Jamie McMurray, driver of the No.1 Chevrolet, met with the media during the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media tour and answered questions. McMurray had a good season in 2017 but failed to win a race. McMurray doesn’t think the Camaro will give them an idea of how good the car is until the second race of the season at Atlanta.
When asked if he was excited about the new car, McMurray was honest and straightforward about the hope for the car.
“I don’t think the XFINITY Camaro will help us one bit,” McMurray said. “I think it is different. I think the bodies are different. I don’t know, to be honest with you. I am pretty sure they are different, so I wouldn’t say that if there is anything to correlate between the two.”
McMurray said that they will know more about how good the Camaro ZL1 until they get it to a normal track—Atlanta Motor Speedway. Is he excited about the new car?
“Excited. No…. they’ve done a lot of wind tunnel testing up to this point with the Camaro. However, the way NASCAR is going to inspect cars is a little different with the body scan, so the tolerances are a lot tighter than they were last year. Everybody is going to have less downforce than they did last year just because of the new Hawkeye System just because of how they are teching the cars now. It is a little bit of an unknown. We know the difference from where we were last year until now. But, you just don’t know the difference for everybody else. Until we get to Atlanta, we aren’t going to have any idea.”
The topic of the week seemed to be how veteran drivers like McMurray relate to the young guns, and he was asked the question.
“Well, look, all of us, as race car drivers, are human. Some seek attention more than others. I don’t really seek attention so I’m okay with all that. I think enough said. Some want attention more than others,” McMurray said.
McMurray has learning the new Camaro on his mind and was asked how long it would take for the ZL1 to become competitive.
“I don’t know the answer to that. Daytona is going to be unique, a one-off race, because it’s all about low drag, McMurray said. “The other thing that’s going to happen at Daytona that I haven’t heard anyone talk about is that there are no ride-height rules this year, so it’s going to be completely different for all of us. And then once we get to Atlanta, and you kind of see…. Actually the No. 42 (Kyle Larson) is doing a Vegas test. You’ll kind of know where they stack up against the other cars and maybe kind of compare that to last year to see where you were. But I think you have to see where you are and if you feel like the cars are just as fast as they were last year, then it will be a pretty easy learning curve. If you’re not, then it’s going to be a harder learning curve.
“The one thing in today’s world that is different than it was five or 10 years ago, is that the whole car is set-up off simulation and part of that program is that they take aero maps into account and they can kind of adjust the balance based on the aero maps. And so, we have all that information and so if the aero map is a little different or if a rules change comes into play, they kind of adjust the set-up for that. And it all makes sense. It’s not like it was 10 years ago where it was a little bit of a guess. So, I think it’s a different time now.”
McMurray did say he would be participating in three XFINITY Series this year and wished the Charlotte ROVAL would be first used for the All-Star race to give the drivers some practice on the circuit.