KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SECOND
ON HIS RUN:
“We had a really good Farmers Insurance Chevrolet. We were fast. Kenny (Francis, crew chief) made a great call to get the tires and not worry about fuel and I just didn’t get it done. I didn’t win. I had the better car. The guys did a great job in the pits and I feel bad I didn’t win. We needed this. I would have been big for us. But, we ended up second. It was still a good point’s day and we’ll try to get one in Atlanta.”
YOU TRIED TO MAKE THE PASS CLEANLY. ON THE FINAL LAP, YOUR ONLY OPTION WOULD HAVE BEEN TO HAVE CONTACT WITH THE NO. 20 (MATT KENSETH). WERE YOU TRYING TO GET THERE?
“I was trying to get there. I would have wrecked probably both of us. It would have just been a wreck. I just tried to pass him as clean as I could, and race him as hard as I could. I thought I had him at one point. I had a good run. I tried to slide across him, but he just kept position. We were rubbing all the way down Turn 4. I just didn’t clear him. I just didn’t get it done and I’m upset with myself for not figuring out how to win tonight because I clearly had a better car at the end of the race.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED THIRD
DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE ENOUGH FOR THEM AT THE END?
“Our Target Chevy was strong all day. When we restarted I started gaining on him. I thought ‘oh we are looking pretty good here’. I tried running the top in (Turns) three and four and it was so way dirty and I lost a bit of ground there and started kind of equalizing. I just kept getting tighter and tighter, so it didn’t happen. That was all we had believe me.”
AS YOU WERE WATCHING THAT BATTLE IN FRONT OF YOU FOR FIRST AT THE END YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN THINKING THESE GUYS MIGHT TAKE EACH OTHER OUT AND I CAN FALL INTO THIS THING:
“I was hoping they would do that on the white flag (laughs).”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SEVENTH
IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS NOT WHAT YOU NEEDED IS THERE ANY SENSE OF A LOST OPPORTUNITY HERE?
“Yes and no. I think we were better than that. I don’t know if we had enough for Matt (Kenseth) but we fought hard and gave it our best effort. Seventh gained point’s on 10th, it’s not as much as we could have, but we gained something.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 10TH
ON HIS RUN:
“We had a good car especially at the end. I’m real happy with the speed we had, just we weren’t sure about making it on fuel. The No. 15 ran out and he was even saving as much as we were. Just a risk we couldn’t take. Just a risk we couldn’t take tonight, but gave up about maybe five points there and hopefully just making sure we got the fuel to finish the race and getting a 10th-place finish will pay off for us here in the next couple of weeks.”
ORIGINALLY WHEN IT LOOKED LIKE IT MIGHT GO TO THE END ON FUEL WERE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THAT?
“Yeah, we were still five short and we didn’t have a yellow. It was five laps short and you just don’t know if you saved enough under caution shutting the car off and stuff. If we were past Richmond Steve (Letarte, crew chief) said we would have gambled and went for it. I believe that. If it was earlier in the season we would have gambled and went for it. But under the circumstances we didn’t have the freedom to do that and as much as I hate to say what could have happened maybe we could have finished in the top five or top three even. Considering what happened to guys behind us in points I think we had to do the right thing, do the smart thing anyways.”
DID THIS RUN TURN THINGS AROUND A LITTLE BIT CONSIDERING WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE PAST FEW WEEKS?
“The car was really good. Steve (Letarte) and I worked on the car real hard . Still weren’t right where we wanted to be. Him and Kevin Meendering my lead engineer studied all this morning and came up with a couple of changes that I think we really needed to help the car. Really Steve put his heart in it. The car was great at the start of the race. We picked off cars real quick and moved up real fast. We were able to lead a couple of laps and get some points there. The car was pretty good definitely a top five car all night especially at the end of the race I think it was really dialed in.”
TWO MORE 10TH PLACE FINISHES AND YOU ARE IN THE CHASE RIGHT?
