Saturday, Jul 02
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

RYAN PREECE, No. 17 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford F-150 – YOU SAT ON THE POLE AND LED A LOT OF LAPS.  WHAT ABOUT THE BATTLE AT THE END?  “I don’t ever like it to be that close, but my hat’s off to DGR and this Hunt Brothers Ford F-150.  I’m really happy.  Scott Hunt and the Hunt Brothers crew and all of them are here tonight for this one.  We’ve got a second guitar.  I may have to start a band.”

 

YOU ALSO WON THE TRIPLE TRUCK CHALLENGE AND $50,000 – “I like it.  That sounds good.  I just want you guys to know that a lot of this is built in the shop.  These guys work their tails off.  I know what it takes to win races and they give me phenomenal race trucks, so I’m just proud to be the one holding the steering wheel.”

 

HOW DID THEY GET THAT CLOSE AT THE END?  “Just old tires.  Your heat cycles, they’re chatting, they’re kind of doing everything.  The biggest thing I had was clean air and to put as much dirty air on him as possible.  I wasn’t gonna give it up.”

 

THAT’S A GOOD WAY TO KICK OFF THE WEEKEND.  “I’d say so.  That’s awesome.  Thank you to Kevin Harvick, KHI Management, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Buildings, United Rentals, RaceChoice.com, Mohawk Northeast Inc., everybody that’s helped me in my career.  I can’t thank them enough.  I’m just really happy to be standing here in Victory Lane.  I’m speechless.  With these trucks you can get such a draft when you’re five lengths back and I was really struggling being tight, so when I saw Zane was getting the run out front I said I’m going to the bottom to take the air.  I’m proud of these guys.  It’s cool we got a second guitar.”

 

WHAT ABOUT THE TIRE SITUATION AT THE END.  YOU STAYED OUT.  WHAT WENT INTO THAT DECISION?  “I don’t know and I’m happy I don’t have to make that decision, but, ultimately, I think it just showed that the 38 and myself had such good race trucks tonight.  Even with old tires we were able to compete there, so just super proud of everybody here at DGR.  I really appreciate the hours that they put in with the body and the finesse – every little detail it takes to make speed, so it’s awesome to race fast trucks.”


WHERE DOES THAT BONUS MONEY GO?  “Hopefully to everybody.  Share it around.”



POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE

 

“We just have fast trucks.  Last year, and working with Chad Johnston he’s been a lot of fun to work with and Seth Smith was working here today crew chiefing.  If you look at practices throughout my races, they’ve been less than stellar.  We usually practice 17th-24th and we just keep working towards the combination that I like, so I want to say this was the first week as a team we unloaded really well and we were just able not to screw it up.”

 

HOW VALUABLE ARE WINS ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL?  “If you look at my national series career with a manufacturer team, I don’t think I’ve ever done a full season with a manufacturer supported team, so it’s nice when you have these opportunities to have all the resources and be able to work on yourself as a driver.  I’m a student of the game on so many different levels when it comes to racing.  I’m from the northeast and I’m pretty hard core as most know.  I enjoy every bit about racing other than driving the race car.  I love working on them.  I like setting them up.  I enjoy so much about the entire sport, the big picture, so I would say when you have these opportunities you have to go win.  There’s no ifs, ands or buts, you have to get the job done.”

 

WHAT WERE YOU FIGHTING AT THE END?  “Probably tires, more so.  Heat cycles like they do.  There are a lot of things.  The trucks are really draggy, probably under horsepower, so everything is momentum and once your truck is not handling 100 percent, you’ve got to do everything you can to maximize your roll speed and if you struggle that little bit in the draft, once that truck gets the sniff of the track, and I think Zane having those new tires behind him, it’s just propelling him forward and giving him that much more straight line speed.  I saw it with about six to go.  I was happy he didn’t get there any sooner because I knew if he was gonna have one shot we were gonna do our best to hold onto the lead and not give it away and that’s what we did.”

 

HOW SATISFYING IS IT TO HAVE A SCHEDULE WHERE YOU’RE JUST TROPHY HUNTING?  “Me in my career I trophy hunt.  That’s all I show up for, but in my position I think we all know it takes a lot of partners to make opportunities like this possible.  Fortunately, I have KHI Management in my corner and they put people like Hunt Brothers Pizza and Morton Buildings, and United Rentals is a huge one that came on this year that’s supporting me, so I 100 percent survive.  My racing career is 100 percent dependent on companies and people like that.  I’d love to have a full season with a manufacturer-based team and have opportunities to chase wins week in and week out.  I guess haven’t had that type of situation yet.”

 

HOW WILL IT BE HAVING TWO GUITARS?  “I guess I’m really gonna have to actually learn how to play.  One thing I do want to say is no disrespect because Tad Geschekter and Jody Geschekter were great, great people.  They gave me three years of a lot of fun, so I do want to say I really appreciate what they’ve done for me and my wife and giving us things we could only dream of – somebody like myself that I grew up in the northeast in Connecticut racing three or four or five days a week – driving however many hours to each track just like a lot of other short track guys do on the dirt race or asphalt race, so it’s nice to be one of the good stories – you get the job done.”

 

HAS THIS YEAR BEEN MORE FUN THAN LAST YEAR?  “Winning is always fun.  No, for sure.  Racing is as much of a mental sport as anything.  I’m a very confident person.  As you see, I get limited opportunities and I try to do my best to take advantage of them, so I’m having a pretty damn good time.”

 

IS IT ANY EASIER NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A GOOD TIME?  “I don’t know. My wife probably does more worrying about my future than I do.  I tell her all the time that all I can do is go out and do what I’ve always done my entire career and that’s try to win races.  I’m lucky to have a great support system and a father who has done nothing but teach me to work really hard and to not quit on your dreams.  I might be 31, but in racing years you’re not even close to your peak.”

 

HOW COMPARATIVE IS THIS TO THE XFINITY RACE TOMORROW?  “You just race the racetrack.  That’s what I was doing tonight with the resin and how it was playing out.  It’s gonna be a totally different race just because it’s gonna be in the middle of the day versus at night, so I don’t think you’re gonna be able to move to the bottom like we all were, but I could be completely wrong and I guess I’m not gonna find out until lap five, but I will say that they’ve brought a great United Rentals No. 5 Ford Mustang and hopefully we can get the job done and I can be talking to you guys here again.”

 

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN PREPARING FOR THE HEAT THIS WEEKEND?  “I’m a big boy.  I retain water pretty well, so I think I’ll be all right.”

 

DOES A WIN LIKE THIS BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE?  “Yeah, I think it’s always nice to be able to get that win.  You look back at Vegas or Texas or Charlotte, those are three races where I felt like we had opportunities and things didn’t go our way.  So it was nice not to have a green, white, checker or have one of those situations where I’m clear by 10 and that’s it, but it was nice to be up front and be in control of the race.”

 

HOW MANY MORE TRUCK RACES DO YOU HAVE?  “I believe my last two will be in Pocono and Kansas.”

 

DOES THIS MAKE UP FOR CHARLOTTE IN ANY WAY?  “The clock resets at midnight in my eyes.  I’ve been racing a long time and I wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I’m happy we were able to get to victory lane tonight.”

 

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST THING YOU’VE LEARNED AS A DRIVER THIS YEAR?  “I’ve always been able to be versatile when it comes to driving different race cars.  I’m labeled and I’m completely OK with being labled a modified guy, but I grew up racing open-wheel midgets and micros.  I’ve raced a lot of different race cars and pretty much won in them all, so I do embrace my northeast roots and where I come from and where I’ve really made my mark, but, at the same time, I feel like as a race car driver you need to be able to be good in anything at any time.”

