NASCAR CUP SERIES
VERIZON 200 AT THE BRICKYARD
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRACTICE NOTES & QUOTES
AUGUST 14, 2021
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 2nd in Practice
“In practice, we had some issues with drive, so we tried to work on those. I feel like we got our car better. I thought the car was fine. It just took me time to get up to speed once the car was kind of there for me. I think the high-speed corners, like four and five are difficult. You’ve really got to kind of position yourself well because those curbs come up quick. It is pretty fun.”
HOW DOES THIS ROAD COURSE COMPARE TO OTHERS ON THE SCHEDULE?
“It’s not too bad. It’s flat. There is not a bunch of elevation change, so with the weather, it’s pretty easy this weekend.
THIS IS THE 6th OF SEVEN ROAD COURSES THIS YEAR. DO YOU HAVE ANY ROAD COURSE FATIGUE AT THIS POINT?
I don’t feel like we need more of them. I think seven is plenty. I think the NextGen car is going to make the courses better as a driver, they might be a little more spread out because they’re going to be easier to drive. I feel like the cars right now are really hard to drive. There is a lot of brake lock-up. The cars don’t stop well. They don’t turn well. So, you see a lot of accidents. Next year you might see less of that because the car is going to be easier to brake and shift and you won’t have as many mechanical issues.”
PHYSICALLY, DO YOU FEEL ANY DIFFERENT THIS YEAR BECAUSE YOU’VE HAD SO MANY ROAD COURSE RACES?
“Yeah, it’s definitely not as hard as it used to be. I think you used to come to the road courses and be kind of worn out and a lot of guys would kind of be falling out of the seat towards the end of the race. And I don’t think that’s a thing as much now. We’re pretty used to it. Every time we come back from a break from a road course, and I go to one, my right arm is always sore on Mondays from shifting so much. But none of that this weekend. We are kind of used to it.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 3rd in Practice
WHAT ARE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE ROAD COURSE TODAY DURING PRACTICE?
“I really enjoyed it. I thought it was flowy and then you had some hard braking zones and stuff. So, I thought it was a pretty fun track. I seemed to adapt to it pretty quickly, so my HendrickCars.com Chevy felt really good and I was definitely pleased.”
WHERE DO YOU THINK THE ACTION TURNS ARE GOING TO BE?
“I think (Turn) 1 and 12 I think would be a good passing zone. It’s fun and I think after we get out there and get closer around people, we’ll have a better understanding.”
ON THE UPCOMING PLAYOFFS
“We’re really just taking it week by week at this point. We’re just focused on trying to edge out Denny Hamlin for the regular season points there, but it’s been cool to be competitive every week. I’ve always dreamed of this type of season where I’ve got one of the fastest cars each week. We’ve been able to win a lot and I hope we can win even more.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW MOBILITY SCIENCE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 13th in Practice
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NASCAR/INDYCAR COMBINED WEEKEND? DO YOU LIKE THE IDEA?
“Yeah, I think so. I wish it was at the Oval but it’s cool to have all three series here and to see INDYCAR, Xfinity and Cup. It’s just a great weekend of racing.”
ON THE PRE-RACE SIMULATOR SESSIONS
“I think it was pretty good. I think we were 13th in practice. I was pretty happy with that. Long run speed wasn’t as good as I’d like it to be but fire off, which is unusual for me at a road course, and we had some of that. So, we’ll just keep working. The corners here are very challenging in the fact that when you make some of the infield better, it’s hard getting back up onto the big track. I’m just trying to figure out what we need to do to make the car a little better in the higher speed sections to just help set-up for passing, because if you don’t get off of there, you’re not really going to pass anybody.”
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 42 CLOVER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 19th in Practice
“Practice at Indy is all wrapped up. We just took a group picture of all the Chip Ganassi Racing INDYCAR guys and NASCAR Cup guys. Kurt (Busch) and I are both struggling with the same problems. This is a new course for the Cup guys. We are working through all the first time set-up and changes we want to make, so we’re glad we got that hour or so of practice.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 22nd in Practice
ON THE DOUBLEHEADER RACE WEEKEND
“It’s cool being here with the INDYCAR guys. It’s obviously two completely different worlds.”
