MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
QUAKER STATE 400 PRESENTED BY WALMART
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JULY 12, 2019
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 PLANTERS CAMARO ZL1, AND RYAN PREECE, NO. 47 KROGER CAMARO ZL1, met with media to discuss the confidence level going into the second half of the season, how they are handling the intense aggression level, what to expect for tomorrow’s track conditions, and more. Full Transcript:
WHAT IS THE PREFERRED GROVE AROUND THE TRACK?
Chris Buescher: “It was adapting fairly quickly just through those practices I would say. The bottom is the shortest distance around 1 and 2 with the banking that there is over there, but there were quite a few drivers that were starting to make that middle groove work and started building momentum off of it. 3 and 4 are kind of the same way. The bottom is shortest, but it is so flat that when the grip is activated in a way, it has started to come in pretty good up there. I think it came in during the first practice where drivers started making speed up there. I don’t know what is preferred right now and what is preferred right now probably won’t stay that way. One of the things about this is that it is something that wears much more quickly than asphalt. It is something that will change quite a bit throughout the race and I think you will see it start to migrate probably farther up the hill over in 1 and 2 as we go through the next day and a half.”
Ryan Preece: “Yeah, the same thing as what he says (laughs).”
HOW DO YOU LOOK AT LAST WEEK’S WIN BY JUSTIN HALEY? DOES THAT KIND OF VICTORY GIVE YOU HOPE?
Chris Buescher: “I don’t think that is something that gives us hope. That’s an opportunity that every team has every time we go to Daytona and Talladega, and anytime we have a weather situation. I’ve been on the good side of it before so I get it. It’s not something that lifts anyone else’s spirits. Congrats to Justin (Haley) and that team for pulling it off. When you get down to those style of races and the weather coming in, it’s a gut call. We have plenty of computers up on the pit box that people way smarter than me look at and make that decision. They made the right one for that situation.”
Ryan Preece: “Yeah, same thing. I think you have a lot of people the next day wishing they would have stayed out. That’s what it came down to. I was out of the race at that point, but when you are setting yourself up for the end of the race, that’s why a lot of the teams pitted. They heard one to go, so they are going to come down and top off. No one was going to predict that we were going to get pulled down pit road the next time by. Ultimately, like Chris (Buescher) said, it’s not something that we are going to show up and think ‘we are going to get beaten’ or whatever it may be. Ultimately, it was a different situation and they made the right call.”
HOW DO YOU GUYS TACKLE EVERY WEEK WHEN YOU HAVE THIS SEASON THAT IS DOMINATED BY MULTIPLE TEAMS WITH MORE CARS AND MORE REVENUE BEHIND THEM?
Ryan Preece: “To be honest with you, I think if you are going to have the attitude of saying we don’t have this or we don’t have that, then you are never going to get to where you want to be. I feel strongly that we have what we need to do to run like Chris (Buescher) has been running for sure. You have to be right; your balance has to be right; you have to have everything at one hundred percent. Until we are wide open one hundred percent around this track or at very minimal off-throttle time, our car isn’t to where the capability is. Until you maximize every bit of grip that your car is capable of having, then you aren’t to where you can be.”
