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What drivers said after Kentucky race

Martin Truex Jr. finished 10th in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky but was clearly upset with NASCAR giving him a pit penalty during the race.

Here’s what drivers had to say after Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

BRAD KESELOWSKI — Finished 1st: “I’ve got to give credit to my guys, the Roush Yates Engine shop, and everybody at Ford. We knew the fuel mileage. We went out and we set a really fast pace there on that restart and was just using fuel, and then it became obvious that you were going to have to save fuel at the end, but I already used so much. It’s a testament to our guys to have the fuel mileage that we did to be able to get back what I burnt early in the run.’’

CARL EDWARDS — Finished 2nd: “I thought he was out of fuel, and he wasn’t. He played it perfectly. He let me get to him and then stood on it. But we had an opportunity to win the race, and I really appreciate my crew chief putting us in that position and TRD and the power and the fuel mileage that we get. Those are great engines. We had a shot at it, we just weren’t able to do it. Saved a little too much.’’

RYAN NEWMAN — Finished 3rd: “We did have a good car. We just never seemed to be able to get good track position and played the fuel game there at the end, did what I thought I had to do, and with no fuel gauge or any kind of telemetry was able to make it to the end. Was hoping that we were going to be the first guy that could pull that one off, not the third guy, but just proud to get our first top 5 of the season

KURT BUSCH — Finished 4th: “That is a nice feather in the cap. Top five’s are special everywhere. Today, we persevered. I have never seen such an effort from everybody to dig deep and to just be back on their heels the whole time and just start to lean forward, lean forward and then right at the end to turn into fuel mileage and our car just came to us at the end. It was a perfect day for us to get a top five. We had to sweat it all weekend.”

TONY STEWART — Finished 5th: “With the way the first half of this race went, we got in survival mode there and still wanted to race hard, but you didn’t want to do anything that was going to jeopardize finishing the race and capitalizing on the misfortune of the guys that are around us in points had. You are not really going to race anywhere else the rest of the year like this, so I don’t think it’s an indication of what our season is going to be like, but we ran anywhere from 11th to 22nd, pretty much just stayed in that range all day. It was just really tricky on restarts of being able to stay around cars. Kasey Kahne drove around me on the outside once and I about wrecked. It chattered the right-rear and all he did was just drive around me just like Pocono. It’s kind of hard when you have conditions like that. The track is going to be fine. NASCAR did the right thing. It’s easy to point the finger at Goodyear, but they had to do what they thought was right and what was conservative for them. It is just way too hard and the wrecks kind of proved that.”

JAMIE McMURRAY — Finished 7th: “We had a really good car, probably the best 1.5-mile car we have had in a while. I thought I had a flat tire there at one point and we lost like 10 spots in three laps. Then it started shaking, so I just went ahead and came in to be careful. We got a little bit lucky because we were the lucky dog when the caution came out. It all just kind of worked out. My thoughts on the night are just that we had a little bit of luck and we haven’t really had that.”

MATT KENSETH — Finished 8th: “At least we ran well tonight. It’s been a while since we performed well. I thought we had a top-five car all night. Just more guys made it on fuel than we were and we couldn’t make it. Just had to pit there at the end and get what we could get.”

KEVIN HARVICK — Finished 9th: “We kept our track position. I overshot our pit stall one time looking at my pit road speed, we got that back. But, all-in-all it just came down the fuel mileage, we couldn’t make it at the end and some guys could. That is just part of it.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR. — Finished 10th: “It’s just one of those deals. I’m not sure why we got penalized. It’s a timeline thing, everybody does it. You get your line and you gas it up to your pit, it’s what I did. I don’t know. I guess it wasn’t my night on that deal. It’s frustrating, we had the car to beat and I felt like if we didn’t get (Kevin Harvick) on the pit stop, we weren’t going to be able to pass him. It was so hard to pass. We came out with the lead and they took it away from us. It’s just the way it goes I guess.”

