MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
AUTO CLUB 400
AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
MARCH 24, 2017
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
YOU CHANGED UP YOUR LINE THERE WAS THAT WHAT IT TOOK TO GET THE POLE?
“I think so. I haven’t seen a lap tracker, but I felt like I messed up there in (Turns) 1 and 2 and I got a little bit loose off the wall on entry and it got me to split the seam in (Turns) 1 and 2, but I was able to get committed to wide-open pretty good off of (Turn) 2 and then, yeah, I hadn’t run up high in (Turns) 3 and 4 at all in practice or qualifying here. Didn’t really know what I would have when I got there, but ran a good ways and it stuck. Really happy though, our Target team has been amazing to start the season and to get a pole is great. I haven’t gotten a pole since my rookie season. Yeah, this is awesome. I can’t say enough about everybody at our race shop for all the hard work they have been putting in. Got a little team dinner tonight, so this will be a good way to celebrate.”
SECOND CAREER POLE AND FIRST AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY BRING US THROUGH YOUR THREE SEGMENTS HERE THIS AFTERNOON:
“It was an interesting qualifying for us. I ran the bottom in (Turns) 3 and 4… well all day really, and then there the first two round. I knew everybody was running the top in 3 and 4 and my plan was to go up there in the second round, but thought I maybe got through (Turns) 1 and 2 okay enough to run the bottom, but I still lost time there. I knew the third-round I was going to have to move up, but our Target Chevy was really good, really balanced up there. I was surprised. I wasn’t really sure what I would have because on our up to speed laps up there I was a little bit tight taking off and then I would be kind of loose off, so I was expecting to have that, but it stuck really well and yeah, I saw the lap pop up on my dash and I was pretty pumped. Can’t say enough about everybody on our Target team. They did an amazing job all day.”
WHAT DO YOU WORK ON TOMORROW?
“I don’t know. We made about a 10-lap run today and the track was so green it was hard to get a good feel for what we really had. I thought our Target Chevy had good speed. It didn’t handle great today in race trim, but we had good speed. That is always a positive and they know what to adjust now. I think from that run and hopefully we can fine tune it some tomorrow and be good for Sunday.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 5th
ON HIS LAP:
“Just good to get the best lap we had on the last lap. I finally got (Turns) 1 and 2 right in the Caterpillar Chevrolet. Had a little traffic down on the apron of (Turns) 3 and 4, but it wasn’t his fault, so just a good starting spot better than we practiced all day and we will put it in race trim.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 8th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT
“Qualifying has been really good. Both of our cars were fast again. I thought my lap was better than it was. Sometimes you run laps and they don’t feel good and they are. And sometimes they feel really good and they’re not. And that was the second one of those. But overall it was really good. We had a really good practice day. We were good in race trim and just ready to go tomorrow. I think the line is going to be a little bit different than what traditionally we’ve had here. It seems like the line has been at the top of (Turns) 1 and 2 and the bottom of (Turns) 3 and 4 in the race. In qualifying it at the top of both ends. And I think the race is going to be the same way. So, that’ll be something to work on tomorrow to make sure you can get your car good on the top of (Turns) 3 and 4, which is kind of unique.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 13th
WHERE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MISSED IT A LITTLE BIT?
“I think (Turns) 3 and 4 that round we were pretty off in the first one and then I thought we helped our car to go faster in that second one, still not close to the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) or the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) unfortunately, but I feel like I got through (Turns) 1 and 2 way better that second time than I did the first time and just didn’t roll the top in (Turns) 3 and 4 like I needed to. Yeah, obviously needed just a little bit to get into the top 12, obviously not close to get further up the board, but we will go to work tomorrow.”
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THIS CAR AND WHAT IT CAN DO ON SUNDAY?
“Well you are never happy, but I think tomorrow will be the day we find out on that. We just did qualifying runs today and unfortunately it didn’t work out very good for us, but we just focused on that this afternoon. With the way, this place is on tires it’s really hard to do race runs on Friday and still have any tires left for Saturday, so we saved them for tomorrow and we will go to work on it for the race.”
WHAT SPECIFICALLY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN RACE TRIM? SHORT RUN OR LONG RUN SPEED, WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT?
“Well, this race typically comes down to a short run at the end always, but I think you are going to have to be balanced across the board as always. I think you are going to have to be able to go, but at the same time we do see some long runs here and you are probably going to see that on Sunday and I think it’s going to be important to be good as you go as well. So, just try to have a little bit of everything as always.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 18th
EIGHTEENTH IN PRACTICE, 18TH IN QUALIFYING HOW DO YOU THINK THE CAR WILL BE FOR THE RACE ON SUNDAY?
“Well, we would have liked to have went back out and tried to have run a little faster, but you can’t afford to put any laps on your tires because you have to start on these tires in the race. That just put us in a big hole starting out. I think the car is better than 18th and we will work on it tomorrow and see what we have got in race trim.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 BUSH’S BEANS CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 20th
WHERE WERE, YOU MISSING IT IN QUALIFYING TODAY?
“Just happy to be able to make that round with our Busch’s Baked Beans Chevrolet. Feel like were a little bit tight, kind of where we ended practice and a little tight for qualifying. Tried to free it up a little bit in between our two runs and might could have gone a little bit more, but we have a direction for practice now and will work on it hard tomorrow.”
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST THING YOU NEED TO WORK ON FOR THE RACE ON SUNDAY?
“I think here the tires fall off so quickly it gets so slick. We have a lot of choices here. One of my favorite large tracks that we go to and it always makes for an exciting race. We need to try and make sure we are not burning the tires off of it and make sure we have something that we can survive into a long run with.”
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, NO. 95 LFR WOODIE CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 25th
JUST SHY OF MAKING THE SECOND ROUND WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED OUT THERE WHAT WAS THE CAR MISSING?
“That first run I ran the top in (Turns) 3 and 4 and probably should have ran the bottom, but that second run ran the bottom and picked up a little bit of speed. Just all-in-all fighting to work through the bumps. That is kind of about where we were practice speed wise, so we made some good changes, maybe picked up a couple of spots, but this is a couple of weeks in a row that we have been right on the edge of making it or missing it going to Round 2. We will keep plugging away and try to get that last little bit.”