CHEVY NCS AT DAYTONA 2: Post-Race Notes and Quotes

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner - WHAT A DAY TO GET YOUR FIRST NASCAR CUP SERIES CAREER WIN! YOU PITTED FOR FOUR TIRES, GOT BACK IN TRAFFIC. AT THAT MOMENT, DID YOU THINK A WIN WAS EVEN POSSIBLE?

“Oh, yeah! I had confidence in (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) and the guys that we could get four tires and make the most of it. So, I’m just extremely blessed, and this is incredible. It’s been a hard couple of years in the Cup Series and trying to get my first win and gel with this team. These guys did an awesome job today and got us in the Playoffs and it’s amazing.”

HOW INTENSE WAS THE RACING TONIGHT AND RACING YOUR TEAMMATE, JIMMIE JOHNSON, KNOWING IT WAS A POINT OR TWO, IT COULD SWING EITHER WAY? WHAT WAS THAT LIKE IN THE PACK ALL NIGHT LONG?

“This is probably the hardest track to points-race. We had a great Stage 2 and kind of got back in the pack and got shuffled when everyone went single file. I thought my hopes were up there. And we were racing around the No. 21 (Matt DiBenedetto) and the No. 48 (Johnson) in the final stage and I was like man, I’ve got to really make something happen. Luckily, I was able to push the No. 43 (Bubba Wallace) and he and the No. 22 (Joey Logano) made some contact and opened up a hole for me, and I wasn’t going to lift. It was awesome. Thanks to Liberty University, Chevrolet, and it’s amazing.”

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 HOOTERS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE RACING TONIGHT, CHASE?

“It was pretty wild from my seat. I was surprised it took us as long as it did to wreck, for sure. But I’m really proud of our Hooters team. I feel like we had faster Chevrolet’s than we’ve had in the last couple of trips, which was good. It didn’t drive as good as I think it probably should have, but I do think we were better by a pretty large margin, so that was nice. Congratulations to William (Byron) – getting your first win is something he’ll never forget and that’s a really special moment for him. He’s worked really hard for that. I’m happy for him, Chad (Knaus) and all of the 24 team. They’ve done a good job.”

WAS THAT YOUR FOCUS, TO JUST STICK WITH WILLIAM AND MAKE SURE HE STAYS UP FRONT?

“To a point, yes. If I had a run to do something on my own, I certainly would have like anybody else. But I just never had an opportunity that wasn’t going to hurt both of us. I feel like if it could have ever just been he and I one-on-one or put myself in a position to get around him, it would have been good and nothing wrong with that. But just the way it all kind of worked out, my best option for my best finish was to push him. I certainly would rather push him than some others, for sure.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 7th

“Super pumped for William (Byron) and the entire No. 24 team. Really cool to see them get the win. Bummed for Jimmie at the same time. It is a big mix of emotions there for Jimmie to miss it. Overall, not a bad day for the No. 88 team. Had a really fast car, didn’t drive really well though. I have no clue how we didn’t crash some of those times. We got really lucky there at the end and ended up with a solid top-10 finish.”

BRENDAN GAUGHAN, NO. 62 BEARD OIL DISTRIBUTING CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 8th

“The Beard Oil Distributing Chevrolet Camaro had a heck of a run tonight. We saw pay dirt there at the end – third place coming out of turn four. The 19 car just side drafted us and pulled us back. I didn’t have any help behind me but what a night. I just have to say thank you so much to the Beard family, Darren Shaw (crew chief) and Ron Lewis, my spotter. I also want to say thank you to Richard Childress and ECR motors for all they do for us. Two top-10s this year at Daytona – what a way to go out. It was so much fun. We will see everyone in Talladega and we’ll actually be able to take the same racecar because it’s in one piece.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 17th

HOW DO YOU EVALUATE THE DAY?

“First and foremost, congratulations to my teammate getting his first Cup win like that. This setting and the drama to go with it – that’s a big win for Chad Knaus and William Byron. I’m really happy for those guys. I really felt like we had a way to transfer, to win, or point our way in the way it went in the first two stages. Things just got ugly down in turn one. Unfortunate, but that’s plate racing.”

YOU SEEM LIKE YOU HAD THE SPEED TODAY. THE 48 CAR LOOKED LIKE IT WAS A POTENTIAL RACE WINNER, AT LEAST A TOP-FIVE CAR.

