ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 RENU CAMARO ZL1
Did you learn anything in the Sprint All-Star race that you think will be important in this Playoff race?
"In the spring we were flying in Texas. I would like to not fly as high (laughs). With the two ends being so different, you gain so much speed with the banking and you have to slow down a lot in turns 1 and 2. Keeping the balance on both ends is important. We obviously learned stuff in the All-Star race but now there is a lot more on the line."
Since its newer pavement at Texas, do you think we'll see more drastic things with the new car?
"It does actually. It has a lot of grip until you lose it, so when you do lose it you crash, or we blow tires.
I think the whole field has gotten better with not blowing tires as easily. I don't know how long they're going to leave Texas the way it is, so it's probably time to enjoy it for what it is."
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
Larson on lessons learned during last season’s playoffs:
"Be clean and let the other teams make the mistakes. Honestly, if you can just finish you don’t have to do anything crazy in the first couple rounds. Don’t take yourself out of stage points or a good finish and you can advance. Once you get to the Round of 8, that’s obviously when you need to get some top-five finishes or a win. You just don’t want to take yourself out of any race or get any DNF or anything like that where you put yourself in a must-win situation because winning is really difficult to do. You just want to keep yourself in contention every race."
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
Daniels on the challenges of setting a car up for Texas Motor Speedway:
"Texas (Motor Speedway) is definitely a different style intermediate track with less banking in (turns) one and two and a tighter corner radius than (turns) three and four. It’s actually fun to try to set up a car because the ends are so different. With some hotter temperatures this weekend compared to when we were there for the All-Star Race and with the groove widening out with resin or whatever they spray, 500 miles is a long race but I hope it can be a pretty fun day."
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
Elliott on racing at Texas:
"I’d love to go to Texas (Motor Speedway) this weekend and have a good, solid run and start this round off on a high note. We didn’t get to run the full All-Star Race earlier this year, but I still feel like we got enough track time to have good notes as we head back there. We just need to put a good weekend together and execute a solid day. If we can do that, then we have as good a shot as anyone to get a win and lock ourselves into the next round."
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on preparing for the Round of 12:
“This is going to be a tough round, but we know what we need to do to keep our playoff run going. Execution and putting together three solid races is going to be key. Each of these races in this Round of 12 has its own unique set of challenges. There isn’t really much room for error, but if you make a mistake, you have to regroup quickly and do what you can to maximize the day and get as many points as you can. Our group is really good at that and I think we are fully capable of advancing."
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1
Byron on preparation for Texas:
"I’m interested to see how racing at Texas (Motor Speedway) goes this weekend. We’ve always had speed there but I think in the spring we just were a little off on our setup since it was the first time at Texas in the Next Gen car. Our mile-and-a-half program is the one I think we needed to work on the most this season but I think, especially after Kansas (Speedway) a few weeks ago, that we’ve really improved on those style of tracks. With how this round shapes up there’s a lot of emphasis on Texas and leaving there with as many points as possible and that will be our goal, just like how we did last round. As long as we have a good Saturday, I think we’ll be in a good place for the race and then it’s all about execution on Sunday."
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1
Fugle on what he expects at Texas this weekend:
"I think we have some good notes heading into this weekend’s race at Texas (Motor Speedway). We learned a lot from Kansas (Speedway) a couple weeks ago, and with us using the same tire as we did for that race, a good portion of those notes should translate. The biggest difference is going to be how much hotter it is and where the resin is applied on the track. From what we’ve been told, the resin is being applied like it was for the All-Star Race earlier this year, so we have those notes as well. Just with the heat and tire compound though, I think handling is going to play a much bigger factor this weekend than it did for the All-Star event. We’ve really focused on that this week, so we hopefully unload close to where we need to be and focus more on fine-tuning than anything."
TY DILLON, NO. 42 BLACK RIFLE COFFEE COMPANY CAMARO ZL1
Dillon's thoughts on racing at Texas Motor Speedway:
"I'm looking forward to heading to Texas this weekend with my No. 42 Petty GMS team. We have been working on our intermediate package and I believe this weekend should be fun to see how some of these changes play out on track. Ever since the surface was reconfigured a few years ago, it has presented us drivers with such a challenging course to attack. Hopefully, the use of the resin will help promote some good passing opportunities, because the speeds are up and clean air is always king at this place. I'm excited to welcome our friends at Black Rifle Coffee Company back onboard our Camaro, and hope to give everyone a good run for 500 miles in the Lone Star state."
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 FOCUSFACTOR CAMARO ZL1
“Texas was a tough race for us during the All-Star race. We got voted in by the fan vote and just really struggled all night. We were on a path that I feel like wasn’t working with our mile-and-a-half program at that point. I think we’ve gotten it quite a bit better and know what we need to do better for that race coming back. Hopefully those things will play out for us. I like Texas a lot. I’ve been able to win a hand full of races there in the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series, so I want to get strong there in the Cup car and contend for a win with our FOCUSfactor Chevy.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
Bowman on being named the 2022 Halifax Humane Society's Humanitarian of the Year: "It is really cool to be nominated for the award. Helping animals is a big passion of mine and something that I really value. Without Ally and Best Friends Animal Society helping me get the money and resources to Best Friends network partners across the country, none of this would be possible. I am honored to receive this award, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Hopefully we can win a few more races before the season ends and get even more money to the pets who need it."
Bowman, on what it takes to make it to the Round of 8:
"Our team is really focused on taking it one race at a time. We did that in the Round of 16 to get to where we are now. The crew is really fired up right now and all of us are putting in the time to give ourselves the best chance of success. Greg (Ives) is really focused and leading us really well right now. I think that if we continue to pay attention to the small details and stay focused on one race at a time, we can go really far this postseason. We have Texas (Motor Speedway) circled right now and that’s all that matters."
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
Ives on advancing to the Round of 12:
"Despite the mechanical issues, we had a fast car in Bristol and glad we made it to the next round of the playoffs. Our team has worked hard to give Alex (Bowman) really fast race cars and Alex has been locked in on performing and the team is feeding off of his energy. We have a lot of momentum right now and I told the team we don’t have to hit home runs. We just need to get on base and maximize the results. Texas (Motor Speedway) is the next race we all have our focus on."
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 AGUAS FRESCAS CAMARO ZL1
What are your thoughts on going to Texas and beginning the Round of 12?
"We can't wait to get to the track. Not only do we have a big weekend planned with Daniel's Amigos, but Texas is one of my favorite tracks. We know we are better than what we showed at Bristol. Texas, Talladega and the Charlotte Roval are three of my better tracks. We know we can advance, now we have to show everyone else."
How tough is the mental reset after a struggle at Bristol?
“You have no idea how easy it’s going to be for me to reset because that car was not fun. For me, to be able to make it to the next round with the way the car was driving, is a huge plus. Thank you to everyone on our team. They did a very good job. We had the speed, but there were a lot of mistakes; on pit road, myself, overall. We’ll come back stronger for the next round.”
What is Daniel's Amigos?
"Daniel's Amigos was just an idea. I always wanted to do something special for the Latinos, and was just trying to come up with ways to bring this community to the race track and give them a special, cool experience.
After several conversations with Coca-Cola and NASCAR, we were able to make it happen in 2019 at Auto Club Speedway in California and it has just grown from here. It has taken a lot of work by Coca-Cola and NASCAR to make this happen, but I am super excited about it."