TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:
Erik Jones, No. 43 Guns N’ Roses Camaro ZL1
Jones on the accident that ended his race early:
“It was hard to tell. It looked like the No. 45 (Tyler Reddick) got turned around, but I couldn’t see how it happened. Regardless, we spun out there on the bottom when I was trying to get around it and then I got hit on the left side hard enough to take out the left rear and end our day.
It is what it is. We were up there; we were racing and we were doing all we could. We were just in the wrong spot at the wrong time. I wish we could have been a little ahead of him.”
Are you surprised the first on-track came at the end of Stage Two?
“No, not really. Everybody was racing hard, but everybody was doing a good job of just keeping in line and doing what they needed to do. There were a couple of moments.. a couple of aggressive and bad pushes, but nothing that was too crazy. I don’t know what sprung that one off, but I thought everybody was doing a good job at that point. It started to get pretty aggressive up until that wreck and I was getting antsy about being up there and getting into something. We were kind of in a bad spot in the pack to get caught up in something. But yeah, I wasn’t surprised it took that long.”
Obviously, it’s a superspeedway, so there’s not a ton you can take from this weekend. But what did you learn this weekend that you can apply for when we get to either Atlanta (Motor Speedway) or Talladega (Superspeedway) later on?
“I thought our No. 43 Guns N’ Roses Chevy was good, it just needed some more speed. We had it driving pretty good, but just didn’t have it quite fast enough. I was having to carry a lot of throttle for too long to stay up and be aggressive with the pack with the pushes the way I wanted to, so we need to get a little more speed out of it moving forward. Hopefully we can find a way to do that.”
Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1
Elliott on the accident that ended his race early:
“It looked like some guys got tangled up, upfront. Those of us in the back were just scattering to kind of miss it. It looked like the No. 5 (Kyle Larson) and the No. 43 (Erik Jones) kind of went to the apron. By the time we got slowed up, they were coming back across the track and I was the lucky winner to get there first. It’s a bummer.. long ways to go. Hate to end the day, but it is what it is.”
AUSTIN DILLION, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS CLUB CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 (Finished 33rd)
“We had a strategy there and it just didn’t play out. We weren’t as good as some of the Fords to be able to tandem and get hooked up. The 6 car just drove through the 24, and that is just what he does. His car is just good enough to where he can just drive through who he needs to and push them out of the way, or wreck them. That is the desperation that they are in right now. I hate it because I was wanting to get Kyle Busch in victory lane here at Daytona. Looking back I should have been a little more selfish at that point. I wish we would have just tried to block both lanes, truthfully. It was one of those deals that is a hard position to be in. I also wish it had gone to the white flag in the position we were in. Unfortunately not, and hopefully Kyle (Busch) can still make something happen from sixth. RCR as a whole, it was pretty cool to get to where we got there and be 1-2 at the Daytona 500 with two laps to go. It sucks because you are so close to winning a second Daytona 500 and your teammate was really close to winning his first ever. We will take it and move on and we did it with not the fastest cars truthfully. It was just execution and we didn’t finish off the last part.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 (Finished 34th)
“I got into the 8 and we just got off center somehow and I wrecked him. Once he got off center, I tried to back up but I had the 6 in the back of me trying to push as well. Yeah, unfortunate because we were trying to put ourselves in the right position and we were in a really good spot there with about two to go and running third before that caution. It seemed like when they did the teammate restart it really checked up the bottom lane and I had made my bed of trying to take that lane to have momentum off of turn two. That was unfortunate.”
NOAH GRAGSON, NO. 42 WENDY’S CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 (Finished 24th)
“I thought we had a decent run until the end. We put ourselves in position in the top 10 and then made a couple of mistakes and got caught up in the big wreck at the end with the last caution. Thankful for the opportunity. We're going to continue to work hard and grow as a team. Really proud of Luke Lambert (crew chief) and the boys for the adversity we had. Never quit. We’re not going to quit. Just very thankful."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 84 CARVANA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 (Finished 31st)
"All in all, just a great day. I hate that we didn't get to the finish line, but we got a lot closer than I thought. If I would have taken a bet before the race started, I would have thought some issues earlier than that, but we had a great day. The Carvana car was awesome. Very, very proud of this race team. Unfortunately, we didn't get the finish line."
JUSTIN HALEY, NO. CIRKUL CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 (Finished 32nd)
“We had a great run going there for a while. We were unfortunately just caught up in what was ultimately just one of those green-white-checkered deals that are inevitable at superspeedways. We struggled a little bit all weekend. This package is pretty tough to pass with, but it was fun to be up there battling in the top 10 there for a bit."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 3CHI CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 (Finished 19th)
WALK US THROUGH THOSE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS
“I don’t know. I just tried to keep it straight as much as I can and wait for when its going to happen and eventually it does, and it did again today. So, I tried, and I don’t know what else to do. Come up short. Let lap 200 and wish it was still 1998 rules.”
DOES THIS GET YOU EXCITED FOR THE SEASON WHEN YOU SEE HOW WELL RCR DID HERE THIS AFTERNOON?
“Yeah, definitely excited for the start of the season and getting to the real racetracks.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 (Finished 5th)
“It’s the Daytona 500 and we know how to crash some stuff. It was just super aggressive and a lot of pushing. You know you have to do it and sometimes they go wrong and crashes happen. Just proud of my team and glad we were able to make it out clean.”
DO YOU HAVE MOMENTUM GOING TO CALIFORNIA?
“I think so. Just starting the year off strong on the right foot. Not only here but at the Coliseum as well. I enjoy California, its been hit or miss for me, but looking forward to getting back there.”
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES CHEVORLET CAMARO ZL1 (Finished 7th)
HOW WAS YOUR DAYTONA 500, IT LOOKED WILD FROM OUR VIEW?
“It was a little bit crazy, but I told the team they did a hell of a job. We lacked track position most of the day, and when it mattered the most, we had it. We just spun out there and I was just struggling with loose balance when people would get to the rear bumper for some reason. That one, the 2 came very close to me, very tight and the car behind me came very close as well and got me loose. We recovered and we are getting better at this kind of racing and we are going to get one of these one day.”