NASCAR Cup PR CHEVY NCS AT PHOENIX 1: Bubba Wallace Breakout Session Highlights

CHEVY NCS AT PHOENIX 1: Bubba Wallace Breakout Session Highlights

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NASCAR CUP SERIES
PHOENIX RACEWAY
FANSHIELD 500
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 6, 2020

BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE, MEDIA BREAKOUT SESSION HIGHLIGHTS:

TALK ABOUT THE PACKAGE HERE.
“It takes you back to the 2018 feel. We were really good in the race. I struggled throughout practice the first time I was here in a Cup car. We looked at the data and I wasn’t carrying enough brake. I was used to the Xfinity car; you can drive in super far into one and two and try to get off the brake to get speed. With these cars, you need to carry the brake around the corner to keep the frontend into the race track. So, once we figured that out, we were really good. The first laps in practice today, I was driving it like getting off the brakes and letting it roll, and we were just too tight. It took me two runs where I needed to switch back over to 2018 and carry a little more brake around the corner and keep the frontend into the race track. A lot of people were sideways. I saw the 8 car (Tyler Reddick) was in front of me at one time; he was sideways. It’s just kind of hanging on, we were sideways too. It puts the feel back into the driver’s hands. So, I think it’s good.”

HOW DO YOU STACK UP THIS YEAR AFTER THE FIRST COUPLE OF RACES?
“Chevrolet has a new body, so that’s playing into our field a little more than we expected last year and that’s good. This year, Daytona is just about surviving to come out with a good finish. It’s tough to survive those races. Then, we went to Las Vegas instead of Atlanta. Atlanta is a place where I never really figured out anything in the Xfinity car, so that’s always kind of a struggle. So, it’s good to get in a couple of races under our belt before we go to Atlanta for me personally instead of jumping right into it. You usually base your 1.5-mile stuff off of Atlanta. Now, we’re basing it off of Las Vegas, where we ran somewhat decent. So, I think we’ll go into Atlanta a little better and give us a better start at a selection of tracks.”

HOW DOES GOING FROM FIVE LUGNUTS TO ONE AFFECT YOU AS A DRIVER AND A TEAM?
“You hope they get that one lugnut tight (laughs). I don’t think it changes the racing at all. Our guys, our pit crews, are professionals and they do a great job. My group of guys do an excellent job on pit road week in and week out. It’s up to them where they’ll have to change up techniques going from five to one. That’s just going to change up their routine, so we’re going to have to learn how to implement that into our pit stops. There are a lot of factors that go into it, but it’s out of the driver’s hands. For us, all we can do is hope that they’re tight.”

YOU’VE WON SHORT TRACK RACES BEFORE. IS PHOENIX A PLACE THAT INVITES YOU?
“I’ve struggled here. In the trucks, all the KBM trucks were fast and we were just kind of mediocre. Coming here, I was charging hard into the old figuration. So, charging into one and two over there where it’s tight and slow, and not realizing that’s all your lap time right there is in the exit of three and four now, all the way back to that point. So, it wasn’t until 2016 in Xfinity when they were like, let’s back up the corner, and all of sudden we’re running top-five. Just one simple change like that, we didn’t need to hustle as much. But it’s inviting to drive down in and hope it sticks. But here, the corners are so tight that you get bound up. The less you can do is bound up the car, get off the brakes and let it roll. That’s where the speed comes from.”

A THINKING-MAN WOULD GET FURTHER HERE ON SUNDAY THAN SOMEBODY THAT ISN’T THINKING, IS THAT A GOOD WAY TO PUT IT?
“Yeah, you just have to be mindful of situations. Now, with the PJ-1 down, you have options. I don’t think anyone has ran up there yet. But we’ll see.”

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SEE RYAN NEWMAN HERE THIS WEEKEND?
“Yeah, I think it’s incredible that he’s here. He was out of the hospital in two days. Talking to people that aren’t even in the sport, they were beyond shocked that Newman was out in two days. That was a scary crash and I felt some type of way up until he was out of the hospital and knew he was OK. It was a bad deal for the sport. The sport is really a family and to see him here is incredible. I think it’s good to have him here at the race track. He’s a spectator and just trying to have fun, but he’s also learning. He’s got an engineering background for a reason. He’s super smart and he throws out words that I don’t even understand sometimes.”

INAUDIBLE
“I knew Ryan (Blaney) was shaken up. My spotter said when I got on the plane after the race, I had only seen a quick replay and I knew it was bad. The only thing I had seen walking back before that was Blaney and Denny (Hamlin) coming to the line and I was like ‘Blaney almost won!’. Then, I saw the whole video and that changed the whole narrative. I was able to go see him (Ryan Blaney) the Tuesday after. He was mellow, a little more mellow than what he usually is. You could tell it affected him. It’s tough with that situation. If it was roles reverse and I was that car, it’s not like I would be mad at you. We are all going for a win and things just didn’t line up right.”
“It’s just racing. We accept that fact every time we jump in a car. I was in a car at nine years old, he was seven years old. We had bad wrecks then, but it’s all part of racing. We had a good talk.”

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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