MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES
APRIL 27, 2019
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL QUALIFYING RESULTS:
1st Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW Camaro ZL1
5th Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Caterpillar Camaro ZL1
9th Alex Bowman, No. 88 Nationwide Camaro ZL1
10th Kyle Larson, No. 42 Clover Camaro ZL1
11th Chase Elliott, No. 9 Mountain Dew/Little Caesar’s Camaro ZL1
TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL QUALIFYING RESULTS:
1st Austin Dillon (Chevrolet)
2nd Aric Almirola (Ford)
3rd Clint Bowyer (Ford
4th Brad Keselowski (Ford)
5th Daniel Hemric (Chevrolet)
FOX will telecast the 188-lap/500-mile GEICO 500 live at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, April 28. Live coverage can also be found on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES:
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CAMARO ZL1 – Pole Winner
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! WE NEED TO GET A CAKE OUT HERE. AUSTIN DILLON TURNING 29! THE NEWS BROKE EARLIER THAT THERE WAS A TECHNICAL (DECK LID) INFRACTION AND THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THAT. IT WAS HARD FOR YOUR TEAM TO TAKE. HOW SATISFYING AND SWEET IS IT TO GET THE POLE AT TALLADEGA?
“Well, it feels great. It’s RCR’s 50th Anniversary and my grandfather takes a lot of pride in these speedway races. To come here and get a pole, we felt like we had a car capable of doing that. We knew that didn’t hurt us, so we just wanted to go out there and do what we did. Get a pole. And, man, it’s all of these guys. I didn’t do nothing. Just holding the wheel straight. I did hold the wheel straight. I guess I did that. Fun times. Sunday is when it matters, though. We’d love to get a win and lock ourselves in the Playoffs because these races are ones that you can really take advantage of because there’s a lot of points to get out there. And, that’s what we’re going to do tomorrow.”
DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 CATERPILLAR CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 5th
ALL THREE OF YOU WHO DID THE TEST ARE IN THE TOP-12:
“I think it definitely can’t hurt, have a little bit extra time working around the parts and pieces to make the package what it is. In the grand scheme of things, we also changed a lot of things different from what we tested to come here with as a sport. With that being said it definitely didn’t hurt us, but just proud of our effort. Proud we put the work in, obviously have two really fast Camaro ZL1’s out of RCR, proud of ECR (Engines) and everyone who has a handle on these race cars. It’s cool to see the No. 3 guys get the pole there”.
BIG DAY FOR RCR AS A WHOLE, YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR MOMENTUM. IS THIS HOPEFULLY THE START OF SOMETHING OR BECAUSE IT’S A SUPERSPEEDWAY IS IT HARD TO TELL?
“You like to think it is right? Obviously incredibly cool to see those Xfinity guys get a win and do it here at Talladega. I didn’t realize RCR never won an Xfinity race at Talladega, so that was pretty special for our company. Tyler Reddick did an incredible job of making the right moves there at the end, and we always want momentum and anytime you have success it definitely does nothing but help everybody’s spirits and that can lead to good things”.
HOW BIG OF AN EMPHASIS IS IT GOING TO BE FOR CHEVROLET TO WORK TOGETHER AND HAVE YOU GUYS HAD CONVERSATIONS TO TRY AND MAKE THAT HAPPEN?
“We all sit in that driver/owner lot and everybody talks to each other. We definitely want to make sure that when push comes to shove that we give the bowtie the best opportunity we can to get in victory lane. Sometimes for the betterment of the manufacturer it’s about making the necessary sacrifices, whether it’s for you or your team or your manufacturer. Hopefully when it’s all said and done, we can do whatever we need to make sure one of us in victory lane”.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’VE BEEN ABLE TO COMPARE WHAT YOU’VE FELT IN THIS CAR TO IN YOUR TIME DRIVING?
“Here in particular this package is kind of its own animal. I think maybe the way it buffers and moves around we’re more closely aligned like with the truck stuff. With the ducts in the front there even draggier it seems like when you pull out of line, so it’s going to be interesting to see how big the runs are tomorrow once you get a full pack. We’ve had 12, 15, 16 cars together maybe once, but never the full field yet. It’s going to be kind of a deal of its own animal once we get started tomorrow”.
DOES GOING INTO A RACE LIKE THIS THAT’S KIND OF A WILDCARD KIND OF HELP YOU GET SOME CONFIDENCE TO GO AT IT?
“Anytime you go to the racetrack to win races, I’m 100% on par knowing I haven’t done a great job putting our team in a situation this year. So, when you come to a place like this, yeah, everybody’s expectations are still the same, but on the flipside it does bring a couple of guys in the mix that they wouldn’t have had the best opportunity. We may be one of those guys at this current time of the year and hopefully we can make the most of whatever the day gives us and go from there”.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 9th
WHAT HAVE YOU GUYS LEARNED AND WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE FOR THE RACE TOMORROW IN TERMS OF CLOSING RATE, RUNS AND HOW RACY IS IT GOING TO BE?
“I think you’re not going to see somebody control the race the way they have in the past. The runs are too big to really block the lead the whole time, so I think you’re going to see more lead changes, probably more passing. Everybody is saying their cars aren’t driving so well, my car is driving pretty good so far, I’m really excited. I hope we have a good piece, not really surprised how fast we are. We saw that in the test, and they seem to be ok with it; I don’t know we’ll see where it goes from there”.
WITH THE WAY THE RUNS ARE, AND THE DRAFT HAS BEEN WITH THIS PACKAGE. AS THE LEADER ARE YOU BASICALLY A SITTING DUCK? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO PLAY DEFENSE LIKE WE SAW IN THE XFINITY RACE?
