ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 JOCKEY CAMARO ZL1
What do you expect this weekend at Richmond?
“We are running a little bit different package this weekend compared to Richmond last year. It'll be our second short track this season so I'll be curious to see how everything shakes out. I've been working in the simulator and my guys have been working hard on the set up. We'll have a short time for practice and hopefully we qualify well which is huge. I qualified second there last fall which is big because it doesn't take cars long to go a lap down there under green flag.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BREZTRI AEROSPHERE CAMARO ZL1
What are your thoughts on Richmond Raceway?
“Richmond Raceway is a challenge. I loved the track for about half of my life NASCAR life, and for the other half it was such a brutal place to come race for us. My Richard Childress Racing team really flipped the script the last couple of years, and we’ve been consistent in the top 10 and running well. I’m looking forward to getting back to Richmond with the new lower downforce package. Tire wear is very fast so managing tires for 400 laps is key and I’ve always enjoyed the long runs. Richmond is a rhythm track, and after our Top-5 run at the L.A. Coliseum, I’m excited to see what the No. 3 BREZTRI AEROSPHERE™ (budesonide, glycopyrrolate, and formoterol fumarate) Chevrolet will do.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
Larson on what he learned from running the Gen-6 car and the Next Gen car at Richmond Raceway:
"They both drove similarly at Richmond (Raceway). The entry to (turn) three was a little bit looser in the Next Gen car as the run progressed. Richmond was already a hard track to pass on and is probably (now) one of the most difficult tracks to pass on in the Next Gen car. The spring race at Richmond Raceway is really slick and slow. Richmond in general is very finesse."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 3CHI CAMARO ZL1
You have had a lot of success at Richmond. What is it about that track that fits so well with your driving style?
“I have had a lot of success at Richmond and I enjoy going there. It’s a fun place. I struggled and was terrible there when I started in the Truck Series back in 2001 but then the track got repaved. I was able to go back there in the Xfinity Series and sat on the pole and got my first Busch Series win at Richmond, Now that the track has really aged and the surface is getting older, it has really turned that track into a tough short track, really much harder than it once used to be. Used to be able to get down to the bottom and kind of rip the center of the corner and drive off the corner really hard. Now it’s all about managing your tires and taking care of your car.
Long runs always happen there. The second and third stages go 100 laps plus and that’s about how far you can go on fuel so to try and stretch your tires 100 laps definitely makes it tough on the driver and the car.”
The Richmond race will be held in the afternoon and the track surface is older. Do you think that will make for better racing?
“I don’t know if it will make any difference for better racing. I just think that it makes for different racing. Being there in the nighttime, I think it ventures more to the bottom, around the bottom. The shortest way around is the fastest way around. When you’re able to have it a little bit slicker with a little bit more track temp during the day, a little bit more rubber that goes down, it allows guys to kind of move around somewhat but when your car’s good and you’re good around the bottom the shortest way around is the fastest way around, so I don’t see there being much difference.”
JOSH BERRY, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
Berry on racing at Richmond:
"Richmond Raceway has always been one of my favorites to race at. I feel like its nature fits my style, and I was able to get my first top-10 finish in the (NASCAR) Xfinity Series there. Since then, I've continued to perform well at Richmond and I'm hoping that will cross over into Sunday."
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ACTION INDUSTRIES CAMARO ZL1
"Richmond is a challenging short track. It's very slick and hard on tires. We are working hard to make our short track program better and this will be a good test to see what we have."
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1
Byron on his fast start in 2023 lending itself to the upcoming short-track races:
“With the variety of tracks we’ve raced at so far this year, it really shows the strength of this team overall. Our short-track program was strong last year. Those tracks are a real strength of mine in general, which makes me really excited for this weekend. We should have a really good shot at being one of the cars to beat again this weekend and that’s how we want it to be. We want to keep that momentum up and keeping playing offense."
JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1
"Richmond is a challenging racetrack. There’s a lot of racing grooves on the track, which makes it fun. It was one of my best tracks in the Xfinity Series, but we have struggled a bit in the Cup Series with our short track program. Hopefully we can take some of the stuff we learned at Phoenix and apply it here."
NOAH GRAGSON, NO. 42 SUNSEEKER RESORT CAMARO ZL1
"I'm looking forward to Richmond this weekend. The No. 42 team has been rallying back the last two weeks with strategy and speed. The pit crew has been awesome. My first race win at Richmond in Xfinity was really special and I was able to drive the NextGen car last fall in a Cup car. We are making some progress as a team and each week things are coming together more and more."
