Hendrick Motorsports Kyle Larson, in the No.5 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, says the team needs to improve in some areas if it is going to be in a position to challenge for the win in Chicago this weekend. Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, Larson who leads the championship despite missing the Coca-Cola 600 in May due to competing in the Indianapolis 500 commented saying:

“I thought we had a good race there last year, but we need to improve in some areas to battle for the win. (Winner) Shane (Van Gisbergen) was super fast, so we need to make some gains. The fans in the Midwest are incredible and they braved the elements to support Cup Series racing there last year. It was a cool event — one that we all hope is better this year with better weather

Chase Elliott who goes into the race weekend in second place in the championship and speaking ahead of the event he commented saying:

“I have nothing but good things to say about that event as a whole. I thought they did a really good job with it last year. I thought the track was laid out really well. The logistics and everything flowed. It took a little time to learn (the course). I spent some time on iRacing, just trying to learn the turns, just because nobody had ever seen it before, so it took me a little time to memorize it. Usually when you get out on track in real life it comes pretty quick, and I was a little nervous about that going in. But it really came pretty fast and once you kind of get in the rhythm, things flow well.”

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the inaugural Chicago Street Race and returning there this weekend:

“I was kind of pessimistic about going there, but I had a great time. I thought the event was amazing. The track was much better than I expected and raced much better than I expected. The rain was a bummer for the crowd, but the element that it brought to the racing was really good. It will be interesting just to be in dry conditions and go through the race a little bit more conventionally. I think there’s still going to be a good amount of cautions. But there’s strategy and everything that goes along with that. I thoroughly enjoyed it last year and I think it’s a great venue. To race in the city like that is kind of surreal. The whole thing has a great vibe to it. I’m looking forward to going back.”

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his expectations for the second year of the Chicago Street Race:

“This track is still new. Last year we didn’t make a ton of laps and we definitely didn’t make a lot of laps in the dry. So this is really new for us as drivers and the teams still. I really enjoyed the challenge it brought last year and all the unknowns behind it. The rain definitely threw a wrench in things, and with the weather being clear this weekend, I think we can expect a completely different track and race. I’m excited for it.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the challenges of the Chicago Street Race:

“To me the first challenge is not knowing a lot about the surface. I mean, if someone blew a transmission on the streets downtown last week, that will effect the racing surface for us. All those things are things that are way out of your control when it comes to racing on public roads. The track constantly changes and we don’t technically have a scan of it so we don’t know what bumps are going to be this time either. You’re going to hit the track ready to go fast and it’s going to be vastly different, and that’s not normal compared to the normal wear a track sees in a year. From a fuel standpoint, it’s really looking like one pit stop. And since we didn’t race much in the dry last year, we don’t know how much the tires are going to fall off. If it runs anything like road courses have in the last couple years, fuel will be more important when it comes to strategy. It will be about figuring out that fuel window, when you can short pit or when you can stay out longer based on how your race is going. Knowing it’s a one pit stop race, you would think it could be a boring race because it’s shorter, but I’ve truck raced enough to know that shorter races bring more excitement.”

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing the Chicago Street Race:

“I’m excited to get there. It is a really fun place to race. It’s honestly difficult just making laps there by yourself. It’s so technical, which actually makes it really fun. I’m excited to get there from that standpoint. I think our road course stuff has been really, really good. Last year, we had a good day going until we encountered a mechanical issue. Excited to go back to Chicago and looking for a little redemption.”

Blake Harris, crew chief of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on calling the shots for the No. 48 team for the second Chicago Street Race:

“This weekend we are shooting to have a full solid race. I feel like road courses in general have been a strength of ours this year, so my eyes are set on a top-five finish and hopefully contending for a win. There is potentially a little bit of rain Sunday, so we’ll see how everything plays out. We ended the race a little bit early last year due to a mechanical failure, so I’m a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get more dry track time there. Of what we did run, and even in the wet (tires), I thought we were super competitive. I’m excited to get back there.”

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