CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP
ROUND 8 OF 10
AAA TEXAS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
NOVEMBER 6, 2016
CHASE ELLIOTT LEADS CHEVROLET CONTINGENT IN RAIN-SHORTENED AAA TEXAS 500
· Chase Elliott’s fourth-place finish led a parade of four Team Chevy drivers to top-10 finishing positions in the Round of 8 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
· Two remaining Chase contending Chevrolet SS drivers in the Round of 8, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch, go to Phoenix International Raceway in all but must-win situation to garner a spot in the Championship Four
· Race start delayed six hours due to weather, and called completed at lap 293 of scheduled 334 when rain set in again
FT. WORTH (November 6, 2016) – Rookie-of-the-Year points leader Chase Elliott powered his No. 24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet SS to a fourth-place finish in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Round 8 of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Elliott, who started 11th, battled flu-like symptoms prior to the start of the scheduled 334-lap/501-mile race, but a six-hour delay due to rain gave him more recuperation time.
Chevrolet Chase contender Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Busch Chevrolet SS, finished sixth as weather forced NASCAR to halt the action on lap 293. Harvick, the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, heads to Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in an all but must-win situation. With eight wins at PIR, Harvick is the most successful NSCS driver at the 1-mile track.
Fellow Chevrolet SS driver and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevy, who struggled with an ill-handling racecar throughout the duration of the event, finished a disappointing 20th. The 2004 champion also heads to PIR in need of a win or trouble for his other competitors in order to advance to the final round of this year’s Chase. Busch has one previous win at PIR to draw on as he battles for his spot as one of the four contenders at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Completing the Team Chevy drivers in the top-10 were Kasey Kahne, No. 5 AARP Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who earned an eighth-place finish after starting 33rd at the drop of the green flag and Ryan Newman, No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet SS, rounding out the Chevrolet power in the top 10 ending the night in 10th.
Pole winner Austin Dillon, No. 3 Realtree/Bad Boy Chevrolet SS, ran consistently in the top-five throughout the evening until on-track contract ended his race on lap 264.
With the victory, Carl Edwards (Toyota) became the second driver confirmed in the Championship Four at the Homestead season finale. Joey Logano (Ford) finished second and is currently above the cut-line heading to Round 9 at PIR on November 13, 2016. Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) finished third, and Kyle Busch (Toyota), also battling for a spot to race for the title at Homestead finished fifth.
The penultimate race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is slated for next week at PIR. The Can-Am 500 is set for Sunday, November 13.
POST RACE QUOTES:
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 KELLEY BLUE BOOK CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 4TH
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR FINISH GIVING THAT YOU WEREN’T FEELING WELL AT THE START OF THE RACE?
“You are never happy. Obviously, I thought we had a pretty good car. I don’t know that we had anything for those guys, at least on the short run. If it went real long into a run, I thought we could slightly run with them, given the right track conditions and what not. We will do our homework and get ready for the next two.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUSCH BEER CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 6TH
I THINK UNFORTUNATELY YOU SAID RIGHT BEFORE THE RAIN CAME THAT THE CAR WAS PRETTY GOOD. HOW MUCH OF A STRUGGLE WAS THE HANDLING ON THE NO. 4 CAR TONIGHT?
“Yeah, I never said that. Our Busch Beer Chevy was off. We were tight, we were loose, and we were kind of all over the place. We could take off okay, but we would fall way off at the end of a run. I just want to apologize to the 3 (car, Austin Dillon). He kind of came up there and he slid in front of me and got loose and when he checked up I hit him again. That was not anything I wanted to see. All-in-all everybody battled and did all they could, and we just didn’t have a fast enough car.”
THE TEAM SEEMED KIND OF UPSET ABOUT IT AND SLUGGER (LABBE, CREW CHIEF FOR AUSTIN DILLON) SAID THEY FELT LIKE THERE WAS INTENT BUT YOU CLEARLY SAID ON THE RADIO THERE WAS NO INTENT THERE:
“Slugger says a lot of things that he shouldn’t. All-in-all there was no intent there and I like racing with Austin and I like everything that they do and there was no reason to…I was running seventh and sixth. We were on a restart there and he slid up, and he got loose, and I hit the back of him.”
THIS IS THE TYPE OF RACE THE NO. 4 TEAM LOVES. YOU HAVE YOUR BACK AGAINST THE WALL AND YOU GO TO YOUR BEST TRACK. CAN YOU DELIVER THERE WITH YOUR BACKS AGAINST THE WALL?
