NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
BOJANGLES’ SOUTHERN 500
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 3, 2016
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed his position in the Chase standings, what it would mean to get his first Cup Series win at Darlington, his thoughts on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. being sidelined for the remainder of the season and many other topics. Full Transcript:
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN FOR YOU TO GET TO VICTORY LANE TOMORROW NIGHT?
“It would obviously be a huge deal for sure. We will see how it goes. I’m excited about the weekend. It is neat to see everybody’s excitement for the paint schemes and to see all the effort that goes into this weekend now is pretty wild. It’s neat to see. I’m excited to be a part of it. I think we have a cool paint scheme. I think NAPA Auto Parts did a good job coming up with their throwback scheme this weekend. Like I said, we will see how it plays out.”
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DRAW FROM YOUR WIN HERE THAT WILL HELP YOU ON THE TRACK NOW?
“I think just the laps really is the biggest thing. That was two years ago, which is kind of hard to believe, but it has been two years. I don’t know what a win two years ago does for you two years later, not much other than just having the laps I think is helpful. We didn’t have a very strong run here last year, which was disappointing. I do think that everybody is working really hard trying to help our cars improve, trying to just find that extra little bit that we need. I felt like were really close there to having what we needed last weekend and trying to build on that each week is important. Not getting content with where you are. So, no, to answer your question, I don’t really know that it does a ton for you, but I think just having the laps will be hopefully helpful and we will see how it goes.”
WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THE DALE EARNHARDT, JR. NEW FROM YESTERDAY? HOW DO YOU SEE HIS CONTINUING ABSENCE HAVING AN IMPACT ON THE TEAM?
“Yeah, obviously, I hate to see that. As a teammate and as a friend you never want to see anybody go through anything like that. And as I’ve said at the beginning of it I have a lot of respect for him and you know the situation that he is in to listen to your body or your mind whatever is telling you something is wrong and then also listen to the doctors I know that is probably not the easiest thing to do at the same time as well. I have a lot of respect for him and what he has gone through and being able to stand up and be honest about everything. That is tough. I don’t care who you are that is a hard thing to do when you are going through something like that. He stood up and been just really really honest, which I think is awesome. It shows the kind of person that he is and how can you not support that and pull for him to get back as soon as possible.
“I think that definitely from a team perspective we want to have him back as soon as possible. I know I do as a teammate. He does a really good job. I feel like he brings a lot to the team. The flip side of that I feel like we have some good guys to fill in for him while he is gone. I think Alex (Bowman) has done a really good job over the past few races that he has run. I thought he was going to be really strong last weekend. I hated to see him have his problems and then obviously Jeff (Gordon) is going to bring a lot to the team regardless of whether he is driving or not. I think he is going to have a lot of great opinion to bring and show and try to help us get going in a good direction. Yes, I want to see him back as soon as possible, but health comes first and they feel like this is the right thing for him to do and that is what he needs to do to try to get better and we will hope to see him back in Daytona in February. I think that is a good goal to shoot for and being 110 percent for something like that there is no need in taking a big risk I don’t think.”
AFTER YOU HAVE THE DISAPPOINTMENT LAST WEEK IS IT GOOD TO COME TO A PLACE THAT YOU HAVE WON AT?
“Oh yeah, I think it’s good just to get back to the race track in general. I mean regardless, it’s like I was telling them, it’s hard to believe it’s been two years since that Xfinity win here which is kind of hard to believe for me. Time has gone by really fast, but I don’t know what a win two years ago does for you other than just having the extra laps I think is a big thing. It’s good to be back at the race track regardless and just to kind of get back in the swing of things and get going I feel like is the biggest piece of that.”
WITH YOUR POSITION IN THE CHASE STANDINGS DO YOU APPROACH THESE NEXT TWO RACES ANY DIFFERENTLY?
“I don’t think so. As I said last week and the week before, I hate to sound like a broken record, but I think if you are worried about running 14th, 15th and 16th and beating the guys that are running right there that is where you are going to run. I just think unless you have your sights set on the right things and trying to contend for a win and a good finish that is where you are going to be is back there. I think making sure you have your goals set in the right spots is the biggest thing and we just try to go do our jobs the best we can and just kind of see how the race plays out. See what kind of car we have and try to tune on it today and hopefully help it for tomorrow.”
HAVE YOU WATCHED THE FINAL LAPS OF LAST WEEK’S RACE OR DO YOU TRY TO PUT THAT OUT OF YOUR MIND AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE?
“I mean I saw it live and in person for me. So, no I haven’t gone and watched the closing laps of last week. I saw what happened and like I said, I got to see it firsthand. For me I definitely put it behind me. It’s done and over with and as I told Claire (B. Lang, reporter) on the phone the other night we don’t have the ability to rewind time. Your only option is to move on and get on down the road. I’m excited to do that. I think we had a good run and I feel like as a company last weekend we were all really strong. I think that is something that is positive for all of us to look at. We’ve just got to see that and look at that side of things and try to bring as much of that as we can to this weekend and try to make it go forward.”
A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY YOU ARE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF DO YOU AGREE?
“I don’t really. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and I think everybody has their own way of going about their business. I have mind just like you have yours and everybody does. I’m going to respect that regardless of who it is and how they like to go about things. I have my own way of going about things and my own way about going about my job. I think we all do. I’m going to respect everybody else’s (opinion) and you hope you get that respect back.”
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