KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET SS – Finished 19 laps down in 36th following a mechanical issue on the opening lap.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE CAR?
“We have no idea yet. They (the crew and engineers) have been looking at things but they’re still unsure. I know that when I took off, in second gear, I had no power and it was just vibrating like crazy; and then in third (gear) and fourth. The faster I went, the worse the vibration was. I came in and they changed a bunch of stuff and went out and was perfectly fine and had a lot of speed. They changed a lot of things, but nothing was wrong. In looking at everything, it all looked fine. But still, you can’t make up 20 laps at Pocono.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 3RD
WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED TO GET UP TO BATTLE FOR THE WIN?
“It looked like to me we got beat through turn three pretty bad. Jimmie (Johnson) was just real fast through there. We had a great car. Just thank all our sponsors, National Guard and Diet Mountain Dew. The guys did a good job on pit road, and the car had good speed. We held on and had a good run. Want to congratulate Chase Elliott on his (ARCA) win yesterday. That was pretty awesome. That guys has a good future, and just happy to get one in the bank, you know. We’ve been struggling a little bit, and this is a good run for us. We’ll have a good week.”
WHAT DO YOU TAKE AWAY FROM A DAY LIKE THIS CONSIDERING THE PAST FEW WEEKS?
“We have been running good all year just have had some troubles. It’s good to be able to run good again. All the fans listening to Dirty Mo Radiotomorrow will be excited and get to talk about something positive. It’s been a good weekend. Chase Elliott won yesterday; he has a bright future, excited about that. Excited to be able to run well we had a good car all weekend, glad we could get a good finish.
“Jimmie (Johnson) was much faster in turn three, much faster. That is where you have to be good. That is where he was good. We got to gain a little bit there we know some things we can try to get better before we come back. We will be back here seems like in a month. Good race track, good day for the No. 88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet team did a good job.”
CARRYING A LOT OF MOMENTUM INTO THE TRACK WHERE YOU LAST WON MICHIGAN:
“Yeah, we have been carrying momentum for a good solid year now. We had better finishes last year; we started the year off this year off really good. We just had a lot of problems since then and just struggled to get good finishes. We are all right. We know what we need to do. Confidence is there all the fans can rest assured we feel like we are on the right track. We want to get a win man, I could see it right there in front of me today. Jimmie (Johnson) has been so fast all weekend, but really thought we got close. If we keep getting close we are going to get one.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 5TH
OUTSTANDING TRACK POSITION AND A FIGHT FOR POSITION THOSE LAST LAPS. TALK ABOUT THAT:
“I thought I was going to be in the middle of a Busch (brothers Kurt and Kyle) sandwich there at the end going into Turn 2. But, I have to thank them for giving me a little bit of room. We had an awesome Haas Automation Chevrolet. Thanks to all the fans for coming out today. It is good for the Quicken Loans group with their “Bring it Home Mortgage”. Go to QLRacing.com, and there are five people that get their mortgage paid for a month. And obviously a Bloomin’ Monday for everybody from Outback Steakhouse.”
REALLY THE ONLY DRIVER THAT WAS ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON MOST OF THE DAY. HAVE YOU GUYS FINALLY GOT SOME SPEED IN THE STEWART-HAAS CARS?
“Well we did today there is no doubt about that. Tony (Stewart) won last week and for him to finish fourth is not so big of a deal, but for us to come off of a DNF (did not finish) and finish fifth I’m proud of the guys. Strategy worked out to our benefit with the yellows there at the end. It was a great day for Haas Automation obviously for being in the top-five, but for Quicken Loans and their Bring it Home sweepstakes. Go to QLRacing.com to find out more about that. You can get your mortgage paid for a month for free, which is paid for a month. Good day for Outback as well too, go to Outback tomorrowand get your Bloomin’ Onion. Just a good rebound day for us. That is something we definitely needed as a team. Matt (Borland, crew chief) and the guys did a great job on the strategy.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS – FINISHED 4TH
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY:
“Really happy with it. We got kind of pinched down there in the tunnel; or not pinched down – we were the one doing the pinching, and got hit in the left rear there and moved up the track, and fell back to 12th and fought back to fourth there with all those restarts there, so pretty happy with that.”
ON PROGRESS OF SHR:
“Definitely progress fro sure. It’s one thing if one car runs good, but to have two or all three of us running good shows that we are gaining momentum. It’s not just one team, the whole organization is gaining momentum. Really proud of our group at SHR. The Hendrick engines today were awesome. There’s not doubt of having four of the top-five cars with Hendrick horsepower shows the strength there. Just happy and proud of that effort too.”
IMPRESSIVE DAY AND YOU JUST ABOUT SAW EVERYTHING. IN FACT, IT SHOWS ON YOUR LEFT-REAR QUARTER PANEL:
“Yeah, it’s part of racing here at Pocono. The restarts get tight in spots. Fell back to 12th there and then battled back to fourth so I’m pretty proud of that. Proud our group had a good run. I mean fourth and fifth today is something for our whole organization to be proud of.”