 

HOW DO YOU LOOK AHEAD WITH LIMITED OPPORTUNITIES THE REST OF THE YEAR?  “If somebody wants to step up and help pay tires and all these other things for me to race my late model or my modified more often, I will, but I’m lucky that I do have supporters that help me race when I’m not racing in the national series, but, like I’ve said, I race for fun and I enjoy it, but I race for winning.  I’m kind of almost looking at my short track schedule as I’ve got to pick bigger money races to go run.  You’ve got to look at it as a business because other things are involved.  At the same time, when I’m not racing in Xfinity or Truck or any of the other stuff I’m at the shop.  I’m working out with the pit crew guys.  I’m in those driver debrief meetings and listening in and trying to be as up-to-date as possible with this Cup car, so if that opportunity ever were to happen that there’s a very slim to none window of learning the car.”

 

ARE YOU STILL DOING A LOT OF SIM DRIVING?  “I’m busier now than I ever was.  I mean, there’s a lot of days where I’ll get text messages to come in and fill in for people  I’m usually there a couple times a week for quite a few hours, so it’s a good role to have.”

 

HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU WITH THIS CAR?  “I’m really comfortable with it.  Dover was a better run.  I feel like the result didn’t show, but we were really fast and we had great speed and had a pretty good day.  We’re all just learning the car right now.  There are a lot of things that teams are learning and the progression of this car is gonna be really quick.  I think it’s not done.  I don’t even think we’ve scratched the surface on teams figuring things out, so I just want to be a part of that and be there and be ready because I’ve said this in the past, when those opportunities happen, I’m gonna be ready.”

Ford Performance PR

Stafford Speedway’s Street Stock division took center stage on Friday, June 24 with their lone extra distance feature event of the 2022 season, the Midstate Site Development 30.  Travis Hydar was the big winner of the night, scoring his third win of the season in the Midstate Site Development Street Stock 30.  Ronnie Williams notched his first win of the season in the SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray continued his hot streak with a fourth consecutive win in the Late Model feature, Derek Debbis scored win number two of 2022 in the SK Light feature, and Gary Patnode won his second race of 2022 in the Limited Late Model feature.

In the 30-lap Midstate Site Development Street Stock event, Adrien Paradis, III took the early lead at the drop of the green with Travis Downey in second.  Johnny Walker quickly worked his way into third with Bert Ouellette in fourth and Ryan Waterman in fifth.  Tyler Trott was sixth in line followed by Chris Danielczuk, Travis Hydar, Jason Finkbein, and Bobby Stirk, III. 

With 10 laps complete, Paradis was still in command with Downey giving chase from second place.  Walker was still third with Ouellette fourth.  Hydar was now up to fifth with Trott right behind him in sixth place.  Samantha Dell spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution flag out with 10 laps complete.

Walker went 3-wide with Paradis and Downey on the restart to take the lead.  Hydar moved up to second with Paradis falling back to third.  Waterman was now fourth and Nickolas Hovey was up to fifth.  Trott was still in sixth followed by Ouellette, Downey, Pat Grady, Finkbein, and Kyle Johnson.  Hovey got by Waterman on lap-15 to move into fourth place and both Trott and Ouellette followed Hovey by to move into fifth and sixth and drop Waterman back to seventh. 

Hydar made a move on lap-17 to take the lead from Walker and his move allowed Paradis, Hovey, and Trott to all get by Walker to drop him from the lead back to fifth place.  Trott went by Hovey on lap-21 to move into third place while Hydar continued to lead the race with Paradis in second.  Finkbein spun in turn 2, which brought the caution flag out with 25 laps complete.

Hydar streaked into the lead on the restart with Paradis in second.  Walker took third with Downey in fourth.  Trott and Bill Cote both spun in turn 4 to bring the caution flag back out with 27 laps complete.

Hydar again took the lead with Paradis right on his bumper in second.  Walker was third in line with Stirk fourth and Ouellette in fifth.  Hydar led Paradis to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2022 season.  Walker finished third with Stirk and Ouellette rounding out the top-5.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® event, a multicar melee broke out mid pack and the back half of the field was collected in a wreck that brought the red and yellow flags out.

Dan Wesson and Tyler Hines raced wheel to wheel for the lead on the restart with Hines taking the lead by a nose at the line.  Hines got into the turn 1 wall on lap-2 to bring the caution back out.

Brian Sullivan got into the frontstretch wall and Anthony Bello spun in turn 1 to bring the yellow right back out again. 

Wesson took the lead on the next restart with Michael Christopher, Jr. almost taking second from Michael Gervais, Jr. before falling back into third.  Ronnie Williams was fourth with Keith Rocco in fifth but the caution flew again with 4 laps complete for Teddy Hodgdon, who spun in turn 4.

Wesson took the lead on the restart with Gervais holding off a challenge from Williams for second.  Christopher was fourth in line with Bryan Narducci and Todd Owen side by side for fifth place.  Gervais made a move to the inside of Wesson on lap-7 and he took over the race lead.  Williams couldn’t quite follow Gervais by Wesson as Wesson held on to second place.  Wesson then made a bid for the lead on lap-10 but Williams went by him to take over the lead and drop Wesson back to second.  Narducci was now up to third with Gervais fourth and Marcello Rufrano in fifth.  Narducci made a move to the inside of Wesson lap-14 to move into second and Rufrano was challenging Gervais for fourth place while Williams continued to lead the race.

Gervais took third place from Wesson on lap-20 while Rufrano couldn’t quite follow him by Wesson as Williams was still leading Narducci.  Rocco and Cory DiMatteo were heavily contesting seventh place with Rocco able to hold DiMatteo off for now.  DiMatteo was finally able to make a pass stick on Rocco to take over seventh place on lap-32.

Williams led Narducci to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2022 season.  Gervais finished third with Wesson and Rufrano rounding out the top-5.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Paul Arute led the first lap before giving way to Tom Fearn on lap-2.  John Blake followed Fearn by Arute to take second on lap-5 after running side by side with Arute for 3 laps.  Wayne Coury, Jr. and Michael Bennett followed Blake by Arute on lap-6 to move into third and fourth and drop Arute back to fifth.  Arute got loose in turn 4 and fell back to seventh place as Adam Gray took fifth, Kevin Gambacorta sixth, and Michael Wray seventh.  Arute hit the wall in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 7 laps complete.

Fearn took the lead back under geen while Bennett went 3-wide with Blake and Gray to move into second.  Gray took third with Blake falling back to fourth and Coury in fifth.  The caution came back out with 9 laps complete as  Gambacorta and Andrew Molleur spun in turn 1.

Back under green on lap-8, Fearn took the lead with Bennett right behind him in second.  Adam Gray was up to third with John Blake fourth and Michael Wray in fifth.  Kevin Gambacorta and Andrew Molleur spun going into turn 1 to bring the caution back out with 10 laps complete.

Coury spun in turn 2 to bring the caution right back out.  Fearn took the lead on the restart with Gray taking second.  Bennett was third followed by Blake and Michael Wray.  Gambacorta brought the caution back out with 12 laps complete as he took a hard hit into the turn 4 wall.

Bennett spun on the restart to bring out the yellow flag.  The next restart saw Fearn take the lead with Gray right behind him in second.  Michael Wray was third with Molleur in fourth and Coury fifth.  Gray made a move to the inside of Fearn to take over the race lead on lap-15.

With 10 laps to go, Gray was still in command with Fearn in second.  Coury was third followed by Keane and Bennett with Michael Wray and Chris Meyer dueling side by side for sixth place.  Fearn couldn’t get close enough to Gray to make a bid for the lead as Gray took down his fourth consecutive win of the 2022 season.  Coury finished third with Keane and Bennett rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Jason Chapman took the lead at the green with Chris Matthews taking second.  George Bessette, Jr. and Charlie McDougall were side by side for third with Amanda West in fifth place.  Matthews went by Chapman on lap-3 to move into the lead but Derek Debbis was on the charge and he took the lead from Matthews on lap-4 but before the lap was completed, the caution came out for Tyler Alkas and Bessette, who got together and hit the wall in turn 3 and put Matthews back in the lead for the restart. Norm Sears was sent to the rear of th field by Stafford officials for making contact with Alkas.

