MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
MARCH 10, 2017
FOUR TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS QUALIFY IN TOP 12 AT LAS VEGAS
Kyle Larson to Start Fifth in Kobalt 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race
LAS VEGAS – (March 10, 2017) Kyle Larson led the way for Team Chevy in the final round of knock-out qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Kobalt 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race, Round 3 on the 2017 circuit. Piloting his No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS, Larson made a strong showing with a 27.956 seconds/193.161 mph to earn a fifth-place starting spot in the 39-car field.
“In the final (qualifying) round, I don’t think I really rushed the throttle, but I definitely didn’t get wide open as early as I did in the second round, which probably hurt me in Turns 3 and 4,” said Larson. “All in all, a top-five qualifying effort here in Las Vegas for the Target Chevy was good. Hopefully we can dial-in our car tomorrow in practice and we’ll have a good race on Sunday.”
Kasey Kahne, aboard the No. 5 LiftMaster Chevy SS qualified seventh, Jamie McMurray qualified 10th in his No. 1 Credit One Bank/Cessna Chevrolet SS, and Chase Elliott, will start 12th in the No. 24 NAPA Chevy SS to give Team Chevy four of the top-12 in the starting order.
Brad Keselowski (Ford) won the pole, Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota) was second, Ryan Blaney (Ford) qualified third, and Matt Kenseth (Toyota) was fourth.
The Las Vegas round of the MENSC West Coast Swing, the Kobalt 400, is slated to take the green on Sunday March 12th at 3:30 pm, ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
POST QUALIFYING QUOTES:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 5th
“It was a good effort for us today and our Target Chevrolet team. To qualify in the top five here is pretty good. Hopefully, we can get our balance dialed in for tomorrow in practice and happy hour and have a good race on Sunday.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 LIFTMASTER CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 7th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“We were really close. We have a really strong LiftMaster Chevrolet. Just barely missed it in (Turns) 1 and 2. I overdrove the corner just a little that third round. My second round was way better in (Turns) 1 and 2. I don’t know way better, maybe a half of tenth or something which would be top five. I just screwed up a little bit in 1 and 2, but we had a really good car. I’m looking forward to Sunday.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 12th
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING RUN. A LOT OF THE DRIVERS I SPOKE TO SAID THEY WERE BETTER IN THE SECOND ROUND THAN THE THIRD DID YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY?
“Yeah, I think our car was pretty good in really all three rounds and just got…I think I might have gotten a little too aggressive through (Turns) 1 and 2 and lost a lot of time down there.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 VALVOLINE/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 14th
“We had a pretty solid day. We just haven’t had that top-10 speed, but the car has been driving actually really good, the balance has been good. I’m really looking forward to race trim. I ran a line in the first run a little bit higher in (Turns) 1 and 2 and all the fast guys are on the bottom. I tried to run the bottom and just got kind of tight over the bumps and hit the skirts. But overall a good day.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 KOBALT CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 16th
IF YOU HAD A CHANCE TO DO THAT AGAIN, WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY AT EITHER END OF THE RACE TRACK?
I’m definitely disappointed with that. We have a very sharp Kobalt Tools Chevrolet and a very fast Kobalt Tools Chevrolet. On my first lap, the No. 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) was getting up to speed on the inside lane and I just took my eyes off exactly where I needed to be and I missed that white line by half a foot. And then by the time you roll through the center, it’s half a car width and I left a couple tenths on the table as a result. So, I’m frustrated with that. There’s nothing anybody did wrong, but I just hate that I missed it by that small little margin; especially with the practice session we had and that first round speed that we had. So, I’m disappointed. But this is going to be a great race. I think these hotter temperatures and this low downforce package and different tire are going to put on a great show on Sunday. I would love to win here at my sponsor’s event. So, hopefully we can get that done.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 18th
WHERE ON THE RACE TRACK DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU NEEDED A LITTLE MORE SPEED OR A LITTLE BIT BETTER FEEL FOR YOUR RACE CAR?
“Well, we’ve been going around the bumps in (Turns) 1 and 2 and having pretty decent success there. And that last run I tried to go low and run the bottom through the bumps and we just don’t really have the car set-up for that. I should have stayed committed to the middle groove or the higher groove and I probably could have run about a half tenth faster, maybe just enough to get in that top 12.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 NATURAL LIGHT CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 25th
YOU WERE IN, AND THEN YOU WERE OUT AGAIN AND DIDN’T HAVE A CHANCE TO GO BACK OUT.
“Yeah, I thought me and AJ (Allmendinger, teammate) were better friends than that (laughs)! It was a lot better than our mock runs were at in practice with our Natural Light Chevrolet. I’m happy with that part of it. And, our race runs were excellent. So, I’m really excited about getting into that. Qualifying with this new package, I have a lot to learn here. AJ helped me through some debriefs after practice and then he went out there and still one-upped me. So, I’ve got to keep working. But everybody has done a nice job. I like where the race car is at. It drives really well, so we’re going to be okay.”