TEAM CHEVY AT ROVAL: Chase Elliott Fastest Final Practice

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 28: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 28, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Behind the wheel of his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1, Chase Elliott topped the speed chart in final practice leading up to the Bank of America ROVAL 400 with a lap of 81.801 seconds at 102.101 mph. Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 Breakout Session Highlights: HOW IS YOUR CAR FEELING FOR TOMORROW?“I hope it’s good. I thought we made it a little better today from where we were yesterday. Obviously, fastest in practice. It’s not the time to be the top of the sheet necessarily, but hopefully our long run pace is there. Hopefully we have it driving well enough to be good as we go. Obviously, we qualified really bad yesterday, so we need to be able to try to stay out of trouble and have the ability to move forward. We’ll give it our best shot.”

 WHAT’S THE TOUGHEST PART OF THE COURSE FOR YOU AFTER PRACTICE?“Man, the whole thing. Honestly, I don’t just say that, but it really is tough. There’s just no room for a mess up. You can go through the back or front chicane and not just destroy your car, but everywhere else, just a little correction or a little mishap and you’re going to be in a barrier. That makes it really hard. It’s been a challenging weekend for me with just trying to find my bearings and get into a rhythm. So, hopefully we can find that rhythm tomorrow and move forward.”

 ARE THERE ANY COMPARISONS AT ALL TO THIS COURSE AND WATKINS GLEN?“No, other than you turn right, it’s very different.”

 HOW TEMPTING COULD IT BE TO CUT A CHICANE? NASCAR HAS THE RULE IN PLACE AND THEY EXPRESSED IT IN THE XFINITY MEETING.“It’s not going to benefit you and they are going to make sure it doesn’t benefit you. So, as long as that’s the case, I don’t think it’s very tempting.” 

DO YOU THINK THEY WILL TAKE A WIN AWAY IF THEY CUT THE CHICANE?“Yeah, probably. I don’t see how they couldn’t from what I’ve heard them talking about. The way it was explained to me is that if you cut it and you stop and are still ahead of the guy, they are going to put you behind whoever you were behind in the first place. I don’t see how you can make that loop hole work.”

 DO YOU HAVE ANY ADDED CONFIDENCE WITH YOUR TEAMMATES QUALIFING IN THE TOP FOUR?“Hopefully, we just have that pace tomorrow. Qualifying is certainly one thing, but I definitely think that those guys were all fast today. I hope so. It’s easy to get excited on Friday’s and Saturday’s, and then been really bad on Sunday. I went through that last week, as a matter of fact. It just goes to show that you really have to stay after it and make sure you make the right changes all weekend, and stay on top of it or you can get behind.” INAUDIBLE“Honestly, everyone is so close in general. One mess up in one corner is going to affect your lap. When it’s just a couple tenths here and a couple of tenths there, it adds up and you could be a half second off the pace by just messing up a couple of corners. Really, everywhere. Without a rhythm, it’s going to hurt you.”

 DOES THIS WEEKEND FEEL ANY DIFFERENT FOR YOU? MAYBE NOT FOR YOU PERSONALLY, BUT BECAUSE IT’S AN ELIMINATION RACE, THE RICKY STENHOUSE JR. NEWS, DOES IT JUST FEEL DIFFERENT THIS WEEKEND?“Obviously, I’m not in the know on the silly season, so to speak, or whatever they want to call it. If it pertains to me, either I have a job or I don’t, I guess. I really try hard to not get in the middle of everyone else’s business. Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) seems like a nice guy and hopefully he lands somewhere. You never want to see someone lose their job, so hopefully he ends up in a good place. Aside from that, for us, that’s not something that’s on our radar. We aren’t locked in, so we have to have a good run tomorrow. I think that’s the side that we’re focused on, not necessarily what’s going on everywhere else. We certainly want to do well and we’d love to get seven more bonus points as well and try to get those stickers. All those things are certainly on your mind, but putting yourself in a good position, having a fast car, all of that started yesterday and today. If you do that, your job will hopefully be a little easier tomorrow than what it would be if you were really struggling. Hopefully, we just have our car driving good, keep moving forward, try to stay on offense and just stay out of trouble. I think it’s going to be a really aggressive race tomorrow. Qualifying where we did, that’s not a good place to start this thing, so hopefully we can get out of there.”

 WHAT’S THE LINE BETWEEN BEING AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH TO PASS TO GET WHERE YOU NEED TO BE AND BEING WHERE YOU DON’T NEED TO BE?“That is the line. Like I said a minute ago, this place is so treacherous and there’s just not a lot of room for error. To make a move on somebody comes with a little bit of risk. With that being said, I just think that you really have to balance those things out.”

 HOW MUCH OF A GAME-CHANGER IS THE NEW CHICANE?“We are liable to wreck anywhere, so just add that to the list, I guess.” 

DO YOU LIKE THIS COURSE?“I think it’s OK. It’s a challenge. It’s the same for everybody.”

 YOU’RE ONE OF THE ONLY DRIVERS THAT DOESN’T LIVE HERE. DOES A WIN HERE BE KIND OF LIKE AN AWAY FOOTBALL TEAM STEALING A WIN FROM THE HOME TEAM?“I’ve never really thought of it like that. Yeah, it would be kind of cool, I guess. I feel like we’ve been kind of hit or miss up here on the oval side of things. I’ve never really looked at it like that, but it would be kind of neat.”  

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