MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
BOJANGLES’ SOUTHERN 500
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 31, 2019
WILLIAM BYRON PUTS CAMARO ZL1 ON POLE AT DARLINGTON
Team Chevy Takes Three of Top Five Starting Positions
DARLINGTON, SC (August 31, 2019) – William Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick Autoguard/City Chevrolet Throwback Camaro ZL1 captured the top position in qualifying for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Darlington Raceway, with a fast lap of 28.51 seconds, 172.487 mph. It is Byron’s fourth pole and 12th Top 10 start in 2019, and his first career pole at the 1.366-mile track known as the “Lady in Black’ and the ‘Track to Tough to Tame’.
Byron joins Bill Elliott and Glenn ‘Fireball’ Roberts as only the third driver in history to win poles at three crown jewel races in one season: the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600, and the Southern 500.
The feat also marks the 12th pole of the year for the Camaro ZL1, the 22nd pole for Chevrolet at Darlington, and 711th pole for Team Chevy in NASCAR’s premier series.
Kyle Larson qualified third in his No. 42 Clover Camaro ZL1 and Kurt Busch was fourth quick in his No. 1 Chevrolet Accessories Camaro ZL1 to give Chevrolet three of the Top 5 starting spots for Sunday’s race.
Brad Keselowski (Ford) was second, and Daniel Suarez (Ford) was fifth to round out the Top 5 qualifiers.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HENDRICK AUTOGUARD/CITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
DESCRIBE YOUR RUN AND TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW FUN THIS WEEKEND IS, ESPECIALLY IN THE GARAGE WITH ALL THE PAINT SCHEMES REMEMBERING DIFFERENT THINGS THROUGHOUT OUR SPORT.
“Yeah, its been really cool for us. How the Days of Thunder started for us was obviously with City Chevrolet and Mr. Hendrick, that makes perfect sense. But Chad (Knaus) actually had a movie night for all the team guys back in April and we watched Days of Thunder. It was really cool. It’s a pretty new team and to just kind of have that experience together, being able to remember the movie pretty clearly this weekend, and kind of go through it at the track has been pretty neat. Everything has gone smooth for us so far this weekend and hopefully that continues into the race. The race is ultimately what matters, but qualifying is a good start, especially having the number one pit stall.”
ARE YOU CONCENTRATING A LOT ON THESE MARQUEE RACES? AS YOU KNOW, YOU’RE THE THIRD DRIVER EVER TO WIN POLES FOR THE DAYTONA 500, COKE 600 AND SOUTHERN 500 IN THE SAME SEASON.
“Yeah, it’s awesome. I was listening to the broadcast and heard that. I don’t think so, other than just the fact that we put a lot of effort into the qualifying efforts at those tracks. This weekend, not so much because it’s an impound race. Our race setup was good in qualifying trim. I think it just happened to work out that way that we focused on qualifying. I’m sure Chad (Knaus) puts his extra little bit into it too and I put my extra into it to make sure that I hit everything right. I felt good driving down here this morning. Only having to make one lap today is pretty easy, so I just went out there and tried to not screw up and make a good lap.”
YOU KNOW IN THE DAYS OF THUNDER MOVIE, COLE TRICKLE WON HIS FIRST CUP RACE AT DARLINGTON. DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE THAT ON YOUR SIDE?
“Yeah, he won at Darlington so hopefully we can continue that. I think it would be really fitting. I have definitely thought of that. It’s just a really tough race track to get your first win at, but guys have done it in the past. We just have to focus in and try to do that myself. I think we have a good car. Practice went smooth for us, I think we were a top-10 car in averages so that’s good.”
I KNOW YOU WERE BORN A LITTLE AFTER THE MOVIE WAS FIRST RELEASED, BUT AS A YOUNGER DRIVER, IS THE WHOLE DAYS OF THUNDER THEME AND HOW INTO YOU AND YOUR TEAM HAS GOTTEN THIS WEEK FUN FOR YOU GUYS AND TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF THE PRESSURE OFF?
“Yeah, it’s really fun. We are at a good point of the season where we’ve done a good job up to this point to get some points and help our Playoff position. I feel like that has allowed us to have more fun with this weekend and not be so uptight. We still need to have a really good weekend to put ourselves into position to go into Indianapolis and be clinched into the Playoffs. But, right now, we are just trying to have some fun with the throwback paint scheme and enjoy the weekend. We’ve circled this race on our calendars for awhile because I feel like it takes every part of you as a driver, as a team and a car. It will be a good race.”
YOU MENTIONED YOUR POINTS POSITION AND DOING A VERY GOOD JOB OF POINTS RACING. ARE YOU STILL POINTS RACING OR CAN YOU NOW STRATGIZE MORE ON TRYING TO WIN A RACE?
“Yeah, definitely trying to just win this weekend. That has been the goal the last three weeks, just try to win a race and give ourselves some Playoff points. I don’t think there is a whole lot you can do different. Here, you need tires every time you are on the race track so it’s an easy four tires every time pretty much. That makes the strategy easy to be aggressive I guess for the win. I think this is one of those races where it’s pretty old school. It’s going to be about the best driver, best car, best team. There’s really no way around that.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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