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 U.S. AIR FORCE CAMARO ZL1
This weekend, you will have the added support from the U.S. Air Force on your No. 43 Chevrolet. What does it mean to you to drive this special Thunderbirds paint scheme?
“It's pretty cool to have the U.S. Air Force on the No. 43 - its year three for me as a driver to represent them. Having the Air Force Thunderbirds paint scheme this weekend - it’s just a really good looking car - it’s probably my favorite Air Force paint scheme over the last few years. I'm happy to have them onboard and I hope to have a good run for them. We've come close a few times to getting them a win in some speedway races, so hopefully we can get it done this at Richmond this weekend."
RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER / KRAFT MAC & CHEESE CAMARO ZL1
“We have received a lot more information this off season from Chevrolet and with our alliance with Hendrick. We have learned about more tools to work with on our race cars that we didn’t know we had. Last year, the first Richmond race we struggled. The second race we had some good speed. We found some things that made our car better for that second race. After the work we did in the off season, we feel like we are going to be better than what they were last year.”
Richmond is a fun track because you can run the bottom, middle, top and you’ve got downshifting. With the asphalt being worn, the tires wear out. Short tracks are short tracks, but they are also unique. You need the same thing at about every short track. You need the car to rotate the center and the front tires to work well. We improved the second Richmond race last season. Now, I feel like I have more confidence going into this weekend at Richmond for sure.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
Bowman on his consistency to start 2023:
"Being able to start the year so strong is a testament to the hard work by everyone on the No. 48 team. Becoming more consistent is something I have wanted to get to for a while now. To have this season start this way has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season. The team at the shop are building really fast No. 48 Ally Chevrolets and Blake (Harris, crew chief) has put a lot of energy back into this group. It’s a really exciting time for us. I am just trying to take it one race at a time and do everything I can to continue our string of good races."
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 QUAKER STATE CAMARO ZL1
How do you stay positive in times of frustration?
"I try to remind myself why I’m here. I’m here because I love racing. I’m here because I love to compete and I like to win. Everything else comes as a consequence. I feel grateful to be here. When you’re in a rhythm, like I was talking about not long ago, it’s easy to take it for granted what we do every single weekend. We are very lucky individuals that we get to do every single weekend what we love to do – drive racecars and compete. Every single driver here is very, very competitive. It’s something we just love. Just because of that we are very fortunate to be in this position. I try to remind myself all these things – to know that I’m in a very good position and go out there and have fun… prepare myself as good as possible mentally and physically and go out there and compete at the highest level that I could possibly do.”
CHASE PURDY, NO. 4 BAMA BUGGIES SILVERADO RST
With the speed you’ve shown at the mile-and-a-half tracks are you looking forward to Texas this weekend?
“We’ve had really good speed at the first two races this year on mile-and-a-half tracks. KBM has done a really good job of bringing really dominant trucks to those places, not just this year, but years prior. I think this will be an opportunity for me to correct the mistakes I’ve made in the first two mile-and-a-half races and really put it all together and show that our Bama Buggies team can go out and starting contending for wins.”
How does racing at Texas compare to the other mile-and-a-half tracks on the Truck Series schedule?
“It’s less wide open. Turns Three and Four if your stuff is good you are going to want to be wide open, but Turns One and Two you are going to have to lift and with no substance down in the other lanes I feel like it is going to be one-lane dominant. Traditionally at mile-and-a-half tracks you can move around, but this one not so much. I think that is something to be aware of. With no live pit stops, track position is going to be more important so that will make qualifying even more important than it usually is.”
Will the earlier start time affect the handling of the trucks?
“It’s not going to be as hot as it would be if we were racing there in June, so I’m not sure that starting earlier will affect it that much. Normally when it is hot it makes it slicker. I think it will still be slick because nobody has been racing on it and we are going to be the first ones on track. I think that causes people to wreck when they try to get off the bottom and run up a little bit into the old substance that is there from before, but we won’t know until we get there.”
JACK WOOD, NO. 51 SEVWINS SILVERADO RST
You’ve been traveling with the team to the races where you aren’t behind the wheel. What have you been able to learn by doing that?
