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What drivers said after Sunday night’s Cup race at Kansas

Here’s what drivers were saying after Sunday’s Cup race at Kansas that featured a rain delay and the closest finish in history:

Kyle Larson — Winner: “That was wild. I was obviously thankful for that caution. We were dying pretty bad. Was happy to come out third, and figured my best shot was me choose bottom and try and split three wide to the inside. Worked out my car turned well and was able to get some runs. Got through (Turns) 1 and 2 really good down the backstretch and had a big tow on Chris (Buescher), and got him to kind of enter shallow, and I just committed really hard up top. Wasn’t quite sure if we were going to make it out the other side. I got super loose in the center, and then we’re just trying to — I’m trying not to get too far ahead of him to where he can side draft and then I was just trying to kill his run. It was crazy.”

Kyle Larson held off Chris Buescher in overtime at Kansas.

Chris Buescher — Finished 2nd: “I don’t really know what to say right now. All I have seen is the picture and I sure can’t see it in that picture. It sucks to be that close. It was a great finish though. We had a really strong day with a lot of speed in this Castol Edge Ford Mustang and we really needed that. We needed a win more. I thought we had that one. We had a lot of speed there firing off, we were really good all day. I am really proud of that. We had good strategy to get us back up there and I tried to cover what I could but I gave him half a lane too much I suppose. That was a good hard race there down to the line. It hurts.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 4th: “Restarting from 10th with four tires is tough to do in two laps. Just needed to clear the 9 (Chase Elliott) a little quicker and needed to get into (Turn) 3 single file, and then I probably had a chance, but we were two-wide and that made me tight off Turn 4. Couldn’t quite get the run I needed to get to the win. I don’t know, just frustrating. We were looking really good until that last caution, as always. I don’t know what we need to do to close one out, but the guys did a good job with our Auto-Owners Camry. We were in position to steal one there. Definitely had the best car, but fought hard all night, made good decisions and made the car better and better. That was great, but always stinks when you see the lead and can’t get it.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 5th: “Well, a difficult spot, right? I needed to get the push from the 5 (Kyle Larson), but I knew he wasn’t going to stay in line, that he was going to go for the win. Unfortunately, it left me in a spot where I was vulnerable there in the middle. I’ll tell you, with 70 (laps) to go, it wasn’t looking really good. We had some pit road miscues that set us back, but Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) and the guys did a great job coming up with a strategy there to pit and then jump the field back. We were right on task there with about four to go. Felt good about getting another one, it’s just one of those things.”

Christopher Bell — Finished 6th: “Yeah, it was a day we needed for sure. We were lacking a little bit to run with the top guys, but to walk out of here with a solid points day and sixth-place finish is something I’m proud of and hope we can build on.”

Alex Bowman — Finished 7th: “We were really good all day, minus the second run of the day — we kind of fell off pretty hard there. We had a really fast No. 48 Ally Camaro, we just needed some track position. The start of the last long run, we broke the nose on the restart; it’s all separated. We got really slow down the straightaway and really tight after that, so a seventh-place finish is probably like a win.”

Kyle Busch — Finished 8th: “Everyone at RCR did a great job this weekend. We had a fast Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Camaro today. The guys deserved to finish in the top three. We qualified well and we backed that up in the race. We led laps and ran consistently in the top-five. I was running fourth with just a handful of laps to go and spun out. We pitted under the caution and put on four tires. I restarted 20th for the green-white-checkered and drove the daylights out of it to get to eighth on that final restart. Not the day we wanted, but we came away with a good finish.”

Noah Gragson — Finished 9th: “I thought we had a really good Mustang all weekend. We qualified third and was fourth in practice and then come home ninth tonight. Overall a really good weekend. We were trying some strategy stuff there at the end swinging two-tires at it with about 60 to go at that caution. It kinda hurt us on that short run but we were able to run them back down on the long run, which, I would have thought it would have been the opposite. I am super thankful for everybody at Bass Pro Shops and Winchester and Ford. Everybody has been working really hard and this is our third top-10 finish in a row. We were third at Talladega, sixth and Dover and now ninth here. 3-6-9, damn I guess we are doing fine. Still want a little bit more, but these have been good days compared to what our goals were at the start of the year.”

Josh Berry — Finished 15th: “I think we definitely struggled in the early part of the race and really never got the feeling like I wanted, but we stayed after it all day and got a decent finish with our Ford Mustang.”

Sydney Prince serves as the second engineer on Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR Cup team.

Chase Briscoe — Finished 21st: “We just weren’t very good for whatever reason. Yesterday in practice, I thought our car was pretty good. I didn’t feel like it was a race-winning car per say, but I felt like it was going to be in the mix for the top-10. We qualified inside the top-10, but when the race started, our car didn’t drive anything like it did in practice. Got into the wall in qualifying and I don’t know if it did something that we didn’t catch or what, but we definitely just fought the balance all day long. You can’t really have days like that when you’re in our position points-wise, but we have a couple of good racetracks for us coming up and, hopefully, we can capitalize.”

Corey Heim — Finished 22nd: “Yeah, I mean, a long day for sure. Got behind early from a speeding penalty and just situationally, couldn’t get on the lucky dog until the end of the race. Just struggled with track position, of course, at the end of the longest line, one lap down most of the race. But, once we got back on the lead lap in Stage 3 and freed the car up, I thought we were pretty good. Huge thank you to Legacy Motor Club for having me along these two weeks. Dollar Tree, Family Dollar for everything they do and their support. Definitely wish we could’ve run close to the front today, but a good learning experience and we move forward.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 25th: “We were hoping for more today at Kansas Speedway, but proud of the efforts by everyone on the No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet team. The handling of our Chevy was just so different from what we expected with changing track conditions after the rain came in on Sunday morning. It was fun racing out there three and four-wide, especially on restarts. We just got too tight at the end and couldn’t turn at all. On the last restart, we got pinched down by another car but we were so tight that I couldn’t react and we ended up making contact with the wall. We probably would have finished 16th or 17th if it wasn’t for that last restart, but we’ll settle with 25th and head to Darlington Raceway ready for another race.”

Austin Hill — Finished 33rd: “It was a day of learning for our No. 33 United Rentals Chevrolet team. The NASCAR Cup Series cars are very different than the NASCAR Xfinity Series cars, so I’m still learning the tendencies of this Next Gen car, especially on a mile-and-a-half track. During the first two stages, our Camaro would fire off tight in traffic, but as the run continued, the balance would get loose to the point where I couldn’t turn the steering wheel. Crew chief Keith Rodden and the guys kept working on the handling, but unfortunately in Stage 3, we got collected in an accident. I had the No. 84 missed, but when the No. 7 came up the track, I pancaked the right side. After that we lost all front turn and stayed extremely tight. We will keep learning and build the notebook for next time.”

Austin Cindric — Finished 37th: “A lot of cars there trying to overdrive the corner to try to get in front of one another. The 22 slid up on the 20, the 20 slid up on the 11 and I was the first thing to hit before the wall. I tried to back out when I saw the situation the 11 was getting put in. It is just racing. Nobody I can really be frustrated with. It is unfortunate. I felt we had a really solid run going, nothing overly spectacular but I thought the guys did a really good job all weekend and executed a great race up until that point.”

Jimmie Johnson — Finished 38th: “I was just slowing to make the turn. There’s traffic in front of me, so I’m trying to set up my line so I’m in clean air and not drive in the tire tracks of those in front of me. I was just setting up for the corner and got hit from behind.”