chevy racing–nascar next gen testing 11/16

NASCAR CUP SERIES TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT NOVEMBER 16, 2020

CHIP GANASSI RACING’S, KURT BUSCH, is participating in a two-day Next Gen test held by NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch met with media via teleconference to discuss his thoughts after the first day of the test, what he’s learned from the test so far, and more. Transcript: 
IT WASN’T ALL THAT LONG AGO THAT YOU RACED THIS TRACK. GIVE US A COMPARISON OF HOW THIS DRIVES COMPARED TO WHAT YOU HAD THE LAST TIME YOU RACED HERE?“Today has been a fun, exciting, interesting day. It feels like the first day of school because of how different the car is. With the sequential gearbox, that’s the most fun. I love shifting through the gears. Sequentially, you have to go second, third, fourth, fifth, and then you have to go back fourth, third, second. It’s not your typical H-pattern that we’ve had. So, this gearbox is fun to drive. The brakes are much bigger and the car can stop a lot quicker. And then, we actually have a hybrid horsepower range. Right now, we’re not in the full 750hp, but we’re not the low 550hp.”
“But, overall, the car’s first impression is that it’s fun, it’s exciting and different, and I encourage everybody to dig into it to find its differences and to respect the process that NASCAR is going through to implement all these new, exciting components. A new front bulkhead, a new rear bulkhead, and, overall, the cars driving and its feel. Out on the ROVAL, it feels like I’m qualifying every lap because of how impressive the lap times are and how much grip the car has in certain spots of the race track. Overall, a lot of fun. It’s neat working with all these different people trying to sort out a car that has never been on a road course before.”
YOU’RE A GUY THAT’S DRIVEN SPORTSCARS AND MARTIN TRUEX JR. HAS NEVER DRIVEN A SPORTSCAR. DOES THIS FEEL MORE LIKE A SPORTSCAR COMPARED TO THE BIG, STOCKY STOCK CAR THAT YOU GO AROUND THIS TRACK IN?“It’s a good marriage between the two. (inaudible) With the independent rear suspension, there’s different lingo and talk about anti-dives,(inaudible), and different ways we’re going to adjust these cars instead of your typical track bar or wedge. So, there’s a lot of adjustments and a lot of new terminology. Driver to driver, they’re going to figure it out, and then you have to go to the next level in how you translate that information to your crew and how the crew goes through the new components and finds out what’s the most effective. That’s going to make things different.”
INAUDIBLE“It’s a one-lever, sequential gearbox shift. So, you start out in neutral and then you’ve got to go first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and down fourth, third, second, first. And so, you can’t just go through the H-pattern and go to whatever gear you want – you have to go through them all.”
HOW PROBLEMATIC WOULD THAT BE WITH TRANSMISSIONS FOR GUYS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN FAMILIAR WITH THAT PATTERN?“It won’t be too bad. I think a racer will figure it out. A lot of us drove Legend Cars and that’s a motorcycle, sequential gearbox. That’s the easiest comparison. It might not be the most handsome and powerful comparison, but like an Australian V8 Supercar or a Sand Rail (inaudible).”
HAVE YOU GOTTEN A CHANCE TO DRIVE ANYWHERE CLOSE TO WHERE TRUEX HAS BEEN? HAVE YOU GOTTEN A FEEL OF HOW THIS CAR MIGHT RACE?“We’ve been on different ends of the track. The focus is to go through tires for Goodyear and finding the best combination. There’s a Watkins Glen tire here, there’s a Mid-Ohio tire, and there’s also a Sonoma tire that we need to run. I think we’re just trying to log laps on components for road course stuff and then Wednesday will be the primary focus on getting the cars out there together, seeing how they manipulate the air and if they’re less effected by the air.”
IS THIS CAR, IN DRIVING IT COMPARED TO WHAT YOU NORMALLY DRIVE, DOES IT TURN BETTER? DOES IT STEER BETTER? ARE YOU ACCELERATING QUICKER OR BRAKING LATER?“Yes, everything. It even sounds roadier and deeper. The sound was very cool. I don’t get to hear cars a lot because I’m in the car racing, but to hear Truex go around and to hear the split exhaust – one pipes out the left, one pipes out the right – that’s an old school, Trans Am-style, thundering power feel. But the car accelerates quicker, it stops quicker, it turns quicker, it’s more nimble. All the lap time that’s been gained is through the infield section with the independent rear suspension and the ability to shift quicker. So, really the car, I don’t want to use the word ‘steroids’ – it’s just the car is more effective and the car is more sensitive to changes and to feel, even with a shorter side wall. The car is riding smooth, but you feel everything more vividly.”
SOME OF THE EARLIER TESTS, THE GUYS WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT TWITCHINESS IN THE STEERING. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE WAY THE STEERING FEELS AND WHETHER IT’S TWITCHY, HOW RESPONSIVE IT IS, OR HOW SOFT IT IS?“So, we’re doing good right now. They still have one more change to make things firmer – to have the sensitivity turned down a little bit more. Right now, yes, it’s on the aggressive side for feel, twitchiness and movement. But, we’re at a road course for the first time and I like its movement back and forth, left to right. But, on the oval sections, it’s a little bit on edge and we need to try to perfect that and that’s more of the Wednesday focus. We will run different valving tonight to help with the steering just to see what that change does. But road course stuff, we’re in the box. Oval, we’ll know more on Wednesday.”
I KNOW YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN IN AND OUT MULTIPLE TIMES. DO YOU HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT KIND OF CHANGES THEY’RE MAKING BETWEEN RUNS? ARE THEY THROWING BIG THINGS AT IT OR JUST SMALL PRESSURE CHANGES AND STUFF LIKE THAT?“I would say we’ve done pretty good to have aggressive changes so far. Small changes and different tire compounds have been across the car. My brain is swirling about all the gears that I want to change in the gearbox, but we’re just going to leave it for today. But yeah, the car is reacting well to typical changes and to new things that we’re talking about, as far as anti-dive, anti-squat. The caster changes we haven’t done yet are much different than years’ past with the way the shocks mount to the control arms and the wishbones. So, a bunch of new stuff to learn.”
HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN RUNNING THE SAME RATIOS IN THE BOX ALL DAY?“Yes, same ratios. I don’t know what Truex has in his, but it’s in the ballpark.”
“We’re just trying to get a lot of the big things done on NASCAR’s checklist, instead of trying to fine-tune for speed. We’ll worry about that in 2022.”
WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT DRIVING THE CAR?“So far, everything has a reason for either the twitchiness, the comfort level in the braking zones or even the feel out on the oval. It’s all had a reason for why it did what it did. (inaudible).” 
WAS IT WHAT YOU WERE EXPECTING IT TO FEEL LIKE?“You know, it was like the first day of school, honestly. There’s so much to look at, digest, and feel. Overall, though, I still have yet to even see the laps times, but they told me it’s been an impressive pickup of speed versus the traditional car. So, to me, that says Next Gen all over it – when you’re going faster, turning better, accelerating harder, braking harder and braking faster. Just faster is better, so we’ll keep fine-tuning it.”
ARE YOU PLANNING TO RUN THE SAME CAR WEDNESDAY?“Yes. That car that’s behind me – tomorrow, they’ll switch all the components over for oval track settings and then go out there on Wednesday.” 

Dominic Scelzi Capping 2020 Season Friday at Merced Speedway

Inside Line Promotions – FRESNO, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2020) – Dominic Scelzi will wrap up the 2020 season this Friday at Merced Speedway, which features a 360ci winged sprint car race during its big weekend of hosting midgets.

Scelzi is slated to drive his family owned sprint car in his second career race at the bullring in Merced, Calif.

“My goal is to win,” he said. “I want to have good speed to start the night and be up there at the end of the night. I think we’ll be good.

“I showed up there a few years ago for a World of Outlaws race and didn’t make any laps because of mechanical problems. Earlier this year was really my first time racing there. It reminds me of River Cities Speedway (in Grand Forks, N.D.) with a wall on the backstretch. It’s extremely small and tight. The banking works to your advantage. It’s a track that was really fun earlier in the year and had a big cushion. The top and the bottom were very even.”

Scelzi posted a ninth-place result out of the 50-plus drivers competing with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour on March 6. Friday provides an opportunity to end the year with an exclamation point.

“After coming back from being on the road, I’ve only run one or two races in my family car and we’ve had really good speed,” he said. “I want to knock off a win, especially at a place I haven’t won at before. I feel we have the speed, but there’s going to be some really good guys there. We’ll put our best foot forward and see where it leads us.”

Acura Sweeps IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Titles


Acura Team Penske claims DPi Manufacturers’ and Teams’ crowns with Acura ARX-05 prototype
Meyer Shank Racing takes GTD Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championships with the Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor earn DPi Drivers’ Title
Mario Farnbacher successfully defends GTD Drivers’ Championship with Matt McMurry

SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2020) – Acura was the big winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as the 2020 season came to a close Saturday night at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, winning all six major titles in the headline Daytona Prototype International and production-based GT Daytona classes.

Acura Team Penske
Acura’s second consecutive sweep of the DPi Manufacturers’, Drivers’ and Teams’ championships came with a second-place finish for the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 of Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagneaud.

Meanwhile, following an early race mechanical issue, their teammates in the #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves and endurance driver Alexander Rossi once again displayed incredible determination in battling back from a 12-lap deficit to finish eighth and claim the drivers’ and teams’ titles by a single championship point.

In typical Sebring fashion, the 12-hour endurance contest played out more like a sprint race, with action and suspense throughout the event. After starting from the pole, the #7 Acura with Taylor at the wheel lost turbocharger boost due to a component failure just 40 minutes into the race. After going behind the wall for repairs, Taylor, Castroneves and Rossi resumed racing 12 laps behind the leaders, and raced hard into the night to cut the deficit by more than half. The resulting eighth-place finish crowned season-long drivers Taylor and Castroneves as champions, by a single point over the Wayne Taylor Racing pairing of Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande. The title was the second for Taylor, and the first for Castroneves to cap an incredible, 21-year career with Team Penske.

Taking over at the front of the race as their teammates repairs continued, the #6 ARX-05 began a long battle for the lead with the #10 Wayne Taylor and #31 Action Express Cadillacs, with other competitors waiting in the wings should anyone at the front falter.

That opportunity came as night fell in the closing hours. Contact from Pipo Derani in the #31 sent Montoya spinning in the #6 Acura, dropping Montoya to third and resulting in a “drive through” penalty to Derani for the causing the collision. The pair of Mazda prototypes seized their chance to take control, until a cut tire and unscheduled pit stop for the #77 Mazda of Oliver Jarvis enabled Cameron to seize second place in the final hour, securing the DPi sweep as Acura claimed the Manufacturers’ Championship by a single point over Cadillac.

Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
In the production-based GTD category, Meyer Shank Racing prevailed in a typically rough-and-tumble contest to complete a dominating season in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with the Acura NSX GT3 Evo claiming the crown by an eight-point margin over nine other competing performance car OEM’s, include Porsche, Lexus, BMW, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

In another typically gritty performance, the #86 MSR Acura of defending series champion Mario Farnbacher, Matt McMurry and Shinya Michimi used a third-place class finish to secure the drivers’ and team’s titles for full-season drivers Farnbacher and McMurry. This came despite contact from another competitor – for the fourth time the last five races – that set aside their hopes for a third GTD victory in 2020.

Still their season-long efforts – along with those of the partner trio of Joey Hand, Misha Goikhberg and Trent Hindman in the partner #57 Heinricher Racing with MSR Acura, was more than sufficient to secure the GTD Manufacturers’ Championship by a relatively comfortable eight-point margin to complete the sweep of all six season-long IMSA DPi and GTD titles for Acura.

Next
Today’s race concluded the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Acura will return to defend its prototype and GTD titles in the 2021 season, which opens January 28-31 with the Rolex 24 at the famed Daytona International Speedway.

Acura Motorsports social media content and video links from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring are available on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).   

Quotes
Wayne Gross (Race Team Manager, Honda Performance Development) on today’s season-ending Twelve Hours of Sebring and championship sweep for Acura and HPD: “The Sebring 12 hour is always rough and challenging. This race was certainly no exception, full of drama, battles and excitement. But at the end of an incredible day and night, and an equally incredible IMSA season, Acura and our partner teams once again lived up to our motto of ‘Precision Crafted Performance’. We did what was needed to take home the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ titles in both DPi and GTD, for a successful close to our relationship with Acura Team Penske in DPi, and Meyer Shank Racing in GTD. We are sincerely thankful to everyone at Acura Team Penske, and of course everyone at HPD, for their season-long efforts. Together, we’ve achieved success on so many fronts this year in truly unique, and always challenging, conditions.

“But there’s no time to rest, as the 2021 season will be starting before we know it. We have a lot of work to do as MSR moves to DPi and is joined Wayne Taylor Racing to fly the Acura banner, and we’re already working hard for next year.”

Ricky Taylor (#7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) 2020 IMSA DPi Champion with four wins in nine races: “To me [co-driver Helio Castroneves] is Team Penske. For me, it was the privilege of a lifetime to get to drive for Acura Team Penske and to have the best three years of my career here. To win this championship with this team, and with him [Castroneves] is one of the highlights of my life. We’ll be friends for life.”

Helio Castroneves (#7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) 2020 IMSA DPi Champion with four wins in nine races: “There’s just so much going through my mind right now. For me, being able to win this championship with this amazing organization, this incredible group of people, I’ll never, ever forget this time. I have to thank everyone here, this guy [co-driver Ricky Taylor] and of course Roger Penske. What an incredible journey.”

Mario Farnbacher (#86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) 2020 IMSA GTD Champion with two wins and three podiums, successfully defends 2019 drivers’ title: “This championship means everything. I got into this team in 2018 as a third [endurance race] driver, and I’ve grown so much since then. I was named a full-season driver last year and we became champions with [co-driver] Trent Hindman, Acura, HPD and Meyer Shank Racing. And now, this year, we did it again with these amazing two gentlemen [McMurry and Michimi], Acura and this amazing crew. It hurts a bit that this program ends with Meyer Shank Racing [as MSR moves to the DPi class in 2020 and new teams take over the Acura GTD effort], but for sure a new chapter will open next year. It’s just so great to end this season with, first of all, the championship, and a podium at the end.”

