What drivers said after Sunday Cup race at Dover

Here is what drivers had to say after the Sunday Cup race at Dover:

Kevin Harvick — Winner: “I love the grit of our race team. I think that is what Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have built at Stewart-Haas Racing. A team with a lot of grit. Sometimes we don’t have the fastest car but we have guys willing to suck it up and when we have a weak link that day someone else will carry the team. I am really proud of that and that is what it is all about. You are only as good as the people around you and we have great people. With Denny (Hamlin) winning yesterday we needed to win today and we need all the points we can get. I think as you look at these playoffs you never know what to expect but I know that as we go week to week we will give it all we have and I am just really proud.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 2nd: “Second or third, it seems like every week here. On one hand, it’s good obviously and you want to be running up front and having good finishes. On the other hand, we didn’t get any better than we were yesterday, it was actually a little bit worse. I was a little disappointed in that. These things are really, really tricky to figure out to get them right. We just had to battle hard all day long and it took us a long time to get up towards the front in our Bass Pro Shops Camry. We just battled hard with an ill-handling car all day long. Just tried to hang onto what we could and came out with a decent finish.”

Jimmie Johnson — Finished 3rd: “I was so excited and so happy to have the view I did sitting there up front (for the final restart) and have control of the restart.  I knew when we hit the gas and the 4 car was able to stay with me I was going to be in trouble.  I needed to clear him into 1 and quickly I realized that my left sides were pretty exhausted and just didn’t have the grip we needed in them.  We had a really good car and I really credit (crew chief) Cliff (Daniels) for making that brave call for two tires.  I think we were one of the fastest cars if not the fastest car over the last two runs, just unfortunately clawing our way back in from losing track position, and we didn’t have the best stop two from the end, so we really just had to gamble. I really appreciate his courage to do that.  It netted a better finish.  Certainly wish there was more there, but a great couple days here in Dover.”

William Byron — Finished 4th: “It was like a completely different race car and completely different race for us today compared to yesterday. We had the Axalta Chevy doing the things we wanted it to do on most runs. It just felt good out there. I knew at the beginning of the race that we were keeping pace with the No. 19 the No. 11. As soon as we got the track position, we were able to stay up there. I think we were a little bit behind though since we really didn’t have a notebook from yesterday. I think if we had another race at it, we would run a bit better. Overall, this is good for our Axalta team. Now we’re going to Daytona where it’s going to be insane. I don’t think you can really points race. It’s going to be a race to be as aggressive as you can and hope things fall your way.”

Alex Bowman — Finished 5th: “Man, I am so proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. Three cars in the top five today. For us to pull out a back-up car, the No. 88 team did a great job getting everything together and regrouping after yesterday’s issues. Very appreciative to end up in the top-five and get Acronis a good run. We needed to get things turned around and this is a good step in the right direction. I felt like we were a second-place car on the short run and probably shouldn’t have picked the bottom on that last restart. So appreciative to have a great run and a huge shout out to everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet. This was great.”

Joey Logano — Finished 6th:  “I screwed up (in contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. early in the race). I don’t know any way better to put it. We raced each other hard and I was trying to make the bottom work and my car was tight. I got a little loose down into three which kind of sent me up the race track and there was a pocket of air that if your front is really close to someone’s left rear tire the nose really takes off. I am not making excuses for the mistake. it is on me. I got in that pocket and then got started really going up the race track and I barely tagged him. I am not sure if I actually tagged him or not but it was enough to spin him around and I needed to be further away to protect the damage to our car and countless others. Like I said, I apologize to him and his race team and the others involved. I got myself in a tight spot and I didn’t do a good job getting out of it.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 7th: “Great job from everyone on bouncing back today. I need to do better, we all need to do better, and we just need to keep grinding with the playoffs coming up. We didn’t have a clean race today again and still found ourselves leading laps and running in and around the top-five. Our goal when we started the season was to make Daytona not matter before the playoffs and we accomplished that goal by clinching our spot in the playoffs today. Looking forward to heading there with no pressure and racing one last time for that regular-season win.”

Brad Keselowski — Finished 8th: “Obviously if we knew what was going on there we would copy it the best we could. I agree that the 4 car (of Kevin Harvick) has been the best car for the last six years and some could argue that the 18 (of Kyle Busch) has been with them a couple years. They deserve credit for that success. They deserve credit for being fast and putting all those pieces of the puzzle together. When you have that kind of speed you try to keep the band together and keep them motivated and something you can do as a driver quite honestly it comes down to the team and management in the company that you drive for and the crew chief. Especially in these latest of times, shoot, I haven’t seen my team but for a few minutes here and there every weekend so there isn’t much I am going to do to lead them and guide them because of the environment. Fast cars go fast. When you have a fast car and you are experienced you show up and try not to mess it up. You try to execute your perfect day. Restarts, getting out of the box, trying to give the feedback to make the car better throughout the race, you know. You put a great car with a great driver and you will get dominance like that. Kevin is a great driver and that is a great car.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 9th: “We had a good day at Dover International Speedway in the Dow Coatings Chevrolet, and that shows just how hard we all work at RCR. It feels good to come out of the Monster Mile with two solid runs. We started the race too free. A pit stop for right-side tires definitely tightened me up, but it went back at the end of the run, and I was just sliding around out there to end Stage 1. Our Chevy definitely had speed today, it was just too loose to do anything with it during portions of the race. (Crew chief) Justin Alexander and all of the guys on the team did a good job at making adjustments. Towards the middle of the race we were knocking off some of the fastest lap times of the field. We went four-wide to make a pass and I got a little damage to my right-front, which made our No. 3 Dow Coatings Chevrolet really tight. It was still fast, though. I’m proud of a top-10 finish.”

