What Drivers Said: NASCAR Cup at Kansas — plus race highlights in under 3 minutes! – Sports Illustrated
Bubba Wallace – No. 45 Root Insurance Toyota – WINNER:
What does this win mean to you?
“Man, just so proud of this team, so proud of the effort that they put in each and every week. Just thankful for the opportunity, right? Took this jump from an idea two years ago from a text from Denny before it all even happened. He was ready to get the deal done. Appreciate him. Appreciate MJ, Curtis, Gene. Everybody on that side of things, everybody at 23XI. Men and women there, they work their tails off. Just so proud. Pit crew was awesome today. We had one loose wheel. Just thankful. Thanks for the opportunity, and thankful to shut the hell up for a lot of people.”
What does it mean to race as hard as you had to? The one at Talladega was a little different, and then to have Denny Hamlin chasing you at the end.
“Yeah. I knew Denny was going to be strong. That’s the things I look at, is he wasn’t that good at the beginning of the day, and he comes up and finishes P2. And that’s what I want to start doing. When we don’t have the best days, just capitalize on moments like that. It’s cool to beat the boss, but man, we were just lights-out today once we got to the lead, and it was a lot of fun.”
Were you anxious all day?
“It’s funny. I ran into my old crew chief, Jerry Baxter after the truck race, and I text him. I said, Jerry, I think it’s going to be a good weekend. We called our shot. What a really cool paint scheme on our Toyota Camry root. They’ve done a lot for me in my career in a short amount of time. To throw honor to the people we lost on 9/11 is incredible. To put this in victory lane is really cool.”
How did you stay focused?
“Been doing this for a really long time. I haven’t won a race like that in a really long time, but just knowing getting excited is going to mess you up, so it was just cool, calm, and collected, and here we are.”
Do you want to say anything to the fans, your fans?
“True fans that are out there, thank you, guys. I love you. It’s been a tough road. You guys are the best. Let’s keep this train rolling. Thank you.”
Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Acumatica Toyota – Finished Second:
What are your emotions right now with Denny Hamlin the driver finishing second, but the owner wins the race?
“It’s a good overall day. Just still frustrated about the first half of the race. We just aren’t executing all that well. Got to thank Acumatica for coming on, if you want to improve your business, they can help you do it. Thank you for coming on for Kansas. Really happy for our 11 Toyota team. They really fought hard and in that last half, they really made the car quite a bit better. Just really happy about the outcome and really happy for the 45 team and Bubba Wallace and Bootie (Barker, crew chief). Bubba’s just really worked hard on his craft and we’ve given him fast race cars and now he’s showing what he’s got.”
How hard were you trying to …….