Monday, May 23

CHEVY NCS AT DAYTONA: Team Chevy Daytona 500 Advance

TAKING THE GREEN FOR 2022
The 2022 Daytona Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth officially kicks off the NASCAR season with action packed events across NASCAR’s three national series, with the finale being the “The Great American Race”: The 64th running of the Daytona 500. Speedweeks also marks the official points-paying debut of the Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS).
 
Daytona Speedweeks kicks off on Tuesday, February 15, when the Next Gen Camaro ZL1 first hits the track for two sets of practice. On Wednesday, the stars of the NASCAR’s premier series will return for Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Busch Light at 8:05 p.m. ET. Next on tap for the NCS are the Bluegreen Vacations Duels, taking the green under the lights on Thursday, February 17, at 7 p.m. ET. The two 60-lap, 150-mile events will determine the remaining starting lineup for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
 
Friday, February 18, marks the first of three days of points-paying racing action at the 2.5-mile Florida superspeedway, starting with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season opener, the NextEra Energy 250, at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. The ‘World Center of Racing’ has been the host of the season opener for the NCWTS since 2000. The excitement continues on Saturday with the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season opening “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300” at 5 p.m. ET on FS1. Capping off the 2022 Speedweeks is the 64th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 20, at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX. “The Great American Race” will lead off the NASCAR Cup Series 36-race season for the 41st consecutive year.
 
On February 14, 2022, Daytona International Speedway announced that the 2022 Daytona 500 is completely sold out. Prior to last season’s reduced capacity limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event had five consecutive sellouts.
 
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER FRONT ROW SWEEP
A full season of qualifying returns to the NASCAR Cup Series after being limited to select events in 2021. The front row of the prestigious event has been swept by the Bowtie Brand an impressive 19 times, including nine of the last 11 years. For the second time in his four-season NCS career, Alex Bowman put his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on the pole in 2021. Chevrolet went on to take over the front row when Bowman was accompanied by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, William Byron, and his No. 24 Chevrolet team.
 
With the front row set by qualifying, Thursday’s two 60-lap, 150-mile Bluegreen Vacations Duels at Daytona will determine the starting lineup and fill the remaining opening spots of the 40-car field. Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon is the latest Chevrolet driver to score a Duel win when he took his No. 3 Chevrolet to victory lane in the 2021 event.
 
EYES SET ON BACK-TO-BACK TITLES
Following the 2021 season finale at Phoenix Raceway, Chevrolet closed the season with three titles: the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series Manufacturer’s Championship; the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer’s Championship; and the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championship.
 
After a dominating performance during his debut season with Hendrick Motorsports - including double-digit wins and a Regular Season Championship - Kyle Larson captured his first-career NASCAR Cup Series Championship title, giving Chevrolet its 33rd NCS Driver Championship. It was a record year for the 29-year-old California native, becoming the 11th different driver in the modern era (1972-present) to score 10 wins in a single NCS season. The last time this feat was accomplished was in 2007, when career Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson won 10 times to go on to win his second of seven NCS Championship titles. The Chevrolet driver also led an impressive 2,581 laps during the 2021 season, breaking career Chevrolet driver Jeff Gordon’s record set in 2001. Momentum is on his side as the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet team has their eyes set on back-to-back titles.
 
The 2021 season also brought Chevrolet its record-extending 40th NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer’s Championship. The Bowtie Brand won its first Manufacturer’s Championship in 1958, later recording a streak of 13 consecutive Manufacturer’s Championship titles between 2003 – 2015. Team Chevy drivers and teams earned 19 wins in the 36-race NCS schedule to lead all manufacturers, marking the most victories in a NCS season for Chevrolet since 2014. 
 
For the second consecutive year, Chevrolet won the Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. This marks the 23rd Manufacturer’s Championship title in the series, the most of any other manufacturer. Of the 34-race NXS schedule, Chevrolet led all manufacturers in wins with 16.
 
THE SEASON OF ‘NEW’
A season full of new kicked off last weekend when NASCAR’s premier series took on the .25-mile track built within the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the traditional Busch Light Clash. Not only was it a new venue for the series, but the event marked the on-track competition debut of the NASCAR Next Gen cars. All eyes are set on the 2.5-mile high-banked superspeedway as the Daytona 500 officially starts the points-paying action for the Next Gen Camaro ZL1.
 
