TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 KUBOTA CAMARO ZL1
What a battle for Ross Chastain. Had a shot at the win and then it was a battle for second place. How would you describe the afternoon?
“Not the way you would have scripted it. I feel like we had a top three or four car all day, all weekend. We were a little too tight in qualifying, and come behind that with a driver that chose the complete wrong lane in (turns) 3 and 4; against everything I've ever trained for and prepared for.
We needed to get the car turning better from qualifying into the race. We were too tight. Phil Surgen (crew chief) and his whole Kubota team got it turning better, and pit stops were incredible again.
Our guys were rock stars on pit road, and I'm so glad to go to battle with them.
At the end of the day, I know we didn't score a ton of stage points. We put ourselves in position at the end and just keep executing.
I almost spun off Turn 2 in front of Daniel, and I had my arms all crossed up and I just took a deep breath down the back, and thought, what can I control here? I can control not spinning out, so let's go a little slower next time, and had a shot at it.”
Speaking of control, you can't control what happens at Martinsville. I'm wondering how much comfort +19 is to the cut line going into that cutoff race?
“I don't know. What's it supposed to feel like? I've never been here, and for AdventHealth, Worldwide Express, Jockey, Moose Fraternity and Kubota, we've never been here. For Trackhouse, we're learning all this together; we're experiencing this together.
We've got a lot of knowledge in our shop and I'll lean on a lot of teammates, both in the GM camp and inside our shop of how to approach it. But I'm a racer. We're just going to race. Go practice as well as we can; we'll go qualify as best we can. And I'm late all the time, so a grandfather clock might do me a little good for the rest of my life.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 HUK CAMARO ZL1
Is there anything more you could have done to this race car?
“I don’t know. We didn’t spend a lot of time right there in that clean air. If we got up there a little earlier, we might have been able to adjust the car and make some changes that probably could have taken us to be able to pass the next couple of cars. There were only three in front of us and at one point in that little run, I thought we were going to run them down. We gained a couple tenths on them.
Our car was pretty tight all day, but we were able to free it up and get better and better. By the end of it, we had a pretty good No. 3 Huk Chevrolet.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1
You led all but 68 laps and for the Miami fans, you finally get a win at one of your best racetracks here at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kyle, I know this was one you wanted bad. This is sort of reminiscent of last year when you guys were so dominant; maybe the best run you've had all year long.
“Yeah, definitely the best run we've had all year long. We've been capable of it I feel like many weekends, we just haven't quite put it all together. Cliff (Daniels, crew chief) gave a great speech this morning and got us all ready to go and focused, and I did my best to keep it out of the wall. I got in the wall a few times, but I could still make speed doing that.
Amazing No. 5 Valvoline Chevy. I knew that that last run was going to be short enough where I was going to be in some sort of trouble there, but thankfully AJ (Allmendinger) and Ross (Chastain) were racing hard behind me.
Huge thanks to Valvoline, Hendrickcars.com, everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, too. I think it was a good day for Chase (Elliott) and William (Byron). But yeah, happy for our team, and we get to go race for an owner's title in Phoenix in a couple weeks.
We're still technically not out of it. I can't win the championship, but it means more to me to win it as a team. We're going to go to Phoenix and try to get another championship.”
I have to ask you about the contact on pit road with Martin Truex Jr. What was your view of what happened?
“Yeah, so I was just going behind him. He had a hard left and was hard on the brakes at the same time, and I ran right in the back of him.
My team said he was late turning into his stall, but I don't know. If it was my fault, I'm sorry. I don't think it was.
But it's hard to see down this pit road. I don't know if fans and people realize; when you've got debris all over your windshield, the sun is shining straight in your face, it's hard to see your stall. So hate that that happened. He was definitely the one I was going to have to beat. He was really good that last long run, too.
What a fun day. I've always wanted to race here during the day at Homestead where we could rip the wall. Finally have a car tough enough for me to be able to run the wall and finish the race. A lot of fun today. Hope you fans enjoyed it, and hope we can do it again in a couple of weeks.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
“We were playing defense all day, but we were doing a pretty good job of it and staying inside the top-five there, so that was great. But that’s what happens when you’re playing defense and you have something like that happen to you.. you just get stuck. The other guys that got buried; they drove right back to the front. That’s just the difference.”
You’re around 11 points above the cutline. You were on the pole at Martinsville and won both stages. Do you feel good about being able to repeat that again or get in on points?
“Yeah, I think if we execute next weekend, we’ll be fine.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ED MORSE AUTOMOTIVE CAMARO ZL1
AJ Allmendinger, finishing third yesterday in the Xfinity race, and another podium day today. You were so good here today. Did it feel that good in the car?
“The short runs it really did. The Ed Morris Automotive Group Chevy was really hooked up on the short runs. We still kind of have to work on our long run package just in general. That's something that's kind of been weak for us at Kaulig Racing. But when we got that caution with 18 to go; I was like, all right, we've got a shot at this. We lost a couple spots on pit road but restarted eighth, and Ross (Chastain) and I had a fun battle.
I think I needed an 11-lap run to catch Kyle (Larson), but overall just proud of everybody at Kaulig Racing to get the No. 16 Ed Morse Automotive Group Chevy in the top-5 and just have another solid day.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
You ended the race above the cutline. Talk about the end of the race, trying to gain spots after the last restart.
“We just had one bad run. We restarted second and kind of maintained in second for maybe a couple of laps, and then the car fell off and disappeared. That one run was just really weird, so we lost a lot of track position. And then we had the deal on pit road, but everybody kept focused and tried to get as many spots as we could.
12th is how we netted out after all of that, but I’m proud of the effort of the No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 team. We have some things to work on for short runs to just get the balance right. Later in these races, it seems like that’s what it kind of comes down to more and we just struggled a little bit. Just have to work on that; but overall, really happy with the rebound and we’re in a decent spot, for sure.”
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 THE MORGAN LAW GROUP CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
“Today just wasn’t our day. I thought we found some things at the test that would help us, but we struggled all race with the handling. We’ve got some work to do for sure before we come back here next year. You’ll have weeks like this, especially as we continue to learn this car. Glad to have this one behind us and move on to next week at Martinsville with our Air Force Chevy.”
TY DILLON, NO. 42 SUNSEEKERRESORTS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
“We didn’t really have the speed we needed all day with our Sunseeker Resorts Camaro. In the first 15 or 20 laps, we just got so far behind and wasn’t really able to recover. It was definitely a struggle all day, and we lost some positions with the spin on the last lap too. Hopefully we will get better for the last two races.”