Matt McMurry (#86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) 2020 IMSA GTD Champion with two wins and three podiums; 2019 LMP champion: “There were a lot of ups and downs all throughout the race, but we just did consistent laps the whole time. The team did such an awesome job, they always do. [Co-drivers] Mario [Farnbacher] and Shinya [Michimi] did such an incredible job. We couldn’t have done it without everyone involv

CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Respect to the Bumps

GTLM championship program closes out first year with mid-engine Corvette C8.R
SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2020) – Corvette Racing endured a tough close to its championship-winning season at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, but it ended 2020 with a tremendous level of success in the first year of the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
A pair of suspension issues relegated the two Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.Rs to fifth- and sixth-place finishes in the final race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It didn’t take anything away from the program’s achievement of sweeping the full-season GT Le Mans (GTLM) class championships: Manufacturers title for Chevrolet, Drivers Championship for Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, and Team title for the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
Corvette Racing ended the season with six wins, seven pole positions and six fastest GTLM race laps, including Nicky Catsburg on Saturday in the No. 3 Corvette. 
In addition, the No. 4 Corvette C8.R pairing of Oliver Gavin – who made his final start as a full-season Corvette Racing competitor – and Tommy Milner finished third in the final GTLM Drivers points standings.
Both Corvettes showed good pace early in the 12 Hours before misfortune struck the No. 4 C8.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler. A water leak in the third hour set back Gavin – making his final full-season start with the team – by six laps. Things didn’t improve with a suspension issue just past the halfway mark that sent the No. 4 Corvette back to the garage with damage. But instead of giving up, the No. 4 team worked quickly to replace the damaged components and had the car back on-track with 3:30 to go.
For most of the day, it looked like the No. 3 Corvette of Garcia, Taylor and Catsburg was the car to beat in class. Garcia began from pole position, and the C8.R led seven times. The No. 3 team came back from fifth near the four-hour mark and to the lead within the next hour thanks to some solid laps, a great pitstop and some luck with a full-course yellow with about three hours to go.
Garcia was running second when he experienced a problem at the left-rear of the Corvette in a similar spot as the No. 4 C8.R’s issues. The Corvette Racing crew did its homework, however, and had Garcia back in the race after just 15 minutes following repairs in its garage.
Corvette Racing will open its 2021 season with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTLM: “It’s a shame we couldn’t finish the year on a high, especially at such a big event like Sebring. We were fighting hard until we had our suspension issue. Definitely we were hunting for the win. It happens. It’s a shame both our cars had similar issues. Still, it’s the first year for the C8.R and there is still a learning curve. We will learn from all the races we’ve done – the races we’ve won and for sure the ones where we had some issues. It’s never easy to have a perfect race every weekend, so every event is a chance to learn. We were fighting for the win, which was the main thing. It was a hard race for everyone, but that is Sebring. This makes me want to get back to Daytona even stronger than how we ended.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTLM: “If you look at the event itself, it obviously was a disappointment. But for Antonio and me, coming in crowned champions beforehand, this gave us some freedom to push the car to its limits. We made it through the Rolex 24 with no issues, but Sebring is a different animal. You’re always going to get tested here. It was the first time at the 12 Hours with this C8.R. Obviously, we would have liked to have a little bit more success but we proved the car was competitive. We had the fastest lap of the race and were strong in both day and night. We have a good understanding of where the car is competitive, but these things happen with new cars. To win the championship, win six times and get seven pole positions as a team with a brand new racecar says so much about Corvette Racing and the preparation and development of this C8.R. I’m honored to be a part of it and definitely it’s one of the greatest years I’ll ever have in my career. We made a lot of great memories, and I’m happy to share them all with my teammates.”
NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTLM: “This was a very tough race, as Sebring always is. We definitely had a shot at the win today before our suspension problem. Before that, the C8.R was so fast and it looked like things would go our way. As we saw with a lot of cars today, that doesn’t always happen at this track. But we can take a lot from this weekend and put it toward next season and the second year with the Corvette. I had a lot of fun driving this car and with this team for the first time. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Corvette Racing.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R  – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “The weekend has been emotional, and it was always going to be. That’s one of the reasons I wanted my wife Helen here. I knew I was going to struggle somewhat with it without her being here to support. Yesterday was very nice… Jim Campbell, Gary Pratt, Doug Fehan and Ben Johnson said some very nice words with all the team – j st to spend a moment with them and thank them for what’s been an amazing 19 years was special. There has been so much success, so much positivity, great feelings and friendships. I felt very honored that I could share that moment with them. I tried to say some words, and I was quite emotional and only got some of them out! But I think I got the message across – that I’m deeply appreciative of everything that everyone has done at Corvette Racing and Team Chevy collectively. It has been an unbelievable 19 years. I was very grateful to be able to thank the people that have done the most for me over these 19 years. It was really fantastic.”ON THE RACE: “The race today showed a lot of promise. Almost right from the start, we weren’t quite there with the car. The guys worked to figure some stuff out, and we got better. It looked like we were in the hunt and had pace. When we lost all the water out of the radiator, it was a pretty big setback. We did what we could to get some laps back and then had the left-rear suspension problem. It was one of the moments that you don’t expect but you realize it’s going to happen at some point as a racing driver. But once again, Corvette Racing did a great job to get the car back together, everything going and us back out on the track as fast as they possibly could. It’s a testament to how they’re trained and how they work. It’s great to see. It gives me an immense amount of pride to watch them operate. Both crews had their moments of adversity, but not once did anyone complain or kick back; they all just dove straight in to get the cars back out. That’s what Corvette Racing is about. It’s what has won us a lot of races and championships, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “It’s not the race result we wanted to end the season, for sure, but I’m happy Olly and I got third in the championship. We hoped to be able to challenge for the win. If things had progressed like we expected, we would have been able to. But that’s what happens at Sebring and why it’s so tough. It was great to let Olly have some fun in his last two stints. I’m proud of what we have accomplished as teammates, and I’ve been lucky to drive with him for such a long time. He’s been a big part of my career and we’ll miss having him around. Like anything with a new car, we have learned a lot as time has gone on. I’m proud of what Corvette Racing has been able to achieve this year. We’ve been really fast with this new C8.R, and I’m excited for the future with this Corvette.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “That was a tough one to swallow. We had issues quite early with the water leak that put us five laps down. It was difficult to get those laps back. We tried a lot, and the team was never giving up. The suspension problem really put us out of the game. It was hard for me to do this race with Corvette. It was a great opportunity to drive here with Corvette Racing. It’s like a family to me, and I really enjoyed being with the team.”

Chevrolet Captures GT Le Mans Manufacturers ChampionshipComes on the heels of Corvette Racing taking the GTLM Drivers, Team titles

SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2020) – Chevrolet claimed the GT Le Mans Manufacturers title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship today after the Corvette C8.R started the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. This is Chevrolet’s 13th Manufacturers title in IMSA GT competition since 2001 and concludes the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R’s inaugural season. Corvette Racing fielded two of the new Corvette C8.Rs in the 2020 WeatherTech Championship. Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and the No. 3 Corvette Racing team clinched the GTLM Drivers and Team championships two weeks ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “The first season for the Corvette C8.R has shattered all of our expectations,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “The success of the Corvette Racing team wouldn’t be possible without the close link between the crew and the Corvette engineering team. It has been great to watch these two teams work closely together to learn from each other. I can’t wait to see what next season brings.” The mid-engine C8.R and 2020 Corvette Stingray were developed simultaneously, and the race car and production vehicle share more technology and parts than any previous-generation Corvette. When initial Corvette C8.R design and development work began more than five years ago, Corvette Racing engineers worked closely alongside Corvette production personnel. Within the last 18 months, track testing began with a heavy emphasis on wind tunnel and simulation testing.
Chevrolet swept the three full-season GTLM titles for the third time in five years. This is only the second time that a first-year Corvette race car has won an IMSA championship. In 2005, Corvette C6.R won American Le Mans Series championship during its first season. Corvette Racing captured six victories leading into Sebring. Garcia and Taylor gave the Corvette C8.R its first victory at Daytona International Speedway in July, Corvette Racing’s 100th IMSA win. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won the next race in the No. 4 Corvette C8.R with Garcia and Taylor in second – the first 1-2 finish for the C8.R. In addition, the Corvette C8.R has claimed seven pole positions and posted fastest GTLM race lap at five events.

Andoni Mugarza–2020 Basque Hill Climb Championship

I wanted to share my joy with you and all ARP team, because we have won the title for another year. We have been proclaimed champions  of the 2020 Basque Hill Climb Championship in our group.
Despite the pandemic, the Motor Sport Federation organized a mini-championship with three meetings in different locations. In each of them we will dispute the training sessions and two races, obtaining 6 different scores for the final classification.
In the first race in August we had a technical problem with a fuel injector and this did not allow us to get the maximum of our vehicle. We had problems all the weekend and this made us work and fight only for second place.We knew the potential of our team and we weren’t worried about the result because we knew that when the problem was solved the car would be really competitive.
This is what happened in the second round, in which we dominated the entire weekend from the practice round. We knew that the injection problem was solved and the car was the same as always. For me I ran on my favorite mountain road ( maximum speed corners mountain road). In both races we won our category and also we classified ahead of other superior vehicles like BMW M3..
A hard job for all the team the week before the race gave us a perfect set-up for that track allowing us to get a new record, breaking the chrono of other competitors with more powerfull cars.
We were class leaders in the absence of the last and decisive race. We were very hopeful and eager to end the season with another win so we worked hard in the week before to prepare the car with the best set-up for Urraki mountain race.We started dominating the practice but in the absence of a few riders to finish, a tragic news from security marshals broke our hearts. One of the competitor and a partner lost his life in the middle of the course due to the serious accident. A front collision with a wall near the mountain road seriously damaged his vehicle, causing the pilot to die instantly from the deceleration
Immediately the federation and organization canceled the tragic race, so the classifications do not receive any change proclaiming us category champions of this 2020 yea
We are very sad by the loss of our friend but at the same time we are very hopeful about the next season. I think we have the potential to achieve good results and in part that is due to the support I receive from all of you with. Your performance materials gives me security and tranquility to be able to demand the maximum from my engine building and fight in each race for the top positions.
I am very proud to be able to belong to a brand like ARP and I hope to continue contributing to that in future seasons. For it we will not stop working hard despite the fact that sometimes our eyes fill with tear.

RAD DAN update–EVENT RECAP: Round 5 & 6

 


SAME track, NEW layout for Team RAD in Texas this year. After a reschedule and a lot of persitency on Formula Drift’s behalf, we were grateful to bring Round 5 & 6 to Texas Motor Speedway! It was a tough round for all the teams to get familiar with the layout. Team RAD continues to learn more and more about the car from track to track. We are looking forward to turning it up in our final rounds at Irwindale Speedway NEXT WEEK!
 

Acura on Pole for Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring


Ricky Taylor claims pole in qualifying for the season-ending IMSA endurance contest
Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evos seeks GTD championship repeat
Stage set for Saturday championship showdowns in DPi and GTD

SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2020) – Ricky Taylor claimed the second WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole of 2020 Friday at Sebring International Raceway as Acura and Team Penske seek second consecutive IMSA titles; while Shinya Michimi qualified his Acura NSX GT3 Evo in eighth as Meyer Shank Racing seeks to repeat as GTD champions. Both championships will be decided in Saturday’s season-ending 12-hour endurance race.

Acura Team Penske
Taylor took his #7 ARX-05 to the pole, his second of 2020 and the seventh for Acura Team Penske, edging primary championship rival Renger van der Zande’s Cadillac in a hard-fought 15-minute session.

Taylor and full-season teammate Helio Castroneves come to Sebring with a two-point lead in the DPi Drivers’ Championship over the Wayne Taylor Racing duo of van der Zande and teammate Ryan Briscoe. Acura trails Cadillac by just a single point in the Manufacturers’ Championship contest, so the higher-finishing marque will win the title.

Taylor and Castroneves will share the driving duties in the #7 Acura ARX-05 with former Indianpolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi tomorrow; while teammate Dane Cameron qualified third in the #6 Acura he will share with Juan Pablo Montoya and another former Indy winner, Simon Pagenaud.

Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3
The GTD class championship-leading #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT-3 Evo qualified eighth with Shinya Michimi at the wheel. MSR is seeking their second consecutive championship with full-season driver Mario Farnbacher and their first with Matt McMurry.

Currently, the pair holds a seven-point advantage in the GTD Drivers’ title chase, while Acura holds a two-point advantage over Lexus and three points over Porsche in the Manufacturers’ Championship battle.

The #57 Heinricher Racing with MSR Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 Evo will roll off 12th on the grid with Misha Goikhberg, 2019 GTD champion Trent Hindman and 2012 Sebring winner Joey Hand – filling in for regular driver Alvaro Parente this weekend.

Where to Watch
Television coverage from Sebring begins at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. ET Saturday on the NBC Sports Network. Network coverage on NBC takes over from 3-6 p.m. ET and coverage concludes on the NBC Sports Network from 6-10:30 p.m. ET. Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSN Gold with NBCSN Trackpass authentication.

Quote
Ricky Taylor (#7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) pole qualifier, Taylor’s second pole of 2020, seventh for Acura Team Penske, championship points leader heading into tomorrow’s final race of the season: “It’s such an amazing way to end the championship. If you’re a fan, you want it to come down to the last race. Basically, whoever wins the race wins the championship. I don’t think you could’ve scripted it any better. To be racing [for the championship] against the #10 car [Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, a team owned by his father], is really weird, but also fun. I wouldn’t rather be racing against anyone else.”

CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Pole, Track Record for Garcia

Corvette C8.Rs on first, second row in GTLM ahead of 2020 IMSA finale
SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2020) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia claimed his second pole position of the season Friday ahead of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, adding yet another exclamation point to a championship season for the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
Garcia set a GT Le Mans (GTLM) track record in time trials for Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale – 1:55.456 (116.615 mph) in the mid-engine Corvette that he shares will GTLM Drivers co-champion Jordan Taylor as well as Nicky Catsburg.
Tommy Milner qualified the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette fourth in class at 1:56.446 (115.624 mph) and just 0.3 seconds from the front row. He and Oliver Gavin will look to secure second place in GTLM Drivers points Saturday alongside Marcel Fässler.
Garcia’s effort was the seventh pole position for Corvette Racing this season and sixth for the No. 3 C8.R. Garcia also claimed pole position for the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and Taylor captured poles at Sebring in July, Mid-Ohio, Charlotte and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Gavin, who will make his final full-season appearance for Corvette Racing, was the GTLM pole-winner at Daytona in July.
There are three goals ahead for Corvette Racing heading into Saturday. The first is claiming the GTLM Manufacturers Championship for Chevrolet, which will happen as long as one of the two Corvettes starts the race.
Next up is clinching second place in the GTLM Drivers and Team championships for the No. 4 Corvette. Then there is the matter of winning the race, which would mark Corvette Racing’s 12th win in the 12 Hours since 2002.
The event has witnessed the team take 11 class victories since 2002, and five of the six drivers have previously won there. Gavin leads with six GT-class victories, Garcia has three and Milner two. Taylor was part of one overall winning effort in the 12 Hours while Fässler has a GTLM win to his credit in a factory Corvette.
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is set for 10:10 a.m. ET on Saturday. NBCSN will air the race live from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and 6-10:30 p.m. ET; live network coverage on NBC is 3-6 p.m. TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold will offer live streaming of the full race starting at 10:05 a.m. ET. In addition, IMSA Radio will broadcast the race on IMSA.com, which also will host live timing and scoring. The race also will air on XM channel 202 and SiriusXM Online 972.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM POLE-WINNER: “It was a perfect lap. From yesterday, we flipped around the car a little bit. With not as much track time as in years past, qualifying is almost like practice for us, too. We gambled on something different and it seems to be working. I’m happy with that. The Corvette Racing guys did a fantastic job. It’s been an amazing season. This year I had my first pole at Petit Le Mans and today is my first pole at Sebring. I’m very, very happy for that, too. That defines how 2020 has been for us. Let’s hope we can carry on that way. The C8.R seems to be really good although I’m expecting a lot of close fights with BMW and Porsche. We are starting in the best place, so let’s see what tomorrow brings. It’s not a two-hour, 40-minute one like in July. Tomorrow will the classic race where we finish at night. We’ll see what the new Sebring date brings us.”
WHERE WERE THE GAINS FROM PRACTICE? “It was all around the racetrack. Jordan had a very similar lap here in July, so yesterday I could compare our laps to that one, even though it was almost three seconds faster than what we did yesterday. It gave me a target to know what the car was capable of. We made a big swing on the setup today, but I knew it was possible and that the C8.R could do a 1:55 around here. On the lap, the car felt fast everywhere. This is the fastest I’ve ever been around here. It was cool with zero mistakes and I just nailed it.”
DOES CLINCHING THE GTLM TITLE TAKE PRESSURE OFF FOR THIS WEEKEND? “I’ve always enjoyed this race. Since we found out about the date change, I knew that finishing at Sebring would have been very tough. Fighting for a championship at such a hard event would have been difficult. I’m glad we got it out of the way, and I hope next year we are back to a normal schedule where no one thinks about championships at Sebring! Daytona and Sebring at the beginning of the season, those are big enough races on their own. To put the championship on the line would be super stressful. For sure we will enjoy this weekend. But the rest of the cars in our class are very relaxed too. They’ll go all out to win this race. I can foresee this being an aggressive race but another classic Sebring.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – QUALIFIED FOURTH IN GTLM: “Qualifying was OK. We tried to stay the path a little bit from some of the progress we made yesterday. We just kind of missed it a little bit with the setup. The 3 car guys went in a little different direction, and on the surface it seems to be a pretty change based on Antonio’s qualifying effort. There is more data for all the engineers to look at it today and figure out what the best combination is. There’s plenty of time to do that before tomorrow. I’m excited to get to the race. Fourth and the second isn’t a bad starting spot. For us, we want to get close to the end with the car in one piece and then go racing from there. We’ve had lessons from the July race and from yesterday in practice. I think we will be in good shape.”

CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Antonio Garcia Pole Quote

SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2020) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia claimed his second pole position of the season Friday ahead of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, adding yet another exclamation point to a championship season for the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
Garcia set a GT Le Mans (GTLM) track record in time trials for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale – 1:55.456 (116.615 mph) in the mid-engine Corvette that he shares will GTLM Drivers co-champion Jordan Taylor as well as Nicky Catsburg.
Tommy Milner qualified the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette fourth in class at 1:56.446 (115.624 mph) and just 0.3 seconds from the front row. 
Garcia’s effort was the seventh pole position for Corvette Racing this season and sixth for the No. 3 C8.R. Garcia also claimed pole position for the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and Taylor captured poles at Sebring in July, Mid-Ohio, Charlotte and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM POLE-WINNER: “It was a perfect lap. From yesterday, we flipped around the car a little bit. With not as much track time as in years past, qualifying is almost like practice for us, too. We gambled on something different and it seems to be working. I’m happy with that. The Corvette Racing guys did a fantastic job. It’s been an amazing season. This year I had my first pole at Petit Le Mans and today is my first pole at Sebring. I’m very, very happy for that, too. That defines how 2020 has been for us. Let’s hope we can carry on that way. The C8.R seems to be really good although I’m expecting a lot of close fights with BMW and Porsche. We are starting in the best place, so let’s see what tomorrow brings. It’s not a two-hour, 40-minute one like in July. Tomorrow will the classic race where we finish at night. We’ll see what the new Sebring date brings us.”
WHERE WERE THE GAINS FROM PRACTICE? “It was all around the racetrack. Jordan had a very similar lap here in July, so yesterday I could compare our laps to that one, even though it was almost three seconds faster than what we did yesterday. It gave me a target to know what the car was capable of. We made a big swing on the setup today, but I knew it was possible and that the C8.R could do a 1:55 around here. On the lap, the car felt fast everywhere. This is the fastest I’ve ever been around here. It was cool with zero mistakes and I just nailed it.”
DOES CLINCHING THE GTLM TITLE TAKE PRESSURE OFF FOR THIS WEEKEND? “I’ve always enjoyed this race. Since we found out about the date change, I knew that finishing at Sebring would have been very tough. Fighting for a championship at such a hard event would have been difficult. I’m glad we got it out of the way, and I hope next year we are back to a normal schedule where no one thinks about championships at Sebring! Daytona and Sebring at the beginning of the season, those are big enough races on their own. To put the championship on the line would be super stressful. For sure we will enjoy this weekend. But the rest of the cars in our class are very relaxed too. They’ll go all out to win this race. I can foresee this being an aggressive race but another classic Sebring.”

CORVETTE RACING IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Saluting Oliver Gavin

DETROIT (Nov. 12, 2020) – Track action for Corvette Racing at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring begins today, as does the final event weekend for Oliver Gavin as a full-time driver in the program. The Corvette Racing veteran will step away from full-time competition after a 19-year run that has seen him set nearly every record of success in team history.
Gavin and his full-season Corvette Racing teammates – Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner – give their thoughts on a record-setting career that started, of all places, at Sebring International Raceway in a preseason test ahead of the 2002 season…
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “It’s almost like things are coming full circle. The first place I ever drove a Corvette was at Sebring in November of 2001. That test day is one I’ll always remember. Driving the C5-R out of the pitlane… the noise, the vibration, the rumble and just the physicality of driving that car was extraordinary. The torque from the motor and the delivery was like being in a force of nature in the way that it ripped around the track. Now all of these years on and being in this mid-engine C8.R – with all the downforce, the refinement and all-around feel of a well-refined racecar… it’s a joy to drive it around Sebring. We’ve worked for so many years with partners like Michelin and Mobil 1 that all refined their product and equipment to such a high level now. You know you’re going to get a great product straight out the gate and on the first lap. It’s been an amazing journey. Things will be emotional, for sure. Being with the same team for 19 years, you’d have to have a heart of stone to not feel somewhat emotional about it. But I want to go about and do my job right and well, and finish up with a strong result to get second place in the championship tied up for Tommy and I. Plus it would help to finish off my driving relationship with Tommy on a high note. It would be amazing to stand on that top step one more time.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GAVIN’S TEAMMATE SINCE 2012: “Olly has been the single biggest influence on my time at Corvette Racing. We’ve had nine years as teammates and nine years of really good racing – the best races of my career and the best memories. He’s been an integral part of what you see on the results sheets of the successes I’ve had. His contributions to the team are long and storied. I got my first ALMS win in 2012 in our first season together. I’ll never forget standing there at Long Beach in pitlane, watching the screens and not believing what I was seeing. I had been racing in the series since 2006, and to finally get that first win was completely on him. I brought the car back to the pits in one piece and he did the rest. Having him as a teammate with how fast he is and how experienced he is… to be able to lean on someone like that in a growing year for me was huge. When you look at results and stat sheets, his contributions to Corvette Racing are obvious. On top of that, everything behind the scenes as a teammate is as good if not better than what you see on the track. And he’s maintained that same style and passion to find every tenth of a second that he can and motivating all the guys on the team to get as much out of themselves as they can. There is no doubting his will to win and passion for success.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Oliver has been a big influence on me in my career. When I was driving for another manufacturer, Olly and Jan (Magnussen) were the only Europeans at Corvette Racing. Those were the two I really paid attention to. When we started competing against Corvette, I knew Olly was one of their strongest guys. As soon as I saw the opportunity to join Corvette, he was one of my references. I learned from him but also had to fight with him, which at the beginning was a struggle. I was very inexperienced compared to where I am now, and he was amazingly fast. It took a long time for me to match his pace, but slowly and slowly I took the lessons I learned from him; I think in past years we’ve started to learn from each other. Being able to compete together for so long as teammates gives you that opportunity. I feel like we both brought the entire team up.“One of the things that Olly has – similar to me – is that he is super competitive. That’s why he has been and continues to be so solid now. He’s very professional in the way he prepares for each race. One of the important things I’ve gotten from Olly is the amount of preparation he puts into each season and every event. That’s been a huge reference for me – to see someone who can go that fast but is still a little older than me. It’s a great target. If I can get as far he has with the team, I will be more than pleased.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Oliver has been a staple of Corvette Racing. As a fan growing up and watching the team, he was there and always was the one to root for – the top dog and winning a lot of races. So I was a fan to begin with and then moved into competing against him in GRAND-AM when we were both racing Camaros. I remember my first race against him at VIR. I was terrified that I was in similar equipment and on the track at the same time, just knowing that I have this legend I’m racing against and how could I ever compete against him. Since then, he’s been a good friend and teammate even when we weren’t in the same car. He always treated me so well and offered a helping hand when I needed it or gave advice if I had questions when I went into the third-driver role at Corvette Racing. That was huge for me as a young guy – to come into such an intimidating team and organization to have someone at that level to be mentor. He’s been a huge help. They say to never meet your heroes, but to meet him and work with him is everything I could hope for. It’s been great to spend more time with him, getting to know him better as a person, a dad, a friend and an athlete has been a lot of fun. We’ll all miss him inside the team, but I’m sure we’ll stay connected and work with each other down the road.”
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is set for 10:10 a.m. ET on Saturday. NBCSN will air the race live from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and 6-10:30 p.m. ET; live network coverage on NBC is 3-6 p.m. TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold will offer live streaming of the full race starting at 10:05 a.m. ET. In addition, IMSA Radio will broadcast the race on IMSA.com, which also will host live timing and scoring. The race also will air on XM channel 202 and SiriusXM Online 972.

CINDRIC SEALS THE DEAL IN THE DESERT WINNING HIS FIRST NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP


 
 AVONDALE, AZ – November 9, 2020 – Austin Cindric, in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang, made history by winning the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 race to seal the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Drivers’ and Owners’ Championship titles at Phoenix Raceway.
“Congratulations to Austin, Brian, Roger, and the entire Team Penske organization for winning the drivers’ and owners’ Xfinity championships,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “This win marks Austin’s sixth win of the year in addition to his Xfinity Regular Season Championship clinched earlier this year while Chase Briscoe also won nine races during the 2020 season for a total of 15 Xfinity wins. Thanks, and congratulations to everyone at Ford Performance for their dedication, passion and leadership for our NASCAR racing programs and winning the NASCAR Cup Manufacturers’ Championship that included 18 wins for the season.”
During the final laps of the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 with Cindric leading, his crew chief and spotter reminded him to hit his marks and let him know he was clear in back, but then a late race caution came out. Crew chief Brian Wilson then made the call for Cindric to give up the lead and come in for four fresh tires.
Cindric would find himself lined up on the outside of the second row behind the leader, Justin Allgaier, going into overtime. The four fresh tires and the determination of the No. 22 driver proved to be the game changer. Cindric was able to drive his No. 22 Ford Mustang hard into the first corner and muscled his way through the middle of Allgaier and Noah Gragson. Cindric was able to pass both Allgaier and Gragson for the race win and clinch the championship. This marked Ford’s 100th Mustang Xfinity win and the 50th NXS win for Ford, Team Penske and Roush Yates Engines.
“Amazing effort by this 22 team,” remarked Cindric. “Brian Wilson and all the guys. Everyone back at the shop. There was a lot of work put into this race car. Roger Penske. Everyone from Penske Racing. It’s awesome to get them a championship in NASCAR, to be a champion in NASCAR, and do it in front of all these great people cheering us on at championship weekend. Ford Performance, Doug Yates, everybody at Roush Yates Engines. I’m speechless. I can’t believe it. I’m pretty humbled by the effort for sure.”
Cindric led 72-laps out of the extended 206 lap race while Stewart-Haas Racing’s, Chase Briscoe also drove a great race, winning Stage 1 and leading 41 laps to finish the race P9 and fourth in the championship. These two Ford teammates drove for a combined 15 wins out of the 33 races in 2020, which was the most for any manufacturer.
Team-Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski battled throughout the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race Sunday, leading a combined 141 laps out of the 312-lap race and winning Stage 1 and Stage 2 respectively. Keselowski would finish the race in P2 and Logano in P3.
There was a total of five Ford Mustangs that finished in the top-10, fellow Team-Penske teammate, Ryan Blaney finished P6 while NASCAR Cup Regular Season Champion, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick finished P7 and Wood Brothers Racing, Matt DiBenedetto finished P8.
This coming weekend we will wrap up the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series season with Seb Priaulx / Marco Signoretti piloting the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 and James Pesek / Chad McCumbee piloting the No. 40 PF Racing Mustang in the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 at Sebring International Raceway.
30 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 412 WINS – 371 POLES!
 

