MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
AXALTA PRESENTS THE POCONO 400
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 9, 2017
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 SCOTT PRODUCTS CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed last year’s win at Pocono, his season thus far, the progress of the team, and more. Full Transcript:
TALK ABOUT THE EMOTIONS OF WINNING THE RAIN-PLAGUED RACE AT POCONO LAST YEAR
“Yeah, we needed a jon boat to get back to the hauler afterwards. The garage was about a foot deep (with water). Luckily, I guess the rain all fell in between being in the Media Center and getting done. It was a pretty awesome deal getting that win and having everything play out the way it did. It was a big moment for us. It got us heading toward the Chase for last season and got us into the All-Star race this year to be able to participate there. So, a lot of great things came from it. Everybody keeps asking me how excited I am to get back to Pocono and the probably is it’s not one of the places where we’re as fast as some others, but it is a unique race track. I do love coming here. It’s tough. And it’s hard trying to find just a little bit of speed. The straightaways are so long that one little mistake leads to three or four-tenths at the end of the straightaway. Sol we’ve got tot work hard to be consistent and get the balance rolling good. So far with our Scott Products Chevrolet we’ve been getting it headed in the right direction and I think we’re in good shape to go qualify here.”
WHAT’S THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR SUNDAY?
“It’s a lot of sun and clear skies.”
YOU DON’T NEED RAIN TO WIN THESE THINGS, OBVIOUSLY. BUT HERE’S THE THING: YOU GUYS HAVE KIND OF TURNED IT AROUND. YOU’VE SHOWN WHAT THIS TEAM CAN DO. TALK ABOUT THE ADVANCES THIS SEASON.
“For this season, to start with a completely new team with JTG Daugherty Racing going to two teams, I don’t think anybody really could show up to start working until after the New Year. So, it was very hectic trying to get everything rolling into the beginning of the season and to get to Daytona. And then, that West Coast swing is what’s so difficult for a new team when you’re trying to build up inventory and you’re trying to create notebooks on different chassis numbers. And you find something out there and you go out and in one race, you’ve got something that works pretty decent and you’re sitting out there in Vegas like hey, we need to try and implement this. Well, you can’t the other two cars are already on their way and there’s no time. It did create a little bit slower start than what would have been ideal. But we definitely found some things since Martinsville that have started contributing to better speed. We’ve gotten a better understanding with Trent (Owens, crew chief) and I with our entire team working together for the first time this season. A lot of them have never worked together at all with the exception of a handful being together before that. As smooth as you could really ask it to go, is what’s happened. I’ve been really happy with that. At the same time they’re expanding the shop with Wood Brothers relocating. So, there’s a lot of chaotic mess early on. And they’ve turned it into something that was very well organized and very well put together and we’ve been able to show up at the track and have better speed as we’ve gotten closer to the summer months. We’ve still got to work on it. And we’ve still got to find little things here and there. Whether it’s downforce or different chasses settings or different things we need to do with springs or shocks or whatever it is, I don’t think we’re way off. We’ve just got to keep fine-tuning and finding little tidbits here and there that will make us faster.”
IS POCONO SPECIAL NOW FOR YOU SINCE THIS IS WHERE YOU GOT YOUR FIRST CUP SERIES WIN? WHAT WERE YOUR EMOTIONS WHEN YOU RETURNED TO THIS FACILITY?
“It’s definitely special. I am always excited to come here because it is a fun race track. For me, it’s been a love/hate relationship. I’ve been fogged-out here twice, actually. The first one was in an ARCA car and I hated this place after that because we went back green and we really shouldn’t have. It was foggy already. And we went down into Turn 1 and we passed for second and we got underneath the leader coming off of (Turn) 2 and they threw the yellow and eventually the checkered, because of fog. I felt like we got robbed that day on the ARCA racing side. I did not like this place for a long period of time. Obviously, XFINITY just now starting to come here, I did not have the chance to run an XFINITY car here. So I’m a little bit limited on track time between that day and coming back in a Cup car. I think at the end of the day, I’ll take a win in a Cup car over the ARCA car. I’ll take that trade. It made me a lot more excited to come back to this place again.”
“To a certain extent, maybe. I’m the same age as a handful of them. Me and Ty (Dillon) ran ARCA when we were the same age; Austin being a little bit older. And then we’ve had the movement of these other kids, way younger, coming in and participating. And so, I’m part of it. And it’s nice to be there. And it’s going to remain very challenging as the years go on. And I’m not getting any younger and it seems like the younger kids keep showing up and I think you look at the feeder series with ARCA and the Truck Series and K&N and XFINITY, you look at how well some of these kids are doing at the young ages they are, it’s only a matter of time before they find themselves in a competitive Cup ride and are able to be part of that same talk. And so, at some point, it’s going to become the normal. It won’t be a movement; it will just be the field. And I think we’ve seen a lot of shake-ups over the last couple of years. We’re hearing a lot more that are right on the horizon that are going to be moving around here pretty shortly.”
AT THIS STAGE OF THE SEASON, DO YOU THINK YOU AND YOUR TEAM CAN ‘POINT’ YOUR WAY INTO THE PLAYOFFS? OR DO YOU THINK IT’S GOING TO TAKE A WIN AT THIS POINT TO MAKE IT?
“I think it’s going to take a win. I know consistency is a big part of it. Honestly, the stage points and have played a much larger role than I expected them to at the beginning of the season. I was really unsure of our exactly that was going to play out and how much emphasis everybody was going to place on trying to get those stage points. They’ve added up rather quickly. That’s something that as we get better through a race, we’ve missed out on stage points and so we’re only getting those final points at the end of a race. So, that has cost us some points. My superspeedway record is no better this year than it was last year already. That hurt us in points. At this point, we’re going to get out there and get a win, the best I can tell, and be able to get into the playoffs that way.”
DID YOU READ THE COMMENTS DALE EARNHARDT JR. HAD TO SAY ABOUT YOU AND ABOUT LOOKING AT DRIVERS IN THE FUTURE?
“Yes, I have heard a little bit.”
TALK ABOUT HOW IT FEELS TO BE RECOGNIZED BY NASCAR’S MOST POPULAR DRIVER AS A DRIVER TO ROOT FOR?
“First off, I just want to tell him, ‘Thank you for that.’ When he talks, our fans listen. And so that’s pretty awesome to be talked about in that manner. I think it says like a ‘dark horse’, right? And so that kind of sums it all up, right? It’s not quite the most obvious, but it is an opportunity for us to be able to go out there and make a name and gain a fan following through the years as hopefully a really long tenure in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. We’ve going to keep working on that and get to the point where hopefully we get talked about as more mainstream in the fan vote going forward.“