MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TOYOTA OWNERS 400
TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES & QUOTES
APRIL 21, 2018
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 2nd
YOU SURVIVED A NIGHT WITH A BUNCH OF CRAZY RESTARTS:
“Yeah, it wasn’t pretty for sure. We had a big fight from our Napa Auto Parts and Napa Brakes team tonight. Just we have a lot of work to do I still feel like to get to have the speed that we need and the car driving like we want it to or like I want it to at least. But our restarts fell into our hands there at the end having short runs kind of played into our favor and was able to move forward because of that. So, circumstances were on our side tonight, which is not normal, so I’m happy about that.”
DESCRIBE THE RESTARTS AT THE END AND THE PROGRESS YOU WERE ABLE TO MAKE:
“Yeah, it was definitely a big fight to keep up and make up the ground that we had lost early in the race. The car wasn’t driving like I had wanted it to. We were off, I felt like, a pretty good bit pace wise and speed, so just needed some short runs there at the end and was fortunate enough to be in the right lane at the right time. Circumstances were on our side, which is not typically the case. So, I will take it and we will go on down the road.”
HOW ARE YOU GUYS, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AND YOU CHASE ELLIOTT WITH THE CAMARO? I KNOW IT’S BEEN A BIT OF A STRUGGLE FOR YOU GUYS. HOW HAS THE PROGRESS BEEN THIS YEAR?
“Yeah, I mean I think it’s been a steady work in progress. We certainly have work to do and we know that. The results tonight, I don’t feel like… I think if we looked at the results we would feel okay about it, but I think in reality we shouldn’t feel okay about it. We need to go back and really focus on getting better.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S FOR PROS CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 6th
“We had to start the race on the tires we qualified with, and as soon as we got those tires off the car, we were a very competitive car and were able to stay on the lead lap. And with the long green flag runs, we were able to still stay on the lead lap and work our way up through the field. I don’t know what we’re missing on scuff tires but that’s something we’ve got to figure out.”
WITH A COUPLE OF GOOD RACES NOW, DO YOU FEEL YOU’RE TAKING THAT NEXT STEP?
“We’re taking steps forward. I’d love to take a jump forward (laughs), but we’re definitely taking steps forward.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 7th
“We weren’t very good all race long. And then I ended-up getting the Lucky Dog there and then lost a lap preparing very, very minor damage, so that was kind of a hiccup on our part. I was able to get the Lucky Dog again and then charge from wherever we were to seventh the last laps. So, we salvaged a really good finish which was good.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 12th
ON HIS RACE:
“I sped on pit road and I guess I was just pushing the last segment there in the corner and we were a little bit too fast coming onto the straightaway. Overall, a really good night. We got stage points, I think we finished fifth in both stages and I think we finished 12th, but overall learned a lot and can just really build on this. I love racing at short tracks. It’s a blast and definitely learned a lot from this.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE GETTING INTO A RHYTHM OF BEING A CUP DRIVER?
“Oh yeah, definitely starting to get really comfortable with what is going on. I’m starting to really figure out what I need to be faster and I think this weekend was a good example of that. Just love coming to short tracks they are a lot of fun. I don’t love the late-race restarts because I felt like we had a good long run car and I really liked to use some of the tools I was doing on the long runs to beat some guys, but overall a pretty good day.”
ON THE SPEEDING PENALTY:
“Yeah, I felt I was plenty good on my lights, but I just didn’t slow down quick enough for the straightaway. You’ve got like two corners on pit road that you can run faster RPM and I just screwed up. It sucks, but I will learn from that, but it was a good day. It was fun coming all the way from dead last and I think under green up to 12th and that was a lot of fun.”
IS IT A RELIEF TO BE ABLE TO OVERCOME THE ADVERSITY?
“Yeah, I think the biggest thing is that we had a race car that I could do something with that really I could manage the drive and manage my tools inside the car to make it better. To finish fifth in both stages was something to be really proud of and I felt like we ran right around 10th all day so it’s frustrating to know that we didn’t get a shot at it and mainly because of the speeding penalty, so learned from that, but overall just learned the level of aggression the top 10 guys have. I haven’t been around that yet, so that was something to get used to.”
DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 SMOKEY MOUNTAIN HERBAL SNUFF CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 32nd
HOW WAS YOUR FIRST RACE IN THE CUP SERIES TONIGHT?
“Obviously the results and the finish isn’t at all what we came here to do, but we started the race too far off and we lost so many laps there the first run and that put us behind for the rest of the night. With it going green like it did, I didn’t get to show how much better we got our Camaro ZL1 there throughout the race. I thought we could take off in top 15 speed after we got to work on it for the first time. It just took us getting to pit road to give us that opportunity. But I’m proud of these guys on the Smokey Mountain Snuff Chevrolet to give me the opportunity to come here and to run 398 laps; I think I came two laps shorter of all of them. But, I’m just thankful to be here.”
WAS IT WHAT YOU EXPECTED? ANY SURPRISES?
“The racing itself and they guys we are racing are the best at this level. A lot of guys prepared me very well to come here and know what I was getting myself into. By the end of the day, it just goes to show, once we got the race car where I needed it, we had the pace and we had the ability to race guys and we passed cars and we raced with good guys all night after the first stint, and that side of it was a learning progress and that got me to where I felt like I could race with these guys. I wish we had a clean slate and we could do it over again right now, but it is what it is and we’ll roll along. I’m just thankful for everything and the opportunity to be here.”