Chris Buescher: “I think that is the attitude that you have to have. We are a medium-sized team at this point. We have multiple teams that we are able to bounce a lot of resources back and forth off of. We have great partners with Kroger being a major player for us, Bush’s, Clorox, Scott Products; everybody that puts everything into our program so that we have what we need to go race. Since I have been over at JTG for my third year now, it has been incredible to watch how much stuff has been built up, how much equipment that has been purchased, and how many talented people that have been brought in to elevate our program to get it where we want to be. Do we go to the race track every week and say ‘we should be competing for a win right now’? No. Do we hope we can get to that point? Absolutely. We try and set expectations at the beginning of the season. I think for this season, when you look at the powerhouse teams, there are 16 to 18 cars that are in those powerhouse teams. For us to be able to go out there and run top fifteen weekly, that is a good start for us and we can keep building on that. When you look at just a couple of years ago, for us it was hard to run 24th. We’ve made some gains and we are definitely headed in the right direction. We have more stuff than we have ever had at the shop. We’ve gotten our racecars in a really good spot and we expect to go out there and perform. Is it going to be hard to go out and win every week? Absolutely, but it’s hard for everybody other than one or two teams. I’m really proud of the effort that I’ve seen out of this team. I’m glad to be a part of it and watch it grow so quickly and be able to build off of this. It’s headed in the right direction. It just takes time to get everything to mesh, to build up relationships. Ryan (Preece) coming on board knows it that it takes time to be able to learn how everyone reacts to personalities, to how you need things to happen on the race track, and pit calls. There’s a lot that goes into it, but we have what we need to go race right now.”
RYAN, WITH THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON ON DECK, DO YOU HAVE MORE CONFIDENCE GOING INTO SOME OF THESE TRACKS WE ARE GOING BACK TO?
“I feel optimistic every single week. I feel like that’s the attitude you have to have. We have to find the balance we need. We need to get it to where we need it to be to have the speed week in and week out, and then be able to translate that over to the race. I feel optimistic about the second half because there are places that we’ve been to. As far as sneaking a win in at New Hampshire, you have Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano that are all really fast there too. I feel optimistic that we can outperform what we are expected to. I expect to go there and run really well, just because of the number of laps I have there. I think it just comes down to getting the balance to what you need it to do so you can do what you want to do.”
RYAN, DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE ASKING YOU FOR PASSES FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN TOWN?
Chris Buescher: “I can answer this. I don’t have anyone coming to New Hampshire, but my passes are gone (laughs).”
Ryan Preece: “I just looked over at him the other day and said ‘Hey, do you have some passes I can use?’ That’s definitely a race that, between the modified and the cup car, there are a lot of supporters that have helped me get to where I am or have been there along the way. I always want to take care of them and then obviously you have family and friends. I’m definitely looking forward to going there, that’s for sure.”
WE’VE SEEN AGGRESSION AT AN INTENSE LEVEL, NOT BEING ABLE TO GIVE AN INCH. ARE YOU GUYS ABLE TO TAKE A MOMENT AND LET SOMEBODY GET BY YOU AND TRY TO FIGHT THAT BACK OR DO YOU HAVE TO BE GOING 110% EVERYTIME?
Ryan Preece: “Right now, it’s all about picking your battles. For us, we are in the position where we need to finish these races, not put ourselves in harms way and maximize the days that we are having. The way we have to approach the race is a little bit different than those that already have a win. That’s kind of how I feel about it.”
Chris Buescher: “Yeah and I would echo a lot of that. You hate to talk about points racing and you want to go out there and race each race like it’s the only one that matters. But like Ryan (Preece) said, with our position, we do have to keep an eye on points and we can’t afford to be giving races away because if we got into it with somebody 50 laps into a race and took home two points from a weekend, that’s not OK for us. We have to be a little bit smarter about it. When you get a win and you are automatically in the playoffs, you can go for as many points as you want. If something happens, it doesn’t matter in a way. I know other drivers might hear us talk about it like that and say that’s not the case, but at the end of the day, they are already where they need to be so they can take much larger chances. The aggression has been there this year. With the restarts as wild as they have been, you have to be aggressive. We’re not going to get runover and let it happen. That’s a battle you pick right there. You aren’t going to go out there and have your day compromised because somebody else thinks they can take advantage of you. That’s not the case. We go out there and pick and choose what we need to do, make sure other drivers understand that isn’t going to be an easy push. But we also have to be good at saving equipment. Through our careers coming up, I think that’s been something that is important to the both of us. We are good at saving our equipment because we know how much work goes into it. We know how expensive it is, so that’s something you put in your mind at the same time.”
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.