MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA NIGHTVISION LAMPS CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed the relief of being locked into the Round of 8 heading into the unknown of Talladega, how the Hendrick Motorsports cars will work together at Talladega, the impact Darian Grubb will have in his new position at Hendrick Motorsports in 2019 and many other topics. Full Transcript:
YOU WERE A TEAMMATE OF KASEY KAHNE’S FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS. HOW DO YOU VIEW HIS ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK THAT HE CAN’T COME BACK IN THE SENSE OF DOES IT CONCERN YOU THAT THEY HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE
TO FIND A REASON FOR WHY HE IS SUFFERING THESE DEHYDRATION ISSUES?
“I’m not going to comment on his health much, it’s not my place and honestly, it’s nobody’s place in here, but his. We should probably leave that alone. I think it’s unfortunate that he is not able to come back, he is a friend of mine. I want to be able to race with the guys he is a racer and always has been. I hate that he couldn’t do it on his own terms and decide that for himself, but as far as the health goes, it’s not my place and like I say, it’s
nobody’s place in here.”
THE FIRST HALF OF THE PLAYOFFS THERE HAVE BEEN A WIDE VARIETY OF TRACKS AFTER THIS WEEKEND THREE OF THE LAST FIVE ARE 1.5-MILES. WITH HAVING MORE OF THE SIMILAR TYPE OF TRACKS THE SECOND
HALF OF THE PLAYOFFS HOW MIGHT THAT CHANGE THINGS?
“It’s still real similar to what it’s been the past few years. I can’t say that the complexion is completely different. Martinsville is still a crucial race I feel like being that first one in that next
round. I look at that one, Kansas, I mean all those places that are coming up. We got to test Kansas which I thought was a good thing. I just, yeah, I don’t really see it having a different complexion. I think it is really similar to what we have had…”
WITH THIS FIRST ROUND WITH THE ROVAL, THE NEW SHORT TRACK IN THIS ROUND HOW NOW IS THE SECOND HALF OF THE PLAYOFFS NOW DIFFERENT…
“Yeah, that is true I guess, yeah I think going back to places that we raced at once already this year is probably the big one I guess and having some history there from the spring race to look at the
fall race upcoming. I would say that is probably the biggest thing is kind of being able to look back on how you ran that first race and see whether or not you have improved since it’s respective date.”
HOW MUCH HISTORY HAVE YOU FOLLOWED ABOUT YOUR DAD DOING SO WELL HERE AT TALLADEGA? WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU TO ADD TO THAT FAMILY HISTORY?
“Yeah, he had a great run here for sure. I don’t know. The ‘what would it mean’ question always arises whether it’s in reference to him or in general as to what it would mean to do this or that and honestly, man, I don’t know because I haven’t done it. Until you are in those positions and you are able if you are lucky enough to do something like that I think you embrace it then if you are able to pull it off. I have no idea what it would mean because I have
never been there.”
COMING IN HERE WITH A WIN YOU ARE SAFE TO THE NEXT ROUND. DOES THAT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE MORE CHANCES WHEN OTHERS ARE HAVING TO BE MORE CAREFUL TO PRESERVE THEIR PLAYOFF SPOT?
“I think so in some situations and they are all kind of circumstantial. I’m not sure that it’s anything that you just know ‘hey I’m going to do this, this, and this’ and my day is going to be better than
theirs. That is tough to say because you always come here with the outlook to try to win and run well. It doesn’t always work out or it usually doesn’t work out for us or hasn’t. But, yeah you can certainly be aggressive, but everybody is going to be aggressive and that is kind of the M.O. now. It is nice to just not have to lose sleep over every point on Sunday, which I think is fantastic and I’ve never really been in this position before. My first two years we were just barely making it in the first round to start the Playoffs. This is nice and encouraging and we have some momentum. That is a great thing to have this time of year. So, I’m looking forward to keeping it going.”
WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HELPING ALEX BOWMAN POTENTIALLY GET IT? WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO YOUR TEAM AND DOING WHAT YOU NEED TO DO?
“Yeah, I think you certainly have to weigh that out. I know that if I was in his position I would certainly want at least my teammates not to hurt my effort. You don’t want to impede that progress, but I feel like the boss has always kind of been a race win guy and I don’t think he is ever going to let something like that pull me out of a potential contention to win or me laying over to let him win. That stuff is, to me, never really been the topic of conversation at Hendrick Motorsports since I’ve been there. I think the topic will probably be more along the lines of just try not to hurt one another and try to help him when we can. I am certainly open to doing that. If he can move on as well that does nothing but help all of us in our company. Yeah, I hope he makes it.”
ALEX BOWMAN WAS IN HERE EARLIER AND HE SAID IT’S BEEN REALLY DIFFICULT FOR THE CHEVROLET’S TO GET TOGETHER AND GET A TRAIN GOING THE WAY THE FORD’S HAVE IN THE PAST OR THE TOYOTA’S HAVE IN
THE PAST. DO YOU HAVE A THEORY ON THAT?
“I don’t really. I have seen that strategy and those things, we have seen it work and we have also, I feel like, seen it kind of hurt those guys that do that and play those games. I’m not sure. There
is certainly an art to it. I look at the other manufacturers and the things they have done. I feel like we have done it though really, we have given it a shot a time or two. But, like I said, I think if you don’t do it the right way if you are not careful it can hurt you worse than it can help you.”
DO YOU THINK WE WILL SEE SOME OF THE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DRIVERS PRACTICING DRAFTING TOGETHER TODAY?
“Yeah, we plan on running together just because nobody really likes to run a whole lot anymore and just having this one practice today, I think you will see some guys line-up and run with their teammates or whatever. We have a plan to just go make some laps. We kind of have what we have anyway. We will try not to hit each other or crash one another.”
HOW DO YOU THINK DARIAN GRUBB WILL HELP HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS MOVING INTO HIS NEW ROLE AS TECHNICAL DIRECTOR?
“I have always had a lot of respect for Darian. He has been nothing but nice to me. I haven’t worked with him as far as a crew chief perspective, but I feel like we all gained a lot of respect for him
the year he and Tony (Stewart) went and did what they did in ’11. Certainly, a very sharp guy. He was in a similar role before he became crew chief this year and I felt like he was always a guy I could go lean on, ask questions to, and he would be honest and answer and give him his opinion straight up. I have always liked that about him. I expect it to be the same next year in his new role and I think he will do just fine.”
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