Debbis quickly took the lead from Matthews on the restart with Matthews slotting into second place.  Jason Chapman was third in line followed by McDougall and West.  Tyler Barry and Alexander Pearl were side by side for sixth just behind West with Bob Charland and Tyler Chapman side by side  behind them for eighth place.  Several cars touched and got out of shape on lap-7, which allowed Tyler Chapman and Barry to move into fourth and fifth with Pearl, McDougall, and West behind them. 

Jason Chapman made a move to the inside of Matthews on lap-13 to take over second place.  Tyler Chapman followed his brother by Matthews and took third to drop Matthews back to fourth place.  Pearl streaked his way past Matthews on lap-15 to move into fourth place.  The caution came out with 16 laps complete for the cars of McDougall and Josh Carey, who both spun into the turn 2 wall.

Debbis once again took the lead on the restart with Tyler Chapman moving up to second.  Jason Chapman was third in line followed by Pearl and Matthews.  Pearl took third from Jason Chapman on lap-18 but it was all Debbis as he took down his second win of the 2022 season.  Tyler Chapman finished second with Pearl, Jason Chapman, and Matthews rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Jay Clement took the lead on the opening lap but Gary Patnode streaked his way past Clement on lap-2 to take over the lead.  Jeremy Lavoie was third behind the two leaders but he got around Clement on lap-3 to move into second place.  Ari Jencik settled into fourth with Matt Clement and Alexandra Fearn side by side for fifth place.  Clement got the better of the duel with Fearn and took fifth on lap-5 with Kevin Cormier taking sixth as Fearn slid back to seventh while Patnode continued to lead with Lavoie closing in on his back bumper. 

   Fearn was back on the charge as she took sixth from Cormier and then made a move to the inside of Matt Clement on lap-8 to move up to fifth.  At the front of the field, Lavoie was able to get by Patnode with a pass in turn 1 on lap-10 to take over the lead.  But before lap-10 could be completed, Cormier and Matt Clement came together and both cars ended up in the turn 4 wall to bring the caution out, which put Patnode back into the lead for the restart.

Patnode took the lead back under green with Lavoie right behind him in second.  Fearn was up to third with Devon Jencik in fourth and Jay Clement in fifth.  Rich Hammann was sixth followed by Damian Palardy, Matt Scappini, Ari Jencik, and David Shinder.

Patnode led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2022 season.  Fearn got by Lavoie on the last lap to take second and Hammann also got by Lavoie on the last lap to come home in third with Lavoie and Devon Jencik rounding out the top-5.

For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

Stafford Speedway PR

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) took to the Nashville Superspeedway on Friday night where Tundra drivers Ty Majeski (fourth) and Stewart Friesen (fifth) both scored top-five finishes for Toyota. Fellow Tundra drivers Christian Eckes (sixth), Tyler Ankrum (seventh), John Hunter Nemechek (ninth) and Matt Crafton (10th) also earned top-10 finishes.  

 

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Nashville Superspeedway

Race 14 of 23 – 150 Laps, 200 Miles

 

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS


1st, Ryan Preece*

2nd, Zane Smith*

3rd, Carson Hocevar*

4th, TY MAJESKI

5th, STEWART FRIESEN

6th, CHRISTIAN ECKES

7th, TYLER ANKRUM

9th, John Hunter Nemechek

10th, MATT CRAFTON

12th, BEN RHODES

13th, CHASE PURDY

15th, CHANDLER SMITH

20th, PARKER KLIGERMAN

21st, KADEN HONEYCUTT

23rd, TIMMY HILL

27th, TODD BODINE

33rd, COREY HEIM

34th, CAMDEN MURPHY

36th, CHASE JANES

*non-Toyota driver

 

 

TOYOTA QUOTES

TY MAJESKI, No. 66 American Racing Wheels Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing

Finishing Position: 4th

Can you take us through your race tonight?

“I made an aggressive move there. I feel like if you don’t do it, you’re getting put into those positions so you either have to be the aggressor or the aggresse. I feel like I’ve been on the short end of that a lot this year, but I had a good run and wanted to take it. Hate tearing up trucks at all, but that’s just the product of truck racing. Everybody’s got to be so aggressive. It’s so hard to pass. Track position is so important, but overall solid day, solid week. Sort of missed it a little bit, but Joe (Shearer, crew chief) did a great job on strategy and the guys did a great job on pit road. I felt like we took a back half of the top-10 in the field and got a fourth-place finish. Feel like we maximized our day and that’s what championship teams are all about.”

 

STEWART FRIESEN, No. 52 Halmar International Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Halmar Friesen Racing

Finishing Position: 5th

How was your race tonight?

“We had some electrical issues early, truck was cutting out and for whatever reason, not sure if it was an ignition switch or something, but it just kind of stopped doing it after I stopped trying to cool the thing down under yellow. We had a really good long run truck, but we just couldn’t fire off on the restarts to get the track position we needed. Another top-five, proud of the whole Halmar team. Toyota and TRD – all the support behind the scenes is awesome. We had a really good long run truck, we just couldn’t get through turn one and two on the restarts clean enough to make a push.”

 

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports

Finishing Position: 9th

What did you struggle with in your race tonight?

“We weren’t good to start. We weren’t good in practice and we weren’t very good in qualifying. We just weren’t good all weekend. Just off on speed and couldn’t get my balance that I wanted correct. I found a race track that I suck at. This is my worst race last year and this year I’m not very good. I just have to figure out how to be better. I’m glad we only come here once. Just have to figure it out. Proud of all the guys at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports). Never gave up. We got spun. Went down a lap, got a lap back and restarted in the back multiple times and ended up coming home ninth. All in all, a solid day. Lost the points lead again, but we’re within striking distance the last few weeks, but I think we put more of a cushion between the 18 (Chandler Smith) and the 99 (Ben Rhodes) behind us. Hopefully, we can go cap off this regular season championship.”

TRD PR

VICTORY LANE QUOTES

 

RYAN PREECE, No. 17 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford F-150 – YOU SAT ON THE POLE AND LED A LOT OF LAPS.  WHAT ABOUT THE BATTLE AT THE END?  “I don’t ever like it to be that close, but my hat’s off to DGR and this Hunt Brothers Ford F-150.  I’m really happy.  Scott Hunt and the Hunt Brothers crew and all of them are here tonight for this one.  We’ve got a second guitar.  I may have to start a band.”

 

YOU ALSO WON THE TRIPLE TRUCK CHALLENGE AND $50,000 – “I like it.  That sounds good.  I just want you guys to know that a lot of this is built in the shop.  These guys work their tails off.  I know what it takes to win races and they give me phenomenal race trucks, so I’m just proud to be the one holding the steering wheel.”

 

HOW DID THEY GET THAT CLOSE AT THE END?  “Just old tires.  Your heat cycles, they’re chatting, they’re kind of doing everything.  The biggest thing I had was clean air and to put as much dirty air on him as possible.  I wasn’t gonna give it up.”

 

THAT’S A GOOD WAY TO KICK OFF THE WEEKEND.  “I’d say so.  That’s awesome.  Thank you to Kevin Harvick, KHI Management, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Buildings, United Rentals, RaceChoice.com, Mohawk Northeast Inc., everybody that’s helped me in my career.  I can’t thank them enough.  I’m just really happy to be standing here in Victory Lane.  I’m speechless.  With these trucks you can get such a draft when you’re five lengths back and I was really struggling being tight, so when I saw Zane was getting the run out front I said I’m going to the bottom to take the air.  I’m proud of these guys.  It’s cool we got a second guitar.”

