MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 500
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 30, 2019
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 GEARWRENCH CAMARO ZL1, who was the fastest Chevrolet driver in the final practice session, met with media for a brief chat. Full Transcript:
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT IN TOMORROW’S RACE WHEN THE WEATHER WILL BE SUNNIER AND COOLER?
“Yeah, it will continue to heat up and then it provides more grip. I think the groove in (Turns) 1 and 2 will just get wider and wider and that’s where the race, I think, will be won and lost. We’re juggling a new package. We’ve got both ends of the race track that are completely different. And you have the draft. And there’s a lot going on out there. It’s like the more they can throw. And I say ‘they’, NASCAR, that they can throw at us, they feel like they’ve accomplished their job.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE MADE PROGRESS BECAUSE YOU’RE THE FASTEST OF THE CHEVYS. “We just had a really good draft (laughs). We can’t quite find that speed in qualifying. And we’ve got to just make sure our car is stable and can work the draft and work the traffic. I think we’re going to be very deep in dirty air all day.”
ON THE PRACTICE SESSION WITH EVERYBODY SO CLOSE TOGETHER, THIS CERTAINLY LOOKED EXCITING. IS THIS JUST A CASE OF OPTIMAL CONDITIONS AND NOT TO READ TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT IT COULD LOOK LIKE TOMORROW? OR, WAS THAT A HINT OF WHAT TOMORROW COULD BE LIKE?
“With the way they redesigned the track to have less banking in (Turns) 1 and 2, and then they throw the PJ1 back on it to create grip. The tires actually cool off, I think. I don’t have actual data. But they cool off running through (Turns) 3 and 4 because we’re not even at the extreme load through that portion of the corner. It’s more or less that’s a straightaway. So, it’s like we’ve got a 1.5-mile here, but we’re only racing through 100 yards of it with the apex of (Turns) 1 and 2.”
SOME DATA SAYS YOU HAVE THE BEST RAW SPEED ON THE BIG TRACKS OF ANY CAR OUT THERE. DOES THAT GIVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE THAT YOU’LL BE ABLE TO DRIVE UP AND OVERCOME WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
“No speed is usually arrived at with the set-up in the car. And you do it all by yourself. Now, with this draft, it changes the way you have to go and find the speed. And so it’s not as organic on how you set-up a car and actually just use the driver and the team to build the car and go out there and beat people with lap times, you have to find the right draft and use that to your advantage to make up time, whether it’s a bad pit stop or bad qualifying. But, we still just need to get our car a bit more stable when it’s making passes. Guys that have pit road penalties like the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) at Fontana. That is the fastest car I’ve ever seen. I don’t know where my data shows it, but the No. 18 was the fastest thing I’ve ever seen on four tires at Fontana.”
YOU SAY NASCAR IS THROWING A LOT AT YOU. OF THE DRIVERS IN THE FIELD, I WOULD SAY THAT OF THE DRIVERS IN THE FIELD YOU COULD THROW A LOT AT, TECHNICAL STUFF OR WHATEVER, THAT YOU WOULD BE THE MOST EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH IT
“I just don’t want to overthink it. There are so many things that are new and different that you just have to, sometimes, take a step back and just all-right, it’s a little bit tight here and a little bit loose there. Let ‘er rip.”
CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY DANIEL SUAREZ WAS ABLE TO GO OUT AND GET A SOLID QUALIFYING LAP DESPITE ALL THE SPEED YOU HAD?
“Don’t ask me about Fridays right now. Fridays are an absolute mess for the sport, for the way the structure is set-up, and for our set-up.”
WITH YOU BEING CLOSER TOGETHER IN THE PACK TODAY AND MAYBE TOMORROW, WHAT DOES THAT DO WHEN YOU’RE TRAILING? YOU ALWAYS HEAR ABOUT THE DIRTY AIR. IS THAT STILL A SIGNIFICANT THING OR IS IT BECAUSE KIND OF LIKE YOU SAY YOU’RE A ONE-MILE STRAIGHTAWAY AFFECT. DOES THAT CHANGE IT, OR NOT?
“Yeah, it’s pretty dirty with you’re right behind somebody. And then as soon as you check-up, because there’s only the one little spot where we have to check-up, it seems like it invites everybody in like a logjam right behind you. So, it’ll be pretty intense, I think, the way it’s all shaping up. I think what we saw in practice is what we’ll see in the race. We do have issues in practice that we don’t have in the race and that is some guys come out on colder tires and some guys have been out there for 15 laps, and everybody is trying to learn at the same time but some guys can just drive right around you because they’ve got better tires.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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