MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 27, 2018
DARRELL ‘BUBBA’ WALLACE, JR., NO. 43 PETTY’S GARAGE/MEDALLION BANK CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed how his second-place finish at Daytona might translate to this weekend at Talladega, his assessment of his progression and the team’s progression during his rookie season and many other topics. Full Transcript:
TALK ABOUT WHAT IT WOULD MEAN TO GET RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS THEIR FIFTH WIN HERE AT TALLADEGA:
“Yeah, it would mean a lot. For sure I think we are hitting on a lot of good things right now. We are still showing signs of inconsistency which is what comes with being a rookie at the Cup level. Excited about our progression throughout the year. I feel like we are getting stronger and stronger. Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and I had talked about that last weekend in Richmond we are a much better team after that first break that we had on Easter Sunday. We definitely needed that to regroup and come back with a different game plan and it’s showing. Richmond was kind of a headscratcher for us, but we are here focused on Talladega hoping we have the same result, just one spot better than Daytona. It’s good to have Petty’s Garage and Medallion Bank on our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. I’ve always loved coming here to Talladega. Never had really the best finishes, but I was talking yesterday, it’s really fun when you really sit back and digest what we are actually doing driving three and four wide, 200 mph, you get a little taste of it today in practice. It’s always a good time until the ‘Big One’ happens.”
ON BEING FROM ALABAMA:
“I just have my Aunt and Uncle still live down here. And actually, my Uncle is coming up with about 100 plus pounds of crawfish that will be good to eat for tomorrow. It won’t be pretty good for Sunday, we will see. I’m excited about that, excited to have family up here for a little bit, but they have tried to make every Talladega trip that they can. It’s right in their backyard, so it’s good for this to be my ‘home track’ if you say. It’s really tough to kind of grasp on that because I moved away from Mobile (Alabama) when I was 2 (years old) and I don’t really remember much at all, but that is what it says on the birth certificate and it’s good to have those ties and have those roots here.”
DO YOU SHOW UP HERE FEELING A LITTLE MORE ENTHUSIASTIC BECAUSE OF THE RESULT AT DAYTONA?
“I wish I could say it does, but I mean, hell we missed what four wrecks there in Daytona. Good graces were on our side. Hopefully, we still have some of that good graces on our side for this race this weekend. But, you just never know what is going to happen and that is the really bad, not fun, thing about superspeedway racing. Everything else if fun, but when you are just sitting there riding along and the next thing you know you are head-on in the fence you are like, well, I don’t say ‘sorry’ because I didn’t do anything. I was just here, I was gathered up. So, that is just the only thing, when it’s not in your control you just feel a little worse and you just feel helpless. But, I’m excited, I’m pumped up. We are selling our Daytona 500 car, which was really good it finished second and we decide to sell it. That is … I don’t know, beyond me.”
DO YOU EXPECT CHAOS LIKE WE HAD AT DAYTONA?
“Yeah, I think so. You are not safe anywhere, look at Daytona, wrecks happen at the front, the middle and the back. We were just Freddie (Kraft, spotter) up top made good calls on where to go guiding me through the wrecks and that helped out a lot, but I mean it’s really hard to say. You are just trying to bide time and people just get anxious and ready to jump the gun way too early and that is when things happen. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I might sound like I’m downplaying it bad, but I’m excited to get back in the race car and go back at it again. Just from the experience we had at Daytona does bring a little bit of confidence. I’m just trying to remember what in the heck I did. I don’t know I was just out there cruising.”
DOES SECOND PLACE IN DAYTONA BRING SOME KIND OF A POSITIVE VIBE FOR YOU? I THINK THIS MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE PLACE YOU HAD YOUR HARDEST HIT:
“Yeah, I think it was in the Truck Series. Yeah, I mean you look at Daytona you can’t really expect it to go as smooth as that went although that wasn’t smooth at all. I was telling the local media yesterday I was watching races on Instagram little clips would pop up, some races would have 10 cars at the finish back to the two-car tandem draft that race there. And then there was a race with all 40 cars that were there at the finish too. You don’t know what you are going to get. You don’t know who is going to play nice, who is going to rough up some feathers and go from there. I don’t know. I’m just keeping an open mind about it and ready to get on track.”
