CHEVY NCS AT DARLINGTON: Post-Race Notes and Quotes
The NASCAR Cup Series season continues next weekend at Richmond Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders on Saturday, September 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd
YOU USED THE VIDEO GAME MOVE DOWN IN 3 AND 4; IT ALMOST WORKED.
“Yeah. Yeah. I kind of -- we got to the white, and I was like, well, I haven't been able to gain on him now, I'm going to try something. Honestly got to his bumper too quick. I was hoping he was going to run that diamond to kind of be safe and I could skirt to his outside, but gave everything I had. “I didn't want to wreck him, I just wanted to try to get to his outside there, but he did a great job not really making any mistakes during the last run, and I was having to push really hard in second to try and just stay with him.
“Was hoping we'd catch some sort of traffic, but we never really did. Our HendrickCars.com Chevy was really good out front, just in traffic I would get stuck. Like in traffic I just got stuck really bad, and then there at the end losing control of the race really hurt us, but all-in-all a great day, good points day. Pit crew did great. Cliff (Daniels) made some good changes in the car, so try again next week.”
WE KNOW IT'S BEEN A GREAT YEAR FOR YOU, BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO START OFF THE PLAYOFFS THIS WAY? YOU'VE LED THE MOST LAPS, YOU'RE RIGHT IN CONTENTION AT THE END. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THIS TEAM GOING THROUGH THESE PLAYOFFS TO MAKE A CHAMPIONSHIP RUN TO HAVE A GREAT START?
“Yeah it's good to get a good start. I think everybody's, you know, nervous getting ready for the final 10 and just the anticipation of how it's going to go. So good to get a good first week in and build some momentum and some confidence within the team, so hopefully go to Richmond, be a little bit better than we were earlier in the year."
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 42 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 3rd
THROUGHOUT THE SOUTHERN 500 HERE TONIGHT THERE WAS ALL THE PLAYOFF CARS AND THEN THERE WAS ROSS CHASTAIN IN CONTENTION FOR THE WIN. WHAT A GREAT NIGHT FOR YOU GUYS. WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED TO MAYBE CHALLENGE THAT NO. 11 AND NO. 5?
“A better driver. I can go fast. I just can't quite race with them, and it starts with my restarts. I've got some work to do there, so I gave up the outside to take the bottom to be safe and then Kyle rolls around me.
Was able to make one last charge there at him at the end, but yeah, I just need to clean up a few things. This McDonald's car, I think it was the fastest car here tonight, so it's humbling to come with this CGR group these final 10 races here, a place where my career kind of took a totally different trajectory three years ago, and to have people like Clover and the Moose (Fraternity) and Advent Health on board supporting me and still letting me race three years later, it means the world. I've just got to clean up some more, though.”
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PLACE FOR YOU? I REMEMBER BACK IN 2018 WHEN YOU HAD THAT AMAZING RUN FOR GANASSI HERE AT DARLINGTON. YOU'VE BEEN SO CLOSE TO WINNING HERE TWICE IN THE XFINITY SERIES. TALK ABOUT THIS PLACE, HOW GOOD IT IS FOR YOU AND ALSO THE COMPETITION LEVEL OF NOW DOING THIS ON THE CUP SIDE.
“Yeah, it's hard to say. I feel like I've put in work, but I always feel behind, so I never feel fully prepared. So I'm not going to say that. I'm going to say it's probably a lot of hot Saturday nights in south Florida racing at 417 Speedway. We don't run up against the fence there, but it's as sideways as we are here at Darlington, and I didn't run up against the fence at all tonight. A lot of Florida Saturday night short tracks and a lot of older, wiser guys and other racers down there that taught me a lot. To come back here now three years later for the people that supported me then and put me in that car, we're still here and we're still fighting, and it means the world.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
“That’s what was most impressive was the speed. It was fun to lead laps and be up front. It just seemed like we were juggling a ball of yarn and it was somewhat unraveling the whole race; whether it was the lane choice or a pit stop. And then handling, we were a little bit loose there and a little bit tight there. That last run, everything was back where we needed it; but I threw away all the track position with a couple of fender rubs.”
“We gave away a few points. I would have loved to have had a shot at trying to win it. We might have ended up wrecked, but we gave away three or four points tonight. Not all that bad. It’s a great way to start the Playoffs with this kind of speed in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevy. That’s what I’m really proud about with my guys.
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 10th
“I’m proud of everyone on the Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevy team tonight. To get a top-10 after all of the challenges we faced is a really good night and shows how hard this team works. We started off the race a little too free in the Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet, so we pitted during the first caution for adjustments, which really helped our handling issues. Even though we started from the rear, we were able to race our way into the top-10 before finishing the stage 13th. We lost a little something in Stage 2 after the 18 came down on us. We got some fender damage that affected our handling the rest of the night. We also had a bad vibration in the second half of the stage and it took all we had to stay on the lead lap to finish out the stage. It was great get a top-10 after a rough few weeks. I just wish we could have seen what we could have done without that body damage because the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevy was fast tonight.”
