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Jun 15, 2014 - 09:10 PM
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2014 Michigan: Kyle Larson NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Race Press Conference
Posted by: ASkyler on Jun 15, 2014 - 09:10 PM
2014 Michigan: Kyle Larson NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Race Press Conference


KERRY THARP: Next up is our top‑finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender. Finishing eighth today and overcoming certainly several setbacks as the race unfolded, but he battled his way back, and that is Kyle Larson, and he's the driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. Kyle, just talk about certainly you had some bad things happen early, then I believe you had a pit road speeding penalty, but you had to admire the fortitude and the persistent effort of the 42 team today.

KYLE LARSON: Yeah, man, we had to fight really hard today. I hate it for whoever got collected in my spin in the beginning. I'm sure Martin Truex was in it because he was racing me really hard all day and he was beat up, so I feel bad for him. We fought our way back to the top 5 and pretty much stayed there for most of the race, and then with under 50 laps to go I sped on pit road. I was really bummed about that because I knew we would have a shot to win. Then I fought really hard after that to finish eighth, and I think Shy made great pit calls all day long, and I screwed up. I hate it, but still somewhat happy to get a top 10, just disappointed I let my team down.

Q. It seemed like you were faster. A lot of drivers were saying it appeared you had more downforce after the bumper cover came off. Were you surprised by it? Tony seemed like he was displeased by something. Did you understand what was going on there?

KYLE LARSON: Yes, that's Tony being Tony. Yeah, with the Tony issue, I was pretty tight on whoever was inside of me on the restart, and I was looking in my mirror and saw him juke to the right so I juked to the right and he hit me, and I don't know, he was just trying to teach me a lesson I'm guessing. Oh, well, that's two weeks in a row.


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You know, the rear bumper, yeah, I've never had that happen before, and it happened so early in the race that I don't know how it would have handled had I had a rear bumper. Either way I think we would have had a really good car because we were good in practice, but it probably did help a little bit.

Q. The track and tires out there today, how did you find the race line, and how did the tires wear?

KYLE LARSON: I was surprised how wide the racing actually got. We were all the way up into the third, fourth groove probably there at the end of the race and running up in the gray, which I was really surprised by, just because in my past Michigan experiences, it normally just gets ‑‑ the groove gets lower, and today it got lower, then worked its way up.

And as far as tire wear, I don't think there was any issues, at least I don't think there was in my camp. I don't know about the other teams. But we usually don't see much tire wear on a newly repaved track.

Q. Kyle, in light of Friday's news, your big news, how important is it to you or what does it mean to you to have another strong run on Father's Day and how close do you feel you are to a win?

KYLE LARSON: Yeah, it would have been cool to get a win today. I don't know, I guess it'll mean more next year.

I didn't get to see my dad today. I texted him. They've been in Indiana watching Midget Week for the USAC series and I'll actually go there after this to go watch. Yeah, I texted him, asked him if he was even coming, and he said I'll probably get there right before the race starts and go sit in the stands. I told him to make sure he came to victory lane if I won. Oh, well, we didn't get it done, but it was still a good day, and I'm sure he was happy to see me get a top 10 after all I had to deal with.


KERRY THARP: Joining us now is Alba Colon, and she's a Chevrolet program manager for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As we know, the Michigan International Speedway last summer instituted the Heritage Trophy that they present twice a year to the winning manufacturer in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race here at Michigan International Speedway, and it's a big deal. That's a beautiful trophy, and Chevrolet will hang on to that trophy at least until August. But congratulations, Alba. Jimmie wins for the first time here at Michigan, but Chevrolet certainly continues to assert itself as just a first‑class manufacturer. Just talk about what it means to win here today at Michigan.

ALBA COLON: Thank you, Kerry, and thank you, everybody. First of all, I don't think that we're planning to return the trophy for many years to come. No, first of all, thank you very much for having me here today.

This is a big deal. It's a big deal for Chevrolet and especially it's a really big deal to win at our home track in our backyard, so we are very excited. In the past, you know, this track hasn't been that great for our Chevy teams, you know, so to be here today and be able to win and dominate, and having Jimmie, who has tried many times to win at this track, and he had some unfortunate luck the last year, and to be able to be some dominant here and to have other six drivers for a total of seven drivers in the top 10 is really great.

Trust me, there's a lot of work that goes on behind everything that we are doing here, not only us but the other manufacturers, and it's great to have friendly competition and to be able to bring this trophy home to our office, and we’re looking forward to the next August race to see how things go.

Q. Some of the competitors from your competition were in here earlier and were basically saying that particularly Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet seem to be very much ahead of the game with the new rules package this year, and it'll be difficult catching up. I know that trophy is important to you, but how do you see your chances going forward to get the other trophy at the end of the season?

ALBA COLON: Thanks for your question. You know, the season is young. This is race No. 15 of 36, and we have seen for many seasons that you can be hot, cold at different times of the year. We have been working very, very hard to be where we are today. We're still working on stuff for the future, and of course to get ready for the Chase, what is important, you know, and we are taking it one race at a time.

It's great we won today, but next week we have a brand new race that we need to get ready, and one race at a time until we can get both trophies, the manufacturer's and the driver's championship. But do not discount anybody yet. All the other teams are doing good, and I know that they are working hard, also, one race at a time, to be able to claim both prizes in Homestead.

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