LAS VEGAS – (March 12, 2017) – When a last-lap issue changed the outcome of the KOBALT 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENSC) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), Team Chevy young guns Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott were in position to capitalize on an exciting finish.
Larson, in his No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS, took the runner-up spot in the 267-lap race and Elliott brought his No. 24 NAPA Chevy SS across the line in third place to give the Bowtie Brand two of the top three finishing positions.
It was a solid day for Larson, who ran comfortably in the top 10 positions throughout the 400-mile event to earn his eighth career top-two finish, and second top-10 finish in four starts at LVMS. Larson now sits in second place in the point standings, just one marker out of the top spot.
“What an awesome day for our Target Chevy team,” said Larson after climbing out of his SS. “Second in the first stage, third in the second stage and then finished second in the race. I can’t say enough about my team. I’m so proud of them. Our race cars are amazing right now. We are going to hopefully, keep building on what we’ve got and keep challenging for wins and they will come.”
Fellow young gun, Chase Elliott, ended the day in the third position in his No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet SS. Like Larson, Elliott is also off to a strong start in just his second full-time season in MENCS competition. Already in 2017, the 21-year-old driver has recorded three top-five and three top-finishes, plus earned the pole position for the season opening Daytona 500 in just the first three events thus this season. Elliott’s third-place finish places him third in the point standings, just three points away from the top position.
Larson’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray earned an eighth-place finish in his No. 1 Credit One Bank/Cessna Chevrolet SS.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 KOBALT Chevrolet SS and Kasey Kahne, No. 5 LiftMaster Chevrolet SS finished 11th and 12th respectively giving Team Chevy five of the top-15 finishers overall.
Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) was the race winner, Joey Logano (Ford) finished fourth and Brad Keselowski (Ford) fifth to round out the top-five finishers.
Next weekend the series continues the annual West Coast swing moving to Phoenix International Raceway for the first short-track race of the season. The Camping World 500 is scheduled for Sunday March 19th at 3:30 pm, ET.
POST RACE PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 2ND
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 3RD
TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAY:
LARSON: “Our day was really solid. I think we finished second in the first stage, third in the second stage and then finished second here in the race. Super happy with how our season has gotten started. Way better than where I have ever started a season, so I’m really happy about that, proud of our team. I had fun today. The stages were really exciting or the ends of them, because of the way the cautions fell and different pit strategies and stuff, people staying out made it exciting taking off. Really liking the format change and all that. Had fun, hopefully we can keep these top five’s rolling and maybe get a win or two here shortly.”
ELLIOTT: “Yeah, we had a really solid car all day. I felt like we were maybe just a tick off Brad (Keselowski) and the No. 78 (Martin Truex, Jr.) and just needed a little bit more. I’m going to have to get back and kind of think about what we needed and where we needed to be better at. Had a poor restart there at the end and kind of got behind, but got lucky to kind of end up where we did with what happened. I’m really proud of the way we have performed. Our it stops have been great, our car has been good, we have been able to run solidly in the top five the past couple of weeks, which is great for me and our team. We’ve just got to keep that going and find that next little bit.”
YOU WERE OUT HERE TESTING EARLIER FOR A GOODYEAR TIRE TEST. HOW WAS THE CAR PERFORMING TODAY VERSUS WHEN YOU WERE OUT HERE TESTING?
ELLIOTT: “Real similar. Just 39 other people on the race track at the same time. It was still Vegas and hadn’t really changed a whole lot. Goodyear brought a tire that was real similar, I thought, to kind of what our baseline test was the majority… or the baseline tire that we had here the majority of the time. It was real consistent I thought from what we saw then.”
Team Chevy racing photos are available at: http://media.gm.com/product/public/us/en/gmracing/photos.html
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.