After Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, here was what the drivers had to say:
He won the race. He said that they had a plan which they achieved well. They remained together in the course and got a lot of help in the last lap. He appreciated all the support they got. He felt like this was home race because of the proximity of the racing course to their home.
He finished in the third position. He said that the day was excellent. In 2016, he was in Talladega with an Xfinity car. During that time, he did not do well. He got sucked in a sucker hole and was out. He thought this time around, he was not to repeat the mistake. He said it was an excellent day for JTG and hope that they will keep the momentum.
He finished in the fourth position. He said that at the end he had a great run and he felt the need to block that. He said that if he had chosen the bottom and block the 91 and the 88 there, they were going to go by him as soon as they formed a run. He thought that even if it were green to the end, it would have looked the same. There were no runs build and no momentum going. It was a tight spot. They thought you are in a good spot and anytime you can take the front row on a final restart you will take it, especially there at Talladega but it was tough when the numbers are stacked against you a little bit. The team did a good job, and our Mustang was fast, and we have to be proud of that.
He finished in the seventh position. He said the race was crazy. He started by taking the inside line and stayed there. He had many places to go, but neither way was good. He is proud of the entire team for being able to remain together. They also kept most of the race cars on the track which was probably a lot of luck. They did a good job of orchestrating the pit but didn’t think that won them the race. They just ran out of time. He felt they finished sixth, and he felt like they were ahead of one of those guys. They got some good stage points and race points. They need to get a win. They need to get a top-5. They are at the mercy of other people’s mistakes which will always be a part of racing. In the end, they are glad all the race cars stayed on the race track.
He finished in the ninth. He said that they had good Smithfield Ford Mustang which was capable of winning but a few mistakes on his part and a few things that didn’t go well made it impossible. He worked his way back and had done so really hard to get to top ten. He is proud of his team. They had vehicles capable of winning, but the circumstances did not favor them. The only thing he is happy about is that they stopped the draining from 11th in points and got back to the top ten.
He finished in the 10th position. He said that they restarted outside the front row and thought Kurt Busch would want race for the win and not fall the line behind the fords and Chevrolets. He thought that team order prevailed. And that kind of sucked. They weren’t able to recover. There was a section of the race where the bottom and the top lane didn’t move anywhere they were stuck for like eight laps. That was all he saw.
He finished in 23rd. He was in the middle before they took the white flag. He then got loose and wrecked the 24. That wreck was his fault. He was pretty stupid to wreck like that when running 10th or 15th last lap. When you get three-wide cars, there is just nowhere to go, and everybody was pushing and shoving, and his car jumped sideways, and when he corrected, it caught the 24’s left rear and spun him across his nose. The cars were going 200 mph, and it was exciting, and they are hard to race, and ultimately someone will mistake out there.
He finished 24th. He thought his car would hit the inside wall right before he got there, then it started to lift. He knew it was tossing and was hoping it wouldn’t get any closer to the catch fence flip he ever had. He didn’t know if it would ever stop it was a little bit scary, but he said he was all right.
He finished in the 30th position. They just got crashed. They had a good driving car and put them in a good position with a handful of laps. They just turned right, got hit and turned into the fence, destroyed their race and several racing cars.
Daytona – good car, a good run, crashed. He was fighting tight there at the end. He was struggling to maintain, but once they got up to second, cars kept getting underneath him off the corner. He didn’t know what happened. He saw (Chris) Buescher got turned and they clobbered him. He had nowhere to go, nothing to do – just speedway racing.
He finished 38th. He went to the back to start and thought that was going to happen several times throughout the day. He got himself back there, and it looked pretty tame, so he decided to go back to the front and drove back up there reasonably easy. He doesn’t know what happened. They all wrecked, and he slowed down someone.
He finished 39th. He said that all he was trying to do was to avoid an injury. He didn’t want to squeeze up the No. 12. He had a great run up with Ryan Blaney. Joey Logano pulled up and checked a bit. Then Bubba moved to the bottom where he was safe. He didn’t know whether he crossed his bumper or whatever. But it got him wiggled down and shoved me even farther down than he wanted to go. So, he went back up to stay off the apron and it just unloaded Denny.
He finished 40th. He said that 43 was being aggressive and made him make stupid moves at the beginning of the race. That was pretty early in the race to be making dumb moves like that. Unfortunately for the Love’s Travel Stops Ford, they were in the wrong place and time. He saw the 43 heading up to the race track, and that was about it. It was disappointing. He said, “We have had such good speed and such a great superspeedway program, and we were hopeful for today. It is out of our control though. It is part of superspeedway racing.”