MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
CAMPING WORLD 400
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 29, 2019
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 met with media to discuss the 2020 date change for Daytona, his thoughts on Bristol and past events at Chicagoland, how the new package will perform in Sunday’s race, and more. Full Transcript:
ON THE 2020 NASCAR MENCS SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR DAYTONA FROM JULY TO AUGUST
“It’s always nice to go to the beach in the summer time and around the 4th of July has been special. So, it’s always been one of my favorite weeks to go to as a kid and watch, or since I’ve been driving to be there racing. So, I’ve always enjoyed that. I’m really looking forward to next week and spending a few days down there. At least it will still be summer time when we go down there, so that’s good.”
YOU’VE COME INTO YOUR OWN AS A DRIVER IN THIS SPORT. WHAT DO YOU WANT FANS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT HASN’T ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN?
“Well, I’m not sure. I guess people can form their own opinions as time goes. For me, I’m here to do my job and go fast and hopefully I can achieve that. And, whatever people’s opinions form outside of that is kind of up to them.”
HEADING TO BRISTOL IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, WHAT’S YOUR CONFIDENCE LEVEL THERE AS THE RACING HAS EVOLVED?
“I always look forward to going to Bristol. It’s a cool place. I was able to get a pole there at the beginning of the year, which was nice. We’ve had some hit or miss runs there. It’s been kind of odd. Unfortunately I haven’t found a lot of consistency. I thought we had an okay car there in the spring. We’re just trying to build on that. I always look forward to that race. It’s a really fun week and always a great event to watch, for sure; and to be a part of is pretty cool, too.”
THE NOSTALGIA ABOUT DAYTONA WAS RACING IN THE MORNING AND THEN EVERYBODY WENT TO THE BEACH IN THE AFTERNOON. FOR MOST OF YOUR LIFE, IT’S BEEN A NIGHT RACE. DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE THE SAME ASSOCIATION WITH THAT RACE ON JULY 4TH AS MAYBE YOUR DAD DOES?
“You hear people who have been around longer than me talking about racing in the day. But, for me, I like the excitement of a night race myself. That’s all I have ever known. So, if I had a choice, I like it like that. I like going down there and spending the week. It’s typically around the 4th and then racing at Daytona on Saturday night has always been exciting to me. So, I’ve enjoyed that tradition a lot. I obviously didn’t get to experience it the other way, but I like it the way it was.”
LAST YEAR THIS RACE HAD ONE OF THE BEST CUP FINISHES ALL YEAR LONG. WITH THE NEW PACKAGE, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE POTENTIAL IS FOR MORE OF THAT DRAMATIC RACING?
“It’s just chance. Who knows? Racing is racing and you’re going to have days where there’s finishes like that. I guess that’s the excitement of it is that you hope when you’re watching one of these things that you’re going to see something spectacular like that happen. And, that’s just not always going to be the case. If it happened every week it wouldn’t be near as cool. That’s why we like it.”
JOE GIBBS AND PENSKE DOMINANCE AND YOU HAVE THE LONE CHEVY WIN. IS THERE ANY EXTRA PRESSURE IN CARRYING THAT LOAD TRYING TO PROPEL CHEVY BACK INTO THE DISCUSSION AS WE HEAD INTO THE SUMMER SEASON?
“Not really. It was great to have a win. It was definitely a major group Team Chevy effort to make that happen, so that was nice. Any time you can win is good and it certainly helps. I think we’re consistently from year to year, at some of the races this year I feel like we’ve been a good bit better than this time last year. At times we’ve certainly struggled some weeks, too. But no, there’s really no extra pressure on me or anybody. We all want to do good. We don’t want to see those guys win every other week. I don’t like it. But it doesn’t mean I’m not trying or anybody is not trying. That’s just part of it right now. I’ve watched this deal for a long time and thinks kind of go up and down. You ride the rollercoaster where it’s at. We’re going to ride it where we are right now and I have confidence that one day it will turn around for us too.”
WITH THE WAY YOU GUYS STARTED OFF THE SEASON, MAYBE THE FOCUS WASN’T ON THE TOP TEAMS AS MUCH AS IT WAS ON GETTING BETTER. AS YOU HAVE CERTAINLY HAD GREATER SUCCESS, DO YOU START LOOKING MORE AT THE GIBBS AND PENSKE CARS AND MEASURING YOURSELF MORE NOW THAN PERHAPS EARLIER IN THE SEASON?
“No, I feel like you always measure yourself to whoever the best is. It’s always that way or at least it has been for us. I don’t view it any different now than I have before.”
EVERYBODY IS ASKING ABOUT MARTIN TRUEX JR. AND KYLE BUSCH AND THEIR RIVALRY. WHAT’S IT LIKE OVER AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS? DO WE NOT SEE THE INTENSE COMPETITION? IS IT THERE WHEN YOU DO BETTER THAN YOUR TEAMMATES?
“You always want to outrun everybody and your teammates are always included in that. At the same time when we’re all running better as a group, it’s benefitting all of us. Sometimes it’s hard to realize that in the moment, but that is certainly the case. It’s an easy storyline for those guys because they’re finishing first and second a lot. That’s great for them. And, I’m sure that’s a great situation to be in. If that was the case for us as it has been for them these past few weeks like it has been for them, I’m sure it would be driving the guy who finished second more to want to outrun the guy who run. Those are the kinds of things you want within an organization. They’re lucky to have a good thing going right now. I think we can have the same thing. We’ve just got to keep pushing.”
HAVE YOU NOTICED ANYTHING ABOUT THE WILLIAM BYRON AND CREW CHIEF, CHAD KNAUS DYNAMIC BEHIND THE SCENES LIKE THEIR AGE GAP OR ANYTHING?
“No. It seems like it’s been pretty good to me. I haven’t seen any complaints or any meltdowns or anything. I don’t work with them on a day-to-day basis. I’m not in a lot of their meetings and things. I haven’t seen where they haven’t gotten along or have had any issues. Obviously their performance has been increasing and getting a lot better. They had a great car last weekend. And, it looks like he was really fast again today. So, I think it looks good from afar.”
YOU’VE ALMOST HAD YOUR FIRST WIN HERE ONCE OR TWICE BEFORE. NOW YOU ENTER CHICAGO WITH SEVERAL WINS UNDER YOUR BELT. DOES THAT INCREASE YOUR LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE?
“This has been a great and tough place all at the same time in my first few years. But no, I don’t look at it any different. Just because you have a good run here once doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again. I mentioned that with Bristol where we’ve had some great cars and felt like we had some chances to win there. We go back the next time thinking it’s going to be all good and great and easy and we’re terrible. And that’s just life. I suspect this weekend is going to be a challenge, just like they always are. And yeah, today we struggled through that first practice. It’s not just as easy as showing back up with what you had, unfortunately. That’s what makes the guys who are really good, really good.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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