NASCAR CUP SERIES MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY BLUE-EMU MAXIMUM PAIN RELIEF 500 TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES APRIL 11, 2021
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:POS. DRIVER2nd CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE4th WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE5th KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE 8th TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CHILDRESS VINEYARDS CAMARO ZL1 1LE14th AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CAMARO ZL1 1LE15th RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER/CREST CAMARO ZL1 1LE TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS: POS. DRIVER1st Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota)2nd Chase Elliott (Chevrolet)3rd Denny Hamlin (Toyota)4th William Byron (Chevrolet)5th Kyle Larson (Chevrolet)
The NASCAR Cup Series season continues next weekend at Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday, April 18, at 3 P.M. ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd YOU WERE COMING ON STRONG THERE AT THE END, CHASE. DID THE CAR GET BETTER OR WAS THAT JUST CIRCUMSTANCE?“I really felt like we were not perfect, for sure, all day. But we did make it better I think as the day went on. The run was kind of that right distance for me there at the end to maximize it. I felt like if it was any longer than that, I was probably going to fade again kind of like I had been all day.”
“I really appreciate the effort. We worked really hard today to get back to second. I felt like every strategy call and circumstance just kind of went the other direction for us. We had a couple of good restarts there at the end; had a good pit stop and made a good last adjustment just for a short run. But definitely need to be better. Our NAPA team has been working hard. We’ve had a very eventful year I feel like, so it’s nice to just have a solid day. We got some stage points and got a good finish. We’ll try to go get them next week.” WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 4th “It was a hard-fought day for us. We had handling issues early on and then once we got back further in the pack – it was just crazy. We had fresh tires and the speed but had to manage traffic. Once we got track position back we were making up ground but got held up a couple times which hurt us. Overall though we had a fast Liberty University Chevy. It was a good day and we learned a lot. On to Richmond next weekend.” KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 5th“Yeah, definitely the restarts were crazy. I didn’t have the best balance on the restarts and that made it even a little crazier for me because I was kind of on defense, I felt like, most of the time. Even when I was on offense, I was kind of on-edge. But after we would get 15 to 20 laps in, I actually felt really good. I felt like we were probably a fourth-place car on the long runs, so I was happy about that. To get a top-five here at probably, by far, my worst race track feels like a win.” TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CHILDRESS VINEYARDS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 8th “Today was a good day for our No. 8 Childress Vineyards Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, but we definitely had to fight for it. I learned a lot about racing at Martinsville Speedway over the course of the weekend. We fired off strong Saturday night and were able to work our way up a handful of spots after having to start from the rear of the field due to an unapproved adjustment. Then the rain came through and postponed the race, but that also gave our team a good chance to talk about what we had and what we needed to work on. Once we got back going today, I had really good long run speed and was able to use that to capitalize on some good runs to get into the top 10 and grab stage points at the end of Stage 2. I needed more center turn and to be a little looser during that span of short runs that came in the middle of Stage 3 when we had all those back-to-back yellows while being shuffled back a little bit due to our pit cycle, but luckily the final run of the race was a longer one that allowed us to bring home a top-10 finish. Overall, this was a good weekend for our team and I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into next weekend’s race at Richmond.” AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 14th “It was a marathon this weekend at Martinsville Speedway in the American Ethanol Chevrolet. We faced a lot of adversity. The entire right side of our Chevy was gone by the end of the race. There was just a lot of beating and banging out there today. We got our car handling pretty well, but were held on pit road for a lap as a penalty for pitting outside the box. We lost our track position but did a good job of trying to work our way back to the front. The handling of our Chevy just wasn’t what it needed to be once it got dark outside. The track changed too much. We’ll go get them at Richmond Raceway on Sunday.” RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER/CREST CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 15th “It wasn’t pretty, but we were able to salvage a decent day at Martinsville Speedway for our No. 47 Kroger/Crest Chevy. We really struggled to get the right balance throughout the majority of the race, but Brian (Pattie, crew chief) made some strategy calls to keep us in a position where we could maintain our track position and stay on the lead lap, and ultimately race in the top-15 for the majority of the end of the race and miss the big wreck that took out our teammate. We were really fast at Richmond Raceway last year and I’m looking forward to getting there next week and keeping our momentum going.” ERIK JONES, NO. 43 PETTY’S GARAGE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 30th “It just wasn’t the day we really wanted for the No. 43 Petty’s Garage Camaro ZL1 1LE. It was just up-and-down trying to find a balance to get the car where it could roll the center and not be too free. I finally felt we kind of got the car where we wanted to be towards the end. We had those string of cautions and got caught up in one of the later wrecks. We really didn’t have too much damage, but I had either an axle or a gear issue that ended our day there. I wish we could have seen where we would have ended up. I think we probably could have drove up towards the top-15, maybe even the back of the top-10. We learned a lot though and I think we can take it to the race coming back to Martinsville Speedway in the fall.” DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 CAMPING WORLD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident on lap 385; Finished 32ndTHANKFULLY, YOU GOT OUT AND YOU’RE OK. DANIEL, WHAT DID YOU SEE FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE THAT LED TO THAT?