Transcript: Chandler Smith and Ty Majeski Press Conference - Phoenix Raceway
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions.
Q. Chandler, this chapter comes to a close for you at KBM in the Truck Series. I'm curious what your emotions are after a night like this, especially as close as you guys came late?
CHANDLER SMITH: Yeah, I mean, not happy or anything about it, obviously, coming up third, racing with the 38, coming to the white flag pretty hard and positioned to be able to use him up or whatnot and I felt like I did everything I could.
They were in their own zip code all night. That's just the realest thing about it. They were really, really good this year throughout the whole season, and we all knew that we were going to have to race them at Phoenix if we made it here. I think I'm speaking probably for anybody.
To be completely honest with you, I feel like they may have been the most deserving out of anybody. We busted our butts and we made it here, but they were the best truck tonight for sure.
It just wasn't meant to be for our group, and it's definitely emotional because Danny Stockman has been a really big part of my learning curve of getting into the NASCAR ranks and kind of maturing to being a full-time Truck Series driver, then racing for a championship. Stockman is a really, really big part of why that is and my whole group.
I mean, yeah, it's really disappointing, but I can't be too upset with second full-time season and racing for a championship and had a shot at it, just wasn't meant to be.
Q. Ty, obviously you have a rich racing background. I guess my question is this week, going through this whole Championship 4 buzz, and ever since you clinched the spot, what has it been like? Have you heard from certain people? What has this experience been like?
TY MAJESKI: Yeah, it's been a dream come true. My NASCAR career hasn't been great up to this point. Been through a lot of rough moments, and I've had a good support system around me. Just persevered through some rough times and landed in a really good spot at ThorSport and just thankful to have had the opportunity.
It was just a matter of me just taking it all in all week, right. It's so hard to make it to Phoenix, and to do it my first full-time season, it has been pretty special.
We've come a long way throughout the year, and we've been putting races together on a consistent basis the back half of the season.
All we can ask for is a shot to win the championship and just really proud of the effort of everybody. It's been, like I said, a dream-come-true season. I think we have a really good foundation. Hoping to be back next year.
Q. Chandler, my question for you, obviously losing a championship is tough, but being a new father, how does that change your outlook on having a loss like this? How has that been?
CHANDLER SMITH: Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing my wife and my son, to be honest with you. Yeah, the off-season is going to be fun for sure.
Q. Ty, walk me through the run you had there and what happened with the contact with Zane?
TY MAJESKI: Yeah, I knew the 38 was obviously the best truck all night. He's been probably the best truck all year on a consistent basis. We were trying to bring a championship home for Duke and Rhonda, and I got pretty aggressive there, tossed it off into the apron on 1 and tried to get to his quarterpanel and wiggle him a little bit, and in doing so I probably should have been either more aggressive or way less aggressive.
I just kind of met in the middle there on aggression standpoint, and just took all the air off my right side and spun out underneath him trying to get underneath him and get a run. I knew if I could get underneath him and get to his quarterpanel on exit and pull him back, I knew at that point it could have been between Ben and I and really would have ensured a championship for ThorSport.
And that was sort of my vision in making that move. Just I didn't execute it well enough, and it didn't pan out.
Q. Chandler, on the restart being given, the chance at the front row, did that surprise you and did you like the opportunity to be able to have clean track and at least be on the attack?
CHANDLER SMITH: I wish I could redo it because I got such a good launch. I actually launched way better than him and I was about half a truck length at the start-finish, but I didn't want for some reason for there to be a penalty, so I lifted a little to let him get back even with me.
A part of me wishes I would have just kept in it and went on with it. There may have been a different outcome, penalty or not. I still gave it my best shot. But coulda, woulda, shoulda, right?
But, no, I mean, it was really good. Got off in there, 38 slid up and crossed him over and tried using him up getting into Turn 3, it's just we both drove in super deep. He was already on my door, had no air on my side and was just swatting flies in there, so there's nothing to even use.
Q. How deep were you willing to drive it, and what could have happened there if you guys both didn't drive in so hard?
CHANDLER SMITH: Yeah, these trucks are completely different than a super late model. If you drive in on somebody's door in a super late model just as deep, they're not going to be affected as much as a truck. In a truck, crap, I was next to spinning out getting into Turn 3, to be completely honest with you.
I could have probably backed up my entry, but the reality is the 38 already had clean air on his nose and everything, and he's been so good all day. My best shot was to try to wiggle him a little bit, stay side by side getting into 1 and use him up again, which I almost did, but the 99 was still behind him. They were able to line up, and he kind of had an air buffer and kind of pushed him away from me and I couldn't stay on his quarter.
Q. Chandler, on the final two laps, did you do everything -- did it play out the way you thought it was going to, or did something else happen?
CHANDLER SMITH: Honestly, yeah, it played out about how I simulated in my head when I got the outside. I knew I was going to have a better launch than the 99 because he was on two tires, I was on four. I felt like I was going to have the advantage getting into 1, which I haven't seen the replay if I did or didn't.
But the 38 slid up, crossed him over, but he had the preferred lane getting into 3, in my opinion, which was kind of the middle to top, just for him. Being able to have good solid drive, get the power down, have somebody sitting on your door. It wasn't the best situation for me, but when the 99 took the bottom and the 38 kind of went to the bottom, as well, I was wanting to go to the bottom, and then I was going to do exactly what the 38 did.
But that kind of completely flip-flopped what I had visioned in my head, and at the end of the day it just wasn't meant to be. We did everything -- we were mistake-free all day, gained spots on pit road every single pit stop. We didn't have the best truck, but at the end of the day we gave it a shot when we had one, and still we ended up third. So wasn't meant to be.
THE MODERATOR: Congrats, gentlemen, on a great season. Enjoy your off-season.
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