GIVEN YOUR OPEN WHEEL BACKGROUND, DID YOU EVER HAVE A DESIRE TO WANT TO DO INDYCAR AT ALL?
“I’d race a lawnmower, right? So, I’ll drive anything. Not really. There were really never any opportunities to go that direction. The USAC opportunities to go that direction all came after I had already gone stock car racing. So, I’ve never really thought about it, honestly.”
ON THE PRACTICE SESSION:
“It was fun. It’s technical and tough. I’m not the best on the road courses, so I’m just trying to piece it all together and learn what I can. But I feel like we have a pretty good race car and we should be pretty decent tomorrow.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 HOOTERS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 23rd in Practice
ON SUBBING FOR MICHAEL ANNETT IN XFINITY SERIES, WERE YOU COMFORTABLE IN PRACTICE OR DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE SOME CHANGES?
“We’re kind of working through it, obviously really last minute, unfortunately, on that. We hope the best for Michael. We hate to see him not drive his car. But from my end, I obviously felt like it was a chance to get some more laps and kind of hard to turn that down at a new track.”
DID YOU GET THE CALL THIS MORNING ON THAT?
“Yeah, I did. At like 8 o’clock. It was pretty last minute.”
ON NASCAR CUP PRACTICE TODAY
“I didn’t feel very good, personally. I feel like I was doing a poor job just kind of slow and not in a good rhythm. I feel like I have a lot of work to do. I don’t feel like our car is all that bad. When I have a good lap or hit a good corner, I feel like I get rewarded for it, which is good. But I just have not put together a solid lap, and certainly not two or three in a row.”
IS IT A BIG DEAL FOR YOU TO NOT RACE ON THE OVAL THIS YEAR?
“It’s different, but it’s not the end of the world to me. We’re still at Indy and we’re still racing here. I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter too much, does it?
ARE THE CURBS IN THE RIGHT SPOTS OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE CHANGES?
“I think they are fine. Most all of them are toward the back side of the actual rumble strip. You would be almost in the grass anyway. It might take away a little bit of road but you’re not talking much. Those things are big, for sure. We saw that at COTA.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 28th in Practice
ON THE ROAD COURSE
“It’s a fun course and it’s an historic feel, which is something cool for our series and to be going down the front straightaway the opposite direction ties in the old school F-1 days like when they came here in early 2000. That’s kind of the feel of everything. And then to have INDYCAR, Xfinity, and Cup…..everybody here, it’s like the whole motorsports fraternity hanging out and it’s really neat to see everybody’s smiles. It’s a lot of emotions today.”
DO YOU FEEL ROAD COURSE FATIGUE WITH SO MANY ROAD COURSE RACES THIS YEAR?
“Next year’s car is going to really adapt to the road courses much better than these are. And so, you’ve just got to get ready for it and yeah, it’s like braking markers. Like I’ve got to go find this one and remember it’s not that one. So, there’s a lot of road course action, but it’s motorsport. You’ve got to jump in with both feet.”
ARE THE ORANGE CURBS IN THE RIGHT SPOTS OR DO THEY NEED TO BE CHANGED?
“Nope. Those are fine. It keeps us out of the grass and keeps us from packing our grills full of grass. There are different reasons why NASCAR does things and you’ve just got to absorb it.”
BEING WITH GANASSI RACING, HOW HAS IT HELPED TO HAVE INDYCAR DRIVERS HELP PREPARE YOU FOR THIS WEEKEND?
“There hasn’t been much back and forth, but it was really cool just going to Victory Lane. I was just there taking a picture with all the Ganassi guys. It was a cool Ganassi fraternity shot here in 2021.”
WOULD YOU RATHER BE RACING ON THE OVAL THAN THE ROAD COURSE THIS WEEKEND?
“You have to enjoy wherever they tell you to go. I’m here at Indy’s Road Course. It’s fun. It’s refreshing. It’s new. We’ve done a lot of new road courses this year and it’s just a different phase in NASCAR’s era.”
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