KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER DESIGNATE A DRIVER CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED THIRD
TELL US ABOUT THE CLOSING LAPS AND THE BATTLE WITH YOUR FUTURE TEAMMATE KURT BUSCH:
“Yeah, we had a lot of fun. Obviously our Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet was running really good after the break there. These guys did a lot of work in between while it was raining there. So they did a good job with the car and making some adjustments to the car there towards the end. Just too loose there the last couple of runs on exit. Had a lot of fun and came up a couple short, but a good day.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 4TH: TAKE US THROUGH YOUR NIGHT:
“We had to overcome adversity with speeding on pit road. All my lights were green, but hey when you are cutting it that close and they say you are speeding just take it, get your penalty over with and get back on your horse. We had to come from behind and then we got the waive around. It was a great call by Todd Berrier (crew chief). Battling up through on the restarts, one of them we went from eighth to third and then the car just was off just a fuzz. A little bit tight on entry I couldn’t power down into the corner and then hold the apex. So when you know you are off just a little bit guys are going to beat you, but yeah we had a battle with (Kevin) Harvick and we brought our Chevy home in fourth. Top fives are what it’s all about in the Chase and one down and nine to go. Just hats off to this crew. It’s a long day with rain delays and just in of focus, out of focus and we gave it our best effort.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 5TH: YOU HAD TO BATTLE THROUGH SOME UNFORTUNATE SITUATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE EVENING, BUT TO COME BACK AND FINISH 5TH, HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THAT IN THE CHASE HOPES?
“Yeah, really big. The next to the last run, we got ourselves right back in the thick of things. And unfortunately, just didn’t have the speed at the end there, for that final segment to go race for the end. But, from a jack failing to a call on pit road for a lugnut that was not supposedly on, and a variety of issues, it was a great comeback. So, we wanted to finish better of course, but we’re very proud of all the hard work from Hendrick Motorsports, Chas Knaus, and this No. 48 Lowe’s race team. We’re off to a good start.”
YOU GUYS HAD A ROLLER COASTER DAY/NIGHT TONIGHT. ALL IN ALL DESCRIBE THE EFFORT THIS EVENING:
“Just a great effort you know we never gave up just got to keep working through things. That second to last run we had a very fast race car and got up to the front and thought I had a chance to win this thing, but that last run we just didn’t have what we needed and came home in fifth.”
HOW MUCH DID THE TRACK CHANGE FROM THE RAIN DELAY TO WHERE WE FINISHED TONIGHT?
“It cooled off and it gained a lot of grip. That changed our balance a little bit, but after an adjustment we got it right. I felt like we had an awesome car. We just lost track position. We had a jack fail tonight we had a weird call on the right-rear on one of the pit stops just had a lot of issues with track position, but still got a good finish.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 6TH: A BIG SMILE ON YOUR FACE WHEN YOU GOT OUT OF THE CAR. WHAT DID YOU ACCOMPLISH TONIGHT?
“Well, that was an incredible accomplishment. It just shows how much fight this team has in them. We never give up. And, what an awesome Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet race car we had tonight. Whoa! Man, it was so much fun! To think how far down we were with 40 laps to go, I know we were like 18th on one of those last restarts. So, to be able to come up through there and get 6th and have a shot at a top-5 was a lot of fun. That’s what needed to get this thing started off right. And I’m proud of this team. Can’t wait to get to this next race. What is it? Loudon? We’re ready!”
WAS THE FAST PACE A PRODUCT OF THE LATE RESTART AND BEING COOLER? “When it turns to dark like that, it was going to be fast anyway because of the overcast. But, to be able to have a night race like this where the temperature has dropped so much, the cars are just stuck like glue. If anything, I thought our car was better when we went back racing. We were going to try to make adjustments to make it better during the daytime, but the nighttime sort of brought the car to us. The car just turned a little bit better; we needed that.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 10TH: “Happy to come out of here with a top-10 finish tonight. Track position was really important. We were stuck in the back of the pack for a while and couldn’t really get going – every time I got up behind someone, I’d just get so tight I couldn’t do anything with it. Matt (Borland, crew chief) got us position with a couple of two-tire stops, and once we were up front we were able to make a little more of it. Our Quicken Loans Chevrolet was definitely better on the long runs. Head to Outback Steakhouse for a Bloomin’ Onion tomorrow. And, we paid 10 mortgages with Quicken Loans’ expanded “Bring it Home” sweepstakes.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 12: NOT THE EXACT FINISH YOU WANTED FOR FIRST RACE OF THE CHASE, BUT GREAT RECOVERY FROM DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES: “Yes, it was actually a pretty good finish for what we had. There were like three or four guys clueless on pit road; they are all stopping and can’t find their stalls – like we’ve never done this before. I was racing Carl (Edwards) and the next thing you know I’m trying to stopped and Junior (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) is trying to get stopped and we are all hitting one another. Hurt our car pretty bad and from there we just battled. The pit crew guys did a really nice job. I had a fast car prior to that. We were making our way forward.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS, SIDELINED WITH MECHANICAL ISSUES ON LAP 227:
YOU WERE LOOKING AT THE CAR. WERE YOU LOOKING FOR ANYTHING? DID YOU SEE ANYTHING?
“I was just trying to see if it was terminal or if we can get back out there. I’ve got to get other to the garage and see. But whatever it broke, it was something pretty serious.”
IS THERE A CHANCE YOU CAN GET BACK OVER THERE?
“It ain’t the motor, so we’ll have to go see.”
“I’m not really sure if it was motor or transmission, but it has got us sitting on the sidelines for the time being, maybe for the rest of the race.”
HOW TOUGH A NIGHT IS THIS?
“Pretty tough. We had a car we were pretty happy with and you know just thought we were going to have a pretty good night. I don’t know what was going on on pit road there but we knocked the front end off of it on pit road. Those guys all stopped on pit road in front of us. We were trying to get that fixed. We still had a chance to get that fixed and get the downforce back in the front. We cut the grill all up and the downforce was gone and we lost a lap there. We were going to get that patched up and maybe be able to make something out of it, but something broke there in the motor. It’s tough. It’s going to be really hard to win a championship this far behind.”
ANY IDEA IF THE DAMAGE FROM THE PIT ROAD DEAL CONTRIBUTED TO THE ENGINE PROBLEM?
“I don’t think it did. We had the temperatures under control the whole time. I think that this was either something that was an anomaly just something that just happened or we were really on the chip very hard tonight with the extra speed. Even at the beginning of the race this afternoon we hit the chip harder than I’ve hit it all year. We will look back through the data and see if I did something. Maybe I did something on a restart or something, but I am usually pretty honest about that stuff and I don’t remember doing anything.”
FINISHING IN THE 30’S DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO MAKE THIS UP?
“We have some pretty tough competition in the Chase. The average finish is going to be inside the top 10 to win the championship. So you can do the numbers, you can do the math.”