"With the Clash race at the LA Coliseum behind us, it's time to look forward to the points racing debut of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Camaro ZL1 Next Gen car," said Pat Suhy, GM Manager, NASCAR Competition. "While there was an organizational test at the track in January, there wasn't a full field of cars. Drivers practiced drafting together at that test at various times, but nowhere near as aggressively as we'll see with 40 of them trying to win the biggest race of the season and lock themselves into the first round of the playoffs. The 2022 Daytona 500 is going to be an exciting learning experience for Chevrolet and our teams."
 
Chevrolet engineers and designers, alongside the Chevrolet race teams, worked closely together to develop the Next Gen Camaro ZL1, creating a race car that looks and performs more like the production Camaro.
 
“The Daytona 500 is always an exciting start to the NASCAR Cup Series race season,” said Dr. Eric Warren, Chevrolet Director of NASCAR Programs. "This year that excitement is magnified by the introduction of the Next Gen Chevy Camaro ZL1. Everyone on the teams and OEM partners will be anxiously waiting for those first competitive laps in practice and qualifying where many years of testing and industry collaboration on this car ends and the drive to beat competitors begins. I am excited for the challenge a totally new car presents and we at Chevy look forward to bringing our engineering resources and racing heritage to the competition.”
 
Bringing the track and the street closer together, the Next Gen Camaro ZL1’s new lower greenhouse, shortened deck lid and widened track width contribute to a coupe-like appearance. Like the production Camaro ZL1, the Next Gen Camaro ZL1 features hood air extractors to enhance track performance. With its fully symmetrical body design, the Next Gen Camaro ZL1 race car looks even more like the production Camaro.
 
2022 BOWTIE LINEUP UPDATES
The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series field will see a number of growing teams that will contribute to a stout Chevrolet driver lineup for the upcoming season.
 
·       Trackhouse Racing is entering into their second full-time season in NASCAR’s premier series, now fielding two full-time Camaro ZL1’s. After purchasing Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR assets at the conclusion of the 2021 season, Trackhouse Racing is taking their team to the next level. Daniel Suarez will return to the team, piloting the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in his sixth season of NCS competition. The team’s second seat will be filled by Ross Chastain after previously driving for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021. The 29-year-old Florida native will be behind the wheel of the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the team. Chastain had a solid 2021 season in his Chevrolet, contending for the win on several different occasions and scoring his NCS career-best finish of second at Nashville.
 
·       Chevrolet teams, GMS Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports, will have a whole new look for the 2022 season. Team owners Maury Gallagher and Richard Petty have merged to form a new organization: Petty GMS Motorsports. The new team with field two Camaro ZL1’s full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, driven by two familiar faces to the Bowtie Brand. Erik Jones will return to the seat of the iconic No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The team’s second entry will see the return of Ty Dillon to NCS competition, driving the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a number that holds deep ties to the Petty family legacy.
 
·       Having much success in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Kaulig Racing will also be taking on the NASCAR Cup Series, operating a two-car team for the 2022 season. Justin Haley is no stranger to NCS competition, previously scoring his first NCS win in 2019 at Daytona International Speedway driving the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet. The 22-year-old will make the jump from the NXS to NASCAR’s premier series, piloting the Kaulig Racing No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 full-time this season. The Chevrolet team’s second team, the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will see a rotation of familiar Team Chevy drivers, including AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric. Kaulig Racing captured the attention of competitors in 2021 when AJ Allmendinger gave the team its first NCS win in the series’ debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in only the team’s seventh NCS start.
 
 
 
BOWTIE BULLETS:
·       NASCAR Cup Series victories by current Chevrolet drivers at Daytona International Speedway:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Camaro ZL1, has one win (July 2017)
Austin Dillon, No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Camaro ZL1, has one win (February 2018)
Justin Haley, No. 31 Kaulig Racing Camaro ZL1, has one win (July 2019)
William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1, has one win (August 2020)
 
·       Of the 149 appearances made in NASCAR’s premier series at the “World Center of Racing”, Chevrolet has recorded 48 wins, 51 poles, 222 top-five’s, 449 top-10’s, and led 8,092 laps.
 
