Here’s what the drivers said after Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, won by Chase Elliott…
Chase Elliott – WINNER: “Obviously I knew (LaJoie) was going to have a big race (on the last lap). I didn’t really want to give him the bottom, and tried to give him a really good aggressive block. I felt like I had enough room to give it a second one, and it was right there, on the right side of my rear bumper, so far enough out the back of the bumper to propel me forward. I hate tearing cars apart, but I don’t know what you’re doing… aiming for victory or not. I will choose option A every day of the week.
Ross Chastain – Finished 2nd: “Hate to have taken the best car here and ripped it a few times. Hats off to Chevrolet and Trackhouse Racing for bringing this fast from a Chevrolet Jockey. Our road crew and pit crew did a terrific job to bounce through all the damage repairs We had a shot and I walked into the No 9 (Chase Elliott) coming out of (turn) 2 coming to the checkered and the warning came out Hope all the world is good out there. Great job for Corey LaJoie and Spire Motorsports. I really thought in (turning) one when we took the white one that I was going to push him to victory. They all fought for the win. summit and almost gave it to us.
Austin Cindric – Finished 3rd: “It came to life. We had to do some resuscitation there early. We were struggling pretty badly. We were pretty loose to start the race and I’m just proud of the effort of the guys in car 2, to have been able to get the settings right and get us out of a hole there. We went from not being able to go full throttle on my own on the circuit to being able to run behind other guys wide open so I’m proud of that effort and proud to have finished in the top three first. I felt like we deserved to be up there at the end of the race after establishing our position on the track. It was a solid day. I wish I could have put the Quaker State Ford in victory lane in the Quaker State 400, but a top three is pretty good.
Erik Jones – Finished 4th: “I thought our day was good. Our #43 Chevy FOCUSfactor was quick. We needed a little more speed. I think we had to do some handling things that slowed us down a bit. We were up there, but I couldn’t really get out and do much. When I got to the lead there, I wasn’t really fast enough to hold it myself. We were close. It feels good to have a good run. We had a tough month, so it’s good to be in the top five and get some points.
Ryan Blaney – Finished 5th: “It was a really good day. We picked up the traffic a bit there and it was just hard to go back. You can’t go anywhere. It’s two wide and you’re just stuck and you can’t really go anywhere unless you were 9 and you were the fastest car by a mile. It was pretty easy for him to go where he wanted. It looked like fun but I’m just happy to finish decent This race is pretty much like a survival race That’s what you’ll get when you sprint for a mile and a half so luckily , we were able to survive and get out of here with a decent finish.
Justin Haley – Finished 7th: “It was another good day here in Atlanta. I feel like this #31 Chevrolet LeafFilter team managed to find a good, fast and stable setup for the new Atlanta track. So overall it was a good day and just a bit better than where we were in the spring.
Aric Almirola – Finished 8th: “We just didn’t have the speed we needed to get up and compete. This reboot where I was leading the bot lane, we didn’t have what we needed to follow. Our car was pretty good. We rode it well at the end, but couldn’t get the speed we needed to hang onto those Chevys. The Chevys were really, really fast.
Cole Custer – Finished 9th: “We improved the car. The guys worked very hard and made great adjustments throughout the day. In the end, I thought we were as good as anyone. We could have had a chance to win there. I think we were racing in the top five on the last lap but someone wrecked in front of us and we got knocked down a bit but overall it was a good day to find direction and I think that was nice to go up there and race with those guys and show that we can have some speed.
Kevin Harvick – Finished 12th: “I just couldn’t do anything in traffic. The car was very tight in traffic which made it difficult to race close to anyone. When they were side by side, I really lost my nose. We dragged and finished the race. Sometimes that’s what you have to do in these places.
Chase Briscoe – Finished 16th: “I felt like the balance was definitely more of an issue than the first race, of course, with the warmer temperatures. I felt like we got to where we were pretty decent and I was able to start working the wall a little more than a few other guys I went to pass the 10 and as soon as I did that I guess I just got too high and got to where it was still dirty and that I killed the right quarter backboard and everything else which affected the rest of our day I’m glad we were able to salvage a bit of a 16th but I felt like if we didn’t If we hadn’t had any damage, it would have been a much better day. We’ll go to New Hampshire next week and see if we can improve.
