What NASCAR Cup Series drivers said after Sunday’s 65th running of the Daytona 500, which opened the 2023 season Sunday at Daytona International Speedway and was won by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (WILL BE UPDATED):
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Finished first: “They left me a note in the car that said they believe in me and to go get the job done tonight. I made a few mistakes. We were able to battle back. This team worked really, really hard in the offseason, great pit stops, Hendrick engines. Man, this is unbelievable. This was the site of my last win back in 2017. We’ve worked really hard. We had a couple shots last year to get a win and fell short. It was a tough season, but man, we got it done. Daytona 500.
“When (Kyle Busch) went to the bottom there, I was able to push (Joey Logano) and (Kyle Larson). We had a huge run. I was hoping we were going to get to the white there, and we didn’t, so I knew I was going to take the top. I was hoping (Logano) was going to follow, and he did. He was able to push us out. I went to the bottom,(Busch) and (Logano) got a huge run. (Larson) split me in the middle, but another fellow dirt racer with (Christopher) Bell gave me a good shot down the little short chute into 1, and we were out front when the caution came out. We were out of fuel so the fuel light was going crazy. I hope y’all had fun. That was a heck of a race.”
JOEY LOGANO — Finished second: “Second is the worst, man. You’re so close. Leading the white flag lap there, I was up front. Kyle gave me a good push and, yeah, you’re watching in the mirror and you’re three wide across there. I felt like the three wide was going a hurt a lane; looked like Kyle was getting pushed ahead, and then Ricky started getting pushed ahead.
“I knew if I went to the bottom, my car didn’t handle good enough. I already got pushed off the bottom once, and I thought, ‘If I go down there, I’m probably going to get wrecked, and I don’t know if I can get down there in time to throw the block and so I didn’t want to wreck my car either.’ Then you don’t expect them to wreck either. You think you’re racing to the checkered flag, and you put yourself in the best position to try to win at the start-finish line, and just caution came out. You wish you could race to the end. Obviously, you can’t when they wreck that much. Congratulations to Ricky. There’s nothing like winning the Daytona 500. That’s why it stings so much finishing second. Still proud of the team, still proud of the effort coming off the championship last year and bringing this Mustang back toward the front and getting a Ford close to the front. Wish it was in victory lane, though.”
Erik Jones — Finished 37th: “It looked like (Tyler Reddick) got turned around, but I couldn’t see how it happened. Regardless, we spun out there on the bottom when I was trying to get around it, and then I got hit on the left side hard enough to take out the left rear and end our day. It is what it is. We were up there; we were racing and we were doing all we could. We were just in the wrong spot at the wrong time. I wish we could have been a little ahead of him. Everybody was racing hard, but everybody was doing a good job of just keeping in line and doing what they needed to do. There were a couple of moments.. a couple of aggressive and bad pushes, but nothing that was too crazy. I don’t know what sprung that one off, but I thought everybody was doing a good job at that point. It started to get pretty aggressive up until that wreck and I was getting antsy about being up there and getting into something. We were kind of in a bad spot in the pack to get caught up in something. Obviously, it’s a superspeedway, so there’s not a ton you can take from this weekend. I thought our No. 43 Guns N’ Roses Chevy was good, it just needed some more speed.”
Chase Elliott — Finished 38th: “It looked like some guys got tangled up, upfront. Those of us in the back were just scattering to kind of miss it. It looked like (Kyle Larson) and (Erik Jones) kind of went to the apron. By the time we got slowed up, they were coming back across the track and I was the lucky winner to get there first. It’s a bummer. Long ways to go. Hate to end the day, but it is what it is.”
TYLER REDDICK — Finished 39th: “I really felt like we could push really well and make progress through the pack. I just had been not really in the lead much at all today. That was the first time I was getting any pushes in the lead. The car seemed a little unstable down the back straightaway. Kevin was trying to push me, and I just lost it. If I’d have known that earlier in the day, I probably would have been more careful about that. But that was really the first experience I had with that all day long. I was kind of caught off guard by what happened in the corner there, unfortunately. That was the first time I’d been put in that situation, got loose, and unfortunately took out some other good cars.”
WILL BE UPDATED
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