Here’s what the drivers said after the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway:
William Byron—Winner: “It’s great. When that last caution came out I thought everyone behind us was going to oppose and luckily we stayed away. We were aggressive. We felt like we we could pull the tires again and be fine and you have one of the most aggressive guys behind you in (Joey) Logano I knew I had slammed the tires in (turns) 3 and 4 and I had kind of left the bottom open but I was able to block my exits and get a good start. This one is for my mum. Same weekend last year she had some sort of mini- stroke and was diagnosed with brain cancer. It means a lot to have her here and it’s been a crazy year. But she’s doing great. And thank you all for the support. I kind of felt like “She was rolling in there with me. It’s cool to have her here and I’m definitely going to enjoy this one.”
Joey Logano – finished 2nd: “I could have tried to hit him harder. Maybe that was what I had to do. William did a good job of executing up front on the restart there. I was able to join him because he made a mistake out of four taking the white flag and I thought, ‘OK, this is my chance.’ My car didn’t start very fast but kind of gave me the opportunity to get to him I went over to him and kind of rooted him a little bit then he came back down and got me just braked pretty well at two-thirds as it should. I’m not mad about that. He should do that and it just killed my momentum on two and left me a two car length gap almost in the last corner. I was too far to reach it at the time, so I hate being so close. It was a solid race for our car today. Our Mustang was solid, especially in the long run. We didn’t just didn’t shoot as fast as we had to and it kinda boiled down to that in the end.
Austin Dillon – Finished 3rd: “I’m a little lost. I like to be proud when we find ourselves in these situations, and it was anything but that on this latest reboot. I rotated the tires well through the gears. Once I got back in line there I had some grip, and I feel like we had a good drive forward all night and I just felt like if we got to the gears, we were going to shoot him. But our Chevy Get Bioethanol was very fast. We have worked hard. I’m not going to say we didn’t because we were in a simulator. We have worked very hard to make this car as good as possible. We want the RCR to win, and that’s why we race here. I want to shout out to my wife and (son) Ace at home and thank God for bringing us a good run. It was very fun.”
Ryan Blaney — Finished 4th: “Overall it was a good night. We had a pretty fast car, but we never took the lead and we were never able to race for the lead. You have to be half a second faster than someone to pass someone. You were knocking someone down four seconds and then getting stuck behind them, so that was pretty disappointing. All in all it was a very good night. I thought our car was fast, but never took the lead or even had a chance to take the lead. All in all, not a bad night.
Ross Chastain – Finished 5th: “It took about 300 laps just to see the leaders. I don’t even know if we made any adjustments tonight. I don’t think we did, which was amazing because yesterday we needed a lot. For once I wish one of those Cup races would have had a full 500. It’s strange, I never think about it. Proud of the effort. Proud of the rebound yesterday for Trackhouse (Racing ).
Kurt Busch — Finished 6th: “I did everything I could on the loose side of things with the 45 Toyota TRD Camry. I mean, I’ve never been told how to do that many laps in my life. And then when I come back at my line I would feel the most comfortable and the lap time would be off a bit. So it’s like just comfort compared to what I’ve had for so many years. It was really fun to drive Martinsville that way with this Next Gen car but I really had to work hard and I just think we maxed out today Our loose race was Stage 2 We were 12th and we just couldn’t not attacking, you know, steering wheel and throttle at the same time. And I needed the pace to slow down and longer green runs seem to help us. Overall really happy. We know sixth is good to straighten out the vessel for what we need to do at 23XI Racing. But overall we need to get it back r.
Aric Almirola — Finished 8th: “We had an excellent Smithfield Spiral Ham Ford Mustang tonight. It was sometimes a challenge. The position game on the track was so tough. I mean, everyone would start running at the same speed after about 30 laps, but our car would take off fine and then it would get looser and looser. I rode pretty well in the middle and started the corner well, but I couldn’t quite keep up with those guys in front of us. All in all it was a good night for us, bouncing back from a few finishes that weren’t great, so (team manager) Drew (Blickensderfer) and all the boys did a good job. Hopefully we can get back to a series of races in the lead because if we race ahead we have a chance to win.
Chase Briscoe – Finished 9th: “I wish I could salvage my qualifying lap after seeing how crucial track position was. It was definitely unfortunate. I wish it had gone better. We kept improving the car and were able to do a few overtakes and we’ve been really good in the long run so we’ll see if we can apply anything when we come back later in the year Overall it was great to get another top 10.”
Austin Cindric – Finished 11th: “It was a super strong race for our Menards/Moen Ford Mustang. The guys made some great pit stops all night. We had very good speed. I felt like we were pretty decent in the short term and could hold on better than most in the long term to get more spots and run in the top 10 most of the night. We were quite unlucky with green flag traffic and fell behind with not enough laps to recover. All in all, a representative effort more or less a few posts for this group, so I’m proud to be able to do my part.
Tyler Reddick – Finished 18th: “It was a long weekend for our #8 Chevrolet 3CHI team, but all those RCR guys never give up. Our Chevrolet was very quick in Friday practice, but we missed out a bit in qualifying and had to start the race 22nd. Even with a starting spot in the middle of the field, we felt good going into the race because we learned a lot on Friday. The race was a little more difficult than expected. We struggled with a tight driving condition throughout the race and really needed some help turning our car into the center of the corners. We gave everything we had, but we just couldn’t make our adjustments stick in the race. We got into the top 10 of Stage 3 before the final warning of the race. I just couldn’t fight the traffic when we went into overtime and ended up backing out. We will regroup and prepare for Bristol Dirt next weekend.
AJ Allmendinger – Finished 24th: “We didn’t start the evening well with a passing penalty which cost us a lap, but we fought well. Our No. 16 Action Industries Camaro struggled for long distances, so I think that hurt us the most. I think we learned a lot and got the most out of our day. It’s something small to build on, and we will continue to build on it.
Justin Haley – Finished 31st: “It wasn’t the day we were looking for in Martinsville. We had good short-range speed, but just struggled on the long runs. Trying to make the dynamics of the car work throughout the race is key in our short track program. I’m looking forward to Bristol, which I think will be good for us.