CHASE ELLIOTT WINS FIRST CAREER NASCAR CUP SERIES

CHASE ELLIOTT WINS FIRST CAREER NASCAR CUP SERIES TITLEClinches with Victory in Season-Finale’ at Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 8, 2020) – Chase Elliott outpaced three of the final Championship Four contenders to be the one to capture both the Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway, and the coveted 2020 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) championship. Behind the wheel of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE fielded by Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott scored his fifth NCS win of the season, the 11th of his career, and first title in NASCAR’s premier racing series.
“Oh, it’s unbelievable”, said Elliott at race-end. “All you can dream for is an opportunity, and I’ve been very fortunate to have that over the years. You know, and that’s all thanks to some great people. My parents obviously have played a huge role. So many people to thank. Mr. Hendrick, for taking a chance on me and believing in me when a lot of people didn’t. I think it really says a lot about him. And then to have a championship sponsor like NAPA, all of our partners, and Chevrolet, huge thanks to Team Hendrick and everybody at our shop that peaked at the right time. That’s all we can ask for.”
With this accomplishment, Elliott adds to his family’s legacy by joining his NASCAR Hall of Fame father, Bill Elliott, to become just the third father-son combo to win a championship in the highest form of stock car racing. They join the Petty family, Lee and Richard, and the Jarrett family, Ned and Dale.
Elliott’s feat also extends the Hendrick Motorsports series-leading championships to 13 of the last 26 (1995-2020). The organization now has 16 NASCAR national series owner championships, the all-time record in NASCAR. It also has 263 victories overall and leads all other teams with 11 victories at Phoenix Raceway.
The win delivered Chevrolet’s 32nd NCS Drivers Championship, more than any other manufacturer. It marked the ninth victory for the Camaro ZL1 1LE in the 2020 season, and 20th since becoming the flagship vehicle in 2018. It is the 24th win for Team Chevy at Phoenix Raceway and 795th in NASCAR’s premier division.
“Congratulations to Chase Elliott, Alan Gustafson, and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE team on winning the NASCAR Cup Series Championship,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports. “Chase did an amazing job of driving through the field to get to the lead. He has consistently put himself in a position to race up front and his never give up approach made a difference once again. We are proud that Chase is the 32nd Chevrolet Driver’s Champion in the Cup Series.”
Elliott joins Jimmie Johnson (7 titles), Jeff Gordon (4 titles), and Terry Labonte (1 title) as the fourth Hendrick Motorsports driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
“Also, congratulations to Rick Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports on earning their 13th NASCAR Cup Series title,” added Campbell. “We are proud to race with Rick and Hendrick Motorsports for over 37 years.”  The NASCAR Cup Series returns to competition with the Daytona 500 season-opener at Daytona International speedway on February 14, 2021. # # #
CHASE ELLIOTT, ALAN GUSTAFSON, AND RICK HENDRICK POST RACE WIN PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS:
CHASE ELLIOTT, Driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE:THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion, and that is Chase Elliott. A quick stat: Last time most popular driver won the championship was 1988, and that was your father, Bill Elliott. So that’s kind of a cool stat to tie this all together. We will kick it off with some questions.            Q. Chase, I’m curious, throughout your racing career when you’ve looked at the champions in other series or even looked up to them, I’m curious, what did you see in things that stood out to you about what a champion was? I know you’ve already won an Xfinity championship, but what do you hope people see out of you now being a Cup champion?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, that’s a great question. I look at the guys who have achieved this honor as guys who perform in the toughest of situations. I felt like that’s been an area that we haven’t done a great job of over my first five years, really up until last week. We had a tough situation, a perform‑or‑go‑home type night there at Martinsville and was able to step up and really get the job done. I thought that was the piece of the puzzle that we haven’t had. I really felt like we had everything else that we needed, and I really believed that.           Last week was a big week. I think it was a great practice session and a situation that really helped guide us through today in preparation and execution.            Q. What do you feel like changed the last two weeks? Why did you suddenly become this guy that can handle it in the pressure situations?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Heck, I don’t know. You know, I feel like we just put a lot of emphasis on the things that matter and really just didn’t care about anything else.           There’s just so much distraction in the world. Everybody is tied to their phones and you can get ahold of anybody at any time. There’s just so many things from the outside that can reach someone.           That’s one thing that I felt like our whole team just did a better job of was just boiling it down to the things that matter. Ultimately it’s how good of a job did we do building that car, how prepared am I coming into a race weekend and how, do we execute it.           I feel like those three things we put more emphasis on than we ever have. I feel like I was mentally locked in better than I’ve ever been. And yeah, I think the results showed.            Q. What’s it feel like for you personally to come through with, as I described to both Mr. H and Alan, talking about the same thing, to hit two walk‑off homers in a row? You hit a walk‑off homer to win the Division Championship and you just hit a walk‑off homer to win the World Series. What’s it feel like to have that kind of emotional high and come through as you were talking about before under these kind of circumstances?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, just crazy. I mean, heck, how could you? I’m not sure I could have sat down and drawn it up any better, you know? So for me, it’s unbelievable. It’s something that I’m not sure ‑‑ well, I know I haven’t let it sink in yet. I’m waiting on it to hit me and I’m going to break down here and look like a fool in a minute. I know it’s coming, so I really hope I get done with all this media before it happens.           Just so grateful for the opportunities and the things I’ve had over the years, great people. My mom and dad and their support obviously has been from the beginning. Mr. Hendrick came in and really changed my life when he wanted to help. Not to sound like a NASCAR driver, but NAPA Auto Parts, too, coming in when they did. 2014 wouldn’t have happened without them and the championship that came that season. And man, they’ve been a champion partner for years. Now they have a championship to go with it.           Very grateful for a lot of great people, more people than I named that have got me here today.            Q. Can you explain what the emotion is, how high this emotion is? Last week you were in the car screaming. Was this a different kind of emotional scream or situation today?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Similar. Just bigger. You know, heck, this is as big as it gets. I mean, my goodness. I mean, a champion in the Cup Series? Are you kidding me? It’s nuts. It’s absolutely nuts.            Q. That moment when Jimmie drove up to your car afterwards, he said he couldn’t quite remember what he said to you during that time. I’m wondering if you remember and what sort of that moment symbolized for you.            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, we were just screaming, or I was screaming. I don’t know what he said, but I know we high fived each other, and that was really cool.           Yeah, in that moment actually there was a photo that had sat around my parents’ office for years. I think it was 2001, if I’m not mistaken, ’01 or ’02, dad won the race at Homestead and Matt Kenseth won the championship. And y’all can fact check me on that, but I think it was ’01, whenever Matt won his championship. 03?           Okay, so dad won the race and Matt won the championship. There was a photo that sat around of them high‑fiving in their cars as they were driving by.           I saw Jimmie kind of taking his victory lap up there and that picture flashed in my head. And I was like, damn, that would be super, super cool to recreate that moment. Yeah, we did. I really hope somebody took that picture because that was really cool. I hope somebody got it.           That was really what sparked that and what made me want to go do it.            Q. Jimmie had mentioned he spoke with you and Alan pre‑race about when he won the race and championship in 2016, his final championship, obviously. You did the same today, carrying the neon yellow No. 9 in his honor. What did it mean for you to achieve that feat in your first attempt? Was that kind of a passing of the torch in a way?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, I guess we should just change our colors to neon all the time. Kind of what I’m thinking. Today I feel like symbolized a lot of great things, and I feel like there’s a lot of things from today I’ll look back on in a week or a month or a year, and I’ll be like, dang, that was really cool. That being one of them for sure.           Jimmie and I have shared some really cool moments on track, and they’ve been in really big moments of my career. The moment we shared after Watkins Glen, the road to that first win. And then for the greatest of all time to be kind of hanging it up today and to win a championship on that day, I mean, that’s just a really cool thing.           As a fan of his, number one, and as a person that’s looked up to Jimmie in many ways over the years, I’m not sure I could have dreamt that any better.            Q. With all the craziness this year has brought, what was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome on your path to the championship?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, I think for us it’s kind of been getting over the hump in those big moments, something that we’ve done an okay job of at times but not something we’ve been able to do with authority.           I really thought performing like we did last week at Martinsville was a really big deal. And then performing like we did today I thought was a really big deal. Finding that groove and finding that comfort in those big moments I think is huge.           That’s something that we can take this and grow from further. I’m really excited about that, and I’m really proud of my team for stepping up in big situations and getting it done.            Q. How did you get the news about the penalty, and what was your first thought?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, Morgan told me. She’s a part of our team. And she kind of let me know that we had failed twice. My first thought was like, Oh, we’re going to lose our pit pick, too. That was the first thing in my head. I’m like, Oh, dang, we’re going to lose that first pit box.           I really don’t think ‑‑ starting position is great and all, whatever, I feel like from that standpoint, but that pit pick is huge. That starting position stays with you. It could potentially be done when you leave Turn 2, but that pit pick stays with you until the race is over.           The first thing that really kind of stuck in my head was, Dang, are we going to lose that, too? And once I realized we didn’t, I’m like, Okay, if we have our car good and our balance is right, who cares if you start at the back for the race? 312 laps, you know. That’s no excuse to not get the job done if your car is good.           Yeah, just took it for what it was and enjoyed that we still had that first pit box and got going.            Q. (No microphone.)            CHASE ELLIOTT: I mean, I don’t know that that’s really for me to say who is or isn’t the face of something. But from where I sit, it’s the performance industry, right? It’s entertainment from the outside looking in, but what makes my living is performing or not.           I think me performing at a high level is going to take me a lot further in life than being the face of something. My focus is on doing my job, and that’s to drive a car to its full potential every week as long as I’m hired to do so.            Q. When you look back on this season, what would you say are some of the biggest lessons you have learned as a race car driver?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Man, y’all got some tough ones today.           Heck, I don’t know. You know, I know I kind of keep coming back to last week, but I just think about last week and the things that that kind of brought and the emotions that came with that.           I guess a big lesson I’ve learned over the past couple weeks is if you believe you can do something and you put the preparation and you put your head in the right place, you can go and accomplish great things.           I felt like I was in a better mental state over the last couple months than I’ve been in in the past. I felt like I was locked in. That’s great, right? Like being locked in doesn’t just guarantee you to do good, and I understand that.           I feel like everybody is locked in when you get to this point, but those things certainly helped, and I think that helped me to get to another level. I look forward to building on that and trying to improve.            Q. 60 years from now when you’re sitting on the rocking chair and you think back on this championship run, what are you going to remember the most?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Just exactly that. Like when I’m dead and gone and my dad is dead and gone, he and I will share a championship with the last name Elliott forever. I don’t think it gets any cooler than that, in my opinion.            Q. That photo is on Twitter. I’ll make sure you can get the actual real copy of it.            CHASE ELLIOTT: Thank you. I’m excited about those.            Q. Do you think this day, this race, not the championship per se, but with everything that’s gone on this season, was there kind of a sigh of relief when you came in here today and you knew this was the finale, win, lose or draw, that this was 2020 for you?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, that’s what it is. I think last week was that for us, too. I put a lot of emphasis on that and I talked about it a lot, and I challenged myself to realize that, too. It wasn’t the Championship 4, no, but it was a perform or end your season, yes. That’s the same thing as it is today.           This is such a unique format. I did think about today when I woke up this morning, I was just thinking about my kind of career and the things I’ve gone through in racing, and it’s just such a unique way for racing to be. There is no other ‑‑ like there was nothing through my racing career that took 16, then to 12 and then to 8 and then to 4. It was just super interesting.           I just thought about it. And I was like, Dang, it’s such a unique thing, and it’s such a new perspective on racing that we have not had. Being a competitor, all my years of doing this, short tracks and things of that nature, there’s just nothing that really felt like that. There were big races, but heck, the Daytona 500 is a big race.           So it’s just such a different feel, as you kind of dwindle it down. It makes you kind of understand, I guess, what other sporting figures and athletes feel like because that is more similar, I guess, to their situation.           It’s different. In some situations, some people might not like it, and I understand why, but from a competitor’s standpoint, dang, it is different. There’s not a lot that really prepares you for it until you get to NASCAR.            Q. I’m just wondering, being a champion, a NASCAR series champion, that’ll change perceptions, obviously, outside your world of who you are. Does it change your perception of yourself as a driver?            CHASE ELLIOTT: I don’t know that it changes ‑‑ I don’t know. I don’t know what it changes, to be honest with you. I’m not really sure that I realize what has happened today. Ask me when we get to Daytona if it changed anything for me or not because I don’t know right now.            Q. Can I ask you about the emotion in the car right after the race. The in‑car camera caught you kind of teary‑eyed.            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, this is a moment that, heck, I’ve only dreamt about, and something that, heck, I’m still not sure I completely realize what has exactly happened. I don’t feel like I’m a crier in these situations, but dang, I feel like there’s going to come a time where I’m probably going to break down and really lose it. I feel like I kind of did there after the race, and then you get caught up in everything else that’s going on.           I’m really looking forward to just kind of sitting back and looking at everything from a different perspective and just enjoying it. But I’m also going to enjoy it as I’m living it because this is something that may not ever happen ever again, and I recognize that. It’s a moment and a time and an accomplishment that I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever take for granted.           It’s a really big deal to me.            Q. Rick Hendrick handed you a phone. Who was on the other end?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Jeff Gordon. Jeff was on the other end. There was only so many people allowed this weekend, and I was grateful to have my family. And as you have family and partners and Mr. Hendrick and whatnot, there was only so many spots, and Jeff was gracious enough to stay back home.           Just really appreciate him calling and reaching out and saying what he did. It’s a big moment for both of us. I think it’s kind of unique and special for he and I because we both work with Alan, and he had a run at a championship with Alan and things didn’t work out. I just think he’s probably one of very few people that respect AG the way I do and believe in him like I do. So, I think he just knows how big of a deal it is for him.           He’s been a championship crew chief for a long time. It just took until today to actually have the title next to his name. Man, I’m proud of him. I wouldn’t want to go to war with anybody else.            Q. That was my next question for you was just talk about Alan. He came close with Jeff, came close with Mark. You guys finally got him to that championship. What is it about his character, his determination? We could all go on and on, but what is it that makes him so unique?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Well, I think the bottom line about Alan is he wants it more than you, and he’s going to work harder than you to go get the job done, period. He’s an intense guy, and he’s going to outwork you to get it done. I guarantee it.           I’ve seen that for a long time, and I’m very, very glad that he can quit and be done and be a champion because I don’t deserve shit I don’t feel like, but I feel like if anybody deserves anything, it’s him. I’m very proud of him for that.            Q. I wanted to ask you with you being so young, 24 years old and getting your first championship and doing it the same year that Jimmie Johnson ends his Hall‑of‑Fame career with his seven championships, do you gain any inspiration off that at all as far as the type of Hall‑of‑Fame career that you want to build now that you got your first one out of the way already?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Man, right now I’m just enjoying today. It’s certainly easy to look ahead and kind of think what’s next. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far today, I feel like when you win a championship, it’s enjoy now.           I’m going to do that. I will worry about 2021 and beyond when 2021 gets here. I’m not going to sweat it right now.            Q. You said that earlier this week you had no idea what car Alan was bringing, you didn’t really worry about any of that. With no practice or qualifying I assume you didn’t have any worry about it rolling off the truck being fast. There were no second thoughts there?            CHASE ELLIOTT: No, I didn’t have any second thoughts for sure. Heck, I couldn’t tell you what car we ran today, currently. I have no idea. But I know that when we started the race today, it was in the ballpark.           We fell off, I felt like, on a couple runs there. Brad got by us, and the next adjustment was good, and the last one was even better. That’s all you can ask for.            Q. You’re talking about you’re going to soak this in. What are the celebration plans? Are you going back home or are you saying in Phoenix tonight?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Good question. I’m going to stay here tonight. I feel like it’s late. 7:00 maybe. I’m going to stick around here tonight and enjoy the night in Phoenix on November 8th of 2020. And yeah, I guess I’ll go home tomorrow and figure out what’s next.           I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to try to do some racing over the off‑season, which I’m excited about. I haven’t really spent an off‑season racing before, so looking forward to doing that.           But heck, I’m going to enjoy it, enjoy it, enjoy it. We did it. It’s done. Yeah, that’s it. Here we go.            Q. (No microphone.)            CHASE ELLIOTT: Are they? Perfect. Hey, I’m down. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but I feel like the town of Dawsonville should just exempt all work and school tomorrow I feel like would be really cool.           But yeah, I can’t wait to get home. It’s actually funny this week, actually the past couple weeks I really didn’t know where we were going to start. As I was driving to the airport, I passed the poolroom on the way. And on the way they have where I’m starting on the sign.           As you know, I’m not on social media right now, so I’m like, there we go, hey, we’re starting wherever this week, which is really cool. I like that. I like figuring it out on the way to the airport and the poolroom letting me know. Excited for them.           What a cool tradition they’ve carried on for a long time. Grateful for the Pirkle family and great that all those great people can experience this with me.            Q. Jimmie was in here talking about his conversation with you. Before the race he told you he had to start in the back prior to his final championship. I’m wondering if that helped set your mind at ease going through everything that had to happen today and made the job a little easier at hand?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, you know, the last text message I saw before the race was from Jimmie. And he said, The road to the top ‑‑ I forget what he said. He said something about the road to the top can have some twists in it. I hate you guys are having to start in the back, but you can get it done.           That was the last thing I saw before the race. Certainly appreciate his support. He’s been a great support system this week. I’ve talked to him multiple times. He’s reached out on a couple occasions, which is very cool. Very thankful.           He’s a hero of mine. I think he’ll go down as the greatest to ever do this mess. For that type of guy to be reaching out lending support and genuinely wanting you to do good, hell, what else can you ask for?            Q. You said before that you’ve been dreaming about this moment. Has it lived up to those dreams and expectations?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Oh, my gosh, yeah, absolutely, and far surpassed. Grateful cameras and all the stuff is as good as it is nowadays because we get to keep these moments and cherish them forever. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.            Q. I asked you last week or earlier in the week during media day how cool it would be with Bill winning the championship in ’88, like all those similar LA teams, and now you in 2020. That’s finally happened now. What do you think and how cool is it?            CHASE ELLIOTT: I still think stats are for losers. I said that during the week. And that’s one of those stats that just don’t do you any good, I feel like, to think about during a week.           Yeah, that’s really interesting. 1988 was a good year, I guess, for the Elliotts. I wasn’t around for it, but I heard it was really cool. And 2020 certainly is now, too.            Q. And what you just said about the town of Dawsonville, thinking they should get an exemption, I looked back at your tardy slip from 2014 back from when you were in high school on the Daytona 500, that you thought the day would be called off because of Junior. Is this the way you are kind of feeling tonight, similar to what you’re feeling tonight because of that?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Heck yeah, for sure. If I had to go to school tomorrow, it ain’t happening. There is no doubt about that. Yeah, for sure. Really big deal to me. To be honest with you, there’s really not a bigger deal to me than this and today.           Like I said, I’m not going to take it for granted.            Q. You are the latest NASCAR champion from Georgia and obviously you’ve got everything going on in Dawsonville. You also had UGA athletics congratulate you on the championship on Twitter. How much civic pride do you take in being that person to not only represent the state of Georgia but also bring the championship back there?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, so cool. Listen, I’m as big of a Braves fan, as big of a Dawgs fan as you’re going to find. And I know the past few weeks have been rough. The Braves losing to the Dodgers after being up 3‑1. But hell, I guess it all happens for a reason. If that didn’t happen I wouldn’t have the cool stat y’all just told me about, about the Dodgers and the Lakers and dad winning in ’88.           I hate that it came at the expense of the Bravos for sure, but selfishly I’m happy the way today turned out.            THE MODERATOR: Chase, thanks for your time, and we’ll see you in Daytona.  

