What the pilots said after Sonoma – NASCAR Talk
Here’s what the drivers said after Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Sonoma Raceway:
Kyle Larson – Winner: “It wasn’t easy. Any road course isn’t easy, just trying to keep it on track is tough; especially when you have two of the best behind you on the last restart, Chase (Elliott ) and Martin (Truex, Jr.). I felt like I did a good job at the one before and stretched it out a bit and didn’t want to give it another try, but it did kept the pressure on. Martin was strong too, but what a car. HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, thank you Mr. Hendrick. It’s incredible. I thought I would be fine today, but I didn’t know how I was going to run. I don’t think we really do it without practice. But our car was really good there and I can’t say enough about it.
Chase Elliott – Finished 2nd: “There were places on the track where I thought I was a better tick (than Kyle Larson), and there were places on the track where he was better. Then there were places where I thought we were pretty equal. I needed to have one more tick to get it. Proud of our team. I thought we were strong. I just need a little.
Martin Truex Jr. – Finished 3rd: “Our only hope was that he would really go green the rest of the race in this third stage once we both stopped and were one-two. He (Kyle Larson) drove next to me. and he was just super fast for 10 laps. Our only chance was that the race went green from there and I still don’t know. He was really fast for 15 laps and then obviously once we started receiving all these warnings we were toast, certainly not what we needed.
Joey Logano – Finished 4th: “We will take it. We had a problem with the tires in the first run and that triggered our strategy. Paul did different things and we were able to score points in the second leg. We had nothing to beat (Kyle Larson ), if I’m being honest, but our Autotrader Mustang was good enough to finish in the top three or four. We kind of applied that one-stop strategy last time there and got to where we were probably a third place car if we had the same tires as the cars running around us, but overall we will
Kyle Busch – Finished 5th: “So far we have tackled different issues with each road course. … I’m not sure if Hendrick cars use the same setup every week, but we keep making small adjustments and we keep chasing different demons. Here we are, we have good, fast cars. Toyota, JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), everyone is doing a really good job. We definitely don’t have the overall pace for (Kyle Larson) for sure.
Kurt Busch – Finished 6th: “We had a good day. We figured out how to have a beautiful execution easy. I worked with Ross (Chastain) our teammate to get two top 10s. It was almost a top five type car, you just needed to drive better in the corners. To be in the mix, have the right strategy and have a good day, we’re going to take it and we’ll build on it. “
Ross Chastain – Finished 7th: Whoa !, seventh on a dry road course! This No 42 team is so good they gave me a Chevrolet Clover so I could race with the best guys in the Cup Series; it just looks wild. The booth footage was crazy; the car is clean enough. A good day for the No.1 and 42 teams. I raced a lot with the No.1 car there at the end, and only touched a little, which is difficult to do here. A good day as a teammate and a good day of construction for CGR.
Denny Hamlin – Finished 8th: “I had a lot of damage at the start, but we never really got anything for the 5 (Kyle Larson). We ran the 9 (Chase Elliott) after the first 10 laps, but then we went out of the streak and got into the mid-20s and took a lot of damage. Our Toyota FedEx was not that quick after that. To get back into the top 10 with such a ripped car, I guess it’s a good day.
Alex Bowman – Finished 9th: “A solid day in the top 10. I wish we had been a bit better. We were very quick at the start, we just struggled with the position on the track and using the car to cross the peloton. On the next one. “
Ryan Blaney – Finished 10th: “We have never been on the right tires with the right position on the track. We were all over the place. I thought we were in a pretty good position with 25-30 to go and we continued to delaminate the tires. We had a delaminated rear and I was in dirt with no grip and then we got sandwiched and that’s kind of what happens. It’s probably the ugliest top 10 car I’ve ever had, that’s for sure, but I’m proud of them for sticking to it. I just wish the strategy worked a little better than it did. We just couldn’t really have a break at the right time, but overall, finishing 10th isn’t that bad.
