CHEVY MENCS AT TALLADEGA 1: Post Race Notes & Quotes

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
GEICO 500
TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES & QUOTES
APRIL 28, 2019

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
1st Chase Elliott, No. 9 Mountain Dew/Little Caesar’s Camaro ZL1
2nd Alex Bowman, No. 88 Nationwide Camaro ZL1
3rd Ryan Preece, No. 57 Kroger Camaro ZL1
5th Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Caterpillar Camaro ZL1
6th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1

TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
1st Chase Elliott (Chevrolet)
2nd Alex Bowman (Chevrolet)
3rd Ryan Preece (Chevrolet)
4th Joey Logano (Ford)
5th Daniel Hemric (Chevrolet)

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season continues next weekend at Dover International Speedway with the Gander RV 400 on Sunday, May 5th at 2 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


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TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES:

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 MOUNTAIN DEW/LITTLE CAESAR’S CAMARO ZL1 – Race Winner
YOU HEARD IT ON THE RADIO HOW IMPORTANT THIS WIN WAS FOR THIS TEAM AND FOR CHEVROLET AND FOR YOU?
“Thank you. What a day. Just a huge thanks to all of our partners, my team, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet; there was obviously a lot of teamwork done today. Big thanks to Mountain Dew and Little Caesar’s and NAPA and all our partners that make this happen. But, you guys (fans) are really what makes it happen. Thank you.”

YOU TALKED ABOUT THE CHEVROLET MEETING THIS MORNING. YOUR CREW CHIEF, ALAN GUSTAFSON, SAID SOMETHING WAS DIFFERENT THIS TIME. HOW IMPORTANT WAS THAT TODAY?
“That was huge. We just had a plan and executed really well. Obviously it could have gone both ways but fortunately everybody stayed together and stayed the course and had some help on that last lap with the caution. I just appreciate all the support. This is unbelievable. This is special. This is close to home for me. It feels a little bit like a home race.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 2nd
GREAT EXECUTION. WERE YOU AND OTHER CHEVYS STICKING TO THE PLAN?
“Yeah, there was no plan coming off Turn 4, but unfortunately we didn’t get there before the caution came out. Big props to Chevrolet and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. They brought great race cars here. We had a great Nationwide Chevy from the time we unloaded. We showed a lot of speed. We all stuck to our plans and executed really well. Props to everybody back at home at Hendrick Motorsports and the fab shop and the engine shop and everybody that makes this deal possible.”

IF THE CAUTION DIDN’T COME OUT, WERE YOU GOING TO TRY TO MAKE A MOVE ON CHASE ELLIOTT?
“Well, I’m not just going to let him win, right? I’ve got to try. I knew I could get to his quarter panel. I was pretty confident I could get to his quarter panel in the tri-oval and who knows who’s going to get to the line first at that point. I thought I could do it, but it depends on the car behind you and where he goes. It would have been fun to try, but I’m happy for Chase and Nationwide and AXALTA and everybody that let’s us keep doing this thing. I’m glad to kind of turn things around. It’s been a rough start to the year and these guys deserve way better than the finishes they’ve had. So, to come home second is not a win, but it’s headed in the right direction.”

RYAN PREECE, NO. 47 KROGER CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 3rd
IMPRESSIVE DAY FOR YOU IN BACKING UP THAT TOP 10 FINISH IN THE DAYTONA 500 WITH A TOP 3 AT YOUR FIRST TIME HERE AT TALLADEGA
“It was awesome. I was only here one other time and that was in an Xfinity car in 2016 and I was running third with three to go and went for the hole and got flushed. So, I wasn’t going to do that today. Ultimately, it was a perfect situation for Chevy there on that restart, being able to line up and push each other and really not give the other manufacturers an opportunity to get by us. So, a great day for Kroger and for JTG and hopefully we can use this momentum moving forward.”

DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 CATERPILLAR CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 5th
Chevrolet and all the drivers and teams put in the effort to communicate here in the last few weeks to try and stay dedicated and committed to each other. We’ve talked about it in the past, but we’ve never had such unity on the racetrack like we had today. That’s what led to us ultimately having our best finish as a group. I’m proud of that and of all the Chevrolet drivers sticking together. The first objective was to make sure a Bowtie ended up in Victory Lane today, and that’s what happened today. I’m proud of all these guys.”

THERE HAVE BEEN MEETINGS ABOUT THAT, RIGHT? “Oh yeah… many of them to make sure we were all on the same page. It was cool to see people put the effort in and then us do our jobs on the track and stay committed to each other. That’s special. It’s hard to take a lot of drivers’ egos and put them to the side and try to look for the bigger cause, which was to get Chevrolet to Victory Lane. That’s what happened and I’m happy for that.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 6th
“I feel like we had a great day with our Monster Energy Chevy. I just didn’t deliver the win. I felt like I had it in my hands and let it drop. I didn’t make the right moves at the end to bring our Monster Energy Chevy a victory. It’s tough. I just didn’t execute what I needed to do to win the race. But all in all, it was a great day for Chevrolet and the teamwork from everybody.

“Chase Elliott deserves the win. He did everything you would need a teammate from a brand to do. He put himself in position at the end. I just didn’t know what lane I needed to pick going into Turn 3 and I got swallowed up in the draft.”

HOW DO YOU LIKE RACING WITH THIS PACKAGE? “I think it was pretty good all the way around with each of the manufacturers doing their thing. No lane seemed more effective than years past. I’d give the package a thumbs up.”

WAS IT MORE CALMING TO HAVE THE CHEVYS ALL TOGETHER AND TO HAVE A PLAN? “I think it worked… the win by numbers and percentage chance. I’m happy to see Chase Elliott in Victory Lane today.”

