What drivers said at North Wilkesboro Speedway


What drivers had to say Sunday at the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway:

Kyle Larson — Winner: “I can’t even tell you what it means. This is my third All-Star win and my third different track. In an historical place like that, you guys and the crowd made this weekend so awesome. We could feel the atmosphere all weekend. So much fun there. That was old-school ass whipping, for sure. We had a great car on the long run there and was just thinking for sure there was going to be a caution. I got out to a big lead and I could see everybody’s cars were driving like crap in front of me, but I cannot thank this 5 team enough. We were God awful all weekend. Practice I was like the worst on 30-lap average, went backwards in a heat race yesterday. You obviously had some strategy work out there in the beginning, but we drove from dead last to the lead and checked out by 12 or 13 seconds. Then just could pace myself there that last run.”

MORE: North Wilkesboro All-Star results

Bubba Wallace — Finished 2nd: “I think we needed the louvers and whatever chewed up stuff they have on there. No, just his (Kyle Larson) capability throughout the whole run, he could attack hard and then have something there at the end. If this was any other race I’d be excited, but for a million dollars to come up short and walk home with nothing. Tail tucked between our legs, but, all in all, just continuing to ride the momentum train. I want to get Columbia in Victory Lane and they’ve done a lot, and they came up with the best paint scheme here in the field, so we come up one spot short, so congrats to Larson. He’s been on a rail lately. Just have to keep it going. Now we show back up to home turf and really got to keep the momentum going there and get ourselves deeper into the playoffs here. Excited to be where we’re at right now. Just come up one spot short.”

Tyler Reddick — Finished 3rd: “Just needed a little bit on the balance, but yeah, the Beast Unleashed Toyota Camry TRD was really fast. I made a mistake earlier in the race, back in the first 100 laps, let Kyle (Larson) squeeze by, and he really mowed through the traffic, and yeah, we lined up obviously behind him on that restart and we could kind of stay in touch, but he was able to keep far enough away. I was trying to figure out how much me and Bubba were trying to figure out how much to push, how much to save, and I had an opportunity to get around him with 40 to go, and I just made a mistake on the fuel all night, and it put us behind.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 4th: “Truthfully, this car at every short track has kind of struggled. I think a lack of grip didn’t really fix the issues. I don’t know. It was fun. I still think this has a great opportunity to be an incredible event, but it would be different if every other race on short tracks had been really good. I think we just need to keep continuing to work on the car. I feel like we made it better on short tracks than what it was last year, but we just need to get it better. We’re slipping and sliding around and doing the things we need to do, but, truthfully, I just feel like this race would have been really, really good if the track had more than one lane. It was almost the track more than the car, necessarily. It was just so fast on the bottom groove. If you miss it by six inches, you are a half-second slower. We all know that, and we all just continue to fight for the bottom. I would almost just put it up as the racetrack is so bottom-dominant that that’s why it’s really hard to pass. We were really, really fast at the end. I felt like if I could have ever just got the lead, I would have been hard to beat, but I’m sure a lot of other guys would say that, too. It was definitely frustrating. We kind of got beat around there on that one restart. I went from running fourth to seventh or eighth and had to drive back up to fourth, so I felt like we were one of the few cars that could pass. I’m proud of that effort, but I would have obviously loved to win a million dollars. Truthfully, with how our last couple of weeks have been, just to get a good run and prove that we can run with these guys is nice.”

Chase Elliott — Finished 5th: “Based on what we saw in practice on Friday, I thought it was about what we were expecting from there. It was pretty anticlimactic; I would say for the most part. But Kyle (Larson), Cliff (Daniels) and the No. 5 team did a great job and really set the pace there once they took tires at the start and controlled the event from there. These races are hard to win. They’re not always going to be barnburners, side-by-side, banging-door finishes. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re still hard to win and that should always be celebrated.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished 6th:  “I had a fun night. Sixth was probably the highest we got to and where we finished, and I thought we could run fifth. Overall, it wasn’t a bad night. We didn’t have winning speed, but it was a fun night, for sure. It was just a case of how disciplined you wanted to be. The whole last run going green was super-cool. It was big tire management because you never really know how many laps you’re gonna run. I kind of had it in my mind right away like, ‘Alright, we might go the whole way, so let’s kind of plan on that,’ and it happened. It was a pretty fun night trying to conserve tires. It reminded me of my late model days.”

