MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
AAA TEXAS 500
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
NOVEMBER 1, 2019
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 Media Breakout Session Highlights:
HOW’S YOUR CAR?
“I feel like my car is pretty good, like I could run wide open fairly easy. Maybe we could trim out a little bit to get some more speed, but I think as far as racing goes, it handles good.”
HOW DO YOUR APPROACH SUNDAY’S RACE AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET INTO THE FINAL FOUR?
“Obviously, we have to have a really good day. 24 points out, if I can’t win, I need to do a really good job in each stage and probably finish in the top-three. Hopefully, I can go win and that would make next week easy. I know I have to have a really good day.”
YOU SAID EARLIER THIS IS YOUR BEST CHANCE TO WIN IN THE ROUND OF EIGHT. DESPITE YOUR UP AND DOWN SUCCESS AT TEXAS, WHAT MAKES YOUR THINK THAT?
“We’re always really fast here at Texas, especially since the repave. I’ve just had a crash and two blown right-front tires. I’ve always ran really well here. If you just look at a piece of paper, you would think that I don’t run well here. But we’re always really fast, we just have to keep right-front holding air.”
FROM THE GAMBLE CALL AT MARTINSVILLE, DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT WAS A TURNING POINT FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM?
“At Martinsville, I mentioned it to them in the team meeting, that obviously we aren’t as strong there and if the opportunity presents itself, we need to try to take advantage of just getting some stage points. We happened to have a caution fall at the right time where we knew everyone was going to pit and there was only going to be a few laps left before the finish of that stage. So, we opted to stay out, get those stage points and just give up a little bit of track position. We still had half of the race to get that back. I feel like we did the best job we could last week to get the most points out of the day we could, so I was happy about that. It kind of kept our hopes alive.”
KNOWING WHAT CHASE (ELLIOTT) DID AT KANSAS TO COME BACK ABOVE THE CUT LINE, DOES THAT GIVE YOU HOPE?
“Yeah, I mean he did that in one race and we have two. Like I said, we just need to do good and hopefully it will take care of itself. It gets tougher each round; we only had to get to eighth in points and now we have to try to get to fourth. It’s a lot harder, but it can be done.”
“It felt like the same type of struggle for me. I feel like I ran just as bad (at Martinsville) that I normally do there, maybe a couple of spots better throughout the longer runs and things like that. But not nearly good enough. It was nice to have it work out at the end where I had a little fresher tire than some other people and I was able to get a top-10 out of the day. That was nice, but I’m still not good there.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE INTENSITY OF THE PLAYOFFS? NOTICE ANY DIFFERENCE NOW THAT YOUR STILL IN IT?
“No, not yet anyways. I think maybe each race gets a little more intense. Even not being this far into the Playoffs and having a shot at the Championship, I’m still out there racing. So, I get an idea of how people race and all that. Nothing has seemed different to me. Even when you’re not in the Playoffs, you’re still out there trying to finish as high as you can in the points. You’re still racing aggressively and all that. I feel like I’ve gained experience from that.”
YOU ASKED FOR EXTRA PADDING FOR YOUR SHOULDER DURING FIRST PRACTICE. HOW IS THAT FEELING?
“It’s mostly just for cautionary. Here through one and two, it’s so flat and fast that you could probably ask everybody and they would probably all say that I feel like I’m laid over more than normal. I just wanted some more support to kind of keep me feeling like I was straight up and not laying on my rib at all. My rib feels fine in the car, it’s getting in that hurts and getting out really hurts. I don’t have to get in and out too often, so that’s nice. Once I’m in the car these last couple of weeks, it has felt fine. Kansas hurt the whole time. Martinsville wasn’t bad at all, I was surprised. Monday, I felt extremely fine. I was nervous, but so far this weekend, it’s probably hurt a little more than Martinsville.”
NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS THESE LAST THREE WEEKENDS, YOU CAN LOOK AND CONSIDER THE SEASON TO BE A SUCCESS AND GIVE YOU MOMENTUM FOR 2020.
“I’ve been looking at my stats and this year is way worse than any year I’ve had, as far as top-10’s and top-fives. We had such a rough spell there early in the season that it made it look worse than it really was. For me, the worst stats that I’ve ever had and to make it farther in the Playoffs that I ever have, that’s nice. I think our team has done a really good job this year, working really hard. I’ve put more effort in, so I’m proud of myself for that. It has definitely been a successful year on that side of things. But, obviously, you always want more top-10’s, top-fives, and wins.”
WHEN YOU WEREN’T IN PLAYOFF CONTENTION, HOW DID YOU RACE PLAYOFF DRIVERS?
“I was always cautious of it, especially through the early to mid-portions of the race. You try to leave them as much room as you could. Whether they were faster than me or I was faster than them, I would try to leave them a couple extra feet. I think once it gets to the end of the race, you’re still trying to race for a good finish and you’re trying to gain positions in the points. Nobody pays attention to the guys that are battling for 20th place in points, but that’s a big deal for them too. You might not think of it, but they’re out there battling for points and trying to get the most points they can get. Just race, don’t go run into people.”