ALAN GUSTAFSON, Crew Chief:
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our race‑winning crew chief, Alan Gustafson. Alan, congratulations, quite a run out there today. Just walk us through that championship‑winning race.            ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, what an intense race. Super competitive. Congrats to all the Championship 4 guys. I think that besides us starting in the back, those guys were in the top four, five all day long. Everybody had really fast cars and really competitive. We were really fortunate to come out on top.           I was a little worried there when the 22 got in front of us on that pit exchange, but our car was good enough there at the end to get past him, so it was a really special day.            Q. Obviously, you guys had a lot of speed today and you guys have this new coming relationship with ECR. I’ve heard you guys have implemented some things that ECR was using. Was it your engine or ECR’s engine, and how much of an impact did that have?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, I certainly don’t know all the details but it was certainly a collaborative effort between ECR and HMS and all the Chevy teams. It’s been a great evolution in our relationship, and everybody is working really well together. I think the performance obviously showed on the track today and I think it’s going to continue to yield good results.           Got to thank certainly Hendrick engines and ECR engines and Chevrolet and all they’ve done to give us a great engine and great package with great durability today, and it was a huge benefit.            Q. Can you just kind of go through pre‑race tech and what happened?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, certainly it’s unfortunate and I apologize to our sponsors and NAPA and everybody involved. We don’t want to go through that.           We had our left rear quarter top was low and there was a few spots on it, and we had to fix a couple other things. We went around and ultimately worked on the left rear quarter top and tried to get it up.           The rear package (indiscernible) and the quarter top kind of meet there together and it’s hard to get into that quarter top from the trunk or from the inside. We had what I thought was enough and we worked on it, and unfortunately it wasn’t.           It’s tough for us in those situations. There’s just no way to know how much we’ve moved the body panel. You try to go a little more than you think you need to, and we thought we did and unfortunately we didn’t. I hate that that happened. I hate that we put everybody in a bad spot there. Fortunately we got it right for the third time.            Q. I just wondered, how did that leave you guys going into today? Did you think it was really going to be much of a bad headache to start that way? How did you think it was going to play out?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: I didn’t. You don’t want to start at the back and you certainly don’t want to give up the first spot. But I didn’t think it was going to be a huge disadvantage.           Then, as the race went on, I started to realize how hard it was going to be to pass. I was like, man, that could have been a huge deciding factor. All the guys in the championship were so fast and so good. It was tough to pass, especially the leaders. It was certainly concerning.           Once we got of got up into the top 5, I realized we’ve got to find a way to get around these guys. It’s going to be hard to do. It’s going to be hard to pass those championship guys and certainly the leader.            Q. I know you have a really talented driver, but could you describe what you have seen out of Chase, particularly over the last two weeks?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, I mean, I think I’m his biggest fan. His abilities, his intelligence, the quality person he is, he’s top‑notch all the way around.           I think just going through those situations and succeeding gives you some confidence to not be indecisive and not second‑guess yourself and not let doubt creep in when you get into a situation that’s not ideal.           When you go through races that are must‑wins and championship moments like this, no matter if you do everything perfect, you’re still going to have some adversity to overcome.           I think him being able to win in those moments has given him some confidence to know that he’s certainly good enough to do it. We all know that, and you can hear it, but until you do it, you just don’t know that. I think that now it’s given him that reassurance.            Q. (No microphone.)            ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, I was not ‑‑ I don’t know how I found out. I’m sure by the time I talked to him it was pretty well publicized, so I wasn’t the person to tell him.           We did talk about it, obviously, and he’s super supportive of us and what we’re trying to do and has a lot of faith and confidence in us, as we do him. It’s just the situation we were in and we had to make the most of it and the best of it.           You know, you never know. I did feel like coming in here, based on how we’ve run over the last three or four years, I know the finishes aren’t there and the stats may not be the best, but we’ve run really good. We’ve had some real tough situations and circumstances, whether it’s knocking a valve stem off in this race last year or speeding on pit road or we got in an accident off of Turn 2 a few years ago. But we’ve just been at the front, we’ve had a lot of speed, a lot of pace. So I had a lot of confidence.           To be honest with you, winning with four different drivers here is cool. I’m super proud of that. I hadn’t won on the new configuration. The old configuration we had a lot of success and hadn’t been able to master this new one. I think it’s finally wore out enough and tires fall off enough that the stuff that we try to do is kind of back in style.            Q. Throughout your career you’ve had the experience of working with some younger drivers and also veteran drivers, and I’m curious as there are a number of younger drivers moving up and certainly your organization is full of them now, can you give me a sense of perspective of working with a younger driver? What are the things you had to do as a crew chief, what are the things the driver has to rely on other people and how that works when they’re relying on other people, trying to get as much information as possible? I’m sure there are some challenges in just how you work with a younger driver and how you work with Chase those early years to build to this moment.            ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, it’s a bit different, but it’s very similar. I think I learned something when I worked with Mark Martin. We sat down ‑ and obviously he had a huge amount of success ‑ and we had a long conversation about what we need to do and how we needed to proceed.           I can remember through that conversation he told me to treat him like a rookie. He said, Don’t treat me like a veteran, don’t treat me like I know what I’m doing, just treat me like a rookie and give me as much information as possible and use as much information as you can to influence me and help me move forward.           Really, to be honest with you, since that point in time with him, I’ve taken that philosophy. He taught me a pretty valuable lesson. Regardless if it’s Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Chase Elliott, the team, myself, we just try to put the drivers in the best position we can so they succeed and feed them as much information as we can and try to educate them as much as possible and try to put them in a position to put their best foot forward.           Certainly, you’ve got to give them their individual leeway or attributes or different things they have. Certain guys are good at certain things, but I think you just try to support them as much as you can.           I think we’ve taken that philosophy with Mark and with Jeff and with Chase. To be honest with you, Chase is not a normal 24‑year‑old person, that’s for sure. He’s got the physical attributes and skill sets of a 24‑year‑old, but he’s got the intelligence and the experience of someone much older and wiser, so he acts like he’s a 35‑year‑old in his prime.           He’s very similar to the great champions I’ve worked with before, and he’s going to be every bit as good or better.            Q. Kind of curious, since you’ve been with him through his development in the Cup Series, where have you seen his biggest gains, and what has surprised you the most about him in this short period of time?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: That’s a tough question because when we ‑‑ I can remember we tested with him in Nashville way back in the day. It was years before he even drove our car, but Jeff had to go somewhere. He came in and filled in. Even then he was just getting ready to run Xfinity or was running Xfinity. I was like, Man, this kid is fast, like he’s really good. From the time he showed up, he was ready to win.           The thing that I look back at in the first couple years, there was so many races I felt like we should have won and were in position to win, and it’s almost like we were keeping ourselves from winning or obsessing over too much and not just being natural and doing what we know we can do and execute and just have confidence and trust in ourselves.           That’s what I see that’s changed. I think that he now trusts in his ability and he is very decisive and he doesn’t second‑guess himself and he doesn’t race not to lose but he races to win.           I think that the whole team has come along that journey with him, and that’s what I see the difference. He’s obviously improved, but he’s not that much different of a driver really than he was when he was a rookie. He’s certainly gotten better, and laps help, and he knows the lines and knows when he’s out of his car and the intangibles on and off pit road and the pit box and all those different things.           But I think just the confidence in being extremely decisive and going out to win instead of going out not to lose is the difference.            Q. At one point during the course of the race you asked him what he needed, how his car was reacting, and he said, “What do I know, I’ll let you make the decision.” At what point do you see his maturation level where he’s comfortable enough to give you the type of feedback that’s necessary to just really get the cars dialed in?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, I think that it’s there. I think when you listen to that when you’re at home, you’re like, he’s not giving feedback or he’s not telling us what we need. Actually that’s a very mature thing to say because I think the point that he’s trying to make is he doesn’t feel like what he needs to make him feel comfortable or the car easier to drive is ultimately going to be the fastest thing to do, and that’s what he’s referring to.           In this situation he was right. If we would have done what ultimately would have made him the most comfortable, we would have not been as fast. He was basically defaulting to me to say, Hey, just make it fast and I’ll do the rest. It kind of gets lost in translation, but that’s ultimately what he was saying.            Q. Obviously, this was a race at a 750 horsepower racetrack, and four of the five wins that you had this year were on those kinds of tracks, obviously these last two weeks particularly. Was there any extra emphasis on this package this year? Obviously, the road courses are that package and we’ve seen what this team is capable of there. Did you put any extra stock into this package?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: No. No, I can’t say that we did. To be honest with you, I didn’t realize that statistic until you said it.           I did think our 550 stuff and intermediate stuff was pretty good, and certainly we probably should have won a few more of those races, and we didn’t.           Yeah, I don’t feel like there’s any extra effort put there. I think we enjoy racing those style of tracks and the 750 package and being on the gas and braking and the short tracks in general. I consider this a short track. I know it’s technically probably not called a short track, but that’s what I consider it. So places you’ve got to brake and the car has got to drive good and the tires fall off, that’s just what we most enjoy.           But I certainly think that our 750 stuff was pretty good. There were some tracks that we weren’t very good, but one of them is gone, so I’m happy about that. One of them lost a race, so that’s probably a little bit better for us, too.           Yeah, no extra effort is a long way of saying that we try to win every week. I know that sounds corny but it’s the truth.            Q. This year was obviously unique. What kind of leadership did you feel was asked of yourself this year particularly, and how do you feel like you navigated it? What role did that play in getting to where you are right now?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: The silver lining in this year, and one thing that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed is it’s been really pared down. I have to work on the cars and Tom, my lead engineer, works on the car. My car chief, it’s his first year as a car chief and we all had to work on the car together, the whole team and everybody that goes to the track.           From the truck drivers to all the team members, everybody has got to pitch in and everybody has got to do a lot. It just reminds me of the way racing was when I was growing up as a kid. It just was a small group of people probably working more hours than they should and putting a lot of effort towards trying to have a common goal and win races.           The pit crew, everybody, it’s just a different ‑‑ it was very pared down and all, especially jobs evaporated when the pandemic hit and we went to this schedule.           I have a simple philosophy, I always have, is you just lead by example. Talk is cheap. You’ve got to go do it. You have to set that standard and go do what you want your guys to do, and don’t tell me, show me. That’s all I’ve ever tried to do, and this wasn’t any different.           But it was really intimate with the guys, and I really enjoyed that. I think the whole team did. It brought us together closer and I think also made us stronger. It’s something I think we’ve learned from and will serve us well in the future, is just being able to lean on each other.            Q. Sort of following up on what you were just talking about here, you’ve done the equivalent of hitting two back‑to‑back walk‑off homers to win the championship, to get into the Final 4, then win the championship. Did you feel that this team had it in it the whole time? And how do you feel about your team coming through in this way, back‑to‑back with so much on the line?            ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, I absolutely felt like we could do it. You know, I feel like we have performed really, really well. And yeah, I just knew we had to operate at our maximum capacity and do the best job we could.           Did I know we could win two races back‑to‑back and win Martinsville and Phoenix? Certainly you believe you can and you feel like you can and you can’t say that you will or can or did until you do it, I guess. I didn’t have any ‑‑ I never lacked confidence in this group or in what we had.           There was a time in the summer that we weren’t very good, and I just knew those were tracks that we just historically weren’t very good at. But the good news is they weren’t in the Playoffs. We just kind of had to battle through those times and not lose our heads and not hit the panic button and just stay true to ourselves and keep pushing forward.           