 

WHAT ABOUT THE TIRE SITUATION AT THE END.  YOU STAYED OUT.  WHAT WENT INTO THAT DECISION?  “I don’t know and I’m happy I don’t have to make that decision, but, ultimately, I think it just showed that the 38 and myself had such good race trucks tonight.  Even with old tires we were able to compete there, so just super proud of everybody here at DGR.  I really appreciate the hours that they put in with the body and the finesse – every little detail it takes to make speed, so it’s awesome to race fast trucks.”


WHERE DOES THAT BONUS MONEY GO?  “Hopefully to everybody.  Share it around.”

 

Ford Performance PR

Flowdynamics Sprint car drivers Logan Williams and Matt McCarthy will both be back in action this Saturday night in the USAC/CRA Bubby Jones/Ray Scheetz Memorial at Perris Auto Speedway.  It will be the fourth appearance for each at their local track in 2022. 

The team comes into Saturday’s race with Williams fifth in the standings, only 21-points out of fourth.  McCarthy enters the night not far behind his teammate in ninth. 

Through the first three races at the Riverside County half-mile clay oval in 2022, McCarthy has a seventh and a 15th place finish.  He did not start the April 30th main event due to an annoying fuel line problem.  In his three appearances at The PAS this year, Williams best finish has been a sixth.  In his other two outings, he has finished 11th

Matt McCarthy at Perris Auto Speedway on May 28th.  Doug Allen photo.

After Saturday’s race, Williams, who calls Yorba Linda, California home, and Riverside, California’s McCarthy, get next week’s holiday weekend off.  They will return to action on July 8th and 9th when they journey to Central California to race at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford on Friday and Stone Chevrolet, Buick, GMC Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare on Saturday. 

The USAC/CRA schedule initially had a six-week break between the two July races in the Central Valley and the August 20th date at Perris.  That break has been shortened to four weeks with the announcement that the Santa Maria Raceway was going to reopen with a USAC/CRA show on August 6th.  The track, which has hosted regular visits from the series since its inception in 2004, has been shuttered since last July.  When the team last appeared at Santa Maria on July 3rd, 2021, Williams finished eighth in the main event with McCarthy right behind him in ninth.

Saturday’s race at Perris salutes National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Bubby Jones and his long-time crew chief, Ray Scheetz.  Jones’s son Tony, a past USAC/CRA champion and now the series race director, has a tie to the Flowdynamics operation.  When McCarthy was a rookie, Jones served as a driver coach and team advisor. 

Spectator gates for the Bubby Jones/Ray Scheetz Memorial will open at 5:00 p.m. with racing at 7:00. Adult tickets are $30.00.  For seniors 65 and over it is $25.00.  Kids 6-12 are $5.00 and children five and under are free.  The fairgrounds charges $10.00 for parking.  There will be plenty of tickets for everyone at the ticket window on Saturday, this event will not sell out.  For those who wish to purchase tickets in advance, they are available 24 hours a day online at https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7 or by phone at 1-800-595-4849.

Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in The City of Perris (92571).   Take the 215 Freeway, exit at the Ramona Expressway, and go three miles east to the Fairgrounds. 

McCarthy and Williams would like to thank the following sponsors for making the 2021 season possible. Flowdynamics Inc., JFK Design Build, Cal Therm Mechanical Insulators, CRC Component Repair Co., Encore Gas and Supply, Drink-Pac, and Benic Enterprises. If you or your company would like to come on board and join up with one of the fastest rising sprint car teams west of the Mississippi, please contact John McCarthy at 909 930-5522 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flowdynamics PR

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing

What was it like to watch your life play out on the big screen last night and have people cheer for you in the theatre?

“Yeah, it was a unique experience for sure. You know, really exciting opportunity to have that chance to showcase my career and everything and what it's been from the very beginning until, I guess up to 2019 so was good. Great reception. Positive feedback from a lot of folks and most of those that come up to me through the after party and would say they've never been to a NASCAR race, but just seeing that, you know, makes them kind of want to see what NASCAR is all about. And, you know, they thought it was a good show to portray what my career has been like thus far.”

 

How important would it be for you to win the regular season championship?

“I think that would be important. I mean, obviously the bonus points that come along with it. It's the number one priority there. So you want to win races, you want to get those bonus points, you want to win stages, get those bonus points, all of that to just allow yourself an easier time, let's say through the Playoffs. So you know, having that goal right there, you know, we've got to be careful with it because you can't overextend yourself trying to race for a win -- Gateway and get yourself crashed out in and not get points. We are so close with it and I feel like, you look back at COTA, big missed opportunity running third on the last lap, finishing 33rd. You know, Sonoma, we just all completely missed it, but running horrible not getting very many points on that day. So there's some definitely more opportunities than that too, that we've thrown away that I wish we had back and we'd be either the leader much closer.”

 

How did the Martinsville test go earlier this week?

“So the dirt, the Bristol dirt aero kit, let's call it, the bottom pan area. I felt like was a net positive. We were able to get into a traffic setting situation where we started a race and kind of run around each other a little bit. The 2 car was a little better than us at that point. So he was able to get by me but when I could follow him I follow like he was on my bumper following me. I got on his bumper following him. He drove away just due to the fact that he was a little bit better than us at that point in the test, but I felt like that was a net positive. I don't feel like any of the tires were any better. There was a couple there was a softer set of lifts and a softer set of rights that were a grippier better tire that you could go faster on. But there's no fall off. There was no wear. And so with the control tire that we had, we would have some fall off, but you could kind of recover your fall off if you just took it easy for a couple laps and let it cool back down and then re attacked and we went so they're falling off more due to heat than they're falling off due to wear so I think we missed on the tire selection that that we had there. We didn't gain anything on the tire.”

 

What can you take away from last year’s race for this weekend?

“I feel like last year's race will lend itself into a little bit of this year. I say that because the track really widened out nicely and this car does not like to trail another car and follow so you're going to need options you're going need different groups that you can go run in so with last year's race really widening the track. Hopefully, the same thing will happen this time around.”

 

Did you feel like you had a good handle on the track last year?

“Yes and no. You know with this car and with the mile-and-a-halves that we've been to this year, the Gibbs guys, us, we've been fast and we've shown good speed. But at some of the flatter shorter track, we haven't shown great speed, but I would say besides Gateway was a good offset for us so it just kind of depends on what this place ends up racing like -- a mile-and-a-half or a short track. We’ll find out in about an hour.”

 

Do you expect a good crowd for this race again like we had last year?

“Yeah, I mean, as far as the crowd count, I would hope so. You know, I would like to think that having a race in a market once per year is the optimum time for people to come out and enjoy your race and have a great weekend. The campgrounds, from what I saw driving in, look decent. So I would like to think that they all turn out and if they do, that's great. I think that goes to just prove the point that you know many of these places only need one date, that they can make it successful off of that.”

 

How close do you follow the Xfinity Series now that you don’t race in it anymore?

“I follow it zero, no idea what's going on there. Besides Ty Gibbs. I guess that's it.”

 

How did Joe Gibbs Racing struggle at Sonoma after being decent at COTA?

“Yeah, I mean, we struggled at COTA as well to be honest with raw speed and being able to be good there. You know, in the early stage of the race, I think we were running eighth, we were fading, I got spun out by Chase Elliott running 12th, you know what I mean? So we weren't great at COTA either, but we were able to get through some of the restarts and get positions on guys to get ourselves up front. Christopher (Bell), I think was third or fourth. I was right with him on the last lap there. And so you know, felt like with everything that kind of ensued on the last lap, we would have had a shot to run in the top two or three, for sure. But I would say both road course events so far this year, were not our strong suit. Why we missed it? I don't know. If I could answer that, we wouldn't struggle, we wouldn't we wouldn't have been bad. But talking to Martin Truex (Jr.), who tested for us at the Glen, certainly not looking forward to going into Glen either. They weren't very fast there.”

 

Is missing it as an organization at one track and hitting it at others just a function of this new Next Gen race car?

