NASCAR CUP SERIES
NORTH WILKESBORO SPEEDWAY
NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE
TEAM CHEVY HEAT RACE QUOTES
MAY 20, 2023
Suarez Scores Heat One Win, Takes Pole Position for 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race
TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL HEAT ONE RESULTS:
1st Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Trackhouse Motorplex Camaro ZL1
7th Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1
10th Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger / Coca-Cola Camaro ZL1
11th Erik Jones, No. 43 STP Camaro ZL1
TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL HEAT TWO RESULTS:
2nd Austin Dillon, No. 3 BREZTRI Camaro ZL1
3rd William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1
7th Kyle Busch, No. 8 Thorntons Camaro ZL1
8th Kyle Larson, No. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM Camaro ZL1
9th Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1
TEAM CHEVY HEAT RACE QUOTES:
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TRACKHOUSE MOTORPLEX CAMARO ZL1
Finished: 1st (Heat One)
Give us a brief recap on that first heat race and how you look towards tomorrow night.
“It was fun to go through those transitions from a wet track and then kind of halfway dry. It wasn’t 100% dry, but it was halfway there.
We didn’t really know what to expect. The No. 9 (Chase Elliott) did a better job than myself. I don’t know if he was either more aggressive or his car happened to work out better in the wet conditions. The first 10 laps, I just didn’t have anything for him. I was trying to breakeven and around lap 15 is when I said – OK, he’s coming, and on Lap 20, I knew that I was better.
It was fun to go through those transitions – learn a little bit about the tire and learn about the track. Unfortunately, tomorrow is going to be nice and sunny, so everything that we learned today – maybe it’s going to work for the future, but not for tomorrow.
Overall, just very, very proud of my team. The No. 99 Trackhouse Motorplex Chevy team has had a lot of speed lately, but we haven’t had executions and the results. We’ve been very tough on ourselves. To be able to come here and perform the way that we’ve been doing – not just myself, but the entire No. 99 team, my pit crew and engineers. It’s a lot of fun and hopefully tomorrow we can have another performance like today.”
You’ve been here all week. Can you talk a little bit about the whole experience and how much of it was to prepare for tomorrow night?
“Yeah, it’s been fun. I’ve been here since Monday, so I’ve been living here for awhile (laughs). But you know it’s been a lot of fun to see the fans – so loyal since Monday or Tuesday. It’s been a lot of fun to see that. This place has so much history. Just look at the walls.. there’s so much history everywhere you look. For me, to be a small part of this and have the opportunity to put on a show for all these fans, our race teams, NASCAR and all the fans at home – it’s quite special. Overall, just very happy to be here.”
What made you so good in rain? You just kind of checked out and those guys had nothing behind you.
“I feel like the car was very good. My car worked very, very well for those conditions. I have some experience in the rain in go-karts, but it’s completely different. It’s completely different. I feel like our team did a good job. The car adapted well. The first handful of laps after the restart, I don’t feel like I was the best. The No. 22 (Joey Logano) was better than me there for five laps. Once I was able to get a little gap, I was able to drive away and after 10 laps, it was game over. My car was just a rocket ship.
Just very happy for my team and hopefully we can put on another performance like that tomorrow.”
How much do you know for tomorrow and how much do you still not know since you weren’t on slicks at all today?
“We learned nothing.. (laughs). We learned absolutely nothing. I just hope it rains again so these guys can have the same amount of fun that we had and they can learn nothing, as well (laughs). If these guys learn something for tomorrow, we’re going to be at a little bit of a disadvantage.
But, we’ll see. The race track right now is not dry. I don’t know if they’re going to start on slicks or wets, but it’s not 100% dry. So maybe the second-half, maybe the last 30 laps, they’re going to start learning stuff. But in the beginning, it’s going to be a little bit wet. Hopefully it pours right now (laughs).”
On teammate Ross Chastain being in the second heat race:
“Yeah, but we have different cars and we have different setups, too. We have those conversations, but our cars are different and our cars are going to react different with those transitions. Yeah, it will definitely help. It would have been worse if both Trackhouse cars were in the same heat because then we would be on an island. But we’ll be find. Regardless, I feel like our team already has an idea of where we’re going to be for tomorrow.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
Finished: 7th (Heat One)
It looked like your car was near perfect early on in the race, and then we had the pit stop and things didn’t go so well after that.
“Yeah, Daniel (Suarez) was good before the pit stop, but I was already kind of starting to fall off. We had our stop and we were trying to make it a little better. And then I thought maybe taking a chance for the top would have been a good move and it probably wasn’t a good move looking back on it.
But yeah, it was interesting. The tire was really nice. The track is pretty much dry other than just some areas where I think it’s got some weepers. But I don’t know that this wouldn’t be a better race with those tires than it would our slicks. If the race isn’t good the first-half tomorrow, maybe we should all come in and put on these things and finish it out this way (laughs).”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BREZTRI CAMARO ZL1
Finished: 2nd (Heat Two)
Rain tires and slicks tires, it seemed like your car was good with both on there. What do you have to battle for that million dollars tomorrow night?
“Our No. 3 BREZTRI Chevy was pretty good. I had a lot of fun out there tonight. It was weird because the rain tires were so much better than the regular slicks that I didn’t know how hard I could go. I was kind of saving there for a minute and I saw the No. 24 (William Byron) starting to struggle, so I thought we could run down the No. 17 (Chris Buescher). When I got up there, the No. 24 started coming; he changed his line a little bit and picked up some speed. Have to go back and look at what he was doing. He seemed like he had a little wider arc than us. I was kind of running the low lane off of (turn) four. It’s cool when you can move around on the track and find subtle things and save tires. But the rain tires were very surprising. It was cool. Thank you to all of our partners – Bass Pro Shops, Coca-Cola, everybody that helps us get to the track.”
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