NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway and discussed making the Chase, his chances at a win Saturday night and many other topics. Full Transcript:
LOOKING AHEAD TO SATURDAY NIGHT A WIN WILL GUARANTEE YOU A SPOT IN THE CHASE. WITH THAT SAID HOW ARE YOU APPROACHING THIS WEEKEND HERE AT RICHMOND?
“It’s got to all go really good. I thought our – what was our AXE Chevy last time we were here – but I think our Target Chevy will be good again. We were on the pole last time. We got in the wall the first lap and kind of messed up our splitter. I don’t really know where we stood in the race. But we had a good test here a couple of months ago. I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of this track. Hopefully we can get a win. That is pretty much our only hope right now, unless (Greg) Biffle has an absolutely horrible night, we are going to have to get a win. It is nice knowing what you have to do I guess before the race starts. Just got to be aggressive and get all you can. If we get a win it will be amazing if we can get in the Chase it will be pretty cool.”
YOU GUYS ALWAYS SAY YOU RACE THE SAME, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT’S AT STAKE. BUT GIVEN WHAT IS AT STAKE WHAT LEVEL OF PRESSURE IS THERE MAYBE NOT YOU, BUT FROM THE OUTSIDE TENTACLES THAT COME WITH BEING A CUP DRIVER TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE OR TAKE A CHANCE YOU WOULDN’T OR MAYBE EVEN NOT RACE SOMEBODY VERY NICELY?
“I think there will be – I don’t know it’s kind of hard to say, but for me I guess there might be a little bit of less give and take this time around just because you need to be as far forward as you can be in the race. Like I said it’s hard to say. I could sit here and say I will be more aggressive and all that, but I really don’t know. But, yeah, I mean when it comes down to the end of the race I’m going to definitely try to get all I can get. Right now I don’t feel, I guess I really don’t ever feel any pressure. Maybe there is less pressure since I actually know what I have to do on Saturday night and that is to get a win.”
DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU CAN BE AGGRESSIVE? DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE STILL IN THE TIME OF EARNING RESPECT FROM THESE GUYS WHERE YOU CAN’T JUST PUSH PEOPLE OUT OF THE WAY AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS LATER?
“Yeah, I think you spend the whole year as a rookie kind of earning respect. But I think at the same time a lot of those guys that are already locked in the Chase are probably going to be up front and understand that I’m going to be doing all I can to try and get in the Chase. I don’t know. You can’t be dirty. Just be as aggressive as you can without really doing anything stupid and making anybody too mad.”
“I mean you could, but I will have a long career hopefully racing these guys so I don’t want to. Long term I think it would be a better choice to not do anything stupid.”
DO YOU LIKE A TRACK LIKE THIS OR WOULD YOU RATHER IT BE A LONGER TRACK OR IS THIS THE IDEAL TRACK FOR YOU IN THE SITUATION WHERE YOU HAVE TO WIN?
“Well I would say Richmond is not one of my best tracks so I would like it to be a 1.5-mile that seems to be my best type of race track, but that is not how it is. I’ve got to figure out how to get around this track as fast as I can. Tweak on our car a little bit and hopefully, like I said, the race goes smooth for us no issues and you have good pit stops. I hope we can qualify well. I think qualifying is a big part of racing well here. Hopefully we can qualify up front again and have a smoother first lap than last time. But yeah it would be nice if we were at a 1.5-mile, but that is not the way it is.”
IS LAP ONE, TURN ONE THE FASTEST YOU HAVE CRASHED IN A RACE?
“Yeah that was by far probably the quickest I’ve ever been spun out.”
NASCAR ANNOUNCED CHANGES TO THE QUALIFYING FORMAT FOR TALLADEGA. THEY HAVE SHORTENED THE OPENING SESSION FROM 25 MINUTES TO 10 MINUTES WITH GROUPS GOING OUT FIVE MINUTES EACH. HOW DO YOU SEE THAT IMPACTING WHAT YOU GUYS ARE ATTEMPTING TO DO?
“I didn’t know about that. That is pretty cool. I think it will help a little bit. I wish they would shorten the first round everywhere we run. It seems like – especially in Nationwide the first round is way too long. I wish they would shorten it at every track. Yeah it is definitely going to help at Talladega because it’s pretty boring to watch. I don’t think it’s going to change necessarily how we, well I think it will a little bit, but you will still have those small packs all trying to draft off each other and playing games. But you will have to do it quicker.”
HOW DO YOU CHARACTERIZE THE WAY YOUR SEASON HAS GONE THE LAST TWO MONTHS? IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS COULD HAVE CONTROLLED OR IS IT JUST RACING THINGS?
“As far as the bad weekends there are probably little ways that we could have controlled it some. We had a part failure at Sonoma which had a bad finish. Then Kentucky I was kind of driving hard and abused my right-front (tire) and blew my right-front (tire) out. Then Michigan the last time was what really hurt us a lot where I got into Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. on pit road. That was probably a racing deal a little bit, but I guess I could have been a little bit more alert. You can always kind of back track and think of things you could have done differently. Can’t really change any of that now, so just got to go out there and do really good.”
YOU SAID THIS ISN’T ONE OF YOUR BEST TRACKS, YET YOU WERE FASTEST IN PRACTICE TO GET THAT PROVISIONAL POLE WHEN QUALIFYING WAS RAINED OUT IN APRIL. YOU STILL FINISHED 16TH DESPITE HAVING THAT DAMAGE. DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GOT A SENSE OF THIS PLACE? OR FEEL LIKE YOU LEARNED SOME THINGS THAT COULD HELP YOU WIN THIS WEEKEND?
“Yeah, definitely I think I have gotten a lot better here over the past year. Then I think the biggest thing for me was that tire test we did here a couple of months ago. Doing those tire tests at a track that you aren’t very good at is nice because you can focus on hitting your marks every corner where you are not worried about the person behind you or person in front of you. You are just worried about hitting your marks. You can learn your rhythm and I thought I did that a lot at the test. Even the last Cup race here I thought I was pretty decent. Like I said it is hard to say how good our car was because we had damage from lap one. I’m interested to get back on track tomorrow for practice and kind of see if the gains I feel like we made at the test will move us up speed wise.”