What NASCAR Cup driver had to say after Indianapolis

Here is what drivers were saying after Sunday’s race at Indy:

Michael McDowell — Winner: “I was really trying to pace myself. I figured there would be a late-race caution, and I didn’t want to burn my stuff up. I was just trying to maintain that gap. Then when I got into traffic, started closing, I had to push it, but I just can’t believe it. So thankful to Bob Jenkins, all of our partners, Bell Racing Helmets, Sparco. There’s so many people that help us. So thankful to everybody that stuck behind us. It’s been a grind, and I’m so proud. You know, I thought we could point our way in, but after the car that we had yesterday in practice, I thought, man, we’ve got a good shot at winning if we could just get track position and maintain it. Just I can’t believe it, so thankful. Also Wiley X; I don’t know where they’re at right now. They should be on my head. But they’ve been with me for over 10 years, and it’s great to have partners like that.”

Chase Elliott — Finished 2nd: “Just to be a little better through the back half over there and get off of (Turn) 14 a little better just to have myself in a better spot getting into 1. Just really appreciate the effort, man. Our Napa Chevy was really good, really good. Just needed just a little bit more and came up a bit short. But congrats to Michael, man. He did a good job. Ran a great race and stayed mistake free, and that’s what you’ve got to do to win.”

Elliott second to mistake-free McDowell

Chase Elliott congratulates Michael McDowell for running a great race and is appreciative of the effort of the No. 9 team after a runner-up result.

Daniel Suarez — Finished 3rd: “We win and we lose as a team, and that’s all I can say. The guys brought a very fast race car. I felt that maybe we were one adjustment behind in the first run with the back of the car, but then we made it a little bit better. But I felt like I was always one step behind (Chase Elliott and Michael McDowell), and then at the end, I felt that when my car came alive again, we had that issue. Just a little bit heartbreaking, but that’s part of the sport. All we can do is continue to push, continue to build race cars like this, and I’ll keep on winning races.”

Suarez thwarted by hose issue on pit road

Following a third-place finish, Daniel Suarez says he felt like he was one adjustment and step behind Michael McDowell and Chase Elliott.

Tyler Reddick — Finished 4th: “We definitely had really good pace in the second half of the race. We just didn’t have the best start and weren’t quite as fast in the first half and got behind it. We short-pitted them, but we had a slow stop, and weren’t in position to lunge them off of pit road, and that was kind of the story. We didn’t have a chance to get back around Daniel (Suarez). We could drop off about 10 car lengths and get right back to his bumper. Our SiriusXM Toyota Camry TRD was better, but not good enough to complete the pass. I think AJ Allmendinger with much fresher tires had to push really hard to get around Daniel, so that is the story of it – just unfortunately, hard to pass.”

Reddick: ‘We weren’t really ourselves’

A disappointed Tyler Reddick “had the pace” but “ultimately fell behind in the beginning” resulting in a fourth-place finish on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

Alex Bowman — Finished 5th: “A top-five finish is good after the last couple of months. Just proud of the whole No. 48 Ally Chevy team. We fell off a little too hard there in the end of the run before that, but that last run we were really fast. We had a little mechanical issue there at the end, but we were able to hang onto fifth. Always want more, but it was a good, solid day for us.”

Kyle Larson — Finished 8th: “I just made that mistake into turn 12. Flat-spotted my left front, which I felt like it could have affected my right-hander but thankfully, it didn’t. There were more right-handers than lefts, but all the left-handers I had no grip. So I was really tight. Just kind of had to get through that run. I gave up a few positions right before green flag stops. We cycled ahead of the 20 and the 91. It was a tough race. I wish I wouldn’t have made that mistake, maybe I would’ve ended up third or fourth. Glad we were able to salvage a top-10 out of it. Bummed that I made a mistake like that, and we didn’t have any cautions to make up for it. It is what it is, just got to clean it up a bit.”

Christopher Bell — Finished 9th: “Yeah, that is kind of how it played out. I don’t know – after the last couple of weeks I’m really happy we put a complete race together for this Rheem Camry team. Hopefully, we can build on that, do a little better in Watkins Glen and carry that into the playoffs.”

Shane van Gisbergen — Finished 10th: “It’s just a battle of good drivers. It was with Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell there. Unfortunately, they came out in front of me on that last pit stop. Great to get another Top-10 for the Enhance Chevy, and Project 91. We had fun all weekend. Hopefully can come back and do it all again. … It’s aggressive, but it’s fair. I put a block on (Alex Bowman), and the next corner he just moved me. I guess I deserved that. The racing was fun. I really enjoyed it. All the battling when you go through a move on someone, they give you room. They expect it back. Really cool.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 16th: “We had a fast Cowboy Channel/Carolina Cowboys Chevrolet this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. We didn’t qualify where we needed to, but we weren’t too worried because we knew we had a fast car and a good strategy in place. It was great to run in the top-10 for a lot of the race. I thought we had a top-10 finish coming our way but we just got too tight at the end of the race. We were wheel-hopping more and more. It’s okay, because we hung in there. I wish we could have freed our Chevy up, but it’s hard to do when you’re running that well.”

Kamui Kobayashi — Finished 33rd: “First of all, I was waiting for a caution. It never happened. I definitely enjoyed it. Thank you. 77 laps, no caution is pretty long – I think I learned a lot. We had some good speed, as well. I got hit by someone, but this is NASCAR. But the racing in the field was great. It’s a really cool championship – I had a great experience here. Thank you to all of the support from Toyota, Toyota Gazoo Racing North America. This is a dream come true.”