MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE
BANK OF AMERICA ROVAL 400
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CLOVER CAMARO ZL1, Media Breakout Session Highlights:
ON THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSION TODAY AT THE ROVAL
“I’ve been surprised at the carnage we’ve already seen. I thought there would be less of it with the one year of experience that we have, but it shows how grip-limited this track is. It’s really awkwardly bumpy, which upsets the cars. Yeah, it’s been a handful for everybody. And then, the bus stop, I think is good. You have to slow down, and stuff, so it’s been a fun little change over there.”
HOW WAS YOUR PRACTICE?
“It was good. We ran a few laps in race trim and I was really loose. And then we switched over to qualifying trim and I thought I ran a really good lap. Jimmie (Johnson) went a little bit quicker than me. We’ll study some data and hopefully be better during qualifying.”
LAST LAP, LAST YEAR, MARTIN TRUEX, JR. RAN THE CHICANE AND THEN GOT HIT BY JIMMIE JOHNSON COMING OUT OF IT. TRUEX, JR. SAID IF HE DID IT AGAIN, HE’D PROBABLY JUST PUT IT ON NASCAR AND MAKE THEM MAKE THE CALL. DO YOU THINK DRIVERS MIGHT APPROACH IT THAT WAY THIS YEAR, AFTER WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM LAST YEAR?
“Yeah, I don’t know. I feel like the rules here for this road course race are unique. I feel like typically, like in any form of auto racing that races road courses, I think you just try and blend back in where you didn’t gain any advantage. To me, I feel like that’s how it should be. They made that call on Kyle last year when he cut the first corner on that restart to kind of avoid the contact that was happening in Turn 1. And because he blended back in line, they let it go. So, I don’t agree with the stop-and-goes because you get penalized pretty harshly by having to come to a stop. They’re not going to change it, but I would rather them just do it where you can blend back in line with no advantage and that would be okay. So in Martin’s case, if that was the rule, he probably would have gone straight through the chicane and he would have been okay. Last year, he knew he would have to come to a stop and would lose the win that way.”
IF YOU WERE IN THAT SITUATION, WOULD YOU JUST CUT THE CORNER?
“I don’t know. It’s hard to say until you’re in that moment, really. That’s a split-second decision. Maybe now he’s got a plan, but I don’t know.
“I feel like the rules should match-up with other road course series tracks, but I don’t follow it enough in other series to even know if they do have stop and go rules and things like that. But the little bits and pieces I’ve watched of IndyCar and F-1 and other forms of racing, if you make a mistake, you blend back in line and you didn’t gain anything. When you have to do a stop and go for multiple seconds, it can kill your race.”
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO RESTART HERE ON THE INSIDE LANE VERSUS THE OUTSIDE LANE?
“Well, me and Brad (Keselowski) both drove straight into the wall last year, so I’m probably not the best person to ask. But, last year I led pretty much the whole race and I think I was the leader on all but two starts, or something like that. So, I don’t really remember what it was like. Watching video, the outside lane is definitely at a disadvantage through Turn 1. I think it’s rougher out there and your angle is messed up. I do remember, we all drove into the wall; but we had a lot of laps on our tires. I remember just thinking the grip difference between that restart and a sticker restart was way different. I was blown away with how we couldn’t slow down or turn. I knew it would be worse, but I didn’t know it would be impossible; but it’s just an awkward, flat corner, 90-agree almost, so it’s difficult with a heavy stock car.”
WITH THE TIRE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT IS IT STILL BE THAT CHALLENGING?
“Yeah, I think so; if you restart on old tires. I’m going to be more cautious through (Turn) 1.”
WITH THE DIFFERENT CARS THIS SEASON, HOW HAS THE DYNAMIC OF DOVER CHANGED?
“I remember it being really hard to pass earlier this year. I got stuck behind a couple of lappers that were just a few tenths slower than me, but I couldn’t get by until they finally just moved out of the way. So, it was a frustrating race. But, the cars have evolved since then; well the set-ups and things and teams have learned their cars more, so hopefully because of that, we’ll be able to pass a little bit easier. Or, maybe it’ll be harder.”
ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN, HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE ON THE ROVAL OVERALL?
“I’m pretty confident. We led the most laps here last year and had the best shot to win until we all drove into the wall. If it’s going to be like last year, I’m definitely confident. I’m not good with numbers, so I don’t want to put a number on it.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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