“First of all, I saw a couple of cars on fire, so luckily nobody got hurt. I was a bit surprised that the safety people took a long time to get to my car. I tried to make sure everything was good to stop the fire, but for some reason, they just weren’t stopping the fire. In that wreck, there wasn’t really anything I could do. I was trying to slam on the brakes to try to slow down, but it was a parking lot in there. I couldn’t do anything about it. The No. 24 car (William Byron) put us in that position; he pushed me out of the way. I had a few laps older tires than everyone else.” “But overall, we have to keep working. This weekend, overall, wasn’t great. We came from the back several times. We had a fast car, but we made bad adjustments. It just wasn’t a clean weekend.” ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident on lap 385; Finished 34th ALEX BOWMAN WAS ONE OF THE FASTEST CARS TODAY. THEN, HE HAD A LOOSE WHEEL AND RIGHT AFTER THAT IS THE CARNAGE YOU JUST SAW. HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE WHAT HAPPENED HERE IN THE LAST TWENTY MINUTES?“It’s very frustrating. I hate it for everybody at Hendrick Motorsports; everybody at Ally and Chevrolet that gives us so much support. Everybody works so hard to give us what we need and we had such a good race car today; such a fast Ally Camaro. I had a loose right-front wheel and that’s just part of racing; things are going to happen. Our pit crew is phenomenal every week. I make mistakes, people make mistakes, it happens. It put us behind the eight ball there and then they all crashed in front of me. I stopped and the guys behind me didn’t stop. It was one of those deals.” “I hate it. I feel like we had a car capable of winning, which says a lot because I drive this place completely wrong. I’m so bad here. Greg (Ives, Crew Chief), everybody on this No. 48 team have their work cut out for them to make a car work for me and they did that this week. It was phenomenal; couldn’t ask anything more of it, but not much to show for it.” CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE, SECOND-PLACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT: THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by today’s runner-up, Chase Elliott.Chase, walk us through your second-place finish today.
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, really, really hard-fought second actually for us. We were not great, but had some, I guess our strong suit was kind of early on in the run, then really faded hard, too hard there latter part of a run.
But we never got one of those super long runs, which is probably a good thing for us because we were struggling on that end. But, yeah, proud we could fight back. We had a long day with strategy not going our way, restart lane choice at times was tough. I’m glad we were able to get back in the fight there and give ourselves a chance.
THE MODERATOR: We’re going to open the floor for questions.Q.Chase, does this do anything for you for October when you look ahead, this being such a pivotal race?CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think this is an important race. They’re all important, but for sure, when you get down to that Round of 8, if you’re still alive in that deal, a win at any of those tracks gives you an opportunity. Of course, definitely.
As long as it’s where it’s at in the final 10, it will always be an important race.
Q.You just said on FOX Sports, you described this as an eventful year so far. How challenging has the season been for you guys so far, now being your third top five of the year after coming off a championship?CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, I mean, like I said, every week I feel like it’s been one thing or another, a bad run or just whatever. Just nice to have just a smooth day, no damage. We didn’t break anything. Everything was just smooth. It was uneventful. That’s the days you have to have to compete for wins ultimately. Some of that is in your hands, some of it’s not.Truly nice to have an uneventful day, so to speak, just get a solid finish. Got some solid stage points. It was definitely a step in the right direction for us.
Q.With today’s solid performance, Truex gets his second win of the season, how important is it going to be moving forward to get multiple wins? Do you think kind of where we’re at in points, what you’ve got right now, is going to be okay? Is it still pivotal to get multiples?CHASE ELLIOTT: I mean, I definitely think winning is a crucial part to the Playoffs. It doesn’t guarantee you as you go along. It sure does hedge your bet and having a successful Playoff run if you have wins in the bank.
I want to be on that side of the fence when that rolls around rather than in the opposite position.
Q.What do you feel you were missing there at the end in relation to the Joe Gibbs Racing duo?CHASE ELLIOTT: Just rear grip for me was kind of the story of my day. That was also the problem there at the end. Just didn’t have the drive I needed to get up off the corner like I wanted and to be able to really get the power down early.Yeah, solid day, but just came up short.
Q.Can you talk about the rocky start you’ve had to the season? How much momentum and confidence does this give you towards Richmond and beyond?CHASE ELLIOTT: Like I said earlier, just nice to have an uneventful day, so to speak. Just have some nice stage points, have a nice finish, those things are always nice. I feel like we had a mistake-free day, which is what you have to have, so it was good.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us, Chase. Good luck at Richmond.
CHASE ELLIOTT: Cool. Thanks.