MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
MARCH 5, 2017
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 2ND
YOU LED THE RACE IN THE LATE STAGES. YOU CHOSE TO GO HIGH IN TURNS 1 AND 2 AND IT SEEMED LIKE YOU MADE UP A LITTLE GROUND. WHAT WAS BEHIND THE DECISION THERE?
“I raced around Brad (Keselowski, race winner) a lot throughout the day. Any time I was in front of him on short runs, he’s drive around me up top. And so, I knew I was going to have to take his line away on that start there for a couple of laps and try it. I just didn’t have enough grip or not as much as I’d hoped. He did a good job being a lane lower than me and getting to my inside. So, it was disappointing not to get the win, but I’m happy about our second place run at a 1.5-mile where I struggle at. I can’t thank everybody at the shop enough for building great race cars, and Hendrick engines for supplying us with some great engines, I had a blast today. The Target Chevy was good. I ran the bottom a lot, which is not typically something I do. So, it was a lot of fun to learn how to kind of use both feet to get around the bottom and to do a good job with that.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 4TH
IN THE PAST FEW YEARS WHEN YOU GUYS START OFF BAD YOU HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DIG OUT OF THE HOLE. THE FACT THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO DO THAT TODAY WHAT KIND OF CONFIDENCE DOES THAT GIVE YOU MOVING FORWARD?
“A lot because that is actually really hard to do. It’s hard to do when you are one of the best teams and drivers and running up front all the time and you get back there, it’s tough to dig out of. For us, the last year or two it’s been really hard and today we did it, so that was really nice to see and nice to be part of and we will just keep building from there. It feels really good to dig out of where we started. It wasn’t good at the start.”
YOU WERE TRAPPED A LAP DOWN THERE; BUT ONCE YOU GOT IT BACK, WHAT DID YOU FEEL AND SEE IN YOUR TEAM?
“We started really slow. I was so loose and the adjustments were perfect today. They fixed the car. Keith (Rodden, crew chief) and the engineers did a great job of making the car better; a lot better at that. But then when you’re behind you just battle and battle long runs. It was tough. But we got the car a lot better and the pit stops were perfect there. We finally got the lucky dog. I had to battle Matt (Kenseth) a while for that. He was fast. I knew he would go to the front once he got it. But then once we got it, we did the same thing. We just had a great car and our final pit stop took us from 11th to sixth. That was key for a top 5. So, that was really good.”
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST THING YOU NOTICED FROM LAST YEAR’S AERO PACKAGE TO THIS YEAR?
“Atlanta is tough because you always get about the same feel here and the cars just slide around a lot and are tough to drive and are out of the race track a good bit. So, we had all of that today exact same areas as always. It’s hard to say at this particular track because the tires give up so much, but I would say it was a little bit more of that today, but not a ton. This track usually races about how it did today in my opinion.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 5TH
AS SO MANY GUYS GOT CAUGHT TODAY YOU GOT CAUGHT SPEEDING ON PIT ROAD:
“Yeah, I mean I don’t think that was the reason we didn’t have an opportunity there at the end. We rebounded from that. We got right back to where we were which was a big gain. Our car was really good. I don’t think Kevin’s (Harvick) car was any better than ours. I think he was just doing a little better job driving than I was and being consistent and doing a good job around the bottom and conserving his tires and still running fast. Something for me to try to improve on coming back. I think we made a big step into being able to keep up with him. We just need a little more.”
YOU HAD A STRONG DAY. HOW DO YOU EVALUATE YOUR FINISH COMPARED TO YOUR CAR?
