“Yeah, I had the same opportunity 30-laps earlier, and I didn’t take it because it just wasn’t the right time. It was putting a lot of risk on the table to do it. We got the lead and did everything we could for our No. 1 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Chevy. It was all we could do.”
I know you think about wanting to win this race, but when you’re thinking about the championship and making the final 4, it’s good to have a day like today.
“It hurts, right? It hurts to lose like that with just a few laps to go to fresher tires. It’s so good to be driving these Trackhouse Racing Chevy’s for everybody at AdventHealth, Moose Fraternity, Jockey and Worldwide Express. To keep bringing this kind of speed in the playoffs is a dream come true.”
Did his (Bubba Wallace) reaction and retaliation surprise you?
“No, it didn’t surprise me. I obviously made an aggressive move into (turn) three; got in low, got loose and chased it up a bit. He (Bubba Wallace) got to my right front, and it got him tight and into the wall. I knew he was going to retaliate. He had a reason to be mad, but his race wasn’t over until he retaliated.
It is what it is. Just aggression turned into frustration and he retaliated.”
Is retaliation at that speed an acceptable thing?
“I think with everything that’s been going on here lately, with head injuries, fractured ligaments and all that, I don’t think it’s probably the right thing to do.
We’ve all done it – maybe not all of us – but I have. I’ve let the emotions get the best of me before, too. I know he’s probably still upset. I’m sure with everything going, he’ll know that he made a mistake in the retaliation part and I’m sure he’ll think twice about that next time.”
What about the off-track retaliation when he came up and tried to shove you.. did that catch you off guard?
“No, I saw him walking over, so I figured he would do something. Like I said, he had every right to be upset. I would rather him do that than tear up our cars in a dangerous manner. It is what it is.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 HOOTERS CAMARO ZL1
Can you describe what you were feeling out there?
“I just did a really bad job. I’m obviously missing something at places like this to compete with the gentlemen that know what they’re doing.”
Homestead-Miami Speedway is another 1.5-mile track, but it’s very different from Las Vegas. Do you feel like you can bounce back; or does this make you more concerned for Homestead?
“Homestead is definitely different, but I need to re-evaluate myself, in general, to have a shot next week.”
“We just struggled. We were kind of just bouncing all day and we could never really get our car to stop bouncing, so we just struggled with that. At times, we had the balance OK, but really could never get the right balance to get ourselves to be able to run up front. We just hoovered around the fifth- to eighth-spot all day. It was just unfortunate that we couldn’t really finish there.”
How frustrating is that when it’s the first race of this round?
“I thought Las Vegas (Motor Speedway) was going to be good for us, but unfortunately all day, we couldn’t really show that. We had some decent stage points, but never enough to really get up towards the front. Just a struggle all day”
TEAM CHEVY RACE QUICK NOTES
·Tyler Reddick and the No. 8 ALSCO Camaro ZL1 team recorded their third pole win of 2022 to lead the field to the green in Race One of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
·A caution on lap 79 brought the end of Stage One, with Daniel Suarez leading Chevrolet with a fourth-place finish in the stage in his No. 99 Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk Camaro ZL1.
·The 80-lap Stage One saw five different leaders, with pole sitter Tyler Reddick leading the most laps of the stage (32 laps).
10th William Byron, No. 24 RaptorTough.com Camaro ZL1
·During the stage break pit stops, Phil Surgen (crew chief) brought Ross Chastain down pit road for a four tire and fuel pit stop. A fast stop by the No. 1 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Camaro ZL1 pit crew gained Chastain six-positions during the race off pit road.
·After a top-10 finish in Stage One, Kyle Larson was involved in an accident on lap 96, with damage sustained forcing the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 team to retire early from the race.
·In similar fashion to the opening stage, Daniel Suarez took another top-five finish in Stage Two, driving his No. 99 Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk Camaro ZL1 to a third-place finish.
4th Ross Chastain, No. 1 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Camaro ZL1
6th William Byron, No. 24 RaptorTough.com Camaro ZL1
Final Stage / Post-Race Notes:
·Under caution with 71 laps remaining in the race, the majority of the field came down pit road for a round of pit stops. The No. 1 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Camaro ZL1 pit crew executed another fast stop, gaining Chastain two spots on pit road to win the race off pit road.
·Ross Chastain recorded a second-place finish in his No. 1 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Camaro ZL1, leading Chevrolet to five top-10 finishes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
·Chevrolet Playoff driver, William Byron, scored valuable stage points in today’s opening race for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8, piloting his No. 24 RaptorTough.com Camaro ZL1 to top-10 finishes in both stages.
·Chevrolet Playoff drivers in the points standings following the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8:
Ross Chastain – 2nd in Playoff Standings (+18 points)
Chase Elliott – 3rd in Playoff Standings (+17 points)
William Byron – 5th in Playoff Standings (- 6 points)