Yeah, I was pretty confident that we could do it. I think this should show it. You’ve kind of got to look a little deeper than wins. But I think if you look past that, our stats are really right on top of anybody else’s, even those guys that have won nine, seven races. Ultimately I think we should have been a little closer than that.           And certainly, Charlotte is on me. We should have won that race. And there’s a few others that we should have won, too. Ifs and buts, but we got the one that mattered.            THE MODERATOR: Alan, enjoy the off‑season.RICK HENDRICK, Founder & Owner of Hendrick Motorsports:THE MODERATOR: Thank you so much for taking some time with us. We are now joined by our championship‑winning team owner, Rick Hendrick. We’ll get right into questions.            Q. Rick, I wanted to ask, obviously Jimmie’s last race is also Chase’s first championship. Do you feel that’s symbolic, and do you think Chase can match him?            RICK HENDRICK: Well, you know, he’s a young guy. I think he’s going to win a lot of them. Seven is a big number, but that’s something to shoot at.           Chase has shown so much maturity and everything by just winning these races and now the championship at 24 years old. I think he’s got a lot left in his tank.            Q. Did you feel like this was kind of the turning of the guard from Jimmie to Chase, obviously getting his first title?            RICK HENDRICK: Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool the way they met each other on the track at the end of the race. Jimmie’s last race is Chase’s first championship, and to see those two guys embrace, that was really cool. I think it means a lot to our whole organization.           Jimmie is really special to us, like part of our family. Chase is the new kid coming along ‑‑ not a kid, but… He’s a champion now.           It was a special moment to see those two guys embrace. I think they tore the cars up running into each other out there a little bit, but it was a special time and a special place.            Q. I was hoping you could confirm that you hadn’t seen Jimmie in a long time, like several months, through all of this season. Can you talk about that?            RICK HENDRICK: Yeah, well, I haven’t gone to the races. We talk on the phone but not in person. I’ve kind of tried to stay away from a lot of folks with all this COVID‑19 crisis going around, but we talk on the phone.           I think this was the first time that I had actually seen him in the flesh. So it was, again, really special, and I’m going to be with him again tonight. Linda and I are looking forward to spending time with he and Chaney and his friends.           This year has been really difficult. We didn’t know if we were going to run races or not. The owners couldn’t go, you couldn’t go in the garage. If you go, you have to sit in a suite. I applaud NASCAR for what they did because if they hadn’t, we wouldn’t have had a season. We’ve run all the races and it’s been amazing to think that we got it all in and crowned a champion.           I think right now I’m just a little bit not in shock, but I’m in kind of thinking about the highs and lows of the day, with Jimmie’s last race, thinking we won’t see him at Daytona next year, and then Chase’s first championship. You know, it happens to all of us, I guess.           The good thing about Jimmie and I, we’re buddies and we’re going to do things, and I’m probably going to watch him run an open‑wheel race. He’s excited about a lot of different racing. Both of our guys, Chase and Jimmie, will be in the 24‑hour race, so I’m looking forward to that.           You know, I think probably the middle of next week ‑‑ Jimmie and I actually said we’re going to get together next week, but I’ll reflect back on the day and what it really meant. It was the last time to see him in the 48 car and to see Chase win his first championship.            Q. Obviously, much has been made about how you signed Chase Elliott a decade ago as a 14‑year‑old. I guess going back to those days, in one sense, what in the world are you thinking signing a 14‑year‑old kid? Can you kind of explain that process? Obviously the lineage is quite clear, but what was it about that? Did anybody try to talk you out of cooling your jets, or were you afraid if you didn’t sign him you were going to lose him to another manufacturer?            RICK HENDRICK: I won’t name any names at our company, but I think a lot of people thought I was nuts.           No, you see a kid like that… Actually, James Finch told me, Have you seen Chase Elliott drive?           And I said, No.           He said, Man, he’s whipping all these guys on dirt.           So I started getting some videos, and then I called Bill, and they came down and we talked.           I just watched him in those late models and then actually saw one of the races he was racing Kyle Busch. Just the way Bill raised him and what a polished young guy he was and had a lot of talent, I thought, man, he’s just 14 years old so sure want to take a chance if we can.           You’ve got to find a guy like that early. And again, I think it was a combination of skill, pedigree and just a sharp young man.            Q. You referenced Chase and Jimmie both will be in the 24 Hours Rolex at Daytona, and a little bit more information, are you going to be involved with that in any way or is that a different team?            RICK HENDRICK: Maybe I jumped the gun on that. I’m not 100 percent sure. I heard a rumor, okay, so I can’t confirm that.            Q. We hear a lot from drivers saying that they’re never sure when their next win is going to come. Do you have that same feeling? It’s been four years since your last championship. Were you starting to wonder when is that next one coming as far as titles?            RICK HENDRICK: Yeah, it’s so hard to win a race out here. You look at the talent that’s out here today and in the sport. If you have, like in this race today, a flat tire or a slow pit stop, anything could cost you a championship. You don’t have any buffer. It’s just hard to win these things, hard to win races.           You know, it has been a dry spell, and it’s gotten a little old going to the finale and not having a car in it. We’re very proud of our guys for getting there and Chase for winning Martinsville and then coming back today and winning the whole deal.           What’s really special is that he had to go to the back, which I was scared that he would get swept up in something. But to go to the rear and then come back and have to run those three guys that he did all day long and couldn’t make a mistake, guys in the pits couldn’t make a mistake.           This sport is hard. You look at Kevin Harvick and the kind of year he’s had. Everybody thought you were going to have to beat him, and he didn’t make the Final 4.           It’s a pretty competitive deal, but glad to get this one.            Q. I know this probably doesn’t help your blood pressure to have your teams hit two walk‑off home runs at the end of the year when it’s all on the line to make it in and then to win the championship. What’s it like to have a team on the razor’s edge come through?            RICK HENDRICK: Well, it’s a nail‑biter and nerves. Martinsville, if T.J., our jack guy, didn’t go back and touch the wall, we wouldn’t have been able to have a shot at winning the race at Martinsville.           I like the ‘walk‑off’ deal. That’s pretty cool.           Then you come here in the finale and you’ve got to go to the rear, and you work your way back through the field and you end up leading the race and pulling away at the end. It was a great day.           I think, again, I go back to Kevin Harvick. Three or four races prior to the end of the year, they were probably thinking, Hey, we’ll be in Phoenix, one of my best tracks, and I’m going to get another championship. But man, you can’t bank on anything in this sport anymore because you can be as good as anybody out there or better, and the cars don’t follow you away in the race, you’re out.            Q. Does it ever get old winning races and winning championships?            RICK HENDRICK: No. I wouldn’t be doing this at my age if that got old, I’ll tell you that. No, I just really love to see young guys at our company have an opportunity to go out and do something really special. I love seeing Chad Knaus now become competition director, and Jeff Andrews who’s worked so hard for us for so many years, and he’s general manager now. Marshall Carlson, all the guys at Motorsports do a heck of a job.           But when you see these young guys, young engineers become crew chiefs and then become champions and you see young drivers win races like William or Alex and you think about their age and how much they have ahead of them, it makes me feel pretty old because I can remember when I met Jeff Gordon at 21 or 22, whatever it was, 20.           And now time moves on, but it never gets old. If you don’t have that winning, wanting to win, keep the momentum going at your company…           I owe it all to a lot of good folks that work hard every day. Just watching them be successful, that’s a tremendous satisfaction for me.            Q. I’ll ask a similar question that I asked to Alan. You’ve obviously known you had a talented driver in Chase, but was there anything that you’ve noticed over the last two weeks, last week and today specifically, that you think that you’ve seen him do that may carry forward, both him and the team to future success?            RICK HENDRICK: Yeah, I think they don’t get rattled. Chase at his age, to be as calm as he is… And if you heard him on the radio when the race started, he had to go to the rear, he said, Okay, guys, let’s have some fun. Alan was just as calm as a cucumber.           They had a lot of confidence coming into this race today, a tremendous amount. You’ve got to believe in yourself, and man, they did, and they did it. They pulled it off. They were confident in Martinsville. We had a couple situations that could have put us out of the deal.           But I think that’s the maturity of the team and Alan and his crew, that they’re soldiers. They work well together. Chase believes in them, they believe in Chase.           I can’t believe they were as calm as they were today, especially having to start in the rear.            Q. This may seem like a silly question since you won the championship, but when you look back on this season, with everything that took place, and you guys made a lot of changes in the off‑season hoping to get better, how do you feel as an organization that you weathered the storm this year?            RICK HENDRICK: Well, if you go back and look at how the year started and we were really running well, Chase and Alex both had a ‑‑ Chase had a valve stem issue, a flat tire at one of the stages, I think it was in Vegas, and ran good in several places, leading on the last lap or two at Darlington. So the cars have had speed.           Then the middle part of the year we kind of slowed down a little bit. Then toward the end we picked up the momentum again.           It’s been a crazy year. We’ve been trying to tell the sponsors, Hey, we’re going to race. They can’t come to the track, and thankfully all our sponsors hung in there and supported us. You didn’t know if you were going to run all the races.           NASCAR did a heck of a job dealing with all these states and governors and rules changing daily and telling them they could and they couldn’t and all that, and then to come through it. Jimmie was the only driver that tested positive, I guess. That knocked him out early.           If you think about it, it’s been an awesome year of good racing, and I think our sport has probably done better or as well as or better than any of the other sports. We got them all in. Hopefully we’ll get a vaccine and have fans back. It’s good to see the fans that were here, and you see how excited they are.           I think our sport is really healthy. It’s very competitive. It’s just super competitive. I think we’ve got a bright future ahead of us and a lot of young talent.            Q. With Jimmie departing and Chad moving off the pit box, how important was this win for Hendrick Motorsports as a whole moving forward, and is there a new sense of leadership?            RICK HENDRICK: Yeah, for sure. Alan is one of our senior guys, probably the most senior crew chief. Chad has done an excellent job. But now he can help all the teams being the competition director. Alan still wants to be a crew chief. He’s got a real horse in Chase.           You know, we split those guys up, Jimmie and Chad. But to go to the racetrack in Daytona next year and not seeing Chad on the box and Jimmie in a car is a big adjustment.           I went through it with Jeff Gordon, I went through it with Dale, went through it with Terry Labonte and a lot of other drivers along the way. You have to adapt and change.           I think the good news is that Chad is moving up to help the whole organization. He’s not leaving. He’ll be there.           Jimmie wants to do some things and has a bucket list that he wants to go after, so we’re all happy for him and his family.           I feel good about our company. We’ve got young crew chiefs, young drivers, and they’re super competitive. I think we’ll be good for years to come.            Q. 13th title for you. I’m sure that each one is special to you in their own way, but this is the first title you’ve won with a driver whose father was also a NASCAR Cup champion. What does this title mean to you to see Chase Elliott win the same title that his legendary father did?            RICK HENDRICK: You know, I think what’s so exciting today is to see how excited Bill was and Cindy. You don’t see Bill get excited very much. Man, he was pumped. I thought that was super special.           I think there’s only been three father‑son champions. It’s special to be able to be a part of that.           Again, Bill and Cindy did a great job with Chase. He’s a racer. Smart. He’s just so much like his dad. He understands the chassis, understands the car, super laid‑back. When I say ‘laid‑back’, not driving the car, but they let their actions on the track do the talking for them, which I’m impressed with the way Chase is. He doesn’t let it get to his head.           He’s the same kid that ‑‑ he’s way more mature, but he still loves the people, thanks the team. Just a great young man. He’s going to be a great ambassador for our sport being a champion this year.            Q. Today was a bit of an end of an era for another driver in that Alex Bowman will be moving from the 88 to the 48 next season and also that you will have two other young drivers on your side in Kyle Larson and William Byron. What can you say about the job Alex has done, and what’s the biggest lesson you’re going to take from this unusual season into navigating the future?            RICK HENDRICK: Well, I think what you have to do, what everybody in the sport has had to do was call an audible. You had to change on the fly. You had to run races in the middle of the week.           But I do like our lineup for next year. I like all of the drivers and crew chiefs. I think Alex has done a super job. I’m super happy, too, that Ally likes Alex and wanted him to take over the reins of the 48. Pretty excited about that.           And Alex has really shown a lot of talent, so I’m excited about watching him. And William, he won his race this year. He was running really good today. I think he finished sixth. I think it was sixth, I believe. Putting he and Rudy together again, I think that’s going to be exciting.           Larson, we know what he can do. He and Cliff will be a good combination.           I’m excited about next year.            THE MODERATOR: Mr. H, thank you so much for taking some time with us. We will let you go. Congratulations and have a great off‑season.

