MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
FOXWOODS RESORT AND CASINO 301
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JULY 20, 2018
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed his broadcast debut during the Eldora Dirt Derby, other dirt tracks that might work for Truck Series racing and beyond, his thoughts on New Hampshire Motor Speedway and many other topics. Full Transcript:
GOOD IN THE BOOTH AT ELDORA, HOW DID YOU LIKE IT AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
“Yeah, I had a lot of fun doing it. I was really nervous. I had never done anything like that, but once we got about halfway through qualifying I was like ‘oh this isn’t too bad it’s pretty fun’ just be relaxed and you can do a good job. It was tough too I was trying to be prepared before the race so watching races back. I have never watched a race and didn’t really pay attention to the race and try to focus on what they were saying in the booth. It was hard to study because it was something totally different than what I was used to. I found myself forgetting to pay attention to what they were saying in the booth and more just watching the race, but we did good, it was fun. I thought (Christopher) Bell did a really good job on pit road. I felt like at the time before I did it I had the tougher job than he did because we would be talking so much in the booth, but once I got in there and you hear the producers in your ear talking and Bell he had to kind of be ready to go and have something to talk about at all times. We would toss it down to him and he wouldn’t even be expecting it and he did a good job with that. It was fun though. Vince (Welch) and Michael (Waltrip) made it easy and hopefully we can do it again next year.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT RACING AT NEW HAMPSHIRE?
“Yeah, I don’t know, I’ve had some good runs here for sure top fives and stuff and won a K&N race, but we are either really good or really bad. I think we will be okay this weekend. Like you said, this is my spotter’s home track. I think he is only from a couple of hours away from here, so his family is all here. He loves his fan base as a spotter he is very passionate about his fan base, so he has got a lot of fans here so I’m sure I will have to go out and do some autograph sessions with him later. I’m sure he’s got some stuff lined up for us, but no, he’s good and even though he’s from this area thankfully he doesn’t have the accent (laughs).”
AT THE ROVAL TEST THIS PAST WEEK THERE WAS SOME TALK ABOUT CHANGING THE TIRE IS THAT CONCERNING FOR YOU SINCE YOUR TEAM WAS UNABLE TO TEST THAT TIRE SINCE THEY WERE IN A DIFFERENT SESSION AND OTHER TEAMS HAVE TESTED THE TIRE?
“I don’t know, it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter really what tire I think the same cars are going to be fast on whatever tire. It doesn’t matter to me. Jamie (McMurray) was there testing. I didn’t know that they had ran on a different tire and anything like that, like I said, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m going to go out there and run hard.”
CAN WE ASSUME IF A CUP RACE OR AN XFINITY RACE WENT TO A DIRT TRACK YOU WOULD BE RIGHT THERE?
“Well if a Cup race was there I would have to be there. I don’t know, I mean Tony (Stewart) is probably going to get mad, but I would like to see it just stay as it is. If anything, Xfinity, maybe, but I wouldn’t like to see Cup on dirt. I don’t know, to me, Cup belongs on pavement and real road course tracks, but yeah, I don’t know. Yeah, I mean if we went to Eldora, yeah, I mean I would be excited because I would be really fast and I feel like I would definitely have the best shot to win, but at the same time, I don’t know, I think we are fine not going there.”
WOULD ELDORA BE THE ONLY PLACE IN AMERICA…?
“No, definitely not. No, I mean there are a lot of other good dirt tracks. I think Eldora would for sure be the number one on the list because they have experience with running Trucks there, but Knoxville (Iowa) has got the facility to do it. I don’t know off the top of my head I would think Knoxville would probably be the only other half-mile. You have your dirt miles that you can go to, but I don’t think a dirt mile would put on a good race. It would just end up being a pavement race.”
IF YOU COULD LOOK AT MAYBE FIVE DIFFERENT DIRT TRACKS THAT YOU COULD COORDINATE INTO MAYBE NOT CUP BUT SINCE YOU ALREADY HAVE THE TRUCKS MADE FOR DIRT WHERE ELSE COULD YOU SEE POTENTIALLY TAKING THOSE TRUCKS?