Corey LaJoie – Finished 21st: “I was going to school. It was my first time running a reboot on one of these superspeedway-style race tracks. How much you have to drag back, time your runs, cover the lanes – it’s is all new to me so when I get back into this position I’ll be a little more prepared and hopefully we can do a little better and be the one controlling the blocks as opposed to the one trying to do this move end of the race. , because that guy is usually in the catbird seat. I just had fun, I know. Hopefully we can get that car 7 in front more often.
Denny Hamlin – Finished 25th: “We were in a very good position and we were close to being clear of 1 (Ross Chastain) and being third on the outside line. I was really happy with where I was, that’s for sure. I think the 1 probably sensed that we were about to clear it, so it chased us up there and entered us.
Tyler Reddick – Finished 29th: “We had a great Chevrolet Alsco today at Atlanta Motor Speedway, so it’s a shame we couldn’t enjoy it. The day was going well. We were up front and competitive. We made a mistake in the race. 3 when I overshot my pit. It hurt a lot because we didn’t have much time to recover, and it put us far enough away to get caught in a wreck. We had nowhere where to go, but that’s the situation I put myself in. It’s quite frustrating because it was very obvious that we had a fantastic car, and we’ll be heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway to try to bounce back.
William Byron – Finished 30th: “The race went well. I thought the track had a little less grip. Our #24 Axalta Chevy was good up front. We could hang out in the top five. We struggled a bit there during the pit stop sequence. We took four tires and went backwards, and just got into somebody else’s mess. We were eighth to finish the stage. Thinking that in the last stage some guys would stay away, we just seemed to have scored further than we thought. We ended up 18th or 19th and had to start over there, and that’s where the wreckage happened. It was just a shame that we were back there. I don’t know if there’s anything we could have really done because we took tires from the front right side and our tires were quite old. We kind of hovered around the top eight all day and unfortunately got eliminated. Thanks to Axalta, Chevrolet and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. We will continue to work hard and that will soon change.
Alex Bowman – 32nd: “I don’t think we had a flat tire in March. Luckily, I was one of the guys who didn’t have a problem. But it looks like I’m the only guy who had a problem today. No warning, we were just cruising. We had a phenomenal race car. Really proud of Greg (Ives, Crew Chief) and the #48 team. We had a hard time here in March and our Chevy was really, really good today. (The) #48 Ally Milestone Chevy was standing up pretty well in the pack there. Too bad it ended like this, but at least we had a fast race car.
Chris Buescher – Finished 33rd: “It’s a different circuit. It’s not the Atlanta I grew up with, but BJ has been there before and apologized. I think coming out of turn 2 it flattens out a bit and it took off on him. While we were all checking and turning we only made a little contact with it as we slid and it looks like that may have been enough to bend a right front component and eventually end up blowing a tire .
Noah Gragson – Finished 34th: “We had an early end to the day in Camaro #16 Gold Fish Casino Slots. We were on track for a really solid day and showed some speed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t avoid a wreck in front of us which caused a lot of damage to the front right. We had nowhere to go, but I hate everyone at Kaulig Racing who worked hard on these cars.
Austin Dillon – Finished 35th: “Man, I’m so disappointed for this whole Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road team. We had a fast Chevy today – we just ended up being the victim of someone else’s mess. Our Chevy was very tight in the first run, then loose in the second. After that we were really good and we were coming. We had nowhere to go. Thank God above that we are fine. The hit looked bad, but the impact wasn’t as bad as it looked. I figured we were going to race hard all day rather than riding at the back, but when you have guys out there destroying half the peloton, you might as well choose a different strategy. These Next Gen cars are tough to drive, and you need to make them perform better when it’s hot outside. I think we did a good job getting my car to the bottom. We were getting a long way in the race before we got caught up in someone else’s mess. We will continue and work each week to arrive at Victory Lane. I want to thank Johnny Morris and all the guys at Bass Pro Shops and TRACKER Off Road, and everyone at RCR and ECR. We will get there.”