TOMORROW’S XFINITY RACE YOU ARE GOING TO BE MAKING YOUR DEBUT IN THE DRIVERS ONLY BROADCAST. IS THE WORLD READY FOR BUBBA WALLACE, PIT REPORTER?
“Oh yeah we will be well prepped up after the Big One tonight on the boulevard. We will be well prepped, looking forward to that. No, I’m excited. A huge shout out to those guys for allowing me to be a part of it. I was racing at Pocono when they did it last year and I didn’t even go back and watch the broadcast of that race to see how it really went. I’m going to mess up so bad, probably call the wrong driver, the wrong car number, might even cuss or two. I don’t know, hell, damn… (laughs)… I don’t know.”
WHAT KIND OF AN ADJUSTMENT IS IT FOR THE DRIVERS WITH THE NO RIDE HEIGHT RULE?
“Yeah, no him (Ryan Blaney) and Ricky (Stenhouse) were the king at turning people and not even getting into them. You just packing enough air on the left-rear and cars would go around. We will see how big of a challenge that is. I know we have made some adjustments to our cars to hopefully make us a little bit better on that forefront, but it’s tough to say. With the rules package we’ve got going we are on edge the whole entire time. Daytona just hanging on every move that you made you were white knuckle just trying to complete the pass or complete the run whatever you had going. That is all I got there.”
WILL YOU WANT TO BE IN A PACK AT SOME POINT? HOW WILL YOU TREAT PRACTICE?
“Yeah, definitely we are going to go out and get a little bit of drafting practice there and see. Not necessarily pack too much air on the left-rear because we know what happens, but just see what our car does. This is a new car for us and we were a really good push car at Daytona and a lot of people said that throughout the garage, so we will see if we have those same characteristics or if we are better out front this time. We will see. It would be nice to just be out front the whole time.”
HOW HAVE YOU SEEN YOURSELF GROW AS A CUP DRIVER? HOW HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR TEAM GROW? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU GUYS ARE WANTING TO FIX GOING INTO THE SECOND QUARTER OF THE SEASON?
“Yeah, to tell you I have such a busy schedule my hair keeps growing every damn day and I don’t have enough time to cut it. My beard gets longer and I get uglier, so there is my progression, but as far as the team, I think we are hitting on some things. We are also missing on some things as well. This is still all new to us just for switching teams, manufacturers, the whole nine, but we have produced some really great runs. Look at Texas and Bristol I was excited about that, got a lot of confidence and then we come here. Looking back at Daytona what we did coming here to Talladega another speedway race for us, excited about that, so then coming up is Dover, my favorite race track on the schedule, Charlotte, Kansas, so we’ve got a lot of exciting thing coming. I think we will be good, we will be ready to hit on all cylinders there, but at the same time we are still learning and growing as a team.”
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE FEELING OF A LAP AT DOVER?
“I told Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief), I’m like man I want to qualify on the pole there. Obviously, I want to win the race, but that would be… all the series that I’ve been in I’ve started on the pole. I thought that would be pretty cool. But, you are hauling the mail there. I remember walking across the bridge while Cup practice was going on and just you can’t really see much because they are so loud through that little walkway there and they are so fast coming out of Turn 2, so I’m excited to get to experience it and dive off into Turn 1 and get to feel that roller coaster effect. To see just how badass, it is. I’m excited to get there.”
DO YOU EXPECT TO FIND ANY VALUE OF SEEING THE RACE FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE BY DOING THE DRIVER ONLY BROADCAST?
“Yeah, it let’s me know if this racing thing doesn’t work out I might have a shot at TV. So, this is my debut, this is my tryout session to keep it back in the memory bank to see if I actually can do it. But it’s going to be a good time regardless, myself, (Ryan) Blaney and Erik (Jones) on pit road. That is going to be fun, but definitely going to watch some broadcasts tonight and see what I can pick up on because I think what we are covering like eight to 12 cars or something, geez that is going to be kind of tough, but it’s going to be a challenge, it’s going to be fun. It will be interesting to see, definitely listen to my part because some mess ups are going to happen.”
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