“Our NAPA Chevy was awesome. I really didn’t feel like Kevin’s (Harvick) car was any better than ours. I think he just did a little better job of driving and using the bottom of the race track and keeping his tires on his car and still going fast all at the same time. I think we made a big start in the right direction for me being able to keep up with him moving forward. At this place, he’s obviously really good. But the biggest thing is just seeing him have a struggle there at the end and us running second to him all day all the way up to the very end is pretty frustrating.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 10TH
ON HIS RACE:
“We had… the alternator went out really early in the race. We just kept having to change batteries, but we were fortunate there weren’t a lot of cars on the lead lap, so I only had to restart like 12th or 14th and our car was really good on restarts, so you could get a few. But, that was a really good day for our car. Both cars ran really good. I look forward to Las Vegas and Fontana and all the 1.5-miles coming up.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 15TH
“It was a solid day for our GEICO Chevy. We got in a little bit of a hole early and got ourselves a couple of laps down, but Bootie (Barker, crew chief) made some good calls there at the end to do the wave around. Our car was strong, so a strong car kind of overcame some mistakes from us early. I’m proud of our guys, we really fought hard to get 15th and a solid day for the real first race of the season I feel like for us. Proud of the start we got and we will just keep trudging along.”
NOW THAT YOU HAVE RUN THIS RACE SHOULD THEY REPAVE IT OR NOT?
“I hope not. It’s way too much fun.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 19TH
“Tough day with two speeding penalties. We will have to look at our math and figure out what was going on there. The first one, I’m sure I could have gotten popped. The second one I made sure I didn’t get popped again and I still got in trouble. So, we might have had something off on our end. But, at the end I thought we were going to finish on the lead lap and there was some confusion on why the caution came out, who it came out for and if we were eligible for the ‘lucky dog’ scenario. The way it unfolded certainly didn’t work in our favor. Still a lot of confusion, hopefully, we can get some answers before we get to Las Vegas next week.”
SHOULD THEY LEAVE THE TRACK ALONE OR REPAVE IT?
“Oh, I’m crystal clear on leave the track as it is.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 BUSH’S BEANS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 24TH
“It was a long, hard-fought race today in the No. 37 Bush’s Beans Chevy. We fought a tight race car all race, and our steering was off a little bit throughout the run. Tire wear is so important here and luckily that wasn’t a huge factor for us, and crew chief, Trent Owens made a good call to keep us out during scheduled flag stops and we got the caution that gave us back a lap. We’re really working on our 1.5-mile program at JTG Daugherty racing and we’ll have another opportunity to keep improving next weekend at Las Vegas.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 30TH
ON HIS DAY:
“Well we got caught speeding on pit road as I guess a lot of people did. So, we got to look at that and see what we have wrong. I was on my lights perfectly, but seems like a lot of guys got popped in the same segment. And then we had a flat right-rear tire and then we had a gun go bad and we had loose wheels all day long. And then when we tried to get the wave around the cautions didn’t quite fall in our favor to be able to try to find a way back to a respectable position. That is okay. The car had good top 10 speed and we just had a lot of bad luck today and can’t really get too upset about that. Just have to keep racing when it does go right next week and we are ready to go and capitalize. I’m looking forward to the next couple of race tracks. A lot of fun race track coming up.”
ON THE LOW DOWNFORCE PACKAGE:
“I love the low downforce. The cars are hard to drive and fun. Everybody is out there being challenged. They really brings all the drivers out in everybody. It means you have to really work, so it’s awesome I enjoyed it today. I had a lot of fun. We had a lot of problems, but I still enjoyed driving the car. This is a really fun track and the low downforce is a good time.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW/QUIKRETE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 32ND
DID YOU HAVE THE SAME ISSUE AS YOUR TEAMMATE RYAN NEWMAN?
“Yeah, I would assume so. Everything just shut off all power.”
YOU AND RYAN NEWMAN SEEMED TO HAVE REALLY STRONG CARS TODAY WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT HOW FAR RCR HAS COME FROM LAST YEAR?
“It’s really good, positive. It just doesn’t mean anything though when you can’t get the finish. Got to go back to work. I’m proud of my guys for the speed they put in this race car. We worked hard, really hard, this one just hurts there is nothing better to say about it, it just hurts.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 35TH
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE RACE?
“Just lost the charging system and therefore the battery went dead. It took us out of it. It was unfortunate. Just really proud of the guys on the Caterpillar Chevrolet. Had a car that was capable of winning there, especially seeing who won. We were there. We took ourselves out, but it was nice to be there.”