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What drivers said at Phoenix Cup championship race

Joey Logano says "it's all about attitude when you get to a championship race," and you have to believe in yourself and have the mentality that you're the best.

What drivers said after Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series championship race at Phoenix Raceway, won by Joey Logano, who scored his second title:

Joey Logano -- winner: (Logano’s son, Hudson, rode with him to Victory Lane).We’ve had so many conversations over the last couple weeks before bedtime. First was Daddy isn’t going to get a pole, and he’s going to meet me out here and we’re going to win the race, and I couldn’t be a liar to my son. So it’s worked out. Ever since (Kevin) Harvick gave his son a ride in the car, I always wanted to do that with Hudson. He’s such a little car guy. It was a special moment to ride together. Man, I can’t say enough about this race team. They just grind it out. They’re so amazing, Paul Wolfe, everybody that puts so much time and effort into the last few weeks. And not just this 22 team, this goes so much deeper when you think of Roush Yates Engines and the motor that’s in this bad boy. You think of everyone at Ford, all the employees at Shell and Pennzoil, everyone that’s supported me. It’s been 10 years with Shell, and to get a couple championships and 31 wins is special.”

Ryan Blaney -- Finished second: “I wish we could have won one. We had a great car to do it, and it just didn’t happen. I’m proud of the effort. We had a winning car, and it just didn’t happen. You can’t pass anybody. You get behind someone and get tight and it takes your air away, and that’s all you can do.”

MORE: Phoenix Cup results

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Ross Chastain -- Finished third: “Starting better and racing up there with those guys all day (would have helped). We got our car really good there at the end. Hats off to Phil Surgen (crew chief) and everybody at Trackhouse. It’s incredible to build from 2011. To have my family push me away from the farm to chase this dream. For my mom, my dad and my brother to come out and keep pushing me, keep supporting me and keep being there for me. But today was all about winning the big trophy, and we came up just a little bit short. I think we did everything right there at the end. That was a heck of a drive by us. Who had the No. 1 car second in points on their bingo card on February 1? This is pretty wild. This is a continuation of a lot of people believing in me. To build everything together to come drive this car, there are so many team owners and so many crew members that have put in the work. It’s pretty wild to fight for a Cup Series championship and to have a car fast enough to chase them down to the end. (On contact with Chase Elliott) I think I got a better start. I got to his left-rear, and he tried to cover it late and I was already there. I feel like it was just hard racing and I had position. We could have raced down in the corner side-by-side if he had just kept going the way we were going. I had a really good run. It looked like William (Byron) didn’t get going quite as well as he wanted to. I got to the left of (Elliott) and saw an erratic move that he made to turn left to cover it, but I was already there.”

MORE: Title contenders can’t catch Joey Logano

Chase Briscoe -- Finished fourth: “I just didn’t fire off near as good (near the finish). I was kind of on top of the racetrack a little bit more than I really had been all day. Truthfully, the 22 and the 12 were so good on the short run every time. I just had nothing for them. On the long run, I was typically a little bit better. I just would give up so much on the short run. I just didn’t fire off very good there at the end. I don’t really know why. I don’t know if the track just changed there as the sun was going down. It wasn’t as good. I felt that was the worst run balance-wise we had all day. It’s unfortunate that’s when it came, but, overall, it was a good day. I definitely feel like we’re a top-five team week in and week out, especially these last 10 weeks. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. This was one of the best races we ran start to finish today, but we just came up a little bit short. We still have to get a little bit better, but we definitely got closer to where we need to be.”

Kevin Harvick -- Finished fifth: “On the restarts I kept getting on the chip and getting hung in gear and we would get passed by a couple of cars. I just needed a whole run.”

Christopher Bell -- Finished 10th: “Wow, wow, wow. Just from being out and then the wins at Charlotte and Martinsville and all of a sudden you wake up this morning and you are racing for a championship, and you are happy, you are elated and then your world comes crashing down. Whenever you get news like that, it puts it in perspective that there is more to this than racing. The whole Gibbs family is in all of our prayers. I’m thinking of them. Ultimately today, the best car won the championship. He was really strong. Proud of our 20 group, though. We fought hard, and at the end of the race – the last pit stop, or what we thought was going to be the last pit stop, we were right there battling for it. I’m just proud to be in this position, proud to be at Joe Gibbs Racing and race this no. 20 car. The DeWalt Camry was – we were there, and hopefully, we can come back here next year. I feel good about where we are at, for sure. I’m hopeful that my group stays the exact same, from mechanics, engineers and obviously Adam Stevens on top of the pit box because I feel like we have a good thing going. We feel like we are right there on the brink of being there every week and being a title contender, year-in and year-out. Just really thankful to be here and very, very incredibly saddened by the news today, and I’m thinking of the Gibbs family.”

Austin Dillon -- Finished 13th: “We had a solid day at Phoenix Raceway. Our Get Bioethanol Chevrolet started off tight, but throughout the day we were able to adjust on it and be in the fight at the end. There weren’t many cautions during the race today, so we had to be on top of our adjustments. Our pit crew did a great job on pit road, and Justin Alexander laid out a good strategy that kept us in the top 20 all day. To leave the last race of the year finishing 13th and taking home 11th in points gives my RCR team momentum to start the 2023 season.”

Tyler Reddick -- Finished 23rd: “I’m really proud of this whole team’s effort over the years. We have come such a long way in three years’ time. I learned a lot with this group. Anything I wanted to learn and anything I wanted to do, they’ve given me the platform to learn and be a better driver. I’m just really thankful for everyone’s efforts over the years from everyone at RCR and ECR Engines for the fantastic power that we’ve had. We all worked hard and were able to do a lot of great things, and I will always remember that. We had high hopes for our day and we were pretty close with our Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet. Unfortunately, we had a little bit of a tough day on pit road, and that put us back there in the mess. We got caught four-wide going into Turn 3. That doesn’t work, and we got quite a bit of damage that pretty much set us back for the rest of the day. At the very end there, we were able to get it back where it needed to be, but we just ran out of time.”

Ty Dillon -- Finished 26th: “We rebounded there at the end. Our Petty GMS team was able to get the car a little bit better towards the end of the race. I’d say it was a decent end to the year. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to drive the No. 42 Chevy this season. We had a lot of memories made this season, and I had a lot of fun behind the wheel. Thank you to Maury Gallagher, Richard Petty, the fans, and all of our partners. On to what’s next for me.”

Chase Elliott -- Finished 28th: (Asked about contact with Ross Chastain) “Yeah, I’m not sure. I’m not sure. Looking forward to the off-season, and really proud of our team for the fight that we put in today. I felt like we just kind of peaked right there before we crashed, and I felt like we got our car driving pretty good. We just had our best pit stop of the day, so that was all really solid. And heck, we were right there next to the 22 (winner Joey Logano). I thought we had a shot at it all the way up until we didn’t, and that’s unfortunately the way it goes sometimes. I feel like we had gotten it driving about as good as it had been all weekend, honestly. When we split the stage and some of those guys stayed out and ran long and we went a lap down and made our lap back up there under green, that run, I thought our car was driving pretty good.”

Brad Keselowski -- Finished 35th: “It just caught fire and the next thing I knew we were sitting there. It’s a bummer, but we’ll hopefully learn something from it and move on. We’re making a lot of progress. It’s obviously a bummer way to end the season, but a lot of progress as a company and we need to have a big off-season of learning.”