MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
BANK OF AMERICA 500
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
OCTOBER 8, 2017
CHARLOTTE YIELDS RUNNER-UP FINISH FOR CHEVY’S CHASE ELLIOTT
All Four Chevy SS Playoff Driver’s Earn Top 10 Finishes
CONCORD, N.C. (October 8, 2017) – In the opening race of the second segment of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) Playoffs at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS), Chase Elliott captured a second-place finish in his No. 24 SunEnergy1 Chevy SS at the Bank of America 500.
The effort marks the sixth time in his early Cup Serie career that the 21-year-old Georgia native has been one spot shy of capturing his first career MENCS victory. Elliott now has two top-10 finishes in five races at CMS and nine top-five finishes thus far in 2017. Despite not hoisting the hardware, Elliott puts himself and his team in a good position heading into the second race of the Round of 12, the treacherous Talladega Superspeedway, with a 15-point cushion ahead of the cutoff line.
“We needed to be a little better I think in the middle stage and not lose so much track position,” said Elliott after 337-miles of racing at CMS. “That was where Martin (Truex, Jr.) came on and got his track position, and we lost ours and it was just hard to get all of it back there toward the end. It was a hard-fought day and really, from where we were in those middle stages, I was proud of the way we fought back and were able to get back to the front. It’s frustrating to run like this. We’re definitely tired of running second. But, if we keep running like we are, hopefully the opportunities will be there.”
Jamie McMurray had a strong run in his No. 1 Sherwin-Williams Chevrolet SS, taking the checkered flag in the fifth position. McMurray now has 16 top-10 finishes in 2017 and sits in the eighth and final transfer spot in the point standings with two races left in the Round of 12.
Seven-time MENCS champion, Jimmie Johnson overcame a pit road incident late in the going to bring his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy SS home in the seventh position, marking his 20rd top 10 finish in 33 races at Charlotte. Johnson is seventh in the series standings eight points ahead of the cutoff line.
Kyle Larson, No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS, rounded out the Chevy SS Playoff drivers with a 10th place finish. Larson paced the field in the late going for 12 circuits, but a snafu on the final pit stops put him deep in the field; yet he and the team were able to rebound to earn their 19th top-10 finish of the season. Larson now sits second in the series point standings only 34 markers behind current leader Truex, Jr.
Hendrick Motorsports driver, Kasey Kahne, took a ninth-place finish in the No. 5 Road to Race Day Chevy SS, to give Team Chevy five of the top 10 finishers overall.
Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) was the race winner, Kevin Harvick (Ford) was third and Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was fourth to round out the top five finishers.
The next stop on the MENCS schedule is Talladega Superspeedway for the Alabama 500, which is scheduled for Sunday, October 15th at 2:00 pm ET.
POST RACE PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT:
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 SUNENERGY1 CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 2ND
THE MODERATOR: Chase, another solid performance by your team in this round of playoffs. Just talk a little bit about your run today in the 24.
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, it’s been a solid start. Obviously, we’d like to pick up one spot, but overall just the way we’ve been running since the playoffs started has been refreshing, and definitely makes it a lot of fun to come to the track and know that our car is going to drive pretty good, our pit stops have been really nice, and now is definitely the time of year to do that. So hopefully we can carry it forward, what, five or six more weeks and see what it’s got to offer.
Q. Chase, two second‑place finishes, talk about that going into Talladega next week.
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, I mean, it’s nice to run in the top 5 solidly. Obviously, you hate to run second because that means you were close to first, but hopefully we’ll have our day sometime.
Q. And Chase, for you, Denny cited the humidity just before you got in here. Obviously, we saw it was a really physical, really grueling race. What did you feel in your car? What were the challenges for you as far as this day goes and going the full chance?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, it was hot, for sure, one of the ‑‑ I’d say one of the hottest or toughest races of the year from that perspective. I thought we kind of had a mild summer in my opinion, and it was humid and hot today for ‑‑ here we are in October, so definitely warm.
Q. Chase, do you feel any better after today, you’re second where you’re sitting after last week?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Definitely doesn’t make last week any better by any means, but the way we’ve run over the past two weeks is definitely refreshing. You hope that we can keep running like we are, and like I said a minute ago, if we can, then opportunities will definitely be there. If we capitalize on them, hopefully we’ll have our day.
Q. We heard Kevin Harvick in his post‑race interview talk about how the traction compound was definitely going away as the race went on. Was that something you guys noticed while you were driving out there? Was it a challenge to find grip as that traction compound went away?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I thought it went away a little bit. It was definitely pretty grippy up there, and just never seemed like the top‑top came in. I guess guys were just a little skeptical to get up there. It never really got dusted off, so it was hard to leave that middle groove from what I saw.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, we appreciate you spending some time with us and wish you the best of luck next weekend.