What the drivers said during the Phoenix Cup championship race
What the drivers said after Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series championship race at Phoenix Raceway, won by Joey Logano, who claimed his second title:
Joey Logano—winner: (Logano’s son Hudson rode with him to Victory Lane). “We’ve had so many conversations over the past two weeks before bedtime. First, dad won’t get pole, and he’s going to meet me here and we’re going to win the race, and I couldn’t lie to my son. So it’s settled. Ever since (Kevin) Harvick took his son for a ride, I’ve always wanted to do this with Hudson. It’s such a small type of car. It was a special time to ride together. Man, I can’t say enough about this racing team. They just grind it. They are so amazing, Paul Wolfe, everyone who has invested so much time and effort over the past few weeks. And not just that team of 22, it goes so much further when you think of Roush Yates engines and the engine that’s in that bad boy. You think of everyone at Ford, everyone at Shell and Pennzoil, everyone who supported me. It’s been 10 years with Shell, and winning a few championships and 31 wins is special.
Ryan Blaney — finished second: “I wish we could have won one. We had a great car to do it, and it just didn’t happen. I’m proud of the effort. We had a winning car, and it just didn’t happen. just not produced. You can’t pass anybody. You get behind somebody and you squeeze and it cuts your air, and that’s all you can do.
MORE: Phoenix Cup results
PLUS: Phoenix Driver Points
PLUS: Phoenix Owner Points
Ross Chastain – Finished Third: “To start better and run up there with those guys all day (would have helped). We had our car really good at the end. Hats off to Phil Surgen (Team Leader) and everyone at Trackhouse. It’s amazing to build from 2011. May my family take me away from the farm to pursue this dream. For my mom, dad, and brother to come out and keep pushing me, keep supporting me, and keep being there for me. But today was about winning the big trophy, and we were a bit short. I think we did everything there in the end. It was a hell of a ride for us. Who had the #1 car second in points on their bingo card on February 1? It’s pretty wild. It is the continuation of many people who believe in me. To build everything together to come and drive this car, there are so many team owners and so many crew members who have been put to work. It’s crazy enough to fight for a Cup Series championship and have a car fast enough to chase them all the way. (In touch with Chase Elliott) I think I got off to a better start. I got to his left-back, and he tried to cover it late and I was already there. I feel like it was just a tough race and I had a position. We could have run side by side in the corner if he had continued in the same direction as us. I had a very good run. It looked like William (Byron) wasn’t doing as well as he wanted. I got to the left of (Elliott) and saw an erratic move he made to turn left to cover him, but I was already there.
MORE: Title contenders can’t catch Joey Logano
Chase Briscoe – Finished fourth: “I just didn’t shoot as well (near the finish). I was a little more at the top of the running track than I had really been all day. Honestly, the 22 and 12 were so good in the short term every time. I had nothing for them. In the long run, I was generally a bit better. I would give up so short term. I just didn’t shoot very well there at the end. I really don’t know why. Not sure if the trail just changed there as the sun went down. It wasn’t as good. I felt it was the worst race we had all day. It’s a shame it happened, but overall it was a good day. I really feel like we’re in the top five teams week in and week out, especially in the last 10 weeks. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. It was one of the best races we ran from start to finish today, but we just ran out of time. We still need to improve a bit, but we’ve definitely gotten closer to where we need to be.
Kevin Harvick — Finished fifth: “On restarts I kept getting on the chip and hanging on to speed and we were getting passed by a few cars. I just needed a whole race.
Christopher Bell – Finished 10th: “Wow wow wow. Just being out and then the wins at Charlotte and Martinsville and then all of a sudden you wake up this morning and you’re racing for a championship, and you’re happy, you’re thrilled and then your world is falling apart. every time you receive news like this, it puts into perspective that there is more to it than the race. The whole Gibbs family is in all of our prayers. I am thinking of them. In the end, today, the best car won the championship. He was really strong. Proud of our group of 20, though. We fought hard, and at the end of the race – the last pit stop, or what we thought was the last pit stop, we were there fighting for it. I’m just proud to be in that position, proud to be at Joe Gibbs Racing and racing that No. 20 car. The DeWalt Camry was – we were there, and I hope we can come back here next year. I feel good where we are, that’s for sure. J hope my group stays exactly the same, mechanics, engineers and obviously Adam Stevens at the top of the pit because I feel like we have a good thing going. We feel like we’re on our way to being there every week and being a title contender year after year. I’m so very grateful to be here and very, very incredibly saddened by today’s news, and thinking of the Gibbs family.
Austin Dillon – Finished 13th: “We had a good day at Phoenix Raceway. Our Chevrolet Get Bioethanol started well, but throughout the day we were able to adapt and fight at the end. There weren’t many warnings during the race today, so we had to be on top of our adjustments. Our pit crew did a great job on pit road and Justin Alexander came up with a good strategy that kept us in the top 20 all day. Exit the last race of the year by finishing 13e and take home 11e in points gives my RCR team the momentum it needs to start the 2023 season.”
Tyler Reddick – Finished 23rd: “I’m really proud of the efforts of this whole team over the years. We have come so far in three years. I learned a lot with this group. Everything I wanted to learn and everything I wanted to do, they gave me the platform to learn and be a better driver. I’m just really grateful for everyone’s efforts over the years from everyone at RCR and ECR Engines for the fantastic power we’ve had. We all worked hard and were able to do a lot of great things, and I will always remember that. We had high hopes for our day and were pretty close with our Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a rough day on pit road, and that put us back in trouble. We got caught on all fours before turn 3. It didn’t work and we took quite a bit of damage which pretty much set us back for the rest of the day. At the very end there, we were able to put it back where it needed to be, but we just ran out of time.
Ty Dillon – Finished 26th: “We bounced back there at the end. Our Petty GMS team was able to improve the car a bit towards the end of the race. I would say it was a good end to the year. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to drive the #42 Chevy this season. We had a lot of memories this season, and I had a lot of fun behind the wheel. Thanks to Maury Gallagher, Richard Petty, the fans and all our partners. Let’s move on for me.
Chase Elliott – Finished 28th: (Asked about contact with Ross Chastain) “Yeah, I’m not sure. I am not sure. Looking forward to the offseason, and really proud of our team for the fight we fought today. I felt like we peaked right there before we crashed, and I felt like our car was driving pretty well. We just did our best pit stop of the day, so everything was really solid. And heck, we were right there next to 22 (winner Joey Logano). I thought we had a chance until we didn’t, and unfortunately that’s how it sometimes happens. I feel like we rode it as well as it did all weekend, honestly. When we split the stage and some of these guys stayed out and ran a long time and we got a late lap and did our lap up there under the green that race I thought our car was rolling kinda good.
Brad Keselowski — Finished 35th: “It just caught fire and the next thing I knew we were sitting there. It’s a disappointment but we hope to get something out of it and move on. We’re making a lot of progress. It’s obviously a disappointing way to end the season, but a lot of progress as a company and we need to have a big learning curve.