What NASCAR Cup drivers had to say after Sunday's Talladega race

Here is what drivers had to say after Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway:

Tyler Reddick — Winner: “Man, it’s incredible. Everyone on this 45 Jordan Brand Toyota Camry worked really hard today. Didn’t really work out in that third stage for us, but we were able to fight and defend our track position. Was that crazy, fans? Chaos. That’s Talladega for you. Just got to give a lot of credit to Ty Gibbs and Martin Truex Jr. It was just us Toyota’s left and they pushed me with everything they had so a huge credit to Martin and Ty. Without those pushes we don’t win this race.”

Brad Keselowski — Finished 2nd: “The Fords were really working well together. We cleared the Toyotas on the bottom lane and it was pretty clear it was gonna come down to the three of us. I backed up. Noah gave me a great push and I went to make a move on Michael and he covered it, and I went back the other way and got another push from Noah and there was nowhere to go when Michael came back down. I hate that for him. He’s a good guy. I hope he’s alright. That’s just kind of the way this stuff goes, but, all in all it was a really solid day for us, for Ford and Castrol. It’s another second. It’s a solid day, but not the win we wanted.”

Noah Gragson — Finished 3rd: “We were definitely working together as Fords on the bottom. McDowell, Brad Keselowski and myself. All the Fords worked great all race. It’s coming to the end and (Keselowski) and the (McDowell) were blocking coming to the checkers and unfortunately (Tyler Reddick) squeaked by. I really wanted to see a Ford in Victory Lane, but the Overstock team at Stewart-Haas did a great job all day. We had clean pit stops, fast pit stops, a lot of horsepower under the hood. The Mustang Dark Horses and racing with these other Ford guys has been a lot of fun. I haven’t been up here very much in the Cup Series on these superspeedways, but I’m extremely grateful. It’s a privilege to race with guys like Keselowski and McDowell. I mean, they’ve won really big races on speedways, so, overall, I’m really thankful for everyone at Stewart-Haas and this Overstock team and we’ll keep the momentum going.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Finished 4th: “Not a bad day, but it was somewhat frustrating every now and then just kind of being gridlocked there, but, you know, our team, we came in with a plan. We stuck to our plan and glad that it all worked out. I feel like we've been close all year with different things and, you know, just nothing seems to work out so for it all to come together for the Thomas Bagels and Philadelphia Cream Cheese Camaro feels really good. We’ve got a really good month of racing coming up for us at really good racetracks that we enjoy and run well at, so, hopefully, this will be a boost to our season and and kind of a kickstart to get us going and just see what happens.”

Alex Bowman —Finished 5th: “Not amazing, honestly. Not that we didn’t have a good No. 48 Ally Camaro or good strategy, just kind of didn’t have the openings I needed at times. There was so much riding around saving fuel. And then when we finally all would go run around wide-open, there weren’t really many moves to make, and we were buried and stuck on the bottom. We just never had a hole to get up or do anything. We ended up with a top-five finish. That’s great – obviously that’s great for the team. It wasn’t our best speedway race, but still a solid top five.”

Anthony Alfredo — Finished 6th: “We had an awesome No. 62 Dude Wipes Chevrolet Camaro today. I’m really proud of Beard Motorsports and everyone on this team. They work really hard to come to a couple races a year, and when they do it, they do it right and they know they have a shot to win. So I take a lot of pride in being the one behind the wheel. I hope I can do a lot more with them. We had an awesome Chevy today. We drove to the front and led some laps. At the end there, we were just kind of boxed-in. I couldn’t really do a whole lot, especially when that third lane formed. I wanted to join that party earlier, but I was just trapped on the bottom. I pushed as hard as I could. In typical Talladega Superspeedway racing fashion, it got a little crazy coming to the line. I just yanked it hard left, flew through the grass and somehow opened my eyes and I crossed the line in sixth.”

William Byron — Finished 7th: “Today was just a lot of strategy, so I felt like we were just constantly trying to play the fuel-savings. My No. 24 Liberty University Chevy team did a really good job getting us out front for the stage finishes to give us a shot at the stage wins. In stage two, we just botched that a little bit, and in the final stage, we just got caught up by the caution and we didn’t have the track position at the end. Still happy to come home with a seventh-place finish. We’ll go to Dover (Motor Speedway) and have a really good Chevy there.”

Todd Gilliland — Finished 8th: “I think we had a really fast Generator Skills Ford Mustang. It’s just part of the racing. I didn’t do a great job on the last pit stop. It’s always really hectic and the 17 (Chris Buescher) was kind of coming around me and I waited just a split second and we lost a bunch of spots there, but that’s part of it. We got in that big wreck and were able to stay straight and keep going. Hat’s off to Ford, to Front Row Motorsports for bringing us two cars that were really capable of winning today.”

Daniel Hemric — Finished 9th: “I’m really proud of how far we’ve come with this No. 31 Cirkul Chevrolet from Daytona, as far as speed goes. It's hard to make gains there with everyone being so close. We qualified right at about 30th in Daytona, and then we came here and qualified inside the top 20, which is a big deal as we saw today with fuel saving. You have to have a faster racecar that lets you save more fuel. I’m proud of this team and to have had a clean race.”

