CHEVY NCS AT MICHIGAN: Post-Race Notes and Quotes
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd--WILLIAM, YOU PUT UP A MAJOR FIGHT THERE WITH LATE-RACE RESTARTS TRYING TO GET BY RYAN BLANEY. WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED TO MAKE THE PASS?\--“Just the 11 (Denny Hamlin) to stay with us. He tried to shuck us into one. I had to stay with him to not sacrifice my right rear. Once you get put three-wide middle, it's game over. I gave up the lead trying to protect the top. Just didn't have the loyalty there to kind of push me to the lead.”
“Overall, really good car. The No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet was extremely fast. Definitely know we can bring that to the Playoffs. Stinks to finish second, but feel like we had a really good car to go to battle with.”
SAW YOU AND (KYLE) LARSON GET OUT OF THE CAR, BOTH SMILING, HIGH-FIVED A LITTLE BIT. WHAT WERE YOU DISCUSSING? DDI YOU HAVE A LOT OF FUN IN THE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS?
“Yeah, it was fun; kind of like a speedway race. I was trying to back up to him about two to go. He kind of ran the bottom, so he didn't have any momentum to push me.”
“Yeah, I don't know what you do. You can only block so many lanes. I tried to block the top and cost myself first, but just part of it.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 CINCINNATI CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 3rd
THIRD FOR KYLE LARSON. IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS GOING TO BE SO MUCH MORE. SO MANY MOVES BEING MADE OUT THERE. DESCRIBE WHAT IT’S LIKE RACING WILLIAM (BYRON) AND EVERYBODY ELSE TRYING TO GET THIS WIN.
“Yeah the restart worked out a little better than I thought it was going to for me. The 11 (Denny Hamlin) tried to stick the 24 (William Byron) three-wide. They got loose. I got to the middle. I think came out third or something there. Was able to get to second.”
“Just made a couple bad moves, I guess. I think honestly just a little too patient behind the 12 (Ryan Blaney). Could have made some later, you know, dives I guess to the inside. Who knows. I need to watch the replay.”
“Just made a couple wrong moves, allowed William to get by me. Once I was in third, I hoped they would get racing, get side drafted. I was never close enough to William to help him generate a run on the 12. Ended up third. A good points day. Wish we could have had more, but all in all a good day for the Cincinnati Chevy.”
THAT IS A HARD DECISION. YOU DON’T WANT THE DISASTER OF GETTING DUMPED IF THE MOVE ISN’T GOOD?
“Yeah, I was probably honestly a little too -- I had points on my mind a little bit too much. I'm looking in my mirror. I saw the 11 (Denny Hamlin) falling back some. I just didn't want to screw it up really.”
“I felt like I had to weigh the risk versus reward. I could risk going for the win, not having it work out, end up 30 something and lose the point lead going into Daytona; or I could be a little bit more cautious, beat Denny by a couple spots, which is what we did.”
YOU HAVE TO HAVE THOSE POINTS ON YOUR MIND NEXT WEEK, TOO. GOT TO MAKE YOUR MIND HURT.
“Yeah, I mean, I'm glad I gained some points on him today. But Daytona is Daytona. I don't typically see the checkered flag I feel like too often there. We'll see.”
“But glad to go in there with 28 points. If we could get a couple good stages there at Daytona, I would feel much better about it.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 4th
“I had an excellent No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE thanks to Matt McCall (Crew Chief) and all my Chip Ganassi Racing guys. They’re digging hard. The first little sequence, I knew we had a good car today. I just made a couple of mistakes in the aero-situational events. It’s like a mini-superspeedway race out there. And then you have handling mixed in because it’s a 2-mile track.”
“We did really good today. We were right in the mix. Fourth-place is bittersweet. I wanted to win so bad. I had three different plans in my head and I cannot believe a Chevy didn’t win today.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 16th
“Man, we definitely wanted to finish better for Ally at their home track. We received some damage early on and we just battled tight conditions throughout the race. Just really tight. We made some gains on pit road, which was what we needed. We will come back strong in Daytona for the final race of the regular season.”
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 MEDALLION BANK CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 18th
“It ended up being an OK day; it was just up and down. We got caught a lap down early with a loose wheel. The middle part of the race, there just wasn’t much going on. It was good to get back on the lead lap and at least salvage a top-20 out of it for our Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Medallion Bank Camaro ZL1 1LE. We were just tight all day and couldn’t really get it to do much other than that. We’ll go on and see what we can learn from it. Hopefully, we’ll go to Daytona (International Speedway) and get a win.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BREZTRI CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined in accident with Brad Keselowski on Lap 121 – Finished 36th
THE STAGE WAS OVER. WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU AND BRAD?
“I was just trying to get as many Stage points as I could get right there and did a good job of side-drafting and came down to the apron and I’ve seen just one quick replay, but it was after the Start/Finish Line. I was starting to come up off the apron because it’s so rough down there. But I figured by that point, he would have given me a little room. I hate it. I’m thankful that the good Lord kept me safe today. That was a heck of a wreck, but I feel fine. I hate it for BREZTRI and my guys, most of all. The built a rocket ship. They really wanted this one, and I did too. Just working our tails off right there. I think we would have had a shot to do something there at the end with our race car. It’s the best race car we’ve brought to the track at RCR this year, I feel like. It’s just a bummer but we’ve got Daytona left and I just hate it. I don’t know why it happened, really. I thought I had a little room to come up and he just held me down there a little bit too long, I guess.”
HOW DETERMINED ARE YOU TO WIN AT DAYTONA NEXT WEEK?
“Very. The guys have worked so hard. You saw the equipment I had today and man it was so fast. I was having a blast out there racing like that. It’s fun to be able to do that. I’ve just got to thank ECR and RCR. But that one is probably done, and we’ll just bring another one next week to Daytona.”
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
2nd WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE
3rd KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 CINCINNATI CAMARO ZL1 1LE
4th KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE
8th CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE
12th RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER/MAXWELL HOUSE CAMARO ZL1 1LE
TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
1st Ryan Blaney (Ford)
2nd William Byron (Chevrolet)
3rd Kyle Larson (Chevrolet)
4th Kurt Busch (Chevrolet)
5th Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.