Kevin Harvick – No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford – Winner
“Just good timing for sure. We’ve had several good runs the last few weeks – Loudon and Pocono where the car ran good and just didn’t have everything work out. I’m just really proud of everybody on our Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang. They’ve been digging all year long trying to make these Mustangs run faster. They haven’t been great this year, but our guys have done a good job in trying to take what we have, maximize it and do the things that we need to do. I’m just really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing.
“Everybody who doubted us doesn’t know us. They obviously know we thrive in these types of situations and a lot of things went our way today, which we haven’t had all year long things go our way and have things fall our way. There at the end we pitted and didn’t go a lap down and then the caution came out and got control of the race. That’s the thing I struggled with most today was traffic and restarts and just having to make up ground, but once I got clear track that baby was hunting.
“You go out and try to put yourself in position to win the race and try to capitalize on a day and put a whole day together and today we put a whole day together.”
Bubba Wallace – No. 23 McDonald’s Toyota – Finished 2nd
“Replaying everything I could have done – should have taken the top on the restart. Thought I could hang with the 4 (Kevin Harvick) and just got to racing the 5 (Kyle Larson) and the 22 (Joey Logano). 22 did a great job of getting another Ford contract by helping another Ford win. All in all, an incredible weekend. Appreciate my team. Wish we could have gotten Toyota in victory lane. Wish we could have got McDonalds in victory lane again. She was fast all weekend. I will wear this one on my heart for a while. I failed everybody.”
What could you have done differently on the restart? “Got clear of the 5 (Kyle Larson) sooner. He was doing his part staying on my quarter there and keeping me tight and allowed the 4 (Kevin Harvick) to get away. Could have taken the top and pushed the 4 and then I could have been the 5 in that center area. Hate it. Hate it for our team. Sucks.”
What did your crew chief and Denny Hamlin say to you post-race? “Just great job all weekend. It was a hell of a job for our team. There were a lot of positives from this weekend, but I’m a person who looks more at the negatives and I need to change that. I want to win so bad and this was the best opportunity.”
Denny Hamlin – No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota – Finished 3rd
“It’s just frustrating. We’ve had really fast cars throughout the year and Dover comes to mind and Pocono comes to mind and this race comes to mind and a bunch of others. Just can’t get a W in the column. Hats off to Joe Gibbs Racing for giving me a car that fast and my team for setting it up really good. This is a piece of the puzzle you have to have to win races. Everyone has to do their job to the best of their ability and we just are lacking in one little section of our team that we just can’t hem up.”
How do you move on from here to make those needed improvements or adjustments? “I’m not sure. I’m not really sure how you fix it. I’m not smart enough to run the department to fix it. I just hope that we make strides and keep getting better. It’s just frustrating when you have fast cars like our Toyotas did this weekend, there’s just absolutely no excuse for not winning. We’re the ones that have to look each other in the face on Monday and figure out how we just keep doing this. Hopefully we can make it constructive and continue to get better, but obviously it’s disappointing.”
What did you say to Bubba Wallace at the end of the race on pit road as he was obviously emotional about not getting the win today? “Just great job all weekend. He (Bubba Wallace) did a great job and Ty (Gibbs) did a great job. The whole 23XI team just did a phenomenal job from beginning to end and they gave him a rocket. This was a well put together weekend for all of them. It’s Dave Rogers, it’s Mike Wheeler, it’s Billy Scott helping setup both of these cars. It’s just a lot of puzzle pieces that those guys are starting to do right and have good results.
Joey Logano – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford – Finished 4th
“That was a hard-fought one, that’s for sure. The boys did a good job executing today, keeping us towards the front. Paul had some good strategy. I had a car that was about where it finished. If you put us further back, that’s probably where we would finish, but we had some good track position and good restarts – some good choosing – so Coleman did a good job upstairs helping me out with the right lanes. It was an execution day, which is playoff type racing. I feel good about what we did today as the playoffs come around the corner.
“Yeah, I was just holding on (at the end of the race). It was an execution day, so I’m proud of the team. That’s playoff type racing, where we were able to make some out of maybe an eighth-place car and finished fourth with it by execution. We had decent pit stops and good strategy, good restarts and good choosing. Those type of things are what put us in position to run in the top five and get to second, which is further than I thought I would get. I couldn’t hold off the Toyotas. They were stuck there at the end. I’m glad a Ford won at Michigan again. That’s pretty cool, but, overall, just didn’t have enough for them today.”
Ryan Blaney – No. 12 Menards/Cardell Ford – Finished 5th
“We were terrible all day. We ran 20th all day long and just struggled a lot and worked on it a ton and got a little bit better and better there and ended up with a decent finish out of it. It was big gains from where we started. We were bad, pretty bad and just couldn’t really go anywhere and were stuck in 20th. Jonathan worked on it a lot all day and props to him for getting it better and better throughout the day and having a car that could run fourth or fifth at the end of the day. That’s something to be proud of. We made some good out of it and proud of the progress we made.”
You passed Martin Truex Jr. at the end, which could be a valuable point. “You just passed him back. I don’t know. I was just racing another guy. That’s all I care about. It was nice to get him back, so that was good to get it back and get a top five.”
