CHEVROLET NCS IN KANSAS: Ross Chastain Teleconference Transcript

NASCAR CUP SERIES
KANSAS SPEEDWAY
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. COPY
8 SEPTEMBER 2022

ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 ADVENTHEALTH CAMARO ZL1, met with the media by teleconference before the NASCAR Cup Series weekend race at Kansas Speedway. Press Conference Transcript:

PROVE US THROUGH YOUR THOUGHTS THROUGH WEEKENDS IN KANSAS SPEEDWAY AND REPLY SECOND RULES OF 16 Playoffs.

“Yeah, Darlington (Raceway) was good for our team… it wasn’t a great finish, but we had pace. So as long as that keeps happening, we’ll be fine.”

YOU GET TOP-10 IN KANSAS IN SUMMER. WHAT WILL IT TAKE THIS TIME TO JUST GET A SOME PLACE THERE AND FIND YOURSELF ON THE ROAD OF VICTORY?

“The sport is growing this year; actually I’d say across the board more than I’ve ever seen, for sure. Race cars are just developing. We get it basically on a pallet during low season. We start assembling it; we started testing them and we started racing them in February. We’ve been on the continuous learning curve this sport has always been on, but it’s steeper. We’ve just started with a car we’ve never raced before; we’ve never broken before and we’ve never pushed them to the limit before. So the team is constantly evolving and discovering what geometries and settings work better and continuing to push boundaries.

I thought Kansas (Speedway) would feel similar; the track is only a few months old and will be warmer, but won’t be too different from spring. I think like back then, when we were competing in the top five, I thought we would have the same pace again.”

TALK ONLY RACING, IN GENERAL, IN KANSAS SPEEDWAY WITH THIS CAR. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO WELL?

“With progressive banking, we continue to move up. I don’t know exactly what the weather will be like on Sunday. There may be some things we don’t want to talk about and cooler air. But what is certain is that Saturday’s practice only uses the top lane. We’ve been looking at that for a few years now. These cars love momentum. They like more races to live, so they want the widest possible corners. If the guy in front of you has the same pace and he runs your line at the top, that’s not great. But the great thing about Kansas (Speedway) is that you can make the bottom work if you’re better at it. And if not, I guess I’ll be patient and I’ll just have to wait for the next opportunity. You’re not stuck in line, but you don’t want to give the guy behind you some momentum and clean air. So it’s a mix of attack and defense.”

WINNING IS CLEARLY IMPORTANT IN THE PLAYOFF.. YOU ARE GUARANTEED A CHANCE TO THE NEXT ROUND. TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF POINTS, ESPECIALLY WHERE WE ARE NOW IN THIS ROUND WHEN WE HAVE TWO RACES.

“Winning solves everything. Running well will earn you the most points.

So yeah, finally there are 16 cars – including mine – which will be a test of whether we get enough points or not. If you win, you are automatically locked out. Everything just pays to run well. The difference for us – from last year to this year – is stark in the number of points we can earn. This is amazing.”

DO YOU FEEL THE KANSAS SPEEDWAY IS A PLACE YOU CAN CAPITAL THIS WEEKEND?

“Yes, for sure. It’s wild that our win didn’t come at the 1.5 mile track because I felt it was our strongest race. I don’t know how we’re going to qualify.. we’re working on it. But the most important thing is that we were fast throughout the 400-mile race.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT TODAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT WITH WILKESBORO NORTH TO BE AN ALL-STAR RACE NEXT YEAR?

“I loved it. I never thought I’d see that day. I’ve passed the track but I never stopped and never saw it. I’ve watched a lot of old videos over the years racing there and I’ve done some iRacing on them. .

I think there’s a reason why they left it, right? There’s a reason why they stopped racing there. But I don’t know, we will come back and experience it. This will be cool. Hopefully we’re locked in.”

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WILKESBORO NORTH OR HAVE YOU SEE OR LEARNED ABOUT IT?

“I would be making it up if I said I did. Like I said, I’ve done iRaced and watched some old videos when I couldn’t sleep, but that’s about it.

HOW DO YOU FIND WHAT HAPPENED FROM DARLINGTON? WHAT DO YOU MAKE FROM EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED.. ALL THE PLAYOFF CONTENDERS THAT HAVE PROBLEMS AND YOUR RACES?

“Yeah, that’s crazy. We prepared all year and then a lot of us had problems. I was expecting it. Obviously I didn’t expect car No. 1 has a problem. But it was said in our pre-race meeting the teams will beat themselves… don’t do that. Not because No. 99 or so we had the race and finish we wanted, but we held on and so far we haven’t hurt ourselves. Time will tell if the missing points in the end explain anything. But the only reason we’re going to look back at Darlington (Raceway) and say it’s hurting us is if we had more problems. As long as we have a clean race, we’ll be fine. We have a lot of speed.”

