Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

What drivers said after Brad Keselowski won at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Here is what drivers had to say after Sunday’s Cup race at Darlington Raceway:

Brad Keselowski — Winner: “What a heck of a day. It’s Darlington, so whether it’s your first win, your last win, this is a really special track. The history of NASCAR, it’s as tough as it gets, and that battle at the end with my teammate (Chris Buescher), Tyler Reddick, we just laid it all out on the line, it was freaking awesome. I thought it couldn’t get much better than Kansas. It did today. That was awesome.”

Ty Gibbs — Finished 2nd: “Yeah, I think I just honestly needed track position; that would be great. Getting out front before those guys started racing. It was really hard to pass today and that middle is super, super slick and honestly really gummy and slick. It was just really hard to pass, and it’s just really important to keep track position. But overall we had a great HeGetsUs Toyota Camry. My 54 group did a great job. Thank you to Monster Energy. All glory to the man above, and we’ll keep rolling.”

Josh Berry — Finished 3rd: “It was just a really good day. We had a really good car yesterday in practice, but unfortunately didn’t qualify like we should have. There’s a lot to take from that, but, overall, the car was really strong. We feel like we’re capable of days like this. We just have to keep chipping away at it, keep learning, keep getting better week in and week out. I have a great group around me and this is a finish they deserve for sure.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 4th: “I’ve got to look at it. We had a lot of damage from the 12 incident off of Turn 2. It knocked the nose in, knocked the splitter up, so that certainly played a factor, but certainly didn’t feel like we were as strong on the long run like we usually are. Below average day for the Yahoo Camry, but to finish fourth on a below average day — that’s alright.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 5th: “Our car was extremely good on the really, really long run, it was just the short run that we gave up too much time. It would have been interesting to see how the race played out if it went green until the end, but, overall, it’s a really good weekend for the guys. I wish we could have been a few spots better, but after the last few weeks we needed a solid run.”

William Byron — Finished 6th: “I felt like I was ahead of (Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr.). The exit is really narrow right there. I hate if I did come up a little bit. I was surprised I was even in that spot. I felt like I would never get to the bottom of a three-wide there, but the lane was there into Turn 1 and my car turned really good. I got almost clear of Martin, and then yeah, I hate that it happened. I don’t want to crash, especially that early in the race, so I didn’t really expect that to happen. I probably could have given a little more room, it just gets really, really tight right there.”

Chris Buescher yelled at Tyler Reddick on pit road: “What was that about?”

Alex Bowman — Finished 8th: “We really struggled all day being super tight. Honestly we were freeing it up, and it just kept getting tighter. I don’t know if the track was tightening up or if we had an issue, but we were just really, really tight all day. We just kind of grounded out; didn’t make any big mistakes and had a really good day on pit road. We never got the race car where we wanted it, but we were still able to come out with a top-10 finish. It was really attrition and other peoples’ mistakes. Never give up, but it certainly wasn’t pretty.”

Justin Haley — Finished 9th: “We had a really good Rick Ware Racing 51 Ford Mustang Dark Horse today. From the moment we unloaded it was just super on the track and fast and kind of followed suit with the 6’s setup and it happened that he won and we had a good race. Overall, it was a good day. We had great execution on pit road. I feel like we cleaned up a lot of stuff and got a top 10 for Rick Ware. It was a good points day.”

Noah Gragson — Finished 14th: “We started in the back and got put in bad positions on restarts. It’s good to see the 4 and the 14 run in the top five. I thought we had decent speed, but it was just a tough weekend overall for the Overstock team. We’ll just get ready for next week.”

Kaz Grala — Finished 18th: “Really good recovery today by our No. 15 group. We started the race a little behind but dialed in our handling by the third stage. RWR brought two excellent cars this weekend, and we both brought home great points. We’ll keep the momentum rolling into the next few races.”

Erik Jones — Finished 19th: “Just a long day with our AdventHealth Camry. We didn’t have the balance quite were we needed it, and obviously started deep. We made the most of it, and ended up with a top-20, which I think was a win for today. We’ve got to make it better. We will try to make the All-Star next week in North Wilkesboro and will work on our mile-and-a-half program for the next one.”

