What drivers said after NASCAR Cup race at Dover won by Denny Hamlin

Here is what drivers had to say after Sunday's Cup race at Dover Motor Speedway:

Denny Hamlin — Winner: “The winning moment was getting around (Kyle Larson) on that quick restart we had when we had that caution. He controlled the restart. I got a really good restart on the bottom, and that was a big moment to clear him before that caution came out. Similar to what happened with Chase (Elliott) at Texas, where I was controlling it – until I wasn’t, but the tides turned today, and I was able to control the restart. Our Mavis Tire Toyota was just so good on the short run. I knew he was going to make a charge, but I just tried to hit my marks. As long as I hit my marks, I felt confident I could hold him off.”

NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400
NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400

Denny Hamlin holds off Kyle Larson to win at Dover: 3 takeaways on the Cup race

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Kyle Larson — Finished 2nd: “It's so easy as the leader to shut off the air to the guy behind you at a track like Dover, especially where it's low on grip as the run progresses. I knew I was going to have an uphill battle once I lost the lead on that restart. I felt like if I had gotten the lead, I could have maintained my run like I did in the second stage and hold those guys off. It was a good day to get a lot of points and all that, but I would have loved to win obviously. It's a little bit easier to pass here than some of the others. It's just as hard to pass the leader, for sure. Like I said, it's just so easy for them to maneuver their car and shut off the air behind him. Yeah, he (Denny Hamlin) … I don't think he did anything special, but he was able to run in the middle of the racetrack and close me off on the top. If I ever pulled to the bottom, he could pull down and shut off my air. It's just a product of the car and all that. We did what we could. I just wish I wouldn't have given up the lead.”

Martin Truex Jr. — Finished 3rd: “In the middle of the race, losing the lead was the difference maker. Just lost the lead to (Kyle Larson) there. Once I got close to him, tried to start moving around, I got a little too tight. He was backing up. It just didn't quite have what I needed to get by him. They all pounced on us, and we lost control of the race. Then I got the nose damage. Feel like we let one get away today. Had a really strong Bass Pro Camry. You can't lose control of these races mid-stage like that. The track changes, you get behind. Man, just stinks. Overall, a good day. Just keep working on it.”

Kyle Busch — Finished 4th: "I felt like today was a good day overall. There are still things to clean up, but I'm proud of a top-five effort. It felt like if we would have restarted third, I might have been able to keep pace maybe somewhere closer to the front. But starting where I did and having to race the 10 was difficult. I hate it for our guys that we didn't get a better finish, but the FICO Camaro was good. Just struggled a bit on the long, long run.”

Chase Elliott — Finished 5th: "I was really happy with our car, honestly. A couple of moves here or there ... I needed to just get myself a little further forward. But I'm really happy with the NAPA Chevy. We had a really solid day and it was fun. It's always fun when you can pass your way to the front."

Noah Gragson — Finished 6th: “I thought we qualified really well and then we kind of fell back there the first half of the race. We got really lucky with that caution coming on the final green flag pit cycle, but the Miller Tech Mustang was good once we got some track position. It just took a little bit, but things fell our way and we were able to come home with a top-10 finish, finishing sixth. It wasn’t looking pretty there in the middle of the race, but I’m thankful things went our way and we were able to get that track position at the end.”

NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400
NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400

Dover NASCAR Cup results: Denny Hamlin scores third win of the season

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Ryan Blaney — Finished 7th: “I still thought we had like fourth to seventh-place potential all day, so I’m proud of the effort by everybody on this team for sticking with it. I really wanted to win one for Wurth. It’s a big race for those guys and they’re a great partner for us, but we just missed out. Hopefully, we can get a redemption shot next year if they do this again, but I appreciate the effort. It was a long day. To run 400 laps around this place is tough and working on it all day, the 12 boys stuck with it so I appreciate their effort, Ford, Roush Yates, Menards and we’ll go to Kansas next week.”

Alex Bowman — Finished 8th: “Both front fenders are broke, too, from the deal on pit road, so I’m sure that didn’t help anything. We were really fast in the middle segment of the race. We were probably just a little too tight on the top. I couldn’t rotate the bottom like I wanted to, but I was too free on entry to really free the car up. I could make a lot of pace up top, but it just hurt the tires pretty bad. All-in-all, it was an OK day for our No. 48 Ally Chevy team. Eighth-place here is pretty bad for me, but it was still a good points day and a step in the right direction. It’s a little more consistency than we’ve seen, so hopefully we can keep plugging away at it.”

Daniel Hemric — Finished 9th: “It was a long day. We gave up a lot of track position early. Just probably got us too loose, in general, in practice going into the race with not really knowing what to expect out of this car. We fell back and were kind of stuck back there. The team made a great call to just keep us in the game. We stayed out a little longer there on that last green-flag cycle stop – it was kind of like an early Christmas present to us. It got us back on the lead lap. It was just really rewarding for all of us on the No. 31 Poppy Banky Chevy team to put us inside the top 10 and be able to run there. We know our pace was there, it’s just a matter of getting track position. That’s the name of the game here.”

AJ Allmendinger — Finished 13th: “We had a really solid day; the No. 16 Action Industries Camaro ZL1 was really consistent, and the pit crew did a great job of keeping our track position. We battled handling all day, and track position was key. All in all, running inside the top 15 all day and having top-10 speed is great. Our day, along with Daniel’s (Hemric) top-10 finish, is great for the organization and our momentum.”

