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February 9, 2021

Chase Elliott

Daytona, Florida, USA

Press Conference

Daytona International Speedway

An Interview with:

THE MODERATOR: We've now been joined by Chase Elliott. We'll take questions for Chase.

Q. In that move, what are you thinking there? Are you thinking you can pass him cleanly at that point? What are you looking at?

CHASE ELLIOTT: I certainly wasn't trying to wreck him. That's a dumb question. But obviously I'm thinking that I can pass him and win the race or I wouldn't do it.

Yeah, obviously coming into a tight corner there, I drove in so hard, you know, and I was to the right, my angle was really bad. I just had to stop really to try to make the corner. At that point we were side-by-side trying to stay off the curb. We both know that the curb, you don't want to hit any more of it than you have to.

Yeah, I hate it. Like I said on TV there, I certainly don't want to wreck him out of anybody. And more than anything, hate neither one of us won. Hate to hand it to somebody else like that.

Q. Even though it's an exhibition, there's zero chance that you use a bumper there?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, sure, I mean, if we touch or whatever, sure, yeah, absolutely. I don't see anything wrong with that. Obviously I didn't want to spin him out where he finishes last, neither one of us win. That's not what you want to do, for sure.

Q. What did you learn about this package for the race in 12 days?

CHASE ELLIOTT: To be honest with you, it was a lot different than I remember the summer race being here. Braking I felt like was tougher without the big spoiler on the back. To me, the infield section is just so slick. I don't know if it was that slick in the summer. Maybe it was. But just not a lot of grip at all.

Yeah, I think we can be a lot better for the race next week.

Q. If you're in the same position next week, do you try to do the same thing and just execute it better?

CHASE ELLIOTT: I think you have to try to win the race, for sure. I mean, I can't be sorry. I mean, if I'm sorry about trying to win a race, I'm in the wrong business here. I'm certainly going to give it my best shot to do that.

I thought in that position, yeah, I don't know what you do there. I mean, I drove it in there, tried to get the inside. Was going to try to roll in there kind of fast. You roll in there too fast and you jump the curbs, he drives back by on the straightaway. Or you roll in there slow, we both take up one lane, we both wreck. It's just a tough spot there.

Q. You mentioned it was really slick out there. From the broadcast side of it, driver vision seemed to be a problem with all the dust and everything you were kicking up off the back chicane. Was that something you remember from the summer? Is that something that can be addressed before you race there again?

CHASE ELLIOTT: I mean, there's nothing you can do about it. As long as there's grass on the racetrack, there's going to be dirt underneath it. I don't know how you fix that.

Q. Did you have a chance to chat with Ryan afterwards? You guys are tight. It seems like you have a friendship that's based on that's one of them deals, you just go on?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, I mean, I just apologized. Obviously I didn't mean to wreck him. Like I said a second ago, I hate neither one of us won. If you're going to do it, at least win. That's the sure sign of not doing it on purpose when you don't win the race after wrecking somebody. That's just my bad. I tried to get that across. Obviously he's frustrated, and he should be.

But unfortunately I can't do anything about it now.

Q. In regards to the dirt on the track, I can't recall it being like that in August. Maybe it was drier. Does there need to be any type of curbing on the backstretch, the bus stop area, to prevent that, anything to look at in that area?

CHASE ELLIOTT: I guess just quit running off the track, there won't be any dirt on it any more would be the best way to fix it.

Q. How awkward was it or was it at all to have the conversation with Ryan? I'm guessing you probably had run-ins at some point in the past.

CHASE ELLIOTT: I mean, it's not awkward. We're friends. Friends can have tough conversations. Obviously I didn't mean to wreck him, as I stated a minute ago.

Yeah, just tried to say that. I know he knows I didn't try to wreck him on purpose, hand the win to somebody else. He's frustrated, he should be. He had the lead coming into the last corner. He didn't win the race. I would be, too.

THE MODERATOR: Chase, thank you for joining us. We wish you the best of luck in qualifying tomorrow.

CHASE ELLIOTT: Okay, thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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