MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
BASS PRO SHOPS NRA NIGHT RACE
BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 18, 2017
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 BUSH’S GRILLIN’ BEANS CHEVROLET SS and team co-owner, TAD GESCHICKTER, met with members of the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and discussed his new multi-year agreement with JTG Daugherty Racing, his love for Bristol Motor Speedway and many other topics. Full Transcript:
TAD GESCHICKTER: “It’s exciting to be here at Bristol. It’s the home market for one of our longest running sponsors, Bush’s Beans, Kenna and TeeSee are here if any one has any questions for them, 15 years sponsoring our team. It’s the home to a lot of Kroger stores that have the great Clicklist service and it’s where Jodi (Geschickter) and I enjoyed our first NASCAR win way back in 1996. It’s a special place to us and we have a special announcement. We have been able to work through contractual stuff and get Chris (Buescher) signed up for multi years to continue to drive for us at JTG Daugherty racing. We couldn’t be happier about that.
“As I think about Chris, there are three things that led to this decision it is trust, it is the talent and it is his tenacity. If you look at the person he is, he is humble, he is kind, but I think the word that gets used by our sponsors the most and by the fans and all of you who meet him is he is sincere. I think that is a great quality for us and for the sponsors that are on our car. If you look at him at (age) 24 and I remember 24 long ago. How far he has come just through determination and hard work. He has an ARCA championship, he’s got an Xfinity championship and just in his short time with us he’s become a top fixture in the top 20 in the running order. He just keeps getting better every week. We are just still learning. Probably last, but not least, his tenacity. This guy is in the shop more than any other driver we have ever worked with. He stays in the hauler, he looks at his throttle traces, his Dartfish. He is always talking with his team about how he can make his car as competitive as possible each week. He is just a great leader. I’m excited that we are going to work together for a long time to come and I’m excited to see where we can take the No. 37 together.”
CHRIS BUESCHER: “So, really excited to be able to get everything worked out to be able to drive for JTG Daugherty Racing for the next handful of years. We have been able to make a lot of progress this season and everyone knows how hard it is to fire off at the beginning of the year with everything being completely new. Not only just new to me, but adding a second team is a pretty major undertaking. So, to be able to get everything in place as smoothly as we have been able to and be able to get the results that we have this soon in the season, I think has been a really great thing. For me, that continuity at the end of the season is excellent. It’s something that I haven’t had for a little bit. To be able to build off of something that you worked an entire year trying to get up and get ready to go that is nice to be able to carry over that into 2018 and seasons beyond. Really looking forward to next season, really neat to be driving the new Chevy Camaro ZL1. It looks like a pretty excellent body that they came out with and cool to see Camaro back in NASCAR at the Cup level. Lots of good things coming. We are really happy that we could make this announcement and get everything worked out. I’ve had a blast over here with everybody, Tad and Jodi, thank you, and Gordon (Smith) and Brad (Daugherty) who I have only gotten to talk to a handful of times at this point, but just want to say thank you to all of them for allowing me the opportunity to be able to come out of here and be competitive in these races. Couldn’t think of a better place than Bristol to make the announcement. My favorite track, right there with Darlington. It’s kind of a toss-up, but seem to get a little bit more speed out of this place. Practice just went really good for our Bush’s Grillin’ Beans Chevrolet. Really excited about qualifying this evening and looking forward to the race tomorrow night.”
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT CHARTER’S FOR NEXT SEASON?
TAD GESCHICKTER: “Yes, we have an owner’s agreement to purchase a Charter and that paperwork is going to be submitted to NASCAR this week and hopefully it gets all signed and approved. More to come on that, but we have a plan on that and it is well down the road.”
ARE YOU GOING TO CONTINUE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING?
TAD GESCHICKTER: “We have several years left on our agreement with RCR. We want to continue to get better together with them and we continue to work hard every day to do that.”
TALK ABOUT THE DIFFICULTIES OF THE FINANCIAL PICTURE THAT TEAM OWNER’S ARE HAVING TO DEAL WITH NOW AND HOW OFF IS MAYBE REVENUE AND COST OR IS IT?