All-Star Open

Josh Berry — Winner: “Man, I feel so relieved. These guys deserve to be in this race so bad. Thank you so much to Hendrick Motorsports for believing in me and giving me this opportunity under the circumstances. Ally, everybody back at Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet, man, this is really cool. Our car was solid. We were definitely better the second run. We got some help there, whatever happened with the 34 (Michael McDowell). I don’t know what that was. That was pretty bad. But we were able to get the lead and stretch it out a little bit, kind of maintain it. I think the two best cars made it, so we’ll just see what tonight gives us.”

Ty Gibbs — Finished 2nd: “I, 100 percent, understand his (Michael McDowell) frustration. I moved him out of the way. They fenced us and completely wrecked us for 18th at Martinsville out of nowhere. It’s just a learning experience, I think. We will keep digging. We made it in, so that’s all that matters. It’s the Open. … Everybody’s doing Hail Marys and stuff like that. They all wadded themselves up in (turn) 1. I understand his frustration, but at the same time. We got completely clobbered at Martinsville for 18th. I never said anything and never reacted. Just have to keep to rolling and worry about the future. We’ve got a race for a million dollars, so that is pretty cool. I think our Monster Energy Camry is really fast. We’ve got a little damage from getting hit by him on the apron. I tried to go down on the apron there, probably a little too early and slid, so we are going to get that fixed up and keep digging.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 3rd: “They made their cars better on the pit stop, and we made ours a little bit better, but they made their cars significantly better. I thought we were still better than them in traffic. Surprisingly on a little half-mile racetrack, traffic still matters. I didn’t do myself any favors choosing the outside of that restart. I thought I could maybe make it work. … I was kind of hanging on there at the end trying to hustle to make something of it, and just wasn’t able to get close enough to make a move. Just frustrated. Had a really fast Smithfield Ford Mustang. Proud of the guys. Starting deep in the field against those guys that started on the front row, to drive from ninth all the way up there and have a shot to outrun those guys says how good our car was, but needed more laps. … We’re a great race team and we had a great race car here this weekend. I thought we were a fifth-place car in practice on average. On a long run for sure we were one of the best cars. I would have liked to see it play out tonight here in such an iconic event and running for a million dollars here at North Wilkesboro would have been awesome, so that’s what I’m most disappointed about, just not being in the show tonight and having to watch it on TV. That hurts.”

Michael McDowell — Finished 13th: “Well, it’s short track racing to try to get into the All-Star Race, so somebody has got to leave with hurt feelings. I guess it’s me. I’ve got a great restart there, kind of worked the outside, got a couple guys and was able to get down, and Ty just plowed into me, just knocked me into the 31 (Justin Haley) and spun us both out, and got a lot of damage from that. We ended up on the short side of it. It sucks. Felt like we had a pretty fast Gr8 Auctions Ford Mustang, but at the same time all that stuff comes around, man. You get away with it a few times, but it comes around, and I don’t have a budget for the fine, otherwise I would not be standing here, I’d be standing down there.”

Todd Gilliland — Finished 15th: “I think my spotter said the 42 (Noah Gragson) hit the inside wall. The only thing I saw was the 42 coming right across my nose, and I just shot to the outside wall. That’s probably about as hard as you could possibly wreck here, and it definitely sucks that we tear up a car here, but that’s racing. For me, I lost a spot on that restart. If I had just maintained, I would have been ahead of that. To me, that’s disappointing for myself that I let that happen, but at the same time I didn’t want to get stuck top of three wide.”

Dover Cup starting lineup


Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell will start Sunday’s Cup Series race at Dover Motor Speedway from the front row after rain cancelled Saturday qualifying.

The 36-car starting lineup was set by the rule book after showers eliminated qualifying.

MORE: Hendrick Motorsports president says no changes in driver policy

Brad Keselowski led Saturday morning’s practice session and will start the race fifth.

The green flag is scheduled Sunday at 1:11 p.m. Rain is in the forecast.

