit surprising to me. I don’t know about you, Paul. For me I thought it would be better on the short haul. Find our strengths, be able to play to them, win it. Really cool. Last couple wins have been on some weird racetracks, so I don’t know. Bring ’em on. Bring on the more weird stuff.

Kyle Busch – Finished 2nd: “I was being perfect doing everything I needed to do – keep the tires underneath me. When I got close, I was like, okay I’ve got to try more and pounce at an opportunity and just overheated the tires and smoked them in three laps and that was it. Disappointing, obviously, come out here and win the pole, and lead laps, run up front. The finish goes green and it’s not chaotic and we can’t win, so it sucks. Congratulations to my son (Brexton Busch) – he won yesterday. That’s cool. I was trying to match him. He’s winning more than me these days, so somebody better send him a contract.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 3rd: “From where we were last night, it took a lot of crazy fate and a little prayer last night. Talked to myself. We got it together today. The True Velocity Chevrolet was really fast in practice, I just struggled a little bit in qualifying and knew we would get in the race and be fine. The long run speed was there. Disappointed I couldn’t get those next two cars. I really wanted to get there. But all-in-all, a great race from where we were last night and everyone back home at RCR, good job. It was a good showing for us.”

Erik Jones – Finished 4th: “It was a good weekend to come home fourth for us. It’s not a race that means a lot, as far as setting us up for the rest of the season. But nobody came out here not trying. It feels good to run good and we’ll hopefully we’ll carry that momentum to Daytona.”

Kyle Larson – Finished 5th: “It was an awesome experience all around. First race with the new car. This event was really neat. It seemed like a great atmosphere. I’m not able to ever sit in the stands and watch other races. I got to watch a Heat Race and the Last Chance Qualifiers. It seemed like a blast and I hope we can do more of this.”

William Byron – Finished 6th: “It was a fun event and I think the fans got a good show. It was all about track position though, similar to Martinsville. We tried a couple times on restarts to pick up an extra position here and there but we were just too tight the first half of the race to keep it. The guys worked hard, not just today, but all weekend to improve the Valvoline Chevy. We learned a lot with these new cars.”

AJ Allmendinger – Finished 9th: “Definitely happy to make the main. It was cool to be in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, be a part of this event and have both Kaulig Racing cars make the main. I’m fairly happy with how the race went. To start at the back like that and kind of drive our way to the edge of the top-10, inside the top-10 and finish ninth. I would have liked to have gotten a little bit better. But overall for the weekend, it’s something to build on. Just a great event to be a part of.”

Chase Elliott – Finished 11th: “Our race started out pretty decent and we were making progress after starting a little deeper in the field. I kept locking up the right front and unfortunately just got too loose and the car got around. Once I got that little bit of damage our NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet just didn’t drive the same. Congrats to everyone that had a hand in putting this event together though. The fans certainly got an entertaining race.”

Daniel Suarez: Finished 14th: “Overall, it’s hard to be upset, but it’s hard to be happy too. My team did a really good job. They worked very hard and we brought a fast race car. The race track changed a lot. It gained a lot of rubber and unfortunately it didn’t work in our favor. The car that won the race, I was faster than him in practice. But they made it through the race and the race track changed to their advantage. That’s part of racing. We have to learn from it.”

Ryan Blaney – Finished 17th: “Disappointing end for our Menards/Great Lakes Mustang team. Still a major win for the sport. Big event at an iconic venue, we proved we can go have a race about anywhere.”

Justin Haley – Finished 19th: “We had a fast Chevrolet. The whole race, we were just kind of pacing ourselves. And then obviously towards the end of the race, the cautions started falling and we just got put in a bad situation. But I’m glad we had speed with our LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet. Any other day of the week, the cards could turn our way and we could have a good run. Happy to be in contention of a win and we’ll see what Daytona brings.”

Tyler Reddick – Finished 21st: “The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum exceeded expectations. The fans, the atmosphere, and the intensity of the race itself. Just the intensity of the field and the drivers – it was an incredible experience. Certainly, the obvious big bummer is breaking our transaxle doing something I probably didn’t even need to do. I had done a good job putting heat in the tires all weekend, but maybe I got too aggressive with it. I don’t know for sure. We’ll have to go back and look at it in the shop this week. We had one of the fastest cars on the race track. We were just riding and managing the gap back to Kyle Busch and trying to lap as many cars as we could so we wouldn’t have to worry about them later. But we never made it that far. It’s a tough lesson, but it’s a lesson we can learn from.”

Chase Briscoe – Finished 22nd: “We had such a fast Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang and I think we had a shot at starting the season with a win. Yesterday during practice and today in the heat race it just handled so well. Once we got through those first 15 to 20 laps, it had plenty of grip and then that first caution was when it went downhill. There are always things to work out with new cars and it’s unfortunate that it happened when we were up front, but the great thing about this race is we get a chance to get on track and figure it all out before we get to Daytona. This is still a great way to start the season. We’ve proven that we can show up and be competitive, and I’m excited to get to the next one in a few weeks.”

Denny Hamlin – Finished 23rd: “Mechanical. It looks like the power steering belt evidently came off and took the hose with it. We didn’t have any steering ability. This is something you will probably see a lot of this year. It’s just fixing all of the bugs that are going to happen. Unfortunately, had a power standing issue.”