“A little bit. I would argue to that the Penske guys weren't great at Kansas. But like you said, they've been super strong at the flatter tracks. They're really fast at Martinsville, Phoenix. They've been good. They were good at Gateway as well. too. They qualified really strong so far packages, it seems that these teams or organizations kind of have that they're good at these particular tracks. And so I think as we all continue to learn and grow like the good teams will be the good teams everywhere. But you know, it is kind of patchy, right now with just getting an understanding built around this car.”

 

How hard is it to recover at Road America if you miss a corner?

“The big straightaway corners it's important yeah, like you know missing turn three I think it's called and then going down along back there. That's important. That's a big deal. Obviously, the last corner I think it's 13 or 14 coming up along from straightaway. So those can be detrimental to lap time for sure. Because you're just losing time by the distance in which it takes to get up to speed so you really want to be strong on those turns.”

 

With Atlanta being one of the first tracks to return to with this car, do you expect to be stronger there next month?

“I felt like we were one of the stronger cars there earlier this year. We just didn't get to showcase it. You know, we got behind Austin Dillon early in the race. He got loose and spun out and we wrecked. So you know we had a little bit of an issue there at the start of the race just being too loose balance wise, but I felt like we would have been able to work on that as the day progressed and gotten better with it. So you know are a couple of our teammates were up there towards the end of the race, Christopher (Bell) got penalized for finishing second. I think Bubba (Wallace) was up real tight real close had a shot from the win, crashed on the last lap. So I mean, it's a speedway race it's going to happen, but you'd like to be in position at least all the way to the end.”

 

Do you focus in on certain tracks for testing with the Playoffs coming up or just getting track time with this car?

“Anywhere there's an opportunity to test you want to work on your car make it better, right so like I got selected to do Martinsville. Hopefully we've learned something got a little bit better. I felt like the first day we were a little behind the 2 car and second day we were equal in the 2 car which is a positive you know, I felt like we made gains there. And then yeah, that's the second last race of the year and then of course Gateway you'd like to think okay, we were better at Gateway that'll hopefully show that we're better at Phoenix when we go there. But I think another test of that will be Loudon. And so you know, we're still, you do work from the back of the season forward. Obviously, you know, the most important race being the last one and trying to figure out what it takes to get to that championship race while being eligible is very important.”

 

Were you at North Wilkesboro Speedway for the filming of the Toyota ‘Aliens’ commercial?

“It wasn't photoshopped. That was real. There's a real alien abduction. No, I never been inside the race track before that was my first time inside. I've only ever really driven by it. So that was my first time in it. It's obviously got some age on it, you know, a bunch of the amenities and everything are quite rundown. They are quite proud of the fact that the lift still works though. Victory Lane lift, which is cool. But you know, to give that thing a facelift to get it back ready to good. And it can be successful and it can turn into something nice. So I'm looking forward to it. If they put something there. I think it would be sweet. I know from my understanding anyways, I know Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) is looking forward to running a late model stock race if he can. And so, you know, it'd be nice to see that place come back to life and whether it's an All-Star race or a Truck race or Xfinity, whatever you know, I think that we can make something happen there for sure.”  

Toyota PR

BEFORE WE GET STARTED WITH QUESTIONS, I’M GOING TO HAND THE MICROPHONE OVER TO YOU TO MAKE A LITTLE BIT OF AN ANNOUCEMENT ON YOUR END.

“It’s always good to be in Nashville, especially after last year. We obviously had a really good run here in the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race. I’m hoping we can translate that into this new car and you continue that success that we had here last year.

 

It's been a good week, so far. Myself and everybody at JTG Daugherty Racing inked a new contract for me for a multi-year contract. That's been something that we've been working on. I know that a few people have asked me over the last few weeks kind of where that was. But we had been working on that. I’m very thankful for Tad (Geschickter), Brad (Daugherty), Jodi (Geschickter), Gordon (Smith), everybody in the ownership group. And then obviously everybody in the race shop. We have so many people that don't get to travel with us every weekend that put their heart and soul into this organization and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

 

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO STAY?

“I really have enjoyed my time at JTG Daugherty Racing. I feel like we haven't had the end results, points-wise. But I feel like we've had so many bright spots throughout our first few seasons together. I feel like with this new car - we were hoping to have it last year and continue to build on that. Obviously, this is the first year with it. So I know for me and the way this car has been, I feel like at certain race tracks we kind of have it figured out. And then there are other race tracks where we're pretty out to lunch and we're still looking for those parts and pieces to be in the right spot to be fast.

 

But I feel confident with the people that we have that we will be able to do that. Tad and everybody at Kroger has put a lot of faith in me to come over here and drive the car and I think we’ve shown some really solid strong runs this year. I had opportunity to win at Dover, I felt like. Charlotte, we had a really fast car. So, I think that's the reason why. I just really enjoy the family atmosphere from the top, down. Everybody in our shop, our partners - it's been a really good relationship.”

 

INAUDIBLE

I don't actually know where anybody else’s contracts are (laughs).

 

Like I said, from the top to bottom, obviously I've had a super long relationship with Brian (Pattie). And you look at people in the shop, Mike Kelley. Ernie (Cope) and I, even though we haven't worked together for a long time, we've had really good relationships when we raced against each other. I just feel like everybody believes in each other there and I think that's what I look for in our group going forward. This car is supposed to stay the same for years to come and I think that's only going to help us build our notebook going forward.”

 

IS THIS KIND OF LIKE A HOME GAME FOR YOU? DO YOU HAVE MORE PEOPLE WANTING TO COME AND JOIN YOU AT NASHVILLE THAN NORMAL RACES SINCE IT’S PRETTY CLOSE TO HOME?

“For sure. You know, in the XFINITY series, this was my home race track; I guess once Memphis was off the schedule. So yeah, it's close to home. I have a lot of friends and family that live in the area. And then obviously, for my family coming up from home, it's four and a half hours. So, really close to home. They’ve got a few spots on the backstretch, so we'll go and watch the Truck race with them. It's always nice to have family around and friends that want to come out and support you. And then obviously friends in the music industry that they want to come out here, as well. It definitely feels like a home game. I wouldn't say that Nashville in my Xfinity Series career was top of the list. But after last year, I had a lot of fun, so hopefully it stays there.”

 

I TALKED TO (BRIAN) PATTIE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND HE SAID YOU GUYS DISCOVERED SOMETHING WITH THE CAR’S GEOMETRY AND THAT WAS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY YOU ALL HAD BEEN RUNNING SO WELL. BUT HE SAID IT’S LIKE A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD, WHERE AS MUCH HELP AS YOU GET FROM CHEVROLT, WHEN YOU GUYS HIT ON SOMETHING LIKE THAT, YOU HAVE TO SHARE IT WITH THE GROUP. HOW FRUSTRATING IS THAT BEING A SINGLE CAR TEAM, NOT HAVING THE DEPTH OF ENGINEERING THAT SOME OF THESE GROUPS HAVE – HITTING ON SOMETHING AND KNOWING IT’S GOING TO BE SHORT TERM BECAUSE YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO SHARE IT WITH THE GROUP?

“Obviously we were really good at the faster race tracks, like Fontana and Vegas. We had strong runs there. And then, we really didn't get back to those tracks until Dover and then we had that really good stretch of runs.

 

Yeah, we hit on something and definitely you get asked to share those things. I wish we got as much information back the other way. I think that would really help our program a lot. I feel like our group of guys really work hard together to come up with any setup that we can that's going to move the needle in the right direction. And we take all the information that we get - whether it be a lot or a little - and we try to make the most of it. Our guys are doing a great job with that.

 

Like I said, the short track stuff, we're still trying to figure out. We know that we have a lot of work to do there. But if we can continue to be as strong as we have been on the 1.5-mile tracks, that will kind of get us through the season and hopefully we figure that out on the short tracks before too long.”

 

WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ATLANTA AND THE FACT THAT IT NOW HAS THAT SUPERSPEEDWAY FEEL. DO YOU GO THERE PRETTY CONFIDENT?