Daniel Suarez – Finished 12th: “It was a day of ups and downs. I feel like we deserve a top 10 today. It was really hard there at the end, just pushing and hitting. The car was good on the courts, but it was very bad on the long ones. We will have to keep working. We will try to improve our cars a bit. I have the impression that today we deserved a few better places. I’m very proud of this team, we just have to keep improving.
Austin Dillon – Was 13th: “We had a very fast Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE today at Sonoma Raceway, so it’s a shame we had alternator issues during the race. In step 1 the voltage dropped, but we were able to stay out and complete step 1 with step points before stopping to change the battery. We ended up changing the battery several times throughout the race, but this RCR team never gave up. Our Chevrolet was fast today and it feels good to know that the efforts we put in during the off season to prepare for these road courses are paying off as our performance improves. We are heading in the right direction.
Bubba Wallace – Finished 14th: “It was a difficult day. Well done to Chris Cook (road course instructor). We came here for two weeks and drove a TA2 car and really gained a ton of confidence being on the road course. I had a lot of fun. I was able to bring it today. I just felt comfortable. We still have room. We still have to figure out what we need in our Toyota Camry to make me a little better, but when they tell me I’m better than 10 cars on a road course, it’s a hell of a good day. It was a good day for our DoorDash team. We will go to Texas.
Chase Briscoe – Was 17th: “Getting some track time (Saturday) in the ARCA West race was good for learning the track, but there wasn’t much besides that I could take away with the cars so different. I was never able to get the car to really do what I wanted it to do. We really struggled to move forward, which if we could have practiced we could have worked on some of that. It’s just hard to make those adjustments during a race. Johnny (Klausmeier, team manager) made the right choices to secure the position on the track, but the warnings did not come out as we hoped. Getting into the top 20 and learning a lot throughout the race is really all we can ask for right now.
Tyler Reddick – Finished 19th: “Even though it’s my home track today was my first time seeing Sonoma Raceway so it was a great learning day for me. My # 8 Childress Vineyards Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE had really good speed, I just needed better spin and front grip for left and right turns. It took me a few laps at the start to learn how to pass this course, but once I understood that I was able to progress better in the peloton. Unfortunately, I had a rubbed tire after contact with the # 48 car, which caused us to go to the pit for tires and burn one of our sets earlier. From there, we had to adjust our strategy to try to get to the end of the race with the tires we had left. In the first batch of warnings at the end of the race, we had to stay out and fight for every possible place with tires older than the rest of the field. We ended up stopping to put eight lap scuff marks because they were better than the ones we were on. I just made the most of it. It’s frustrating to be so much better than where we left off, but sometimes it happens and we did what we could. “
Cole Custer – Completed 20th: “It was definitely a battle all day. We have our Autodesk /HaasTooling.com Ford getting better and better. For our first time in Sonoma, it was a bit difficult not to have training. We worked on it all day and survived. And I think we got a decent finish, although it wasn’t the finish we wanted, especially in our first race of the year with Autodesk, which is based just down in San Francisco. So we’ll go back and figure out how to improve it.
Michael McDowell – Was 28th: “It was super unfortunate there at the end. We were eighth at the white flag. We had a really good Mustang Love’s Travel Stops and got a track position at the end. The last two restarts went well, but the bumper cars didn’t work on the last lap and unfortunately it didn’t. We had another top 10, but we didn’t finish it. You will have that. They have come a long way this year so always proud of everyone with the effort. We were able to do it again, but it just didn’t work. “
William Byron – Finished 35th: “I was trying to roll the outside of No.43 (Erik Jones) and No.4 (Kevin Harvick) was in front of me. I thought he was going to run down and obviously someone sped past him and caused a big pile-up. At this point, you are just a passenger. You’re obviously going to hit the radiator and be done for the day. It stinks, but we struggled all day to be honest. So we have to go back and work on it. Definitely learned a few lessons. Thanks to Axalta, Chevrolet and everyone. We will regroup. It was really the first bad weekend of the year, so we’re going to regroup.