NASCAR Cup PR CHEVY NCS AT DAYTONA: Post-Race Notes and Quotes

CHEVY NCS AT DAYTONA: Post-Race Notes and Quotes

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NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
DAYTONA 500
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
FEBRUARY 17, 2020

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL FINISHING RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
7th Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 Beard Motorsports/South Point Camaro ZL1 1LE
10th Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank Camaro ZL1 1LE
12th Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker OffRoad Camaro ZL1 1LE
13th Justin Haley, No. 16 Fraternal Order of Eagles Camaro ZL1 1LE
15th Bubba Wallace, No. 43 United States Air Force Camaro ZL1 1LE

TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL FINISHING RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
1st Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
2nd Ryan Blaney (Ford)
3rd Chris Buescher (Ford)
4th David Ragan (Ford)
5th Kevin Harvick (Ford)

The NASCAR Cup Series season continues next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, February 23 at 3:30 P.M. ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, NO. 62 BEARD MOTORSPORTS/SOUTH POINT CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 7th
“My last Daytona 500, my career-best finish, what an amazing finish. The Beard Oil Team, what a great job. I’m so proud of all the guys; we don’t quit. Right now, my thoughts are with Newman.”

“23 or 24 years of this and finally a top-10 in the Daytona 500 and a chance to win. The guys didn’t quit, the pit crew didn’t quit. I love the Beard family and thank you for the opportunity. For us, this is a big deal. We’re a small team with one employee, a car chief that’s a plumber, and we come home with a top-ten in the Daytona 500. I had a shot there at the end to win. That’s Daytona, man! This stuff is wild. I do love this racing. We take this risk, love this risk and we do what we love. I still love what I do.”

“I don’t quit; I’ll never quit. I don’t care what it looks like, I’m never going to quit. The boys, they kept digging on it. We worked the five-minute clock, we got the lucky dog, we did all those things. Once you get back on the lead-lap, anything can happen. We got on the outside lane and whatever happened on the bottom, I don’t know, but I was glad I was on the top. We took off like a rocket ship and we were sitting with the top-five.”

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 10th
“I had a decent shot on some of those restarts. I couldn’t push Joey (Logano) as fast as I needed to. I felt like I was locked to him pretty well, we just weren’t making any speed. I fell way back and were able to miss some crashes there. I got shuffled out there on that last lap and just had to ride to the finish because I was so far behind the draft. A top-10 with no damage on the car is good. I just hope Newman is alright.”

YOU SEEMED TO STRUGGLE ALL WEEK TO JUST FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE. DID YOU FEEL ANY BETTER IN THE 500?
“No, I would still get loose the longer the runs went and I still just struggled for speed a lot. We have to work on that. I think my issue is more of a speed thing. I just don’t have the speed to be the first or second car in line; I feel like I just drag the lane back. So, it’s a little frustrating. I feel like I’m doing everything I can to try and help my lane out. But I can’t seem to go fast doing.”

HOW WOULD YOU SUMMARIZE YOUR DAYTONA 500?
“It’s the first Daytona 500 that I haven’t gotten any damage, so that’s a good. We still got a top-10, so it’s not a bad points weekend. We finished third in the Clash and tenth here. We’ll take it and move onto Vegas. I’m excited to get on a 1.5-mile track with the new bodies.”

ARE YOU ENCOURAGED ABOUT WHAT THE NEW CAMARO WILL BE LIKE ON INTERMEDIATE TRACKS?
“Yeah, for sure. Everything I’ve heard sounds like they’re better than what we had. So, you don’t really know until we get on the track with it. I think right now, everybody’s confidence is high with the new car. So, we just have to wait and see, and let these few days go by and get on the track for practice to see how we stack up.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 24th
“Obviously not the night we wanted. This Valvoline team put together a great Chevy for Daytona. I hate it for the guys because they have worked so hard. We definitely didn’t give up and did everything we could to get more laps on the track. We learned a lot this week and definitely have a notebook for the next race.”

TYLER REDDICK NO. 8 CATERPILLAR CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined in crash on lap 200; Finished 27th
“Honestly, I really don’t know what happened. I just saw he got loose. I really thought he had it saved and I was going to roll to the outside of him. Then, it’s like when the rear tires came back underneath him, it snapped and went back the other way, and I was there to catch him. Looking back, I really wish I would have dived to the inside with as fast as we were going there. Catching those cars in front of us, I probably would have got loose and wrecked myself. It’s just tough; it’s part of this racing. I’m glad we made it a little bit further this time around; I made it to lap 199. We could have hung out in the back and probably got a little better finish. But I came here to win and that’s what this Caterpillar Chevy team is about.”

DID YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR RACE UP TO THEN?
“For the most part. The guys did a great job in getting our car fixed. It was almost right back where it needed to be. I think we’re still going to end up around 20th or 21st. All-in-all, not a horrible day for us points-wise. I was feeling pretty good about our car. I felt pretty good about it on Friday and we made it better. It was a little bit of a different Daytona 500 than I’ve seen in years past here, with handling being a little bit of an issue with the hot daytime stress of this race. It’s part of it, but every time we come back here, we’ll come up with something a little bit different. I made it almost all the way and the lead car was in sight; only three or four cars ahead of us. It’s all you can hope for.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 20th
ON THE YELLOW LINE PENALTY.
“I was alright there; I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with the 12 (Ryan Blaney). I went low to not crash him and I got called for going below the yellow line. So, I don’t know. That’s the second one I’ve been called for when I felt like it was either crash the field or go below the line. I felt like I was blocked to go down there. When you’re going 200 mph, your momentum just carries you after they throw a block on you. I’m frustrated with that and coming to pit road, we got hit, which ultimately ruined our night.”

