MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
BOJANGLES SOUTHERN 500
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 1, 2018
KYLE LARSON GIVES CAMARO ZL1 FRONT ROW START AT DARLINGTON
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (Sept. 1, 2018) – Kyle Larson was second quick in knockout qualifying at Darlington Raceway today for Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race, Round 25 on the 2018 tour. Larson posted a lap speed of 173.411mph in his No. 42 DC Solar Camaro ZL1 to earn the outside front row starting position on the 1.366-mile track nicknamed ‘The Lady in Black’.
Four other Team Chevy drivers qualified in the Top 12 with fast speeds: Alex Bowman, No. 88 LLumar Camaro ZL1 was 4TH, Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 will start 6th, William Byron, No. 24 AXALTA Throwback Camaro rolls off 10th, and Chase Elliott starts 11th in his No. 9 NAPA Throwback Camaro XL1.
Denny Hamlin (Toyota) earned the pole, Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) was third and Kyle Busch (Toyota) rounded out the top five qualifiers.
The Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is scheduled to begin on Sunday evening September 2 at 6:00 p.m. Live coverage can be found on NBC, MRN, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 DC SOLAR CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 2nd
YOU JUST BARELY MISSED OUT ON THE POLE. DO YOU THINK YOU HAD SOMETHING FOR THEM IF YOU HAD ONE MORE LAP? HOW QUICKLY DO YOU THINK YOU WILL MOVE UP TO THE VERY HIGH SIDE COME TOMORROW?
“No, I mean, one more lap I would have been a lot slower given how the tires fall off everywhere. Yeah, I just got a little bit too loose there in the center of (Turns) 1 and 2 and the exit of (Turns) 3 and 4 I felt like which cost me a little bit of time. Didn’t need much to get the pole. Felt like we had a better car probably than Denny (Hamlin) did throughout qualifying there. I just got a little bit too loose and messed up a little bit there in (Turns) 1 and 2 and gave up that time. Disappointed that we didn’t get the pole, but it’s good to qualify good here. It’s a tough race tomorrow. If we can keep our track position and keep it out of the wall we should have a good shot.”
WITH HOW THE TIRE WEAR AND HOW QUICKLY THE TRACK CHANGES OVER THE COURSE OF A RUN HOW IMPORTANT IS TRACK POSITION?
“Yeah, I mean track position is important everywhere. But when you get to places that wear out like Darlington might or some other tracks track position is not as quite as important, but it’s going to be interesting tomorrow. We have a new left-side tire apparently and it sounds like it wears out quicker and the fall off it greater. I didn’t really feel that in practice yesterday, but I also didn’t run very long either. So, I think maybe after we get 15 laps into a run or so it’s really going to shift and get hard to drive. It will be a tough race like I said. It’s easy to make mistakes here and if we can just be mistake free I think we can have a good shot at it.”
DOES RUNNING UP AGAINST THE WALL DOES THIS TRACK SUIT YOUR DRIVING STYLE?
“I mean, yeah, I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable up there like I would be at like Homestead or something. I was talking to (Ross) Chastain earlier and I was saying running the wall here is a little bit harder because your mile per hour is less. I think in like the center of the corner than say it would be at Homestead, so you don’t really get to feel the air compress between your car and the wall like you do at Homestead. You don’t really feel that fine line like you can at Homestead. There to me it feels like running a cushion. Here you don’t really know how close you are to the wall until you get into it. So, I think that is why you see a lot of people get into the wall here because it’s harder to run than anywhere else.”
YOU SAID YOU TALKED TO ROSS CHASTAIN. HOW IS THAT DYNAMIC WORKING AND WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HIS RUN OUT THERE EARLIER TODAY?
“Ross, I think we have all known that he has a lot of talent. And he has overachieved in the equipment that he has been in whether it’s Trucks, Xfinity, or Cup. So, it’s good for him to get a few races in Chip Ganassi’s equipment to showcase what he can do. He has already proven that he can do it and go fast. Looking forward to seeing how he runs later today. Like I said, this is a tough place so if you can run up front and compete with a guy like Denny Hamlin later on in this Xfinity race, I think you’ve proven to everybody that you deserve a good ride week-in and week-out.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH THE TIRES FALL OFF?
“Well I mean you would be a lot slower at Richmond or Phoenix as well. Just qualifying trim the way you set your pressures and tape and all that you are pretty much just setting up for the one lap. So, that is why nobody runs more than one lap in qualifying really anywhere, Michigan, Pocono, anywhere. The qualifying part of that doesn’t matter about the surface, but in the race, the fall off is pretty extreme. Not like in Atlanta or something, but it’s definitely up there and off of Turn 2 is getting rough. The balance gests trickier to maintain throughout a run, but that makes it a lot of fun for us.”
HOW DO YOU PREPARE PHYSICALLY FOR TOMORROW? ARE YOU GLAD YOU ARE NOT RUNNING THE XFINITY RACE AND THE CUP RACE?
“I think just trying to get hydrated throughout the week really. It’s been a hard week for me to even stay hydrated with the Richmond test we had earlier this week, two days was hotter than it is here and you are in the car all day long. You are never really in any A/C. You get dehydrated there and then spent a couple of days in Orlando at Disney World, but I feel like I’ve done a decent job of rehydrating and the weather has been pretty nice so far this weekend, a lot cooler than normal. It’s still really hot, but I’m going to go home after all this and just relax and pack my bags for the West Coast trip that I’m making this week.
“So, yeah, this is will be the second year that I haven’t run the Xfinity race and I have enjoyed not running it because of the fact that it is so hot here normally. It’s easy to get yourself run down in this race. Obviously, you learn a lot, so in that aspect it would be nice to run double-duty, but just trying to take care of myself tonight and not running it is why I don’t do it. I think my team would like for me to run this race, but they are not the one sitting in the car.”
YOU HAVE 13 SETS OF TIRES FOR THIS RACE HAS YOUR CREW CHIEF BEEN ON YOU ABOUT A POSSIBLY STRATEGY TO RUN ONE SET A LITTLE LONG AT THE BEGINNING TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH AT THE END?
“I mean it all just depends on how the race is going and how cautions fly and things like that. You don’t really know how you are going to play your race until it happens. I’m sure we will go over that stuff tomorrow. There is always a point or two throughout the race where you have to leave a set of tires on. If you go green for three or four laps if you come down pit road you are going to have a much bigger advantage with tires, but then you are risking being down a set towards the end of the race. Everybody will run into that issue throughout the race tomorrow and have to save a set of tires at some point unless you get a lot of green flag runs throughout the race.”
I’VE HEARD SOME DRIVERS SAY RUNNING THE XFINITY CAR IS HOTTER THAN THE CUP CAR CAN YOU ATTEST TO THAT?
“Yeah, no doubt. I don’t know what it is about the Xfinity cars that are hotter, but I feel like maybe because they get all the hand-me-down A/C units and all that stuff. Yeah, I mean, I always felt like the Xfinity race… any weekend is a hotter race than the Cup race. Part of that I think is you spend, for a Cup guy doing double-duty, you spend all day in the car and then go race. Then come Sunday you are just in the car for the race. Hours in the car is probably less on a Sunday rather than a Saturday with practices and qualifying’s and then the race in Xfinity. It’s easy to get worn out on Saturdays. I also think those cars are a lot hotter somehow.”
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