What drivers said at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

0 Comments

INDIANAPOLIS — Here is what drivers had to say after Sunday’s Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana:

Tyler Reddick — Winner: “I couldn’t believe he (Ross Chastain) got ahead of me. I was kind of waiting to see if he was going to have a penalty because I didn’t want to move him out of the way and make his race worse than what it was. Yeah, I was really surprised by that, but hey, we made it work. Hats off to Ross for trying to do that, but really glad it didn’t end up working out because I’d have been pretty pissed off. We just know what we’re capable of, and we did that at Road America. Certainly it was a little bump in the road, but we went out and won a race fair and square a couple weeks ago, and if we change nothing, we keep working really, really hard, we find a way back to Victory Lane. Just really glad to be able to do it here in Indianapolis. This is one really special place to race, and really excited to kiss the bricks here in a little bit and really excited we got 3CHI their win in their hometown.”

Austin Cindric — Finished 2nd: “It’s easy on paper, right? Oh, my gosh, I feel like we probably deserved 10th at best today. There were a few things I was good at, but I needed the whole track to do it and I kind of struggled a bit, probably a little lower than my expectations were today, but those restarts, survival, holy crap. All I can say is ‘wow.’ There’s no other sport, no other form of racing other than NASCAR that you’re going to get that.”

Harrison Burton — Finished 3rd: “Wouldn’t have picked this weekend to get my best career finish so far. Just a lot of aggression on the last restarts and putting myself in good positions. Honestly, we weren’t doing our job at the start of the race. We kind of didn’t execute well. I made a mistake, spun out, got into [Cole] Custer there. Was kind of pretty upset midway through the race, and then just got our heads down, came in, got tires and started picking guys off and restarted in a good spot to kind of go get some more. It’s just exciting. It’s just a step, right? We’re not going to go blast off a podium every weekend. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to try to. We have to step and get top 10s more often and top fives and build. In the beginning of the year that was our plan from the start.”

Todd Gilliland — Finished 4th: “It’s just really exciting. This rookie season has been really tough.  The Cup Series is hard. I’ve learned that. It’s easy to give up and that’s one thing, too. You have confidence when you come to the Cup Series, but you get beat down quick. Even just having a ninth-place qualifying effort and just to run up front in the first stage. We stayed out and got stage points and kind of had to come from the back again, but that’s what me and my crew chief were talking about. That’s really our best weekend start to finish by far, so hopefully that’s just something to build on. For me, that’s a lot of confidence. Road course racing is tough, too. I’ve always loved it, but it hasn’t really loved me so much this year, especially the first time here at Indianapolis. That’s really cool.”

Joey Logano — Finished 6th: “The restarts were wild, and you had to take driving down into Turn 1. If you weren’t aggressive, someone was going to be aggressive to you. On that last restart, everyone was just banging off each other, but things parted in front of me, and we were able to make it to the end. Then the car caught fire at the end, but luckily, we were all done by then.”

AJ Allmendinger — Finished 7th: “It was hot from the start of the race, and my cool shirt was faulty, which made for an even hotter day. Knowing that you have a shot to win it at the end, you suck it up. The way Turn 1 is here, when you are on the outside front row on one of those late race restarts, you are just going to get run into. I figured I was going to get shoved off the racetrack into (Turn) 1, but I tried to make the best of it, and I felt like we did. At the end of the day, we gave ourselves a shot to win two in-a-row, and that is pretty awesome.”

Cole Custer, Finished 9th: “You just hope for the best pretty much every time on a restart going through turn one. We were able to have it worked out pretty good the last couple times, but we just had a long run car. Honestly, we were one of the best cars on the track when it was a long run, but we just couldn’t fire off good. It’s good to come up with a solid run and hopefully get ourselves a little bit better points-wise and keep chipping away at it, but move on to the next one.”

Chris Buescher, Finished 10th: “I wasn’t giving up. This team gave me way too good of a race car today to let somebody’s stupidity take us out that early. I’m not going to make it a habit of staying inside cars that are on fire, but kudos to this team for bringing such a good race car.”

Erik Jones — Finished 15th: “Road courses have definitely been an area where we need to work and we thought we’d be a little better this weekend. Just didn’t qualify well, started at the back and fought the handling most of race. The guys stayed after it, we used the car up and salvaged a 15th-place finish. We’ll take it and move on to Michigan.”

Justin Haley — Finished 19th: “Not the best day for us at Indy. We had some damage after an incident in turn one and ultimately couldn’t get the speed back. Just too much damage to be able to compete for anything other than where we finished. We will move on to Michigan.”

Chase Briscoe, Finished 23rd: “It was a situation where we had to try to get that first stage win and just kind of buried us after that. We got back there and struggled to get back up there. A couple times we thought we were gonna be OK and then I just made a mistake. There at the end that restart was just chaos and tore us up.  Obviously, I wish we would have finished a lot better than where we ended up. I don’t think we had anything for the 8 car, but us and the 2 were pretty close and he ended up second. That was kind of the strategy we had to kind of play today and for our points and playoff situation. Obviously, the playoffs are more important than trying to win here. It’s unfortunate we had to be in that situation, but overall we were able to get a playoff point, which will be big come playoff time.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished 26th: “It’s a case of just getting wrecked.  That’s all people do at the end of these things, just dive in there and wreck you.  I don’t know who shoved who and I don’t care, but tires didn’t matter at the end.  We restarted top three both times and tires don’t really matter.  It’s just a matter of getting through on the restart, but, apparently, that’s a hard thing to ask.  People just run over each other. I got up through the middle one time and the middle never really opened on one of the last couple restarts.  I was protecting right and I guess whoever it was behind me didn’t care.  I don’t know. They jump over the curb and just wipe you out. I just didn’t even have a shot at it. I didn’t have a shot to get to the 8 to try to put the bumper to him or anything like that, just get wiped out. I don’t know.  I’m pissed off about it and I have every damn right to be.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 30th: “It’s tough coming from behind at a road course because it’s so easy to get caught up in the messes. We worked really hard throughout the race to improve the handling of our BetMGM Chevy. We made an air pressure adjustment toward the end of the race, and our car came to life. We were running lap times as fast as the race leader, and we were in position to earn a top-10 finish, but it was mass chaos at the end of the race. We ended up in some messes there at the end. We’re looking forward to getting to Michigan to take home a win.”

Ty Dillon — Finished 34th: “All I saw was a blue flash and that’s about the hardest I’ve been hit by anything. First, I’m just grateful to God that I’m okay and these cars are safe enough to take a shot like that. … I was just blindsided, really. I’m all good. It’s been a tough year, but I’m never going to quit. We’re going to keep getting better. We’ve been running good, just things are happening. You’ll have days like that, you’ll have times like that. You just never give up and go onto the next one.”

Aric Almirola, Finished 38th: “We broke the left-front suspension. I got into Turn 1 and locked up the rear tires and it just kind of took off on me and I got into the 5. I hate it for those guys. I hate it for our guys. Man, this was just a frustrating weekend. I felt like the guys did a great job of bringing me a car that was pretty good and thought we were gonna have a good day. Just not the day we were hoping for. I made a mistake or I’m not sure what happened, but I locked up the tires getting into one and killed our day and tore up the 5 car at the same time.”