DiBenedetto and Byron managed to enter the playoffs and DiBenedetto could not hide his enthusiasm “We made it,” DiBenedetto said. “I don’t care how we did it. All my goal was, was to come in here and make it."
, as quoted by NASCAR “I wanted it so bad for this team,” he continued, with a nod to the longtime Wood Brothers Racing operation he drives for this year. Johnson, unlike his teammates, failed to make it to the playoffs, but he only had positive words for them “First and foremost, congratulations to my teammate for getting his first Cup win like that,” Johnson said.
“This setting and the drama that goes into it, that’s a big win for [crew chief] Chad Knaus and William Byron, really happy for those guys." “I really feel like we had a way to transfer to win or point our way in the way it went the first two stages and things just got ugly in Turn 1.
Unfortunate, but that’s plate racing. “We had a really good car and last couple of months we’ve been really getting our act together and running well. Really disappointed to not be in the Playoffs. That was the number one goal to start the year”.
Byron was very lucky this time, but as the old saying goes: Happiness accompanies the brave. So this time too, his team's tactics paid off and he managed to win “I’m just extremely blessed and this is incredible,” said Byron, who drives the No.
24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. “It’s been a hard couple of years in the Cup Series and trying to get my first win and gel with this team. These guys did an awesome job today and got us in the Playoffs and it’s amazing.
“This is probably the hardest track to points-race,” said Byron who only had a four-point advantage over Johnson for the final playoff transfer position entering the race. “We had a great Stage 2 and kind of got back in the pack and got shuffled when everyone went single file.
I thought my hope was up there. And we were racing around the No. 21 (DiBenedetto) and the No. 48 (Johnson) in the final stage and I was like, ‘Man, I’ve to really make something happen. Luckily, I was able to push the No.
43 (Wallace) and he and the No. 22 (Logano) made some contact and opened up a hole for me and I wasn’t going to lift." “It was awesome”.