·       Coming off of his first-career NASCAR Cup Series Championship title, Larson could potentially become just the sixth champion in NASCAR history to claim the Harley J. Early trophy the following season. He would join the company of NASCAR Cup Series Champions Dale Jarrett (2000), Jeff Gordon (1999), Cale Yarborough (1977), Richard Petty (1973) and Lee Petty (1959).
 
·       Chevrolet has sat on the pole for the Daytona 500 29 times, topping all manufacturers. This includes a string of nine consecutive years, a streak that holds the record over any manufacturer at the 2.5-mile Florida superspeedway. The Bowtie Brand has also swept the Daytona 500 front row 19 times in the event’s history, including nine of the past 11 years.
 
·       Chevrolet has captured the Daytona 500 victory 24 times, more than all other manufacturers. In addition, Chevrolet has won 93 times at the 2.5-mile Florida superspeedway across all three NASCAR National Series, making Chevrolet the winningest manufacturer at Daytona International Speedway in NASCAR history.
 
·       Hendrick Motorsports has won 14 Daytona 500 poles, the most of all teams in the NASCAR Cup Series: Ken Schrader (1988, 1989, 1990), Jeff Gordon (1999, 2015), Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2008), Mark Martin (2010), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2011), Chase Elliott (2016, 2017), Alex Bowman (2018, 2021), William Byron (2019).
 
FOR THE FANS
·       Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Daytona International Speedway. 
·       Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Tahoe RST Z71, Blazer RS, Colorado Z71​​, Corvette Z51​​, Camaro ZL1​​, Equinox RS​​, Silverado HC​, Silverado ZR2​.
·       At the Chevrolet Display, fans can also view Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Camaro ZL1 show car.
 
TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:
Thursday, February 17
·      Derek Kraus and Colby Howard: 2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
·      Carson Hocevar and Dean Thompson: 3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
·      Lawless Alan and Kris Wright: 3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
 
Friday, February 18
·      Myatt Snider: 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
·      Grant Enfinger, Jack Wood and Thad Moffitt: 1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
·      Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill: 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
·      Noah Gragson: 2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
 
Saturday, February 19
·       AJ Allmendinger and Landon Cassill: 9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
·       Brett Moffitt, Jeb Burton and Anthony Alfredo: 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
·       Jesse Iwuji: 9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
·       Sam Mayer: 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
·       Justin Allgaier: 10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
·       Josh Berry: 1:10 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.
 
Sunday, February 20
·       Daniel Suarez: 10:10 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
·       Corey LaJoie: 10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
·       Ross Chastain: 11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
·       Justin Haley and Daniel Hemric: 11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
·       Chase Elliott: 11:35 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
·       Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick: 11:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
·       William Byron: 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
 
Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:
·       Thursday, February 17: 2:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
·       Friday, February 18: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
·       Saturday, February 19: 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
·       Sunday, February 20: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
 
TUNE IN
FOX will telecast the 64th running of the Daytona 500 at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 20. FS1 will telecast the NASCAR Xfinity Series ‘Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300’ at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 19. FS1 will telecast the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy 250 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, February 18. Live coverage for all three events will also be broadcasted on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
 
QUOTABLE QUOTES:
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 ADVENT HEALTH CAMARO ZL1
IF THERE IS ONE RACE YOU WANT TO WIN, WHICH ONE IS IT AND WHY?
“The Daytona 500 because you’re not a Daytona 500 winner, you never hear that phrase. It’s Daytona 500 champion. It’s a single race. I’m from Florida and I hold Daytona as my home track. We always went to the summer race because we had watermelons in the ground in February. I almost don’t even like calling it the 'Great American Race' because it’s world renowned. It’s one of the crown jewel races in the world of auto racing.”
 
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DAYTONA 500 EXPERIENCE LIKE?
“When you’re in the car and hear the roar of the fans, and to think I sat in those grandstands as a kid...It gives me chills just to think about it."
 
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS / TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1
LOOKING BACK NOW, WHAT STANDS OUT TO YOU ABOUT YOUR DAYTONA 500 WIN?
“A lot stands out about my Daytona 500 win. Mostly, how special it was to our entire organization. All of the people at RCR that have put so much into my career. Going to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway is an epic feeling. It’s a dream come true. Nothing compares to that feeling of racing to the start/finish line and no one is in front of you. Everyone is behind you.”
 
