MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 10, 2017
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 NATURAL LIGHT CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed his new partnership with Natural Light and Barstool Sports, his transition with the new team at JTG Daugherty Racing, the new stage format and many other topics. Full Transcript:
TALK ABOUT HOW THE TRANSITION TO YOUR NEW TEAM THIS YEAR HAS GONE FOR YOU:
“Yeah, the transition has been good. Everybody over at JTG Daugherty has been awesome. Daytona, we had a car that drafted really well and did not have the single car speed that we would have liked, but at the end of the day it did what it needed to in the race. And then just caught up in one of the accident’s there, so we didn’t get the finish to show it, but AJ (Allmendinger, teammate) ran extremely well. And then Atlanta, was a race where we learned a bunch of stuff. We got a couple of little things we are going to dial in just from a feel stand point. Just trying to get used to it, something a little bit different. We got that all taken care of or the best we know how for right now and come out to Vegas here and see how it all applies. Excited to be out here for our West Coast swing. This is a fast race track here and we will see how everything comes together. I think it’s been pretty good so far.”
EXCITING WEEKEND THIS WEEKEND FOR YOU WITH THE NEW LOOK:
“We’ve got Natty Light on the car for Vegas this weekend. Can’t miss the car, blue, white and plenty of pink on it. It looked red in the renderings, but it’s a cool deal. To have Natural Light on board, as well as, Barstool Sports, just a good fit for us. Something that worked out really well and you know we are right in Natural Light’s demographic. They say Texas is one of their biggest markets as well. So, I’ve got to pass it all on to friends back home. Just an exciting deal, the car, like I said, it came out looking excellent. Hopefully, it is fast and we will get to Victory Lane. They said they have plenty of beer to spray. There is a little bit of added pressure there.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR TEAM IS GOING THROUGH ANY SORT OF GROWING PAINS?
“I don’t know if it’s anything that you wouldn’t expect. It’s a matter of hiring in a ton of new people and just getting everything blending in as quickly as possible. It’s a lot for a whole other team to be brought in and hired. I think Ernie (Cope, Competition Director) said that they interviewed over 100 people during the process of trying to figure out what 30 or 40 to hire. They definitely did their due diligence to make sure that we got the best people coming in so that we are prepared to hit the ground running. I think they have done a great job with that. We have a good team. Everybody gets along really well, everybody works hard together and there are no real issues. There are no egos that we are having to fight between either team and any of that situation. It’s just about as smooth as you could ask it to go really. I think everybody has been really pleased with how it has come together in a rather short period of time. Especially considering the fact that most people had to start after the new year once they were out of their current contracts or whatever the situation may have been. It gives you a late start on the year. For that being the situation I think we have done a great job with it. The normal, but nothing outside of that. It’s coming along really well.”
ARE YOU MUCH OF A CONSUMER OF BARSTOOL CONTENT? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THEM? DO YOU THINK THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE YOU SQUIRM WITH SOME OF THEIR QUESTIONS AND STUFF TO YOU?
“(Laughs). Yes, is the short answer. I’m a little worried about some of the stuff that we have going on for the weekend. I’m going to try and keep it as politically correct as I can for my sake, I guess. It’s going to be a good time regardless. They are coming out for the race weekend, part of their Natty Light tour here. They have been talking to a handful of our pit crew members as well. They are pretty excited to be interviewed. I don’t know, they might not have to be as politically correct as me, so their answers might be more fun to some of the interviews. It is bound to be a good time. We got to meet them down in Daytona briefly. So, now everybody coming out here there are going to be a lot of people out here for this event and for our Barstool Sports, Natty Light partnership there. Yeah, we are excited about it, but I’m going to have to tip-toe a little bit I believe.”
THOUGHTS ON THE NEW STAGE PROCEDURES:
“I think when everything was announced I think the opinion was they were bonus points and that you still needed to worry about the end of the race and make sure you had those big points. And that it wouldn’t be as big of a swing as it is. But I think we realized really quickly, like the Truck and Xfinity race at Daytona when you win two segments and you get crashed out and you are still fifth in points at the end of the weekend, everybody kind of took notes and said that those bonus points are worth a lot more than I think we really wanted to give them credit for. Yes, I think you are going to see a lot more of that, especially when we start getting closer to Richmond and our playoffs. I feel like it’s a situation where if and like you said, if we are running 11th and you can get some bonus points and they tell you ‘hey we need you to run a little bit harder for the next 10 laps’, then yes, you need to go after it. And if you are running in the top five and you are around two cars and you think you can get two more spots, then yeah, you are probably going to run a little harder. At the same time, you’ve got to make sure that you are there at the end. The big points are still at the end. Race wins are still what are going to matter the most, but yeah, there is going to be a lot of different strategies, a lot of new stress caused by these segments for our races every week.”
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE NEW TIMING ZONES HERE AND GOING FORWARD? WHY IS IT BECOMING SO CHALLENGING?
“I’m not concerned about them. It leaves a lot less room to try and cheat the larger segments or larger gaps what we had before the added lines. I never really fully took advantage of that. I was just trying to make sure I wasn’t speeding at all. Now that they have added more lines it hasn’t changed much for me, but I know for a lot of drivers that were really maxing out their pit road speeds and able to get that little jump of speed before getting to their box or leaving, they have had to throttle back a little bit. The Atlanta thing, Trent (Owens, crew chief) and D.K. (David Keith, spotter) they told me very early on before we ever made a stop they said ‘you need to be careful they have already busted four or five guys for speeding and they have been on it.’ So, we kind of just backed off one light on our dash and made sure that we didn’t get caught speeding. The way for me one speeding penalty will take away any progress that any 49.5mph versus 49 mph on pit road will have gained you throughout a race. Yeah, you’ve got to max it out, but try and for me, look at the bigger picture and make sure that we don’t have a speeding penalty. I think that is for me what I try and do there. I’m not worried about the extra lines here.”
WHAT HAS BEEN THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THE DIFFERENT TEAMS YOU HAVE BEEN WITH DO THINGS THAT YOU HAVE NOTICED SO FAR?
“It is interesting just going from a place that was really all I knew all the way back through ARCA days and coming up through Xfinity. For me, it’s been an eye-opener. I have learned a lot during the process. I really like where I’m at right now. I really enjoy being over at JTG Daugherty. Absolutely excellent people, very tight family atmosphere. It reminds you more of the short track Saturday night racing when you had friends and family coming over to help in the garage before a race weekend. For me it’s been a really good time. We have I think 12 or 17 or something different fire suits for the year and so we are going to be extremely busy, but at the same time it is fun. Everything that we have done so far has been a good time. It’s been enjoyable and it doesn’t feel like you are doing extra work it just feels like you are making sure that we do everything we can to be able to take cars to the race track and be competitive and have new colors on the sides every weekend.”