CHEVY NCS AT WATKINS GLEN: Post-Race Notes and Quotes
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner
KYLE, WHAT A GREAT VICTORY, BUT THERE IN THOSE CLOSING LAPS, I HAVE TO ASK – AS YOU CAUGHT ALL THOSE LAP CARS, WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT LOSING THE TIME THERE?
“Yeah, I was. Chase was already catching me pretty quick, even with me being in open track, so when I caught those, I think, four cars and got into the 38 right here, I thought I would look at my mirror and the 9 would be right on me, but thankfully had a comfortable enough gap to where I could make a mistake like that.”
“I want to say a big apology to Christopher Bell. I was inside but I wasn't inside enough, and I didn't -- I needed to have the nose a few feet further ahead, and the angles just caught there in the middle and I ended up turning him. I hate that. I race with him a lot. He's probably the one guy that I race with the most in all my racing, so hate to turn him like that. We've had incredible races together.”
“Anyways, hats off to Hendrickcars.com. Thanks for everything you guys do for me, everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon, Cliff Daniels, this whole 5 bunch. Another amazing car. I could tell from about lap 3 after I stopped making a bunch of mistakes that we were going to have a car that could win today.”
THIS IS YOUR FIFTH WIN ON THE SEASON, ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SEASON OF ALL TIME. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COME TO HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AND HAVE THIS SUCCESSFUL OF A SEASON?
“Yeah, it's awesome. I mean, it really just shows how good the organization is, all the people that they've assembled at their race shop, all the men and women. All four of us could not be getting these wins like we have been without them. Thanks to them, and thanks to everybody else I get to race for. Get to go to Iowa this week and chase another big win, so looking forward to that, and hopefully can just keep racking these wins up.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY TO ANOTHER MASSIVE CROWD HERE AT WATKINS GLEN?
“Yeah, thanks all you guys for coming out. It's been a while since we've been here, so hopefully we put on a good show for you. It was definitely a good show from my seat when the three of us were going at it for the lead in the first stage, then there in the second and third stage. Just a lot of fun today, and hope you guys enjoyed it.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd
EXHAUSTING DAY, BUT WHAT A HEROIC EFFORT IT WAS TO GET BACK THERE TO SECOND AT THE END. HOW DO YOU SUM UP THIS DAY? YOU PASSED MORE CARS THAN I THINK ANYBODY OUT THERE BUT STILL COME UP ONE SPOT SHORT.
“Yeah, I made too many mistakes to get the win, unfortunately, and made it too late in the race. Super proud of our team. Been kind of an uphill battle all day, but everybody was just super prepared coming into the day, and our NAPA team just did a really good job of fighting it.”
“If I hadn't have let them down there, I think we would have had a shot at it, but congrats to Kyle (Larson, race winner), Cliff (Daniels, Crew Chief), all the guys on the 5. Happy for everybody at HMS. Hendrick Motorsports has been working extremely hard, and not only do the people deserve to win, but Mr. Hendrick deserves to win. Really happy for him, and I'll try to clean some things up and make less mistakes next time. Maybe it'll work out.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
“We had a solid run and ended up sixth in the No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1 1LE. Lost the fifth spot on the last lap, unfortunately. We had a good car and it was a good run for us. We started mid-pack and worked our way forward, so I’m happy with that. Definitely a solid road course finish for us and we’ll keep moving forward.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CHEVROLET ACCESSORIES CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 10th
“We had some good speed in our No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE today but just needed the balance to be a little better overall. I was really tight throughout most of the day, especially on landing through the turns. It didn’t seem to matter which way I was turning, I just couldn’t get the front to rotate like I needed it to once I got through the first third of a turn. The adjustments we made during the day seemed to help during the last stage of the race and I was able to grab the tenth spot on the final lap. It’s good that we were able to leave the track with another top-10 to help us with the Playoff cutline. I wish we were able to finish a little higher up, but we will have a good shot next week to show what we can do at another road course. There’s no other group I’d rather be fighting with to make the Playoffs, and I know they’ll all continue to fight through the coming weeks.”
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 42 MYMCDONALD’S REWARDS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 12th
“Tough day at Watkins Glen (International) for the No. 42 MyMcDonald’s Rewards Camaro ZL1 1LE. I think Kurt (Busch) and I both struggled for turn. There was quite a bit front chatter and it was just hard to get through a lot of the rights. That’s hard on a primarily right-hand turn track. Our left and rights balance was off just a little bit.”
“The pit stops helped, but we just started too far off. We definitely played the right strategy to keep cycling up. I went for one spot there at the end, I think for eighth, and gave up four to finish 12th when I ran it out of gas. A lesson learned there. I needed to save a straightaway more and I didn’t; I went for it. Live and learn.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 COWBOY CHANNEL CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 15th
“What a day at Watkins Glen International. We started the race 16th in the No. 3 Cowboy Channel Chevrolet and finished ninth in Stage 1 to grab a couple of stage points. We struggled a little bit through the esses but overall handling was pretty good today. I think we could have finished well inside the top-10 if things would have gone just a little differently. I made a mistake that cost us maybe five spots when a car ahead of us slammed on the brakes and I just didn’t anticipate it. Good job to everyone on this RCR team all day. Everyone fought hard, just as they have all season. Thank you to The Cowboy Channel for their support. We’ll go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course next week ready to battle.”
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 CLEAN HARBORS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 27th
“The day started off okay. The No. 43 Clean Harbors Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was good, and we made our way forward. Then we lost track position and got too far back, spun-out and never caught a caution to get caught back up. Not a solid end, but we proved to have an okay car. We just lost the balance a bit through the middle of the race, and got too free and didn’t really have it where we needed it. We will head to another road course next week. I think we learned some good stuff and got a few things better that will carry over.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.