MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
CONSUMER ENERGY 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 10, 2018
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed his week following earning his first victory at Watkins Glen, his outlook for this weekend at Michigan and many other topics. Full Transcript:
YOU’VE HAD A VERY BUSY WEEK, YESTERDAY YOU VISITED THE LANSING GRAND RIVER ASSEMBLY PLANT WHERE THE CAMARO ZL1 IS ASSEMBLED. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE AND YOUR WEEK AFTER THE VICTORY?
“It’s been a real busy week for sure. A lot of fun and a cool experience to kind of see what you do when you win a race. That was nice and yeah, had a chance to go to Lansing yesterday and meet some of the folks that put together the Camaro and get to see how that car is built and drive one off the assembly line. It was pretty neat and I enjoyed my time there and looking forward to hopping in mine here very shortly.”
THREE RUNNER-UP FINISHES AT MICHIGAN. HOW MUCH BETTER DO YOU THINK YOU ARE ON RESTARTS NOW?
“I would like to think I could change the result for sure. But, until you are in those positions it’s hard to know. Some of it is circumstance too. You could get a good restart and maybe not get a good push and the guy next to you does get a good push and lose the lead that way. But, I would like to think I would do a little better at it, but until you are in those spots you don’t really know.”
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW JIM FRANCE?
“I mean I know him. I don’t know him well, we are not best friends, I don’t talk to him during the week. But, yeah, I’m open to getting to know him better. I think he has a lot of history in the sport and I don’t see him doing anything wrong.”
ON HIS PODCAST DALE, JR. CAME UP WITH A NICKNAME FOR YOU, YOUNG ELVIS? DO YOU LIKE THAT NICKNAME OR DO YOU THINK DALE, JR. SHOULD RETIRE FROM GIVING NICKNAMES?
“I think he needs to retire from giving nicknames (laughs). For some reason he has always thought I look like Elvis and I really don’t know why. I know he has a little bit of an obsession with Elvis. He has an Elvis room in his house, which is kind of weird. I’ve been in that room before and you wake up and there is this Elvis man staring at you. I don’t know if he just has a thing for Elvis or what, but yeah, I mean, whatever, but I don’t think he is qualified.”
DO YOU THINK A LOT OF THE YOUNGER DRIVERS ARE MORE WELL-ROUNDED DRIVERS NOW?
“I feel like it’s kind of been that way for a little while. Your regular guys that win the ovals tend to have done better at the road courses over the past handful of years. I don’t think that is a new thing. Why that is, I’m not sure. I think a lot of the guys that came in that were road racers that just came in to do it every now and then were always very open and kind to lend their advice and I just wonder if the guys that oval raced haven’t learned a lot of those little tips and tricks and have been better for it. So, yeah, I don’t think that is a new thing. I mean, Martin (Truex, Jr.) won Watkins Glen, won Sonoma and Kyle (Busch) and Brad (Keselowski) and all those guys that win at ovals too have been really good at road courses, so I don’t think that is a surprise.”
A LOT HAS BEEN MADE OVER THE YEARS OF HOW YOU HAVE HANDLED THE ADVERSITY WHEN YOU COME UP SHORT, THE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE SAID PUBLICLY. IN HINDSIGHT DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE HANDLED THE PRESSURE WELL? DO YOU THINK THE PRESSURE INCREASES NOW THAT YOU HAVE WON OR GOES AWAY?
“Look I feel like I deal with things the way I think is right, so whether that is good or bad that is not for y’all to decide that is for me to decide and I think I have dealt with things fine. You have to believe in what you do and how you go about things. I feel like I’ve approached things well. Have I been perfect? No. Could I have done a better job? Yes. I think the days that you have more control of the result are the days I’m more frustrated and I’ve expressed that, you guys know that, so, yeah, I wouldn’t change anything. Obviously, I would have loved to have reversed a few of those finishes over the past couple of years, but really, it makes you appreciate them a heck of a lot more. I know I appreciated this past weekend more because of my past couple of seasons more than I would have if we had come here and won this race in 2016 and that is just the facts whether you want to believe them or not. Not to say that I wouldn’t have loved to have won that race in ’16 or won a race in ’16 or ’17, but they make you appreciate it more because they are not easy to get.
