MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
BOJANGLES’ SOUTHERN 500
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 30, 2019
DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 CATERPILLAR CAMARO ZL1 Media Breakout Session Highlights:
TIRES HAVE BEEN A LITTLE BIT CONSERVATIVE THIS YEAR. TIRES ARE ALWAYS IMPORTANT HERE, BUT DO YOU THINK THEY ARE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN THEY HAVE BEEN THIS SEASON?
“I wish I could give you a true reading on that, but I don’t think I ran more than three or four laps at a time so far. We’ve been really trying to work on the balance. For some of the guys that have ran longer runs, they seemed to have a moment to fall off like it always does here, so tires are going to be just as crucial as they always are. It’s going to be interesting. I think we won’t really know how the tires are going to behave until we get to watch the Xfinity race, see how the rubber lays. Luckily, we have a car with Tyler Reddick in it. Those guys can communicate with us and see what they find is good for managing tire wear. Hopefully we can kind of lean on them some. But this is the same tire we raced at Chicago so we have some trends with that particular tire.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR PAST IN LEGEND CARS SHINES A LIGHT ON THAT METHOD OF GETTING YOUR FEET INTO RACING? DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT IS THE BEST AVENUE PEOPLE CAN TAKE?
“Yeah, I think that anytime you can get someone that can go from a local short track level no matter what it is cool to see. It gives people the interest in following the path backwards, so to say, to see where people come from. From doing that, it does shine light on different local series and that’s all you can ask for in this day of age; everyone being more and more involved in short tracks and supporting local short tracks. Whether is legend cars, super late models, tour modifieds, whatever it is it’s cool to see everybody taking advantage of reaching out and grabbing ahold of that stuff and the history. That’s what builds a fan; you may have someone that really connects to something. Maybe their racing career didn’t work out, but they can say they raced legend cars like they did one day. Because of that, it gives me a little bit more in common to pull for somebody and it ultimately builds our fan base.”
YOU TOUCHED A LITTLE BIT ON HISTORY AND OBVIOUSLY THIS IS A HISTORIC WEEKEND. YOU ARE TEAMED UP WITH CATERPILLAR WHO NOT ONLY IS A HISTORIC COMPANY IN NASCAR, BUT IN AMERICA. EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT WHAT IT’S LIKE DEALING WITH A COMPANY LIKE THAT.
“It’s unbelievable to see what the Caterpillar brand has done for the industry worldwide. They are literally changing the world we live in every single day with their equipment. When you are a part of a special weekend like we have here at Darlington, it’s awesome to even see sponsors like that be willing to go out on a limb and do something special with their scheme. For us, my No. 8 Camaro ZL1 is dated back to the mid-1920’s where they built the first tractor and what has really determined what the Caterpillar brand is today. It’s cool to see the sponsors and a lot of people through the garage attach themselves to this weekend. Having the Caterpillar brand behind me means the world to me. It’s a sponsor I grew up watching on race cars, watching Ward Burton and everyone before me wear this logo on their chest. It’s extremely humbling to be one of those guys and it makes me want to be just that much better for them because they are that much better for the world we live in.”
AFTER BRISTOL, YOUR COMMENTS SORT HAVE GOTTEN TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT IN REGARDS TO 2020.
“Every year, every week, every day in this sport is all passion. We are all passionate and I was very passionate when I had the opportunity to clear the air on the Sirius XM interview I did. I think deep down in my heart, I know that Richard Childress, all of the folks at RCR, all of our partners and myself included are doing all that we can to collectively honor agreements that we have with each other to compete at a high level in 2020. There are a lot of variables involved, but I know this logo I’m wearing of RCR has my back and I have their back.”
HAS THE SEASON BEEN TOUGHER THAN YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE? IF SO, WHERE IS IT THE TOUGHEST?
“You never want to go into a season and think we are going to only have two or three top-10’s this year; that’s not a way you approach any season. We’ve definitely had some moments that have kept our spirits down, but I feel like over the last month, it has been what we expect it to be. We’ve been at the race track, we’ve been competing in the top-10 or top-12 on a weekly basis for the last couple of months. The results don’t necessarily show that because little things that have happened, but we have legitimately been, at worse, at 12th or 13th place car over the last month. But we don’t have a lot to show for it. It has just been about a lot of us leaning on each other through the toughest times. Having a leadership group has helped the tough year that it has been. I look forward to waking up every day knowing that I have another shot at it and that’s what I have this weekend.”
ANY INDICATION ON THE DIRECTION FOR 2020?
“Yeah, I feel like we are all working towards the same thing of getting our deal done. It’s an expensive sport we live in and it’s a lot on everybody. You just try to make sure that when you put the deal in place, you have the I’s dotted and T’s crossed. That’s what it’s about right now; trying to make everything align how you want to, be the best we can for our partners and for the people that support us. We don’t want to put a deal together rushed and have one of us on either side feel like we aren’t happy with it down the road. So, we are just trying to be methodical in how we are going through the process and be confident whenever it is done.”
RICHARD CHILDRESS IS DRIVING THE PACE CAR AT INDY. WHAT IS THAT GOING TO MEAN TO HIM TO LEAD THE FIELD?
“Hopefully we can be on the front row with one of our RCR Chevy’s to bump draft his Camaro ZL1, that would be pretty special. For him being part of one of the first NASCAR races ran there to now myself driving the 8 car and obviously his grandson (Austin Dillon), that would be pretty special if we sat on the front row to mess with him (laughs). It’s cool to see NASCAR put it in Richard’s hands like that let him go have some fun and enjoy his 50 years in the sport. You can tell he’s pretty pumped about it and I look forward to it.”
HAS IT BEEN HARDER THAN YOU THOUGHT?
“It’s always harder than you think it is. In the grand scheme of things, I can promise you that I didn’t get to sitting here doing this interview with you today by quitting or giving up because things got tougher or harder than I thought they would be. That’s my goal no matter what the days ahead hold and I feel good about what the future holds. You find that as you climb the ladder of the ranks, there are more and more things out of your control. Because of that, you have to be willing to accept things, you have to be willing to have a short memory of the things you’ve heard drivers talk about in the past. When you have that, you find that the things that would probably really bug you or lose sleep at during the night, don’t become as big of a deal and you learn to forget that stuff pretty quick. As you do that, the weekends become better and the whole flow of our season becomes more efficient that way. No matter what, I’ll say the same thing I said back in Daytona that I’m humbled and thankful to be in this seat that I’m in today and every week I try to make the most of it.”
WHAT WOULD A WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS NEXT WEEK MEAN AND BEING ABLE TO KISS THE BRICKS?
“That’s what’s racing is all about; dreams and stories like that that propel your name up into the record books and history. That place has so much history. I’ve been fortunate enough to win at IRP. I remember winning those races growing up in late models and going over to sit in the grandstand side of things to watch the Brickyard. All of those things just build the butterfly feelings in your stomach just thinking about it. I know we are going to have speed there. We’ve been really good at those style of race tracks. Hopefully we can go execute and give us a chance.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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.