CHEVROLET NCS AT SONOMA: Will Brown Media Availability Quotes

Will Brown, driver of the No. 33 Mobile X / Shaw and Partners Camaro ZL1, met with the media in advance of his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Sonoma Raceway.

Media Availability Quotes:

How do you feel about being here at Sonoma Raceway for your NASCAR Cup Series debut?

“It’s cool to come over here. For myself, watching what SVG did last year, a lot of Aussies have paid a lot of attention to NASCAR now and I’m pretty excited to come over and have a go. I was lucky enough to put a deal together with Richard (Childress). We were able to have him out to Australia at the end of last year, and yeah, made that connection. So, for myself, it was cool to put a deal together last minute and hopefully we’ll have a good weekend.”

Could you just talk a little bit about the reception and getting to know others? I guess you haven’t had a ton of time to really immerse yourself totally in that, but just a little bit about that and kind of what your realistic expectations are.

“Yeah, I haven’t had a long time to meet everyone just yet. I came over about four weeks ago for about three days to do a seat fitting and everything. I’ve been racing a lot in Australia and that was the only time I could fit in. I raced last weekend and got here Monday afternoon, and I’ve been into since then. I was able to meet a couple of the guys this morning. It’s been pretty cool to be watching NASCAR and then meet a few of them.

The expectations are a really hard thing for this weekend and to know what to expect. Shane (van Gisbergen), obviously coming over last year and doing what he did, makes it hard for the Aussies to come out now. It’s like a let down if we don’t win. It’s one of those things – I think Shane’s been running inside the top-10 for his last couple of road course runs, so that would be great if we could do that. There are a lot of cars out there that have good drivers in them, so I really don’t know what to expect until after practice and qualifying.”

What has your preparation been for this weekend?

“Yeah, I was really lucky when I came over three weeks ago, I got an hour in the simulator. So that was good just to familiarize myself with this track. I’ve never seen it before. I hadn’t driven it before that. And then this week, I was able to piggy-back off the end of Austin’s (Dillon) session and get an hour there. And then with Kyle (Busch) doing the test at one of the tracks, I was able to get his whole simulator session. That’s something we don’t use back at home. For drivers, there are no simulators. We can use a cheaper sort of one in our house, but yeah we don’t have that sort of facility or infrastructure. So yeah, it was cool to get on it. I think we had a really good simulator session on the last time on Wednesday, and yeah, I seem to know the track pretty well.”

You get one, short practice here today. What can you accomplish and what do you want to accomplish during that practice session to make you feel as comfortable as possible?

“Yeah, it’s a tough one. When I found out the practice session was getting a lot longer due to the repave, I was pretty excited about that. The 50-minute practice session should be good. But yeah, for me, it’s about running laps around here; getting used to the car. In Australia, Supercars run at a high level and learning new tracks. But for me, it’s going to be learning a new track and a car. So yeah, just build up into it; hopefully no mistakes and see where we end up at the end of the session.”

In terms of experience, I think SVG had said he had never had a right-side shifter car.. anything like that. Where are you on that front? Have you done this before?

“Yeah, Supercars are very similar cars, but they are a right-hand drive. Also, I raced in GT cars, so I’ve raced left-hand drive, but they’re pedal, so I haven’t shifted with the right-hand yet, so we’ll see how I go with that. But in the simulator, it wasn’t hard at all. It was sort of just – I don’t know.. I’m used to racing different cars, so you sort of switch over. Yeah, it’ll be interesting once I’m out on track, but so far, I haven’t found it too bad.”

New surface here at Sonoma Raceway.. Did the time in the simulator teach you anything about this place or is this going to be an ongoing learning, on-the-fly, kind of thing?

“I feel good after the simulator. I think it’s a very good tool to use to get a driver ready for the track. But yeah, nothing is the same as the real thing at the end of the day. So yeah, you can prep that way, but until I get out there, I don’t really know what to expect. I know the layout; know where I’ve got to go and the bumps. But we’ll see how the real car reacts to it.”

There haven’t been a whole lot of Australians here in NASCAR, but did you follow Marcos Ambrose at all growing up?

“Yeah, so I wouldn’t say I followed it massively when I was younger. I got into racing a little bit later. Marcos (Ambrose) was actually coming back to Australia when I was coming into the Supercars scene. So yeah, I’ve definitely kept an eye on it. I think since Shane (van Gisbergen) came over, it’s really put it on the map. I think for a lot of Australians, it wasn’t that we didn’t love watching NASCAR, but we probably didn’t think it was possible to get a team to look at us and give us the opportunity to drive in NASCAR. After Shane did that, it’s opened up some doors, and with meeting Richard (Childress) last year, it sort of kind of came on from there and I’ve stayed in contact. I didn’t think I’d be in this position a year ago, so it’s pretty exciting.”

You don’t necessarily remember the year that Marcos (Ambrose) almost won here, right?

“No, I don’t.. no. Sorry.”

In the Supercars and the other series you run in, you run against a lot of the same people so you learn their tendencies and you know how to race them. How do you approach this race? Besides the car, you’re racing with a bunch of people you’ve never raced with before. What do you look for?

“Yeah, it’s going to be interesting. We race hard back at home, but it’s sort of scrutinized. Where over here, obviously it’s not as much. So, I’m used to the argy-bargy, but I don’t know who sort of does that and who doesn’t, so it’ll be interesting. But that’s life – it’ll be a lot of learning out there this weekend and I’m excited for that. We’ll see what comes of it, really.”

What do you think of the track and the area around here?

“Yeah, it’s awesome. It’s been cool to have a look. I walked the track for the first time this morning and the angulation, how steep it is going into turn two, I didn’t expect that. I don’t think the simulator shows that as much, or even onboard footage. There’s a lot of uphill and downhill, but we do have tracks similar to that in Australia, so it’s not unusual. But yeah, probably didn’t expect that. It’ll just be cool to see everyone come out here on Sunday and see what it’s like to race over here in front of a crowd.”