MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
AAA TEXAS 500
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES
NOVEMBER 2, 2019
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL QUALIFYING RESULTS:
4th KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1
5th ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 99 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1
13th KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1
14th CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
16th DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 CAT DOZERS CAMARO ZL1
TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL QUALIFYING RESULTS:
1st Kevin Harvick (Ford)
2nd Erik Jones (Toyota)
3rd Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
4th Kurt Busch (Chevrolet)
5th Alex Bowman (Chevrolet)
NBCSN will telecast the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway live at 3:00 p.m. ET Sunday, November 3rd. The NBC Sports Gold app will stream the race and live coverage can also be found on PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES:
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 5th
“It drove really good. I think that’s better than we’ve been in a long time and hopefully it races well. We were wide open, so you have what you have. We’ve been a little slow in qualifying at 1.5-mile tracks and we put a little more effort into it this week.”
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR THE RACE?
“Hopefully, a trophy and a cowboy hat. I think you get a shot gun too; I want it all. It’s going to be interesting. This track is tough. One and two is different and it makes for a tough race. Hopefully, we’ll stay on top of it.”
THOUGHTS ON THE 2020 CHEVROLET CUP CAR
“I’ve only seen the pictures. I think it’s cool. I have a ZL1 1LE at home. Technically, the 1LE is a better track car. So, it’s the perfect fit. I don’t think we would make a change if we didn’t think it was going to make a difference. Obviously, that’s the goal with everything we do; to be better. I think Chevrolet obviously has the same mindset. Anything we can do to be better. Obviously, it’s kind of a strange year with a lot of changes coming in 2021. But hopefully we can capitalize and have a great year with it.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 13th
“It was wide open; we ran what we ran. I felt really good about my car in race trim yesterday. I could run a lot of throttle for a while, so hopefully that means we will be good in traffic and have a good race.”
HOW TOUGH IS IT TO NOT HAVE PIT ROAD SPEEDING ISSUES?
“You rely on your team to set the lights. Usually, it’s within a half of a mile per hour from being too fast. So, if you lose focus for a second trying to launch out of your stall or you don’t get slowed down enough coming in, it’s very easy to step over and be a thousandth of a mile per hour over the speed limit and you get caught for speeding. I try not to push it, I would say I’m on the slower end. I know I’ve sped a couple of time, but most of the time, I feel like I’m on the slower side of things.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 14th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT
“It was all right. We’ll obviously see. Qualifying at these places now is interesting with us being wide open and just kind of different strategies of how fast you want to go versus how you that’s going to affect your race. This place is definitely a little different with (Turns) 1 and 2 being the way it is. That’s obviously the struggle area. And then (Turns) 3 and 4 being easy wide-open like it is for everybody. It’s kind of a race back around to the struggle point. So, it’s interesting. I think for us, we’re just trying to figure out how you want to be.”
CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW THE POINTED NOSE WITH YOUR CURRENT CAR COULD CREATE AN ISSUE PUSHING AT DAYTONA AND TALLADEGA BUT WITH THE NEW CAR YOU’LL HAVE NEXT YEAR IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’LL HAVE A FLATTER FRONT. HOW COULD THAT CHANGE THINGS FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE?
“I think it was definitely a challenge for us in being able to push like some of our competitors were doing. So, I think all the drivers wanted that and we’re just lucky that Chevrolet saw it and wanted to make an effort in trying to make it a little bit better and I think they did. We’ll see when we get to Daytona how it affects things, but I certainly think with all the pushing and how aggressive restarts are and sometimes how crucial that push is, is a bit deal. So, hopefully that helps us.”
DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 CAT DOZERS CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 16th
THOUGHTS ON THE ROOKIE BATTLE
“Yeah, we’ve been spotting each other spots. It’s going to be fun. For two guys with similar short track backgrounds the last couple of years, and here we are driving against each other. It’s pretty cool.”
“It’s been a lot of respect between the both of us. We find ourselves in a situation where you have to have fun with it and enjoy the ride. You never know when you’re going to be able to battle like that.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 18th
“It was pretty straight forward. I don’t know where we’ll end up, probably not great. But we’re trying to race well, so hopefully it’s a good balance between downforce and speed. We just have to see how it plays out.”
ARE YOU STILL CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR CAR AFTER QUALIFYING?
“I was pretty confident in practice with how it felt. I definitely would have liked to be a little faster in our qualifying run, but we just have to see how it plays out for us during the race. Every one of these races are like a science experiment of what it’s going to play out for speed. It’s just really hard to know where you’re going to stack up. But the car drove well in practice. I think we made some good changes going into the race and hopefully those pay off.”
