MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 8, 2018
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed going for four wins in a row at Michigan, his time spent this past week in the Chevy simulator and many other topics. Full Transcript:
YOU’VE WON THE PAST THREE CUP SERIES RACES HERE AT MICHIGAN. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE ONE OF THE FAVORITES HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND?
“I still feel like (Kevin) Harvick, Kyle (Busch) and (Martin) Truex (Jr.) are probably your favorites, but I’m sure I’m a part of that group just based off of our last three races here at Michigan with the wins. Our car has been fast here lately and especially here at Michigan. Hopefully, we can put a nice race together and try and just be in position like we have been for the other three races for the late race restarts and try and take advantage of them. And hopefully get another win. It would be cool to get four in a row.”
WITH SONOMA COMING UP IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS IT NOW PUTS THREE ROAD COURSES ON THE SCHEDULE HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR ROAD COURSE SET-UP AND THE IMPORTANCE OF IT AND WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TRACK?
“I guess I don’t really consider it as three road courses. I still think it’s two road courses. I don’t really know what you consider the ROVAL. But, yeah, I don’t know, I enjoy Sonoma. I spent some time in the Chevy simulator this week running some laps around Sonoma, so that was nice to I guess get familiar with the corners and stuff like that. We worked on some different gear ratios and things like that. I always qualifying good there. I don’t really race very good there, but hopefully this year we can qualify good and race well too. It’s my home race, so I would like to go there and do well. It’s always fun to compete for a pole there. Every year I’ve been there I’ve qualified really good, I would just like to kind of finish it off with a win.”
YOU DIDN’T RUN THE FULL WEEK OF INDIANA MIDGET WEEK, BUT CAN YOU SPEAK TO WHY YOU THINK THAT IS SUCH A UNIQUE EVENT AND REALLY WHY THE FANS GRAVITATE TO IT AND ARE SO CRAZY OVER IT?
“Yeah, I only got to run one night this year. I usually run two nights, but the second night, Gas City (Indiana) rained out this year. There is actually a lot of midget weeks or sprint weeks or whatever you want to call it this time of year. This is a fun part of the season for dirt racing. You had Indiana Midget Week last week, you’ve got POWRi Illinois Midget Week this week. I’m going to go run Ohio sprint week with the Allstar Series next week, then you have I think USAC sprint week comes up shortly after that, Pennsylvania speedweek, so it’s just a lot of good racing this time of year. I think fans really enjoy it. They can go hit a lot of good racing throughout the country every day of the week. Especially, I feel like when you get to Pennsylvania I feel like the fans, I mean it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is there, they are going to have a lot of fun and cheer on some good racing. But, yeah, I enjoy this time of year because I can get to a lot of races. I get about 25 races during the regular Cup season and I fill up the majority of them here in the next three weeks. It’s just a lot of fun and I get jealous of the guys who get to do every race for the next 30 some days.”
WHAT IS YOUR SENSE OF ANTICIPATION ABOUT WINNING FOUR IN A ROW? ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT THAT OR IS IT JUST ANOTHER RACE?
“Yeah, I mean I don’t really think about it. It’s honestly just another race to me. I think they importance of it and I would probably really feel how special it is when we are standing in Victory Lane after the race. I think everything before that I try not to focus on it or worry about it, just go out there and try and do what we do as a team and try and get a win. But yeah, for sure it would be special if we did get that fourth win and I think you would start thinking about breaking the record of getting five in a row, but there are no guarantees that we are going to win this weekend. I would say this one would be tougher than any of them just looking at how fast those three guys are right now.”
YOU TALKED ABOUT DRIVING THE SIMULATOR, FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE NEVER DRIVEN EITHER A SIMULATOR IN ACTION OR ON THE TRACK HOW CLOSE ARE THEY GETTING TO THE ON-TRACK EXPERIENCE AT THIS POINT? WHAT IS THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE?
“Thankfully now it’s finally I feel like to the point where I can learn a little bit off of it. It’s been good that… I think what has really helped us is you know Josh Wise who is part of our race team on the training side of things and just kind of filling in a lot of different gaps, but one of them is the simulator. He has done a really good job of going there and making it drive somewhat similar to where I don’t go there and spend two of the four hours that I’m there just trying to get off pit road. It’s good that he is there. I really feel like all year long and even at the end of last year now we could go to whatever track on the simulator and even through it may not be exactly right, it’s pretty close. There are still little tweaks and stuff that we kind of work on each time I’m there just trying to get it to feel more realistic, but it’s definitely a good tool and Chevy has done a good job, as well as our race team has done a good job at getting it closer to where we can now learn some things off of it.”
THERE HAS BEEN SO MUCH TALK ABOUT THE CHEVROLET’S AND IT’S KIND OF ALL OVER THE BOARD. I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH OF IT IS REALISTIC. WHEN YOU DO REALLY WELL AND THEY ARE LIKE WELL IF KYLE CAN DO IT THEN MAYBE THE CHEVROLET’S AREN’T THAT FAR OFF AND SOME OF THE CHEVY TEAMS SAY, ‘WE ARE WORKING ON IT BUT IT MIGHT BE SLOW’ WE GET KIND OF DIFFERENT ANSWERS. PUT IN PERSPECTIVE WHERE YOU THINK IT’S AT:
“Yeah, I don’t know. I have never felt like Chevy’s have been at a disadvantage this year. Our team has been pretty solid every race. I think some of the teams maybe just use it as an excuse where we don’t do that. So, yeah, I mean obviously I don’t think we are as fast as what we were at this point last year, but I don’t think we are that far off either. Honestly, I think maybe we are kind of where we were at last year, just other teams are a little bit better. We are making our cars better every week. The guys in the shop are really excited about every car that we have been bringing to the race track because there are little things that have made them better each week. So, yeah, that is exciting. I feel like the engine department with Hendrick Engines I don’t feel like we are lacking there at all. They are doing a really good job, we just, I don’t know, we’ve just got to get probably some more downforce and overall performance and at least the No. 42 team will be right there competing for wins every week.”
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