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March 13, 2016

Carl Edwards

Chase Elliott

Avondale, Arizona

THE MODERATOR: We're going to hear now from our Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, and that's Chase Elliott. He had a fine showing here this afternoon. Talk about your run out here this afternoon in the NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, how you thought your afternoon went.
CHASE ELLIOTT: I thought it was an improvement all day. First off, my guys have been bringing such fast race cars to the racetrack every week since Daytona, and I haven't been doing a very good job of getting the finishes that they deserve. I'm just happy today that we could finally finish one of these things and get a solid top‑10 finish. I felt like we made gains throughout the day. The guys did a great job on pit road picking up spot there. Alan made good adjustments and gave up a couple spots on that last restart, but I was proud of the effort and hopefully we can take it and try to get a little better in Fontana.

Q. Chase, a lot of drivers start here at Phoenix and they hate it, and then all of a sudden they have a run kind of like you had today and they love it. Do you now love Phoenix International Raceway?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I don't love or hate any racetrack. It's a boring answer, but I don't pick favorites. Got to go to whatever one is next, so it really doesn't matter what I think about it.
THE MODERATOR: Our race runner up, and what a race it was and what a gutsy performance he put on, and that's Carl Edwards. He drives the No.19 Stanley Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Carl, take us through that last restart if you would, please.
CARL EDWARDS: Well, I'm really proud of my guys for giving me a shot to win the race. We were a third‑place car there at the end. Dale and Kevin were both really fast. Caution came out, Dave rolled the dice, and we got a shot at it. We made him work for it. That's more than we've been able to do here the last few times. Just a lot of fun. I really wish it would have worked out a little bit differently, but it's a good race. I ran into him about as hard as I thought I could without wrecking him, and it ended up being a drag race. It was kind of fun coming to the line because I thought, man, I got him, and then he doored me real hard and then he got a little run and then I tried to door him and slow him down, but it just didn't work.

Q. You could have bumped Harvick out of the way, but you just gave him a nudge just so you guys could race back to the start‑finish line. That just a respect thing?
CARL EDWARDS: Those guys, everybody works hard here and if we would've had one more lap, I could have passed him clean, but it just wasn't going to work without bumping him. So I decided to hit him as hard as I did. I really didn't want to wreck him, but I thought I moved him enough to get by, but that's just racing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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