What drivers said at Martinsville Speedway

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Here is what drivers said following the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway:

William Byron — Winner: “It feels awesome. When that last caution came out, I thought everyone behind us would pit and luckily we stayed out. We were aggressive. We felt like we could re-fire on the tires and be okay; and you’ve got one of the most aggressive guys behind you in (Joey) Logano. I knew I chattered the tires in (turns) 3 and 4 and kind of left the bottom open, but was able to block my exits and get a good drive off. This one is for my mom. This same weekend last year she had kind of a mini-stroke and was diagnosed with brain cancer. It means a lot to have her here and it’s been a crazy year. But she’s doing great. And thanks, everybody, for the support. I kind of felt like she was riding in there with me. It’s cool to have her here and I’m definitely going to enjoy this one.”

Joey Logano — Finished 2nd: “I could have tried to hit him harder. That might have been what I needed to do. William did a good job of executing up front on the restart there. I was able to get to him because he made a mistake off of four taking the white flag and I thought, ‘OK, this is my chance.’  My car didn’t fire off real fast, but kind of gave me the opportunity to get to him. I got to him and kind of rooted him up a little bit and then he came back down and just brake-checked me pretty good at the two-thirds as he should. I’m not mad about that. He should do that and that just killed my momentum off of two and gapped me by two car lengths almost into the final corner. I was too far back to get to him at that point, so I just hate being that close. It was a solid run for our car today. Our Mustang was solid, especially on the long haul.  We just didn’t fire off as fast as we needed to and it kind of came down to that at the end.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 3rd: “I’m a little bummed. I like to pride myself in when we get in those situations being clutch, and that was anything but that on that last restart. I spun the tires pretty good through the gears. Once I got back in line there, I had some grip, and I feel like we had good forward drive all night long and I just felt like if we got to the gears we were going to have a shot at him. But our Get Bioethanol Chevy was really fast. We’ve been working our tails off. I’m not going to say we haven’t because we’ve been in a simulator. We’ve been working really hard to make this car as good as possible. We want to get RCR a win, and that’s what we’re here racing for. I want to shout out to my wife and (son) Ace back at home and thank the good Lord for bringing us a good run. That was a lot of fun.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished 4th: “It was overall a decent night. We had a pretty fast car, but never got out front and never got to where we could race for the lead. You have to be a half-second faster than somebody to pass somebody. You’d run someone down by four seconds and then get stuck behind them, so that was pretty disappointing.  Overall, it was a really good night. I thought our car was fast, just never got the lead or even got a chance at the lead. Overall, not a bad night.”

Ross Chastain — Finished 5th: “It took 300-something laps just to where I could see the leaders. I don’t even know if we made any adjustments tonight. I don’t think we did, which was incredible because yesterday we needed a lot. For once I wish one of these Cup races went the full 500. That’s odd, I never think that. Proud of the effort. Proud of the rebound from yesterday for Trackhouse (Racing).”

Kurt Busch — Finished 6th: “I did all that I could on the loose side of things with the 45 Toyota TRD Camry. I mean, I have never been told how to drive so many laps in my life. And then when I go back to my line, I’d feel the most comfortable and the lap time would be off by a little bit. So it’s like just comfort versus what I know for as many years. It was really fun though to drive Martinsville this way with this Next Gen car, but really had to work hard and I just think we maximized today. Our loose run was Stage 2. We were 12th and then just couldn’t quite attack you know, steering wheel and throttle at the same time. And I needed the pace to drop off and longer green runs seem to help us. All in all, really happy. We know that sixth is good to right the ship for what we need to do at 23XI Racing. But overall, we need to pick it up.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 8th: “We had a great Smithfield Spiral Ham Ford Mustang tonight. It was a challenge at times. The track position game was so tough. I mean, everybody would just start running the same speed after about 30 laps, but our car would take off OK and then it would just build looser and looser in. I rolled the middle good enough and I launched off the corner good, but I couldn’t quite keep the pace as those guys that were ahead of us. All in all, it was a solid night for us, bouncing back after a couple finishes that weren’t great, so (crew chief) Drew (Blickensderfer) and all the boys have been doing a good job. Hopefully, we can get back on a string of running up front because if we run up front, we’ll have a shot to win.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 9th: “I wish I could get my qualifying lap back after seeing how crucial track position was. That was definitely unfortunate. I wish it would have turned out better. We continued to make the car better and was able to make some passes and was really good on the long run, so we’ll see if we can apply anything when we come back later in the year. Overall, it was great to get another top 10.”

Austin Cindric — Finished 11th: “It was a super solid race for our Menards/Moen Ford Mustang. The guys had great pit stops all night. We had really good speed. I felt like we were decent enough on the short run and could hold on better than most on the long run to get some more spots and ran in the top 10 almost the entire night. We got pretty unlucky with some traffic under green flag stops and put us behind with not enough laps to recover. Overall, a representative effort plus or minus a few positions for this group, so I’m proud to be able to do my part.”

Tyler Reddick — Finished 18th: “It was a long weekend for our No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet team, but all of these guys at RCR never give up. Our Chevrolet was really fast during practice on Friday, but we missed a little during qualifying and had to start the race 22nd. Even with a mid-pack starting spot, we were feeling good heading into the race because we learned so much on Friday. The race was a little bit more challenging than we anticipated. We struggled with a tight-handling condition throughout the whole race, and really needed help making our car turn through the center of the corners. We gave it everything we had, but just couldn’t seem to make our in-race adjustments stick. We rallied into the top 10 in Stage 3 before the last caution of the race. I just couldn’t fight the traffic when we went into overtime and ended up falling back. We’ll regroup and get ready for Bristol Dirt next weekend.”

AJ Allmendinger — Finished 24th: “We didn’t start the night off great with a pass-through penalty that cost us a lap, but we fought hard. Our No. 16 Action Industries Camaro struggled on the long runs, so I think that hurt us the most. I think we learned quite a bit and got the most out of our day. It’s something small to build on, and we will keep pushing forward.”

Justin Haley — Finished 31st: “It wasn’t the day we were looking for at Martinsville. We had some good short-run speed, but we just struggled on the long runs. Trying to get the dynamic of the car to work throughout the whole run is key for our short-track program. I’m looking forward to Bristol, which I think will be good for us.”