Here’s what the drivers said after Sunday’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at the Nashville Superspeedway…
Kyle larson – Winner: “It’s still right at the start, so that could change. I think the fans can like me because I do it in all types of races, not just in NASCAR. You don’t know which car I’ll be in on what day of the week. I could be in a sprint car like I will be tomorrow, in a late model midweek another day, then a Cup car on Sunday. I think the fans, because I’m a little different from your normal racing driver, I think that’s why so far the fans always seem to cheer me on and love to see me win. I also think they can appreciate my story and how hard I had to work to get to where I am today too. I think there are a lot of things in there. I appreciate the support of the fans and I love to be a fan favorite. It certainly means a lot to me.
Ross chastain – Finished 2nd: “It’s finally on a circular track, that’s all I’m happy with. I’m happy with the road races, I don’t really know what’s going on. Here I know why. I know what we did. I know what I’m doing to drive the car. Road lessons are not really pre-planned. This is pre-planned. This is what we all grew up doing.
Guillaume Byron – Completed 3rd: “We did take some damage up front so honestly we weren’t as good as we probably could have been. Everything was fine, we just couldn’t complete the turn and struggled with the right front all day. Overall, this is only part of it. It’s hard to start at the back and we learned a lesson there about setting up for qualifying. Nothing major, just something to learn.
Aric almirola – Finished 4th: “We had a good car, my God, we have nothing for these Chevrolets right now. They grip and they get up from the corner. It’s so hard to run with them. I can ride in the middle as well as some of the guys in those cars, if not a little better, and then it’s hard to keep up. But we’ve made huge strides in closing the gap. Our racing team does a great job of salvaging and scrapping to build better racing cars and it’s nice to come here and run ahead, run in the top five and at least be in the mix , so it feels good. We will continue to build on it. The All-Star Race was a good race for us. Today again was a good race for us so we will continue to correct.
Kevin harvic – Finished 5th: “Our Monster Jam Grave Digger Ford Mustang was very loose at the start and very good in the second half of the race. We had some damage there when we made a little contact with the 24 and that made things a bit tighter. I thought we were better than the 24th. The 42 had new tires and the 10 I thought we were better than these cars. The 5 was sort of in a league of its own, but again the guys did a great job and pulled it off and walked away with a top five running out of gas.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Finished 6th: “It was a tough day. The cars weren’t easy to drive and even when we were second there we were trying to make adjustments to improve ourselves and see if we could catch up. I felt like I was a little better than # 5 (Kyle Larson) in one of those long-term stages and then we kind of lost our position on the track and struggled to retrieve it. Glad we were able to make the top 10 there. Really solid day for our Kroger team.
Daniel Suarez – Finished 7th: “It was good. The car was good enough to finish in the top 10. I don’t know what it was, but in the last two runs we lost a bit of grip on the front. I don’t know if it was the race track or what but the guys did a really good job of adjusting the car was fast we showed it a few times we just have to keep going.
Kurt busch – Finished 8th: “We finished eighth. We tried to save fuel at the end and lost the race for a top five. Great day for (Ross) Chastain. He stung and had to run hard at the end. I was hoping he would catch up with (Kyle) Larson; that would have been amazing. We ran out of gas at turn four but had to do what we could with the Monster Energy Chevy. Overall it was a fun trail to drive. It was a lot of fun to slide with all that power on a new track.
Christophe bell – Completed 9th: “I feel like we were probably the back half of the top 10 so we finished where we should have been. It was still a lot of work. Hope to make things a little easier in our Dewalt Camry next time around.
Joey logano – Finished 10th: “We just weren’t very good. We just kept grinding and grinding to get every spot we could and did what we could to try and get the best finish. Tenth was the best we were going to do. This is pretty much where we ran all day after the first few laps. Once we lost our position on the track, that’s where we were.
Kyle busch – Finished 11th: “Our qualifying result was much better than expected. I didn’t expect to qualify so well, from what we learned in training. We wholesale and changed everything before qualifying so we didn’t know what to expect with our PEDIGREE Camry. We obviously thought we would be better than 11th. We have work.”
