CHEVY NCS AT LAS VEGAS 1: Post-Race Notes and Quotes

NASCAR CUP SERIES
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
PENNZOIL 400 PRESENTED BY JIFFY LUBE
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
FEBRUARY 23, 2020

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL FINISHING RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
3rd Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., No. 47 Kroger Camaro ZL1 1LE
4th Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Camaro ZL1 1LE
5th Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE
6th Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Coke Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE
9th Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank Camaro ZL1 1LE

TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL FINISHING RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
1st Joey Logano (Ford)
2nd Matt Dibenedetto (Ford)
3rd Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Chevrolet)
4th Austin Dillon (Chevrolet)
5th Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)


American Muscle

The NASCAR Cup Series season continues next weekend at Auto Club Speedway with the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 1 at 3:30 P.M. ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 3rd
TAKE US THROUGH THAT CRAZY STRATEGY.
“I’m not really sure. We had all different kinds of strategy today. One of them back-fired on us and the other one paid off for us when the caution came out. All-in-all, I’m really happy with the way it turned out for our guys. We got track position, we lost it and we got it back there at the end with that caution, and stayed up there, which was nice. It wasn’t perfect, but we got some good points out of it, got a top-five finish out of it, and we’ll continue to learn what we need to work on with these cars to get better each week.”

NEW TEAM, NEW SEASON. WHAT DOES A RUN LIKE THIS DO FOR A TEAM’S MORALE EARLY ON IN THE YEAR?
“It’s good. Daytona 500 week, with qualifying and the way everything happened, I thought that was really good for us and the team. To come here, not have the best car but still finish it off with a top-five is key to keep that momentum going. We’re going to go back to the shop, make some adjustments going into Fontana and see if we can’t get our Kroger Camaro even better. We know what we need, we just need to keep working.”

WITH THAT OPTION TO STAY THERE, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
“You know, Brian (Pattie, crew chief) is just really good at calling races and he apologized for that one. That one backfired on us, that second run. We got good track position and then we stayed out a little too long and gave up that track position. So, then we were fighting, kind of all race, to get it back up and he went long again and it paid off with the caution. Our Kroger Camaro was good. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but we know what we need to work on now and it was cool to get a good, solid run in this Camaro for everybody at JTG Daugherty racing. I’ve got to thank everybody that works hard on this car. So far, so good. In two weeks, we’ve been fast last week. We weren’t bad this week and we know what we need to work on and I know Brian and the boys will tune it up.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS / TRACKER OFFROAD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 4th
“We just needed some track position. Everybody is just really close. You can tell by how many cars are on the lead lap at the end of these races; it’s nuts. NASCAR did a great job to get these cars where they are. It is crazy racing out there. We saw those guys hit pit road. We were running the same lap times at the beginning of the tires to the end, so that was our best move. Luckily, we got the outside. Our teammate was doomed on the bottom. The bottom just seemed to lose spots all day unless you were the leader. I just want to thank all of our sponsors; American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shop, Dow, everyone that helps this team. It’s been a lot of fun.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 5th
“It was a strong day. With about 15 to go or so, I got into the outside wall and lost some spots. But we didn’t have a strong enough tire rub to cause any problems. We put rights on before that final restart. Chaos was happening in front of me and I was able to sneak through to get a top-five finish.”

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU OVERCAME TODAY?
“We’re trying to just understand this new Camaro body and the setup that needs to go with it. We’re close, but there’s still a little bit more work for us to do on our car to get the balance between the clean air and the traffic closer. But for the first try on a downforce track, the guys did a really nice job.”

“Behind the scenes, I could just see how things were coming together. Largely, the effort Chevrolet put in to this Camaro body. The fact that three big Chevrolet teams worked so closely together to get the smartest people in the room to get the best body on this race car. Also, the other piece is Cliff Daniels. He didn’t have much time last year to get up to speed. Watching him through the off season, seeing where his mindset was, I knew we were going to start the year strong. It’s going to be a good year.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE STRONG FINISH BY THE CHEVROLET’S?
“It’s really rewarding to see. Last year when we left here, we had quite the opposite feeling and were pretty worried about what the year was going to hold for us. So, it’s really nice to have that change of perspective now. There’s a lot of Chevy’s up front, one of our Hendrick cars led for a while. So, we’re going the right way.”

BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 COKE ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
“We had a shot at a good finish and we capitalized on that. All-in-all, it was a good day and a win for us. It was just a good gamble call. We were terrible on restarts. It would take us ten or fifteen laps just to get going and get the car underneath us. Then, we could start fighting our way up there. There were frustrating moments over the radio, just trying to make this Coke Energy Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE better. I know how I lose my cool a little bit, but one of the main reasons I brought Jerry Baxter in was to calm me down and show that light at the end of the tunnel. Every time I fired back, he said ‘I get it, you’re fine, we’re going to be fine’ and he was right. It was a good call by the team and everyone involved. Coke Energy, I appreciate them coming on board for this race. It was a great outing and it shows like we were running on some Coke Energy out there.”

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 9th
“I fought the balance a lot early in the race. It got better, but then we had some cautions there at the end, I would be on cycled tires and the balance would get really tight. All-in-all, it was a top-ten here and I feel good about that.”

TALK ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE CHEVROLET’S.
“It’s still early, but I think the Hendrick cars were really good. I felt about the same as last year. So, we just have to continue to get better.”

TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 10th
“I’m just really happy with our GEICO Camaro. We got pretty tight through the middle of the race, so we started freeing it up and freeing it up. We just needed an opportunity to get some track position back there. Things went our way on that restart. I was able to find some holes and finally got aggressive there at the end. We got our first top-10 of the year, so that feels good. We ran really, really strong at Daytona, but didn’t get the result that we deserved. For our team to run the way we did today is a really exciting thing for our team.”

WAS THE TRACK REALLY GREEN STARTING OUT TODAY?
“It was green to start, which always throws you a curveball. You don’t really know how the track is going to transition and what you’re going to battle. For us, it was free to start, it got tight again and then we kind of freed it up there at the end. You’re always chasing the track; that’s what makes NASCAR fun. Nobody just dominates everything anymore. It was a really fun race and I hope the fans enjoyed it.”

TALK ABOUT THOSE RESTARTS.
“It was nuts. It was three or four-wide every single restart and you just had to find the lane that had a little bit of momentum. It was crazy, it was never the same. I think I restarted 19th and went through the middle, and we ended up 10th. I don’t really know what happened, but we just started passing cars. You just had to find the lane and you’re to process things at such a high rate of speed. You just had to be committed to where you were going.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 LLUMAR CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 13th
“We had such a good car there at the end. Obviously, running down the 12 (Ryan Blaney) pretty quickly. At least looking at a second-place finish, if not, battling for a win there. Our car was so good. The caution came out and we read it just a little bit wrong. Bummer that we didn’t get the finish that we probably deserved. But at the same time, I’m so proud of my guys. We had such a good race car today. We made it better all day. Obviously, we had it rolling there at the end.

“We were really tight over the bumps and kind of free everywhere else, so that kind of hindered me from being able to move around. This places frees up as you move up lanes, so I had to run the bottom and really couldn’t move up. We made good adjustments all day and by the end, I was able to run the bottom or the top. I was able to run down the leader there pretty quick. It was just one of those untimely cautions and just read it a little wrong there. It’s unfortunate to not end up with a top-10, but I’m really proud of my guys. Having a shot at winning these things is really all you can ask for and this one just didn’t work out for us.”

“It sucks to at least be looking at second, probably a win with as fast as we were. That’s a big bummer, but at the same time, I’ll take that over running fourteenth all day. I’m just really positive on the new Camaro and obviously Greg (Ives), as usual, made some really good changes from on top of the pit box. I’m appreciative of all the guys. We had really good pit stops, it just didn’t work out for us.”

THOUGHTS ON THE NEW CAMARO.
“This new Camaro, for its first time on a downforce track, I’m just really pleased with it so far. I think it’s going to be really good for us. Obviously, I’m bummed out to finish thirteenth after starring at a second-place or a win. But it’s part of it; it’s how racing goes. We win as a team and lose as a team. It just didn’t go our way there at the end.”

THOUGHTS ON THE FINAL PIT STOP CALL.
“Who knows. It’s easy to say we should have stayed out, we would have won. Yeah, we probably would have, but if the 12 (Ryan Blaney) would have stayed out, he could have one too. It’s just one of those deals that can go either way. Having to make those calls from on top of the pit box is a tough call to make. I was all on board; I thought we were making the right one.

THE HENDRICK CARS, AS A WHOLE, YOU HAVE TO FEEL OPTIMISTIC.
“Compared to how we started the last two seasons, I think we’ve got something for them this year. This is the first place we’ve taken the new Camaro and obviously they’re really strong.

Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

About Chevrolet
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.


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