MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
OCTOBER 18, 2019
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1, Media Breakout Session Highlights:
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU FELT IN THE FIRST PRACTICE.
“I thought it was OK. We started not very good I thought. Once we kind of got back in the ballpark, I thought we were decent. We’re just trying to get it as close as we can and I think, now, there are going to be a handful of guys that will have their cars driving the way that it should. Hopefully, we’re amongst that group and can give ourselves a shot. We have to try to be the first guys off pit road or be the guy with the best restart at the end of the race because there are going to be a few guys that will have the car driving well enough to win.”
IT LOOKED PRETTY SLICK UP THERE AT THE TOP OF THE RACE TRACK. IS THAT WILL THE GROVE WILL BE?
“I would assume so, it seemed like that was the case at the last race and it was at night. I guess with this race being during the day, I would assume it will be that way.”
PEOPLE SAY THAT YOU ARE GOOD WHEN YOUR BACK IS AGAINST THE WALL OR WHEN THE PRESSURE IS ON. DO YOU FEEL THAT WAY?
“I feel like we’re good when we do our best job. I think some of that is probably depends on the track we happen to be at during that particular point of time. I think this is a place where we can be good; we’ve been good here before. That doesn’t mean we’ll be good, but I feel like we can be a top team here this weekend. I want to do a nice job for my guys here. So, I hope that’s the case and we’ll go on down the road.”
SOME PEOPLE SAY THIS MIGHT BE THE BEST ROUND OF EIGHT WE’VE HAD IN AWHILE. DO YOU AGREE?
“I think this is the toughest round of 12 I’ve been a part of in my four years, for sure. Really, I think all 12 teams and drivers are pretty good that are left right now. I think we knew coming into this round that it wasn’t going to be easy. We knew it was going to be tough to move on. That’s where we’re at, it’s tough. Here we are.”
IF YOU MOVE ONTO THE ROUND OF EIGHT, IT’S GOING TO BE REALLY TOUGH.
“It is. I think that’s going to be what separates the guys if you can get through that next round with confidence. For us, we have to get through this round first. We’re not too worried about the round of eight right now. We’re just trying to make it through this weekend.”
DO YOU GO AT IT AGRESSIVELY THIS WEEKEND?
“I think you have to be aggressive, but I don’t think you want to overreach it. I feel like in my time in racing, especially since I’ve been in Cup, I feel like I’ve got myself in my trouble when I try to do too much than just trying to do my job. I’m just going to try to do my job this weekend. I think to perform at our best, we are doing the job that all of us as a group and a team can do, I think we can compete with the best teams and we don’t have to reach to do that. That’s how it should be.”
TALK ABOUT WHAT THE MANUFACTURERS WANTED TO DO AT TALLADEGA VERSUS HOW THAT RACE PLAYED OUT.
“It’s definitely tough. I think there was give and take. It might not have been as apparent as it was in the spring race, but there was definitely some give and take. We tried, but with so many people on so many different game plans, it’s hard to put all that together. I thought it was an interesting race. There was a lot of crashes and I’m sure that’s what a lot of people want to see. So, hopefully it was a successful weekend for Talladega.”
WHAT MAKES KANSAS HARD?
“The restarts here, it’s just so inviting to take the guy in front of you three wide on the front stretch. Sometimes, that’s the thing to do. Sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes, you can be really aggressive and then you come off turn two, you are right back where you were before the restart. It’s hard to know exactly when the right time is to do that. Sometimes, you capitalize off of somebody else’s mistake. Sometimes, you capitalize off it working out. So, really knowing if you want to take that chance is kind of a split-second decision and whether it works out off turn two or when you get back around to the front for the next lap is to be determined. It’s definitely inviting to widen out and do something different than the guy in front of you.”
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO GET OVER TALLADEGA?
“Well, I was pretty much over it about the time I got out of the car. I mean, what do you do about it? We knew coming in that we were going to be in a tough spot. I knew that after we didn’t score any points in that first stage on Sunday, that we pretty much needed to win that second stage and probably finish in the top-5 to still be in the points situation to points our way through. We knew then that we were going to be in trouble. After we crashed coming to the end of the second stage, we pretty much knew our fate was going to be to have to win the race or win at Kansas. It didn’t work out at Talladega, but we have an opportunity here and we just have to embrace that. Hopefully it works out.”
OBVIOUSLY, YOU RACE YOUR TEAMMATES EVERY WEEKEND. IS THERE REALLY ANYTHING DIFFERENT WITH WHAT’S AT STAKE?
“Obviously, one of us could make it through and the rest of us couldn’t. So, there’s definitely more at stake. I’m not really sure it changes how we do things though. I feel like our weekly routine has been the same all year long. It’s going to stay the same, I can’t bow out of our competition meeting this afternoon and I’m not going to. So, I don’t think either one of the other guys would either. We’ll continue to do our part and however we use that to our advantage is up to us.”
“I think it’s been OK. We’ve had a couple of good runs here and we had a good race here last fall. When we started today, I thought we were kind of in left field a little bit. We made a couple of changes and I think it got us a lot closer. We just have to get a little better. Like I said, I think there are going to be a handful of cars that probably have their stuff driving good enough to win. I don’t think it’s going to be one guy, it seems like it’s going to be a handful of people. Whether it’s whoever gets out front on the last pit stop or the last restart, they will probably be the one to beat. Hopefully that’s us.”
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