What Riders Said at Sonoma Raceway


What Riders Said at Sonoma Raceway

Here’s what the riders had to say after Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California:

Daniel Suarez – Winner: “Today is a crazy day. I have so many thoughts in my head right now. I mean it’s been a bumpy road. It’s been a tough journey in the Cup Series. These guys believe in me – Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks, Ty Norris. Everyone who helped me get to this point. Lots of people in Mexico: Jay Morales, Carlos Slim. My family, they never give up on me. Lots of people did it, but they didn’t. We’re just really happy that we were able to make it work.”

Chris Buescher — Finished second: “This team did a great job planting a really fast Fifth Third Bank Mustang on me this weekend. What a comeback and return to the circuit but I didn’t end up doing the job there. I feel like we should have won but I didn’t. We were close, just needed more. I had to do it on this reboot and didn’t. But if we can keep getting cars like this, victory will come. It was a great run and I should be happy but I’m disappointed that I came so close and didn’t make it.”

Michael McDowell – finished third: “You know, we just started a little bit slow, but in the long run we were really good. In the last five laps we started to pull in the leaders but it just took a little too long to get going. I’m proud of the whole team. … You have to be second, third, fourth and fifth consistently to put yourself in a position to win a race and we came close today. We just needed a little more front end to challenge. I’m really proud of everyone’s effort. We’re getting closer. We do this week in and week out, so I’m really proud of everyone.”

Kevin Harvick – finished fourth: “We had a catastrophic pit lane failure at least once a week and, as usual, got as far up the field as we could. It is what it is I guess. We didn’t finish where we should have. We took every chance. We should have finished second at worst, but we screw it up every week.”

Austin Cindric – finished fifth: “I would say this weekend was a real team effort. I give credit to Jeremy (Bullins) and the Discount Tire team for believing in me by flipping stages like we did when we probably could have picked up a stage win and a few stage points. We made many adjustments and some bold decisions overnight. I’m very happy for Daniel Suarez. To see a first-time winner isn’t great to have another first-time winner in the season and stack with them, but other than that it was a really solid day.”

Ryan Blaney – finished sixth: “We had decent speed but needed a bit more. I was struggling to get tight early in the race and track position was hard to come by. At the end, as the sun came out, the track took a big swing that hurt our Menards/Knauf Ford Mustang. We’ll take a top 10 day and go into the weekend off and get ready for Nashville.”

William Byron – finished 9th: “Good run for our team. I fought hard all day and found the balance right and the second half of the race was good. I’m happy with that and I’m going into the week off with good momentum.”

Austin Dillon – finished 11th: “This team has worked hard and I personally have worked hard to improve our performance on the road. We qualified 13th on Saturday and went into Sunday’s race knowing we had a strong car and a solid plan. We held our position throughout Phase 1. We tried playing pit strategy a couple of times and got caught on the wrong side of a warning flag. We made a green flag stop on the final stage when the warning came out. That dropped us about seven places but we had newer tires than the guys in front of us which gave me a little more leverage.”

Aric Almirola – finished 14th: “A few more laps and I think we would have made the top 10. Our long run speed was really good today. The timing of caution in the last stage wasn’t in our favor so we had to fight our way back. We really had the speed on the final laps.”

Joey Logano – finished 17th: “We had a good day in terms of stage points and a stage win. That was on our list of goals for the race. We just got caught by that last caution that made it really difficult to retake that track position.”

Cole Custer – turned 21: “Another solid day that was taken away late after spinning at Turn 11. The guys brought a fast Autodesk/HaasTooling.com Mustang, but nothing to show for it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a year where so many things just didn’t add up. Ready to regroup and turn it around after the week off.”

Erik Jones — finished 22nd:With our FOCUSfactor Chevy we just missed the target this weekend. We made some adjustments after practice that didn’t really help us in qualifying. We fell into a hole with our qualification and decided to make more changes to improve our car for the race. Unfortunately these changes didn’t help much and we struggled with the handling all day.”

Ty Dillon – finished 23rd: “Yesterday our Allegiant Chevrolet needed some optimizations on the truck, so unfortunately we started from the back with qualifying. The adjustments our #42 team made before the race definitely helped and we worked on that throughout the race.”

Tyler Reddick – finished 35th: “We started the race fifth and spent most of stages 1 and 2 in and around the top 5. We were in fourth place with three laps left in Stage 2 when we stopped at the green flag. Unfortunately we were caught over revving in the pit lane and had to restart at the back of the field to start Stage 3. We were mirrored back into traffic. Everyone huddled together and another car finally made contact with us. It destroyed our left rear and we had to go to the workshop for repairs. We made it back but finished 14 laps down in 35th place. It’s definitely disappointing to get a finish like that today after running so hard.”

Bubba Wallace – finished 36th: “We have to reset that at the weekend. I think the mustache needs to come off. Really just biding our time. I shifted less than in practice – I was just trying to save some tires. Never over-revved, never steered the wrong way, and she just blew. I hate it. I hate it for our team. I hate it for all of our partners. We deserve to do much better than we have in the last few months.”

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