TAD GESCHICKTER: “That is a great question. In 2008, we were working together with the Wood Brothers and we had five teams and 240 employees. And in that economic downturn we went through the pain of having to find jobs for a lot of different people and downsizing. So, I think we have been really choosy in how we have grown from there. I don’t want to over egg the omelet or grow too fast, so I think in our case we have always played money ball and tried to play within our means and pick the right places to spend the money. I think that the economic picture for our team has just gotten better and maybe that the rest of the field who was at bigger numbers is coming back to us. But, I think the competitive balance is going to come back to us and we feel good about where we are on sponsorship.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL OVERALL ABOUT THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN THE CUP SERIES RIGHT NOW?
TAD GESCHICKTER: “I think that they continue to look at ways to cut the cost. Cutting back some tires this year, certainly was a help to us. But, I will say that what we spend today versus what we spent 10 years ago it’s crazy to look at. We keep working along and before you know it we have got the sponsorship to do it, but certainly I think NASCAR is serious about it and the team owner council is serious about continuing to find ways to cut back on that anyway we can as quickly as we can.”
WHAT IN YOUR DRIVING STYLE LENDS YOU TO SUCH SUCCESS AT THIS TRACK?
CHRIS BUESCHER: “I wish I knew because I would take it to a lot of other tracks. This is a place that I have always just loved. I loved watching races here as a kid. We got to run a legends car race here one time on the apron. We actually used pit road and then the aprons in the corners. I remember thinking how cool it was just to be able to race at Bristol that day. As we have looked at the Xfinity Series, I never did any Truck racing, but the Xfinity series and even Cup, we have had some extremely good runs here. Still, a haunting finish for me running out of gas leading this thing a few years ago on the Xfinity side. I wish I could tell you. It’s something that kind of brings me back to a Salem or a Winchester where we ran so many races in ARCA right up against the fence. I know that is obviously evolving here constantly, but trying to run that top side it’s a lot of throttle time. It’s just crazy. It’s amazing how quick paced it is and how quickly a lap goes by and how much goes on. I wish I could tell you. I love it. I really do. I love coming to Bristol. I think that helps a lot. About the same as road races. I don’t have a road racing background, but we seem to run pretty good at them because it’s something that these guys have worked really hard with AJ (Allmendinger) and been able to bounce a lot of things off of him to improve that this season, but I also I enjoy doing. I think that helps.”
CHRIS BUESCHER: “With the traction compound on the bottom, I think last Fall that was the first time it was done, I thought that was really good. I think that it gave us a track that was not just top dependent, it gave us a passing lane. Not really a bottom dependent track, but a place where we could move around to get around lap cars or if you were really better than somebody in front of you, you could set them up and try and pin them behind a slower car up on the top and be able to use the bottom. I think it has evolved from there. I think it was really wide at the Spring race here earlier this season. I think where it is at now is much closer to where it was in the Fall and I certainly like it better. I think from the driver’s standpoint most have been on board with it. I think we like the idea of it. I think it have given us a passing lane. In practice is going to be a bottom feeder race track just because of how new the compound is and how it takes rubber, but it does wear off. We saw it there late in practice, we are able to start using that top now and run lap times that are within a tenth or two versus half a second or three quarters of a second that it was in the first practice.”
IS THE GOAL TO KEEP CHRIS, TRENT (OWENS, CREW CHIEF) TOGETHER GOING INTO NEXT YEAR? WILL ANYTHING CHANGE THERE?
TAD GESCHICKTER: “Yes, as a matter of fact we were able to sign Trent’s extension concurrent with Chris’ this week as well. So, they have really come together nicely, so we are excited to see where they take it together.”
