MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
OCTOBER 11, 2019
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1, met with media and discussed his expectations for Sunday’s race at Talladega and the benefits of teamwork, the challenges of racing at Martinsville, his impressions of the 2021 car test at Richmond by Austin Dillon, and more. Full Transcript:
WHAT CAN YOU AND THE TEAM DO AT MARTINSVILLE TO GET BETTER? WHERE DO YOU STRUGGLE? IS IT SIMULATOR TIME OR WHAT EXACTLY CAN YOU DO TO RAMP IT UP?
“Honestly, I’ve tried the simulator before and for me, it just messes me up more than anything; for that place, just because the brakes don’t feel as similar as they do to my real car. So, I don’t know what else to do to get better. I look at more data leading up to that race than I do for any other track. At track, I try really hard to be better and I haven’t gotten any better. So, I don’t know. I’m sure each time we go there with a different set-up, hopefully this time we’ll hit on something.”
LOOKING AT TALLADEGA SPECIFICALLY, THE BUZZWORD BACK IN THE SPRING WAS CLOSING RATE. COMING BACK HERE FOR A SECOND TIME WITH THE SAME PACKAGE, AND PRACTICE LOOKED JUST ABOUT AS CRAZY AS IT WAS IN THE SPRING, HOW MUCH DOES KNOWLEDGE OF SOME OF THE CLOSING RATES IN THE DRAFT MAKE THIS A LITTLE EASIER WHEN YOU WERE GOING IN BLIND BACK IN APRIL?
“We got to race Daytona also, with this package. So, I think we understand it a little bit more than the first time around here earlier this season. We got a little bit of drafting there in practice, at least for the one I was in. The Chevys stayed in line. I don’t think we’ll even we’ll draft in the next practice. I won’t get to go out there and bob and weave until the race. But, yeah, the closing rates are definitely a lot higher and it seems like people’s cars handle a little bit better than our old package, so I think that’s why you see much more aggressive style plate-racing now. Well, I guess this isn’t plate-racing anymore, but yeah, it’s just aggressive.”
CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH THE SENSATION OR WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND PRIOR TO ENDING UP ON YOUR LID IN THE SPRING HERE? HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THAT MOMENT?
“I don’t know. Let’s see. I came off (Turn) 2 and I think William (Byron) or somebody had gotten sideways and gotten into me. I was just preparing myself to hit the wall head-on. I’ve done that a lot. You just try and brace yourself and hope it doesn’t hurt. And then, all of a sudden I started feeling my car kind of come up and I was just hoping that it was going to get down before I hit the wall. And, you’re just sliding and flipping. I knew I was close to the inside wall and close to the fence and all that, so I was just hoping I wasn’t going to flip into the fence because then who knows could happen after that. I don’t know. I’ve flipped a lot so it was more different than flipping in a Sprint Car because you’re going do much faster and it just happens longer. But, it hurt equally as bad as a Sprint Car, so it just took longer.”
YOU FINISHED EIGHTH AT KANSAS IN THE SPRING. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’VE LEARNED WITH THE INTERMEDIATE PACKAGE THAT WILL HELP YOU THERE?
“I think we could go there and win. I think our cars are better there than they were a year ago, and I feel like Kurt (Busch) and I were both really fast then. I always look forward to going to Kansas, but especially a daytime race helps me out. So yeah, we should be good; hopefully. You never really know what to expect until you get there, but I’m looking forward to it.”
IT’S TOO EARLY IN THE DEVELOPMENT IN THE 2021 NEXT GENERATION CUP CAR, BUT AUSTIN DILLON TURNED THE FIRST REAL-TIME LAPS AT RICHMOND EARLIER THIS WEEK. HOW MUCH DID YOU MONITOR THAT AND LOOK AT THE CAR? ARE THERE CERTAIN THINGS IN THE CAR THAT ARE IMPORTANT THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE ADDED OR THE WAY IT WOULD DRIVE?
“I didn’t monitor that really, at all. I was busy this week so I didn’t follow-along with how it went. I know he texted. There are a lot of us drivers that he texted and said it was fun to drive. I honestly don’t even know what all is in that car or off that car or just any of the changes that have been made. I’m going to drive whatever NASCAR produces. It doesn’t matter to me. There were some cool, unique things on there that hopefully make the cars handle a little bit better in traffic and things like that. I don’t know if it’ll work or what. I’m anxious to get my own laps in it, in the future. I’m sure that’ll be some time next year. So, we’ll see. Change is good, sometimes. The car definitely looks more modern. So, maybe that’ll probably make some older fans upset but hopefully attract some newer fans, too.”
WE SAW A LOT OF TEAMWORK BY CHEVROLET IN THE SPRING TO KIND OF TURN BACK SOME OF WHAT FORD HAD BEEN DOING IN TERMS OF THEIR DOMINANCE HERE? DO WE EXPECT THE SAME COME SUNDAY IN TERMS OF MANUFACTURERS WORKING TOGETHER? IS THAT HARD TO DO, THOUGH, WHEN YOU’RE OUT THERE IN THE HEAT OF A PACK?
“When we were here at Talladega, early in the year, it was just RCR and Ganassi and Hendrick working together. So, there was just eight of us. And I felt like we were able to kind of control our race. And then at Daytona, we had more Chevys committed and I felt like it made it a little bit tougher to do, just because the line was longer. So, it was harder to stay committed to the guy in front of you if you were 14th in line, or something. I don’t know how many teams we’ll have committed to it this weekend, but it is nice, either way; whether it’s eight or all of us, it is nice to know you have commitment from the other guys around you.”
YOU MENTIONED YOU TRIED OUT THE SIMULATOR AND IT DIDN’T HELP YOU FOR MARTINSVILLE. ARE THERE ANY OTHER TRACKS WHERE YOU’VE USED THE SIMULATOR AND IT HAS BEEN HELPFUL?
“Yeah, I think anytime I’ve been there and done like a road course, it helps with more elevation kinds of things and stuff like that. But, it’s tough. Chevy and Pratt & Miller are still developing it and trying to make it better and more realistic. So, it’s not where it needs to be but every time we go in there, we try to give our input to make little changes to make it better. But yeah, I would say road courses are probably the ones I benefit the most from.”