CHEVY MENCS AT KANSAS TWO: Post Race Notes and Quotes
TOP TEAM CHEVY FINISHERS:
4TH CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS
6TH CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 SCOTT PRODUCTS CHEVROLET SS
7TH DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS
11TH JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
TOP FIVE FINISHERS:
1ST Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota)
2nd Kurt Busch (Ford)
3rd Ryan Blaney (Ford)
4th Chase Elliott (Chevy)
5th Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
Chevy Driver’s Moving on to the Round of 8
Jimmie Johnson – 5thin Standings
Chase Elliott – 8th in Standings
The next stop on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is Martinsville Speedway for the First Data 500 on Sunday, October 29th.
POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – Finished 4th
DESCRIBE THE AFTERNOON RACING HERE AT KANSAS:
“It was a wild day for sure. We fought our balance all weekend. I know the result wasn’t terrible, but definitely feel like we could have been a lot better this weekend and just the way things worked out for us. But, our car got better as the day went along, we just didn’t have the balance on a very long run to go up and pass guys like you need to have. So, we will go to work and get this side of things ready for Texas.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 SCOTT PRODUCTS CHEVROLET SS – Finished 6th
*Matches best finish of 2017*
GREAT RUN FOR YOU GUYS:
“Yeah absolutely that was an awesome day for our Scott brands Chevrolet. Looking at the whole weekend, we unloaded with pretty good speed. I didn’t do as good of a job qualifying as I needed to and lost a little track position because of it. But, still ended up with a pretty decent pit stall. We were clean there all day. Made it through the big accident on the backstretch by a very small margin. I am going to say it was within inches, but you go back and look it was probably within several feet, but it felt close, it felt wild. But, just proud of everybody back at JTG Daugherty racing. We have been working really hard the last several months to try and get it turned around. We have hit the summer months and we haven’t had the speed we wanted. So, this weekend was a big step in the right direction for us. It’s excited. It’s fun to come back and run well.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – Finished 7th
GREAT RUN YOU WERE USING THE OUTSIDE LANE A LOT WHAT WAS IT THAT REALLY CLICKED THERE IN THE NO. 88 CAR THAT ALLOWED YOU TO GET UP FRONT?
“We practiced up there a lot and I knew that is where I wanted to run and hoped our car would handle well up there. We just didn’t have the speed to run the bottom until later in the race it was okay. I mean, we got it a little bit better on the early part of the run everybody is on the bottom and you can’t run the top. So, we improved our car a little bit there, but I love going up there. It is fun, I don’t know what it is about running up there, but I’ve always enjoyed it. We ended up having a decent run. (Chris) Buescher had a great finish. I had seen him in practice fast all weekend, so, I think that was his best run all year, good to see. I am just glad that we brought another good finish home. I think that is about where the car should have finished this weekend.”
TALK ABOUT MISSING THAT BIG WRECK:
“Well, I saw the No. 77 in the fence and I was kind of thinking they were all going to get down the track by the time I got there, so I was sitting in that top and everybody started moving out of the way and I saw cars wrecking up there and I said ‘well we’ve got to go lower and lower and lower.’ And then I saw cars wrecking down there. It’s all luck. A lot of times if you just run the back of somebody and push them through it that kind of works for you too. I did a little bit of that too. Just real lucky. That helped us on our finish today. I don’t know if we could get the track position and get a top 10. The car was fast enough at times to run up there and finish up there, but we will take it.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – Finished 11th
YOU DID ENOUGH TODAY AND WILL ADVANCE TO THE ROUND OF 8. TALK ABOUT THE SPIN ON LAP 188. WHAT WAS GOING ON?
"Heck, I had two of them. I had one off of (Turn) 4 and the other in (Turn) 3 on the restart. The car was extremely loose. We fought the balance throughout the day and the car would swing so hard. We were trying for short run speed to free the car up and we just got too far with it and I spun out twice. Thankfully I didn't hit anything too hard. And when things really changed was down the back straightaway in that wreck. Somehow, I went through there at a high rate of speed and missed everybody. I don't know how, but I made it. And then the No. 1 (Jamie McMurray) car was sitting there and I thought I had him lined-up for a square impact, but fortunately he slid out of the way. But, I just want to thank Lowe's for their continued support. We had Marshalltown on the car this weekend and I'm excited to have them there. It wasn't a pretty day, but we got it done."
YOU ALWAYS THANK YOUR GUYS FOR NOT GIVING UP. WHAT ABOUT THE HARD WORK FOR ACTUALLY GETTING THROUGH THE DAY TODAY?
It's just a roller-coaster ride you're on. We're just trying to keep the car on the track and keep it going. The No. 42 (Kyle Larson) had problems. That big crash on the back; you can just never give up in this sport. That's one thing that this team has always prided themselves on and I'm very thankful for that."
ON HEADING TO MARTINSVILLE, ARE YOU PLEASED ABOUT THAT?