Josh Berry — Finished 14th: “It was solid. We had a good car all day. We just needed to get a little bit more track position. We kept chipping away at it and just could never quite get into the top 10, but I thought we were gonna be really close to having a top-10 effort there. We definitely had top-10 speed, so we just have to keep chipping away at it and doing the same thing and the results will come.”

Austin Cindric — Finished 15th: “I’m proud to have a result that is representative. I feel like we’ve struggled to finish these deals out the last month or so, the speed that we’ve shown, so I’m proud of that. Fifteenth is solid, but we still have more progress to make. The guys called a great race. We made good adjustments and it feels nice to execute one. We just need to keep moving forward.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 19th: “It was weird. We started off pretty good and we just had one real bad run where we went from fifth to 25th and we just couldn’t find the balance. It was never where we needed it to be. It would be one way and then the next run it would be the other way. It seemed like we were always kind of chasing our tails. We also got burned by a caution and ended up 19th. I don’t know. This place has been a struggle for us for whatever reason and we’ve got to do our homework a little bit more and see what we can find.”

John Hunter Nemechek — Finished 20th: “P20 on the day. Hard fought day. I don’t really know if it helped us or hurt us, as far as pit strategy and the caution coming out in the end, but we were able to wave and get one lap back and we were able to fight for the lucky dog there. Solid quiet day for this Acme Toyota team. P20. Going to Kansas next week, one of my favorite race tracks.”

Corey Heim — Finished 25th: “It was definitely a lot different. I’ve been kind of saying it all weekend – a big change compared to what I’m used to. Really from the beginning to middle of the race, I felt like we had a ton of speed. We kind of got messed up on the cycle there when the leaders pitted. I pitted a lap later and then the caution came out right away, which pinned us an extra lap down. We were beating the guys that finished 15th through 20th, so I think that’s kind of where we were supposed to end up – but that is part of racing. I’m super thankful to Legacy Motor Club for putting me in the Dollar Tree Petty 75 Camry this weekend and believing in me. I feel like we should have been six or seven spot better, but it just didn’t work out that way.”

Austin Dillon — Finished 27th: “Unfortunately it was a rough day for us on the No. 3 BREZTRI Chevy team. We fought hard. I had a tire that felt like it was going down in the first stage, and we got two laps down and could never recover from it. We’ll look at what our teammate did. (Kyle Busch) was obviously really good. We’ll try and work off of that and come back stronger. It was a tough day, but we’ve got to go to Kansas and fight.”

Jimmie Johnson — Finished 28th: “Tough day. We certainly had higher expectations for our performance today for our Dollar Tree, Family Dollar Camry. It was nice to get another race under my belt and get a better understanding of the car. We will just go back to the shop and get after it.”

Bubba Wallace — Finished 32nd: “It’s a bummer. I hate it for our Xfinity, U.S. Air Force Toyota. Not the result we needed – back-to-back DNF’s. Bootie (Barker, crew chief) said it perfect Monday. I was pissed off and frustrated after Talladega – he said, we are going to have to grind our asses off for Dover – from practice, to qualifying, to the race. It’s not going to be pretty. I don’t think he meant that part – the wrecking out part was not going to be pretty, but we had to grind. I’m proud of the effort we put in every week, just unfortunate that we have no results to show for it. We will just go on to Kansas, where hopefully, we are not around any squirrels and go kick their ass.”

William Byron — Finished 33rd: "I didn't see much. We were rolling on the bottom and something happened up top. The No. 23 (Bubba Wallace) got spun across the track, and we were there. We had a good No. 24 Liberty University Chevy early but couldn't get through traffic very well out front. Once we got in the back, we were terrible in traffic. We didn't have the balance today.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Finished 35th: Our day was really, really good. Our No. 47 Hungry Jack Chevy was good. We were running right around the top 10 all day, which was nice. It looked like the No. 4 (Josh Berry) just cut down underneath a lapper, got us in the right-front and spun us around. Overall, our Chevy was really, really good. We needed a run like that, but we needed to finish it off. We’ll regroup and get ready for Kansas next weekend.”

Michael McDowell — Finished 36th: “It was a challenging day. We fired off pretty good. We needed a little bit of adjustment, but we just miscalculated with our pit road (speed). We thought that we could run hard into our box because we were the first box and the timing line was in the middle of our box, so we thought that there was no way you could speed. That’s what I was told, like, ‘There’s no way you can speed coming in. Come in as hard as you can.’ And I did, and we sped in that section, so I really hate that. That put us in the back and then just fighting all day to try and get back up. Once we got in the back of the pack it was really tough to pass, just like it is for everybody, but we had a good car at the start of the race. Right there, I’m not exactly sure, but it looked like a right-front hub failed, so we’ll have to dig into that and see why. Obviously, Dover is a high load, high wear and tear on parts, but we haven’t had any issues like this in the past, so we’ll just have to dig into it.”

Ryan Preece — Finished 37th: “I felt like I was on fire and I went the first 70 laps just trying to push through and then it got so bad that I couldn’t put my hands on the wheel. I was worried that an oil line or something would melt and then the whole car gets engulfed in fire and I don’t want to be trapped in there having that happen, so I pulled off. Whatever happened it was completely unnecessary and we can’t afford days like this.”