March 2, 2024

What drivers had to say after Richmond Cup race

What drivers had to say after Sunday’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway:

Chris Buescher — Winner: “We’ve had this one circled since last fall. I was really hopeful this could be the one that would turn the page for us. Sure enough, right off the truck I thought it was. I hate that qualifying went the way it did. I was sitting there beating myself up trying to figure out what we were going to do there. Made it to Victory Lane here in Richmond. I’d have told you to flood this place three years ago. My opinions are changing quite a bit here (smiling). What a day, though. That’s awesome.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 2nd: “I drove in way too deep. I was trying to get to the outside there. Really had a great run off of turn two on the restart and off of four again. But, yeah, I was just so close to him there that I wanted to try to squirt a little extra gas to try to get to the outside. Just too much brake. Man, I’m happy for Chris, RFK, those guys. I know they worked really hard to get to this point. I can appreciate the struggle that it is to get to this point. Congratulations to them. Definitely a great job by this Mavis team. Kept me in it all day long. We just lacked a little, little bit to be the best there. So we just need to improve on it. Still a good day.”

Kyle Busch — Finished 3rd: “We certainly fought hard on the long runs. It was after about lap 50 that we really dropped off and fell off. But the first 50 laps, we could hang on and do OK. Really appreciate the No. 8 Chevy team, X World Wallet, Netspend, Chevrolet. We just had a really good day on pit road and just a solid effort. We needed something like this to be solid on the short-tracks and to kind of get our momentum back heading in the right direction. Happy with what we’ve got right here. Thank you to RCR, ECR especially. I ran the heck out of this engine today. I think I spent most of the race in fourth gear, where about everybody else was fifth gear. It just helped me the way I was driving and it got us a good, third-place finish.”

Joey Logano — Finished 4th: “Just a little bit off from the best cars. Really couldn’t hang. If you put us at fifth, we could probably hang at fifth. Just qualifying as poorly as we did, slowly getting our way up there, a couple setbacks during the race, kind of made us hang around 7th and 10th place range for a little bit. I knew we just had to get there. (Crew chief Paul Wolfe) did a good job.”

Ryan Preece — Finished 5th: “We all did (run well). I think that’s just a product of working hard. Sitting and twiddling your thumbs isn’t gonna get you the results that you really want. I know that from racing, so we’ve just been working hard and trying to find what I like, find what Aric (Almirola) likes, Kevin (Harvick) likes, Chase (Briscoe) likes and I feel like we’re all trending in that direction.”

Brad Keselowski — Finished 6th: “We are incrementally building. Solid day for both teams here at RFK. I’m happy for everybody that works on these teams, everybody that supports us with Fastenal and Ford, Build Subs. We led a lot of laps with both cars. Neither car really started up front. Drove through. Great job with the pit crews. A lot to be proud of today. Of course, I want to win as a driver. Just happy that we’re as competitive as we are. We want to keep building and keep being more competitive every week.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 7th: “It was tough – honestly, the whole day was tough. This place is never easy, but I felt like as loose as we were all day, that was a handful. It was so on edge. It was really, really difficult to drive and make two laps the same. We just really had to battle. Good job by the guys to do what they did to come up with that strategy. I was flipping out because I didn’t know what was going on. I couldn’t hear James (Small, crew chief) again on the radio. Just really a hard fought, battle of a day for our Bass Pro Shops Camry. I thought we were probably going to run fifth there without the caution. We were just so bad on the short runs today, for whatever reason, just luckily only lost two spots there at the end. All-in-all, a decent day, but man, it was tough.”

Aric Almirola — Finished 8th: “It was a strong day. I don’t know that we had anything for (Chris Buescher or Brad Keselowski). They were really good, but I could maintain and after about 55 laps I think we were arguably the best car on the racetrack from that point on. The first run it went 70 laps and from like Lap 50 to 70 I passed a ton of cars and unfortunately in those next few stages the runs aren’t as long. They’re only 45-50 laps when you break them up into three and I didn’t have enough of a long run to pass a lot of cars like I did previous. I’m frustrated that I bottomed out getting on to the apron coming to pit road under the green flag there and kind of took off in a four-wheel slide and barely clipped the orange box there with my right side tires. I’m frustrated. That’s a silly mistake. You can’t make those mistakes, but, all in all, it was a great day. I had a great Smithfield Ford Mustang. I’m really proud of our guys. We’ve been bringing some really good race cars to the racetrack lately, so we’ll see. We’ve got a few more here to try and get one.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 9th: “It was a solid race for us all day. We weren’t that great in the beginning and we just kind of tuned on it. We got really good at the end of stage 2 and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy was pretty solid. I want to thank all of our partners. Last week was tough – I feel like that should have been two top-10’s in a row, but we’ll take it. We’ve had a rough year all-in-all, but to get a top 10 here at Richmond, it means the world.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 11th: “Overall, it was a decent day. Our qualifying effort hurt us more than I thought it was going to. I thought our car was really good on a long run, but just could never get the track position to go with it. It seemed like toward the end of the run we would be better than a lot of guys, but were never better enough to pass them. Overall, I thought our car was good, but just needed a little bit more speed to finish it off. With how our last couple of months have gone it’s definitely nice to have another solid run. It seems like all the short tracks we can always run good, it’s just the big tracks that we kind of struggle on so hopefully we can apply something we learned today for Michigan and move on.”

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