MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TOYOTA / SAVE MART 350
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 21, 2019
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 met with media and discussed his previous poles at Sonoma, his views of running the Carousel, racing at his hometown track, and more. Full Transcript:
YOU HAVE CAPTURED THE BUSCH POLE AWARD THE LAST TWO YEARS AT SONOMA. THIS YEAR THEY THREW THE CAROUSEL AT YOU BUT YOU WERE STILL FAST IN PRACTICE AND WON THE T-MOBIL FASTEST PRACTICE AWARD TODAY. THAT DIDN’T SEEM TO BOTHER YOU AT ALL
“I don’t know. It’s just a few extra corners so it’s not a big deal I guess to any of us out there. So, yeah we ran a good lap in our mock run today in practice so I feel like I have a good shot at another pole tomorrow. I would like to be better in race trim, but yeah, if we can get another pole it would be pretty cool.”
HAS THERE BEEN ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION WITH YOU AND NASCAR ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT TALLADEGA AND WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS GOING INTO DAYTONA? DO YOU HAVE ANY FEAR THAT YOUR CAR COULD GO AIRBORNE AGAIN?
“I don’t know if they’ve made changes or what or not. So, I don’t really know how to answer the question. I don’t think about going airborne whenever I strap into a car. But, if it happens, it happens.”
WE HAVEN’T HAD THIS PACKAGE AT DAYTONA YET. HOW DO YOU FEEL THE CARS WILL HANDLE THERE?
“I don’t know. It’s a nighttime race so that usually helps the handling a little bit. I don’t know. I haven’t thought about Daytona yet. We’ve just got to get through here and Chicago.”
THIS IS LIKE YOUR HOME TRACK, JUST AROUND THE CORNER IN ELK GROVE, WHAT’S IT LIKE COMING HOME TO CALIFORNIA AND WHAT YOU GET A CHANCE TO SEE AND DO WHEN YOU’RE HERE
“it’s my home track so I love coming out here. But still, with it being close to home, I don’t really spend it at home. I spend it as a vacation, really, in the Napa Valley. I came out here a couple days earlier than I was scheduled to. With all the rain in Ohio, we decided to fly to California. I got here Tuesday night and spent the night at (wife) Katelyn’s parents house with the family and drove to Napa Wednesday and had some dinner. We went and wine-tasted yesterday and then I’m going to hang out tonight and get some good dinner somewhere. It’s just a normal weekend really. It doesn’t feel like a home race until Sunday rolls around and I get to see some of my friends and old fans and stuff that have watched me race growing up.”
ARE THERE PEOPLE THAT YOU NEVER SEE ALL YEAR UNTIL THIS RACE? OR, DO THEY COME TO SOME OF YOUR SPRINT CAR STUFF TOO?
“No, not really. As far as like fans go, there are lots of fans that I probably don’t really recognize that come up to me and say that the used to watch me race at Placerville and Silver Dollar and stuff like that. So yeah, I guess this would probably be the one race where maybe I’d see those types of people. But as far as my friends, my close friends will come to this and they might come to a couple others like Vegas or because the Outlaws are in town; Charlotte and things like that. But yeah, dirt track Sprint Car fans, a lot of them come up on Sunday. So, I definitely feel like I’ve got a good fan following here with it being my home race and getting to have my dirt track fans come watch me.”
REGARDING CHICAGOLAND, IT WAS A THRILLER WITH YOU AND KYLE BUSCH THERE LAST YEAR. WITH A YEAR REMOVED, WHAT STICKS OUT TO YOU ABOUT THAT DAY AND HOW DO YOU THINK THE RACING WILL BE THIS TIME?
“It will definitely be different this time. We’ll see how it is. I hear a lot of people talk about this package and it’s really good for nighttime races with high grip. Last year that weekend was extremely hot and the opposite of what this package might need. So, we’ll see how the racing will be. But yeah, that was a good and exciting finish to be a part of. I wish I would have been in Victory Lane for that one. But, it’s cool to be a part of an epic finish.”
WHAT IS THE GAME PLAN NOT JUST FOR QUALIFYING, BUT TO GET YOU THAT ELUSIVE WIN AT SONOMA?
“I don’t know. We don’t ever come here and set up to get a pole. We come here to try and win the race and have the set-up capable of winning the race. So, it just happens to work out where I’ve been good for short run-kind-of-stuff here my whole career. It seems like it’s kind of the same thing again this weekend. So, I don’t know. We’ve tried all sorts of different stuff so maybe it’s just my fault why I’m only good at qualifying.”
THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF RACING LEFT, BUT WHERE WOULD YOU RATE YOUR LEVEL OF FRUSTRATION AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON?
“I guess not too frustrating with how our cars are running because I feel like our cars have been pretty good. But as far as just bad luck or mistakes and things like that, that’s what’s been frustrating. But, having a decently fast race car helps relieve some of that frustration. Kurt (Busch) has been running really good. I run pretty good most of the race and then kind of something seems to happen towards the end. We’ve just got to clean up come things still and hopefully we can make the Playoffs and be hitting on all eight cylinders at the right time.”
WITH YOU AND KURT BUSCH BEING SECOND AND FIRST ON THE SPEED CHART, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU GUYS HAVE A LOT OF THINGS PERHAPS IN COMMON. HOW MUCH TIME HAVE YOU SPENT CONFERRING WITH EACH OTHER LEADING INTO THIS RACE, OR IS THIS JUST A FLUKE THING?
“We didn’t spend any time together before this race. I wouldn’t say it’s a fluke either. You can look at myself and (Jamie) McMurray, we were always at the top of the speed charts here as well. I think our cars are pretty good, at least for short run stuff here. So, I guess I really don’t know how to answer this question.”
PICK A TURN. WHAT’S THE WORST TURN FOR YOU AT THIS TRACK?
‘Probably Turn 7. It definitely used to be 7. And then the new 7 is still probably my worst corner. But probably not as bad. Turn 7 is just tough because it’s hard to get grip exiting that corner.”
CAN YOU COMPARE THE CAROUSEL TO ANY OTHER TURN YOU’VE EVER RACED IN YOUR CAREER?
“Probably. I guess it’s similar to Watkins Glen in a way but it’s still different. I actually feel like it’s kind of an odd corner just because I feel like I have a lot of grip for the first two-thirds of the corner. And then, like as we get back on the drag strip I lose all sorts of grip. So, that’s been tricky. It’s been a tricky corner. But, it is what it is. You can’t really pass there anyway.”
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR BEST TURN OR YOUR BEST PORTION OF THIS TRACK?
“Honestly today, I feel like the new sections have been…. At least (Turns) 4 or 5 and most of 6 have probably been my best corners. I don’t know. I haven’t really seen if I’m gaining time there or not or losing or whatever. But I feel best there. I feel like I have my most grip through there. So, yeah that little section would probably be my best, I think.”