CHEVROLET NCS AT TALLADEGA 2: Post-Race Report

Four drivers from three different Chevrolet teams took the manufacturer to top-10 finishes in the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 at Talladega Superspeedway with William Byron (third) leading Spire Motorsports’ Corey LaJoie in fifth; Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley in seventh; and Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott in eighth.

 

·       Entering the Round of 12 elimination race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, the pair of Hendrick Motorsports playoff contenders sit in the top-eight in the playoff standings. With a third-place finish, William Byron maintained the top position in the standings. While getting caught-up in the last-lap incident, Kyle Larson still maintained a position above the playoff cutline – sitting in the sixth position with a 17-point cushion.

 

 

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL TOP-10 RESULTS:

POS.   DRIVER

3rd      William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1

5th      Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Gainbridge Camaro ZL1

7th      Justin Haley, No. 31 Morris-Shea Bridge Co. Inc. Camaro ZL1

8th      Chase Elliott, No. 9 LLumar Camaro ZL1

 

 

 

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 elimination race will get underway at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course with the Bank of America ROVAL  on Sunday, October 8, at 2 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on the NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE QUOTES:

Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1

Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident on the final lap of Stage One.

Finished: 38th

What’s your level of frustration because you were making an outside move that was going to be a positive when all that happened?

“It’s just the way it goes. Nothing personal with it.. I don’t take any of this personally here (Talladega Superspeedway). I could have stayed on the bottom a few laps earlier probably and would have been safer. I just had a couple of cars land in my lap there and I went for the gap. Obviously I wish I would have lifted now, but I’ll study that and be better next time.”

 

You face the (Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course) ROVAL next week – how’s that going to go?

“Lefts and rights, and living my dreams. Whatever our team brings next week, we’ll put our best foot forward. As long as I’m getting to drive these rocketships that Trackhouse Racing brings me, I’m living my dream and we’ll keep fighting.”

 

What did you see?

“I just saw someone slow and tagging the fence, and obviously with them being that much slower, I should have just stayed in behind him. Four-wide wasn’t the right call. I saw a hole and just tried to slide through there. I wish I wouldn’t have.”

 

You were riding in the back most of the day. Was that the safest place to be?

“Yeah, when they were three-wide early, it just didn’t make sense to get up there and get in line. Eighth in line, three-wide, we would have been in the mid-20s. It felt comfortable – we saved some fuel and cycled ourselves up there to fight for some stage points.”

 

 

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Camaro ZL1

Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident in the final stage.

Finished: 34th

“It was a hard hit, so I hate it for this entire Bass Pro Shops Club/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet team. We were running well today, biding our time and just getting ready to put ourselves in position to make a run for it at the end of the race. We were able to lead some laps and earn some stage points today. We had a fast Chevy. I didn’t see any of it. I guess I got caught in the right rear. When I was in the infield care center, Brad Keselowski told me that he pushed the No. 42 car too hard and wrecked him, but No. 42 car was squirrelly without anybody pushing him. His car didn’t seem set up very well and he was late moving around. I had noticed that and got out of the middle to get away from him, so I don’t really understand the No. 6 car pushing him. It was a hard hit and an unfortunate end to our day. We’ll head to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL next week and see if we have some better luck there.”

 

 

Kyle Busch, No. 8 X World Wallet Camaro ZL1

Finished: 26th

Busch on the incident on the final lap of Stage One:

“I caught the No. 1 (Ross Chastain) and I hate it for them. It’s what happens every time at the end of a stage.

 

Your car had some damage. Were you just holding on the rest of the day? It looked like you were able to get up there at times.

“The car was fine. When I could make moves, get in good positions and put myself in good spots, I could get up towards the front. My chess match is apparently horrible or I get hung-out every time it comes down to the end and we just lose spots.

 

I don’t think the damage impacted us at all.. the car drove fine. I pulled out there to get in that high line and we all got kind of jumbled up there coming through the frontstretch. The No. 43 (Erik Jones) came with me and a couple others in front of me were up there, and we just didn’t go anywhere. The pace was too fast around the bottom and the middle that the outside lane couldn’t make any headway. I was waiting for the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) to jump out there because he’s always the first to go and he never did. He actually tucked back in behind, so he must have thought a little more about what was going to happen.”

 

How do you feel about the ROVAL?

“That’s our last shot, so we’ll see what we get.”

 

 

Chase Elliott, No. 9 LLumar Camaro ZL1

Finished: 8th

You were up there coming to the final lap. What happened from your perspective?

“I have no idea what happened. Just got hit in the door; had four flat tires and I couldn’t drive back.”

 

Overall, you had an impressive day until that moment. Reflect on how it went before the crash.

“It was fine. We got some decent stage points. Finishing eighth, hopefully that’s good enough to help us in the owner’s championship points.”

 

 

William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1

Finished: 3rd                                                                                  

Take us through those last few laps.

“Yeah, it was really intense there at the end. I just couldn’t quite get pushes as square as those guys, and I felt like where they could get connected and just create runs, they just got us there. On the backstretch, the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) actually got in front of me and that allowed I think the No. 12 (Ryan Blaney) to get in front of me and the No. 4 actually went back in the middle. 

 

Our Axalta Chevrolet was really good all day. Just needed a little bit more to get those runs generated to keep the bottom going like it was. Good effort and proud of the team and we will go onto the Charlotte ROVAL.”

 

 

Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Camaro ZL1

Finished: 36th

Hocevar on the accident that ended his day early during the final stage at Talladega Superspeedway:

“I don’t fault Brad (Keselowski) at all. I did it in the truck race even. When you’re in the top lane, you have to push. You have to start building momentum. You have to start creating forward energy. It’s just a tough spot. I wasn’t that good of a leader, so I was just trying to learn. I talked to Brad a little bit – I didn’t know if I was backing up too much trying to lock-on. It’s just a tough spot.