Cole Custer — Finished 10th: “We had a solid day today at Dover. We made improvements on the car from yesterday. I think we have some good notes for whenever we come back here.”

KYLE BUSCH — Finished 11th: “It was a long day with our Interstate Batteries Camry. We worked on the car overnight and wanted to improve on yesterday’s finish. Got run into the back of near the beginning, and I’m not sure what exactly that did to our car. We just couldn’t quite get it handling like we wanted to or even like it did yesterday. We just kept fighting all day and did the best with what we had.”

Kurt Busch — Finished 13th: “We have been consistent in our hunt for the playoffs all season. With today‘s finish, not what we hoped for, but we locked-in! I’m proud of everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing. Teamwork is what it’s all about.”

Clint Bowyer — Finished 16th: “Overall a good weekend. Good day yesterday, had a decent day going today doing what we needed to and had a little hiccup with left front on the last stop. We’ll have to wait until next week to lock us in the playoffs.”

Matt DiBenedetto — Finished 17th: “Dover killed us. We were pretty horrendous both days. I just tried to make the most of it that we could and it just wasn’t much. It was the perfect storm of really losing a lot of points and having a rough weekend. Going to Daytona. I hate to be negative but if we were going somewhere else I would feel better about it because we have been pretty strong at most tracks aside from here. I have struggled here. Going to Daytona and the Ford’s are strong but I have ended up at the infield care center the last two years there. We keep getting caught up in everyones mess. I am going to sit and hope and pray all week that we can just come out of there clean and make the playoffs. We shouldn’t be this close to the bubble. It is frustrating. A couple weeks messed us up. Getting wiped out at Texas and Kansas and then really hurt us points wise and then we come here and really hurt ourselves here. It has been a tough go of circumstances and going to Daytona is going to make it quite an uncomfortable week.”

Tyler Reddick — Finished 18th: “We started off with our No. 8 Cat App Chevrolet a lot better than yesterday. I was able to roll through the turns a lot smoother and just needed a bit more rear security. I thought maybe that issue would be cleared up as the track began to rubber up, but it just never tightened up quite as much as I needed it to. The adjustments that my crew chief, Randall Burnett, and the team made through Stage 1 and 2 helped fight that looseness, but I still needed even more stability to really carry speed into the corner like I needed to. At the end of Stage 2, we took a big swing on our adjustments, which did help solve the rear security issue, but took it almost to the other extreme and made it too tight to turn. The day didn’t go how we wanted it to, but I’m proud of our team. No one gave up, and we worked hard all race long. This isn’t over for us yet. We still have one more chance to make the Playoffs at Daytona International Speedway, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

John Hunter Nemechek — Finished 20th: “We made some good improvements from yesterday in our No. 38 ACME Markets Ford Mustang. We started off pretty free today, but Seth (Barbour, crew chief) and the crew made some good adjustments on pit stops throughout the race. I have to say a big thanks to my crew for sticking with me all day. We were able to improve on yesterday’s finish and that’s something to be proud about.”

Bubba Wallace — Finished 21st: “Today was a little bit better day for our Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Columbia PFG Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. It was kind of the same balance as yesterday. Our Chevrolet handled the same, but we had a little bit more speed. Still not where we want to be – just could never get the rear-end underneath us. When we did, it was just way too much. We need to get some more adjustability in our car, but overall a good day for our Columbia PFG team. It was cool to see them on the race track and I’m excited for what’s next with them. We will keep everything going and continue the momentum into Daytona (International Speedway) next week.”

Michael McDowell — Finished 25th: “Well, it was a busy day for my guys on pit road. Our No. 34 Shield Cleansers, Digital Ally Inc. Ford Mustang started out on the loose side and just seemed to stay that way throughout the course of the race. We threw a lot of wedge and trackbar adjustments at the car to try and help find a bit more speed, but unfortunately we were also battling a changing race track as the sun started to set in Stage 3 and temperatures began to cool off, so it was tough to predict how the car was going to behave as the race went on.”

Daniel Suarez — Finished 28th: “It’s been a rollercoaster of a season, for sure, and after a weekend like we’ve had here with our CommScope Toyota, we know we just need to keep working hard and keep our eyes on the big picture. We struggled with our handling on corner entry and exit today and just had a difficult time trying to find a way to fix it. It’s definitely frustrating, but one thing we are doing for sure is to keep working hard and keep trying to make our racecars better. It may not always feel like it, but in the big picture we are continuing to make progress.”

What drivers said after Sunday Cup race at Dover originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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