Ross Chastain, No. 1 Kubota Camaro ZL1
“We were outside the top-10 and needed to work our way back up into the top-five there. We needed to catch a lucky caution to be back into the mix. Just ran out of room — I don’t think it was anyone’s fault, just four-wide coming off turn two.”
Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1
Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident entering pit road in the final stage.
We know this series is all about inches – taking every inch you can get. I know you were trying to get aggressive to come onto pit road there. Take us through what happened.
“Yeah, that’s just it. I was just trying to push it as much as I could. He (Ryan Blaney) had a great car and I felt like if he was to come off pit road the leader, he was going to end up winning the race or beating me. I was just trying to maximize my pit-in, and honestly I felt like I was doing a really good job. I just didn’t anticipate him slowing down as much as he did. But on the replay, it looks like I just missed it by a lot. I need to look at data. I knew where the yellow line was and thought I was going to be under control getting there, and then yeah, he just slowed down – I locked the brakes up, slid to the right and clipped him and the barrels.
I’m pretty upset at myself, more than anything. Whether he got to pit road speed sooner than the yellow line or not, I could have just done a little bit better job judging it. I hope they are able to recover. I hope he can get a good finish or get a win and get the finish that he deserves.
Just a bummer, but we had a great No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevy today.”
We talked before the race about the fact that you’re already locked-in. You wanted to get this win here today. How frustrating was it? It seemed like you had a great car early on, but as the run went, I could tell the frustration. How much did your car drop off?
“There in the middle portion of the second stage, I was racing hard and got my tires hot. If not for that, we would have been able to keep stretching the lead out in the second stage. I just got loose for a few laps, and then I could never recover from it. I was just kind of hanging on there at the end of the second stage and gave him control of the race, and it kind of just led to this. Just have to do a little bit better job.”
Was there a point there where you were like – guys, I have to hit the barrels or else I’m going to run into him?
“Yeah, I mean honestly, I don’t really know what I was thinking during the initial part. I was trying to stay off him. As I knew I was going to probably hit him, I just locked the brakes up; I locked the fronts up and slid to the right and clipped the right-side of his rear bumper, and that kind of shot me even more right into the barrels.
Yeah, I don’t know – was in control in my car, I just didn’t anticipate him getting to pit road speed as early as he did.”
Do you feel like you had a winning car up to that point?
“Yeah – we won the first stage and we had a great No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevy in the second stage. Just ran hard for a few too many laps; got my right-rear hot and gave him the second stage. But other than that, we were good.”
AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Campers Inn RV Camaro ZL1
“Our No. 16 Campers Inn RV Chevy was really good. We started the race in the 25th position and drove right up into the top-10 there. The track was tricky – you got on one side of the race track and we fought tight through the middle-half of the race. Our crew chief made some really good adjustments there, and we got some more clean air and I was able to make some moves. I thought maybe we were one of the fastest cars there at the end, but overall, just a really solid day. It’s always great when you can get a top-five finish.”
How close to the front do you think you go.. do you think you could have had just a little bit more?
“Well don’t get me wrong, it entered my head what the four people in front of me were racing for, so I was never going to force the issue. I was going to take it if I had an opportunity. It was just a great day. We executed the best job on pit road all year. The guys did a great job, so I’m happy.”
How good were you at riding up high against the fence?
“I didn’t have to ride up against the fence. With this car around this place, you can find different lanes that work. It was a lot of fun.”
William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1
That last run there – you got up towards the front; kind of slipped back a little bit, but still finished up in the top-five. Take us through that last run.
“We just didn’t have the turn in our car to go into a run, so we just struggled there to fire-off. I was doing all I could to air-block; move my line around and try to take his air, but it just wasn’t enough. I couldn’t get through the middle well enough to maintain pace.
But our No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet was really solid all day. We just needed more there at the end, but we had good execution, good pit stops and put ourselves in position to win.”
Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Camaro ZL1
“Just an OK, up-and-down, day for the No. 43 Allegiant Chevy team. We had some good runs and some bad runs, but overall, ended up with a decent day. We needed that. We’ve had some bad finishes; some weren’t necessarily all our fault; we were just in a bad spot. It’s nice to come home with an OK day, and hopefully go to Martinsville (Speedway) and get it a little bit better.”