“Yeah, we had a really good car. The last couple of months, we’ve been really getting our act together and running well. Definitely disappointed to not be in the Playoffs – that was the number one goal to start the year. But when I look back at the disqualification at Charlotte and then missing the Brickyard 400 due to my COVID-19 positive test and only miss it by six points – we did all that we could this year. I’m so thankful for Hendrick Motorsports and the career that I’ve had there, the relationship with Ally and their continued support for this race team. Cliff Daniels and these guys on my team – they pour their guts out for me. There’s 10 races left, 10 trophies to go chase and we’ll have to focus our efforts there.”

Yeah, it’s not fair to put on it. The last three years have been tough – we all know that. I think we’ve shown some bright spots and Cliff (Daniels, crew chief) has done a really good job of leading this team and taking this team in the right direction. I think we can show that and close out the year.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW VORASURF CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 25th

“Pulling into Daytona International Speedway for the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 400 tonight and seeing fans really pumped me up. It was great to have them at the track, and I think they were treated to quite the show. We had a fast Dow VORASURF Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Even though we had to start at the back of the field, we were able to work our way into the top-five and we had speed and handling. Things were getting exciting with less than 15 laps to go. I thought there was going to be a big run and I was going to be in the clear but it didn’t work out that way. I was on the high line and had nowhere to go when everyone started crashing in front of me. I should have known better. If you stay on the bottom you have an out. We ended up with a lot of damage to our Chevy and survived several additional end-of-race wrecks to nurse it home to a 25th-place finish. Obviously, not what we were hoping for but it’s just the situation. It’s the last race before the NASCAR Playoffs and we knew the action would be wild. I’m thankful we are locked into the Playoffs and I’m looking forward to running for a championship for everyone at RCR and ECR and all of our partners.”

TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 KCMG CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by accident on lap 158; Finished 29th

“Our No. 8 KCMG Chevrolet team came out today with one goal, and that was to win. We gave it our all and came close to making the NASCAR Playoffs during my rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series. Our No. 8 KCMG Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was fast tonight and handled really well too. I have to thank RCR and ECR for always bringing such great engines and cars to the superspeedway races. My spotter, Derek Kneeland, and crew chief, Randall Burnett did a great job calling a race that got me up towards the front with 10 laps to go. I tried to make a move for the lead with about eight laps to go, and it didn’t work out like I planned. It unfortunately hurt our car and chance to win. I was clear for about a second when I went to make it, but it’s Daytona and things change quickly. There weren’t a lot laps left at that time, and you have to do what you can to try to win to make the Playoffs. I can’t thank KCMG, Caterpillar, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Alsco, Chevrolet and all our partners at RCR and ECR enough for their support during my rookie season. I promise we’re still going to be fighting hard every week for the next 10 weeks to get our first win in the Cup Series.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by accident on lap 151; Finished 32nd

YOU WERE HANGING IN THE BACK MOST OF THIS RACE AND YOU DECIDED TO GO TO THE FRONT AND THE AGGRESSION PICKED UP. DID YOU HAVE THE SPEED TO STAY UP THERE AND DO YOU THINK IT GOT A LITTLE IT AGGRESSIVE?

“No, I think the race kind of played out similar to what we thought it was going to. Starting in the back, we decided we would just kind of cruise in our Kroger Camaro. It was nice running the bottom there in that final stage with the 9 (Chase Elliott) and the 88 (Alex Bowman) behind us. I felt like we were making headway, got up beside the 18 (Kyle Busch) for the lead and it was tough with the 18 and the 11 (Denny Hamlin) together. But I thought with us, the 9 and the 88, I thought that we could keep our momentum up. Something happened behind them and they got shuffled and separated from me. Then there at the end, we were just running the top lane. It looked like the 8 (Tyler Reddick) tried to pull a slider, didn’t quite have him cleared and we all just kind of bunched up. Our Kroger Camaro was fast again. I had a lot of fun, but it sucks not to get the finish out of it.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by accident on lap 151; Finished 34th

“We were just digging on the bottom – I thought that was the best spot to be. Our Monster Energy Chevy was fast and we were all in the right spot, I thought, for what we needed to get done. Just got clipped from behind and our day is done. But, all-in-all, we’ve been coming together as a team - we just haven’t had the results to show it. I like the clarity and focus that we have on the No. 1 car heading into the Playoffs. It’s been a consistent season all the way until these last few, but now it’s time. Now we have to lay down everything we’ve got with Darlington, Richmond and Bristol coming up.”

“Thanks to Monster Energy, Chevrolet, GEARWRENCH. Sorry Ganassi guys – I didn’t bring it on home, but we were racing hard with nothing to lose. I thought the bottom was the safest spot, we just got clipped from behind.”