IT HAS TO FEEL GOOD TO HAVE SOME STABILITY A LITTLE BIT GOING FORWARD:
CHRIS BUESCHER: “Yeah, you could definitely say that. The fact that we are sitting here today to say that we have many years going forward and know we are going to be… we’ve got Trent (Owens, crew chief) leading the team, that is pretty amazing. It’s nice to have that comfort through the off season, something that has been hard to have especially with the way the world is today and how hard it is to get that feeling here. I’m very thankful for this opportunity. I’ve had a really good time this season. We’ve been able to make some awesome improvements and again, coming back to that continuity, from one season to the next, I haven’t had that since way back in the Xfinity days, so knowing that we have the same group and we have notes and we have race cars that we’ve run that is going to be a really big help. I look for that to be a big step in getting better results early in 2018.”
WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR OFF WEEKEND?
CHRIS BUESCHER: “For our off weekends we kind of get away. For right now. I have told Tad that I very much want to run Eldora in the Truck Series next season and if he could put a truck together that would save me a lot of hassle. But I don’t think he has gone for it yet. I will be looking to try and do… with Tad and Jodi’s blessing obviously, trying to do a little bit of extracurricular racing next season as things settle down a little bit. I think that has prevented me from doing a lot of that over the last couple of seasons is just so many variables, so many unknowns, just trying to make sure we are in the right place and we are not trying to step on anyone’s toes. Now looking forward I feel like I can lean on Tad a little bit and try and go look at some races on the outside of just the Cup series.”
WITH THIS BEING A MULTI-YEAR DEAL ARE YOU OUT OF THE ROUSH CONTRACT NOW OR IS THAT STILL IN FORCE?
CHRIS BUESCHER: “Yes, this is a multi-year deal for us to be able to go racing for JTG Daugherty Racing exclusively. Again, that is a pretty excellent feeling to know that we have something in place going forward to be able to come back each and every season and start from where we left off. For us to be able to say that we have a home and as long as Tad will have me, we will be driving here.”
SO, DOES THAT MEAN YOU ARE NOT ALIGNED WITH ROUSH?
CHRIS BUESCHER: “Yes, so for these years coming up, yes. This is where we are going to be. This is home. This is a way for us to gain that continuity and I really appreciate everything on the Roush Fenway side and what they have done for me through the years and have had a lot of fun racing over there. For simplicities sake and going forward, while everything goes through this time where everything restructures and gets back in line this is our way to be able to say that we know what we are doing each and every year.”
YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A KIND OF UNDER THE RADAR DRIVER, DO YOU FEEL THIS GIVES YOU A PLATFORM NOW AND DID YOU MIND BEING CONSIDERED UNDER THE RADAR?
CHRIS BUESCHER: “Yeah, and I never did coming up. That was always okay with me. But, I have really appreciated the years I’ve had to learn without a microscope. We have been able to make mistakes and learn from them and be better each and every time we come to the race track. For me, I think that this season has been one where we have steadily improved over the last handful of weeks we have had some really good runs. Really, since Martinsville, we have had some really good runs on and off. So, for us that is excellent to be able to get our partners in the limelight and be able to work forward and build the brand with them. I think it’s been an excellent opportunity and now, with this, we might even get the graphic when they display every car number across the top of the screen ours will actually have one because it’s the same one it was the last couple of weeks. Just little things like that it is nice to know it is going to be smoothed out going forward.”
WHEN WE WERE HERE IN APRIL WE HAD SOME RAIN SHOWERS AND YOU JUMPED OUT AND HELPED SEVERAL OF THE FANS HERE IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS WHEN THE WATER WAS RISING. HAVE YOU RECONNECTED WITH ANY OF THOSE YOU HELPED PULL OUT OF THOSE WATERS IN APRIL?
CHRIS BUESCHER: “I need to get back on social media because I did have one of the gentlemen, him and his wife were camping and they did get ahold of me after that race. And they said they go to quite a few races, so that was really neat. I had a good time doing that. I hated to see, unfortunately, the circumstances and really glad that we won’t have to deal with that this weekend. For the record, it was Tad and Jodi’s truck that was in the mud. I didn’t tell them that until after, but I got it cleaned up so it’s all good now. But, yeah, we are going to play in the mud all next week anyway on our off weekend. Might as well try and help out and have some fun while we are doing it.”