TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE QUOTES:
Ross Chastain, No. 1 Unishippers Camaro ZL1
You had a pretty rough start, but you were able to battle back. Take me through what your team was able to do and how you were able to battle back and finish in the top-five tonight.
“It was a heck of a battle for the No. 1 Unishippers Chevy team. We needed 1,000 miles to get all the way to the lead. We just weren’t fast. All weekend, I haven’t felt like our balance was super far off, but it just didn’t translate to speed. I’ll take a top-five finish, for sure, and ride home happy.”
What about the track? Obviously in the spring race, you had some trouble there at the end. What is it about Darlington Raceway that makes it so tricky?
“Yeah, I think that we can all drive down here and be back home tonight in our own beds is nice. And just the history of the race – this was the 74th running of this race. It’s just always put on a good show. You watch the old races – they raced around the bottom and as they all got faster over the decades and they swapped the grandstands and all that, it’s absolutely incredible, for me, just to be here. I’d be here as a fan. I’d be right up there in turn one, probably with a little bit bigger headache in the morning if I was just a fan. It was a heck of a fight tonight”
Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1
Kyle, welcome to the Round of 12. You picked a good day to finally execute a race, didn't you?
“Yeah, finally from start to finish. 18th to third in the first stage, I didn't think that was possible.
Our race car was really good when the sun was out. Just had to work on it. I messed up once and it got hung in neutral, and I slid and hit the wall. I think it bent the toe link a little bit, so it was kind of a struggle from there. Definitely had to fight it more than I was earlier, but we kept our heads in the game. That was really important. This race is all about keeping your head in it.
I've been pretty hard on myself here the last couple months, but having a leader like Cliff (Daniels, crew chief), he really is good for my mind.
Just proud of the team. Proud of Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Andrews, Chad Knaus, everybody at Hendrick Engine shop. 500 wins.. that's incredible, so congratulations to each and every one of you at the shop for all your hard work. Valvoline, JINYA Ramen Bar, all of Hendrick Motorsports.
What a great way to start the playoffs and hopefully we can keep it going.”
You have some big wins in your career, a championship obviously, but you've been trying a long time to win here at Darlington. Where does a Southern 500 win rank for you?
“It's definitely in the top-five. This has been one of my favorite tracks my whole career and been really, really fast here my whole career, just usually get in the wall. Finally we have the Next Gen car that's tough enough to allow me to hit the wall, so was able to make some mistakes and get a win.
Adding this trophy to the collection is going to be amazing, it’s just such a prestigious race. This is one of three or four crown jewels, and I feel like besides the (Daytona) 500, maybe the only one I haven't won yet. We get to hopefully go back to the Brickyard next year on the oval and would love to win that one, too.
Just proud of this bunch again. Pit crew came in clutch there at the end to get us out in the lead. Had some things work out - staying out when that car was spinning out, too, so just kind of fell in our lap there, and we were able to take advantage of it.”
Kyle Busch, No. 8 McLaren Custom Grills Camaro ZL1
“Overall, it was just nice to get an 11th-place finish with our McLaren Custom Grills Chevrolet for what looked like was going to be a 20th. Definitely not a day that we wanted but just survived with what we could there. Really proud of everyone at RCR and ECR for fighting hard all day long. The pit crew had some really good stops today and got us some spots on pit road. We had issues, some self-inflicted and some with our strategy with just the luck of the draw with how the cautions fell. Thanks to 3CHI and Cheddar’s and all of our partners at RCR who make this happen.”
AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Action Industries Camaro ZL1
“I’m really happy with the whole weekend our No. 16 team had in Darlington. We made significant improvement from the spring race. Our car had a good amount of speed and we tried to fine tune the balance all night. This was the best I’ve ever felt in a Cup car and a career-best finish for me at this track. I’m satisfied with our end result.”
William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1
“Once we got the car tightened up in Stage One, we had really good pace in our No. 24 Liberty University Chevy. We started out Stage Two really good – we started ninth and drove to fourth. Just really proud of the effort. When we started the race off, we weren’t making any ground up. I was really free and once we got our car in a better balance spot, I felt good about it. I think this is a good stepping stone for Kansas (Speedway). It was good to get a solid finish in the first race of the playoffs.
I want to wish Kyle (Larson) and the whole No. 5 team a congratulations. They deserve it. They’re really good here. It was win #500 for the Hendrick Motorsports engine shop, so it’s a huge deal.”
Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Camaro ZL1
How do you feel after running 500 miles here at Darlington Raceway?
“Physically, I feel really good. I wish I could have got a spot or two more. The weak part of my game, for sure, was pit road. I felt like I lost four or five spots on each cycle, just trying to maximize lights. These guys nail it every time. But I felt like I was OK on the race track. I felt pretty good and just kept working at it. I passed a few of my heroes that win races on Sunday. I wasn’t expecting that and I think I exceeded my own expectations.”
Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Camaro ZL1
“It was an up-and-down day, but a top-10 finish is obviously solid for us. It’s been awhile since we’ve done that. I feel like we had a better car at points there running in the top-three, top-five, and I was hoping we could hit it right on the adjustment to make it work there to challenge upfront. We just got a little off and couldn’t really get it reigned back in there for the end. Our No. 43 Allegiant Chevy was good, we just needed a little bit more.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Boost by Kroger / Irish Spring Camaro ZL1
“Getting a lap down early was bad. I felt like I did everything on my lights right, but I guess I short-cut the corner a little bit. My guys brought a really good No. 47 Boost by Kroger / Irish Spring Chevy, we just struggled on restarts. Anytime we could pit under green, I felt like we had a top-five or top-six car. We just struggled on restarts and then running long on restarts. It’s something to work on, but I thought we had a solid car. The guys on pit road did a good job. I was hoping that after the penalty, we’d get back to 15th. We finished 16th, but we ended up getting a stage point in the second stage - which isn’t a lot, but a point is a point. That was our goal – to get stage points in the second stage. We were hoping to finish top-10. I think we had a car capable of doing that, we just weren’t clean enough."
Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Freeway.com Camaro ZL1
Daniel Suarez part of that incident with Alex Bowman. Walk me through what happened and was Bowman’s move fair?
“That depends who you ask. I had a run on him (Alex Bowman). I went to the inside and after that, he blocked me pretty low. I had to lift a little bit to not wreck him and put him into the inside wall. We’re both Chevy partners, so I didn’t want to do that to him. But then I went high and he blocked me again. You can block once, but you can’t block twice like that. We’ve been racing here three and a half hours and to wreck with 40 laps to go, it’s a little bit dumb. Just have to be smart.
My No. 99 Freeway.com Chevy team did a very good job. I feel like today, we had a great car and all we have to show for it is a wrecked race car.”