DiBenedetto Moves to 13th in Points With Eighth-Place Finish at Phoenix


November 8, 2020


Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team ended their 2020 campaign with a solid eighth-place finish in the Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway. It’s the 11th top-10 of the season for DiBenedetto and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team and their third in a row, including an eighth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway and a 10th at Martinsville.

DiBenedetto’s finish on Sunday, coupled with his three Stage points earned on the day, allowed him to move up one spot in the final Cup Series standings to 13th, a career-best for him.

DiBenedetto started 12th in the 312-lap race but quickly drove into the top 10. He was running seventh when the caution flag flew at Lap 30 and was 10th at the end of the first Stage, earning one bonus point.

He continued to run in the top 10 and ended the second Stage in ninth place, picking up another two points, giving him 113 Stage points for the season.

Over the final Stage, DiBenedetto kept ahead of William Byron and Aric Almirola as the three battled for the 13th spot in points. He ended up two points ahead of Byron and 14 over Almirola.

“It was a really solid day,” DiBenedetto said. “The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang was pretty strong. We made a couple of adjustments, tightened it up and stayed in the top 10 just about the whole race.
 
“We passed a lot of cars, some of them several times, and were able to snag a spot in points.”
 
DiBenedetto said he felt good about the way he and the No. 21 team finished their first season together.
 
“Three straight top-10s shows how strong this team is,” he said. “It was a good way to end the year.”
 
Eddie Wood also was encouraged by the late-season surge by the No. 21 team and by the season as a whole.
 
“Thanks to Ford Performance, Motorcraft and Quick Lane and Menards – and everyone else who backs us – for all their support,” he said. “And congratulations to Matt and [crew chief] Greg Erwin and the team for all their hard work in a year in which they had to learn each other while dealing with a pandemic.”
 
Wood also congratulated Chase Elliott on his Cup championship.
 
“Chase used to sit on our pit box when his Dad was driving our car,” Wood said. “Even at that young age he knew all about pit strategy and adjustments to his Dad’s car. 
 
“I know his parents are proud of him, and we’re happy for them.”
 
DiBenedetto and the Wood Brothers team return to the track next February for the 2021 Daytona 500.
 

chevy racing–nascar–phoenix–post race–jimmie johnson

NASCAR CUP SERIES SEASON FINALE 500 PHOENIX RACEWAY TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT NOVEMBER 8, 2020
JIMMIE JOHNSON, 7-TIME NASCAR CUP SERIES CHAMPION AND DRIVER OF THE NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media following the Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway and discussed his final full-time season, success in the sport, and Chase Elliott’s 2020 championship. Full Transcript:
Q. Jimmie, what did you tell Chase when you saw him after the race? And also, do you have any plans for your helmet, gloves and that type of stuff? JIMMIE JOHNSON: I don’t remember what I said to him. There was a lot of screaming. I remember him saying, “Can you believe it?”           Just so happy for him. I’m sure I was saying something along those lines, just how happy I am for him. I saw him on track and left a big donut on the side of his car. I was able to get a high‑five as he was coming around to do burnouts. And I was waving good‑bye. So certainly a couple cool moments.           Helmet and gloves? I haven’t thought too far. Chase and I have been talking about a helmet swap, so this might be a good opportunity to swap helmets with him tonight. We’ll see how that goes.            Q. What were the emotions like prior to the race today?JIMMIE JOHNSON: Really just excited. Excited to do this, excited to get on track and have this final event. For me the hardest point was about this time last year when thoughts were heavy on my mind and I was going to make the decision and made the decision to myself and my family, then had to go to Rick’s house and talk that through with Mr. Hendrick. So that point in time was probably the most emotional and most difficult.           And as the year has gone by, many moments of reflection and just pride. Then all of that rolled into today and just very excited to be on track.           It was nice to be competitive out there and run the top 5, finish in the top 5, but my bucket is full. NASCAR has been so wonderful for me. This journey has been more than I could have ever dreamed of or expected or hoped for.           The last couple years on track weren’t as I dreamed up, but I’ve experienced the highest of highs and worked with the greatest people, been with one team through this entire journey, and just very thankful for all the people that have helped me get here.           All those emotions and all that pride rolled up into just a huge smile today walking out on the grid.            Q. To be fifth and only be the top driver behind the Championship 4, does that have any special significance in your last race, to go out as that guy that’s just behind those guys?JIMMIE JOHNSON: No, it does. I didn’t realize that was the case. And Evie told me that on pit lane. She said, Daddy, I think you won. She said, No, the first four cars were in the championship and you beat everybody else.           She brought it to my attention and had her own version of my winning, which I appreciated.           Just a good competitive day. I could see the 11 up there and was slowly catching him but just kind of ran out of laps. It was nice to keep my eyes forward and have a great car and race that hard all day long.            Q. When you look back on this season, what are some lessons you have learned as a competitor?JIMMIE JOHNSON: Lesson? I would say I thought I hit bottom a few times, and there was a bottom a little lower than what I envisioned. I felt like on track there was mistakes that I made and we had issues, times where the team made mistakes, had bad luck on track, supposedly had COVID and missed the Brickyard 400. There were just many lows that kept rolling. When I thought that was it, there was another low.           I just had to figure out how to put a smile on my face, what was important to me and what 2020 was going to be like, regardless of the way things took place on the track.           I really hit that stride. It doesn’t mean I didn’t pout from time to time because performance on track really sets your mood for the week, but I found a way to smile and work through it and finish strong.            Q. And then down the road when you’re looking back on this race this weekend, particularly today’s race in particular, what are you going to remember most or what’s going to stick out the most to you?JIMMIE JOHNSON: Chase Elliott won his first championship. I’m so happy for that guy. Great friend, great family. I’ve been friends with his mom and dad for a lot of years. I can recall going snowboarding with Bill out in Colorado and Chase was maybe eight years old, something like that, on skis, super quiet, wouldn’t say much.           To watch him grow up and to be around him and to give him some advice from time to time has really been meaningful for me. Today I think more about him winning a championship more than anything is pretty awesome.            Q. I just wanted to get your opinion on this: Your final Cup championship you came from the rear and won. Chase did it in his first Cup championship. Has that dawned on you and do you feel like it’s a passing of the torch for Hendrick Motorsports?JIMMIE JOHNSON: That’s what went through my mind today when I heard they were going to the back. I sent Alan and Chase a text and reminded them that I won a championship that way.           Then I saw Chase just before the trucks rolled, just before the driver intro part of the ceremonies this morning, and I reminded him, I’ve been there. Of the championships I’ve won coming from the back, I had less nervous energy in my body when I took the green flag and it was very easy what I needed to do.           I shared that with him, and he smiled and he said, I hope that’s how it goes today. And it did. We didn’t think of it as a passing of the torch, but I tried to share some of my experience with him before the race.           He doesn’t need my help. He’s plenty good on his own. I’m glad it worked out for him.            Q. You know what a first championship meant to you. What do you think it’s going to mean to Chase, and how does that reshape a driver’s career, do you think?JIMMIE JOHNSON: You know, it really does change your confidence as a driver, as the leader of a race team. You know, it positions you just different in the fan space. There’s a bunch of credibility that comes with that. Not that Chase needs any fans, but I’m sure there might be naysayers out there.           A big moment like this really cements you in everybody’s head as the real deal. It’s one thing to win races, it’s one thing to be fast, but to get it all done and win races and be fast and win a championship is the most difficult thing to do in our sport.           For him to have a championship at this age and being so young, there’s no telling what the win total will be for him or his championship total.            Q. Jimmie, your feelings about going out at such a competitive level. You talked a moment ago about the lows and everything like that. How do you feel about going out with a performance where you kind of drove from the back and stayed up front all day?JIMMIE JOHNSON: It definitely feels good for my final race to run well. A big tent full of friends here watching. My family was clearly here. I didn’t have too much riding on today. Making sure that I had a good run just because I always plan to run well. In my head I always feel like I should.           But ultimately this year is just a little bit bittersweet for me. And to have the issues we’ve had and not be competitive down the stretch, not make the Playoffs, all that still stings.           But to finish with a solid top 5 to close things out is nice.            Q. I was wondering, has it hit you yet that this is the end of your full‑time career in NASCAR, or do you think that’ll come later?JIMMIE JOHNSON: I’ve let in about as much as I can. I feel like the off‑season will happen, and I won’t have team meetings and 2021 planning meetings, and my trips to the shop won’t be as frequent. I’ll still go and still be around HMS just because it’s home.           But I think as next year comes around and I don’t go to Daytona for the 500 and those firsts that come along, that’s when it will take deeper ‑‑ it’ll continue to set in deeper and deeper then.           But I feel like I’ve had a special week, a lot of friends in town, I’ve spoken a lot on the phone, a lot of texts, very meaningful conversations, and very thankful that I’ve had that from friends, family, a lot of my peers here today, so I’m feeling pretty full right now.            Q. COVID has affected this year in a bunch of ways at the track, obviously, and you hadn’t been able to have your family with you most of the year. How special was it to have them with you today on what was obviously a really special day for you?JIMMIE JOHNSON: Yeah, that was everything. They haven’t been to a race since Fontana. So to have them here and have them a part of this is something I’ve really, really hoped could happen. And once I knew we were going to have fans at the track, I felt like the chances were high. Very thankful I was able to have them here.            Q. Jimmie, obviously you’re not done racing, period. You’re moving to INDYCAR next year. When do you start your preparations going to Chip Ganassi Racing for next season, and how much are you looking forward to INDYCAR? Is it going to be kind of like a rebirth for you in a way?JIMMIE JOHNSON: Yeah, I’m not sure what to think of it all just yet. I was able to drive the car on Monday in Alabama at the Barber racetrack. Learned a lot, and I know the areas that I need to work to be more competitive in those cars.           I’m also traveling tomorrow to Monterey, California. We’re testing there on Tuesday, so I get another shot at testing the car and getting a feel for things.           I’m integrated into the team. Certainly more throughout the off‑season will take place. Their season just finished and obviously ours did, as well.           But I’m plugged in over there and trying to learn what I can and just trying to make the switch from a car with very little downforce to a car with a lot of downforce. I have a big challenge ahead of myself.            Q. Very few people in any stage of life get to go out on their own terms. Could you give us some insight into how special that element of it makes all of this that has happened to you? And also, they showed on TV out on pit road a group hug. It was you, Mr. H and Chase. Do you remember what you felt at that moment or anything that was said?JIMMIE JOHNSON: I don’t. Chase kept saying, “Can you believe it?” I don’t know what I was saying, but I just ‑‑ I’m just so proud of Chase. Then to be there with Rick, that’s the first time I’ve seen Rick in person since March.           There was a lot going on there in one moment I think for all three of us. A very meaningful moment for me to be there with Rick and with Chase, but I can’t remember what was exactly said. Of course very happy and all the things that come along those lines.           What was your first question?            Q. The ability to go out on your own terms, which very few people are able to do.JIMMIE JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, I have friends that have been NASCAR drivers, friends of mine that have played professional football, professional baseball. Very few have had the opportunity to call their shot and say when they’re done. Some have had injury, some were forced out, some sponsorship or opportunity passed them by. And either way, watching them, there’s a big void that I’ve noticed.           I’m just thankful that I won’t have that void. I was able to do it on my terms, was able to have the support from Ally and Mr. Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports to be able to step down when I wanted to and on my terms, so I’m very thankful for that.            Q. You mentioned kind of the intense amount of spotlight or pressure that comes with being a champion. I’m wondering what advice you have for Chase given that you’re kind of making your exit and he’s starting this championship assent?JIMMIE JOHNSON: Yeah, we talk a lot, and he has an amazing grasp on things. At the end of the day it’s really the driver and the crew chief and how they want to conduct business. Alan and Chase have a great relationship. They know what they need out of each other.           Chase being as young as he is has a ton of wisdom and a ton of knowledge, and clearly he’s been around the sport for a lot of years and a lot of great people that he surrounds himself with. I’m always amazed when we chat just how put together his thoughts are when we do talk.           At his age, my head was scrambled and I was all over the place. We chatted a couple times this week, and he had it all in line. I could generally tell that his head was in the right place. He didn’t have unneeded nerves and anxiety flowing through him. He really was calm and ready to get out here and get to work.           Then, of course, starting at the back, it was a real test of the system at that point. I saw him before we rolled out to the cars, and he was at peace. He’s just really wise beyond his years, and with that, extremely talented.            Q. Jimmie, I just want to know, was there an interaction maybe you had with a fan or just anyone maybe just a little bit outside the racing community that you aren’t always around with that kind of will always stick with you and just really encapsulates everything you’ve done in your career?JIMMIE JOHNSON: I rolled around the track and waved goodbye and came down pit lane and gave a high five to every single crew member down pit lane. They all came off the wall and were standing out there. There was a long, long line of crew members. That respect from my peers and respect from the industry is something I’ll never, ever forget.            Q. I know you’ve been doing a lot of contemplating, so my question for you is if you could talk to your younger self back in the year 2000 when you knew you were going to get the chance to drive in Cup, would you have believed you were going to have this incredible journey as a seven‑time champion?JIMMIE JOHNSON: No, there’s no way. I would have told myself to relax, everything is going to be just fine. I don’t know if I would have asked to change much because I am who I am and all of the overthinking and worrying and the sleepless nights and waking up early to try to find an advantage, all that paid off, so I don’t know if I would change anything.           But maybe I’d tell myself just to chill out and enjoy the ride because everything was going to turn out just fine.           I just absolutely want to thank the media. I’ve known many of you for a lot of years, and just thank you for covering the sport. Thank you for being a part of this industry. Most of all, thank you for being a friend and being on this journey together.           You work very hard. You are first in, last out, away from your families, away from your friends, more than I even am, and I know how hard it is on my end. Sincere thank you to all of you, and look forward to seeing you guys less often, not because I don’t want to see you but because I’m slowing down and I’ll only be in the media center at a few INDYCAR races. So thank you very much. See you in March.

