Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Boost by Kroger / Entenmann’s Camaro ZL1
Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident on the last lap of Stage Two.
Are you OK and what happened?
“Yeah, I’m good. I just wish I would have stayed high there. I saw the No. 20 (Christopher Bell) spin the No. 54 (Ty Gibbs) - just pushing at the wrong spot of the racetrack, which I’ve done here before. Just part of it.
I was having a blast. Our No. 47 Entenmann’s Kroger Camaro was really, really fast. I felt like we worked our way from the very back to the very front and got ourselves some good track position, so I was really happy. I was having a blast. It was a lot fun racing three-wide and pushing each other. I felt like everybody was doing a good job of putting on a good race for the fans. It just looked like Christopher just got him maybe a little too hard, a little too soon. He should have probably waited until we got on the straightaway, but that’s part of it. I had fun, at least.”
We saw more three-wide racing today compared to the other superspeedway races with this car. Are you guys just learning how these cars work better in the draft, or is it just the intensity of the regular season ending?
“No, I mean everyone thought they wanted the bottom lane for some reason. I feel like with this race car, the middle and the top lanes, the cars just perform better. It seemed like everybody that moved to the bottom was getting too tight off turn four and off of two and having to lift, so it brought the top lane and the middle lane in. The No. 8 (Kyle Busch), 16 (AJ Allmendinger), 31 (Justin Haley) and myself – we ran from the back to the front in that third lane. We made it all the way to the front until we got our track position. But yeah, I’ve always felt like these cars run better on the top.”
How do you feel about the next 10 weeks?
“I feel good. We’re going to take it week-by-week. I feel like Darlington was a good racetrack for us, and that’s what we’ve been focused on was Darlington before we ever got here to Daytona. I feel really good about where we are as a race team. It was awesome to come back to Daytona and having a car that I felt like was capable of winning, and hopefully we can go to Darlington with that same mentality.”
Austin Dillon, No. 3 BREZTRI Camaro ZL1
Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident on the last lap of Stage Two.
“We just had a suspension fail on the left-front from a little contact. It’s so frustrating. You try and go have a little fun out there and get some stage points, but really it pays nothing for that. I’ve won races not racing for those. We made some decent moves, and then some not so great moves. I have to go back and look to figure out why we didn’t keep ourselves toward the front, just in front of that. But that happened at the front, so I don’t know – other than just lifting coming to the checkered there in Stage Two, I don’t know what we could have done differently.”
Is it just a result of being too aggressive, too early, from some others?
“Yeah, I think everybody is pushing and shoving a little bit. The No. 20 (Christopher Bell) got to the No. 54 (Ty Gibbs) and turned him. It’s part of it if you push in a corner.”
How do you attack the next 10 weeks?
“Progress. Look for the simple wins.”
Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1
You are back in the playoffs and now can concentrate on next week at Darlington, how does that feel?
“That feels really good to hear – in the playoffs again. I have to go back to 2021 and missing it in my first real attempt in a quality Chevrolet. Missed it with CGR in the No. 42 car and that hurt. But now I get to have the day off tomorrow and be ready Monday morning to walk into that Tech Center and continue to prepare for Darlington. We have already been preparing, we have already been running in the DiL, working with Josh Wise and the Wise Performance Group that GM uses to prepare the drivers. And Trackhouse has been preparing the cars. It feels good and feels good to bring this one home clean and put it right back in the rotation. There is one small donut on it, but it feels good right now. Life is good.”
Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrickcars.com Camaro ZL1
“Yeah, there are some good tracks for us in the playoffs and just ready to get started and hopefully get some momentum going.
You guys had good speed at Darlington in the spring, how does that make you guys feel?
“Yeah, I mean you just hope you have got the same speed this time around that you had earlier this year. We were really strong and I would like to get off to a good start.”
Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Freeway.com Camaro ZL1
I know this may have been disappointing, what more did you need to get it done tonight?
“I feel like the car had good speed and we showed that in coming from the back. We came from the mid-20s in stage one and I think finished fifth in stage two. We just didn’t execute well in stage three and stage three is the most important one. We had a lot of conversations about setting ourselves up for that final stage and things played out in a way that we didn’t react properly. Unfortunately, we were not able to make up the difference. It is what it is, and I felt like we did an okay job in the first three quarters of the race, but in the last quarter and most important, we didn’t. I can’t thank everyone enough. Trackhouse, all the sponsors, Freeway.com, Worldwide Express, Coke-Cola, and so many people that help us out to be in this position. Quaker State and Comm Scope. It’s been a lot of fun and we have ten more races to go out there and continue to fight.”