“Heck yeah. I'm looking forward to going back to Atlanta. Our car was so fast there earlier this year. It handled really well and I felt like it was the class of the field; and then obviously we blew that tire leading. So hopefully we learned a little bit throughout the season on the tire issues that we can maybe help ourselves. Again, that's some of the information that we didn't have before the race that we got after the race; on some tire pressure, camber, things that definitely would have helped if we had them before the race. Instead, we found out the hard way. But obviously it being hot and slick when we get to Atlanta this time versus where we were at the beginning of the season, I think a good handling race car is going to be even that much more important. I know Brian Pattie and my guys will give me that.”

 

JUST A MOMENT AGO TALKING TO TYLER (REDDICK), HE TALKED ABOUT NOT ONLY THE MENTAL DRAIN OF A SUPERSPEEDWAY RACE, BUT THERE WAS ALSO A PHYSICAL COMPONMENT TO IT THAT HE DIDN’T REALLY ANTICIPATE. DID YOU FIND THAT RACE MORE MENTALLY DRAINING THAN MAYBE SOMETHING AT DAYTONA OR TALLADEGA? HOW DID THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DRAIN FEEL?

“I guess you could say mentally it was a little bit different than Daytona and Talladega, just because we weren't 100% sure what to expect. It was a brand new race track. There was some bumps off the turn four on the top side that we were trying to navigate and figure out what the car was going to do over those bumps. There’s kind of the narrow entry into turn three. Obviously in practice, when you’re by yourself, the bottom was by far the fastest lane around the racetrack; and then it ended up being kind of in the middle to the top during the race. I felt like as a driver, you're just trying to figure out that new track. We weren't 100 percent sure it was going to race like a speedway until we got out there. In practice it did, but nobody was really pressing the issues. Once we all started going flat out and really racing, we weren't sure if that was going to be the case and then obviously it was. So just trying to learn the track physically. I didn’t think the track was much more demanding physically. I did have a headache when the No. 2 hit me in the door when we blew a tire. But other than that, I felt like the car was similar at Daytona and Talladega, physically-wise.”

 

INAUDIBLE

“Yeah, I would say it was more compressed and definitely things happen quicker. The track is a little bit narrower than what we're used to for a speedway, which obviously makes it a little bit more tricky, as well. And then, when you have such high banking and you're going into the corner and the radius is tighter, it's harder to see out the corner. I would say that's maybe the biggest difference.”

 

OBVIOUSLY, THE NO. 10 IS OPEN FOR NEXT YEAR. I’M CURIOUS, DID YOU HAVE ANY CONVERSATIONS WITH STEWART-HAAS ABOUT THAT CAR? WERE YOU NERVOUS AT ALL WHETHER JTG DAUGHERTY WOULD KEEP YOU?

“I let Josh at KHI kind of handle everything off the race track, as far as contracts go and talking to other teams. We feel like we have a really good fit and felt like JTG Daugherty Racing was where we wanted to be. I feel really confident in who we have and what we're doing right now; and want to continue to grow that can keep that going. I don’t want to bounce around from team to team. I don’t think that does myself or anybody really any favors. So I want to build on what we've started.

 

Yeah, we haven't had consistently the runs that we want. But I think we've had a lot of shining moments, especially this year. We know those race tracks and we know where we struggle. Was I worried? I try not to worry too much about that. I feel like I have a really good relationship with our whole organization, especially Tad. He comes to every race track and I feel confident with everything that he does. He believes in me and like I said earlier, I think everybody at our company believes in each other. We go to battle together. So, I was never really worried. I felt really good about it.”

 

YOU HAD A STREAK OF FOUR TOP-10 FINISHES. DID THAT REALLY SEAL THE DEAL FOR YOUR CONTRACT TO BE RE-SIGNED WITH JTG DAUGHERTY RACING?

“I'm not sure – that would be a Tad question (laughs). Tad and myself have been chatting about this since the beginning of the season. Tad’s always working on getting funding for our car and working on things probably a little more important than my contract, as far as making the team go around. Tad does a great job with that.

 

Yeah, good runs never hurt. But I think that stretch of races we kind of had circled as race tracks that we felt like we could do exactly what we accomplished. I know a lot of people were kind of surprised that we were able to do that, but internally, we felt like we were capable of doing that. It was cool to feel that way and actually fulfill that thought process.”

 

YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THAT YOU HOPE THAT THE CAR IS AROUND FOR YEARS TO COME. HOW MUCH MORE SECURE WERE YOU IN SIGNING THIS DEAL WITH THE NEXT GEN THIS YEAR? DID THAT GIVE YOU A LOT MORE SECURITY IN KNOWING THIS IS A PLACE YOU COULD BE?

“Obviously I've been in the Cup Series for quite some time now. I felt like if you weren't spending a ton of money or had all this information coming in and trying to develop new parts and pieces, you really weren't going to catch-up when something's always evolving and always changing. And so, obviously when I first signed my contract at JTG Daugherty Racing, our second year we were supposed to have that car and that's what I was really looking forward to. Like hey, we might not be exactly where we want to be our first year, but this new car is coming in. We can learn it, more of the pieces are going to stay the same from season to season, and let's try and build on that. We had to wait an extra year for that. So, for me, I was very thankful that we were able to add another year to our contract to run this year with this race car. It definitely gave me the confidence running this car so far this year that I feel like being here, we can still do great things and contend for wins.”

 

GM PR

YOU ARE SITTING 11TH IN THE STANDINGS BUT YOU BASICALLY ARE ON THE BUBBLE. OTHER THAN GETTING A WIN, DOES THE SITUATION HAVE YOU DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO FIND YOUR WAY INTO THE PLAYOFFS?

“No. But it’s definitely crazy how things can change in the matter of one race. We were in a place where I think we were in good position to make our way in on points and I feel like that has drastically changed. So, certainly as the mindset shifts more to winning. But if I am being honest, we have been trying to do that all year long. So, in reality, not a whole lot changes for us.  But certainly, I don’t think we are as worried about points going forward.”

 

YOU PARTICIPATED IN THE MARTINSVILLE TEST RECENTLY AND I AM CURIOUS WHAT ALL THE CHANGES THAT YOU GUYS WENT THROUGH AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE DIRECTION THAT YOU GUYS LEARNED?

“It was a tough test.  Just with the setting and the circumstances with weather.  You know, we raced there when it felt like it was in the 40s or right around there and we went back and tested and it was in the 90s. So, the control tire that we raced on in March laid plenty of rubber.  But the three cars laid more rubber than the entire race.  The different tire combinations all seemed to work pretty well, but it seems like the car is in this weird spot where its got plenty of mechanical grip, but it just doesn’t seem like we have enough power for the grip we have in the tires for in the driver’s seat to make the mistake of burning the rear tires off and making throttle and tire management a part of the Martinsville game that I think has been a part of it since I have been driving in Trucks or watching the Cup races. So, that is an interesting spot that we are in. I am not sure where we came away from that, but the underbody stuff that was tried certainly helped the situation. We are just missing the racing product a little bit, I think.  Still, at the end of the day, the cars have a lot of grip at the short tracks and I don’t think we have enough power to rip the tires off if we make that mistake.”

 

DID YOU GUYS PLAY WITH THE GEAR RATIOS AND TRY TO CHANGE THE SHIFTING RULES?

“As crazy as this may sound, in my opinion, if we changed the gear and we made it to where we are just running one gear, that makes our problem worse in my opinion. Because then, you could run 150 laps and never burn the tires on the car off if you are not shifting. When you are downshifting, eventually you know 50-60 laps into the run you know you can start feathering the tire on corner exit, but in my opinion just running it for whatever gear it would be, we are never going to spin the tires. So, I don’t think a gear change would be the solution.”

 

DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS CUP CAR IS IN A GOOD PLACE AS FAR AS RACING TODAY?