YOU MENTIONED CLIFF – I KNOW HE SAID NOT MAKING THE PLAYOFFS WOULDN’T DEFINE YOUR SEASON AND IT CERTAINLY WOULDN’T DEFINE YOUR CAREER. IS THAT ACCURATE?

“Yeah, it’s not fair to put on it. The last three years have been tough – we all know that. I think we’ve shown some bright spots and Cliff (Daniels, crew chief) has done a really good job of leading this team and taking this team in the right direction. I think we can show that and close out the year.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW VORASURF CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 25th

“Pulling into Daytona International Speedway for the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 400 tonight and seeing fans really pumped me up. It was great to have them at the track, and I think they were treated to quite the show. We had a fast Dow VORASURF Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Even though we had to start at the back of the field, we were able to work our way into the top-five and we had speed and handling. Things were getting exciting with less than 15 laps to go. I thought there was going to be a big run and I was going to be in the clear but it didn’t work out that way. I was on the high line and had nowhere to go when everyone started crashing in front of me. I should have known better. If you stay on the bottom you have an out. We ended up with a lot of damage to our Chevy and survived several additional end-of-race wrecks to nurse it home to a 25th-place finish. Obviously, not what we were hoping for but it’s just the situation. It’s the last race before the NASCAR Playoffs and we knew the action would be wild. I’m thankful we are locked into the Playoffs and I’m looking forward to running for a championship for everyone at RCR and ECR and all of our partners.”

TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 KCMG CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by accident on lap 158; Finished 29th

“Our No. 8 KCMG Chevrolet team came out today with one goal, and that was to win. We gave it our all and came close to making the NASCAR Playoffs during my rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series. Our No. 8 KCMG Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was fast tonight and handled really well too. I have to thank RCR and ECR for always bringing such great engines and cars to the superspeedway races. My spotter, Derek Kneeland, and crew chief, Randall Burnett did a great job calling a race that got me up towards the front with 10 laps to go. I tried to make a move for the lead with about eight laps to go, and it didn’t work out like I planned. It unfortunately hurt our car and chance to win. I was clear for about a second when I went to make it, but it’s Daytona and things change quickly. There weren’t a lot laps left at that time, and you have to do what you can to try to win to make the Playoffs. I can’t thank KCMG, Caterpillar, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Alsco, Chevrolet and all our partners at RCR and ECR enough for their support during my rookie season. I promise we’re still going to be fighting hard every week for the next 10 weeks to get our first win in the Cup Series.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by accident on lap 151; Finished 32nd

YOU WERE HANGING IN THE BACK MOST OF THIS RACE AND YOU DECIDED TO GO TO THE FRONT AND THE AGGRESSION PICKED UP. DID YOU HAVE THE SPEED TO STAY UP THERE AND DO YOU THINK IT GOT A LITTLE IT AGGRESSIVE?

“No, I think the race kind of played out similar to what we thought it was going to. Starting in the back, we decided we would just kind of cruise in our Kroger Camaro. It was nice running the bottom there in that final stage with the 9 (Chase Elliott) and the 88 (Alex Bowman) behind us. I felt like we were making headway, got up beside the 18 (Kyle Busch) for the lead and it was tough with the 18 and the 11 (Denny Hamlin) together. But I thought with us, the 9 and the 88, I thought that we could keep our momentum up. Something happened behind them and they got shuffled and separated from me. Then there at the end, we were just running the top lane. It looked like the 8 (Tyler Reddick) tried to pull a slider, didn’t quite have him cleared and we all just kind of bunched up. Our Kroger Camaro was fast again. I had a lot of fun, but it sucks not to get the finish out of it.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by accident on lap 151; Finished 34th

“We were just digging on the bottom – I thought that was the best spot to be. Our Monster Energy Chevy was fast and we were all in the right spot, I thought, for what we needed to get done. Just got clipped from behind and our day is done. But, all-in-all, we’ve been coming together as a team - we just haven’t had the results to show it. I like the clarity and focus that we have on the No. 1 car heading into the Playoffs. It’s been a consistent season all the way until these last few, but now it’s time. Now we have to lay down everything we’ve got with Darlington, Richmond and Bristol coming up.”

“Thanks to Monster Energy, Chevrolet, GEARWRENCH. Sorry Ganassi guys – I didn’t bring it on home, but we were racing hard with nothing to lose. I thought the bottom was the safest spot, we just got clipped from behind.”

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2020, Issue 8, Posted 12:35 AM, 08.30.2020