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MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES: FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400

September 9, 2017

Ryan Blaney Chase Elliott

Richmond, Virginia

Q. Chase Elliott, you said you were looking to improve here at Richmond. You come away with your first top‑10 finish here on the Cup side of things. Is that something to hang your hat on?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I wish it was. We really struggled tonight. Definitely not where we wanted to be. Really I thought our car was driving pretty good in practice. I had optimistic hopes it was going to go a little better than what I did, but unfortunately it didn't.
Good to be back in this deal. Anything can happen once it starts, as you know. We'll try to get on to Chicago and hopefully we can step up a little more than everybody else and get going.

Q. How do you do that? You're in the Playoffs now. How do you get in there and make some noise?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, you know, we're going to have to be on our game better than we've been all year. Things don't just happen overnight. We got to work hard to bring everything we have these next 10 weeks. Like I said, once this deal starts, anything can happen.
The guys who have been running good all year, a couple bad races, they could be out of it. The guys who haven't been running good, a possibility to work your way a long ways in this deal, possibly all the way to Homestead.
The way it works is pretty unique. We're not all equal as far as points go, so we're going to have to run really good to make up for all the bonus points and things we don't have.

Q. Ryan Blaney, not quite the finish you wanted here. What were you lacking here?
RYAN BLANEY: That was a struggle for us tonight. We knew coming into this race that this is always been the biggest problem track for me. I've just never run good here. Ran good once here five years ago. I got to do something different for next year and the years to come.
But the good thing is coming into the last race, we were locked in, we didn't have to come win. We could really kind of focus on our car and really get ready for Chicago and the next 10 weeks.
I think the Playoffs is going to be really good for us. I think there's some really good tracks in there. Just about minimizing mistakes is the biggest thing. We'd like to forget about tonight and move forward.

Q. You have some experienced teammates. Have you talked to them about the Playoffs?
RYAN BLANEY: Yeah, a little bit. I feel like those guys have obviously been great racecar drivers. They've had a lot of experience in the Playoffs for a while. We'll definitely lean on them. At the same time we're competing for a championship with the 2 car. There's only so much that you can ask and have them help you out for.
But they're great teammates to me. It's going to be nice to maybe lean on them a little bit, get some advice from them.

Q. Any special Playoff beard coming, facial hair, a Playoff podcast?
RYAN BLANEY: Maybe that would be kind of cool, Playoff podcast.
No, I couldn't really grow a great moustache. It was a mediocre moustache last week at Darlington. I can't grow a good enough beard to kind of make it a legit Playoff beard. That's for baseball players and hockey players. Those guys, they deserve it.
I'll stay just like this. Maybe it will work.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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