MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
PRE-SEASON MEDIA AVAILABILITY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JANUARY 22, 2019
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA/LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 selected quotes from Hendrick Motorsports media availability:
WHAT IS ON YOUR RACING BUCKET LIST?
“Chili Bowl, Rolex 24 Hour and an IndyCar race. But honestly just focused on NASCAR right now. That is what I grew up wanting to do, and that’s all I care about right now.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY TAKEAWAYS FROM 2018 AND WHERE ARE YOU TRYING TO START THIS YEAR OFF?
“There really weren’t a lot of takeaways for us from last year other than learning the Cup Series, so I am putting that year behind us. This year working with Chad (Knaus) is going to be exciting. I feel like we’ve started that process already, just doing things together as a team. I feel like it is growing, and I feel like by the time we get to Daytona, we should be up and rolling.”
WHAT ARE YOU FEELINGS GOING INTO THE SEASON WITH CHAD?
“I think it is a great learning opportunity for me. His experience level is really high, but he’s not like set in is ways. That is what I have noticed about him, he’s open to do new things. I feel like that is important as a crew chief and a team member.”
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO GET FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH CHAD?
“His work ethic is really high. That is important as a crew chief to have that work ethic. That is really the biggest thing I can take away from him. I will try to apply that as best I can to what I am doing. I don’t have to worry about him doing his job, or worry about what the team is doing.”
WHAT WERE YOU DOING IN 2002 WHEN HE STARTED WORKING WITH JIMMIE? “That’s about when I started watching racing. I was about five years-old. I started watching him when I was about six years old, in 2003-2004. I went to my first race. It’s cool to look back on.”
IS IT INTIMIDATING TO NOW BE WORKING WITH THIS GUY?
“Not really. I feel like when you get an opportunity like that, and it is a great opportunity, but it is nothing to really worry about it you are doing all you can. I have confidence in my ability so that helps out. I think it just comes with confidence. I am just trying to apply what I can bring to what we are doing.”
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET READY FOR NEW SEASON?
“There are a lot of things that go in to making the next year as good as it can be. That includes physical training, mental stuff and then just getting in a car and just doing something racing related. I feel like I touch most of those bases every week and try to stay with it.”
HENDRICK HAS ALWAYS BEEN STRONG IN QUALIFYING AT DAYTONA, SO WHAT KIND OF CONFIDENCE DO YOU HAVE GOING IN TO SPEEDWEEKS?
“I think it is going to be less of a learning curve for us. Last year we were not sure what to expect going into Daytona with our stuff. Now we have a full year with our stuff so hopefully we go into Daytona and pick up where we left off at the end of the season which was pretty good.”
DO YOU PUT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON YOURSELF?
“What I have learned about this sport is that every weekend you have a chance to make a difference. There is nothing from last week that carries over to the next week – not even the same race car. Not even the same seat in the race car. You get a chance to reset. If you are really bad at Kentucky, then you can move on to New Hampshire and be fine. I think that is what is special about our sport.”
DO YOU THINK THE NEW PACKAGE WILL DRIVE LIKE THE TRUCK DID?
“Oh man, I don’t really know yet. It is kind of wait and see. Hopefully it does. It is kind of similar horsepower; similar downforce.”
SO, DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE MORE SIMILAR ON THE HIGH GRIP TRACKS; REPAVES?
“I think so. I think so. I think it will be pretty comparable at those places.”
HOW FAST DID NASCAR OFF SEASON FLY BY?
“It was fast. We don’t really have any off time. You get all you can in, whether it is doing something away from racing, or doing something to get yourself ready for the new year. It is just important to really manage that time.”