"It's not a bad track for us. So, hopefully we can repeat last year's performance there. And then we have Texas coming up. We're not where we want to be. There's no doubt about it. But, we're staying alive and I know this team so well, we can find something and we're going to sure as hell try to get it"
ON MOVING FORWARD:
“It’s not back to zero with all those stage points. For us to advance moving forward we’ve got to win. We’ve got to win one of these next few races coming up. It’s really simple from our stand point. We’ve got to get some speed in our cars and we’ve got to win a race.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – Finished 16th
"Today was a definitely a crazy day at Kansas Speedway. With the changing track conditions as the sun set and shaded parts of the track, we had to be on top of the adjustments to our GEICO Chevrolet for the entire race. My team did a great job making calls, and I didn't struggle with balance much at all. Track position was just key, and it was hard to make passes out there. Overall, I think this was a good weekend and shows the improvements to our intermediate-track package. There's still work to be done, but we are definitely getting closer."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined in multi-car crash on Lap 199
IT’S THE END OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROAD FOR YOU AND THAT’S NOT FUN WHEN YOU HAD A TOP 5 CAR ALL AFTERNOON. WHAT WAS YOUR VIEW OF THE WRECK?
“It just looked like the No. 77 (Erik Jones) got loose. I saw him and it looked like he over-corrected. And then actually, I didn’t think I was going to hit him and I didn’t have that much contact with him, but someone came through later on and got into me a little bit harder. I had a really fast car. I thought we had one of the best cars, and I felt like if we could have gotten to the lead, I could have led the race for a while. It was a good Cessna Chevy. But we’ve had two bad races in a row and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
IS IT MORE FRUSTRATING TODAY BECAUSE OF THE GOOD CAR YOU HAD?
“Well, I was really looking forward to just getting to the end of the race. Like I said earlier, we just needed the pit stops to go our way or the strategy to get shook up, and it was kind of happening right there. You just hope that you’re going to be on the right end of the strategy. And then if the race would have gone long, we had one of the best cars on the long runs But, you just don’t know. You race all day to the end, and we just didn’t make it today.”
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?
“It just looked like the No. 77 got loose. I had a pretty good view of it, but I can’t tell you exactly what happened. And then he overcorrected and I got into him and our day was over.”
ARE YOU STILL HOLDING ON TO ANY PLAYOFF HOPES?
“Oh no, we had to win today in order to get in. Had a really good car. Had maybe, I don’t know… we had a car that could have won. I think if we could have gotten to the front, but just didn’t make it to the end.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined with engine failure on Lap 77
WHAT WAS THE FIRST INDICATION SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH THE ENGINE?
“I felt it drop a cylinder or something. So, it’s disappointing way to finish our race and probably our season, but we’ll be all right.”
THIS SCENARIO OF THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN TODAY WAS PROBABLY NOWHERE ON THE LIST FOR YOU. WILL YOU SIT AND WATCH THE POINTS AND SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT, OR WHAT?
“Yeah, obviously I’m going to watch and just cross my fingers and pray to anything I can pray to. But, I don’t think 29 points is enough. So, it’s disappointing, but we’ve had a good year. I’ve got to thank Credit One Bank and Target and everybody that’s been involved. It sucks to have the engine failure, but it is what it is.”
AFTER A SEASON OF WORK LIKE THIS, TO END SO SUDDENLY, WHAT’S THE EMOTION LIKE RIGHT NOW?
“I don’t know. I guess it’s sinking in as each second passes by. But I don’t know. Things happen. You look at the past playoffs and the No. 78 (Martin Truex, Jr.) had an engine issue last year and he was the best car all year; and then us, this year. So, it’s disappointing. But there’s still a long race left to go and maybe we can get lucky.”
WAS THERE ANY INDICATION SOMETHING WAS GOING WRONG?
“Well it just dropped a cylinder 10 laps ago or so and then it suddenly got worse and finally blew up. I hate that we blew an engine and probably blew our shot at the championship, but luck is a big factor of our sport.”
IS THERE ANY PART OF YOU THAT IS HOLDING OUT HOPE?
“Yeah, I mean, yeah, I am hoping that something happens. I guess you hate to have or hope for bad things to happen to other people, but right now I kind of am. It just stinks, but it is what it is.”
TALK ABOUT GIVING THE TEAM DIAGNOSTICS:
“Just on the diagnostics page and trying to read them whatever code to help them learn what was going on with the engine. But, I don’t know you are not going to read a magic potion and have your engine start running better. Oh well.”
DID YOU KNOW IT WAS FATAL AT THE TIME?
“Yeah, I knew as soon as I felt it or heard it I was probably done.”
ARE YOU JUST COMPLETELY STUNNED?
“I don’t know. I guess, I’m not stunned because freak things happen in every sport. I mean you look at every year in the past and a lot of times, most every time at least in the new Playoff format era not always does the best team win. Not saying we are the best team, but we have been one of the contenders all season long. So, I’m not stunned, because it is a long 10 race Playoff season, so anything can happen, but we have had a solid Playoffs. We have been consistent and just now got bit.”
WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND IMMEDIATELY WHEN IT HAPPENED?
“I don’t know I was thinking … oh crap, this sucks... but I don’t know 29 points isn’t going to be enough.”
YOU WIN FOUR RACES IN A SEASON JUST HOW PAINFUL IS THAT?
WOULD IT BE MORE PAINFUL IF THERE WAS SOMETHING YOU COULD DO ABOUT IT PERSONALLY? IT WASN’T SOMETHING THAT YOU DID, YOU JUST HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT I GUESS AND HOPE THAT MAYBE SOMEHOW…
“Yeah, I don’t know. Either way you go about it, it stinks. A part of me, I guess, will maybe be thankful that it wasn’t on my doing, but I don’t know it sucks.”
IS THIS ONE OF THE HARDEST PARTS IN RACING TO HAVE A PARTS FAILURE?
“Yeah, I mean part failures, I don’t know I keep saying everything sucks. I don’t really know how to answer these because it’s the same answer for every question.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.