THEN HOW TO SEE YOUR OWN KANSAS?

“I can’t wait.. the hotter the better. I hope the wet stuff and cooler weather doesn’t come until Monday and it stays nice and warm. Can only move on the track. While everyone wants the top, if your car is better, you can go down the hill and over. Restart, you have many options. We don’t need to spray anything on the track to make it good. We don’t need to do anything… we can just race and in today’s world it’s nice to be able to race naturally on a race track.”

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT WRONG PIN HOLES AND DRUGS THAT HAPPENED THERE AT THE END OF THE LAST WEEK?

“I don’t know.. it will be a question for someone in the team who is much smarter than me. I don’t think so, but I don’t want to say for sure. I don’t think we can do anything to prevent it.”

TIRES ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT FROM BEFORE WITH THE NEW CONSTRUCTION THEY DEBUT IN POCONO OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. DO YOU HAVE A FEEL IF IT WILL CHANGE VERY MUCH FOR THIS WEEKEND?

“Well, first of all, I’m grateful they have it. I’m happy that it’s been a while since we blew the left-rear tyre like we did at the start of the year, so that’s good. There are still things I do, we do, hopefully take care of ourselves as much as possible not to blow up the left rear tyre. I knew there would be less stagger. So like Michigan (International Speedway), the car will be faster if you return with the same settings. You’ll have less stagger in the tires than in the spring. So it’s going to be something to work on and hopefully the GM/Chevrolet group finds that balance for us.”

DO YOU HAVE A TARGET POINT PILLOW YOU WANT TO ENTER BRISTOL?

“I want to get 60 points this weekend (laughs). There’s nothing comfortable about racing in the Cup Series and I like it that way.”

YOU’RE EIGHT IN PLAYOFF STANDING TOWARDS KANSAS.. MID-PACK TYPE. HOW DO YOU SET UP WHERE YOU ARE? CLEARLY, NOT ENOUGH AND YOU WANT TO WIN TO CONTINUE. BUT HOW DO YOU SEE WHERE YOU ARE?

“Even with the problems at Darlington (Raceway), we cleared two more points over the line. Yes, a lot of people passed us, but we actually kept the distance, just by two, but we are 15 points clear. If we do it again for a few more weeks and we add two points to the line, then we are fine and we carry on.

In the end, that’s what I was looking for, right? Yes, I want to win, but I really just want a good race. I don’t want to be in the news for obvious reasons at the start of the year. But at the moment, for points, if I’m not in the news then it means I’m just scoring points strongly and we’ll move on. That’s all I have in mind right now.”

WHEN YOU ENTER THE PLAYOFF, YOU SAY IT SURREAL. WHAT DO YOU GET FROM HOW TO BECOME A PLAYOFF DRIVER IN DARLINGTON WITH EVERYTHING HAPPENING?

“The whole week was completely normal. I was almost afraid that it was so normal that it ended up not happening. And to some extent, it did happen. On Sunday, I have butterflies. I have nerves. It was a late race and I didn’t actually get to the track until like 2pm, I was hanging out with my family and killing time. I thought it would make me a little nervous, but it weighed on me that my actions tonight could forever determine the outcome of what we have accomplished. Luckily, we survived.. we put a few points on them and lived to fight their way through Kansas.”

NOW YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH PLAYOFF RACE ONE, HOW DO YOU ENTER KANSAS? MAYBE MORE AGGRESSIVE, MAYBE MORE RELAXING, NO BUTTERFLY.. IS IT DIFFERENT THAT YOU THINK?

“I don’t know. For me, I think that’s what’s cool about all of this… is that I experienced it. I was hoping to feel similar in Kansas. They gave as many points in Kansas as they did in Darlington. Run against the fence for 400 miles. it’s not easy. I don’t expect Kansas to be easy. I don’t expect it to be calm. We can have problems; we can make mistakes. What’s so great about Darlington – as it was throughout the second half of the race – is how calm we all were. We talked through problem; we fixed it, we cleared the pin and we finished the race. We got three of our four laps back. Half of the 500 South to make three laps on the course, that’s the start of a storybook that ends if we get one more caution. ”

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the largest car brands in the world, available in 79 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. Chevrolet models include electric and fuel-efficient vehicles featuring great performance, heart-beating design, passive and active safety features, and easy-to-use technology all worth it. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

Leave a Comment