“Yeah, for the most part. The bigger tracks that have less side force its more treacherous to drive but at the short tracks you are never really on the edge of the car quite like that. You know, we are more fighting mechanical grip, and the car has more mechanical grip everywhere we go. For the most part it has been better and it’s been better at a majority of the places, its just unfortunately put the short track racing where none of us wanted it to be.”

 

DID THEY TRY ANYTING WITH ENGINES AND USING MORE HORSEPOWER ON THE TRACK?

“Yeah, it wasn’t tried. But I am not one to say what we should or shouldn’t do there because there are a lot of moving parts and pieces. A lot of time, research and development have gone into the horsepower package that we are at now and you can’t just flip a switch or change the tapered spacer or go to a different horsepower level and have the same engine reliability across all the engine manufacturers. So, as much as it would be nice to have that option, I can’t really say whether that is an option or not because there is a lot that goes into that unfortunately.”

 

WHAT ADVANTAGE TO YOU THINK CAN BE GAINED AT GOING BACK TO ATLANTA AND THE FIRST TIME RETURNING TO A TRACK FOR A SECOND TIME WITH THIS CAR?

“That one is an interesting one in my opinion because it’s a speedway type race. I thought we were actually pretty good when we were there the last time. We had the tire go that really took us out of that race. You will be able to look at some gains, right? But its more on speedway-type racing gains that really only apply to the six speedway races now that we have in counting Atlanta. So, I wouldn’t say that its an A to B that we can take to one place or the other necessarily, but it will be interesting to see from the first time we were there what improvements have been made. It sounds like they made a number of them to the racetrack and to some of the bumps that were in place at the speedway. So, it will be interesting to see how some of those details to the track have been changed and hopefully improved.”

 

HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR SEASON SO FAR?

“Frustrating. That is probably the best way to put it, yeah. You know, it’s everything you hoped for at times, but unfortunately things go wrong.”

 

DO YOU LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE RACES AND SAY WOULD HAVE, COULD HAVE, SHOULD HAVE OR JUST LOOK FORWARD AND BE POSITIVE ABOUT IT?

“It’s important to go back in the days after and look back on it and take away the positives for sure so you can grow and get better for hopefully the next race and the next weekend. But after that you are telling yourself should have, would have, could have and saying the what ifs if you will. If you get caught up in that, then you lose sight of what is important and that is the next week ahead.”

 

HOW DO YOU STAY POSITIVE AND BELIEVE YOU ARE GOING TO TURN THIS AROUND AND GET IN THE PLAYOFFS?

“Through the speed that we have had. The things that aren’t going our way are the things that we can learn from and correct.  Eventually, as frustrating as these things have been to us, we are going to learn from them, and I would rather go through this now than in the Playoffs. If it turns around and we work all the kinks out that we have been going through, hopefully the right time of the year comes and we put all this behind us.”

 

GOING BACK TO THE MARTNSVILLE TEST, YOU SAID THERE WERE CHANGES TO THE UNDERBODY. HOW DID IT FEEL DIFFERENT?

“Well, that was the great thing. The feel of the car wasn’t much different, it just felt like a little bit less downforce. You didn’t feel as tight behind the car ahead of you and that was one of the things we were feeling at Martinsville when we raced there. When we had the different underbody, it didn’t seem to be as bad. I didn’t get to run up behind cars as much as Austin Cindric or Kyle Busch did, but they certainly thought it was better too. So, that is something that is certainly interesting and hopefully if we can apply it the right way, it will help the racing when we go back.”

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU SEE THE OFF WEEK LAST WEEK AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO KIND OF RESET THE STREAK OF RUN WELL GET A GOOD FINISH, RUN WELL, DON’T GET A GOOD FINISH AND RUN WELL AND GET A DNF?

“Yeah, it was good to have. Anytime we have a bad week, it would be kind of nice to have a moment to gather ourselves up and get back going, but the nature of the schedules is that you don’t have that. So to have that off weekend last weekend for all of us was good. We only get one, so we have to make the most of it and a lot of us did. You don’t want to have a bad race, but if you are going to have a flip like we did of being in a really good points position going into Sonoma and having a first-time winner now being 18th or wherever we are in points, to have that off weekend in between Sonoma and here was good timing.”

 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE MORE OFF WEEKS AS NASCAR LOOKS TO THE FUTURE FOR THE SCHEDULE?

“I mean, I would be up for having more off weekends in the year if we raced more. If this is how we get all the races in, then I am good with it. I used to race 100 times a year, so more races the merrier for me.”

 

WILLIAM BYRON SAID WHEN HE GOT OUT OF THE CAR IN ATLANTA THAT HE FOUND THAT TO BE ONE OF THE MOST MENTALLY DRAINING RACES HE HAD BEEN IN. DID YOU FIND THAT TO BE THE CASE AND IF SO, WHY?

“Physically it was too. We are zipping around a mile-and-a-half at really high speeds, high average speeds, running upper 180s the entire lap. Not a lot of rest down the straightaways because the corners were so long and the aggressive pack racing that we had just really drains you mentally. But certainly, after that race I felt like I was surprised physically of the toll that it had. Normally at speedways its purely a mental drain, but it seemed like at Atlanta it was a little bit of both and that was surprising. When we go back and its even hotter, there is going to be more of that.”

 

GM PR

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1, met with the media in advance of the NASCAR Cup Series practice session at Nashville Superspeedway. Press Conference Transcript:

 

DANIEL, JUST TO START US OFF BEFORE WE GO TO OUR MEDIA FOR QUESTIONS, GIVE US A RECAP OF WHAT LIFE HAS BEEN LIKE THE LAST WEEK OR SO.

“Yeah, it’s been fun and it’s been busy at the same time. I feel very fortunate that I got some extra time to enjoy the moment a little bit more. As you guys know, we had the off week and I got the opportunity to celebrate with my team Sunday night on the plane. But also Monday night, I was able to celebrate with my mom, my dad, my sisters, friends and family. So, it was special. If it was any other week besides Sonoma, it wasn’t going to be like that. It worked out like that and it was great.

 

I’ve been trying to digest every single moment of it because your first win only happens once. But it’s been good. I’ve enjoyed it a lot, but now my focus is here at Nashville.”

 

THE PINATA – WHEN DID YOU COME UP WITH THAT IDEA?

“A few months ago, I had a few conversations with a few friends in Mexico about a piñata. They asked me what my celebration was going to be and I had no idea; and then a piñata came into the conversation. Then, I had a similar conversation with my teammate, Ross (Chastain), about it. Slowly, it just started making sense. Matt Norris, he works at Trackhouse Racing - he went to check for a piñata. He sent a few pictures of piñatas and a taco piñata was there, so we decided to pick the taco piñata. It’s been with us in the hauler for six or eight weeks, so it was about time to smash it.”

 

WHAT WAS IN IT?

“The one from the race track, there was candy in it. In Mexico, that’s a big culture thing. Since I turned one year old and all the way to 30 years old, for every birthday, I’ve had a piñata. And I will say that every kid does it; it’s a big culture thing. It was fun.

 

In Mexico, they put candy in the piñata. You break the piñata and everyone jumps in to get the candy. It’s kind of like that idea and it worked out great, really. It was pretty cool to see the comments from people connecting very well with the piñata idea.”

 

AND THEN YOU GOT TO GO TO THE SHOP AND PITBULL THROWS YOU A PINATA. YOU SMASH IT AND IT HAS MONEY IN IT. HOW WAS THAT?

“It was cool. I didn’t know that piñata had money. They told me it had something in it. I lifted it at one point and it was heavy (laughs). It was good. I have to say, thank you to Pitbull for throwing the piñata the right way because if it wasn’t for him, I was probably going to miss. But he threw it very, very good.

 

It was great. That day was also very special for me. That was the last day of celebration for me because that was the last day that I got to enjoy it with Pitbull and my team again. That night, I put it in my mind to flip the page. I enjoyed every second of it, but for me, it’s in the past. Now, it’s time to get some more.”