TREVOR BAYNE – Finished 11th: “It was slick. The first run I was like, ‘Man, we’ve got a top 10 car.’ We drove up to 12th and we were decent. Then we took four tires and a lot of guys took two and that put us back in track position that hurt us the rest of the race. We could never get it back, but at the end the result is really all that matters and we got to 11th. I probably could have held off three or four more of those guys if I knew I had enough fuel, but you’ve got to save all you can. I almost ran out coming to the checkers, so I saved just enough but maybe could have held them off.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR. — Finished 13th: “Okay, so a new repave has a lot of grip. Goodyear brings a real conservative tire that is going to be extra careful on blistering. They had some blistering in the test that scared them, so they went really conservative on the tire. I think personally I believe they can make that right-side tire as hard as they want, go as safe as you want there so we don’t have the blistering, but soften the left up some. The racing will be better. We have issues with all the recent repaves with the left-side tires being a little bit too hard. It hurts the racing because you just can’t get any grip and turn and go underneath nobody. You just slide that left-front all night long through the center and on exit. You can’t drive around and underneath guys. There is nothing you can do to get that left-front tire any grip except for soften the tire up. That wouldn’t be hard to do. It’s a conservative tire. I understand why they did it because of the blistering they had in the test.”

CHASE ELLIOTT — Finished 31st: “Just being top of (Turn) 3 and there is really not enough room to be three-wide, so I heard at the last second we were three-wide and I had a feeling that we were just because we got bottled up there off of (Turn) 2. I tried to give as much room as I possibly could to stay at the top of the black and out of the grey. I didn’t know how much further out I could get without wrecking myself without any help. I guess Ryan (Blaney) just got loose and got us, but that is racing. The good news is we had another fast car, the bad news that is the third bad week in a row. We will try to regroup and go get ‘em wherever we go next.”

BRIAN SCOTT — Finished 33rd: “(Denny Hamlin) was pretty tight on my door and I had (Kyle Larson) up my bumper there on that restart and these cars are pretty difficult to drive when you’re in that type of situation. I was expecting it and when it happened I thought I had it saved. I was just trying to gather it back up and lose the spots we were gonna lose, but go on and then some cars barreled in pretty fast from behind and caused a pile up. It started with me. It’s a product of new paves. You just don’t have any room and everybody holds each other really tight, and it’s just difficult.”

REGAN SMITH — Finished 34th: “Just blew a right-front tire. I don’t know how many laps we had on them or what not. We had seen a couple of issues with guys earlier in the night. I think we were just doing what we could to try and get back on a decent lap sequence with the leaders. We had kind of dug a hole for ourselves. It’s frustrating, disappointing we struggled all weekend long and it was just one of those weekends. We will work hard and try and get back to Loudon and see if we can’t figure something out there.”

RYAN BLANEY — Finished 35th: “That restart was pretty hectic from the beginning with (Martin Truex Jr.) getting loose and it kind of put everybody in a bad spot, and it wound up with us being in the middle of three-wide into three. It’s so hard to get into that corner all night with a car close to behind you and outside of you, and no one lifting either, and it’s just an unfortunate spot we got put in and I hate to see two really good cars tore up. We were both very fast tonight (24 and 21) and it’s just a really unfortunate deal, but we’ll try to get it fixed and get back out there and make some laps.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER — Finished 36th: “I won’t say we deserved it, but we put ourselves back there. We weren’t very good all night. Randall Burnett (crew chief) and everybody we were trying to figure it out. We just missed it all weekend. I thought we had a really good test here. They changed the tire and it’s our own fault we didn’t figure the tire out as good as other guys did. We are working hard. I feel like we are not getting a lot in return. We are making our own mistakes. I didn’t do a good job, but put us back there and it’s not any fun anymore.”

CHRIS BUESCHER — Finished 37th: “The guys did a heck of a job. Unfortunately, the call was made to run practice during our qualifying time and we started by points. We’ve had three of these situations at superspeedways already this year and just didn’t put us in a good place for the start and the pit selection wasn’t good because of it, and we ended up in a bad spot because of it. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

JOEY LOGANO — Finished 39th: “I got loose off of four and knocked the right-rear quarter off it and then got real loose. When you get loose you have to slow down more and you use a lot of brake to slow down. Usually, the next thing to go is the right-front tire and that happened. Unfortunately, I put us in a bad spot here. It’s not where we want to be and we’ll figure out next week.”

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