MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
BIG MACHINE VODKA 400 AT THE BRICKYARD
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 7, 2019
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 Media Breakout Session Highlights:
REGARDING LAS VEGAS SURFACE AND TIRES
“I don’t know about saving because its kind of hard to save in general really anymore. Either you are good enough to push hard all the time, or you are probably not going to be very good. But yeah, its definitely worn out a lot and I thought the groove moved around a lot during the first race. I don’t know how hot or cold it will be next week but I am sure we will be all over the track again. Seemed like the preferred groove was the outside line in the first race. That will probably happen again.”
IS THERE ONE THING DIFFERENT ABOUT IMS THAT IS DIFFERENT THAN ALL OTHER TRACKS?
“Yeah, it’s actually a place where we have four corners. Most of them have two, and we like to talk about them having four. But this track has four individual corners and its been really tough for me. Myself and this place have not gone together very well. So whatever it is about it is certainly new. If I knew a fix for it, I would maybe fix it first and then tell you later.”
REGARDING JIMMIE JOHNSON NOT BEING QUALIFIED FOR PLAYOFFS AND TEAMWORK TO GET HIM IN
“Me personally I want to see him get in. I am a race fan first and I want to see him do well. I am certainly pulling for him to do that, but there is a lot of emphasis to make sure he has a fast car. That is the best way to fix it, to be fast. If they are fast today, that is the main thing. Your job gets a lot easier for the weekend.”
IT SEEMS YOUR SEASONS COME ALIVE IN THE PLAYOFFS. DESCRIBE HOW GRUELLING THOSE 10 WEEKS ARE
“I think it’s a fun time of the year because our season is so long and I look forward to this time of the year. This time of the year really counts and really matters. .The weather is starting to cool off and we are getting to these tracks and rounds where there is high pressure. Things definitely don’t get any easier from here and we are looking forward to it.”
REGARDING COMING HERE NEXT YEAR IN MID SUMMER WITH THE HEAT
“Its hot up here for sure in the summer time. I don’t make the schedule, but I reckon I will be here if I am still hired in July.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE A DARK HORSE GOING INTO THE PLAYOFFS?
“I really haven’t paid much attention to it. I haven’t Googled my Vegas odds, so you tell me.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE POTENTIAL TO MAKE SOME NOISE IN THE PLAYOFFS?
“I think these last two weeks we have been off for sure, but all it takes is a little bit of momentum and things going in the right direction to make a big deal and to make a lot of noise. Last year I felt like we weren’t doing great when the Playoffs started, but we were able to get a couple of wins in that second round. Like I said, it only takes hitting on that one little thing to improve your performance. Its never really over until its over in a lot of ways, but I think there are some places we are stronger at than others and we just need to clean up the others part of that. We just need to get better at some of these tracks we have struggled at. We have the potential to do that and when we are at our best, we can run with anybody. I truly believe that. We just have to be our best more often.”
REGARDING GROWING THE YOUNGER FAN BASE AND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS
“I think we are putting on the best racing that we can, we are all trying as best we can. The tracks and whatnot do a lot of work to have ticket packages, concerts, and things that go on.”
DO YOU THINK SOCIAL MEDIA HELPS OUT WITH THAT?
“You can’t make somebody like something, so either they do or they don’t. So if a concert is able to attract somebody and they are able to come because of the concert, and they happen to like the race, then great. If you happen to like racing, then great. If you don’t, that is fine too. I am not going to push somebody to like something. Either they do or they don’t. Happy to see whoever comes this weekend to watch.”
DO YOU REALLY GET INTO THE HISTORY OF INDIANAPOLIS OR DO YOU JUST SEE IT AS STOP NUMBER 26 OF 36?
“Little bit of both I guess. I know there is a lot of history here, but none of that history has anything to do with me. I haven’t had a lot of success here and when we come here now, after running here a few times, I just look at it as a place I have really struggled at. It’s a place that I feel we need to do a better job at for sure. Where this race fell, luckily we were able to be locked in at this point. But if we were coming to this race close, I would be concerned just with how bad we have been. We will try and make it better this weekend but to answer your question its both. For me its marked as not a lot of fun on Sunday, so I will just try and do a better job.”
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO PUT NAPA IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE HERE AT INDY WITH OTHER SPONSORSHIP SUCCESS HERE?
“It would be great. They are one of the few sponsors that is involved in all types of racing, which is cool and I am proud to be a part of that team. It is kind of a NAPA racing team, and that is what they call it. That would be great because (Alexander) Rossi had a great win here in the NAPA colors a few years ago and it would be nice to add to that.”
REGARDING THERE BEING A NEW CHAMPION EVERY YEAR RECENTLY
“I think a lot of it has to do with the format and getting down to the last race and the guy that finishes the highest winning. Homestead is a tough race track and its easy to miss it. I think you have seen that. You look at Harvick who won it and then was in it a few years after that. Its hard to get your car right and be in it. I think the dynamic is where it ends and how hard it is to be good there. You see guys dominate at race tracks, but that is a tough place to dominate.”
ESPECIALLY BECAUSE YOU DON’T TEST ANYMORE
“Well, we test every Sunday. You see the guys that run good and don’t. That is not going to change whether we test down there or not.”
WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE OF THE INTENSITY OF THE FINAL TEN RACES?
“I feel like it’s kind of self-inflicted. Either you have a pressure packed 10 weeks or you don’t based on if you are running good. If you are running good you can kind of cruise through. If you are struggling and struggling to get Stage points, and you are right on the edge of getting three or four points every Stage and finishing eighth to 15th, then you are going to have a pressure-packed first handful of weeks. It really is what you make it and the big thing is that I think we are quick to forget the first 26 weeks of the season and how we could have had multiple wins to make this next 10 weeks a lot easier like a lot of these guys have.”