THOUGHTS ON THE 2020 CHEVROLET CUP CAR
“It should be better; it should be a little bit better for those places specifically (Daytona and Talladega). I feel like, hopefully, with the improvements, it should be better everywhere. Hopefully, we’ve made a product that’s improved. That would be a good step.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 SLIM JIM CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 20th
“I think it’s going to be pretty decent for us. Our Slim Jim Camaro had good drivability in practice. We made a lot of good swings yesterday and got something there. In qualifying, we’ll just kind of let it be what it will be, much like we’ve done a lot of the season. I’m not too worried about it. I want to start decent and get a decent pit stall selection. I’m going to watch the Xfinity race and see how that PJ-1 comes in. We saw the 11 wreck in qualifying, so I guess we found out it was re-applied overnight. I don’t know if we want to run there in qualifying. We go out pretty late, so we’ll watch some of these other cars and see what they do.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 RIGUP CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 21st
“We have the off season to work and we know we have to get better. The new Chevy body that they announced this week is very promising. Hopefully, it can close some of that gap for us. That’s always a big positive when we have a change in the body. That’s what we hope it does; to close the gap for the Camaro to the competition.”
“I think it’s really important. This year, at the speedways, I’ve been able to be pushed really well by other manufacturers and there is speed there. The way it is, you don’t want to work with other manufacturers now. You want to work with your manufacturer. I’ve been wanting to push and get pushed a little bit more. As you saw at Talladega, it was pretty helpful.”
BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 COVERT AUTO GROUP CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 22nd
“I thought we were OK. The balance was a little free through one and two; I had to come out of the throttle. So, we’ll probably end up around 20th or so, maybe a little bit better than normal.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 23rd
HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THIS RACE TRACK? HOW DO YOU LOOK AT SUNDAY HERE?
“It’s really a drag race from Turn 2 back to Turn 1 and then we have to lift to check-up and the drag race happens again. So, it’s a very interesting and unique flow of a race. If we can ever get the second lane worked-in in (Turns) 1 and 2, I think we can treat it like a normal 1.5-mile and really race. But, right now, it’s a drag race back to a single-file spot on the Turn 1 entry side. The reconfiguration of Turn 1 just hasn’t been friendly for our cars and I’ve talked to my IndyCar buddies and it’s the same thing for them. We now turn down below where the track used to be and I don’t know why the asphalt hasn’t aged and why we haven’t moved up to where the bottom used to be, which is the middle now. And if we ever get up there, it’s really going to put on some good racing.”
THE CURRENT CAR PACKAGE WAS PRETTY BRUTAL AT PHOENIX IN THE SPRING. WHAT ARE YOU ANTICIPATING WHEN WE GO THERE TO RACE NEXT WEEKEND?
“It’s tough to build a package that works everywhere. And, I think the high-downforce stuff on miles is tough, 750 high downforce, we’re going to fast. The leading cars have such an advantage it just makes things worse. So, Dover, Loudon, Phoenix, those are just tricky places to get this package to work. We’ll get out there and see. I know that they’ve put traction compound down in some new areas and maybe that’ll get us to widen-out and give us a chance to have some better racing.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF WHAT THE NEW RACE CAR WILL BE LIKE FOR YOU GUYS IN 2020?
“I know internally we’re excited for the subtle changes that we have on the car that we have coming out should be very helpful for us on the 550 stuff.”
SO THE AIR SHOULD FLOW BETTER OVER THE HOOD, RIGHT?
“I don’t know enough about the details. I can’t imagine it being way different than what we have. And, I know we’re all excited about it and it’s going to look good and it’s always a car that Chevrolet is very excited about on the showroom floor and it has more performance for us.”
DO YOU THINK IT’LL BUMP-DRAFT BETTER?
“When we were going through the Talladega stuff, they shared with us that we won’t have as much of a point on the nose, so that’ll help.”
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 15 CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 38th
THOUGHTS ON HIS MILESTONE STARTS RECORD
“I had no idea about that. Getting up there and tying Richard Petty’s all-time start record is going to be pretty cool. To me, Richard Petty is a legend. I was just starting when he was getting done the first couple of years of my career. That just shows that, man, I started a lot of races. You don’t think about that. As a racer, when you get done with one, you’re focused on the next one. It’s hard to look back at all that. I’ve had a great career; I’ve won races and I still enjoy it. I think there is a lot of stuff going on for my schedule for next year that people want me to come drive. So, we’ll surpass whatever it is.”