Austin Cindric — Finished 20th: “It was kind of up and down for us. I felt like we made some pretty good gains at the beginning of the race, jumping up quite a few spots on the pit cycle and just under green passing some cars. We kind of got lost in the middle of the race. We really struggled to get through one and two, which was hurting me in traffic, but I felt like we made the car better at the end. We grabbed a couple more spots from where we restarted, so I was back on another upswing, but not quite enough to recover from the way I qualified.”

Ryan Blaney finished last in the 36-car field after hitting the wall while racing William Byron and Martin Truex Jr.

Kyle Busch — Finished 27th: “We had a tough day today but my crew chief, Randall Burnett, and all the guys on the zone Chevrolet team never gave up. They made adjustment after adjustment all day long but just weren’t able to hit on a combination that worked. I just didn’t have any grip anywhere for much of the race. In the last stage, Randall made the call to short pit and we gained track position, cycling up to 12th-place. We made our last stop with 40 or so laps to go but got zapped by a caution just a few laps later. We took the wave around and got back on the lead lap but unfortunately, we couldn’t make up that lost track position.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 28th: “Long day at Darlington Raceway, but way to fight today for everyone on the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. We were just really tight early in the race and running long during a green flag run in stage 1 pinned us a lap down early. We were able to fight back from that and things were starting to turn our way, but we couldn’t do much at the end of the race on old tires. The track really surprised us today with how much tighter it made our Chevy as conditions changed towards the end of the race. We’ll head to North Wilkesboro next week for All-Star weekend.”

Derek Kraus — Finished 29th: “Long day today at Darlington. We tried a few different strategies that Travis (Mack) made, but unfortunately we fell a lap down and couldn’t make it back up there at the end. Overall I learned a lot and we will move on to the next one at Gateway.”

Chris Buescher — Finished 30th: “Just getting wiped out. For me, we know it’s gonna be good, hard racing here, but we hit so hard we wheel-hopped into the fence. I don’t get it. We’ve been able to race respectfully for our careers. I try and do that week in and week out and it’s not getting us anywhere right now. To just get wiped out like that with this Fifth Third Bank Mustang, that’s a big shame. On the flip side, I’m stoked for Brad and the 6 bunch and RFK to get a win here. That’s huge, but, right now, selfishly I’m mad for my team and our group. We had a great day there and we didn’t get any finish to show for it.”

Tyler Reddick — Finished 32nd: “I completely understand where he is coming from. He was running the top, running his own race, running his own line to keep me at bay. I made a really aggressive move and was hoping I was going to clear him, when I realized, I wasn’t going to, I tried to check up to not slide up into him, but yeah, I wish I wouldn’t have done that. I completely understand why he is that mad. He did nothing wrong. Just trying to win the race, and to take myself out — that’s one thing — I can live with that, but just disappointed it played out the way that it did, and I took him out of the race as well. That was not the goal there.”

Daniel Hemric — Finished 33rd: “An unfortunate end to a hard-fought day. We struggled in dirty air from the start, and then we battled power steering issues for the majority of the race. Trent (Owens) made some great adjustments, and we were able to show some speed towards the end of the race. Unfortunately, the throttle broke coming to three laps to go. Not how we wanted today to go, I’m super proud of the fight in this No. 31 Black’s Tire team.”

Kyle Larson — Finished 34th: “I was struggling. I got really loose at the end of that long run, and William caught me. I was just letting him by in (Turns) 1 and 2, and I just kind of hung out there. I was trying to be really wide away from him and I just stayed wide for too long; got hung in the marbles and hit the wall. We had bent the toe link or something, and then pitted and was struggling pretty bad. I don’t know which tire shredded, if it was left-rear or right-rear, but a tire shredded and I spun into Turn 3. Hate that my mistake, not even really trying hard at all, cost us a race. Just a little bit frustrated with myself right now.”

Ryan Blaney — Finished 36th: “Me and the 19 got put three-wide and it’s just a tight corner. The replay I saw, the 24 took up probably more racetrack than he should have after kind of rewatching it back. I thought it was just, kind of got tight, but you can’t run three-wide through there. Nobody wanted to lift and I got tagged and then kind of collected a few guys. The 24 took up more track than I would have liked, honestly. He kind of sandwiched the 19 into me, but it’s a really, really crappy end to our day. I thought we got pretty good.”