Ross Chastain, No. 1 AdventHealth Camaro ZL1
Two runner-up finishes at Atlanta last year, what is your goal this year?
“My goal is to finish one spot better and win the race. Finishing second is great, but I want to win for my team and all of our partners. Racing at Atlanta now is more superspeedway-like and we had two strong finishes last year. Of course, it'll be a little bit different this time since we've had more time with this car, but if you're anywhere close to the front and there's a late race restart, I'd say you have a good chance at winning.”
We're seeing more drivers joining broadcasts from the television and radio booths, why is that?
“Calling a race from the radio or the television booth always gives you a different perspective. It’s fun to do something different. It'll be good distraction for me while my brother (Chad Chastain) is out there on the track for his first Xfinity race."
Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1
Larson on the season so far:
“We had a shot to win in Daytona and I crashed. In Fontana, we had the mechanical issue early in the race, but fixed it and the last two runs of the race we were by far the fastest car. In Vegas, we were the second-best car to William (Byron) and finished second. In Phoenix, again, we had a great car there and had a shot to win late. No win in the column, but I’m super pleased with our performance and look forward to every upcoming race. I feel like no matter where we go right now, we will have a shot at a good finish and hopefully some wins along the way."
Kyle Busch, No. 8 Lenovo Camaro ZL1
“Driving at the new Atlanta configuration is definitely challenging just due to the fact that it’s really, really fast and it’s a mile-and-a-half so it seems like the superspeedway speeds that you get at a mile-and-a-half make everything go by really quick and things happen quick, faster than a superspeedway. That’s definitely the challenging part. Understanding the grip level of what the cars have and the draft and the moves you can make is also pretty challenging. It’s easier for everybody to go faster with it being restrictor plate style racing and everybody being able to hold it wide-open to the most part makes it for a plate race. Drivers would rather drive and have it as the old Atlanta.”
Does running well at Daytona give you confidence entering this weekend in Atlanta?
“Yes and no. I would say that we’ve had speed at Daytona with the superspeedway cars. We had a pretty good handling primary car and then, unfortunately, we just weren’t quite able to get the handle the way we wanted it to with the second one, although I thought it was good after the practices we had. Going into Atlanta, it’s just kind of an unknown. We just have to go in there and see what it all feels like and see how the Lenovo Chevy drives compared to what I remember driving there last year.”
Josh Berry, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1
Berry on his first top-10 finish in the NASCAR Cup Series and looking ahead to Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"The top-10 finish at Phoenix (Raceway) was really cool for us to accomplish. And for Atlanta (Motor Speedway), we just want to keep building on what we've been doing and just continue to improve. Atlanta is going to be a tough race without a doubt, but Hendrick Motorsports has been really strong there. I think if we can just stay out of trouble and hopefully stay up front, we'll have a chance of getting a good finish."
Berry on what has helped get him more comfortable with the car and acclimated with the team:
"It was amazing what a week of preparation did for us at Phoenix (Raceway). Just being around each other and spending some time in the sim and just getting a little bit more comfortable with each other has definitely helped a lot. This week, I’ve also spent some time with Eddie (D’Hondt, spotter) and getting our communication better as well, which is going to be really important in Atlanta. I think we just keep pushing in that same direction. We’re trending better and better each time we go on the racetrack, so Atlanta should be fun.”
William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1
Byron on his confidence heading to Atlanta:
"This past offseason we really took the time to evaluate where we were and what we needed to get better as a team. I think this year has shown that so far, especially to have two strong runs and wins so soon. Everyone is putting in the time and effort to make sure we are improving. Now we’re heading back to Atlanta (Motor Speedway) as the defending winner of this race last year, and two wins under our belts. It gives us an extra boost of confidence but we’re not going to let up."
Justin Haley, No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1
"Atlanta was a really great track for us last year. Obviously with it being a speedway track now, it has worked in our favor, but I think as it wears, it's going to start getting a little bit more like a mile-and-a-half. It’s probably my favorite racetrack right now on the schedule. It’s just something so different than any other track we go to with the high speeds and it being an in-between track. I’ll also have the opportunity to get some laps in during the Xfinity race as well, so I’m really looking forward to this weekend as a whole.”