chevy racing–nascar–phoenix– post race quotes

NASCAR CUP SERIES SEASON FINALE 500 PHOENIX RACEWAY TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES & QUOTES NOVEMBER 8, 2020
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL FINISHING RESULTS:POS.   DRIVER1st       Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE5th      Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE9th      William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1 1LE12th     Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE15th     Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Door Dash Camaro ZL1 1LE
TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL FINISHING RESULTS:POS.  DRIVER1.    Chase Elliott (Chevrolet)2.    Brad Keselowski (Ford)3.    Joey Logano (Ford)4.    Denny Hamlin (Toyota)5.    Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)                                        UNOFFICIAL FINAL PLAYOFF RANK (Following Race 10 of 10)POS.   DRIVER        1.    Chase Elliott (Chevrolet)2.    Brad Keselowski (Ford)3.    Joey Logano (Ford)4.    Denny Hamlin (Toyota) The NASCAR Cup Series returns to competition with the Daytona 500 season-opener at Daytona International speedway on February 14, 2021.
TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES:
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner and 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion ~ Post race quick win quotes: Q. I think it’s all finally starting to soak in for Chase Elliott, the sport’s most popular driver, now its newest champion. Just 20 days shy of his 25th birthday, the youngest champion since Jeff Gordon won his first of four titles back in 1995. Chase, you’ve been asked all week time and again what it would mean to you to win this championship; you didn’t have an answer back then. How do you answer that one now?            CHASE ELLIOTT: I’m not sure that I still even know. I just, man, I’m at a loss for words. This is unbelievable. Oh, my gosh. We did it. I mean, we did it. That’s all I’ve got to tell you. Unreal.           Championship crew chief, Alan Gustafson, is now a NASCAR Cup Series champion, and very deserving. I just can’t say enough about our group. I felt like we took some really big strides this year, and last week was a huge one. To come out of that with a win and a shot to come here and have a chance to race is unbelievable.           Heck, I don’t know. I don’t even know. This is unreal.            Q. You got back around Joey Logano and that 22 and then you just had to wait it out. I know you were anticipating a late caution. We’ve seen them in the other championship races. What was going through your mind in those closing laps?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, just waiting on the caution, as always. You know, I saw Joey was pretty loose there and felt like I needed to get to him while I could. I knew I’d been kind of tight on a longer run and he was probably going to get a little better. Just unbelievable.           I mean, I just never would have thought that this year would have gone like it has. I mean, NASCAR Cup Series champion; are you kidding me? Unreal.            Q. You come from a Hall of Fame pedigree. You’ve got your parents, Bill and Cindy, here to celebrate with you. They’re behind the car here. What does it mean to you to add to the family legacy?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Oh, it’s unbelievable. All you can dream for is an opportunity, and I’ve been very fortunate to have that over the years. You know, and that’s all thanks to some great people. You know, my parents obviously have played a huge role. The past year has been tough. I lost my best friend about a year ago tonight. Lost my grandmother last year. And all those things bring families closer, so I really can’t thank them enough.           Mr. Hendrick, for taking a chance on me and believing in me when a lot of people didn’t. I think it really says a lot about him. And then to have a championship sponsor like NAPA, all of our partners, and Chevrolet, huge thanks to Team Hendrick and everybody at our shop that peaked at the right time. That’s all we can ask for.            Q. It almost seemed like a changing of the guard. We saw a lot of people come by to congratulate you after the finish including the seven‑time champion Jimmie Johnson. What did that moment mean to you?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Oh, my gosh, to share a moment like that in Jimmie’s last race and to win and to lock the championship, those are moments you can only dream of. You know, and this is a dream. I’m just hoping I don’t ever wake up.            Q. You didn’t get to celebrate the win for Martinsville a week ago, but you can bet this 24‑year‑old will be celebrating this tonight. CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner and 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion ~ Post race quick win quotes: Q. I think it’s all finally starting to soak in for Chase Elliott, the sport’s most popular driver, now its newest champion. Just 20 days shy of his 25th birthday, the youngest champion since Jeff Gordon won his first of four titles back in 1995. Chase, you’ve been asked all week time and again what it would mean to you to win this championship; you didn’t have an answer back then. How do you answer that one now?            CHASE ELLIOTT: I’m not sure that I still even know. I just, man, I’m at a loss for words. This is unbelievable. Oh, my gosh. We did it. I mean, we did it. That’s all I’ve got to tell you. Unreal.           Championship crew chief, Alan Gustafson, is now a NASCAR Cup Series champion, and very deserving. I just can’t say enough about our group. I felt like we took some really big strides this year, and last week was a huge one. To come out of that with a win and a shot to come here and have a chance to race is unbelievable.           Heck, I don’t know. I don’t even know. This is unreal.            Q. You got back around Joey Logano and that 22 and then you just had to wait it out. I know you were anticipating a late caution. We’ve seen them in the other championship races. What was going through your mind in those closing laps?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, just waiting on the caution, as always. You know, I saw Joey was pretty loose there and felt like I needed to get to him while I could. I knew I’d been kind of tight on a longer run and he was probably going to get a little better. Just unbelievable.           I mean, I just never would have thought that this year would have gone like it has. I mean, NASCAR Cup Series champion; are you kidding me? Unreal.            Q. You come from a Hall of Fame pedigree. You’ve got your parents, Bill and Cindy, here to celebrate with you. They’re behind the car here. What does it mean to you to add to the family legacy?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Oh, it’s unbelievable. All you can dream for is an opportunity, and I’ve been very fortunate to have that over the years. You know, and that’s all thanks to some great people. You know, my parents obviously have played a huge role. The past year has been tough. I lost my best friend about a year ago tonight. Lost my grandmother last year. And all those things bring families closer, so I really can’t thank them enough.           Mr. Hendrick, for taking a chance on me and believing in me when a lot of people didn’t. I think it really says a lot about him. And then to have a championship sponsor like NAPA, all of our partners, and Chevrolet, huge thanks to Team Hendrick and everybody at our shop that peaked at the right time. That’s all we can ask for.            Q. It almost seemed like a changing of the guard. We saw a lot of people come by to congratulate you after the finish including the seven‑time champion Jimmie Johnson. What did that moment mean to you?            CHASE ELLIOTT: Oh, my gosh, to share a moment like that in Jimmie’s last race and to win and to lock the championship, those are moments you can only dream of. You know, and this is a dream. I’m just hoping I don’t ever wake up.            Q. You didn’t get to celebrate the win for Martinsville a week ago, but you can bet this 24‑year‑old will be celebrating this tonight. WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 9th“Finished 2020 with a good top 10 finish today. We struggled a bit at the beginning, but we kept working on it and made up ground throughout the race. It was good to get a top 10 for Chad’s last race with us and as a crew chief. Great job to Chase (Elliott) and the No. 9 guys on the championship as well. They did a phenomenal job the last two races. I’m looking forward to the off season and then getting after it in 2021. Hopefully we’ll be fighting alongside those boys a lot.” KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 12th“We battled; we battled today, we battled all year and we battled through the playoffs. We had an incredible win in Vegas and some great turnarounds at tracks that we struggled at this year. I couldn’t be more proud of Matt McCall and all the guys at Chip Ganassi Racing. We were bringing better cars throughout the Playoffs. We’ve got to battle as a team, we’ve got to do good things as a team, and we have to win and lose as a team. To be top-10 overall after the year is done; I’m done with 2020! Thanks to Monster Energy, Chevrolet, GEARWRENCH and all the employees at Chip Ganassi Racing”.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 CHEVYGOODS.COM/TRUCKHERO CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 16th“Definitely a bummer to run like that today. So happy for Chase (Elliott) to win a championship like that is really neat. For Jimmie (Johnson) to have a solid run on his last race is really cool. We just were not competitive and its pretty frustrating to run like that to close the season out. It’s really the only race we weren’t competitive in throughout the entire playoffs. Really proud of my entire team for the fight each and every week. I know we are going to have a great year next year, but first I am ready for this off season.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 18th“We had a solid No. 3 Dow Chevrolet today at Phoenix Raceway. We started off tight in Stage 1 but the handling came to us the longer we ran. I just couldn’t get through the corners as well as I would have liked to all day long. Towards the end of the race, we knocked in both the left and right rears, which caused our Chevy’s handling to turn extremely loose. We hung on for all we had to finish 18th. Not the finish we wanted, but we’ll regroup and be ready next year. Thank you everyone at RCR , ECR, all of our fans and partners for your support this year. Congratulations to Chase Elliott and Team Chevy on winning the Championship.
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 I AM SECOND CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 19th“Our No. 8 I Am Second Chevrolet had some good speed in it today at Phoenix Raceway. I just needed more to roll through the center of the turns, but it was tough to adjust on that since I was also fighting a loose feeling on entry and exit of the turns. We had a good top-15 run during part of the race today, but towards the end I started having some issues with my brakes and had to adjust a little bit to finish out the race. I want to thank everyone at RCR and ECR for building great cars this year and all the effort they put into this season. We also had a great group of partners supporting us this year with Caterpillar, Chevy, Alsco, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, I Am Second, Tame the Beast, Avalan Wealth Management, and so many others. I learned a lot during my rookie season and know our team will regroup over the off-season to study how to be better in 2021.” TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 21st“All I can say is thank you to everyone at Germain Racing for a wonderful four years. It has been an honor to start my Cup career with this team and I can’t say thank you enough. To represent GEICO for four seasons was a privilege and I appreciate Bob Germain and GEICO for taking a chance on me as a rookie. I have so much love and appreciation for all those who have had a hand in this journey.” 

RCR Post Race Report – Season Finale 500

Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet Team Round Out 2020 Season With Strong Points Showing
  
18th 
 18th
11th
“We had a solid No. 3 Dow Chevrolet today at Phoenix Raceway. We started off tight in Stage 1, but the handling came to us the longer we ran. I just couldn’t get through the corners as well as I would have liked to all day long. Towards the end of the race, we knocked in both the left and right rears, which caused our Chevy’s handling to turn extremely loose. We hung on for all we had to finish 18th. Not the finish we wanted, but we’ll regroup and be ready next year. I’m so proud of the entire NASCAR industry for pulling together to complete the 2020 season despite the pandemic. Thank you everyone at RCR , ECR, all of our fans and partners for your support this year. Congratulations to Chase Elliott and Team Chevy on winning the Championship.”
-Austin Dillon
Tyler Reddick Caps Off Strong Rookie Year with Top-20 Finish in No. 8 I Am Second Chevy at Phoenix Raceway
  
21st 
 19th
19th
“Our No. 8 I Am Second Chevrolet had some good speed in it today at Phoenix Raceway. I just needed more to roll through the center of the turns, but it was tough to adjust on that since I was also fighting a loose feeling on entry and exit of the turns. We had a good top-15 run during part of the race today, but towards the end I started having some issues with my brakes and had to adjust a little bit to finish out the race. I want to thank everyone at RCR and ECR for building great cars this year and all the effort they put into this season, as well as all our great partners and fans for their support during an unprecedented season. I learned a lot during my rookie season and know our team will regroup over the off-season to study how to be better in 2021.”
-Tyler Reddick

chevy racing–nascar–phoenix finale post race

NASCAR CUP SERIES SEASON FINALE 500 PHOENIX RACEWAY TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES & QUOTES NOVEMBER 8, 2020
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner and 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion ~ Post race quick win quotes: Q. I think it’s all finally starting to soak in for Chase Elliott, the sport’s most popular driver, now its newest champion. Just 20 days shy of his 25th birthday, the youngest champion since Jeff Gordon won his first of four titles back in 1995. Chase, you’ve been asked all week time and again what it would mean to you to win this championship; you didn’t have an answer back then. How do you answer that one now?CHASE ELLIOTT: I’m not sure that I still even know. I just, man, I’m at a loss for words. This is unbelievable. Oh, my gosh. We did it. I mean, we did it. That’s all I’ve got to tell you. Unreal.           Championship crew chief, Alan Gustafson, is now a NASCAR Cup Series champion, and very deserving. I just can’t say enough about our group. I felt like we took some really big strides this year, and last week was a huge one. To come out of that with a win and a shot to come here and have a chance to race is unbelievable.           Heck, I don’t know. I don’t even know. This is unreal.            Q. You got back around Joey Logano and that 22 and then you just had to wait it out. I know you were anticipating a late caution. We’ve seen them in the other championship races. What was going through your mind in those closing laps?CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, just waiting on the caution, as always. You know, I saw Joey was pretty loose there and felt like I needed to get to him while I could. I knew I’d been kind of tight on a longer run and he was probably going to get a little better. Just unbelievable.           I mean, I just never would have thought that this year would have gone like it has. I mean, NASCAR Cup Series champion; are you kidding me? Unreal.            Q. You come from a Hall of Fame pedigree. You’ve got your parents, Bill and Cindy, here to celebrate with you. They’re behind the car here. What does it mean to you to add to the family legacy?CHASE ELLIOTT: Oh, it’s unbelievable. All you can dream for is an opportunity, and I’ve been very fortunate to have that over the years. You know, and that’s all thanks to some great people. You know, my parents obviously have played a huge role. The past year has been tough. I lost my best friend about a year ago tonight. Lost my grandmother last year. And all those things bring families closer, so I really can’t thank them enough.           Mr. Hendrick, for taking a chance on me and believing in me when a lot of people didn’t. I think it really says a lot about him. And then to have a championship sponsor like NAPA, all of our partners, and Chevrolet, huge thanks to Team Hendrick and everybody at our shop that peaked at the right time. That’s all we can ask for.            Q. It almost seemed like a changing of the guard. We saw a lot of people come by to congratulate you after the finish including the seven‑time champion Jimmie Johnson. What did that moment mean to you?CHASE ELLIOTT: Oh, my gosh, to share a moment like that in Jimmie’s last race and to win and to lock the championship, those are moments you can only dream of. You know, and this is a dream. I’m just hoping I don’t ever wake up.            Q. You didn’t get to celebrate the win for Martinsville a week ago, but you can bet this 24‑year‑old will be celebrating this tonight.

RCR Post Race Report – Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200

Myatt Snider Closes Out 2020 Season With Fast No. 21 TaxSlayer Chevrolet at Phoenix Raceway
  
18th 
 15th 
“We had another fast TaxSlayer Chevrolet today at Phoenix Raceway. We fired off a little too loose at the beginning of the race, but we were able to still pass a lot of good race cars. I made a mistake on our first stop of the night and slid through the pit box, which set us back. Thankfully, we were able to overcome that and drive back inside the top-10. We had a long run in the final stage and just struggled with the balance of our TaxSlayer Chevrolet. I felt like I had no grip and was really hoping for a caution so we could work on it. Unfortunately, we got caught speeding on pit road during our last green flag pit stop, which took us outside of the top-10. It was frustrating to not get the finish we deserved, but that’s just part of racing I guess. Thank you so much to everyone at Richard Childress Racing, ECR, TaxSlayer, and all our partners. I have really enjoyed competing with this No. 21 team this season.”  
-Myatt Snider

CHEVROLET CLINCHES 22nd BILL FRANCE PERFORMANCE CUP

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES DESERT DIAMOND CASINO WEST VALLEY 200 PHOENIX RACEWAY TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES & QUOTES NOVEMBER 7, 2020
Award Recognizes Manufacturer Championship in NASCAR Xfinity Series AVONDALE, Ariz. – (November 7, 2020) – At the conclusion of the Desert Diamond Casio West Valley 200 at Phoenix Raceway, Chevrolet clinched the Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). The 2020 achievement marks the 22nd time the Bowtie Brand has captured this prestigious honor, more than any other manufacturer.  The triumph also marks the sixth time Camaro SS has earned the award since becoming Chevrolet’s flagship vehicle in the Xfinity Series in 2013.  “Chevrolet is honored to again win the 2020 Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports. “Thank you to the Chevrolet teams and drivers that generated valuable points that secured this championship for Chevrolet.”
Capping off the regular season, Chevrolet placed more contenders in the Playoffs than any other manufacturer with seven drivers and teams in the running for this year’s title. Four different Team Chevy drivers were victorious during the year: Justin Allgaier (3 wins), Justin Haley (3 wins), AJ Allmendinger (2 wins), and Noah Gragson (2 wins). A multitude of Team Chevy members contributed to this special award with valuable points throughout the entire 33-race season.  Chevrolet returns to competition in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021.

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