MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
FEBRUARY 23, 2018
RYAN NEWMAN PLACES CAMARO ZL1 ON THE OUTSIDE POLE AT ATLANTA
HAMPTON, Ga. (February 23, 2018) – Ryan Newman put his No. 31 Liberty National Camaro ZL1 on the front row with a second-place qualifying run for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Round 2 of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Newman ran a quick time of 30.062 seconds (184.419 mph) to earn the outside front row starting spot. Newman narrowly missed earning a record setting eighth pole at Atlanta. He is currently tied for the most all-time poles at Atlanta with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, with seven each to their credit.
Newman and fellow Camaro ZL1 driver, Kyle Larson advanced to the third and final round of knockout style qualifying at the 1.5-mile Georgia venue. Larson will start eighth in the No. 42 First Data Camaro ZL1.
Other Team Chevy driver’s starting in the top 20 are: Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 – 13th, Kasey Kahne, No. 95 Procore Habitat for Humanity Camaro Zl1 – 14th; Alex Bowman, No. 88 Axalta Camaro ZL1 – 18th, and Darrell “Bubba’ Wallace Jr., No. 43 NASCAR Racing Experience Camaro ZL1 – 19th.
Kyle Busch (Toyota) earned the pole, Kevin Harvick (Ford) will start second, Daniel Suarez (Toyota) rolls off the starting grid in fourth and Brad Keselowski will start fifth to round out the top five qualifiers.
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is scheduled to begin on Sunday, February 25th at 2:00 pm, EDT. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
Post Qualifying Notes and Quotes:
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 LIBERTY NATIONAL CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 2nd
WHAT MAKES YOU SO GOOD ON THIS SURFACE?
“They haven’t changed it for the last 20 years. I just enjoy the racetrack. We’ve got a good racecar with our Liberty National Life Insurance Chevrolet. Obviously, the Camaro is strong out of the box, but wish we could have got that pole for them as well as us. Just in general look forward to this weekend. I think the drivers fought really hard last year to make sure this place didn’t get repaved and I think we are going to put up the same battle again this year.”
YOU DID HELP YOUR AVERAGE TODAY
“Yeah, we did a little bit. I’ve got to thank Liberty National Life Insurance for jumping on board and sponsoring our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend. And, that was rough. He (Kyle Busch, pole winner) earned it, Obviously I did it seven times to beat somebody else in second. So, we’ll just keep digging. We’ve got a good race car and we’ll hopefully have some fun this weekend.”
YOU’VE NEVER WON AT ATLANTA. DO YOU FEEL PRETTY CONFIDENT FOR SUNDAY?
“Yeah, I think in race trim it’s pretty good. I think there are always things that you can work on here. The track conditions seem to change so much when you start practice like that with a green race track. I look forward to the weekend. It’s one of the best race tracks we come to for being able to handle and work your magic inside the race car because that’s what it all comes down to.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 FIRST DATA CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 8th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“Yeah, we were pretty good all three rounds. In practice the No. 17 ran the top in (Turns) 3 and 4 and went quickest, so if I got to the third round, I wanted to do that because I felt maybe it would be better. Which I think it was fairly similar to the bottom speed wise, but I didn’t get through (Turns) 1 and 2 as good that last round and probably just gave up maybe a little bit in (Turns) 3 and 4. Eighth is still okay. I feel like I always qualify about there here. We will be alright come Sunday.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 13th
HOW MUCH DID THE TRACK CHANGE FROM THE FIRST ROUND TO THE SECOND?
“Well, it loses a lot of grip here. But yeah, we’ve been really loose since we unloaded and we made a pretty big swing at it there and our Cessna/McDonalds Chevy just needed a little bit more grip. On the flip side or the positive side, we’ll have one less lap on our tires and it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but of any of the tracks we go to, one lap makes a pretty big difference here.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 95 PROCORE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 14th
WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTATIONS?
“Yeah, it’s not bad. We picked-up in the second round, which I thought was nice. It’s tough to do. I don’t feel great but I doubt anybody does on this surface. But it’s been an interesting day just trying to understand. It’s a different car and a lot of different things going on. We’re trying to understand that. Working with the guys has been good but we have a long way to go. So, we’ll keep after it. But yeah, not bad for our Procore Habitat for Humanity Chevy Camaro ZL1 was all right, right there.”
BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 NASCAR RACING EXPERIENCE CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 19th
“I’m good just not what we needed. It’s my first time here in Atlanta, so getting to go through the emotions and the tire wear and all that, that big game that we play there. Just a little bit too free right now. A different balance than what we had in our mock run in practice, so we went from one end of the spectrum to the other, but nothing I’m worried about. My guys on my NASCAR Racing Experience No. 43 Chevrolet we will get it tuned up for tomorrow. It’s not where you start it’s where you finish right?”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 25th
“I think I’m ready for a nap. It’s been a long week. But our DOW Chevy is fine. We started 19th here last year and were running third when our alternator went out. So, I’m really excited about this place. It’s a long run track and qualifying really sets you up a little bit for pit stalls and stuff like that, but we’re all good. We’re locked-in right now and we’ve just got to go to work tomorrow in our practice session and see what we can do. (Ryan) Newman is fast and that’s good to see and to work off of our teammates.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 27th
WHAT DID YOU MISS?
“Everything, I think. Some days you do and some days you don’t and we didn’t today. So, I don’t know. We were way off; not even close. So, I don’t really have much of an excuse for it. We just didn’t hit it right today and we’ll go to work tonight and work through it and hopefully get ready for tomorrow. It’s our only option now.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 28th
“I felt pretty solid in (Turns) 1 and 2. I ran around the top kind of straddling the seam up top there. It felt pretty good. I was a little freer than what I was over there in practice, so it had me a little worried going into (Turn) 3 that it was going to be too free down there because we had been tight in practice and sure enough we were just too loose running the bottom down there. Qualifying really hasn’t been our strong suit last year and starting this year, but somewhere we are really going to focus on to get better. Matt Borland (crew chief) has got a lot of experience qualifying really good. Him and I were just talking about it right then and what we think we can do to do better. Just have to have an overall tighter racecar for that one lap so I can hustle a little bit harder. I think I have typically coming from the Truck and Xfinity Series where you have a lot more grip and less horsepower you run the cars freer to run fast for one lap. I kind of still have that mindset over here. We are going to work on that it’s going to be a point of emphasis this year to try to qualify better. Obviously, we didn’t do it here, but at Atlanta you get kind of a mulligan because if you are a good racecar you can come up through the field.”