YOU’VE HAD SUCCESS AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY. HOW DO YOU NEGOTIATE STAYING OUT OF THE WRECKS THROUGHOUT THE RACE SO THAT YOU CAN BE IN CONTENTION AT THE END?
“It’s tough. It’s a game of putting yourself in position. I call it high-speed chess because you know at some point in time you’re going to be vulnerable. You hope that someone doesn’t take advantage of that too much and cause a big wreck. It’s one of those things where you are constantly moving and trying to guess the flow of the pack. I think the best place to be is in the front most of the time, but it’s impossible now with the way we race to keep yourself up there for the entire race. You see guys do it for long periods of time. Denny Hamlin has been pretty amazing at putting himself in the right position as of late. I’m going to do my best this time around to put ourselves in position for another shot at the Daytona 500.”
 
DO YOU FEEL THE “BIG ONE” COMING, OR DOES IT HAPPEN SO FAST THAT YOU’RE JUST IN IT?
“Sometimes you’re in it, and there is nothing you can do about it because you know time is running out and you’re in it either way. It’s an odd feeling knowing your putting yourself out there and something is about to happen. It’s an issue of timing. You’re hoping you just get through it. I’ve been fortunate to sneak through some of them, or be in front of some of them. You usually know when the intensity is rising and the pack is starting to get a little bit out of control. You try to do your best to give yourself an out or be in front of it.”
 
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
LARSON ON DAYTONA DRAFTING:
“I wasn’t at Daytona for the test (in January), so I don’t know how the new Chevrolet drafts. I’ve watched video of past races and studied how I could have done things differently since I don’t usually finish well in these types of races. I seem to always end up in the middle of the mess, so I watched to see how others stay ahead of it.”
 
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
DANIELS ON DAYTONA PREPARATION:
“Our team did not participate in the test (at Daytona in January), but we were able to follow a lot of what was going on in the test live. We had a lot of great feedback from our teams that were there and are absolutely leaning on them.”
 
DANIELS ON DAYTONA 500 QUALIFYING WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
“We’d love to qualify on the front row. Hendrick Motorsports cars have a great history of being on the front row because everyone here puts in a lot of hard work to build fast race cars. Wednesday night is important but, ultimately, we want to be in position to battle for the win on Sunday coming off turn four of the final lap.”
 
COREY LAJOIE, NO. 7 BUILT.COM CAMARO ZL1
“It’s the big one, The Daytona 500. Can’t wait to hit the track with our Built Bar Camaro. It’s been a long and grueling off season and I’m proud of the effort Spire Motorsports has been putting in to get us here. There are so many unknowns going into this race with the Next Gen car that our goal is to put together a solid week and be in position to take home the Harley J Earl trophy.”
 
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 3CHI CAMARO ZL1
WHEN YOU THINK OF THE DAYTONA 500 AND ALL OF THE UNKNOWNS, LIKE “THE BIG ONE”, HOW DO YOU APPROACH SUCH A LONG RACE WITH MANY CHALLENGES?
“When it comes to running the DAYTONA 500, it’s always a very interesting challenge. Every single lap of the entire race, you have to wager risk versus reward. Any moment on the racetrack, your race can end. You can make a decision that takes you from the lead to last. You can make a decision that wrecks your racecar. You can make a decision that leads to you being in a wreck. When it comes to this race, there are so many decisions you have to make from Lap 1 to Lap 200 that have to be absolutely perfect. One decision throughout that entire race, a race filled with thousands of decisions that are made in split-second moments, can dictate whether you win, lose or crash. Because of that, it makes it one of the most challenging races of the year. And it makes it one of the most exciting, too.”
 
THE DAYTONA 500 ALWAYS PRODUCES EXCITING RACING BUT WITH THE NEW NEXT GEN CAR, WHAT ARE YOU ANTICIPATING HEADING INTO THE GREAT AMERICAN RACE?
“Kicking off the season with the DAYTONA 500 is something special every single year. As a racecar driver, this race is one of the biggest, exciting, and highly anticipated races. With the new car, all of the teams are on a level playing field. We all had the same opportunities to test the car and work with our teams and manufacturers to prepare for the season. I’m excited to see all the hard work that RCR and Chevrolet have put into this car be on display on the track.”
 
YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT NEVER REALLY SLOWING DOWN DURING THE OFFSEASON OR STOPPING TO TAKE A BREAK. WHAT DOES THAT DO FOR YOU AND YOUR PREPARATION HEADING INTO A NEW SEASON?
“I’ve never really been one to slow down during the offseason because I want to keep improving and working during that time to get better for the next season. I spent a lot of my time working out and getting stronger all while learning more about the Next Gen car, participating in the tests and preparing for 2022. The goals are the same for me week in and week out, and that is to go out on the track, contend for wins, be up front and in the mix and leave with positive results. I feel like this is our year and couldn’t be more excited to get to Daytona for the 500.”
 
THE PARTNERSHIP WITH RCR AND 3CHI IS ONE THAT IS VERY NEW AND VERY DIFFERENT IN THE NASCAR INDUSTRY. HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO REPRESENT THEM IN THE NO. 8 CHEVROLET?
“The partnership with 3CHI is one that RCR is very proud of. A lot of hard work went into making it happen and I can’t thank NASCAR, 3CHI and my colleagues at RCR enough for all the time and effort they put into making this partnership come to life. 3CHI wanted to be a part of NASCAR throughout all of last year and we made it our goal to make it happen in 2022. I can’t wait to get that awesome paint scheme on track in a few days.”
 
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
ELLIOTT ON THE 2021 SEASON AND HOW THE TEAM CAN IMPROVE FOR 2022:
“Not consistently winning, that was the piece we were kind of missing last year. I actually felt like we ran better last year in a lot of ways than we did in 2020. We just didn’t get hot at the end of the year. I was really proud of a lot of things that we did last season and I think we have a lot to build off of. If we can combine the consistency of last year with the number of wins we had in 2020, I think we really have a shot at another championship in 2022.”
 
ELLIOTT ON THE RACING IN THE DAYTONA 500:
“The 500 is a race that everyone wants to win. The history behind this event and just how special it is, it’s unlike any other race on the schedule. Last year, we came the closest we ever have (second place), but in the past things haven’t worked out so great for us.”
 
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
GUSTAFSON ON 2022 GOALS:
“Our goal for a successful season never changes. We want to win the championship and win races. Be there in Phoenix (in November) to compete for it, so that’s really our main goal again. The steps to get there are different than they typically are. It’s going to start in a different place and end in a different place as far as what we’ll focus a lot of our energy on. But the goal is still the same, to be the best team in the series.”
 
GUSTAFSON ON TACKLING 2022 WITH A NEW CAR:
“It’s a new challenge with the car and what I’m most looking forward to is that challenge and then ultimately being successful. Taking that challenge and overcoming all the issues that are there and the challenge it creates and being able to be successful, be competitive and ultimately win. It’s always fun to get to the track. It’s been a busy offseason. I just like getting to the track and getting down to business.”
 
DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 16 HERITAGE POOL SUPPLY COMPANY CAMARO ZL1
“I’ve been fortunate to have experience at Daytona over the last handful of years in many different series, but this year, I’m going into it with my new home, Kaulig Racing. We’ve been spending time preparing as a team during the offseason and building on relationships that attribute to the culture at this team. This is our first opportunity to officially do that, and given the history of Kaulig Racing’s success, especially at superspeedways, makes it even more exciting. I look forward to the chance to being part of this Kaulig Racing family, working with my teammates on the Xfinity side, as well as the cup side, and continue building towards the vision that Matt Kaulig, Chris rice and everyone at Kaulig Racing has built prior to me being here.”
 
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1
BYRON ON WHAT RACING MAY LOOK LIKE IN THE DAYTONA 500 WITH THE NEW RACE CAR:
“I think it’s going to be similar to what we normally see there. If anything, the test at Daytona in January was more aggressive than we thought it would be. I think the new car allows you to be a bit more aggressive than in the past. I do think the Duels may be somewhat calm just because guys don’t want to tear up their race cars since there’s not many backups available. But the DAYTONA 500 will be just as crazy as it normally is. No one is going to hold anything back and everyone is going to race as hard as they can. Everyone wants to win the DAYTONA 500.”
 