“Our Speedweeks were good. Our Kroger Camaro was really fast, we got to lead laps, we got to run up front, we got stage points in all the stages. We ran it up front like we wanted to, but we just didn’t get the result that we wanted.”

“I was going to go block the 10 and then when I looked, the 24 was going to follow me down and I didn’t think he was. So, I just got into his left rear. I hated that because I felt like the Hendrick and Chevy’s were working really well together.”

DID IT FEEL LIKE YOU WERE HUNG OUT TO DRY A LOT?
“Yeah, there for a while, I think the 11 (Denny Hamlin) hung us out once and really got me pretty far back there. Then, we were trying to work our way back up there and that’s when we got our penalty. You’ll have that. I felt like for a while, I was the only one up there. All the Chevy’s, we seemed to get broken up quite a bit. So, that was pretty difficult.”

RYAN PREECE, NO. 37 COTTONELLE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined in cash on lap 200; Finished 29th
“We were in position to win the race right there. You really got no help, which is sad, but the only one that was helping me was Chris Buescher. It’s hard to commit to so many people when you know at the end of the race the only person you can trust is Chris. It’s frustrating. Obviously, I can trust the 47 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) when I need his help, but as far as anyone else goes, you’re going to get left out to dry. It’s frustrating. That was the best shot to win that race. We were in a phenomenal spot.”

HOW MUCH AS JTG DAUGHERTY IMPROVED THE SUPERSPEEDWAY CARS OVER LAST YEAR?
“You guys saw that with Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.). As far as experience goes with other stuff, I’m not going to wreck everybody and put ourselves in that position early on in the race. The only time I’m going to jeopardize our race is towards the end and that’s what we did. We put ourselves into the last twenty or thirty laps into position to win this race, and then it just gets destroyed.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined in crash on lap 185; Finished 33rd
WHAT WAS YOUR VIEW OF WHAT YOU SAW OUT THE FRONT WINDSHIELD?
“There was just guys wrecking and the 21(Matt DiBenedetto) came back across, and we ended up knocking the oil cooler out of our No. 1 Monster Energy Chevy. The car was handling good; the guys put a lot of work into it. The random roulette wheel took our number today and we didn’t get to the end. Lady Luck was not on our side.”

WAS THERE A SENSE THAT YOU COULD FEEL THAT THEY HAD TO CREATE MOMENTUM AND LANES SO THAT ENERGY HAD TO BE FORCED IN A WAY?
“Yeah, there were a lot of cars on the lead-lap and there was a really big instability with side-drafting. With 15 laps to go, do you ride still or do you go for it? I went for it.”

“We were all racing hard and we ended up knocking the oil cooler out of it. My guys prepared a really good Monster Energy Camaro and the ZL1 1LE was fast. It hooked up. I was able to go wide open. On the inside lane, Lady Luck was not on our side. And there it is, boom! That’s a roulette wheel people. The roulette wheel spins and it grabs your number and it grabbed my number. Maybe Vegas will be a little better.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined in multi-car crash on Lap 185; Finished 35th
HOW MUCH HAS THIS RACE MEANT TO YOU OVER THE YEARS?
“It’s been really a cool race to be a part of. You only dream of racing in races like this as a kid. That No. 22 car (Joey Logano) had been pretty aggressive all day long. I just felt like it was a matter of time before his pushes were a little much and it looks like that was the case there. But our Ally Chevy was really strong. I hate that we were tore up in it. I’m really excited about the races ahead of us. Cliff Daniels (crew chief) did a great job leading this team, full support from Hendrick Motorsports, my family, my friends, my fans; I’m just very thankful for all of that. We didn’t get to Victory Lane today but I’m ready to get to Vegas and get to work out there.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA ‘COLOR OF THE YEAR’ CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined in crash on lap 59; Finished 40th
UNFORTUNATELY OUT OF THIS RACE EARLY. IT LOOKED LIKE THERE WAS CONTACT. WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED THERE ON THE BACKSTRETCH?
“Just from looking at it further, I think he slid left to cross my bumper and if he would have hit me square, it would have been fine. But when he was sliding left and hitting me, it moved my car a little left too and, ultimately, it kind of caused him to turn me in the left rear. I’m not really sure how that happens, but it is what it is. I don’t really know what to do differently; just kind of go back, look at it, go onto Vegas and try to do well there.”

WHAT ARE YOUR EMOTIONS TO HAVE THIS HAPPEN THIS EARLY? YOU NEVER WANT TO HAVE IT HAPPEN, BUT TO HAVE IT HAPPEN THIS EARLY.
“Yeah, you always know it can happen at these racetracks. But we had a great race car, we prepared well and that’s really all we can do. So, just learn from what I can there and go onto Las Vegas.”

IT SEEMED LIKE THE HENDRICK CARS AND THE NEW CHEVY’S COULD PRETTY MUCH DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED BY THEMSELVES. WAS THAT THE CASE?
“Yeah, I think it was just a good organizational effort there with the other Hendrick guys to work our way through the field. Everyone was single file on the top and we decided to go to the bottom and pick that lane up. I thought everything was going well there. We were just kind of riding around and wait to try to get to the end of this race, but it didn’t happen.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

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