NCS AT L.A. MEMORIAL COLISEUM: Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez Press Conference Transcript

FEBRUARY 4, 2023

KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 BETMGM CAMARO ZL1; ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 WORLDWIDE EXPRESS CAMARO ZL1; AND DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 JOCKEY CAMARO ZL1, met with the media in advance of the NASCAR Cup Series practice and qualifying session at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Press Conference Transcript:

Q. Daniel, where are your expectations for Trackhouse Racing after such a successful year that you and Ross both had in 2022?

Daniel Suarez: “The expectations are definitely higher than last year. Last year, our team was working very hard. We didn’t know where that would take us, but we were hoping it would take us somewhere good. I feel like now, it’s a little bit different because we know what we’re capable of doing. We know that we’re capable of winning and we know that we’re capable of racing with some of the teams that have been doing this for a long time.

We have to go out there and just continue to work because in my opinion, if we do exactly the same thing that we did last year, it won’t be enough. Everyone is always evolving, so we have to continue to work and show up every weekend with the best that we can do.”

Q. What was your personal experience with this event last year and the atmosphere that comes along with it?

Suarez: “Last year was probably one of the most amazing events I have ever been a part of. NASCAR, you guys the media, and the teams knocked it out of the park. The event was unbelievable. The fans were super amazing. The energy was unbelievable, as well. I have never felt so much excitement from the fans during driver introductions like we did last year. It was quite special.

For me, racing here in L.A. is similar to racing at home. There are a lot of Hispanics here, so it’s extra exciting for me to race here, where I can call it almost home.”

Q. For Daniel and Ross, are you guys ready to start the season? The off-season is over. Are you glad to be getting back in the race car?

Ross Chastain: “Yeah, I’m ready.”

Suarez: “I personally, honestly, I had the best off-season I’ve ever had. Normally in the past, I would be dealing with moving from one team to another. This off-season was the first time ever that I was really able to disconnect from racing for a few weeks, and that really made me recharge my batteries 110 percent. It was very, very good for me to have some time off. We came back excited and ready to go race again. Everyone in November is tired, very exhausted. So for me, it was very important to be able to take that time.”

Q. Ross, earlier this week, the official rule came out on your move last season at Martinsville Speedway. Any thoughts on that?

Chastain: “I’m glad I don’t have to do it again. That was the longest wreck of my life. It was successful, but I have no desire to ever do that again. Selfishly, I’m glad I get to be the only one that goes down in history as the only driver to successfully do it. It really mattered and it really paid off.”

Q. Kyle, this event and the format – the eliminations, smaller field, this track – could this be a points race?

Kyle Busch: “I mean, it can, sure. We do it at Bristol (Motor Speedway). You’ve got heat races there and then you have a feature and things like that. It certainly could, but I feel like what it is – the way the format is designed initially when we came here last year and the way the show was – was super enticing for the fans. I felt like it was really good for the drivers that hit it and that were up front most of the time, like myself, (Joey) Logano, (Tyler) Reddick. We did a good job early on in the weekend with practice, qualifying, everything to set yourself up and we were able to stay up front. I don’t know that it needs to be a points race, but it certainly could be.”

Q. Ross, is there any sense of pride that NASCAR made a rule on a move that you did?

Chastain: “(laughs) Yeah, there is. I am proud. Proud that I was able to take advantage of it like I did. Looking back, neither one of them were planned. Yes, I’m proud of it, but I never want to do it again though.”

Q. Daniel, following up on a comment made earlier. I know this is an important race to get some laps in before the season starts, but how important is it to have that party atmosphere for the fans and the sport?

Suarez: “It’s definitely very important. This is a venue like no other. We are racing at such a historical place and we get to put a show on. Walking into this facility, all you see is history. All of the major events that have taken place here. It’s quite special. I, personally, feel that the first time was a tremendous success and the expectations this year are higher. I think we are going to see another amazing event by NASCAR, you guys and all of the racers out there. I’m excited to start the season at a place like the L.A. Coliseum.”

Q. Kyle, was this off-season any different for you than prior off-seasons? Obviously having to change teams from JGR to RCR, but also converting KBM to a Chevrolet team, as well.

Busch: “Yeah, it was very busy. I heard Suarez when I walked in talking about how he got a chance to be off and not have to worry about much and recharge his batteries. Not quite the same here. Obviously, just changing teams; getting into the system and working with all of the RCR guys, and kind of understanding how they do it and what they do as the Chevy-way. As well as just what I’ve been accustomed to and try to implement some of the stuff that I’ve been doing the last 15 to 18 years. Just try to help the overall program. It’s been really good. We’ve had some really good discussions. There have been some things that have come out of it that I’ve learned and they’ve learned. Obviously, too, the swap over to Chevy at KBM. That’s been pretty seamless. The guys over there have been really great to work with and help us through some of that stuff. All of the hardware of the trucks and all of that is kind of the easy part. The software with the simulator, the data and all that, that’s going to be a bit more challenging and trying to get that where we want it.”

Q. Kyle, who do you think the G.O.A.T. in NASCAR?

Busch: “I’d say there’s probably a toss up between five guys at the top, in my opinion.”

Q. How do you think that gets sorted out.. era? Car?

Busch: “It’s tough. I think with the different eras, you always have the career statistics that particular driver may have over another driver because of X, Y and Z. Like Richard, many of his earlier years prior to probably ’80 was 90 percent of his success, right? But he still raced into the ‘90s. There were 12 or 13 years there where you could argue success wasn’t great. You look at (Jimmie) Johnson who obviously was great all the way through.. his last few years were maybe a little slower. (Dale) Earnhardt’s was short-lived, not quite able to fully execute his career.

I also look at guys like David Pearson, who I would put at the top of that list. He never won a championship, but yet he could win every single weekend that he was out there on the race track. He was always fast. A lot of times, he never ran a full season. I think it’s always up for debate. I think in other sports, you can kind of say in my opinion, there is one guy that’s the G.O.A.T. But ours, to me, it’s hard to pick just one in NASCAR.”

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in 79 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. Chevrolet models include electric and 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

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