BYRON ON HOW SPECIAL IT IS TO WIN AT DAYTONA:
“It’s super special to get a win there in any series. Daytona is one of those places that you have to be aggressive to win. That night in (August) 2020 was a big deal for me, trying to get my first Cup Series win but also with the window we were up against to try and make the playoffs. It was stressful, but the DAYTONA 500 is a different feeling than the summer race. It’s a longer race that’s more about setting yourself up for the end. You use the race to learn throughout, but you still want to go for the stage wins to gain points and not start the season in a hole should something happen. You want to make it to the end first and foremost, but you want to really try stay up front all day, if possible, to put yourself in a good spot.”
 
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1
FUGLE ON THE TEAM’S APPROACH TO DAYTONA:
“We are one of only a handful of teams who participated in both tests at Daytona with the Next Gen car this off season. We have some really good notes from those sessions that I think we can apply and will give us a slight advantage heading in. That allows us to work on some more specific areas and changes to really get the car dialed in to William’s liking. I think there will be slight caution from everyone this week given the limited amount of cars teams have, but I think it’s not much more than the normal level of caution you have leading into Speedweeks and superspeedway racing where anything can happen at any moment.”
 
JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1
“This is an exciting weekend for myself and Kaulig Racing. I was fortunate enough to run both my first and Kaulig Racing’s first Daytona 500 together a couple years ago. To be entering our second Daytona 500 together, but this time to kick off our first, full Cup Series season together, is truly special. Kaulig Racing has been a huge part of my growth as a driver, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do together this year starting at the biggest race in motorsports.”
 
RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER / IRISH SPRING CAMARO ZL1
“For me, it’s like a new start to everything and we have a good opportunity as a team to get started on the right foot. Our No. 47 Kroger/Irish Spring Camaro drove good while we were down here for the test, and we did some drafting sessions that were beneficial. I think that will pay off come Sunday for the 500. We know temps will be warmer for the race and there are also a lot of unknowns for all of us. It will be interesting to see how much we are going to practicing pushing and then how the Duels will go. We’re really prepared, and my team worked hard making sure we have everything we need to be successful.” 
 
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
BOWMAN ON RACING IN THE DAYTONA 500:
“I am excited to get to Daytona and kick off the season. Greg (Ives) and the guys back at the shop have been working super hard to get the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet ready for this week. Hopefully, we continue our streak of front row starts at the 500 and get the momentum rolling early. We just have to try and stay out of the mess and start the year with a win.”
 
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
IVES ON RACING IN THE DAYTONA 500:
“Heading to Daytona is always a fun and exciting time. Not only are you getting the season started, but everyone here at Hendrick Motorsports always produces fast speedway Chevrolets, so I am looking forward to getting down there. We have started on the front row for four consecutive years because of what everyone does here at Hendrick Motorsports. Our main goal this year is to go down there and have a car capable of having speed and being there at the end. Whether that is pole-winning speed, I’m not sure, but our goal is to have a car that handles well and be there at the end when it counts at the 500. Having the Harley J. Earl trophy in your collection is something that is really cool, so hopefully we can add it to our shelves this year.”
 
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1
WHERE IS TRACKHOUSE RACING IN ITS GROWTH?  
“It is a process. I think today, thanks to a lot of people, we are in a pretty good spot. Last year, we started the season with a close partnership with RCR and without them we wouldn’t be here. It was a huge help to be able to start strong. Without that support, it is almost impossible to be competitive. There is so much information, so much data out there that require years and people and manufacturers to be able get. It’s a process. Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks, Ty Norris, this great group of people, Pitbull they have done a great job you know.
 
"We had to start the right way, like I said with help from Chevrolet and RCR. Now we are kind of like doing our own thing, but we are still under the umbrella of Chevrolet. It’s been great and I feel like when it comes to sponsors we have to do a good job, not just in the racetrack but also outside the racetrack. I feel like so far we have done a pretty decent job, but really we could push it and there is always room for improvement."
 
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU TO WIN THE DAYTONA 500?
"That's why I race. Every driver in this sport wants to win a Daytona 500 and a championship. I have won the Xfinity title, and now is a good time to add more trophies to the trophy case."
 
WHAT WILL YOU DO IF YOU WIN THE DAYTONA 500?
“We will spend the week at Tootsie's in Nashville and hope we make it to Fontana for the next race!"
 
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