“It’s been really good for me to go to the track and watch these races from a different angle that I normally don’t get to see. Being able to sit on the pit box with Brian (Pattie, crew chief) and understanding the communication that goes on between him and the engineer, as well as with him and the spotter and what the pit crew does during the race and all the kind of stuff you might not even think about. It’s been a good perspective for me to see. Starting to understand more of the behind the scenes of what happens on a race weekend. When you go as a driver, you are really just focused on driving the truck, but these couple races I’ve been able to learn quite a bit as far as team communication goes.”
Does the strong run you had at Atlanta give you confidence heading into this week’s race at Texas?
“Coming off a strong run at Atlanta, I’m definitely looking forward to Texas. I’ve just been really pleased with the speed that the KBM trucks have had this year, so as a driver that gives you a lot of confidence and makes you really excited for each race. I know that we are going to show up with a fast Sevwins Silverado. Texas is going to be a good one for me, it’s going to be different than anything I’ve raced on so far this year in the KBM equipment, but KBM has been really strong at Texas in past years. It’ll be interesting with us being there without Xfinity and Cup -- the track preparation that SMI will be doing I feel like will be a little bit different than what we are used to. I think it’ll be a good day for us, we just need to keep the nose clean and maintain track position. The way that the pit stops are set up, you’re not going to be able to gain spots on pit road like we have been able to at the last couple of races, so that is going to throw a little curveball in there. It’s also going to be a lit bit longer of a race than what we are used to in the Truck Series as well, so I think you just need to keep your head in the game, maintain your track position and try to give the best feedback that you possibly can to your crew chief throughout the race so that you have what you need when it gets down to the end of the race.”
GRANT ENFINGER, NO. 23 CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT SILVERADO RST
Texas Motor Speedway has been a good track for you in the past, what are some of the key factors to take into consideration to stay up front this weekend?
“I am ready to get back to Texas Motor Speedway. Last year at Texas we did not have enough to contend with, but I feel like our trucks are better this year. Texas is pretty unique, with it being so flat into turn one and two, but has so much banking in turns three and four. We need to stay ahead of the track and unload close, because it’s pretty difficult to pass there. I think our No. 23 Champion Power Equipment team has a lot of things going our way, and I feel if we do our job as a team we can contend for a win on Saturday."
RAJAH CARUTH, NO. 24 WENDELL SCOTT FOUNDATION SILVERADO RST
Caruth’s thoughts on competing at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time:
"I’m excited to hit up another new venue this weekend in Texas Motor Speedway. I enjoy the high-speed facilities, and know our No. 24 Wendell Scott Foundation Chevy Silverado will have the speed to contend all race long! We are hoping to continue the start of the momentum that we've gained from last race in Austin. I think we can have ourselves a fun weekend with GMS Racing."
DANIEL DYE, NO. 43 KIX COUNTRY / RACE TO STOP SUICIDE SILVERADO RST
Daniel's thoughts on competing at Texas Motor Speedway:
“I'm looking forward to going to Texas with our No. 43 team this weekend. It's another intermediate track on our schedule but quite a bit different than what we had in Las Vegas and Atlanta. It will be a new challenge for us, but I'm going to learn all day throughout practice, qualifying, and through the first stage of the race. I haven't been to that track since I raced quarter midgets out in the parking lot a few years ago, so I think it will be a fun experience to come full-circle by racing at the big track.”
CHRISTIAN ECKES, NO. 19 NAPA AUTO CARE SILVERADO RST
Eckes on his impressive history at Texas:
“Texas is easily one of my favorite racetracks for sure, especially after second-place finishes in the last two spring races. There’s some unfinished business there that I’d like to take care of this weekend with our NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet. This is a great opportunity for our team to bounce back after COTA and respond the right way. Everybody at MHR has put together fast trucks each week and we’ve been in contention to win all four races this year, so I’m looking forward to this weekend and put ourselves in position for another one.”
JAKE GARCIA, NO. 35 ADAPTIVE ONE CALIPERS SILVERADO RST
Garcia on returning to a 1.5-mile track:
“I’m looking forward to getting back to an intermediate this week at Texas. Even though I’ve never raced there before and haven’t done much intermediate racing, I’m getting more comfortable after Las Vegas and Atlanta. We had a great result at Vegas and I felt like we had a really strong truck at Atlanta, so hopefully we can continue that with our Adaptive One Chevrolet on Saturday. Last week was definitely a learning experience road course racing, so it’ll be good to get back at a mile-and-a-half and get more experience.”