MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES & QUOTES
APRIL 8, 2018
TOP TEAM CHEVY FINISHERS:
3rd JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CAMARO ZL1
8th DARRELL WALLACE JR., NO. 43 CLICK N’ CLOSE CAMARO ZL1
10th WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
11th CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
13th TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1
TOP FIVE FINISHERS:
1ST Kyle Busch (Toyota)
2nd Kevin Harvick (Ford)
3rd Jamie McMurray (Chevrolet)
4th Eric Jones (Toyota)
5TH Ryan Blaney (Ford)
The next race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) will be at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN for the Food City 500 on Sunday, April 15 at 2:00 pm ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES:
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 3rd
ON HIS DAY:
“We just had a really good car and were able to miss some of those accidents. The off-weekend couldn’t have come at a better time for us. We had such a horrible season going and it’s awesome to run as good as we did today at a 1.5-mile. We have so many of these and I feel like we have been a little bit behind on the 1.5-miles but had a really good run today.”
DO YOU THINK RACING IN THE XFINITY SERIES RACE YESTERDAY PLAYED INTO YOUR GOOD RUN TODAY?
“I don’t think it helps a lot. It certainly doesn’t hurt to get a little bit of track time. The track is pretty treacherous when you get out of the groove. Obviously, I spun out yesterday in the Xfinity race, so I learned not to go up there, but it was a really good day for our Cessna/McDonald’s Chevrolet. We really struggled this year and especially on the 1.5-mile’s. I’m really proud of everybody for the car that we had and to be able to put the whole race together. The off-weekend for us couldn’t have come at a better time. We needed a little bit of a break, so hopefully we can get on a roll here.”
DARRELL “BUBBA” WALLACE, NO. 43 CLICK N’ CLOSE CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 8th
IS THIS THE TYPE OF STEP THIS PROGRAM NEEDS TO BUILD?
“Absolutely. Hell yeah, we needed that. That was a good week off for us to re-group. The guys did a hell of a job all weekend long. I thought we had pretty decent speed and a lot of people in the garage were like ‘your car is pretty good, so just don’t mess it up.’ I had a couple of opportunities there, especially the first stop coming down, but our Click N’ Close Chevrolet was pretty decent all day for us. Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) did a great job doing some pit strategy on that last call to get us out there to fourth. I don’t know if we were on the splitter on that last run, but she just wouldn’t turn going down into the corners and gave up a couple of spots. I will beat myself up over that one, but still walking away with my first top 10 in the Cup Series is pretty good. Really good day for us. We had some prospects on the box, so I think that went a long way as well. But man, what a good day, what a good weekend for us. We had the mojo the whole time and just super excited. Thanks to Coca-Cola, NASCAR, Click N’ Close, Maui Jim and everybody involved in our program, STP, Air Force, we do so much for this small team and these little runs, these big runs are going a long way for us.”
YOU PUT ON A GREAT SHOW. TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE OVERALL AND RACING KEVIN HARVICK FOR THE LUCKY DOG:
“Yeah, I will see if I get a text from him later, but I think he knew the circumstances there. He knew I wanted that lucky dog more than him and I think we ended up both getting it. I don’t know how. That was fun. That shows how much speed we had in our car, but it also shows the product of racing here at Texas because it’s hard to pass. A lot of people were giving you the point by because they knew who was faster and didn’t want to waste too much time. You would spend one corner with somebody and the car that was in front of you is now half a track ahead of you. You had to really pick and choose your battles and we pulled some good strategy there at the end for our Click N’ Close team. Just proud of the effort and work that went into our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and just so pumped up. Everybody involved in this small program, STP, Air Force, had some prospects up on the box, so that was a big day for us.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 10th
“It was really good for us to get a top 10. We had a good car. Once the sun came out we weren’t quite as good, I don’t think, but starting in the back this was definitely a good day for us. We had a lot of adversity and kept having to go to the back. So, it’s good to come back from that and get a top 10. It feels awesome. It feels great to get a top 10. It obviously takes a lot of things to happen. We didn’t quite have the speed we wanted to. We were really good in practice but I think some of our weaknesses showed up when the rubber laid down on the track a little bit on the bottom groove. Overall it was a pretty good day and we can definitely build on this. Repaves are really treacherous and the restarts were so sketchy. I learned a couple of things with adjustments in the car to help for that and overall I thought that green flag entries were good. Green flag stops, the guys did a good job. Overall, I thought it was pretty good. So, it was a pretty solid day. We had a ton of things happen but I thought that we ended-up about where we should have.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 11th
