NASCAR CUP SERIES
BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
SUPERMARKET HEROES 500
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
MAY 29, 2020
RYAN PREECE, NO. 37 BUSH’S BEANS CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media via teleconference and discussed the season thus far, how the hectic schedule has been for him, his expectations at Bristol this coming Sunday, and more. Full Transcript:
YOU’VE BEEN A BUSY MAN HERE THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS. PLEASE WALK US THROUGH THIS CADENCE OF RACING MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK AND HOW THAT HAS IMPACTED YOU. DO YOU ENJOY IT?
“I enjoy it to be honest with you. I like the Sunday-Wednesday, or Sunday-Thursday thing that we’ve been doing. It’ nice, even on the bad days, to not have to wait very long to get back in the race car or get back to the race track.
“Yesterday wasn’t exactly our strongest day. On our side, we, honestly, I thought the 600 was going to be good but with just pit strategy, we ended-up getting caught a lap down somehow, and then had to get off-sequence and lost more track position. But, we had a good race car, so I was looking forward to getting there (again). We struggled yesterday so that made for just a long day. But, looking forward to Bristol this Sunday. That’s somewhere that I’ve been circling on the calendar since we started the season. So, I’m excited to get over there. Our 2020 season has been, I would say, hindered by a lot of bad luck. We’ve had some pretty fast race cars and running where we want to be, and just haven’t been able to finish it off with just things that are out of your control. So, we’re going to try and control the things we can and keep moving forward.”
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT AT BRISTOL? WILL IT BE ANY DIFFERENT DUE TO NO PRACTICE AND NO QUALIFYING?
“You kind of have to expect the unexpected, to be honest with you. With the VHT compound, the bottom lane, in the past is really slippery for the first five or ten minutes of practice. With 36 or 40 cars out there, that might speed up the process. But, I think the racing is going to be really good. I think the field has been a heck of a lot closer over the course of these past few weeks just because it doesn’t give many people to fine-tune. You’ve got what you’ve got. You can only do so much on pit stops. So, I think the racing this weekend should be really good.”
TALK ABOUT YOUR HISTORY AT BRISTOL. YOU TOOK HOME THE $100,000 PRIZE IN XFINITY AT BRISTOL AND TRIGGERED A EARLY WRECK AT ‘VIRTUAL’ BRISTOL IN 2020. WHAT’S YOUR HISTORY AT BRISTOL AND WHAT DO YOU THINK?
“I’ve won there in a Modified also, so I enjoy racing Bristol. I enjoy short tracks. The throttle, the brake, whatever it may be, there are so many different tools that you can do as a driver to try and help some speed or long-run stuff at short tracks. So, I enjoy going to them. And Bristol is the fastest half-mile there is and just everything happens so quick. Obviously we aren’t going to have very much track position just because of the random draw and where we are in points right now (30th in standings), but we’ve got 500 laps to figure it out and move forward.”
RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. HAD A GOOD RUN LAST NIGHT AT CHARLOTTE. HE HAS A COUPLE OF TOP-FIVE’S THIS YEAR. HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE ADDITION OF HIM THIS SEASON HAS AFFECTED JTG DAUGHERTY RACING?
“Oh, I think they’ve had their races where they’ve been really good, right? I would say between Ricky and (Brian) Pattie (crew chief), they’ve definitely brought some of their superspeedway stuff over and last night they were really good. So, that was really good for JTG. I will say that this new Chevrolet body has been a huge addition, too. And the hours that all the guys over there that are putting into the wind-tunnel time has really paid off, also. The black cloud in the room right there is we’ve had some really good runs going and just unfortunate stuff we’ve got to cleanup on our end, some pit stops have killed us on track position and we’ve had a couple of motors blow up. So, we’re looking forward to putting these first eight races behind us and moving forward and trying to get into a rhythm and knocking off some good runs.”
LAST NIGHT WHEN EVERYBODY WAS FOUR-WIDE ON A RE-START, YOU WOUND UP GOING THROUGH THE ASTROTURF IN THE INFIELD. DID YOU THINK YOU WERE IN IRACING FOR A MINUTE? THAT LOOKED PRETTY CRAZY.
“Yeah, I don’t know. I know the driver turned left when he probably shouldn’t have. So, I was thinking about that this morning. Next time that happens, I think you just end up hooking the guys because you end up putting yourself in a bad situation to avoid a wreck and it ends up damaging your own car so you end up paying the price. Next time you just sit there and let them turn themselves.”
THE MODIFIED TOUR WAS SCHEDULED TO GET UNDERWAY THIS PAST WEEKEND AT SOUTH BOSTON BUT DIDN’T GO BECAUSE OF WEATHER. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS OVER THERE BEEN SAYING ABOUT THEIR STOPPAGE RIGHT NOW?
“It is what it is right now. At the end of the day, I don’t think some of these guys want to race with a reduced purse, which is understandable. When you show up to do some of those races, you understand that there’s a possibility that you aren’t going to make money, so losing that much more sometimes can be tough to swallow. But, I know those guys want to get racing soon so hopefully they can get back to normal soon and go racing.”
WILL YOU TAKE RISKS TO WIN, CONSIDERING WHERE YOU’RE AT IN POINTS?
“Should we? Absolutely. Will we? For sure. At this point, I don’t know. Does anybody know what you’ve got to do for some good luck or whatever? I mean, yesterday, we were able to get some track position. We weren’t handling the way we wanted to, but we were working at it. And every time we came in, if we came in at the end of a stage in 17th or 18th, we’d come out 26th. And a restart doesn’t go your way trying to pass cars isn’t extremely easy. So, I would say yes, we are willing to take plenty of risks.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ON THE BRINK OF THINGS TURNING AROUND? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING NOW AT THE START OF THE SEASON?
“I would say every race. At Darlington, we were really good, to be honest with you. Honestly, we were really, really good. And I see it turning around. It’s just not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. We’ve just got to keep our heads up and keep bringing the best possible piece we can and keeping out of trouble and execute. Everybody has to execute at this level. That’s what it comes down to. If you have a bad stop or whatever it may be, and you lose track position on that last restart or stage, trying to make that up is so difficult. You guys see that on TV. So, I think we’re right there. Hopefully Bristol can be the week to turn it around. We’ve got BUSH’S Beans on the car, which I’m excited about. And I’m looking forward to getting this monkey off the back.”
WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING THREE AND FOUR WIDE AT CHARLOTTE, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT’S CHARLOTTE-SPECIFIC, OR DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO SEE SOME MORE RESTARTS LIKE THAT AT BRISTOL?
“I don’t think you’re going to see three or four wide at Bristol. I think if you see three or four-wide at Bristol, you’re probably going to see a big wreck. So, I think it’s 1.5-mile-specific with this package. Restarts, if you get a good lane and you’re able to keep a run going and get to the top, which the top is typically the best spot to be, you’re going to pass some cars. So, Bristol, this weekend, I would expect two-wide, maybe three-wide, possibly, if you’re a daredevil, but that’s about it.”
IS PICKING THAT UPPER LANE GOING TO GIVE YOU THE BEST ADVANTAGE?
“Yeah, I think the top. Once the VHT wears off, it’ll be the place to be.”
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