Dover Cup starting lineup

What drivers said at Talladega Superspeedway


What drivers had to say after Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway:

Kyle Busch — winner: “Sometimes you got to be lucky. Some of these races come down to that. You got to take them when they come your way. The seas kind of parted there when they (Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney) went up the racetrack. They were trying to push draft. These cars are just not stable enough to do that. I saw the 23 (Wallace) just turn a little bit sideways. I was like, ‘Get out of the way, just miss it.’ Tried to see if I was ahead of the 12 (Blaney) by the time it was called. It shut off right here when I was trying to do a burnout. Maybe it’s out (of fuel). I went left instead of going right. Fuel pickup is on the right. Maybe it ran it out. I’ll see. We were sweating it being close. … We got to gamble. You’re up here, got to take the track position when you have it, give it what you can on the restarts, see what happens. Lo and behold, it worked out. Knock on wood for this one.”

MORE: Talladega Cup results, driver points

Ryan Blaney — Finished 2nd: “It’s just you get big runs, take them when you can. I’m glad everyone’s okay, but in my mind you kind of triple move like that, triple block, you can’t block three times. I don’t know. Runs are so big. As a leader, with Bubba trying to block, which is the right thing to do. But I think a lot of those, I mean, I got to go somewhere. I hate that cars got torn up, I hate for us being so close to the win. I’m not blaming anybody. Just hard racing at the end of this thing. Unfortunate cars got tore up and we missed out on another win. The Fords were quick. We did a good job working together, but it’s unfortunate we got a little separated there with the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) having to pit and the No. 10 (Aric Almirola) having a right-front flat. I think we worked great together… just I think someone ran out of gas at the restart zone and kind of hurt our lane. By the time we got back up there, we tried to make every run we could. It’s a fast car, just a shame not to win. This is a completely separate race than anywhere else, so you take it for what it’s worth, get ready to go for the next speedway. Hopefully, the momentum carries over.”

MORE: Second place leaves Ryan Blaney looking for more

Chris Buescher — Finished 3rd:  “It was a good finish for our Fastenal Mustang. It was not as much fun on the day as I expected. Just really hard to make any moves – lanes just stalled out, handing didn’t seem to come into play. I don’t know if it was temperatures or what. Just not as much movement as we hoped… just thought we’d have more opportunities there. Everybody worked hard and got us up there in the end. We had enough fuel and threw some good strategy in there. We were in the hunt for it. I wanted to see the lap play out. I felt like we had a good run up-top, but looking back I don’t think we had any help, either. I don’t know. At the end of the day, it was a good finish. The race itself wasn’t as much fun as I was hoping for, for us.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 4th: “Wild day. I made a huge mistake coming to pit road. We’re two laps down, and then we were one and was going to get the lucky dog at the end of Stage 2, and then (Joey) Logano had that speeding penalty and barely got us for the lucky dog. It was a battle all day long – very similar to how we kind of were at the end of last year, just continuing to fight and keep doing everything we could to try to maximize our day. At the end, find ourselves up there and in the top five. I would have loved to have a little bit more, but if you told me we were going to finish fourth there — at any point of the race really — even there with 20 to go. We were so stuck in the back and couldn’t really do anything. So, cool to get this Mahindra ‘Old Goat’ car  in the top five and looking forward to next week.”

Brad Keselowski — Finished 5th: “We could just never get track position. Felt like we had a car that could win this race if we could get to the front, but we could never get to the front with all the pit cycles and everything. It just kept cycling us back, and it was really frustrating. Toward the end when we got to the front, I feel like if the No. 23 (Bubba Wallace) didn’t spin, we were in a spot to win the race, pushing 8 (Kyle Busch) down the backstretch. It’s just not the way the cookies crumbled.”

Erik Jones — Finished 6th: “It was kind of an up-and-down day. We weren’t really running how we wanted to during the day. But obviously there at the end some attrition got us toward the front. I felt like our car was good and that the Air Force Chevy had speed. We just weren’t up there to show it. We’ll take it, though. A (top-six) is obviously a strong run. I was hoping to come here and have a good day for us and get us rolling with some momentum to Dover and forward. We’re on to some good tracks for us, so hopefully we can repeat the same next week – bring a good car and kind of keep this momentum rolling.”

