ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 WORLDWIDE EXPRESS CAMARO ZL1
What are the closing laps like at Talladega?
"Superspeedway racing accelerates your age in dog years, it feels like. We were able to lead some laps last year and had a shot to win to try and back up our spring win. Surviving is the most important thing but we can just easily wreck on lap 30. Those last 40 laps are just about holding onto the track position you have, and if it's your time to crash, it’s your time to crash."
Do you feel confident headed into the next two races?
"I just want to run good at the track I'm at. When we go to Talladega and the Roval, we'll just go try to perform like we did at Texas. If it's not looking good, just what does the next lap take - what does the next breath take. Those races, they give out the same amount of points and we'll go and race them the same way."
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 VALVOLINE / HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
Larson on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
“I’m just trying to do good every weekend. Texas didn’t pan out the way the No. 5 team necessarily wanted, but our race cars have been crazy fast so I’m just trying to get through Talladega with some decent track position and hopefully we can get a win at Talladega (Superspeedway).”
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 VALVOLINE / HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
Daniels on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
“We’ve had a very similar strategy at all of the Superspeedway races this year. We’re trying to do what’s right as far as keeping our car upfront. Obviously, we try to avoid trouble the best we can- which can certainly be tough to do at these plate races. I feel like we always have fast cars and Kyle always does a great job at trying to get our car upfront and in position. You certainly have to execute a good race. If we do all the things that we can control right and put us in position, with a healthy does of luck, hopefully we’ll have a good finish coming our way soon.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ACTION INDUSTRIES CAMARO ZL1
"Superspeedway racing is definitely not my favorite, but we've had speed at those tracks this year. At the end of the day, I think we can get upfront and give ourselves a shot to win the race. We had a shot in the spring going into turn one battling for the win and we had a really fast race car in Daytona. Like I always say, it's one of those tracks I'm not looking forward to, but at the end of the day it is about going to win a race and this is one we can give ourselves a shot at the end of the race."
CARSON HOCEVAR, NO. 42 SUNSEEKER RESORTS CAMARO ZL1
This week sees your first ever Cup Series race at a superspeedway type track, so how different are you expecting the racing to play out and will you be able to learn in the Truck Series race?
"I am actually really looking forward to running my first superspeedway race in the Cup Series this weekend. The results might not show it, but I've had a blast racing at Talladega in the Truck Series. We've just had some unfortunate luck that's kept us from finishing well. From everybody that I've talked to that's driven both, I'm anticipating a bit of a different race to play out on Sunday. The Cup guys are so good at managing their cars and taking care of one another out there, that I don't really feel all that much pressure not to put a foot wrong. Saturday will be a different feeling for sure, we've only got an 18 point gap to the cutoff line, and the Truck Series drivers always race aggressive. I feel like I can still learn and take some notes heading into Sunday, but there's definitely going to be a different mindset. The LEGACY M.C. cars are always super-fast at these tracks, and Erik's been close to winning on a few occasions, so I think if we can play our cards right, we'll definitely have a shot at it. I can't wait to try it out."
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 ALLEGIANT CAMARO ZL1
“Talladega has been good to us for the last couple of years. I think with the next-gen car, we have had a ton of speed in the No. 43. I am hoping we can put it all together and have one go our way. We have been in contention to win a handful of them in the last few years, and we just need one to play out the right way for us to have a shot in the end. I am looking forward to getting out there and hopefully getting a win with the No. 43 team.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 SARA LEE ARTESANO BAKERY BREAD CAMARO ZL1
“We definitely want to go for the win at Talladega with our No. 47 Sara Lee Artesano / Country Crock Camaro. We’ll discuss our strategy going into the weekend and determine what we want to do for the race. You look back at the final regular season race at Daytona (International Speedway) and we got to the front. However, while running in the top 6, we got wrecked. We know stage points are important, but we would rather have the race win. I think when it comes down to it, we will see how the race plays out.”
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1
"We have been very strong at the drafting tracks this year. We know we can win there. Heck, anyone can win at Talladega, that's what makes the race so much fun and why fans show up. But, we feel like our program can win there. We just have to prove it and that's what we plan to do Sunday."
CHASE PURDY, NO. 4 BAMA BUGGIES SILVERADO RST
After leading laps there last year, how excited are you to get back to Talladega?
“Absolutely. Obviously, it’s a home race for me. It was special last year to have my school, where I went to college, on the truck and have a good day. We hope to go back there this year and do the same, but this time be seven spots better. I feel like I always have my best foot forward going there since it’s my home track and I’ll have a lot of family and friends there. I’ll be staying there the whole weekend, so I have a lot of expectations for it.”
