TEAM CHEVY’S CHASE ELLIOTT, WILLIAM BYRON AND DANIEL SUAREZ MET WITH THE MEDIA FOLLOWING THE NASCAR CUP SERIES’ PRACTICE SESSION AT PHOENIX RACEWAY.

POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 KELLEY BLUE BOOK CAMARO ZL1

COULD YOU TELL A DIFFERENCE, OR WAS IT CLOSE TO WHAT YOU FELT BACK IN DECEMBER?

“Honestly, no I really didn’t. I forgot they did anything until they started talking about it afterwards. I don’t see it really changing a whole lot. I could be totally wrong, but I don’t think it’s going to change much.”

WHAT DID YOU FEEL WITH YOUR CAR SPECIFICALLY DURING THE COURSE OF PRACTICE, AND IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN TAKE AWAY FROM IT AND APPLY TO SUNDAY?

“Yeah, I definitely thought we made it better from our first run, for sure. That was encouraging. We were all out of sorts there on our first run. I thought we landed in a decent spot. We certainly have room to improve, but yeah I thought we made it better. I like some of the characteristics that we were able to adjust on, which is always encouraging anytime you start practice and you start changing things.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1

BYRON ON HOW HE FELT FOLLOWING THE PRACTICE SESSION:

“I was pretty tight, but when I got within a few car links, I would slow down. I couldn’t get within two or three car lengths of anyone, but I was pretty slow.”

HOW DID THE NEW TIRES FEEL TODAY ON TRACK?

“They felt fine. You could slide the car around a little bit more, I felt like. The fall-off seemed pretty quick. But yeah, unless I was on a two or three-lap tire advantage or disadvantage, there were comers and goers with that. But with equal tires, I didn’t pass anyone.”

I DON’T KNOW IF YOU PERSONALLY HAD HIGH HOPES, BUT IT FELT LIKE THERE WAS SOME SORT OF HOPE THAT THIS WAS GOING TO MAKE THINGS BETTER, AND EVERYONE THAT’S COME IN SO FAR HAS SAID IT’S EITHER THE SAME OR WORSE IN TRAFFIC. IS THAT DISAPPOINTING?

“It’s disappointing when your car is slow. That’s all I care about. I think when you’re fast, you can pass. When you’re slow, you don’t pass. That’s all I really care about.. that’s what my job is to do. But yeah, if the package races better, that’s great. I just focus on what I have to do, which is try and pass people.”

I don’t feel like I could pass. I passed one car, but there was a six or seven-lap tire difference. So yeah, once I got close to anyone, it was really hard to pass.”

FORD AND TOYOTA WERE AT THE TOP OF THE SPEEDCHARTS. IS THAT IN RELATION TO THAT, OR ARE THE ISSUES THAT YOU’RE BATTLING SPECIFIC TO THE NO. 24 TEAM?

“I don’t know.. I think it’s really just who guessed the best coming here. The aero-balance is totally different and your setup has to coincide with that. We didn’t guess correctly, but we still have time to get it right for Sunday. I think there’s a lot of changes going into it, but yeah it just has more to do with everyone’s sims said.”

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 FREEWAY INSURANCE CAMARO ZL1

SUAREZ ON HOW HE FELT FOLLOWING THE PRACTICE SESSION:

“Honestly, I feel like the biggest difference is that we have a little bit more speed in the front-end because the tire is softer. And it fell off a little bit more, which is good.. I think it will produce good racing. I was in traffic quite a bit the first run of tires, and the car is very wild in traffic.. probably more than before. But we’ll see.. we’ll see exactly where we stack-up. I felt like the car was extremely, extremely tight in traffic.

But we’ll see. I think the tire is the biggest deal. I think having a softer tire on the right-side and having a tire that is going to wear out more, I think it’s going to produce good racing. But when it comes to the aero stuff, I don’t know.. I don’t know exactly. We’ll have to see in the race.”

OTHER DRIVERS HAVE ALSO SAID THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY WORSE IN TRAFFIC..

“That’s what I thought, too. But again, I think Goodyear is the one that can really move the needle there big time with the softer tire, and I feel like that was a move in the right direction. We’ll see how it matches with the aero package.”

DOES IT PICKUP A LOT OF PUSH BEHIND ANOTHER CAR?

“Yeah, it does. I was in traffic pretty much my entire first run, the first time out with tires, and the car actually felt great. And as soon as I got into traffic, I was like – what the heck, what happened to my car. But I saw cars coming to me, as well, with little newer tires, and they were doing exactly the same thing. It’s going to be a challenge, but I like the fact that we’ll have to manage our tires a little bit more.”

I’M ASSUMING YOU DID SOME SIMULATOR WORK. DID IT CORRELATE?

“It did.. it did quite a bit. The only thing that I was actually surprised about in the simulator is that we were fighting a lot of moments with the back of the car on entry. The first hour I spent in the simulator, I was wrecking because I was so loose on entry. My car here is pretty solid on entry, so that’s a positive. I don’t know if that’s a simulation thing or a car thing that we improved, but whatever that may be, it felt better here than in the simulator, which is good.”

GM PR

Speedway Digest Staff
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