CHEVY NCS AT PHOENIX 1: Post-Race Notes and Quotes

NASCAR CUP SERIES
PHOENIX RACEWAY
FANSHIELD 500
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
MARCH 8, 2020

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
4th Kyle Larson, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 1LE
6th Kurt Busch, No. 1 GEARWRENCH Camaro ZL1 1LE
7th Chase Elliott, No. 9 Unifirst Camaro ZL1 1LE
10th William Byron, No. 24 Hertz Camaro ZL1 1LE
12th Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE

TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
1st Joey Logano (Ford)
2nd Kevin Harvick (Ford)
3rd Kyle Busch (Toyota)
4th Kyle Larson (Chevrolet)
5th Clint Bowyer (Ford)


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The NASCAR Cup Series continues with Round 5 of 36 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES:

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 4th
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU TRIED TO DIVE TO THE BOTTOM THERE. DID YOU THINK THAT YOU’D BE ABLE TO PULL OFF THE WIN?
“No, not really. I was just hoping that I could do something and maybe they’d mess up. The 18 (Kyle Busch) went really low and I was just trying to run the bottom, and didn’t make up much ground. If they were to get bottled up at the top, I would have enough momentum I could drive in front of them. But it didn’t work out that way, obviously. We still got a top-five, so it was a nice day for us. We fought back from a really bad car from the first run and tuned on it to come away with a top-five, so that was good.”

DID YOU LIKE THE WAY THE CARS WERE RACING WITH THIS PACKAGE?
“Yeah, I thought it was better racing than we had last year. Maybe they can work on it some more and get the racing even a little better, and have a great championship race to end our season.”

HOW IMPORTANT WAS THIS RUN FOR YOUR TEAM?
“It was good. The first handful of laps, I thought we weren’t as bad as I thought we would be. I just continued to get tight. I was thankful the cautions came out to allow us to work on it. We got it closer, but it still wasn’t where we needed to be. But we were close enough that we could race.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 GEARWRENCH CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 6th
“I feel like we battled the best that we could have. We didn’t have much for any kind of spectacular stat, other than perseverance. We didn’t have good short run speed or long run speed. Sixth is better than we ran all day, so we’ll take that with our GEARWRENCH Chevy. We really have to look hard at what we believe led to all of this. But at one point we were running 17th without a scratch on the car.”

“With Larson fourth and us sixth, that’s better than what we ran all day. I feel like we struggled quite a bit, so we’ll take that. Any time you can finish better than where you run, you have to cash those points. We survived all those last restarts, we just weren’t on offense. We just couldn’t attack. I was just kind of slip-sliding around a bit too much today.”

DID YOU LIKE HOW THE CAR WAS HANDLING COMPARED TO LAST YEAR’S PACKAGE?
“Yeah, for sure. You just still have to find that right balance and I think we, at Ganassi, had some things that weren’t quite set right for anything. I didn’t have short run speed, I didn’t have long run speed, but we finished sixth. So, I can’t complain. We have to put that in the bank, learn from it and then head to the short tracks later on at Bristol, Martinsville and Richmond coming up.”

TWO SOLID TOP-TEN’S IN A ROW. HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR TEAM IS PROGESSING?
“Yeah, we were just inches away from another top-five. There are things that we have to face ourselves with on what led to the lack of speed today. Even though we finished sixth, we’ll cash that in. But we have to learn from.”

YOU AND (KYLE) LARSON SEEM TO BE RUNNING PRETTY CLOSE TOGETHER. DO YOU THINK THE CARS ARE PRETTY EQUALLY PREPARED?
“Chip (Ganassi) has two really good drivers getting everything out of those two cars that we can. It’s fun. Larson and I have a really good read on each other on-track and we just have to get a better read communicated to the engineer staff to help our handling.”

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 UNIFIRST CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 7th
YOU HAD A STRONG CAR. DOES THIS GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE GOING INTO THE FALL RACE HERE?
“Yeah, certainly. We will build off of it for sure. Kevin (Harvick) was probably a tick- better than us I thought. But we’ll go to work.”

DO YOU LIKE HOW THESE CARS RACE?
“Yeah, it seems like it was a little better.”

YOU LEAD THE COMPETITION IN STAGE POINTS FOUR RACES IN. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT?
“Stage wins are really important this time of year, so those are what you want.”

DID YOU GET ANYTHING OUT OF THIS RACE THAT YOU CAN TAKE TO THE LAST RACE OF THE SEASON?
“Yeah, it’s just something to build off of. Hopefully we can come back and we’ll be better.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HERTZ CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 10th
“I’m really proud of the effort by the team. We didn’t have the best execution, but we had pretty decent execution throughout the day. I hate that we got into the 6 (Ross Chastain) there. We had a little bit of damage, but overall, not bad. We fought really hard. A top-ten is good for how the day was overall. We’ll move on from it and go to Atlanta.”

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU LEARNED TODAY?
“We just have to work on our car turning. We just couldn’t really ever get the car to turn, especially on a short run. We just have to work on that. But it seemed like it was OK after that.”

DID YOU LIKE HOW THE CARS WERE RACING?
“There was a lot of tire fall off. For us, it really just created vibrations because we were wearing the right-front out so hard. I think, overall, it was getting better and closer to 2018.”

TALK ABOUT THIS RACE.
“Yeah, a top-ten is good from where we ran. I think we ran 12th to 17th all day and to finish tenth is a good result for us. I’m proud of that, for sure.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 12th
“Definitely not the day we wanted but we fought like hell all day long. The guys had a great pitstops and got this 48 Outlaw Chevy positions and the pits and we have a lot to build on. I am so proud of this team.”

TYLER REDDICK NO. 8 I AM SECOND CAMARO ZL1 1LE- Finished 33rd
WHAT ESSENTIALLY LED TO YOU HITTING THE WALL?
“Well, we lost a tire there in (Turns) 1 and 2. I really don’t know what led to that. I don’t know if I just caught something on the race track or it just wasn’t meant to be. Our I Am Second Chevrolet was really, really good today. I just made a couple of mistakes there that cost us track position. I don’t know if that’s what ultimately would have kept us from cutting a tire, but we were in really good shape there and I just made a rookie mistake and fell back to the back half of the top 10 and from there we had our flat tire, and that was the end of our day unfortunately.”

“I lost some track position there. I was trying to get a little bit of room in a tough, three-wide situation. We put tires on and re-racked them after that. I don’t know if we just caught something on the race track, a piece of debris. With this traction compound, debris blows up to the wall and it seems like it’s sticky up there. So, some of the stuff that falls off these cars might be sticking to the track too. I don’t know if that’s what did it or not and it’s going to be really hard to say.”

YOU PUT ON A SHOW TODAY. WHAT DO YOU TAKE AWAY FROM IT?
“We were pretty down after practice Friday and qualifying. We were fighting a lot of things in our car on Friday and we didn’t really understand it until the day was over, and we couldn’t get anymore laps. Saturday, we finally got our car better and we went too far. We had it pretty much just right it seemed like for most of the race when the traction compound was really good there in the middle of the race. It’s a tough part about it. This is where we’ll end our year and if you’re in the championship, this is where you have to win and it’s nice to know we have some speed. But we can most-certainly make our car better too.”

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.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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