TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL TOP-20 STARTING LINEUP:
1st WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
3rd CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
5th KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1
7th TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 3CHI CAMARO ZL1
10th AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ED MORSE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP CAMARO ZL1
15th JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1
20th ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 KUBOTA CAMARO ZL1
TOP-FIVE UNOFFICIAL STARTING LINEUP:
1st William Byron (Chevrolet)
2nd Christopher Bell (Toyota)
3rd Chase Elliott (Chevrolet)
4th John Hunter Nemechek (Toyota)
5th Kyle Larson (Chevrolet)
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 – Pole Winner Press Conference Transcript
HOW DO YOU GO FROM BOTTOMING OUT EVERY LAP ONE WEEK, TO BEING ON THE POLE THE NEXT?
“No doubt. I’m glad we’re not hitting the ground this week, for sure. Last week was tough. Didn’t feel like we ever got it figured out throughout the weekend. We tried a lot of different things.
This week has been good. I felt like in practice, I was pretty happy with the car. I felt like I could move around. I got into some traffic and felt like I could do some things there and pass somewhat. It’s going to be a tough race, but our team loves this track. It’s a place that’s of high importance obviously with the Round of 8, so we’ll try to bring our best here.”
WITH THE PENALTIES FOR COLE (CUSTER) AFTER CHARLOTTE, TO BUBBA (WALLACE) LAST WEEK; HAS NASCAR SENT A MESSAGE AT ALL TO DRIVERS AND HAVE THOSE PENALTIES CHANGED WHAT YOUR OWN PERSONAL LINE OF WHAT YOU WOULD DO?
“Yeah, I think everyone kind of has their own idea of how they race and react to things. I try to keep my emotions in check and just try to stay focused on the task. Tomorrow the task is to run 40 or so laps on tires and that’s going to be difficult. You’re going to be up against the fence and with a chance to hit it and things like that. So, I’m just focused on that and try to block out all of the other stuff. Certainly, I think we know where NASCAR stands and know what they’re willing to do. Just try to race the way that I want to race and try not to get too emotional.”
HOW BIG OF A DEAL IS IT TO START FROM THE POLE POSITION HERE AT HOMESTEAD?
“I don’t think it means a lot, honestly. Anywhere in that top-10 would be a good place to start. I think we could start first and not get stage points if we’re not careful; if we don’t have the balance right and I don’t do the right thing as a driver. So it’s not like a guaranteed point gain or anything like that. I would say the pit stall is good; I’m happy with that part of it. And just the momentum for the team. We’ve tried to get poles this year. We’ve come close; third, second, kind of all around that area. But it’s nice to kind of just knock that off the list. That’s one of the things you want to do going into a season, is to win a pole. It shows where our team is and hopefully that’s a good sign.”
AS A RECIPIENT OF ONE OF NASCAR’S RETALIATION PENALTIES, WE’VE WENT BACK AND LOOKED AT A LOT OF PENALTIES SIMILAR TO THAT IN THE PAST AND IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE ANYBODY HAS TECHNICALLY BEEN SUSPENDED. THE SUSPENSION, DO YOU THINK THAT’S A LINE IN THE SAND? DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR LINE IS NOW?
“Yeah, every situation is different I think. That’s the biggest thing. But yeah, like I said, we know where they stand. We know what penalties are what and we’ll go forward.”
FOR YOU, GETTING OUT OF HERE THIS WEEK AND GOING INTO MARTINSVILLE NEXT WEEKEND, WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT RACE WILL BE LIKE.. CALM? CHAOTIC?
“Chaotic, I think, because you can’t really pass. We had a good car there in the spring and there were probably better cars than me on the long run that couldn’t pass me. So yeah, I think it’s going to be chaotic because you can’t pass. Anywhere that you have a hard time passing, it’s going to create chaotic restarts and people are going to do things that they know they have to do because you can’t get the track position later in the run.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE THINGS ARE IN THE POINTS FOR YOU? ARE YOU COMFORTABLE BECAUSE YOU’RE STILL WITHIN REASONABLE REACH OF GETTING IN THERE? ARE YOU WORRIED OR CALM?
“I’m just trying to be the same. I think it’s good to be where we are and the position we’re in. I just try not to stress out. Just try to approach it the same. I’m going to drive it as hard as I can regardless of the situation. I’m just going to rely on my team to make me situationally aware of who I’m racing and for what position. The easiest way to do it is to win and that’s what we try to do all of the time, but definitely this time of year, it’s really critical.”
SAY YOU MAKE THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4.. IS THIS LIVING YOUR DREAM? WHAT PRESSURE IS IT FOR YOU TO GO OUT THERE AND TRY TO BRING HOME A CHAMPIONSHIP BECAUSE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS HAS HAD THE PAST TWO?
“I don’t think it’s any pressure. I think that the pressure would be if I was running 20th and my teammate was winning or something. I think just trying to compete within our team and try to be the best that I can be is my ultimate goal. If it happens, it happens. If not, it doesn’t. But if we’re in the mix and we’re where we are, that’s all you can really ask for. You just try to execute the best that you can in those situations. It really just goes back to the studying that you do and the preparation, and hopefully all of those things equate to success. You never know, but you just try to put yourself in those positions is the first goal. I don’t think there’s any pressure once you’re in those positions.”