MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 KLEENEX WET WIPES CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day and discussed his new teammate Ryan Preece, the outlook for 2019 and many other topics. Selected Quotes:
“We are in the Thursday race and we are in the first one and we are going to have to watch the go-or-go-homers, because they are going to have a really hard race to get into that one. So, we will be a little bit cautious since we know that is not the race that really pays anything. But we will be set to go in the (Daytona) 500.”
HAVE YOU NOTICED ANY DIFFERENCE WITH THE HENDRICK HORSEPOWER?
“I think single car qualifying was a good start to realize for us. We have made gains to our cars in the offseason and everyone has worked harder than anyone expected, or anyone wants to. They have really been busting their tails to get race cars ready. We got into qualifying and we saw that we were able to get a little more speed out of the race car. Its hard to feel at Daytona because you are wide open all the way around at this place. But we will definitely get more information on it as the season goes along. We are really excited about our partnership just to simplify our program as well. Already having the HMS support from an engineering side and having the HMS pit crew through last season…they did a fantastic job. To be able to close that loop and get all our information from one place, that really helps.”
IS THIS A REBUILDING YEAR FOR JTG?
“I wouldn’t say so. I would say its just building up and continuing on what we have been able to create. Starting that second team a couple years ago was a big undertaking and it’s just trying to build on top of that. With the package change, we do feel it will be good for us. I don’t think it is necessarily just a reset button but more to build off of what we have learned, the relationships we have now, and take what is new and drive forward with that. We are excited to have Ryan Preece on board and I think that is going to be good as far as communication and what we know, which is race cars, so its going to be a good season for us.”
REGARDING RELATIONSHIP WITH RYAN PREECE
“Yeah, its still early and with him trying to move down here from Connecticut and making those trips back and forth…. I know he is racing down here at New Smyrna and so we just haven’t been able to hang out. Been able to be around each other a decent amount and talk about the test, talk about hobbies and what we like to get into, and just start to build that friendship up. So, its early on, but everything I have seen sounds like its going to be good. Once we get to going through these races, going to our debriefs, and figuring out what each other is looking for in race cars – that’s when we will be able to fine tune and make it better”
YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF TOP FIVES AT RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACKS TO YOUR NAME, DESCRIBE THE PATIENCE IT TAKES TO PERFORM IN THOSE TYPE RACES
“So, the numbers are good for us here at the plate races and we have been able to have some very good finishes. We have had a game plan that has worked out good over at JTG Daugherty Racing between both of our race teams. At the same time, I love good numbers, but then on the probability side of things that makes me nervous. This is a race track where something is going to happen inevitably. For us to have a lot of good days, it makes me nervous to see where this one goes. We are going to create our own destiny and stick to what we have been doing in what has worked for us here. Basically, you just have to put yourself in position with 15-20 laps to go. If you can be there, have a clean race car, and have a shot – that is all you can really ask for. To get there at that point of the race and have a clean race car, that is our game plan.”
REGARDING BEING A PART OF JTG:
“It’s been nice to come into this organization and try and help them build it up. Good people, everybody at the shop works really hard, and it’s a very family-oriented atmosphere. Which is really hard to find in our sport these days with how big all these teams are and how big our sport has gotten. For us to come in and say that everybody knows everybody, that is awesome. The first two seasons I would say we didn’t really get the results we had hoped for. You always want to be winning races and that is our goal for this season. You want to be better than you were the last time. So, for us, the first season we ended up 22nd or 24th a lot of times. Last year we were able to get in the top 20 pretty consistently. This year we want to be in the top 15 as a starting point and then get some top 10s pretty consistently. That will be a good year for us and to be able to sneak a couple of wins along the way.”
WOULD YOU SAY THAT JTG IS AN UNDERDOG TEAM?
“No, I would say an underdog team is a small team, and we are not a small team. I mean we aren’t a super team with four cars and an alliance with other teams we are supplying. But we are a larger team that is making headway in this sport. To say we are an underdog in this sport is not quite accurate, but we are a smaller team that is going to make waves. There is a lot of gratification in that itself and it will be even more so when we start getting the results that we are capable of.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT THE RACE TRACK?
“Usually I end up on something with four wheels and a motor and mostly off road. Lot of my weekends are spent going around four wheeling and trying to find new places to do that.”
WHAT IS SOMETHING FANS MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
“I am basically just a big redneck driving in circles for a living. That is a rough way to put it. It’s something that just started out as a hobby. My dad was a hot rod guy and really how I got in the sport was just liking tinkering with stuff and trying to help him and wasn’t really racing cars when I was like four or five years old like some others. I had a motorcycle and was starting to race that and got a little later start on four wheels at nine or 10 years old. But for me it really started as a love of cars that started to break me into this deal.”
IS THE AGGRESSION AND BLOCKING CAUSING THESE WRECKS AT A PLACE LIKE DAYTONA FOR THE TOP THREE OR FOUR CARS?
“Statistically I think the front used to have a lot better survival numbers. It used to be that spots one through six, you had a lot better chance of getting through these races. You don’t right now because like you said, the wrecks have happened on the front row and have wiped out more cars than ever. It does come down to the aggression of blocking. This package creates that lead car having to try and both lanes and not being able to just pull side by side up front. There is always that car that gets out front and is able to hold them off, but the blocking is usually what causes those wrecks.”
HOW MANY CARS ON SUNDAY DO YOU THINK HAVE A REALISTIC CHANCE AT WINNING?
“Forty. There are forty cars in the field right now, right? Realistically there is the possibility of really anybody winning the race. I would say there are probably about 25 cars that can be good enough and be in position to grab a win.”
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