“I would like to think so. I really don’t know how much we gained on everybody tonight but we definitely needed to build on that cushion. That 20 points really had me pretty nervous. Hopefully if we can put a good one together next week something similar or better than this we will definitely go to Richmond a lot more comfortable.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 20TH
YOU STRUGGLED EARLY BUT AFTER THE HALFWAY MARK, MADE SOME HEADWAY. TALK ABOUT YOUR NIGHT:
“We struggled at the beginning of the race hitting the racetrack really, really bad. Then I screwed us up in the pits. Pitted long, and we weren’t able to get it rectified before the tires got changed, which put us a lap down. We still didn’t have the car fixed yet, so we continued to work on the car and at about halfway, we got the car pretty competitive. At that point, we had taken a gamble and lost a couple more laps by pitting under the green, and then having a caution come out on the lap where we came back out. We had some tough luck and a few things that we could’ve done better, but we were pretty fast at the end. That’s why I go home feeling good about it because we were able to improve the car and get it competitive and that’s hard to do with the short pit stops that we get here. The guys did a good job. I think we’ll be better. Our practice time was so short yesterday and we had so much trouble, we just needed another day to be ready for tonight, really.
“We missed the setup really bad at the beginning of the race. We struggled with the car in trying to get it better, and then I pitted wrong and cost us a lap and that was the beginning of the end. Then we tried to pull pit strategy to get back on the lead lap. We had to pit under green and that made it very difficult. The positive is the guys did a great job. We were way off in the beginning and at the end we were a top-10 car. I can go home knowing that it was just a short day yesterday and we didn’t have a chance to get it right. We took a stab at it this morning and missed it pretty good. We were able to adjust to that during the race, get it up off the racetrack and get it competitive at the end. This one is behind us and hopefully we’ll move ahead from here.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 26TH
ON HER RUN:
“Overall I would honestly say we are still on a good streak of running strong. There is nothing you can do about getting into the wall and having damage. We came back as best as we could and made the car as good as it was at the end. That is a positive. My goal honestly in my mind is like ‘man if we can come away with a top 30 with having these problems then that is alright’ and we finished 26ththrough attrition and staying out of trouble. We will take it and move on.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SEALY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 31ST
THE INITIAL PROBLEM WITH THE WHEEL HUB IS THAT SOMETHING YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DIAGNOSIS LATER?
“Yeah I guess we had a right-rear hub fail where the studs pulled through or they weren’t tightened or assembled. I don’t know just a right-rear hub failure. Now we have to go back and diagnosis that. When you are 20 laps down there is nothing you can do. We just rode around and we are down, but we are not out. I guess at the end of the race we gained a bunch of points back with guys having trouble. My thoughts all through the race were we just have to go to Atlanta and Richmond and win them both.”
IS IT WEIRD FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO HAPPEN THAT FAR INTO A RUN?
“Yeah, we didn’t even pit yet so we had a wheel start to vibrate loose at an odd time. I felt vibrations before, but we are leading the race walking the dog and our right-rear is falling off. It’s just kind of how you have to fight sometimes and overcome the obstacles that come your way.”
AT THIS POINT WHAT SORT OF RALLY THE TROOPS MENTALITY DO YOU HAVE FOR THE GUYS AND THE GUYS HAVE FOR YOU?
“Well we are down, but we are not out. We have two races to go and I heard we are only five points out of 10th.”
YOU CAME BACK OUT AND GAINED 10 SPOTS:
“Yeah, it’s just never give up. You feel like going back out sometimes is really just a hazard, but guys had trouble today towards the end and we might of actually passed a couple of them. Again, we are down, but we are not out.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 34TH
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE WRECK THAT YOU SAW?
“I just saw the No. 11 shoot across the race track. It looked like he was trying to swerve at somebody. He said the No. 56 got into him and so I just wanted to know what happened.”
WHAT DID HE (DENNY HAMLIN) TELL YOU?
“He just told me his version of it. It’s all good it’s Bristol racing and it’s just something I wanted to know.”
HOW WAS YOUR RACE IN TOTAL?
“The race wasn’t bad we were just off on fuel mileage.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 36TH
“We will definitely come back next week and do all we can. We had a decent finish. Last week I really thought we had a shot to win and had an engine failure. This racing stuff happens. Luckily, we had a big point’s lead that we can kind of deal with right now. We’ve locked into the Chase. We certainly want to clean things up and have some great finishes rolling into the Chase. We’ll keep after it, and be back again next week. We’ll go to Atlanta and do all we can there. And then Richmond; and I feel like we had a really good test. There is still a lot of racing left. And the once the Chase starts, it is its own animal. So we’ll just wait and see what happens during those ten (races).”