 

I had a lot of fun. Thank you to LEGACY MOTOR CLUB, Sunseeker Resorts, everybody that allows me to drive this car. It’s just good to get experience. Rather it’s 20 laps short or not, I still had a lot of fun. I felt like I was a lot better pusher. When I was leading, I need to do my homework a little bit for the next time I get to drive a Cup car at superspeedway. It’s nice to have some laps and a little bit of confidence. I started 38th and I got to see a lot. I felt like we were moving forward there a little bit and just inching to get ourselves in a good spot there at the end. It just didn’t work out this time.”

 

 

Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Camaro ZL1

Finished: 27th

“Just not a good day for the No. 43 Allegiant Chevy team. We just weren’t up front and where we needed to be, and it just didn’t work out there at the end. We’ll regroup and get ready for the Charlotte ROVAL.”

TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES:

 

STAGE ONE:

·       Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson led Chevrolet to the green-flag from the fourth position in today’s YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. With help from teammate William Byron, Larson quickly moved into the runner-up position before the race hit a double-digit lap count.

·       By the 20-lap marker, Team Chevy’s Austin Dillon, Erik Jones and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. joined the Hendrick Motorsports teammates in the top-10 – giving the manufacturer four different organizations in the front of the lead pack. With the discussion of pit strategy already coming into play, drivers are told to save fuel as the race reached the midway point of Stage One.

·       Remaining under green-flag conditions with 25 laps to go in the stage, Stenhouse Jr. and Jones maneuvered to the top-two positions of the field while on the horizon of the first round of pit stops of the race. The lead group of Chevrolet’s came to pit road at the 40-lap marker with teams calling for a fuel-only stop.

·       With eight laps remaining in the stage, the 2023 Daytona 500 Champion Stenhouse Jr. jumped into the top lane to take the lead with a push from fellow Team Chevy driver Kyle Busch.

·       On the final lap of Stage One, Stenhouse Jr.’s No. 47 Camaro ZL1 ran out of fuel, causing a stack-up in the top lane. With nowhere to go in his No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1, contact forced Chastain into the wall with damage sustained deemed too much to repair, forcing the Team Chevy playoff contender to retire early from the race.

·       Stage One ultimately ended under caution with Byron leading Chevrolet to the green-white checkered flag in the second position. Byron led five Team Chevy drivers to top-10 stage points:

2nd      William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1

3rd      Kyle Larson, No. 5 Valvoline / HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1

4th      Chase Elliott, No. 9 LLumar Camaro ZL1

5th      Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1

7th      Justin Haley, No. 31 Morris-Shea Bridge Co. Inc. Camaro ZL1

 

 

STAGE TWO:

·       During the stage break, crew chief Rudy Fugle called Byron to pit road for four tires and fuel – rejoining the field in the third position to start Stage Two.

·       Lap 74 saw Hendrick Motorsports go 1-2-3 on the bottom line of the lead pack, led by Alex Bowman and the No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 team. With a push from teammate Chase Elliott, Bowman took the top position on the leaderboard to lead his first laps of the race.

·       At lap 106, Chevrolet drivers came to pit road for the next round of green-flag pit stops with teams calling for another fuel-only stop. Filing off pit road, the pair of Richard Childress Racing teammates led the manufacturer to the front of the pack to quickly rejoin the battle for the lead with 10 laps to go in the stage.

·       Byron found himself out front with three laps remaining in the stage. The top-seven cars ran single-file with energy mid-pack saw the reformation of two lanes of racing in the battle for stage points. The race back to the finish line saw Byron ultimately scored in the second position at the green-white checkered flag.

·       Six drivers from four different Chevrolet organizations collected top-10 finishes in Stage One:

2nd      William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1

4th      Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Camaro ZL1

5th      Chase Elliott, No. 9 LLumar Camaro ZL1

6th      Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Camaro ZL1

8th      Ty Dillon, No. 77 Ferris Commercial Mowers Camaro ZL1

9th     Kyle Larson, No. 5 Valvoline / HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1

 

 

FINAL STAGE / POST-RACE NOTES:

·       Following back-to-back top-10 stage results, crew chief Cliff Daniels called Kyle Larson to pit road for a four-tire and fuel stop. Gaining a handful of positions in the race off pit road, Larson was the first car at the choose cone – electing the inside lane of the front-row for the start of the final stage.

·       Taking the green-flag with 62 laps remaining in the race, Larson held steady in a race for the top position alongside reigning NCS Champion Joey Logano. Larson had a contingency of Team Chevy drivers in his rear-view mirror with Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron following close behind in the bottom lane.

·       On lap 161, a push to the No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Camaro ZL1 by Brad Keselowski got Hocevar loose, collecting a handful of drivers including Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon. Both Team Chevy drivers sustained damage that ended the day early in the closing laps of the race.

·       With a caution for debris, the lineup for the restart saw Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman lead the field to the green-flag with 13 laps to go.

·       A wreck coming across the start-finish line at the drop of the checkered flag, William Byron and the No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1 team was ultimately scored in the third position to lead Chevrolet to the finish.

·       Despite being involved in the final lap incident, Chase Elliott was able salvage and eighth-place finish in his No. 9 LLumar Camaro ZL1.

·       Four drivers from three different Chevrolet teams took the manufacturer to top-10 finishes in the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 with Byron leading Spire Motorsports’ Corey LaJoie in fifth, Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley in seventh and Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott in eighth.

·       Entering the Round of 12 elimination race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, the pair of Hendrick Motorsports playoff contenders sit in the top-eight in the playoff standings.

GM PR