PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 RHEEM/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined on lap 22 with engine failure
DID THE WATER TEMPERATURE GET TOO HIGH OR WHAT WOULD HAVE CAUSED THAT? “Absolutely no warning, the water was 225 and we were just kind of riding there. The car was really good, handled great. Kind of biding our time for the first pit stop came off turn four and something just let go. It wasn’t smoking, it broke and I could hear it. I felt the heat come up. I didn’t know if I was on fire or not. I couldn’t feel it right away. Just unfortunate we needed a good run and had a really good car today a good Rheem/Menards Chevy.”
ALL WE SAW WAS A HUGE BALL OF FIRE COME OUT OF YOUR CAR WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED OUT THERE? “The motor broke. ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) guys build really great horse power. I haven’t had a motor failure in forever. Something just broke I’m not sure what it is. It’s leaking oil right now. I’m not sure if it was a part failure or what something big happened. We needed a good run we had a really good car. Just kind of biding our time there and nothing, it gave no indication, temperatures were fine. We were running good until off turn four.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined in crash on Lap 97.
IT APPEARED YOU HAD NO WHERE TO GO WHAT WAS YOUR VIEW OF IT? “We all went to the bottom to create a second groove because they were really checking up on the top. For some reason they decided to try to blend when there was no room. For a change, somebody made the mistake and we ended up paying for the mistake. Kind of sucks because everybody on this Target team has been working really hard we’ve got a great car. We had really good speed in practice, qualified well and we were just taking our time. It just sucks.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – WINNER
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A CAR THAT DOMINATE AT A PLATE RACE?
“That is tough to do at a plate track. Especially with how tight the rules are. I think I showed strength early and a lot of the guys knew that and were willing to work with me, and kind of help me through situations, which is great. I don’t know if I really made a bad move tonight. I’m pretty proud of that. Had a great horse to ride got ‘white lightening’ to Victory Lane, which I’m very proud of. I want to thank Lowe’s and all the employees at Lowe’s for their dedication and support of our race team. Chevrolet, KOBALT Tools, Gatorade, Sprint for their support of our series as well and I want to give my daughter an early birthday wish. Her birthday is tomorrow, three already. Time is flying, but just an awesome night tonight.”
WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH ALL YOUR TEAM AND THE FLIPPED UP BILLS OF THEIR HATS?
“I don’t know if it’s West Coast or I can’t really get…I’m looking at East Coasters thinking it’s West Coast. We will take it we will run bills up. It’s not as aero as you would think, but just very proud of the night. I want to thank everybody at Hendrick Motorsports for a great race car, engine shop, chassis shop and aero. Very fast race car.”
FIRST GUY IN 31 YEARS TO WIN THE 500 AND THE 400 SINCE BOBBY ALLISON WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
“That is amazing. Gosh, I remember being in Southern California watching Bobby Allison. I remember where I was the day Davey (Allison) passed away. That is how much the Allison family meant to me. I always thought it was so great to watch Bobby and Davey race. To tie anything that Bobby has done is pretty special. Very happy tonight.”
AFTER THE LAST FEW WEEKS, HOW NICE IS IT TO PAY ONE OFF FINALLY IN VICTORY LANE?
“Yeah, we have been knocking on the door for sure. It’s great to get ‘white lightening’ to Victory Lane. Also want to wish everybody a happy Fourth of July and thank all the men and women that have fought for our country for our independence. That was fun tonight.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/DUCKS UNLIMITED CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SECOND
OPPORTUNITY AND CIRCUMSTANCES KEPT CHANGING. WALK US THROUGH THE FINAL GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED:
“I mean I can’t remember everything that happened. I didn’t get as good a restart as I wanted. I think it kind of worked to our favor there. It got Clint (Bowyer) a little bit ahead of me and it got Kevin (Harvick) a little bit ahead of Jimmie (Johnson).
