NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 9, 2016
KYLE LARSON IS TOP CHEVY SS DRIVER IN QUALIFYING AT RICHMOND
Team Chevy Takes 7 of Top 12 Starting Positions
RICHMOND, VA – (September 9, 2016) – Kyle Larson set the pace for the Chevrolet SS drivers in knockout-style qualifying for the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). Larson ran a lap of 22.079 seconds, 122.288 mph in his No. 42 Target Chevy SS to post his sixth top-10 start of 2016, and his third in six races at RIR. Larson, who secured a spot in the upcoming 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with his first Cup career win at Michigan two weeks ago, will start on the outside front row for the 400-lap/300-mile race under the lights at Richmond.
Jamie McMurray, who currently holds the 16th and final Chase position, had a strong fourth-place qualifying showing in the No. 1 Sherwin Williams Emerald Chevrolet SS. McMurray must either finish ahead of fellow Team Chevy driver Ryan Newman or win tomorrow’s race in order to secure his place in the Chase, Newman qualified 15th in his No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS.
Kurt Busch, who has already earned a place in the Chase playoffs via a win at Pocono, qualified fifth in his No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevy SS; giving Team Chevy three of the top-five starting spots.
Also vying for playoff slots in the final round of the regular season are Kasey Kahne, who qualified his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS seventh, and Austin Dillon, who qualified eighth in his No. 3 DOW Chevy SS,
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr., in the No. 88 Axalta Chevy SS, qualified 10th and 11th, respectively to give Team Chevy seven of the Top 12 in the starting line-up.
Rookie of the Year and Chase hopeful, Chase Elliott will start 34th in his No. 24 3M/American Red Cross Chevy SS.
Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was the pole winner and Matt Kenseth (Toyota) was third to round out the Top 5 qualifiers.
The Federated Auto Parts 400 gets underway tomorrow evening, September 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage of the 400-lap/300-mile contest will be available on NBCSN, MRN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2ND
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“We made one mock run there in practice and ran really well. I was hoping for a good qualifying effort once I did get to qualifying. I knew the track would be quite a bit faster with the sun starting to go down and it getting cooler outside. I didn’t know if we would be as good as we were in practice, but thankfully enough our Target Chevy had good speed there in qualifying and was able to have good three rounds. Ending up second there was nice. I thought I ran a good enough second lap to go a little bit better and maybe get the pole, but I just lacked a little bit of forward drive off of Turn 4 and gave up a little bit of speed there. A good qualifying effort for us here, Richmond hasn’t been my greatest track since I’ve been here. To get a front row starting spot feels good and hopefully we can go and have a good race tomorrow. We really have worked hard on trying to get better at this place to help us for when we get to Loudon. If we can run good tomorrow we can help our confidence when we get to Loudon in a couple of weeks.”
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CRESCENDO YOU WANT TO BUILD FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON AND MAKING THE CHASE?
“Jamie (McMurray, Chip Ganassi Racing teammate) and I were just talking before I walked in here and he was like ‘man this is awesome to see how good our cars are lately.’ It’s a perfect time of the year to find your consistent speed. I’m really happy with it. We’ve had good speed with the No. 42 team for the last couple of months and Jamie has picked it up here lately as well. I’m super proud of everybody at our race shop for working hard and getting the cars faster and faster for us. It’s been fun lately and I think the Chase is going to be a lot of fun too.”
WHAT IS THE FEELING IN THE SHOP IF BOTH OF YOU GUYS GET IN THE CHASE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE ORGANIZATIONS HISTORY? HAS THE FOCUS BEEN ON GETTING JAMIE (MCMURRAY) IN?
“No, I think the emphasis is equally on both of us every week we go to the race track. We are all at the race shop, everybody there is really confident, really happy with where we are at. With (Ryan) Newman getting that point penalty last week that really helps Jamie out, I think he has a 22 point gap now. As long as Jamie doesn’t have any trouble and if a new guy doesn’t win, hopefully, we have two Ganassi cars in the Chase, which will be huge for our race shop, huge for a two-car team. In the Chase, there are a lot of good tracks for both Jamie and I. We would probably be considered underdogs, both of us, but I really feel like we could both go out there and do some bit things.”
THIS IS AN INTERESTING SITUATION FOR THE GANASSI RACING TEAM BECAUSE YOU AND JAMIE (MCMURRAY) ARE GOING TO BE ADVANCING TOWARDS THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND THE INDYCAR SIDE ISN’T IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE. IT’S KIND OF A ROLE REVERSAL:
“Yeah, that is true. I didn’t think about that. The IndyCar team they have had some good speed also. Their bad luck has carried on, I guess their season is shorter than ours, so maybe they have had as much bad luck as I have their season is just shorter. (Scott) Dixon has been fast he has just had some accidents lately that have taken him out of contention, but the rest of them they have had good speed just the Penske guys I guess have been really good over there. Definitely, different than normal, last year this week we were watching Dixon go for a championship which was cool. Maybe it’s our year this year.”