Harrison Burton — Finished 10th: “It was kind of an up-and-down day. We did a really good job on the first pit cycle to get us out front and we did a great job of managing the track position versus saving. The second stage didn’t quite go our way and the caution fell at a weird time for us. We came down and topped off and just didn’t end up getting track position until the last lap when everyone wrecked. It’s good to be up front, good to help (Austin Cindric) get a stage win there. Obviously, I’d like to win one of these, but 10th is good, especially for how our year has been so far.”

Chase Briscoe — Finished 12th: “I’m definitely not surprised. The whole last lap you just know it’s coming if we got that far, so, overall, it just was not a very good day for us. We went a lap down early because of flat spotting the tires. It seemed like we honestly just rode around 30th all day. I don’t know where we ended up. Someone said 12th somehow, so I guess that’s better than where we should have finished with how the day went, so we’ll just go on to Dover next week and try to just continue running good.”

Ross Chastain — Finished 13th: “Everything lined up OK there at the end. I wanted to be one more spot further forward - obviously one of those front couple of lanes on the bottom. We all just checked up there. For me, I only know what happened from my seat, and I over-corrected big in the tri-oval. Hate that – we could have gotten across the line there in the top five, but we had a shot. We’ll move onto Dover.”


Tyler Reddick triumphs at Talladega in wild finish

Tyler Reddick scored his sixth career NASCAR Cup victory by going from third to first coming to the checkered flag.

Ryan Preece — Finished 14th: “Ultimately, we put ourselves in that position. I was trying to help Ryan and work with my other Ford teammates, but it’s tough when everybody isn’t on the same page. When you lose track position like that it is what it is, but moving forward I’d like to talk to Blaney and figure out what I can do better to help him. That way we can just not worry about anybody else.”

Josh Berry — Finished 16th: “So far, so good. Thankfully, everybody knocked me across the finish line so I was able to finish the race because that’s what’s most important in these deals. We just ride around and save gas and then wreck at the end and thankfully we finished. That’s a positive.”

Cody Ware — Finished 24th: “I think our 15 Jacob Companies Ford Mustang was a super fast car. I think we showed our speed multiple times throughout the race. I just wanted to play it smart and be there at the end, which is what we did. Unfortunately, the last 20-25 laps we didn’t have a whole lot of help behind us to get a pack going towards the front, but I’ll take the wins with the losses. I’m still happy for our first race back. I’ll take the positives from it and know that we’ve got good, fast cars here at the superspeedways and looking forward to Daytona, Atlanta and the second Talladega later on in the year.”

Daniel Suarez — Finished 27th: “Just disappointing. I thought we were in a good position in the end pushing Ross there at the end but I’m not sure what happened and we were spun. We battled through some issues today and we were pretty good in the end. I can’t wait to get to Dover.”

Michael McDowell — Finished 31st: “It’s hard. I need to see a replay to tell you everything perfectly, but we did a good job getting out front and controlling the race and putting ourselves in position. Brad is so good at this place and he drug back and I drug back as quick as I could and was able to block that first run that he made, but then when I came down for the second one he was just to my bumper. I mean barely, barely got me so it’s unfortunate. I hate it for him and I hate it for everybody that was behind that. It’s the last lap at Talladega. We’re all going for it, but we really needed to get a Ford Mustang Dark Horse in Victory Lane and we had a shot at doing it there. Unfortunately, I just made a bad move there to put us in that spot. I’m frustrated right now. I’m motivated by our ability to run up there and manage the lanes and do all the things that we did. Our car drove really well and took a push well and had a lot of speed, so those are good things, but it’s wadded up in a pile of rubble right now. It’s just unfortunate. It’s been a tough stretch here, but we’ve had speed and we’ve run up front and if we keep doing that, we’ll win a race.”

NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500
NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500

Michael McDowell heartbroken, yet proud after last-lap Talladega crash

Michael McDowell led a race-high 36 laps before crashing.

Erik Jones — Finished 35th: “Yeah, I’m a little sore but I’ll be alright. I don’t know – the 23 (Bubba Wallace) was pushing us there. Obviously, we were pushing and shoving and trying to make time with our strategy and I got pretty sideways getting into (Turn) 3 and tried to gather it up and then ended up really hard into the wall. It’s unfortunate. I hate it for my team and my guys. Obviously, we wanted to have a good run, but I’m alright. It’s a good thing. It was a hard hit and at the end of the day, I guess, if you’re going to be dumb you’ve got to be tough, so we’ll keep rolling.”

Denny Hamlin — Finished 37th: “I was in the back of it, so I didn’t see what got (Erik Jones) turned. Obviously, we were trying to run a good lap time there, and I thought we were really good on pace and then we just crashed. I’m really not sure honestly. I didn’t see it.”

Christopher Bell — Finished 38th: “I’ve got no idea. I just saw a replay and it just looked like a stack up in the middle lane and unfortunately, I was in the wrong spot. I was in ride it out mode and got hit.”