What drivers said at New Hampshire

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Here is what drivers had to say after Sunday’s Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire:

Christopher Bell — Winner: “Man, that one was much needed right there. I tell you what, that was a hell of a race from my viewpoint. It was so much fun racing with the 45 (Kurt Busch), the 22 (Joey Logano) and the 9 (Elliott). We were all running different lines. That was a blast. Just so happy to be here at Joe Gibbs Racing and so good to get that 20 car back in victory lane. Winning Cup races is hard. Just seems like we’ve been close then we had fallen off a little bit last week. I was talking to my best friend and I told him, ‘Eearlier in the year I felt like we were right on the verge of winning. Then the last couple of weeks I felt like we were pretty far away.’ But here we are today.’’

Chase Elliott — Finished 2nd: “I just need to do a better job again. The same conversation as Road America, unfortunately. I feel like it was a poor run of execution on my end throughout that last run. I feel like it took me a while to get past Joey (Logano) and the No. 45 (Kurt Busch), and I had to run a little harder than I wanted to. I got in front of those guys, just made a couple of mistakes and couldn’t get much breathing room. … Obviously for us, we were in a position where guys at this level really should close out a race if you have the lead like that, so just poor effort on my part. When you’re in position like we’ve been in, you need to finish them off.”

Bubba Wallace — Finished 3rd: “I’m just proud of the team, proud of myself, proud of everybody at the shop. … It didn’t handle that great but it had speed, so we knew that. Just the mental preparation, had to set yourself up for a long day, and we did. We had no idea what we were running there at the end. I knew it was inside the top five. But just tire management there at the end, and we were able to capitalize. Just proud of everybody. Happy. It’s been hell for me the last month, so good to come out with a top five. This sport humbles you, so there’s really no surprises. You’ve got to keep the task at hand and be mindful of your surroundings and just do your job. As long as you do that, you never know if you’re going to end up with a top three or 20th or whatever it may be. You just stick true to your path.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 4th: “Just put on two tires and got in a bad spot on the restart. I got put three-wide, and the 22 (Joey Logano) didn’t get going and I was on the inside behind him. I tried to shove him to get him going and get us going and (Kevin) Harvick made it three-wide and put us in a bad spot. And my car was terrible on two tires and couldn’t go anywhere. Just should have put four tires on I guess. We had the car to do it. We just screwed it up. It’s frustrating and disappointing, but congrats to the 20 (Christopher Bell). Obviously, they were smarter than we were at the end.”

Kevin Harvick — Finished 5th: “We put two tires on there, which we all thought was the right thing to do, and it just would not get going. We were sliding up the race track, and it took seven or eight laps to get the car underneath you and then about 20 laps to get the pace back. Then at the end, everybody was just out of tires. … We passed a lot of the cars that were worse than us. It just depended on what your handling issues were.”

Brad Keselowski — Finished 7th: “Hot in the cars and we all let our tempers get the best of us (on contact with Austin Dillon). We had a decent day here. The Kohler Generators Ford Mustang climbed really far that last run. I think we went from somewhere around the late teens and 20s up to seventh on that last run. I am proud of our team for the effort today. It was certainly an up and down day today and it was good to finish on an up note.” Austin said he does not like the way that you race him. Is the feeling mutual? “I will talk to him privately. I don’t need to be a jerk over the media.”

Ross Chastain — Finished 8th: “It was a grind today. We just hovered between seventh and 20th. We just never had the balance of the car great. We were tight all day; really tight on restarts. It was really tough to make ground. The two-tire to four-tire strategies, I was just usually way too tight to fight those guys.

Daniel Suarez — Finished 9th: “It was an OK day. Once again, we maximized what we had. I felt like our speed on the long run was probably one of the best out there; but on the short runs, it wasn’t. We were making adjustments and trying to help the short runs. We’ll just have to keep working.”

Austin Cindric — Finished 13th: “Definitely a double come from behind day on the 2 car. Drove my guts out today. I am proud of the adjustments we made overnight after such a bad qualifying effort. Had a probably top-five long run car and should have finished in the top 10. We just ran out of time there. I had fun working the lanes and trying to get better. I am proud of the team. We will keep moving forward.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 15th: “That first run we were really good and able to drive up into the top 15. Then from there we just kind of struggled and the track was changing so much. I probably didn’t do the greatest job guiding them where we needed to go. Then we had that spin and tried to play strategy to get up there and we caught the caution wrong. I feel like if we had the long run and were running fourth or fifth versus catching the caution we probably would have been all right. It just didn’t work out. I feel like we had a better car than 15th but with everything we fought I guess it was all right.”

Erik Jones — Finished 19th: “We were just off a bit today. We were plowing early, made adjustments throughout the race to try to make our Focus Factor Chevy better and then we were too loose at the end. We’re still learning with these cars. It’s hard to predict how it will react sometimes, and we just have to keep building our notebooks and build on each week. We’ll keep learning and refocus for next week at Pocono.”

Joey Logano — Finished 24th: “Live by the sword, die by the sword. We did it in the second stage to get track position and it worked. Then we did it again to get track position and the race ran long and it didn’t work. I thought we were pretty decent once we got up there and had a shot at taking the lead from Kurt (Busch), but then the 9 (Chase Elliott) missed the mark by a mile and knocked our toe out or camber or something in the left rear suspension. I don’t know why he had to do that, but I am pretty sure that was not a good move on his part. So, that is that.”

Corey LaJoie — Finished 32nd: “It just got hung in between fourth and third gear on the downshift there. I had it happen earlier in the day when I wasn’t around anybody. I just thought I wasn’t pushing it into gear hard enough or whatever the case may have been. We were racing hard on the restart there underneath the No. 21 (Harrison Burton). I tried pushing it down to third and it just got hung between fourth and third, and it just locked both rear tires up so they weren’t turning. I hate that other guys were involved. We’ll have to take a look at it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It was a weird thing, the first thing we’ve had all year with the transaxle. It’s been a tough stretch. I feel bad for my No. 7 Spire Motorsports team. We were trying to pull off another good week from last weekend’s momentum. It wasn’t meant to be, but we’ll get them next week.”

Alex Bowman — Finished 35th: “We qualified bad. Unfortunately, they were just racing hard. It looked like the No. 42 (Ty Dillon) and the No. 31 (Justin Haley) got together. The No. 42 just overcorrected and stuffed us in the fence. Bummer. I hate it for everybody at Ally and Hendrick Motorsports. We’ll move on to the next one.”

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What drivers said at New Hampshire originally appeared on NBCSports.com