Daniel Suarez — Finished 9th: “It was an up-and-down day for the No. 99 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Chevy team. I felt like we had a very, very fast car. The guys did a very, very good job with that. This is probably one of the best cars I’ve had at a superspeedway. We did a good job in the first stage. In the second stage, we just couldn’t recover on track position, and the final stage was the same story. It’s part of it. We will learn from it and see what we could have done differently. But the positive is that we finished in one piece for the most part and the car was very fast.”

Todd Gilliland — Finished 10th: “Long race for us out there. We never had any good track position, so we were constantly fighting all day for one or two spots at a time. With a team that doesn’t do it every week and starting from the rear, I’m proud of our result.”

Justin Haley — Finished 19th: “This one stung a little. We had a fast No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy and had really good pit strategy all day. We thought we would set ourselves up for the end there and avoided all the wrecks, but we just couldn’t quite get the track position back that we had all day.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 22nd: “There’s so much to be proud of. We had a great race car and ran up-front – led, was in position all day, and then just Ross (Chastain) doing Ross things on that restart. Wiped out the right side of our car, and either broke something in the right-front suspension or had the right-front tire go flat. So, it took a race car that had a great shot to win and crashed. That part is frustrating. But we have a lot to be proud of. Drew (crew chief Drew Blickensderfer) and these guys gave us an unbelievable speedway car again, and we keep showing up to these places with an opportunity to win. The last few weeks we’ve had really fast race cars and ran up-front, so at some point we’re going to convert and win us one.”

Noah Gragson — Finished 32nd: “It was a really solid day for our Wendy’s Biggie Bag team and Legacy Motor Club. This 42 team was really on top of it today. Good pit stops and a fast car there in the race. I felt like we were in a good position restarting on the front row on a green-white-checkered. I got kind of shoved out there and bobbled a little bit by the 1 (Ross Chastain). I just gotta look back and see what I could do better. Obviously, not let the 1 get inside me. Overall, it was a good day until it wasn’t. The results have sucked here lately, but we’ve been running strong. We ran in the top five, the top 10 all day, and I’m really proud of that. I appreciate Wendy’s and everybody coming out to Talladega and all the fans. We’re close. We’ll get there one day.”

Kyle Larson — Finished 33rd: “Thankfully I’m OK, but my car is absolutely destroyed. The cockpit’s a mess. I’m just thankful that I’m all right and all that. It’s just a bummer. We put ourselves in position once again on a superspeedway, and the results don’t show it. Another wreck not of my doing on a superspeedway. I just hate it, but we’ll keep getting better, and eventually it’ll have to work out I would think.”

Harrison Burton — Finished 36th: “Proud of our team. Always fun to put the 21 in the wind. Sorry didn’t work out, but we’re working.”

NASCAR Cup Series results: Kyle Busch wins at Talladega

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Kyle Busch roared into contention late in Sunday’s Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway and slid past a final-lap crash to score his second victory of the season.

Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney wrecked while battling each other for first place in overtime, and Busch charged by on the inside to claim first place a few seconds before the caution flag flew, freezing the field.

MORE: Talladega Cup race results

MORE: Cup points after Talladega

The win was Busch’s second at Talladega.

Following Busch in the tangle at the finish were Blaney, Chris Buescher, Chase Briscoe and Brad Keselowski.

NASCAR Cup Series results: Kyle Larson wins at Martinsville


Kyle Larson emerged from the pack late in the race to take the lead and scored his second win of the season Sunday, winning the 400-lap Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

Boosted by a two-tire change as the lead group made final pit stops, Larson passed Joey Logano, who did not pit during the last pit-stop round, with 30 laps to go and sped away from the rest of the field.

MORE: What drivers said at Martinsville Speedway

Ryan Preece, the pole winner, was top dog for much of the first part of the race, leading the first 135 laps. A pit road speeding penalty blunted his victory chances.

The race marked the return to competition of Chase Elliott, who had missed six races after breaking a leg in a snowboarding accident. He finished 10th.

Martinsville Cup results

Martinsville Cup driver points