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING TO DOVER NEXT WEEK WITH THE MOMENTUM YOU HAVE WITH THIS TEAM? “Yeah, I just feel like I gave this one away today. Our Monster Energy Chevy was fast, and now we’ll go to a fast, one-mile track with all the horsepower. To have all this downforce and all this horsepower, I’ve been looking forward to Dover all year.”

BRENDAN GAUGHAN, NO. 62 BEARD OIL DISTRUBUTING/SOUTH POINT HOTEL & CASINO CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 8th: “I was telling the guys, ‘I don’t know what y’all think is so tough about this. I show up once every three months and drive into the top-10!’ I miss this sport. It is a lot of fun. I don’t miss it enough to want to be here every week. I know now I can hold my breath for a minute and 45 seconds! It was pretty impressive. Thank you to the Beard Family, Richard Childress and ECR. I’m here four times a year and we end up with a chance to win every time we show up. I love driving for this team. It was unbelievable out there at the end of that race. I tucked up and stayed up under Ryan Newman. I sat on the bottom and tried to go forward. I’ll take eighth today.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 14th
“I thought Chevrolet did a really good job today. The racing was pretty good. We didn’t tear up too much stuff, and with all of the downforce this new package has, we could really move around. If you did get hit, you could try to save it, so I thought there was some really good racing going on out there today. I chose the outside lane on the last run. Kyle Larson and I were committed to each other, but I don’t think the outside works with the spoilers we have on our cars now. There’s just not enough grip until the end of a run. At the end of a run, it becomes stronger. I’m proud of everyone on this No. 3 Dow Chevrolet team for their efforts today. We’re headed to Dover to try and earn a win for RCR and ECR.”

TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 STAGE ONE WINNER, Finished 17th: “I’m really proud of our effort today. We want to win the Geico 500 but we did win something today (Stage One) so that’s always good.”

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THE RACING TODAY? “Crazy! It’s crazy. Hopefully the fans enjoyed it, and that’s all that matters.”

HOW MUCH DID THE CHEVROLET MEETINGS HELP TODAY?
“For them to step up and say, ‘This is what we want’… we’ve all been looking for that in little ways. I appreciate Jim Campbell and all the Chevrolet staff leading us as a whole. That was awesome. Hoepfully we can do that more.”

WHY DO YOU LIKE THAT PLAN OF STICKING TOGETHER? “It is successful and it is calming that if you have a teammate behind you so if you are loose and not handling well, you have some patience behind you. Any time you can have any kind of plan at a super speedway always helps.”

WHAT DOES A SECOND STAGE WIN AND THIS RESULT DO FOR YOU AND THE TEAM? “It’s massive. I don’t think anyone expected us to win two stages this year, so we’re proud of that. We’re going to keep clicking along. We were really happy with the way we did it at Bristol and we surprised ourselves to do it here at Talladega. Who knows how many more we can do it, but I’m just really proud.”

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CLOVER CAMARO ZL1 – Involved in last lap crash. Finished 24th
FROM THE TIME WILLIAM BYRON HIT YOU IN THE SIDE OF THE DOOR UNTIL YOU CAME TO A REST, WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND?
“Initially, I thought I was going to hit the inside wall pretty hard. And then right before I got to it, I felt it lift and was just hoping it would set down; and then it just started tumbling. That was probably the longest flip I’ve ever had. I haven’t seen a replay of it. I didn’t know if it would ever stop. I knew I was flipping and was just hoping that I wasn’t going to get any closer to the catch fence, so it was a little bit scary, but thankfully I’m all right. Thanks to the fab shop and Chip Ganassi Racing for building safe race cars. Like I said, that was scary. So, I’m just thankful that I’m okay. Hat’s off to Chase Elliott. It was a good day for Chevy. We all had a plan to work together and Chevy won both stages plus the end of the race. That was really cool. I thought I would have a shot to win there, but it just didn’t work out. As soon as we left the restart zone we were kind of just in a bad spot. When you’re like that and everybody is four or five-wide, you know something crazy is going to happen. But, I had a good time today. I just wish we would have been on the right end of it for once this year.”

CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 TIDE PODS CAMARO ZL1 – Involved in multi-car crash on Lap 181. Finished 30th
WHAT HAPPENED?
“We just got turned. I had a good driving car. We put ourselves in a good position there with just a handful of laps to go. Our Tide Pods Camaro was pretty good. It just turned right. We got hit and just turned right into the outside fence. It destroyed our race car. It destroyed several race cars. It’s just so typical of these race tracks. It gets frustrating every time you come to these places and something like this. It’s just not very much fun.”

BUBBA WALLACE, JR., NO. 43 WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY CAMARO ZL1 – Sidelined in multi-car crash on Lap 10. Finished 39th
THE FRONT BUMPER OF YOUR CHEVROLET VERSUS THE REAR OF THE FORD, DID THAT HAVE ANY SIGNIFICANCE OR JUST TOO MUCH BUMP?
“No, it wasn’t that. It was the amount of runs and the force of it. All I was trying to do was just some wreck avoidance. I didn’t want to wad up the No. 12 (Ryan Blaney). That’s the last car I want to wad up out there. Had such a big run on him. And the No. 22 (Joey Logano) pulled up and he checked-up a little bit. And I went to go to the bottom, where I was safe. I don’t know if I crossed his bumper or whatever. But it got him wiggled down and shoved me even farther down than I wanted to go. So, I went back up just to stay off the apron and it just unloaded. It’s just unfortunate, but I tried not to wreck my buddy, Ryan, and it cost our day and some others. I apologize. But, we should have been wrecked a couple of laps before that. The No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) had a big run on us and let me in throughout the middle, so I appreciate that. We were fast. I was just trying to ride and not wreck somebody and I wrecked myself.”

Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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