MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 8, 2019
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 met with media and discussed the season thus far, the new race package, his relationship with crew chief, Chad Knaus, his expectations for Phoenix and Fontana, and more. Highlights:
ON THE NEW RACE PACKAGE
“I feel like the race is going to look relatively like; it’s a race. It’s not going to look like night and day different, I don’t think. I think Vegas was not a huge surprise. I thought it was a little bit more strung-out than I would have expected from the practice. But the track was hot and slick. This weekend is going to be probably close to what typical Phoenix is like. With the more downforce, I think it’s probably going to probably be harder to pass than we experienced here last year. The cars are a little more stuck, so maybe that’s going to pay dividends for being able to be a little more aggressive. We’ll see what happens. I think restarts are going to be very hectic here. But honestly, this weekend we’re not going to see much of anything different. Next weekend is going to be a lot more four or five wide, I think, for a longer period of time than we’re used to at Fontana.”
WILL YOU BE DRIVING INTO THE CORNERS A LITTLE DEEPER?
“It’s all relative. It’s probably all relatively the same. The pace is definitely faster here. I think this year the pole is probably going to be three-quarters of a second faster than last year. That part of it is different. So, there’s definitely more speed. But, I don’t think it honestly feels that different here.”
HOW IS THE RELATIONSHIP COMING TOGETHER WITH YOU AND (CREW CHIEF) CHAD KNAUS?
“It’s been really good. Chad and I have similar approaches to things, so honestly, there have been really no huge issues. We haven’t run how we want to as of late yet, but we’re still a relatively young team and it’s only our fourth race together. So, I don’t know. It’s still kind of wait and see. But we get along really well together so far.”
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE FIRST THREE WEEKS?
“Relatively normal, I would say. Vegas was a lot more hectic throughout the week. Qualifying was its own beast. We didn’t really time that out very good. And that was super frustrating not to be on the right side of it. But, the race was relatively similar to last year. Definitely more hectic restarts, for sure.”
LOOKING AHEAD TO FONTANA, WILL THE DRAFT BE A BIT OF A FACTOR WITH THE NEW PACKAGE?
“I really don’t know what to expect. I really think it’s going to be a crazy race. It’s probably going to be similar to Michigan when they had the aero package in the Xfinity cars. I think it’s going to be a lot of four-and-five-wide racing at the beginning of runs. I think it’s probably going to string out still, but who knows? I don’t really know.”
ARE YOU MEETING YOUR EXPECTATIONS SO FAR THIS YEAR?
“Not really. We obviously want to win, but I feel like we’re relatively close to where our potential is as a team, so far. I feel like we’ve performed within two to three spots of our potential in the last couple of weeks. This week we can hopefully continue that and improve with a couple of spots more. But, I think this should be a pretty good weekend for us.”
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE GRANDFATHER CLOCK TROPHY AT MARTINSVILLE
‘It obviously has a lot of history in this sport. It’s been there for a long time and there have been a lot of different guys that have won that clock. Just the fact that the history is there is a bit deal.”
HOW MUCH WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE ONE? WHERE WOULD YOU PUT IT?
“I’d love it. I’d love to have one. Well, my apartment is kind of small. I’d be limited on space but maybe I could put it in the bedroom or something.”
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO WORK WITH CHAD KNAUS?
“It’s been great. He’s a very competitive individual, obviously. I feel like our personalities mesh relatively well. We’ve had like no issues, honestly. It’s early in the season, so we’ve got to work through and continue to progress and keep setting that bar a little bit higher. We’re in a decent spot in points. We’ve had some decent finishes. Daytona, we could have easily finished where we were running in the top five late in the race, so we just have to continue to kind of build on that.”
HOW DOES THIS NEW RACE PACKAGE SUIT YOU?
“Honestly, it feels about the same. There’s more downforce. There’s more lap time in the car and more potential. But you still drive the car to its limit. So, whatever that limit is it’s going to be the same. The cars don’t feel as lazy I guess. So they are a little bit more responsive. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”