“As you move forward they don’t get any easier. I definitely feel a lot of relief to have finally won a race after being so close so many times. I certainly feel like I have some more confidence that I haven’t had leading into a race weekend, which is nice, but that doesn’t mean things are going to get any easier, but I think that just a lot of relief for myself and my team. I’m excited to see where we go moving forward whether it gets better or worse I don’t know, but I feel good about it and that is all that matters.”
CAN YOU GIVE US SOME MORE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR FATHER’S PLANS TO DRIVE THE XFINITY RACE IN ELKHART LAKE? HAS HE ASKED YOU FOR ANY ADVICE CONCERNING THE LATEST NASCAR TECHNOLOGY?
“It was really just a casual conversation I was having with (GMS Racing president) Mike Beam and the race was open and I’m like man, you ought to put Dad in the car that weekend and kind of pushed for it. And, he was open to it. And Dad was open to doing it. So, I think he just want to go have fun, you know? It’s not an easy thing to do to jump in to a race when you haven’t raced an Xfinity car or a Cup car in quite a while. So, I think he just wants to go have fun and see how the cars are different nowadays than what they were a handful of years ago, and just go have fun. He still enjoys racing and he hasn’t forgotten how to drive, I don’t think. So, I think he’ll be in good shape and have fun with it. That’s the main thing. He’s got nothing to prove. He’ll have a good time.”
NOW THAT YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY LOCKED-IN TO THE PLAYOFFS, HOW DOES THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, HOW DOES THE STRATEGY AND APPROACH CHANCE CONSIDERING THE TRACK STYLES AT INDY, BRISTOL, AND HERE AT MIS ARE NOT REALLY GOING TO BE REPLICATED DURING THE PLAYOFFS?
“I certainly can probably use a little more offense than what you would have if you weren’t locked-in. So, that’s nice. I’ve been on the other end of the stick these past two years and it’s such a nice feeling to come into these last few races and know that you’re locked-in to the deal. But, I think more than that, playoff points are really important to get. And I think that’s our goal is to try to get as many of those as we can, whether it be winning stages or trying to put yourself in position to win. Obviously, you’re always trying to win. But those stage victories are big and you can rack up those playoff points quickly. I know it’s only one per stage, but they add up. I think that’s our goal for these next few weeks to just try to get some more playoff points and kind of get to that next tier of guys in points with people you’re going to be racing against in the final 10.”
YOUR MOM SAID IT DIDN’T MATTER THAT SHE WASN’T THERE FOR YOUR FIRST WIN AND IT MATTERED THAT YOUR DADA WAS THERE, BUT WHAT WAS THAT MOMENT LIKE WHEN YOU GOT OFF THE PLANE IN DAWSONVILLE AND SAW YOUR MOM AND HAD THAT MOMENT WITH HER? AND, YOU SAID YOU WANTED TO GO TO ROAD AMERICA WITH YOUR DAD AND IT’S AN OFF-WEEKEND FOR CUP. DO YOU HAVE PLANS?
“Yeah, I’m planning on going. I definitely want to go up there for the race and hangout and watch and enjoy the weekend. It’s going to be a really cool thing to watch and be a part of. I’m excited to go up there and spectate; maybe they’ll let me spot or something, I don’t know. That would be kind of cool.
“Yeah, it was great to see my Mom. I wish she had been there. She doesn’t miss many races and has obviously been there throughout the whole journey to this point, so it would have been nice to have had her there and to have some photos and things with her at-track, but it was great to see her when we got home and I enjoyed a good week with her, too. Yeah, I wish she was there but unfortunately it didn’t work out.”
WHEN YOU WON YOUR FIRST XFINITY RACE, YOU ALSO WON THE FOLLOWING WEEK. SO, ARE YOU A BELIEVER IN HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF?
“Yeah, I hope so. This has been a pretty good track for us in general. That’s not to say this weekend will go good. I feel like we were better here my first two years than we were in the spring race this year, unfortunately. So, yeah, I don’t know. I hope this weekend goes good and I think this weekend will be kind of a gauge of where we stack-up for some of these race tracks that are coming up at Indy and not so much Darlington, but here and Indy and Vegas and some of the 1.5-mile and 2-milers coming up. We didn’t stack up very well here in the spring race. I think we’ve gotten a little better at these style tracks since then, so hopefully. We’ll see.”
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