Austin dillon – Finished 12th: “What a race! We knew we would have our work to do today in the No.3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Get Bioethanol after qualifying didn’t go as well as expected. This Richard Childress Racing team has never given up though, and I’m so proud of them for that. At the start of stage 1 we gained some position on the track, but backed off a bit with a warning warning after a green flag stop. We then rallied to make our way to sixth position at the end of stage 1. We finished second in stage to earn extra points which is really good for our NASCAR playoff battle. . Overall I’m really proud of this team and we’ll take that 12th place and move on to Pocono Raceway for a double next weekend.
Tyler reddick – Completed 19th: “Today it was all about survival at the Nashville Superspeedway. Our # 8 Joe Nichols / Quartz Hill Records Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE had a lot of speed, but we had to overcome a lot of obstacles today. After our first pit stop of the day, there was no grip on the pit access road on the way out, and I cut the grass and turned around. Fortunately I didn’t hit anything and apart from some dirt on the windshield we were able to continue after refueling for new tires. Shortly after, someone on the trail dropped debris that went through the nose of my car but didn’t hit anything serious enough to end our day. From there we just ran really smart to get our laps back which we were able to do after a few quick warnings. Our car was a bit tight today and needed to be softer, but our adjustments didn’t really seem to help us in the short stints like we needed them too. Our long term balance wasn’t bad, but I had a really bad vibe in the last 12 laps and had to slow my pace down to make sure a tire or brake rotor didn’t explode . We were able to gain a few more places as other guys ran out of fuel at the end, but we’ll definitely have to study this race and figure out how to be better next time around.
Erik Jones – Completed 20th: “It’s been a tough day for the # 43 Black Entrepreneur Initiative Camaro ZL1 1LE. We made a good effort to qualify in the top 10. We had to start at the back and we fought to get back into the top 10 early in the race and then we kind of lost our balance from there. Tough day – it wasn’t the day we were looking for sure, but we held on all day and got a top 20. We’ll be going to Pocono (Raceway) next week. It’s a place that I really like and we hope to have some good races.
Brad Keselowski – Finished 24th: “It was a long weekend for our Dent Wizard team. We didn’t have the speed we needed and then had a problem there at the end.
Cole custer – Completed 31st: “It just wasn’t the day we were hoping for in Nashville. Our car was solid and qualified in the top 10, but we had that right rear puncture in the second stage and after going to the garage we just couldn’t recover. We’ll go to Pocono and try to turn the tide.
Chase Briscoe – Finished 32nd: “We just lost the brakes on the third corner. It’s really unfortunate. We had a very, very good car. I feel like we were going to be there for a top five. We just needed a long run. Even on the short run we improved our car so much so I really hate that because it was going to be our best run of the year for sure and something like that happens. It’s really crazy with all the brake issues we had today. We got to take the Goodyear test and knew the brakes were going to be way worse than everyone thought. We strengthened them and it still wasn’t good enough, so that’s a shame. We will go to Pocono.
Chris Buescher – Finished 37th: “My feelings are hurt right now more than anything. The Mustang Fifth Third Bank was pretty good. We were wrapping the bottom and we could do it pretty well. We had just got there, but just before we left the pit lane, it looks like a piece of debris from the 77 cut our tire as we entered the corner. It is certainly unfortunate. It’s one of those lucky things. It’s not like we’ve done anything wrong to cause our own DNF. It is a disappointment. I’m proud of these guys. It was a good weekend. We were strong. We had a good qualifying and the practice went well. The race was also going to be a really good race, so this one is going to hurt as we watch the next handful of races into the playoffs as well, so we’ll go there and win a race.
Ryan blaney – Completed 38th: “It wasn’t a very good start to the day and it wasn’t a good end either. We had a problem before the race and had to come and fix it. Then we had some brake issues and we went in and pulled some duct tape and then on restart I don’t know if I broke a rotor – I think that’s what happened because something exploded in one, then no brakes and took a pretty big lick. Too bad. It’s just not a very good day for us and I hate that it ends early. I hate it for Menards and everyone in our party and Ford, but we’ll be back in force at Pocono next week.