“I mean there’s some things you can do to keep guys from getting those big runs and managing your gap. I think that’s going to be more crucial than it’s ever been. The big side-to-side blocks like we saw pulled in the Xfinity race today aren’t going to work. You’re going to need to manage that gap more so than you ever had to before”.
SO, ARE YOU TO BE GIVEN CREDIT OR TO BLAME SINCE YOU TOOK PART IN THE TEST?
“We told them they were going to be faster when we got here. Their computer told them that they weren’t going to be, but I mean we told them they were going to be. There’s no such thing as too fast to me, so I’m good with it. Obviously, they didn’t make a change after final practice, I think we’re all good with it”.
HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED ON THE CHEVROLET SIDE SINCE DAYTONA? NOW THERE SEEMS TO BE A MORE CONCERTED EFFORT TO STAY WITHIN THE GROUP.
A: I think we’re going to do our best to work with the Chevys and get a Chevrolet to victory lane. That’s really important this week and we going to try our best to make it happen”.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE HUGE ORDERS? THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SUGGESTION AND AN ORDER.
“I think it’s really important that we all work together the best we can and that we’re all in on all of the Chevrolets getting a Chevy to victory lane. And knowing that’s what we’re all here to do”.
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CLOVER CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 10th
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THE CLOSING SPEEDS HERE THIS WEEKEND?
“I’m not scared. It all feels fast when you’re out there. When you’re in an Xfinity car going 190 versus a Cup car that’s 200-plus. It’s still superspeedway racing and I think the bigger runs we’ve gotten at least in the little bit of drafting we did yesterday was fun and different. The cars were a little bit more stable so you could be more aggressive too. I think the race will be really exciting and crazy.”
WHAT’S CHANGED TO MAKE THE CHEVROLET TEAMS WORK TOGETHER MORE THIS WEEKEND?
“I think you can look at the other manufacturers and how well they’ve worked together and it’s proven to help get them race wins. It’s nice that so far all the Chevys are working together and we’ve been pretty disciplined about it. We’ll see how it goes in the race tomorrow and hopefully we can do what those other teams have done, but even better. I’m excited to work together and hopefully we’ll learn throughout it and tweak on it in the future and get even better.”
WAS IT BOTHERSOME THAT ANOTHER CHEVROLET TEAM WORKED WITH A COMPETING MANUFACTURER IN DAYTONA?
“Honestly, it didn’t matter to me. I’m just out there racing and I feel like in the past we’ve all just done our own thing. Trying to get with whatever group benefits you the most. We have a lot of Chevys out there so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t team up and have a big number of cars out there in a line together.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 MOUNTAIN DEW/LITTLE CAESAR’S CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 11th
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM TOMORROW’S RACE?
“I really don’t know. It seems like yesterday, I’m sure as everyone else has commented on, there’s a lot of big runs and obviously the faster the runs are, the harder they are to block and anticipate. What I noticed yesterday, that was probably the biggest thing was just how it was a little easier to get a big run on a guy and it just seemed like whenever somebody behind you wanted to be done with you, they could just be done with you. It felt like you had less control being out front.”
DID YOU HAVE TROUBLE SEEING WITH THE ADDITION OF THE WICKER TO THE SPOILER?
“It’s definitely there, but I didn’t think it was terrible although we haven’t really been in a big pack and stuff yet. It wasn’t real bad.”
WHAT CHANGED WITH ALL THE CHEVROLETS WORKING TOGETHER IN A PACK THIS TIME AROUND?
“Just trying to do better as a group and obviously that’s what you’re competing against so we’re going to give it our best effort and see how it goes.”
HOW MUCH DO YOU EXPECT IT TO HELP WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE OTHER CHEVROLET TEAMS?
“I think numbers are important, but I don’t know how much it will help or not. The numbers are good, anytime you can add cars to your group or whatever, obviously more cars seems to be more speed. I don’t know how much it will help, but I think more cars are better.”
DOES THIS PACKAGE SEEM TO LEND ITSELF TO MORE CARS IN A PACK BEING BETTER?
“It seems like from the prior few races or with the other package, there were cars that you could really tell were way better. I just felt like there was a larger group that were pretty evenly matched. I feel like it will open up your potential for possible winners tomorrow even more than it already was.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 21st
“We should be fighting for the front row, but this new package clearly has some new tweaks that go with it and we’re not up there fighting for the front row. So, we’ll get in the race and see what happens. I don’t think any of us really have a clear idea of what we need. So, we didn’t execute like we needed to today, but we’ll be fine come tomorrow. At plate tracks, the work is done at the shop. All the decisions are made there. There are so few areas really, for us to work. But all the speed is at the shop and we just kind of come here and go through the motions.”
WITH THE BIG RUNS AND EXTRA DRAG, ARE YOU A SITTING DUCK NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE?
“I feel like that’s the intent for the rule. I’m not sure. I know on the 1.5-mile it hasn’t necessarily been the case. Track position still has been the most important thing. I believe NASCAR is working hard to create more competitive passes for the lead. So, I just don’t know yet.”
YOU’RE ALWAYS CONCERNED WHEN YOU COME TO TALLADEGA. BUT DOES THIS PACKAGE AND THE UNKNOWN GIVE ANY ADDITIONAL CONCERNS ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF THE INABILITY TO BLOCK?
“You can block. You just have to manage that environment a little differently than in the past. When there are unknowns, I’ve seen this race be really wild and good in a good way, and then I’ve seen it really boring where we all just go to the top and try to protect and get to the end. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out but I’m comfortable with where I sit and the way the Ally Chevy is running and what we have going on. We’ll just go at it tomorrow and pull ‘em tight and hope for the best.”
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