“I felt like I kept giving it away, and I was so disappointed for all these guys behind me because they’re awesome. They’re the best. I’m with the best team in the garage, and I felt like I kept letting them down not winning a race. Today, the good Lord was shining on us and we went to victory lane. We did it, finally.
“I knew (we were going to have a good day) when we qualified, all four of us starting up there in the front. We kind of talked about it in our competition meeting, that we needed to be committed to each other, we needed to score as many stage points as we can, we needed to score more stage points than the 12, than the 42 and the 88. We knew all that. Going into the weekend, that was our focus, was to be committed as an organization to doing everything we can to help each other, making sure that we continue to get points, especially for Clint (Bowyer) and myself being in the situation we were in going into this weekend. Then when we qualified top-four, all of us together, I knew that all four of us were going to be tough to beat. We were going to have really fast racecars. We’ve been chasing those Penske cars. We talked about it Saturday. We’ve been chasing Penske at the restrictor-plate races. They’ve been able to do somewhat of what we did today, where they get out front, Brad (Keselowski) and Joey (Logano) and Paul (Menard) and (Ryan) Blaney get organized, and basically dominate the race. Today, we were able to do that. We stayed so committed to each other. We worked every restart out to where we stayed committed to each other, got in line. It was us against the field.
“When we started to drive off from the field in the first stage, as the stage went on, I knew we had something special. I knew one of our four cars was going to win. Just by happenstance, we were the ones that qualified fourth, so I kept being the third or fourth guy in line. It was like, ‘Man, this is nice that we’re all four running together, but I’m scoring less stage points than Bowyer – I’m racing him in points. Eventually, we’re going to have to try and win this race, we’re going to have to separate and start to fend for ourselves.’ That opportunity honestly never really presented itself. It seemed like, the way the race played out, such long green‑flag runs, we would get committed to each other. As we would drive away from the field, me being the fourth guy in line, I never really had anybody behind me to help me make a move on my teammates.
“It was an incredible day for us as an organization at Stewart‑Haas Racing, and I am so proud and so thankful for the opportunity to be driving these racecars.”
Yes, it was a really incredible day at Talladega Superspeedway for the SHR boys! They were the class of the field, and nobody really had anything for them all race long!
TI NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!