“We have done it I don’t know how many times…so we will just go there and do what we always do and race as hard as we can.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 AARP DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 8TH
REALLY GOOD COMEBACK RUN AFTER A 33RD-PLACE QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“We drove up, the team did a great job, the pit stops were nice, but we just never had the speed I wanted that those probably five or six guys had. We had a great performance from 33rd to eighth and we battled all night long. Everybody worked hard we just want to be a little better.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 11TH
ON HIS RACE:
“It didn’t quite go as planned. We were planning on a day race and the set-up of the car was not so happy at night. We were making gains on it and getting there, but a little too loose with it being a night race.”
ALEX BOWMAN, INTERIM DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 13TH
ON HIS RACE:
“We took off really strong and had a really good first run. The second run we didn’t get a great restart but we were fast and passing people and cut a right-front tire. We had some right-front damage and feel like that kind of killed the front-end aero wise a little bit for the rest of the day. We kind of really fought just balance, really never got the racecar happy, and kind of was out of the racetrack with front and the back. But, Greg (Ives, crew chief) and everybody tried really hard. We were a heck of a lot better than 13th, just frustrating couple of restarts, got raced kind of ridiculously by some guys. It is what it is, we will move on to Phoenix and hopefully get them there.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 BUSH’S CHILI BEANS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 17TH
ON HIS RACE:
“With the race being at night all of our adjustments and what we were trying to fight during the day, we probably over adjusted for the night conditions. Nothing you can do about that, but started really tight. The guys did a good job to adjust on it and get it back in the ballpark. One run I thought we were really awesome. I thought we had something to get back in the top 10, but could never get back to it. This place confuses me for sure. I felt like I needed a little bit more rear grip, but if we tried that we got way too tight. When we got tight I was really slow and really unhappy with it. We would free it back up and I would have to kind of hang on to it, but it was faster. For how we have been here that is way better. I’ve got to still do my homework going into next year about this place and figure it out. It’s winning still, but my guys; we fought hard and made the most out of the car. We salvaged a decent points for the cars we are racing around. I think we had a top 15 car and that was something that we said if we would have finished in the top 15 here we would have been happy. Seventh, top 15 car, it’s okay. It’s not what we wanted, but it’s better than we’ve been.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION/MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 20TH
ON HIS RACE:
“We just missed the set-up. It’s a Chase race, it’s kind of important and we missed it again.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 REALTREE/BAD BOY CHEVROLET SS – Involved in a multi-car incident on lap 264
WOULD YOU CALL THAT A RACING INCIDENT?
“No, he (Kevin Harvick) sucked down on my door all the way, like on it. I get it, you’ve got to hold a guy down, but he sucked down on my door and got me tight. That is the reason I slid up in front of him and then he didn’t lift he just turned me. There are two more weeks left.”
KEVIN (HARVICK) SAID HE THOUGHT YOU CHECKED UP AND HE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING INTENTIONALLY. HOW DID YOU SEE IT PLAY OUT?
“I mean, he is tucked down to my door tighter than anybody did all night. He knew how tight he was on my door and that is why I got tight and slid up in front of him. He didn’t check (up), but he had the opportunity to. He didn’t like it that the silver spoon kid was out-running him tonight. So we will be alright, we have two weeks left and we just want to come out and win a race.”
WE HEARD SLUGGER (LABBE, CREW CHIEF) SAY ‘WRITE DOWN THAT NUMBER, WE ARE GOING TO PHOENIX AND HE IS GOING TO NEED A WIN AND WE DON’T”. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT MOVING FORWARD?
“I don’t know. I am just here to win races and that is all that matters to me.”
CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO MILITARY CHEVROLET SS – Involved in multi-car accident on lap 264:
ARE YOU OKAY?
“I’m fine. I didn’t even hit anything but the grass. I don’t know who, somebody hit me from behind. When they checked up, I had to check up because the guys in front of me where trying to peel off the wall to keep from hitting the No. 3 (Austin Dillon). I felt whoever was behind me put me in the grass. I hit the grass and it blew the whole front end off the car. It is unfortunate because we really didn’t hit anything other than the grass, but it ended our night.”
Connect with Team Chevy on social media. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TeamChevy, follow us on Twitter @TeamChevy, and add +TeamChevy into your Google+ circles.
Team Chevy racing photos are available at:
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 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.