The KBM trucks had great speed at Daytona. Do you feel like that will carry over to Talladega?
“We were upset with how qualifying went earlier this year at Daytona after we felt like we were in great position to get the pole but cut a tire in the first round and weren’t able to make a lap in the second round. It would be a big deal for me to get the pole at Talladega and go up there and lead laps, being that I consider it my home track. The Daytona truck was probably the best speedway truck I’ve ever had. We will bring that same package on our Bama Buggies Silverado to Talladega so we should be really good.”
How does the racing differ between Daytona and Talladega?
“Talladega just seems to be wider. The second lane just works better for the trucks at Talladega than at Daytona. I think you will see more two and three-wide racing than what you saw at Daytona in February.”
GRANT ENFINGER, NO. 23 CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT SILVERADO RST
You earned your first Truck Series win with GMS Racing here, how special would it be to cap off your time with the team with another win at home?
"Yeah, it was a huge day for my career back in 2016 when we were able to get the win at Talladega in front of the hometown and all the friends and family. There were a lot of people that were at that race that have been instrumental in my career and all the opportunities that I had to that point. So that will always be one of the most special moments that I've had in my career. To come back and do it again with our last opportunity to run in that race with GMS Racing would be special from a personal standpoint, but it would be pretty big career-wise to be able to lock ourselves into the Championship 4.
Obviously, that's the goal for all of us; but there's only one of the eight that can sleep well at night not having to stress out about this race, and that's Corey [Heim]. I think our game plan is to try and be aggressive, and hopefully get some stage points. We want to be able to contend for the win. I think there's some different strategies that teams are going to use; I think some guys are going to try and play it safe, and some guys that have nothing to lose are going to race for the win. We're not one of those guys, but we're definitely going to be aggressive. We've first got to have enough speed in our Champion Power Equipment Chevy, and hopefully the rest will all take care of itself."
RAJAH CARUTH, NO. 24 WENDELL SCOTT FOUNDATION SILVERADO RST
You've only had one prior superspeedway race under your belt in the Truck Series, so what was your biggest "learning moment" from Daytona?
"Daytona feels like it was an eternity ago, but I was able to learn a lot in my first Truck Series race there back in February. I found out firsthand how much these trucks like to move around in the draft, as well as the decisiveness necessary to make moves and being able to chill for a second. You don't need to lead every lap in these races, and I learned a lot of the importance of setting yourself up for the finish, because you need to be around for the end of the race. I feel like our Wendell Scott Foundation team proved that they can bring one of the fastest trucks to the racetrack at these plate-style races, and hopefully I have gained enough respect of the other drivers out there to give them confidence in working with me here this weekend."
DANIEL DYE, NO. 43 RACETOSTOPSUICIDE.COM SILVERADO RST
You were so close on winning here last year in the ARCA Menards Series race, so does that give you any added confidence to return here in a truck?
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Talladega in a different vehicle than I had there last time. We had good speed there with GMS last year and got towards the front of the pack. I was close to having a shot to win the race before I made a mistake that took us out of contention. But I definitely learned a lot in the two superspeedway races I ran last year in the ARCA car and the one at Daytona this year in a truck. I’m hoping to use all the things I learned in those three races and have ourselves a good finish. We are still looking for our first top-10 of the year, and Talladega presents itself as an opportunity to either have a great day or an awful day. Hopefully we’ll be on the great side this time.”
JACK WOOD, NO. 51 TRUETIMBER SILVERADO RST
After having speed at Daytona and Atlanta, how excited are you for this race?
“Obviously the KBM trucks were fast at Atlanta and Daytona. Talladega is a fun race, but it is a race for survival. I think it’s a good chance for the two KBM trucks and our alliance partner, Rev Racing, to work together and have ourselves a good finish. We should have strength in numbers and be able to qualify up front and be in control of the race. The truck races are so short that you don’t have time to drop to the back and try to avoid wrecks. You’ve got to be up front and be one of the five trucks or so in the first two rows to go win. It should be fun.”
How does racing at Talladega compare to racing at Daytona?
“I think the apron isn’t as aggressive at Talladega so you can race harder in the corners. Guys are willing to race a little harder than they are at Daytona. We don’t have another superspeedway race until next season now, so a lot of guys are going to be aggressive, especially the playoff drivers that need to win. It’s going to be hotter, and the surface is a little more worn out and the track is wider so it will be more aggressive racing than Daytona.”