ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 ADVENT HEALTH CAMARO ZL1
What is the key to have a long, successful run in the playoffs?
"I don't really know what it takes to have a long, successful run in the playoffs because I've never been in this position before. I'm just taking it week by week, just like I would do in the regular season."
How does it feel to be in the playoffs for your first time?
"As a fan, I remember watching some of these guys growing up. Now, to be in the playoffs with them is really cool."
Can you describe Kansas and what you think of it?
"Kansas is in a group of tracks that you run pretty high on, up near the wall, and early in my career, that was not normal or comfortable for me. I've put a lot of effort in, just like a lot of guys have. I truly enjoy running at the top there now and up against the wall. I didn't grow up racing at tracks on the high groove. I grew up racing around the bottom groove. I go to Kansas now and confidently run the wall. I'm super happy I get to run the Xfinity car at Kansas. It was on my priority list to run the Xfinity race to get more track time and more reps."
If you were to win the pole at Kansas, would you put an engine in the pedal car that they give away to pole winner?
"I think the chances of me doing that could be pretty high. Growing up, a lot of things that I had would have a motor in it."
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 GET BIOETHANOL CAMARO ZL1
How is Kansas unique compared to some of the other 1.5-mile tracks?
“Kansas Speedway has done a really good job with their banking. There’s a line right up by the fence that has a little extra grip. There’s an angle up there that I don’t think many tracks have figured out yet, but Kansas got it right. You can run from top to bottom there. The bottom groove is the preferred groove at the beginning, but it becomes too tight to try and run around there in turns one and two sometimes depending on what the balance of your race car is. I’ve enjoyed that track a lot ever since they repaved it. I wish every track could do as good as a job as Kansas has with repaves.”
Can this team win the trophy from where it starts in the NASCAR Playoffs?
“Why not? I’m confident at the tracks in the playoffs. RCR has shown speed at every type of track with Tyler Reddick winning the road courses, and the No. 3 team winning the speedway. At Martinsville Speedway, I finished third but was probably the second-best car there, and we probably should have won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I was really close there. I’m happy to be in this spot and I think we’re the underdog. Some people are already putting us out, which is just fine with me because it takes pressure off and we’ll go have fun and try to upset some of these guys. We’re taking it as survive and advance mode from here on out.”
Is there any problem flipping the switch for the NASCAR Playoffs?
“If anything, I’ve learned with 15 winners that you need to stay aggressive. I talked to the guys about it the other day. Some of the strategy calls we made over the last couple of weeks we probably wouldn’t have done it if we were racing for points. We maximize more points by being aggressive on strategy and putting ourselves in better position. So, I don’t think a whole lot is going to change. We’ll monitor where everybody is running during the race and go from there. I believe we should stay on the same strategy path that we’ve been on.”
How does your previous NASCAR Playoffs experience help you?
“Just knowing how every position matters. Looking back at a couple of times when you’re outside looking in and it came down to a point or two points, knowing that you have to get it at all cost.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
Larson on why Kansas Speedway fits his driving style:
"I think Kansas (Speedway) fits my driving style because it’s an intermediate track with multiple grooves so you can move around to find grip. Usually the fastest lane is right up next to the wall – and at times that is where I am most comfortable."
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
Daniels on if the win last year and runner-up result this year provides confidence at Kansas:
"I don’t have a good feel at all. The reasons that I say that is at the end of the race (in May) – yes, we ran second and we were up front – we didn’t run as well as we needed to and we’re on a different tire (compound) this weekend. No one has been on this tire for a Cup weekend. We have things from May that we need to work on and now we’re going to add a new tire, so that’s a very tough equation to understand exactly what we’re going to need."
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
Elliott on racing at Kansas:
"Kansas (Speedway) is a place that typically has some groove options. It seems like the cooler it is, the more groove options we have. When it’s hotter, the outside lane tends to become more dominant. To me, that place feels like a shorter mile-and-a-half for some reason - it just feels a little tighter than some of the other ones. Momentum is going to be tough to beat and the track is aging too. They have some pretty hot summers and some pretty harsh winters, so that place is getting some age to it now. Typically as those tracks age, momentum starts to be king over time and that outside lane tends to give you that. I think as time goes the top will continue to be more and more dominant unless you just have that perfect weather situation where it’s cool and the short way around has enough grip to not break momentum. It’s going to be a fight for track position and how well you can get around the top."
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
Gustafson on the team’s mindset heading into the final two races of the Round of 16:
"One of the great things about our team is when we have a bad race, we learn from it and move on. We don’t dwell on it. Chase is so good at being able to do that, putting the previous race in the rearview and focusing on the week ahead. That’s what you have to do - take things week by week. I think that’s key to being able to survive in these playoffs."
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
Byron on what he expects during Sunday's race at Kansas:
"Honestly, Kansas (Speedway) might be the one track in the playoffs that I’m the most worried about. I feel like we know what to expect at a place like Talladega (Superspeedway) or the (Charlotte Motor Speedway) ROVAL and other tracks we have already raced at this year so we have notes. We raced at Kansas in May and had speed, led laps early and then had a flat tire that damaged the underneath of the car. We kept going but the car never handled the same. That means we don’t have our own notes on how we expect the Next Gen car to handle throughout the run, etc. The good thing is we can lean on our teammates some and use our past mile-and-a-half notes as well. The good news is I like racing at Kansas, and it’s a place that both Rudy (Fugle) and I seem to have taken to really well. Hopefully, we can do what we did at Darlington (Raceway) last week, put together a solid points day and be there at the end to possibly lock ourselves into the next round."
