CHEVY NCS AT NASHVILLE: Post-Race Notes and Quotes

KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Race Winner
DID IT FEEL THE MOST DOMINANT BEHIND THE WHEEL?
“It was a great day. We never really had to run behind people, so I don’t know. If one of my teammates got out front again it probably would have been hard to pass them. This Valvoline Chevrolet was really good. It cut the middle of the corner really well and our pit crew did an awesome job again. That number one pit stall helps a bunch, too. This crowd is awesome!”

YOU DID A BURNOUT FOR THE ENTIRE CROWD, FROM ONE END OF THE GRANDSTAND TO THE OTHER
“Yeah, I was going to do something here and then I looked down there and thought, yeah, there’s a lot of fans down there, too. I need to go to the end. But we had enough rubber and fuel leftover to do a good burnout there at the end. I can’t say enough about everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com, Valvoline, and thanks to everybody who has been a part of this team this year. I just hope we can keep it going.”

ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 42 CLOVER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 2nd
FIRST CAREER CUP TOP-FIVE, HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
“Really good. To come to a 750 hp track – lifting, sliding and moving all over the race track trying to get forward drive, it was really good.”

WHAT DOES THIS BATCH OF TOP-10’S SAY ABOUT YOU AS A DRIVER AND THIS TEAM RIGHT NOW? SONOMA, A ROAD COURSE IN THE RAIN AND NOW HERE.
“It’s finally on a circle track, that’s all I’m happy about. I’m happy about the road courses, I just don’t really know what it’s happening. Here, I know why. I know what we did. I know what I’m doing to drive the car. Road courses, it’s not really pre-planned. This is pre-planned. It’s what we all grew up doing.”

YOU’RE IN THE PLAYOFF MIX NOW. ARE YOU IN MUST-WIN MODE OR DO YOU FEEL PRETTY GOOD ABOUT DOING IT ON POINTS?
“I just want to compete, that’s the biggest thing. I’m racing with my heroes. I want to compete with them and I want to beat them.”

I GET THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU DRIVE THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT, IT’S JUST A MATTER OF THE PROGRAM COMING TO YOU. HAVE YOU HAD TO, WHETHER IT’S LEARNING THE CARS OR LEARNING THE PROGRAM, CHANGE THE WAY YOU GO ABOUT DOING EVERY WEEKEND?
“I’m just trying to keep my confidence up. I got down pretty early in the west coast swing. I’ve realized I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 3rd--HOW DID IT GO OUT THERE FOR YOU TODAY? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN COMPARE FROM FRIDAY?--“We had a little bit of right-front damage, so honestly we weren’t as good as we probably could have been. We were OK, we just couldn’t finish the corner and just struggled with the right-front all day. Overall, that’s just part of it. It’s hard to start in the back and we learned a lesson there on adjustments for qualifying. Nothing major, just something to learn from.”

DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE TRUCK RACE REGARDING THE BRAKE ISSUES BEFORE YOUR ENGINE LET GO? DID YOU KNOW THIS WAS GOING TO BE AN ISSUE?
“Just low downforce, high horsepower. I think a lot of guys showed up with less brake than they needed. So, for us, we showed up with a good amount of brake, especially being back in traffic.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER/NATURE VALLEY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
“It was a challenging day. The cars were not easy to drive and even when we were running second there, we were trying to make adjustments to get better and see if we could catch him. I felt like I was a little better than the No. 5 (Kyle Larson) in one of those stages on the long run and then we kind of lost our track position and struggled to get it back. I’m glad we were able to make it up into the top-10 there. Really solid day for our Kroger team.”

“It was a great day for our Kroger team. I was really happy with the racecar that we brought and hopefully we can carry this onto Pocono (Raceway).”

WAS THE TRACK A LOT DIFFERENT THAN YESTERDAY?
“I felt like it was pretty close to the same for us. We were pretty happy with our car yesterday and was really happy with it today, as far as the speed goes. I don’t think anybody’s was handling great. That’s just a product of concrete, rubber on the track and obviously the sun being out. The only thing I would have liked a little more was an AC unit today (laughs).”

“It was a good race. I had a lot of fun. I’m glad that we battled back close to the top-five.”

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 7th
THIRD TOP-10 OF THE YEAR. WHAT WAS TODAY LIKE FOR YOU?
“It was good. The car was good enough to finish right there in the top-10. I don’t know what it was, but in the last couple of runs, we lost some grip in the front. I don’t know if it was the race track, or what; but the guys did a very good job of making adjustments. The car was fast; we showed that a couple of times. We’ve just got to continue.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 8th
“We ended up eighth. We were trying to save some fuel at the end and lost the race for a top-five. Awesome day for (Ross) Chastain. He pitted and got to run hard at the end. I was hoping he would catch (Kyle) Larson; that would have been incredible. We ran out of gas coming out of turn four, but had to do what we could with the Monster Energy Chevy. All-in-all, it was fun track to drive. It was a lot of fun just slip-sliding around with all that horsepower at a new track”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 GET BIOETHANOL CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 12th
“What a race! We knew we would have our work cut out for us today in the No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevy after qualifying didn’t go as well as we planned. This Richard Childress Racing team never gave up, though, and I am so proud of them for that. Early in Stage 1 we earned some track position, fell back a bit with an ill-timed caution after a green-flag stop, then we rallied to race our way to sixth to end Stage 1. We finished Stage 2 second to earn additional points, which is really good for our NASCAR Playoffs battle. Overall, I’m really proud of this team and we will take this 12th-place finish and move on to Pocono for a double-header next weekend.”

TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 JOE NICHOLS / QUARTZ HILL RECORDS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 19th
“Today was all about survival at Nashville Superspeedway. Our No. 8 Joe Nichols / Quartz Hill Records Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE had a lot of speed in it, but we had to overcome a lot of obstacles today. After our first pit stop of the day, there was no grip on the pit axis road while exiting, and I clipped the grass and spun around. Luckily, I didn’t hit anything and other than some dirt on the windshield, we was able to keep going after pitting for fresh tires. Shortly after that, someone on the track dropped some debris that went through the nose of my car but didn’t hit anything bad enough to end our day. From then on, we had to just race really smart to get our laps back, which we were able to do quickly after a couple cautions came up. Our car was a bit on the tight side today and needed to be looser, but our adjustments really didn’t seem to help a lot on the short runs like we needed them too. Our long run balance wasn’t bad, but I had a really bad vibration in the final 12 laps or so and had to slow my pace to make sure a tire or brake rotor didn’t blow. We were able to pick up a few extra spots since other guys ran out of fuel at the end, but we’ll definitely have to study this race and figure out how to be better next time.”

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 BLACK ENTREPRENEUR INITIATIVE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 20th
“It was a tough day for the No. 43 Black Entrepreneur Initiative Camaro ZL1 1LE. We had an OK qualifying effort in the top-10. We had to start in the back and we fought our way back into the top-10 early in the race, and then just kind of lost the balance from there. Tough day – it wasn’t the day we were looking for, for sure, but we stuck with it all day and got a top-20 out of it. We’ll go to Pocono (Raceway) next week. It’s a place I really like and we hope to have a couple good races.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
1st KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1 1LE
2nd ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 42 CLOVER CAMARO ZL1 1LE
3rd WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE
6th RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER/NATURE VALLEY CAMARO ZL1 1LE
7th DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1 1LE
8th KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE

TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
1st Kyle Larson (Chevrolet)
2nd Ross Chastain (Chevrolet)
3rd William Byron (Chevrolet)
4th Aric Almirola (Ford)
5th Kevin Harvick (Ford)

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 2021, Issue 6, Posted 9:50 PM, 06.20.2021