MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
APACHE WARRIOR 400
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 GEARWRENCH CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed being in a cutoff position, the difficulty of Dover and many other topics. Full Transcript:
WHAT ABOUT THIS RACETRACK MAKES IT REALLY DIFFICULT TO BE FACING THAT AND THE CUTOFF AT THIS PARTICULAR TRACK?
“I don’t think anything sticks out at Dover. The one thing when I think about coming here even though it’s a 1-mile racetrack it’s really fast. It only takes 20, 22 seconds to go around here and this is one of those tracks that if you have to restart at the back the leaders come really quick. It seems like you run like 15 or 20 laps and all of a sudden, the leaders are already there starting to lap cars. So, it’s just one of those places that man, if your car is good it’s a lot of fun and if you get just a little bit off its maybe one of the toughest tracks we go to try and stay in front of the leader or try to maintain your position. It’s really fast and the surface of the track it doesn’t have bumps like we talk about at Charlotte or at Chicago or Pocono. It’s just those little expansion joints and they are just all the way around the race track and when the air pressure builds up in the tires it is just a really hard track to get a hold of.”
CONSIDERING KYLE LARSON’S CONSISTENT SPEED THIS YEAR DO YOU EVER ASK YOURSELF WHERE CAN WE GET SOME OF THAT?
“Yeah, I would love to have some of that. That would be awesome. Kyle, those guys have been on a role it seems like every type track that we have went to this year they just have had a lot of speed and they are having the kind of year that everything they change in their car seems to make it faster and it just doesn’t go that way every single weekend for everybody else. But, the No. 42 (Larson) and the No. 78 (Martin Truex, Jr.) have basically been the fastest two cars all year long. Certainly, I wish that you could just put exactly the set-up that they have in and have that same speed, but it just doesn’t work that way. It’s the same for all the teams, when you look at, I think the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) has been basically, the best car at Gibbs all year long and if you go and you ask those other guys, why? It’s just that things… you know… some years go better for some teams than others and it’s not as easy as just putting in the exact set-up and getting the same result.”
DO YOU HAVE AN EDGE SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN IN THIS POSITION FOR THE CUTOFF BEFORE?
“For the most part, this year or last year every race was a cutoff race I feel like. You are waiting to see if when you go to the plate races is there going to be a first-time winner and then when we get closer to Richmond every week you are kind of racing… this year it was Matt (Kenseth) and Chase (Elliott) and Clint (Bowyer) and Erik Jones there towards the end. I mean every week is like that. I don’t really view today or this weekend differently than I have the last … I mean any of the races this year. It’s just there is not a lot you can do about it. And I try really hard every weekend to … you just go out and your do your best. Sometimes cautions fall your way, sometimes they don’t. Last weekend, a car got into me on one of the last restarts and I don’t think it was anything intentional, but it barely knocked the quarter panel in on the tire and I was concerned of that tire blowing out if we stayed on the track and we lost, I don’t know, six or eight spots because of that and had to pit. I mean, things like that you can’t control. I didn’t do anything wrong I didn’t feel like. So, I don’t really view this weekend as more pressure. I don’t even look at it as a cutoff race. I just view it as the next race and go out and do the best you can.”
HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE THE RACING BEING ON SUNDAY?
“Well, it’s going to be different, you know I’ve been in this position the last two years at this track and it’s going to be different this year because in the year’s past, I think it was two years ago with Dale, Jr. I knew that all I had to do, if (Kevin) Harvick won the race, I knew for the last 200 laps that all I had to do was outrun Dale, Jr. If I finished in front of him, then I advanced, if he finished in front of me, he advanced. It’s different this year because people can get stage points throughout the race and so it’s not as easy as… I don’t know how many points I am ahead of the guys behind me, but it’s not as easy as knowing you need to be ‘X’ amount of positions in front or behind somebody because if you finish second or third in the stage earlier in the race that completely changes the points. And so, you are going to be dependent on the team to kind of fill you in like if you have to have another position or if someone is pressuring you that you can maybe give up that position and not get wrecked. So, it’s going to be a little bit different this year just because the stage points are going to make it a little more confusing.”
IS THIS A TRACK WHERE YOUR ABSOLUTE FULL ATTENTION IS NEEDED JUST EVERY SECOND THAT YOU ARE ON THE RACE TRACK?
“I think it’s more in qualifying trim and maybe the first 10 laps of a run, because the pace does slow down here. It honestly, doesn’t have to slow down a lot to make it feel quite a bit slower. The difference you know like when we pull out this morning from running, I don’t know the exact lap time, but a 22-second lap time to like a 21.50 is significant inside the car. It feels way faster only running that little bit quicker. So, once you get in the race and the pace starts slowing down and actually on race day the pace slows down quite a bit anyway, it’s not quite as bad, but certainly qualifying here it is one of those places that I feel like over driving the car is actually faster and you have to really commit to the corners. I don’t know that without taking a lap around here in a car that you guys can appreciate how much lower the corners are than the straightaways. When you go into Turn 3 and Turn 1 it literally feels like you kind of fall down in a whole, which is horrific feeling even though you have all this banking to hold the car up once you land that feeling of kind of going down in the hole on the entry makes the back feel even lighter. We fight loose in every single weekend. Everybody in this sport you fight loose in because if you don’t then the car doesn’t turn good enough in the middle and that is just magnified here. And then when you add those little bumps that we talk about it is a challenging track and certainly everyone’s eyeballs are huge in qualifying trim here because it takes a big commitment.”
HAVE YOU DEVELOPED A SYSTEM FOR HOW MUCH YOU WANT THE TEAM TO TELL YOU WHERE THE OTHER GUYS ARE RUNNING AROUND YOU AND WHAT THE POINT SITUATION IS? WILL IT CHANGE ANY THIS YEAR WITH THE STAGE POINT DYNAMIC?
“So, they don’t, even at Richmond, I didn’t know that Matt (Kenseth) was out of the race at Richmond. My spotter had come on and said that the No. 20 had… he made the comment like, the No. 20 knocked his grill in or something, but Matt’s car at Richmond had that I don’t know like a one-off paint scheme on it I think. So, it’s not like he was in the DEWALT car where you recognize that car on the race track. Honestly, I had kind of forgotten about Matt and I didn’t really pay attention on the restarts as to where he was running at. And then when the caution came out with like two laps to go they gave me… and we had all those green flag runs there too so it’s kind of hard to get updated when you have such long green flag runs. But, on that last restart they are like look you are running 14th, if we have a first-time winner you need to finish at least 18th and these are the cars you are racing. And then they said something about the No. 20 was out and so I didn’t really know what was going on. To me the only time knowing that really makes a difference is if someone is pressuring you in the closing laps and you don’t need that position, but if you made this guy mad earlier in the race or earlier in the year and you think they might get into you and cause you to have a DNF, then maybe you let somebody go in a position like that you don’t keep chopping them off on entry. But, otherwise every single lap you race as hard as you can. Every single restart you get everything you can, so there is really nothing you can do about it.”
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU SAW ALL THE IMAGES THIS LAST WEEKEND OF NFL PLAYERS AND OWNERS AND HOW THEY BEHAVED DURING THE ANTHEM AND THE FLAG? DO YOU THINK THAT THE EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR SPORT ARE ANY DIFFERENT THAN ANY OF THE OTHER PROFESSIONAL SPORTS IN TERMS OF HOW YOU HAVE TO ACT DURING THE ANTHEM?
“Yeah, I didn’t look. I came in here to talk about our weekend’s racing and not to discuss that, so, I don’t really have a comment.”