“That was a lot more conservative race than I think anyone ever thought,” Joey Logano said. “We all were racing pretty hard too. There were a few times when it looked like there was going to be a big crash and there never was. In the end, though, nobody wanted to go. I was back there trying to make a move to go forward again but once they all went single file up against the wall you are (out of luck) back there. You try to do anything you can to move up and there were a few guys back there that wanted to go but the bottom lane doesn’t work because of these big shark fins on the side that doesn’t let any air on the spoiler so it hurts the bottom lane so much.”
Joey Logano was likely the most aggressive of the drivers in trying to make a move outside to go two-wide, instead of single file at the top. But several drivers agreed there simply weren’t enough numbers to make an effective run.
“Any time you would go to make a move when it is all single file like that you just go right to the back and it just doesn’t work,” Brad Keselowski said. “That is what it was. I can only drive my car though. I tried really hard to work with Joey (Logano) there at the end and went down to make some moves to try to get some kind of position on the track and all we did was go backwards. You are better off to just stay single file.”
Paul Menard was another driver who was surprised to not see a pack of drivers make a move, especially since some lap leaders like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson had been effective in the middle earlier in the race.
“I thought for sure, as good as the middle was all day long, I thought for sure the 20, the 22, 48, some of those guys would get rolling at the end, and it just never happened,” Menard said.
“My spotter kept telling me where they were, and I think the closest guy was like six cars behind us. I’m pretty surprised that it didn’t make further headway.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. thought it was a matter of timing.
“I thought when they said the 22 was lining up on the bottom with about five to go, I knew they weren’t going to have near enough time to get it going and organized to get that momentum,” he said. “At that point, I knew it was going to be just up to us top five, six cars there running the top.
Chase contender Jeff Gordon said he was shocked no one made a move at the end of the race.
“I mean it’s smart for those guys up front to do that because it eliminates a lot of cars out of the running for the win,” Gordon said.
“But I’ve never seen guys have that much patience here in my life. So I was pretty shocked to see them just holding that line like they did.”