 

DANIEL, NOW THAT YOU’VE WON, YOU’VE QUALIFIED FOR THE PLAYOFFS. ANY THOUGHTS ON THAT?

“Yeah, honestly, I haven’t thought about the Playoffs yet. We still have 2 ½ months before that. I feel like there is still a lot of things to be done before that. It feels good to know that we’re locked-in. But as a race car driver, at least for me, we know that being locked-in doesn’t mean a lot. For me, it means a lot when you have a lot of points in the bank – when you have more than a win, but also at least a few Playoff points. That’s when you start becoming a strong contender in the Playoff races.

 

That’s the goal. We still have 2 ½ months to work on that. Hopefully we can get a couple more wins and some more Playoff points. That would be nice.”

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK, YOU RAN WELL AT COTA – YOU WON A STAGE, HAD A CHANCE TO WIN AND THINGS DIDN’T GO YOUR WAY. YOU SMOKED THEM AT SONOMA. FOR ROAD AMERICA, EVERYBODY IS GOING TO SAY YOUR THE NUMBER ONE GUY NOW GOING INTO THE ROAD RACE. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE THE NUMBER ONE GUY?

“Honestly, I don’t know. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter to me. I think at COTA, we we’re extremely strong. Our car broke early and we did what we had to do to finish the stage and survive. But in my opinion, we were very, very strong; even stronger than Sonoma. In Sonoma, we had a very good car. We did a very good job calling the race.

 

It’s been good. I would be lying to you if I told you I’m not extremely excited about every single road course because I believe that we can win in every single one of them. We have good cars. I have a very good team behind me. I feel like I’ve done a good job with the tools that have been given to me and it’s been fun. So, I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Right now, I’m trying to put all my energy into here at Nashville. But next week at Road America, I know it’s going to be a lot of fun for me; and hopefully we can have another strong shot.”

 

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU TO WIN HERE AND DO IT IN THE TOOTSIES CAR?

“Yeah, that would be really cool. I was at Tootsies last night. It’s been a long week, but it’s been fun. It would mean a lot for Tootsies, for Steve (Smith), the owner of Tootsies; and also for Trackhouse Racing. The whole idea of Trackhouse was actually born here. This is one of the homes of Trackhouse, so it would be very special. If you think about it, last year, Ross (Chastain) and I, we both had a pretty solid performance here at Nashville. So, why not? We really have come from a good couple months of racing, speed-wise. We haven’t had the results that we’ve wanted; but speed-wise, we’ve had speed for two months. So, I’m really looking forward to hopefully be contending for a win on Sunday.”

 

HOW MUCH MORE CONFIDENT DO YOU FEEL COMING INTO SUNDAY COMING OFF OF THE WIN AT SONOMA?

“Honestly, the people that know me, they would tell me that I’m very confident before or after the win. The biggest change for me is just that I feel relief. I feel more relaxed. I feel that now, I don’t have to answer the question of ‘when are you going to win’. I feel like I got that one out of the way, but I do feel more relief. Confidence-wise, honestly I feel just as confident right now as I did two months ago. I knew that I could win races. Now, the only difference is that everyone knows that other than just me. Hopefully we can carry that over and get a few more.”

 

WHAT WAS YOUR RECEPTION WHEN YOU WALKED INTO TOOTSIES?

“Everyone was having a good time last night when I walked in. It was good. It was a great time. It was a lot of fun to spend some time with my team, with my pit crew. And with a lot of media; a lot of media were there. A lot of folks from NASCAR. It was very, very cool to see a lot of people from this industry outside of the race track. Personally, I don’t get to see that very often. And the couple times that I have seen it has been at Tootsies (laughs). It’s been fun. I’ve had a good time.”

 

WE KNOW THE THING ABOUT THESE NEW CARS – AND WE HEARD EARLY ON ABOUT GETTING AIR TO THE DRIVERS AND HOW TO KEEP THEM COOL – THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE HOTTEST RACES THAT YOU’VE HAD SO FAR THIS SEASON. WHAT DO YOU DO EXTRA, THAT YOU CAN DO, TO COMBAT THAT?

“Luckily, I was just in Mexico for a week and it was hot down there (laughs). So I feel like I came here a little acclimated for the heat. But the reality is, I feel like every driver in the field prepares themselves for this situation. Try to get a lot of fluids. Try to do different exercises in the heat to prepare for this weekend. But it’s going to be fun. Honestly every time that we get to the summer part of the race season, I get excited because I personally try to prepare myself as good as I can to perform as good as possible in this part of the season.

 

I’m excited. Hopefully it gets very, very hot; and hopefully everybody gets very, very tired.”

 

HOW WAS THE RECEPTION FOR YOU BACK IN MEXICO GOING BACK WITH A CUP WIN?

“It was quite a special moment. It was probably the most special trip I’ve ever had to Mexico. Everybody was very, very excited for me. The people that have been with me on this journey for 10 years now in the U.S., they know how hard its been on this journey. They’ve known me when the lows were low; and known me when the highs are high. It was a lot of fun to see all the people that have stuck with me. All the people that I love. Honestly, if I could write down everything I wanted it to be for that first win, it’s exactly how it happened. So, I’m very, very blessed and very fortunate.

 

I enjoyed it a lot, but that’s now in the past. Now, I’m looking forward to this weekend.”

 

12 WINNERS IN 16 RACES – FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THIS PLAYOFF FORMAT HISTORY. IT MIGHT TAKE MORE THAN ONE WIN. IS THAT SOMETHING THAT’S IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND?

“It’s not. I think that it’s very cool to see what is happening in the Playoffs right now. I feel like a big reason for this is the Next Gen car. These Next Gen cars really came to the game to change everything. The way that we work, the way that we approach things. Everyone is out there playing with pretty much the same tools and we’re seeing those results on track. You never know who’s going to be competitive. It can be a Chevy; it can be anyone really. That’s fun and I really enjoy that. Maybe I’m a little biased because we’ve been strong lately, but it’s been a lot of fun.

 

For me, I really try to focus on one week at a time. There is nothing I can do about Road America right now or the following race. I’m trying to put all my focus into Nashville. I take it one day at a time. I feel like we’re in a good spot. I believe that we can actually contend for more wins before the Playoffs start, so hopefully we can do that and put ourselves in a better position for the last few months of the season in the Playoffs.”

 

IT WASN’T ONLY YOUR FIRST WIN, BUT THE FIRST WIN FOR YOUR SPOTTER, FRANKIE KIMMEL. YOU AND FRANKIE DIDN’T REALLY KNOW EACH OTHER BEFORE YOU WERE PAIRED TOGETHER AND YOU GUYS HAVE HIT IT OFF REALLY WELL. WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE WORKING WITH FRANKIE?

“Yeah, it’s been really special. I have quite a special team. And I say team because it’s everyone – Frankie (Kimmel II); Travis (Mack), my crew chief; Jose (R. Blasco-Figueroa) and Dusty (Zacharyasz), my engineers; my mechanics; pit crew and PR people. Everyone that makes Trackhouse what it is, is very special. I feel very, very proud to have such an amazing group of people around me. I was actually talking to Travis, my crew chief, on the plane back going home from Sonoma. For most of the guys on our team, it was the first win in the Cup Series in the position they have. Travis has won races in the Cup Series, but never as a crew chief. Frankie, the same thing. It’s very special because everyone now knows what it feels like. Everyone knows what it’s like to do that and what it takes. So, I feel like not just myself, but my entire team is way more relaxed and way more relieved. That’s quite exciting to know.”

 

YOU DON’T HAVE A NEW CONTRACT EXTENSION TO ANNOUCE, DO YOU?

“I’ve been so busy doing interviews the last week that I haven’t even had time to answer Ty Norris’s calls (laughs).”

 

GM PR

X

No right click

Please link the article.