“Yeah, I mean off the top of my head just Knoxville. And then like I said the dirt miles also, but I’ve ran dirt miles, I’ve ran Knoxville, I’ve ran Eldora, I’ve ran Silver Crown stuff on the dirt miles and when it gets to race time they are not very fun. They end up just being single-file and really hard to pass around the very bottom inside wall. So, I don’t think you could prep those tracks to race good. They are not clay surfaces, they are just dirt. They are horse tracks, so I think they are anyways horse tracks, but I don’t know. Knoxville would probably be the only other place. I think one dirt race is fine.”
HOW DID YOU FEEL TOWARD THE END OF THE RACE WHEN THE PJ1 STARTS TO WEAR DO YOU COMPENSATE OR DO YOU WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE IN THE TURN AND HAVE TO ADJUST?
“Well, I mean it’s a long race so you get to gauge it every time you go through the corner each lap. So, I mean it definitely changes throughout the race, so you know I would say it wears out. I feel like the last couple of races here, the last, I don’t know 50 laps or so, maybe a little longer it kind of just turns back into normal New Hampshire where you can run lower. Not all the way down, but kind of the second lane, where right now the PJ1 is in the first and third lanes where I feel like once it wears out up top you kind of just moves down a lane and run your typical New Hampshire line. But, that is what makes it fun, the VHT it is always changing. It is similar to dirt track conditions where it’s wearing out and your car is changing and you need to change what you are doing so it makes it fun.”
PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE BIG THREE IT’S TOYOTA AND FORD. WHAT AREA IS YOUR TEAM AND OTHERS LOOKING TO BECOME PART OF THE BIG FOUR? AERO? MOTORS? WHATEVER?
“I don’t know, I feel like our team if we got some wins, I would be considered right there. I mean, I think I’m fourth to sixth best right now if you were to rank me. I think myself, (Brad) Keselowski and Clint Bowyer are kind of right there, (Ryan) Blaney also. Clint has got some wins, but the rest of us don’t, but I feel like I out run Clint most weekends. So, yeah, I feel like I’m fourth best. I feel like we are close. Last week at Kentucky I was able to pass all those guys and we had our issues. You never know if I would have won last week, but we showed that we are getting better and better every week and gave ourselves a shot up until our issues last weekend. So, just got to… I say it every weekend, we always get asked about struggling or whatever, but I feel like we are right there and we are getting better.”
HOW TO YOU MAINTAIN AND CONTINUING IMPROVING WITHOUT PRESSING?
“I don’t know, I feel like I press hard every weekend and I’m always aggressive every race track. I don’t feel like my driving style changes anymore around them versus anybody else. So, I don’t know, obviously, I would like to have a win and feel like there have been a couple where I could have won, Bristol, Chicago, Michigan – I messed up, I felt like I had the fastest car there, Kentucky – maybe I had the fastest car there. So, yeah, I mean there have been a lot of races where we have lost out on some opportunities. We just have to keep working hard and these races are so hard to win. All three of those guys make it look extremely easy, but they have got a lot of confidence right now. Their teams are performing well, their pit crews are performing well, so we’ve just got to be perfect and we will be right up there with them.”
CAN YOU JUST FURTHER EXPLAIN WHY YOU FEEL CUP IS MORE SUITED FOR PAVEMENT AS OPPOSED TO DIRT?
“Well, I mean I’ve raced the trucks and I don’t know, I feel like maybe if Goodyear could make a way better tire and us be actually able to use the horsepower or even more horsepower in our Cup cars on a dirt track I think it would be a lot more fun. I don’t really know how to answer the question without making people mad.”
IF DIRT FOR CUP IS NOT THE ANSWER IS THERE A REALISTIC ENHANCEMENT THAT THE CUP SERIES COULD MAKE TO KIND OF JUICE THINGS UP?
“I don’t know. More horsepower, not less that is my opinion.”
IS A ROAD COURSE MORE FUN THAN A CIRCULAR COURSE?
“It depends on what road course you are at. Obviously, everything I’ve done growing up is oval racing. So, I’m more comfortable doing that. I enjoy road course racing the few times that we get to do it throughout the year. Sonoma, Watkins Glen, those are both some of the most exciting weekends we have throughout the year. I will have a better idea of how much enjoyment we get out of the ROVAL once that weekend is done. I think road course racing is great. I think anytime we have had road course races when I was Xfinity racing… you know Xfinity only races, Road American, Mid-Ohio there would be tons of fans there spread out everywhere throughout the property. They are definitely exciting. I can’t pick one over the other just racing cars is exciting.”