Kyle Busch, No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Camaro ZL1
What do you expect during the playoffs?
“Yeah, just put it all together and make these races happen. Tonight, we had a lot of that up-and-down, as well – going to the back, coming to the front, going to the back. I was really proud of the No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Camaro. The RCR Chevy and the ECR engines that we had - they were good, they were fast. I just needed some help behind me at times. We got it – led some lanes, led some laps. And then there at the end, we were just trying to make some more happen with those guys at the end. It was just too short of a run to get up towards the front where we wanted to. But overall, proud of the effort. We know we just have to cross our T’s, dot our I’s and be a little bit more perfect, and not let some things happen during the races that have taken us out. A lot of it hasn’t been our fault, hasn’t been our doing, but just circumstantial. Better luck, I guess. I used it all up about eight weeks ago.”
Chase Elliott, No. 9 Llumar Camaro ZL1
“I feel like we had an OK chance there, but Brad (Keselowski) and the No. 17 (Chris Buescher) just worked so well together there and they were able to stay locked-on. They were so locked-on there.. they just had a strangle-hold on the top lane. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get to Kevin (Harvick) and stay there like that, and just make the bottom lane work. I kind of bottled it up there and just couldn’t get enough momentum going forward.
But it was a valiant effort and I appreciate the effort from everybody – from the No. 9 team, Team Chevy, Hendrick Motorsports. I thought we all worked really well together tonight. Obviously we came up a little short, but nonetheless – I hate the way the season has gone, but proud to get the car into the owner’s championship. It’s a big deal to get in on the owner’s side, so hopefully we’ll try and go make some noise on that front, and just keep progressing and pushing to be better for next year. We’ll be better through all of this down the road.”
Chandler Smith, No. 13 Quick Tie Products, Inc. Camaro ZL1
“I think we had a good solid weekend. We were up front in both races, maybe didn’t get the result we probably deserved based on our speed in the Xfinity race. But we moved on to the Cup race, ran up front, showed decent speed, and hopefully got a lot of TV time. I’d call that a success.”
AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Action Industries Camaro ZL1
“I can’t thank my guys enough for the No. 16 Action Industries Chevy we had today. This was the best speedway car we have had, it handled well and had a lot of speed. We got caught up in a wreck running near the front of the field and that ultimately ended our day, but I’m proud of all the effort, we’ll keep making gains and hopefully get some finishes to show it.”
William Byron, No. 24 RaptorTough.com Camaro ZL1
You’re entering the playoffs as the top-seed in the NASCAR Cup Series. Can you keep this going in the playoffs?
“Yeah, it feels good. Just thank you to everyone at Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports, our whole No. 24 RaptorTough.com team. We had a solid night. In the pack, we were just struggling to advance forward, just kind of one move behind all of the time. But it’s good to get a top-10 and going into Darlington with some momentum. That’s a really good racetrack for us, I feel like. We have a couple little things to work on at Darlington, just to get a little bit better, but I feel like the first round sets up well. We just need to have a solid first couple of races and put ourselves in a good spot.
It feels good. It looks like we’re tied with Martin (Truex Jr.) for playoff points. That’s a lot better position than we’ve been in the past, so we’ll try to take advantage of that. Last year, I think we were in the teens for playoff points, so I feel good about. The good thing is we can still get some more in the first round, so hopefully we can maybe get a stage win or a victory in the first couple races and see how it plays out.”
Justin Haley, No. 31 Celsius Camaro ZL1
“We had a super-fast No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet. We stayed clean and raced in the top five for a while there. Unfortunately, nothing transpired for us at the end.”
Josh Berry, No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Camaro ZL1
“It was a decent finish for the No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Chevy team. We picked the wrong lane on the last restart and gave up some spots. But overall, we learned a lot and brought the car home in one piece. At Daytona, that’s always not a bad thing.”
Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Camaro ZL1
“It was just an OK day for the No. 43 Allegiant Chevy team. Just never really got in a good position to capitalize. We got a little flipped around on our last pit stop there and lost way too much ground to the second pack that pit. We were just too far back, too far late in the race and couldn’t really go anywhere with it. It’s a bummer. Obviously the end of our playoff hopes, but we’re going to 10 good tracks for us here coming up and hopefully we finish out strong.