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 GOOD SAM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 13th
HOW WAS YOUR RUN?
“I feel like we were probably a top 20 car most of the day. We struggled. We made some adjustments to get it back and I thought we did a pretty good job keeping up with the race track and everything. But we just have to keep working. It was a good education day, but we didn’t have a lot of speed. So, we have to keep working to make more speed.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CHILDRESS VINEYARDS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 18th
YOU STARTED THIS RACING LOOKING LIKE A TOP 5 CAR, BUT IT SORT OF WENT AWAY FROM YOU. WHERE DID IT START TO GO AWAY?
“That’s a great question. I have no idea. I think we would have been able to not fall as far as we did in our Childress Vineyards Chevrolet, but I have no idea. It’s happened to me a few times here. I try to bring back a different approach every time, but I keep missing.”
YOU ARE UP AGAINST THE BEST OF THE BEST HERE. YOU PRIDE YOURSELF IS BEING ONE OF THOSE TOP 16, BUT WHAT IS IT LIKE TRYING TO FIND THAT LAST LITTLE BIT IN THE PLAYOFFS?
“Well, it’s a head-scratcher because we were running there towards the end of the day. I mean we haven’t been running back there all year. It’s definitely frustrating. I know everyone really pushes when the Playoffs get here to be performing at our best level. We did the same but just weren’t even close.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 26th
“I got into the wall into turn one. I was just really loose. The 8 (Tyler Reddick) got to us. I don’t know if he carried me off into the corner or if I just got loose. Either way, it’s just part of it. I just got loose and ended up in the wall right rear first and had damage. And then, that’s what eventually cut the tire to end up in the wall in turn three.”
THE NEXT RACE IS RICHMOND AND YOU WON THERE. IS THAT COMFORT OR CAN YOU NOT LOOK AT IT THAT WAY?
“I don’t think we have any comfort going forward the next two weeks. I think we’re going to places that we know we can be strong at. But this is a place where we felt like we should have been pretty strong at and our night was over five laps into the race. We didn’t do a good job capitalizing on it, even from that point on. We left points on the table. My guys did a good job of fixing the car enough to drive it the rest of the night. We just need to be a lot better than we were tonight.”
DO YOU FIND ANY SOLACE IN THE FACT THAT A LOT OF PLAYOFF DRIVERS HAD ISSUES TONIGHT THAT ARE GOING TO FINISH DOWN IN THE STANDINGS? IT COULD HAVE BEEN A MUCH WORSE POINTS NIGHT FOR YOU THAN WHAT IT MAY HAVE BEEN.
“Yeah, it helps I guess. It makes the points picture look better, but I don’t necessarily feel any better about anything because of it. Pretty frustrated with myself to grab the wall that early, but that’s Darlington and that’s Playoff racing.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA/CHILDREN’S CAMARO ZL1 1LE, Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident on lap 326; Finished 31st
WHAT A TOUGH WAY TO END THE NIGHT. IT MAYBE WASN’T THE BEST NIGHT THAT YOU WANTED. HOW QUICKLY DID YOU KNOW THE TIRE WAS GOING DOWN?
“Yeah, just as soon as I was turning the corner. Just really appreciate NAPA for letting us run this special scheme and making it a special weekend for some of these kids from Children’s (Healthcare of Atlanta).”
“On my end, just made way too many mistakes. That’s what you deserve when you make that many mistakes. Onward.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE, Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident on lap 200; Finished 34th
FIRST OF ALL, ARE YOU OKAY? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT HAPPENED?
‘Yeah, I’m fine. That was a big hit. It looked like on that pit stop, it looked like we dropped the jack and the left front was still finishing up. I took off and everything felt okay. I went to pass the No. 00 (Quin Houff) or somebody down the front stretch; and was just about to turn into (Turn) 1 and the left front went down. There was nothing we could do. The guys did an awesome job to fix it. We were running like Top-12, I think, even with all the (earlier) right rear damage and it’s just terrible. I don’t know, man. That sucks.”
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
2nd KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE
3rd ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 42 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 1LE
6th KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE
10th AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1 1LE
12th RYAN PREECE, NO. 37 KROGER/HERSHEY’S S’MORES CAMARO ZL1 1LE
TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
1st Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
2nd Kyle Larson (Chevrolet)
3rd Ross Chastain (Chevrolet)
4th Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota)
5th Kevin Harvick (Ford)
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.