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
Fugle on wanting to improve their mile-and-a-half track package:
"We’re excited for the chance to continue to get better at mile-and-a -half tracks early on in the playoffs. We have Texas (Motor Speedway), Las Vegas (Motor Speedway) and Homestead (Miami Speedway) coming up even though Homestead is kind of its own animal. Having a solid race, stay in it all day long and try to get another building block to be competing for a win this weekend. And if we’re not, then to get to a point that we’re competing for the win at Texas. William (Byron) is great at Kansas (Speedway). We ran well there at the first race, led laps and had a flat left-rear tire land damaged the car. We should have won that race last year but we had a loose wheel late in the race. We came back to finish six after leading a bunch of laps. I love Kansas and I’m excited to get back there."
Fugle on why he thinks Byron is good at tracks like Kansas:
“Any time you have a lot of throttle time, William is really good at those tracks. Places like Texas (Motor Speedway), Michigan (International Speedway), Kansas (Speedway), places like that. He’s really good at keeping momentum up, using the throttle and running high speed. I think he’s a very underrated guy who runs against the wall. People don’t really think about him with that, but I think he does an amazing job at it. That’s what we’ll be doing for a lot of the run in Kansas. He’s also good at just driving underneath the tire. Kansas is a track that still has a lot of grip, but in the right condition if you overheat the tires, you go from a lot of grip to not a lot of grip really quick. That’s why you see the races spread out there in my opinion."
TY DILLON, NO. 42 SUNSEEKERRESORTS.COM CAMARO ZL1
Heading to Kansas Speedway this weekend, what is it about this track that excites you as a driver?
“I’m excited to be returning to Kansas this week, this track is a fun place with a lot of different grooves, which allows the drivers to have a lot of options getting going on restarts and on long runs. We’re looking to have a strong finish there with our No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Chevrolet.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
Bowman on heading to Kansas:
"I really like that track. Kansas (Speedway) is one of the tracks that has widened out and has multiple lanes and ways to get around it. I feel like I have always gone there and been competitive and this weekend doesn’t feel any different from any other weekend I have headed there. I know our team will build a fast No 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 like they do every week and we will go there and race just as hard as we always do. Hopefully, it is enough to grab a win."
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
Ives on where they stand in the playoffs after Darlington Raceway:
"I think we made a lot of progress with our 10th-place result at Darlington Raceway last Sunday. Moving from 15th to 10th is a nice jump, but the points are still so close, so we need to go to Kansas Speedway this Sunday and have another solid day. Alex (Bowman) really likes Kansas and coming off a top-10 finish, I think our team has a lot of wind in our sails right now. He (Bowman) has said it before, we always feel like underdogs, so there is a little bit of a fire lit under the No. 48 team right now and I think that’s exactly what this team needs as we navigate the playoffs."
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 COMMSCOPE CAMARO ZL1
What are your thoughts going into Kansas?
"We are ready. We had a really fast car at Darlington Sunday. I made a mistake (speeding on pit road) and you can't have that. We have some things to clean up, but if we are as fast at every playoff race as we were in Darlington then we are going to be fine."
How does it feel to be part of the playoffs?
“It feels nice, but honestly it feels normal. I believe that I belong here. When you have a team like the one I have, I feel like it’s more like a must to be in this position.
I think we’re in a great position. I have an amazing team behind me. Trackhouse Racing has done a tremendous job this year. We have to continue to evolve. It’s the most important part of the season, of course. We have to continue to do the same thing that we’ve been doing and continue to get better.”
Can anyone win the championship in 2022?
“Yeah, I think so. If it was last year, I would tell you ‘this guy is going to win it or this guy is going to win it’ because the gaps were so big. With this car, if you’re telling me who is going to win any race and you get it right, I’ll give you a thousand dollars (laughs). I don’t think you’re going to get it right. There is not one guy.. anyone can be good. I love that about this car. It’s unpredictable. Everyone has an opportunity."
GRANT ENFINGER, NO. 23 ALLEGIANT SILVERADO RST
“It will be nice to be able to return to Kansas for a second time this season with our No. 23 team. I feel like we learned some stuff that helped us gain speed towards the end of the race in the spring, and also as a whole, we have really improved on our intermediate program, so I feel like we are bringing a better truck this time around. I want to say thank you to Allegiant for coming onboard this week, and I'm hoping that we give everyone a good run to be proud of on Friday night."
JACK WOOD, NO. 24 SEVWINS SILVERADO RST
"Kansas is the only track on our schedule that we're going to visit twice this year, so I think there's definitely some expectations set by both of us driver, crew members, and everyone in the organization to head back to the track stronger than how we unloaded earlier in the year. I definitely have high hopes for this race, and we have implemented some different parts on our setup that we are excited to try out, so hopefully we will have a better showing this time around. I'm looking forward to having Sevwins back on my Chevy, it's always great to bring some cool partners like them back to the racetrack. More importantly, I'm looking forward to getting back in our truck. I've been very blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of this team, and we have five more races this year to make the most of it. All of our guys on the No. 24 team have our heads down and will continue to be fighting hard in these races!"