Noah Gragson, No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Camaro ZL1
“I’ve really enjoyed racing at Atlanta over the years. It’s going to be tough without practice on Saturday as I think we can use all the laps we can get being rookies, but we have some great notes to go on from the No. 43 team are focused forward.”
Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Camaro ZL1
Last year, your team was really strong in both Atlanta races. What is it about the superspeedway style of racing on the reconfiguration that fits in your wheel house?
“I liked racing in Atlanta last year. It was a lot different obviously with the new layout and new format style of racing. It’s kind of like having an extra superspeedway track for us, but you have a little more handling involved, especially more than what we have at say, Talladega. I feel like our speedway program has been strong; I feel like at the Daytona 500, we had a good car. So hopefully, we can be just as strong there and be able to just lead some laps, be up front, and have a shot to win. Last year, we were pretty close in a couple of them in Atlanta. You know, I really felt like in the second race there we had a great shot to win, and hopefully we can go back down there and close this one out with our Allegiant Chevy.”
Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1
Bowman on his consistency to start 2023:
"It’s been a goal of mine for so long to get more consistent. Having finished in the top 10 in all four races so far gives me a lot of confidence in what the No. 48 Ally Racing team is doing this season. It helps that I have liked a lot of the tracks we start at this season, but we keep bringing fast race cars and maximizing every opportunity that comes our way. Atlanta (Motor Speedway) races more like a superspeedway with the repave so it’s a little bit of a tossup, but I am ready to continue the streak we are on."
Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Camaro ZL1
Are you looking forward to Atlanta on Sunday?
"Of course. Atlanta is an interesting race track. It's almost like it can't decide what it wants to be. It's a 1.5-mile track that races like a Talladega and Daytona. We have had some good results there since the reconfiguration. I think the key is survival and hopefully we can do that and get another good finish."
How is your season so far?
"We have run well. The cars are fast, the pit stops are fast, we are learning. We have things we have to get better at and clean up but we are making progress. I think we are going to have a lot of fun this season if we keep doing what we are doing."
Grant Enfinger, No. 23 Champion Power Equipment Silverado RST
What are your thoughts on returning to Atlanta's newly-renovated reconfiguration for the second time around this weekend?
“Atlanta is a lot different since the reconfiguration. It races more like a superspeedway rather than a conventional mile and a half track. With the banking and newer asphalt we will all have a lot of grip which provides for tight racing. We will have to be aggressive on the track and pit road to position ourselves to be upfront for the end. I’m looking forward to this stretch of 5 races in a row. Our Champion Power Equipment team is preparing well, and I feel like GMS Racing has built us some trucks that we can win with.”
Rajah Caruth, No. 24 Wendell Scott Foundation Silverado RST
Though it hasn’t been quite the start of the year that you had hoped for results wise, you’ve shown some stout speed in both races. What are some of your goals in place for this weekend in Atlanta?
"Definitely, to your point, the results that we've had this year haven't been indicative of our pace. Especially at Las Vegas two weeks ago; where we were running right around the top-10 and earning points in both stages and being right in the mix before green flag stops before we got wrecked. So really, the goals don't change from week-to-week, at least for me personally, and I would say that the guys on my team agree with me. We work just as hard and treat every race as if it was a playoffs race. The expectations are that we give our best efforts; and that's what my guys are doing at the shop. I give my best efforts at the shop, and away from the shop, and that's what I am for sure doing. So hopefully that will set us up for a great race on Saturday in Atlanta, and from there get a good rhythm going, because we have five races in a row. It's going to be important to have a good tone here and start off this stretch with a bang, so I'm confident in my team and think we can really show out in Atlanta this weekend."
Daniel Dye, No. 43 Heise LED Lighting Systems / Orlando Longwood Auto Auction Silverado RST
You haven't ever competed at Atlanta Motor Speedway before, but since Daytona is still relatively fresh on your mind, do you think you can take what you learned in that race and apply it to this weekend?
