What drivers said at Phoenix Raceway

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Here is what NASCAR Cup Series drivers said after a thrilling race at Phoenix Raceway that saw a first-time winner in Victory Lane.

Chase Briscoe, winner: “That’s unbelievable. I was crying the whole last lap. I mean, this is definitely a team win. I got to thank everyone that has gotten me to this point. Seven years ago, I was sleeping on couching, ready to give up. They gave me an opportunity and it’s led to this. I am so blessed to be driving at the organization, the team, the car that was my hero growing up. To get this 14 back in Victory Lane, to do it with Mahindra Tractors, their first year in the sport, everybody that’s believed in me. It’s unbelievable.”

Ross Chastain — Finished second: That was so much fun to get to race like that at this level. Trackhouse Racing believes in me and AdventHealth and The Moose, these people they believed in me early in the season when stuff wasn’t going great. That’s so cool to race with Tyler (Reddick) and Chase (Briscoe). I mean that’s like everything I’ve ever wanted and my crew chief Phil Surgen, like people don’t know how good he is. His adjustments this year have been so incredible and gave me exactly what I needed. Just came up one spot short. I’m so happy.”

Tyler Reddick — Finished third: “I thought we got a good launch considering all things going right there into (turn) one. I know about how deep I could drive it in turn one all day. I thought I got pretty good heat in the tires. I still overstepped it. I couldn’t have drove it any deeper than I did. I still thought I was going to get him in the fence. Chase was able to drive it off in there, clear, high, take the lead. It was a lot of fun. Great to claw back from the hiccup we had earlier in the race. Everyone on this No. 8 Guaranteed Rate team did a really good job all day. One little miscue that took us from second to 12th. My pit crew did an amazing job, had a good restart at the end to put ourselves in position. It was a fun day. Nice way to recover from a mistake that late in the race, be battling for the win. Great day. We’ll see what else we can learn from this and see what lies ahead.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished fourth: “I lost the lead there on pit road and just could never get back. I don’t know. I just didn’t have quite the speed and was kind of too tight. I could drive up through the field and make good spots and nobody could really do that. You would just get really tight behind people. Not a bad day. A good recovery from last week. We had a fast car, just a shame we couldn’t contend more for the win. It is cool to see Briscoe get his first win and we will go on to next week.”

Kurt Busch — Finished fifth: “It was surprising, and it was fun. I’m normally a sticker guy. I need sticker tires and this car reacted really well to scuffs today, so that’s good for our notebook at 23XI (Racing). The restarts – I was able to find the right spots to be. Thanks to MoneyLion, Toyota. We were the top Toyota today, which is somewhat of a surprise. We were just trying to get to 10th, but we will take a top five. It’s really cool for our program, this car number, No. 45. To get a top five, check mark done. This was a good West Coast Swing. Not so much on points with stage one and stage two, but our finishes were there, and we will keep chiseling away.”

Kevin Harvick — Finished sixth: “It was a good day for us. Restarts weren’t 100% our strong point. We had a bit of a brake shake issue that kept pulling the car to the right under braking so I couldn’t get into corners like I wanted to. Still a good day and the car ran good. I just couldn’t really connect all the corners altogether through the day. Putting a (Stewart-Haas Racing) car in Victory Lane and running inside the top five all day for us is always a good day.”

Daniel Suarez — Finished ninth: “It was a rollercoaster, up and down. I don’t feel that we had the greatest speed, probably top 15 somewhere in there. I made a mistake on pit road, the speeding penalty. We had a couple slow stops. I feel like it was just ups and downs. We were able to recover a little bit. Travis (Mack, crew chief) made a good call right there with the right side tires only and we were able to get a couple spots back. Overall, it wasn’t a good day, we have to learn and come back stronger.”

Chris Buescher — Finished 10th: “That was a really solid day. Phoenix is self-admittedly not been my best track, probably one of my worst. To have a day where we come out of here with a top 10 is a small win. I want to be better but definitely a strong Phoenix for us. I am proud of everyone in this group. It was a tough weekend again with just a 20-minute practice and not much time to work on it but we were able to dial it in and be competitive in the race. I think we learned some good stuff for our short-track program and we have a lot of those coming up shortly.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 12th: “Congrats to Chase. So happy for them. We had speed and just fought some balance issues all day, but kept getting our Smithfield Ford better and better. We continue to fight all day to try and be there in the end. I’m so proud of this team for another hard-fought day. We didn’t keep the top-10 streak alive, but we’re still competitive at every track we visit, and that’s all you can ask for. It was a good day for our entire organization. Looking forward to Atlanta next week to keep it going.”

Cole Custer — Finished 16th: “It was a solid, mistake-free day. We had good long-run speed, but we just couldn’t get it on the short run. Overall, it’s something we can build on, just wish we had a little bit more.”

Justin Haley — Finished 17th: “Our No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1 started off building tight but were able to make some positive gains during our first pit stop. Track position here is crucial. I think we had a solid run overall and learned some things we can really build on for our short-track program.”

AJ Allmendinger — Finished 20th: “We fought some more handling issues today – I lacked rear grip and stability. We made a few major swings on pit road, but just couldn’t quite get the No. 16 Action Industries Camaro ZL1 feeling the way I wanted it to with the speed we needed. It was frustrating for sure, but we learned all we could and salvaged a top 20. This is a track we have been spending a lot of time putting our focus on, so hopefully the gains we made today carry over to the next time we come here in the fall.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 21st: “This No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet team continues to work so hard. We had a top-five run going today so I hate that our day ended the way it did. During the race, we fought a tight-handling condition that caused our tires to chatter and made us snappy loose on exit to the corner in Turn 2. Solid adjustments all day had us running in the top five by the time we got to Stage 3. We were as fast as anyone in clean air. Our pit crew fired off great stops all day. On the last restart we were running sixth when the field went three-wide and someone tagged our (left)-rear. We got collected and it ended our day. Not the way we wanted to end the race after having such a strong run. It’s unfortunate to get tangled in someone else’s mess, but we’ll regroup and head to Atlanta Motor Speedway with even more fire underneath us.”

Kyle Larson — Finished 34th: “I felt it four or five laps before, well it was just getting worse. Hate that. Our Valvoline Chevy was pretty good. I thought that we were a fourth- or fifth-place car. Just was just hoping to be a little better than that. I know they’ll address the issue that seems like we have had the last couple of weeks with some of the engines. We’ll come back strong and reliable. The good thing is we have fast cars, fast engines and great drivers driving these Chevys, so we’ll get some more wins here.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 35th: “We had been getting really loose all day on the longer runs. I was just out there trying to take care of it, and we gained a few spots on the restart and I was just trying to take care of the rear tires. Coming off of turn two there, I’m kind of neutral free and then all of a sudden it shot straight into the fence. I cut a right front down running up there in the glue or something.”