“That let Jimmie and I both tuck down to those two guys and get going. Kurt Busch gave us a really good push from behind there and that got us back to getting Jimmie the shove he needed. It got us out there far enough ahead to where we could worry about racing him. That is some strong Hendrick horse power up front there. You get three or four of these Hendrick cars together and they are fast. Everybody at SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing), Ducks Unlimited, Bass Pro Shops, just everybody did an awesome job this weekend. Just glad we were ahead of the carnage.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER FOLDS OF HONOR CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED THIRD
WALK US THROUGH THE FINAL LAP OR SO. IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE IN THE EXACT RIGHT POSITION:
“I thought we were in a good spot. The whole thing on the restarts is just getting your line to form. Everybody on our Budweiser Chevrolet did a great job. We were able to hold Jimmie (Johnson) door to door until the exit of turn two, but both of those restarts the No. 14 and No. 15 and whoever was behind them just couldn’t get our line formed up. All night it seemed like the top line would form up pretty quick and those guys were able to get going a lot quicker.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined in a crash on lap 156 and finished 32nd
THAT WAS A BIG HIT COMING OFF TURN TWO GETTING INTO THAT INSIDE WALL:
“Yeah we were… Jimmie (Johnson) moved up to block the outside row coming so I kind of at that point had the lead. I had followed Jimmie a lot throughout the race. I felt really good with our Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet. Next thing I know I got slammed and shot left. It was the end of our night. It’s kind of how these races go. You don’t have a lot of control over some of the things that happen here. I’m happy our car was fast and we put a good showing out. We ran up front the whole race.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS CHEVROLET SS – Caught up in accident on lap 149 finished 34th
YOU GOT KIND OF CAUGHT UP IN THE ACCIDENT WITH THE NO.11 AND THE NO. 20 TALK ABOUT IT FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE:
“Yeah, we lost some track position there. Had a really strong car, really good handling Axalta Chevrolet tonight so I was happy about that. Great to have Finish Master and the 50 years that Axalta has been with them on board tonight too. Just sitting there kind of riding along hoping that outside lane, I can’t say we were riding it was pretty aggressive. Just nowhere to go and just riding that outside lane hoping they were starting to make progress. I don’t know I just saw somebody spin in front of me. We all tried to avoid it. I guess it was the No. 11 and we all tried to avoid them and Matt (Kenseth) got sideways and then I didn’t have anywhere to go either. Got the right-front and that just sent the car into the wall.
“It’s unfortunate. I still think we had a great shot at getting the car to the front. We had a very strong race car and you have to survive before you can ever get there. You have to finish too.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 18TH:
WAS IT AN EXCITING FINISH?
“Well, a green-white-checkered finish is always exciting. (Dale Earnhardt) Junior and I had a good run through the middle and then up high around (Turn) 4. And I just watched the replay. It felt like I ran just along the wall but it could have been me that came down in front of the No. 38 (Dave Gilliland). It definitely wasn’t what I was trying to do at all. I was just following the No. 88 (Earnhardt, Jr.). So, if that’s what happened, then I definitely apologize. I lost spots doing it.
“So, all in all, it was a solid day. I felt like we were a little slow to get going, but I felt like we made the car better and I felt like I figured out some things in the car that helped. Got the Godaddy car in a decent position. Every time I look at the board I’m further down, but we ran strong and that’s what we want to do. I thought the Chevys looked really good in the race.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE MAYBE YOU COULD HAVE MADE A RUN THERE ON THAT LAST LAP?
“I think that I did make a run on that last lap. The No. 88 (Earnhardt Jr.) and I went up through the middle and then around the outside. So, I think it was a run. It didn’t end up like I wanted, like I said. I, by all means, was just meaning to follow the No. 88 around the top to the line, but I think it was all right. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do on those last laps. Nobody really had a plan because it’s really hard to plan for what 42 other guys are going to do out there.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/ SEALY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 6TH
YOU ARE NOW TOP 10 IN POINTS. YOU’VE GOT TO BE HAPPY ABOUT THAT
“That’s awesome to have a good run like that and stay out of trouble and post a nice Top-10. These Furniture Row guys have been working hard. We’ve made little mistakes here, there, and everywhere. When we start putting it together, it’s now starting to bear the fruit and we’ve moved our way into the Top 10 in points. So that’s pretty cool. We have a long way to go, and yet we still are getting better. I’m just real proud of these guys and the effort that we’ve put forth and just a big thanks to Barney Visser and Furniture Row and Chevy and everybody that’s on board. It’s great. We’re there, but we’ve still got a bit of work to do.”