"I think what I learned at Daytona is certainly going to help me to some extent at Atlanta. Obviously, with the track in Atlanta being close to half the size of Daytona, the racing is going to be a little bit different, but it should feel similar since they reconfigured that track to more of a superspeedway feel. You're definitely going to have to take that into account, but I'm looking forward to it with our Heise LED Chevrolet Silverado RST. We've had a little bit of a rough start to our season, but I know everyone on the No. 43 team is going to do their best to get us rolling in the right direction starting with this weekend."
Chase Purdy, No. 4 Bama Buggies Silverado RST
Talk about racing as a kid on the quarter-mile track at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“I have a lot of history at Atlanta – actually for a few years I spent probably every winter running the Winter Flurry deal and the Thursday Thunder on Thursday nights. Every Wednesday we would get there and practice all night and Thursday come back and race on the little quarter mile. So, lots of history there. I love Atlanta – I think it’s cool that it’s a totally different race track now. It used to be old, worn out and slick, and now it’s wide open and races like Talladega and Daytona. I’m really excited to get back there and see what happens.”
Does the speed your team had at Daytona increase your optimism for Atlanta?
“I’m really excited about how much speed we had at Daytona and Atlanta races like that now. I think if we can go there and have the same speed that we had at Daytona, then we definitely have a shot to win.”
Coming off a top-10 finish at Las Vega, does that help your confidence?
“We’ve shown a lot of speed at both the race tracks we’ve been to this year. I’ve got a really good group of guys here at KBM. There is no quit in them and they believe in me. I have a lot of confidence going into Atlanta and these next few races as well. Hopefully, we can keep up the momentum we have rolling right now.”
Jack Wood, No. 51 Logitech Silverado RST
Will having a strong qualifying run and good speed in the ARCA race at Phoenix give you a confidence boost getting into the truck at Atlanta?
“Yeah, for sure. I think that was one of the biggest reasons for us for to go and run ARCA this year was to just kind of build confidence back up. I think that it will translate over to the truck for sure.”
Do you like the new style of racing at Atlanta?
“It’s fun. Looking at the race from last year, all the KBM trucks were really, really fast, so if we do get a chance to qualify I think we’ll be at the front of the field will help us out. I think it will be a fun race, but you just have to be smart and stay out of the stuff the same way Corey (Heim) did last year and just kind of be there at the end.”
Do you think that the style of racing will change at all going back for a second year on the new surface?
“I don’t know. It’ll be curious going back to the track for a second time and how much the asphalt has changed over a year with all the weather in Atlanta these past 12 months. I think it will race pretty similar – probably have a little less grip If I had to guess, but I think it will be pretty much the same race that we saw last year.”
Christian Eckes, No. 19 NAPA Autocare Silverado RST
On continuing the No. 19 team’s momentum at Atlanta:
“It’s hard to know exactly what to expect at Atlanta with having only one race under our belt there on the new repave and no practice this weekend. I know Charles (Denike) and everybody at MHR put a lot of effort into our NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet for this weekend, so we’ll have to feel it out when they drop the green on Saturday. We’ve had really good driving Chevrolets in both races this year, and we’ll need to continue that on Saturday to be able to maneuver in the draft this weekend. We’ve been doing a good job at getting stage points in both races, so we’ll try to keep that up and put ourselves in position for our first win at the end of the day.”
Jake Garcia, No. 35 Quanta Silverado RST
On making his first start at his home track:
“Our Quanta Services team had a great start to the year at Las Vegas and it’d be great to follow that up with another good run at home this weekend. I’ve never raced at Atlanta before, so it’s exciting for my family and friends to be able to race right in our backyard. I think we can build on run at Las Vegas and take another step forward this weekend. Atlanta has turned into a lot more of a drafting game than a typical mile-and-a-half race, but we’ll definitely still need our Quanta Service Chevrolet to handle well and be balanced in the pack on Saturday to run towards the front.”