MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
COKE ZERO SUGAR 400
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JULY 5, 2019
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA PATRIOTIC CAMARO ZL1 Media Breakout Session Highlights:
TAKE US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY WITH BRAD KESELOWSKI FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW
“I’ve kind of watched it a couple of times and I just feel like it was unnecessary still. I talked to Brad and got his opinion and I really appreciate him talking to me because that kind of helped just understand where he was coming from. But, I still feel like it was unnecessary for practice.”
DID YOU ASK TO TALK TO HIM?
“Yeah. I wanted to talk to him because I felt like he probably didn’t expect me to talk to him and I need to talk to him about things like that and need to hear where he’s coming from so I don’t draw my own conclusion, which probably isn’t going to be a good one. So, yeah, I think it’s important. Guys don’t talk enough to people now days and we need to handle things like that more often.”
DID YOU ACTUALLY SPEAK TO EACH OTHER OR TEXT?
“Yeah, I texted him first. And then I decided to talk to him later that night once I got back. Not the ideal circumstances being 4th of July, but I was appreciative that we got a chance to talk.”
AFTER HAVING THE DISCUSSION, WHAT MADE YOU KEEP THE SAME OPINION THAT YOU HAD YESTERDAY?
“It would have been, I feel like, more professional, to just come talk to me about what was wrong instead of tearing up a race car and making my guys have to bring out a back-up and have to work all the way through last night and get up early this morning and have to work even more. So, I don’t think that’s the way to handle it. So, that’s kind of the unnecessary part, for me, that I don’t appreciate.”
SO WHERE WAS HE COMING FROM OTHER THAN FROM YOUR TAILPIPE (LAUGHTER)
“I don’t know. I’ve seen guys block four lanes down the backstretch. And, I feel like that’s definitely a reason to get crashed. But, I was running in the lower middle part of the track and I entered the bottom of (Turns) 3 and 4, and the only reason I wasn’t completely on the line was because I got a little bit of a bump from him initially and tried to keep the wheel straight to not turn myself. So, I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m going to reserve my thoughts on that and just go race. I’ll try to learn from it, for sure, but I don’t know.”
DID HE SAY ANYTHING TO YOU ABOUT TEARING UP A RACE CAR?
“Yeah, he did. He apologized for that. And, I appreciate that. I am honest with that. I don’t put hours into the race car. My guys work really hard on it and I only had the Tuesday morning meetings that we talked about this weekend and an hour and a half in the race car. So, I definitely felt bad about it too because it’s not my place to kind of not appreciate their hard work on what they put into it.”
SOME ARE SAYING IT WASN’T SMART FOR HIM TO SEND A MESSAGE LIKE THAT
“Yeah, I don’t know. I just drive the car. So, I’m going to race how people race me. I still kind of hold my opinion of if I had done something egregiously wrong on the race track, I would feel not accepting of it, but I would understand why I got crashed. But, I just didn’t really understand it, so that’s my opinion.”
YOU DIDN’T SEEM RATTLED OR SHAKEN OR COCKY ABOUT THIS
“It doesn’t bother me because I’m driving the car at the end of the day and I still have an opportunity to do that. My team backs me. And, the confidence that comes from my team to know that they support me is all that I need. So, I think I’ve said this other times. I don’t care to have him as a friend or anything, so I don’t really need other people’s approval. So, I can still have a clean race car to go race on Saturday and hopefully go win the race.”
IT DIDN’T EVEN SHAKE YOU UP INITIALLY?
“Yeah, at first I didn’t really know if he touched me or I didn’t know…..I thought he was just pushing me and maybe I got loose or something. But, once I saw it I got a little bit clearer understanding. But still, I’m going to race the way that other people race me, too.”
WITH JUST THE NATURE OF THE RACING AT DAYTONA, IF YOU HAD TO GO TO THE BACK, IS THIS A TRACK WHERE YOU FEEL YOU CAN WORK BACK UP?
“Yeah, we came from the back last weekend and took the lead on Lap 80 of the race. So, I feel pretty optimistic about that. I mean luckily we are 12th in points so we can pick pits off of that so I feel pretty good about having a pretty good pit stall.”
WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY FOR THE RACE WITH ALL THE TEAMWORK GOING ON?
“We’re going to work really well together. All the Chevrolet guys worked well together at Talladega. Unfortunately I wasn’t in on the good side of that. I got wrecked late in the race. But, I feel like this weekend will be a great chance for us to work together and hopefully with where we are in points, we can hopefully go for a win and try to get as many points as possible. But really, we want to win this race.”
LOOKING FOR YOUR FIRST TOP 10 AT A RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACK, DO YOU CHANGE YOUR APPROACH AT ALL? HOW ARE YOU LOOKING AT IT GOING INTO TOMORROW NIGHT’S RACE?
“I just feel like it’s honestly just been kind of bad luck and bad fortune. We’ve led laps in certain parts of the races; just not the end of it. I don’t know how we control that more than just continuing to line-up and race. Hopefully later in the race we don’t have a situation like Talladega where we got hit in the left rear and spun sideways or the races prior to that like July prior to that, I guess the No. 17 hit the No. 18 into me. Hopefully we just avoid situations like that and we can be up front at the end of the race.”
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