“Definitely not the day we wanted. We started 20th and were able to get up to second at one point then just got tight and faded back for a while. We’re gonna keep working and move on to Bristol.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 – FINISHED 13TH
“There’s no doubt that this team has been working hard. The past two races have been our strongest of the year, and this weekend we had one of our best Fridays that we have had in a while. Our GEICO Camaro ZL1 didn’t have quite the speed that the leaders did, but I was able to set a good pace and hold my position. I lost some track position at the very start of the race when the car was building tight on exit, but my crew chief made great adjustments to get us back on track and ultimately bring home a top-15 finish. We have been grinding week after week, and the hard work is paying off with our best finish of the year. This team is only going to keep getting stronger and scoring solid finishes.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 BUSH’S BEANS CAMARO ZL1 – FINISHED 15TH
“The weather didn’t really break like I think we were hoping and kind of planned on. That made it a little bit tough throughout the race. We hung in there and we just couldn’t get a little bit of luck on calls. We did a good job and got lucky avoiding some of the accidents and all that. So, that was good and at the end of the day had a decent finish. Still got some work to do. I’m looking forward to Bristol.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 95 PROCORE CAMARO ZL1 – FINISHED 17TH
“We just missed it really, really bad early, but it got a lot better as we went. We would have definitely run top 15 if I didn’t screw up and spin out. But, we had a much better car the last 150 laps than we did during the first part of the race.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 28th
“Today just wasn’t our day. A few laps in, I checked up when I saw the car in front of me get loose and then I think someone took the air off the rear and I got spun around. This Nationwide team worked their tails off fixing my Camaro ZL1. We kept working on it throughout the remainder of the race and we learned some stuff. We will regroup this week at the shop and get ready to go to Bristol next week.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S FOR PROS CAMARO ZL1 – Involved in a multi-car crash on lap 178 – Finished 35th
TALK US THROUGH WHAT YOU SAW THROUGH YOUR WINDSHIELD DURING THAT CRASH:
“Yeah, by the time I saw what went on the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) was backwards and smoking the tires coming up the track. I knew where his arch was taking him and I knew that I was in trouble in the outside lane and going to get into him some. And then the crash just kind of continued from there. So, unfortunate circumstances, but a lot to build on from this weekend. A strong Friday, a fantastic Saturday and then not the best Sunday. We had a lot of different things work against us today, but we are getting closer each and every week and I’m really proud of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. We will get back to our winning ways soon.”
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE RIDING AROUND MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?
“By the time I saw it, because I was rows back, the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) was backward and sliding up the track. I was in the outside lane and knew I was in the wrong lane at that point and probably going to get caught up in it. Unfortunately, we did, but a lot to build on from the weekend. We had a strong Friday, a fantastic Saturday and today we had plenty of speed, but just a lot of things worked against us. We just need a good clean weekend and we will go to Bristol next week and see if we can do it there.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 – Experienced a tire failure on lap 128 of 334 – Finished 36th
ARE YOU OKAY?
“Yeah, I’m okay thankfully. Thanks to NASCAR and their safety because that was a huge hit. Just hate that I blew a right-front (tire) there. I was pretty tight but didn’t really expect to blow a right-front. Restarted up front there and was just really tight for a few laps and then actually got going pretty good. Just needed to get by Joey (Logano) there and I felt like I was one of the faster cars out there. So, felt like we could have had a shot at the end of the race, but it was cut short.”
YOU STARTED FROM THE BACK BECAUSE HIS CAR FAILED INSPECTION, BUT HE DROVE IT ALL THE WAY INTO THE TOP FIVE. WHAT HAPPENED?
“Down the front stretch I below a right-front (tire) and slammed the wall. That was a pretty huge hit, but I’m relatively okay. Thanks to NASCAR and all their safety features and SAFER barriers especially. Yeah, I would have liked to have finished this thing out because I feel like our Credit One Bank Chevy was really fast. Wasn’t very good there on the short run that run, but long runs I felt like we were as good or better than anybody.”