WHEN YOU LOOK ON THE PROGRAM ITSELF AND GOING ON TO MICHIGAN ANOTHER INTERMEDIATE RACE TRACK, WHAT DO YOU TAKE AWAY FROM WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN TREND WISE STARTING BACK TO CHARLOTTE?
“Well, I think that is more of a question for Steve Addington (crew chief) and the engineers. The good thing is we have confidence of the last three weeks in a row. Today Hendrick horsepower was huge obviously having four of the top-five cars, proves that the Hendrick engine department really was a factor today for us. For Ryan (Newman) and I to finish in the top-five that is great for SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing). Danica (Patrick) got going better too so its improvement all the way through. For her first time here at Pocono I thought she did pretty well. We are just gaining on it. The good thing is all three of us are getting better at the same time. Really shows the works that SHR is doing.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – RACE WINNER
ON HIS DOMINANCE TODAY:
“That is the top of my list. I’m sure we’ve had some other really strong races like that, but not in recent memory. What a race car. Not only the car and the handling and the grip that it had, but also the engine and what was under the hood. When I would lean on the throttle, this baby would yard anybody and everybody. Hats off to everybody in every department at Hendrick Motorsports. Big thank you to all the fans for coming out. Big thank you to Sprint for sponsoring our awesome sport here. I can’t go without thanking Lowe’s and Kobalt Tools for their continued dedication to this race team. Then there’s my boys…my guys. They did an awesome job on pit road. Chad (Knaus, crew chief) called a great race. I had a great race car.”
ABOUT SAVING FUEL:
“Well, I could tell by his voice that it was needed. There was an urgency in it. There was a lot of cautions there at the end, which allowed us to do it. I was working on what I could inside the car trying to save fuel. Once I could get a little gap on those guys and save some fuel. It is never fun stressing about fuel, but today everything worked out, and there was enough to get us to the end.”
TAKE US THROUGH THOSE RESTARTS AND HEADING INTO TURN 1:
“I learned a lot racing with Ryan (Newman) on those restarts, and I was able to get the lead each time. So I used that going into the final few times, but there are only so many things you can do down there in the zone. I knew that third place would lag back and try to get a good run on second. I was just hopeful we weren’t three wide getting down into the center of the corner in turn one because I was in a losing situation with that point. Luckily I was able to stay in the throttle and get around those guys on the outside each time.”
IS THAT THE BEST CAR YOU HAVE HAD ALL YEAR LONG?
“That is the best car I have had in a long time. What a race car. Not only a great race car, but an engine, had fuel mileage and plenty of power. It was awesome on the straightaways today to be able to do what I wanted around other cars. Hats off to chassis, aero and the engine shop for this awesome race car. I’m very happy for Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools to get this car into Victory Lane. It’s been a long time since I’ve won here and very excited to do it.”
SINCE DOVER DOES THIS MAYBE MAKE UP FOR LAST WEEK HAVING THE DOMINANT CAR THERE AND NOT WINNING?
“No, but it’s okay. It doesn’t make up for much, but we know we are a great race team. Things won’t keep us down. We had a great race car today. Just had a lot of fun that was a lot of fun out there.”
TWO THINGS THAT MAY HAVE WORRIED YOU, NUMBER ONE ALL THOSE RESTARTS THAT YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH AND NUMBER TWO THE VIBRATION THAT KEPT COMING BACK THROUGHOUT THE DAY HOW MUCH OF A CONCERN WAS THAT?
“Yeah, it was a concern. I think we were spinning the left-rear tire on the wheel itself. It would start vibrating. I thought it might have been a loose wheel the way it shook in the corners and not on the straights, but it never got any worse. They were able to diagnosis what that problem was. Then those restarts there are only so many tricks you have if you play by the rules. They were figuring out everything I could do in that zone. Fortunately I was able to get the lead and have clean air again at the end.”
CHAD KNAUS, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – WINNING CREW CHIEF
YOU GUYS HAVE HAD SO MUCH SPEED. WHAT HAVE YOU REALLY FOUND WITH THIS CAR?
“Well it’s been a long process. I think that we have worked really hard, everybody back at Hendrick Motorsports to try to get these cars running a little bit better. Just getting accustom to the Gen-6 car has been a bit of a challenge I think for everybody. Track position is so important, but we had a really fast KOBALT Tools Chevrolet today. I just have to say thanks to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports the chassis shop, the engine shop, gear and transmission. This track is awesome it puts all the elements of racing together and you really have to be spot on here and the guys did a great job.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET – FINISHED 7TH
ON THE RACE:
“We had a fast car again, ran up front but a mistake on my part on pit road stalled our momentum (overshot pit box Lap 126). But we battled back with a solid finish. To win you have to be perfect out there and we weren’t today. But the good news is that we know how to overcome adversity and the more we perform the way we have been the better we’ll get. We’ve made great strides in the past month and need to continue the progression. I don’t see any reason why we can’t.”