Now with just one spot on points available, will you race points or just win to make the playoffs? “You have no idea. We’ll see. We’ll race the 19 (Truex), obviously, for points and try to win the race. We’ll try to do both.
“It’s a shame that another car won. I’m happy for Ford for winning, but we didn’t need the 4 (Harvick) car to win. We’ll just try to win the next few weeks and battle the 19 in points. It’ll be exciting, that’s for sure, so hopefully we can do it.”
Could you ever imagine 15 different winners at this point of the season? “I can now.”
Erik Jones – No. 43 FOCUSfactor Chevrolet – Finished 8th
“It was an up and down day for the FOCUSfactor Chevy. We had track position early and got up there towards the top five and just kind of got farther and farther back through the day a little bit. Lost the handle a bit towards the back half of the top ten and thankfully we got that late yellow and were able to make some changes and get a good restart with about 37 laps to go and drive back up to a top 10 finish. So, solid day, had a decent car and just needed to do things a little bit cleaner, a little bit smoother and I think we could have had a better finish.”
Alex Bowman – No. 48 Ally Chevrolet – Finished 9th
“We just started super deep and played some strategy to get some track position back. We were too tight on the short run. Really too tight on the long run too, but the short runs hurt us a little bit more. I’m happy to get the No. 48 Ally Chevy is back in the top-10. Can’t say enough about Greg (Ives) and the guys – we’ll keep digging as we close out the season.”
Cole Custer – No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford – Finished 31st (Accident)
“We don’t really know what started all of that. I mean, we blew three left-front tires in probably a matter of 20 laps, so I don’t know what happened and why they kept blowing. It just seems like that’s the way our year has gone. We can’t seem to catch a break in most of these races. I don’t know. It just sucks to have another day end short, but we’ll move on to the next one.”
Harrison Burton – No. 21 Dex Imaging Ford – Finished 32nd (Accident)
“I couldn’t really see much of what happened, honestly. I really didn’t hit anything hard. I guess we just broke a part in the steering rack or something, but I couldn’t steer the car. That’s obviously not gonna be able to make minimum speed and felt it was probably too dangerous to try, so just a bummer. I felt like we weren’t really that good to start, but I knew we had some good changes coming I was excited for. We fired up on that last restart and through one and two I thought I was gonna gain a lot of spots and then, all of a sudden, the world came crashing in. It’s just a bummer, but we’ll keep pushing on.”
Aric Almirola – No. 10 Smithfield Ford – Finished 34th (Accident)
“You have no idea. I didn’t see the replay. I got hit in the left-rear and spun out and then we all crashed. We just can’t seem to catch a break. I think some of the guys that were slower cars stayed out and that kind of jumbled up the field and then everybody swarms them and they can’t get out of the way.”
Kyle Busch – No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota – Finished 36th (Accident)
“Just chaos ensued on the restart there and I don’t know what started it, but the 10 (Aric Almirola) got spun in front of me and then I got wedged between him and the wall. When you get back there, things happen on restarts especially when you have guys that stayed out and don’t have tires versus those that have four tires. Was not really in a hurry and knew we were coming to stage points in another 40 laps or so and it was going to be a long run to get there and then we all just crashed.”
“Just was trying to bide my time and knew we weren’t necessarily going to need to be in a hurry there to get points at the end of that stage. It was going to be a 40-lap run and it was going to be plenty of time to get back up there because we had a really fast car – had a really fast Interstate Batteries Camry, it was looking really good for the day and obviously not a good result. Just got squeezed between the 10 (Aric Almirola) spinning and myself and the fence. Just don’t get it man, just can’t buy a break right now.”
What is the level of frustration right now? “One out of 10, infinity.”
Austin Cindric – No. 2 Discount Tire Ford – Finished 37th (Accident)
“I don’t know what started all of it. I saw the 15 (JJ Yeley) car sideways and everything stacked up. I got tagged in the left-rear and shoved me up the racetrack and then got turned head-on into the fence. It looked like the 15 just got loose and backed everybody up and then got ran into the back. It’s not Ty’s fault, just everybody stacking up. Obviously, it was a complete mess. I hit the outside wall head-on. I’m glad to be OK. It’s such a waste to do all of this and finish last. It’s pretty unfortunate. I hate it for the guys on the team and for Discount Tire.
“That was not fun at all and inside the driver’s head is certainly a lot less fun, too. It feels like an absolute waste to come out here and just get completely wrecked. Just irresponsible, I guess, running in the middle of the pack and just really frustrating to be out of this race this early. Finish dead last and get no points. It’s not exactly what we needed from today. I just wish we would have been able to get some more laps today.
“I’m obviously OK and obviously got wrecked. It’s just a byproduct of a crazy restart with 300 miles left in the race. Not great. I saw the replay. The 15 car obviously lost it all by itself and washed up in two half the field and stacked everybody up and I got hit from behind, shoved me up the racetrack and then I got hooked head-on into the wall.
“It is incredibly frustrating because you can think of 100 things you can do to prevent that, but it’s not in your DNA to just back off and just not run close to the pack on the restart, but I think if you remove a few cars from that equation, that doesn’t happen.
“I don’t think anybody did anything wrong there. They were trying to race, it’s just the cars in the middle of the pack that are trying to race that really, quite frankly, aren’t at the same level.”