KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – WINNER
HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS WIN FOR YOU IN JUST YOUR SECOND RACE WITH STEWART-HAAS RACING?
“Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. I’ve just got to thank all these guys at Stewart-Haas Racing and I’d like to thank Sprint and the fans; Jimmy John’s, Budweiser, Outback, Chevrolet, and everybody who makes this thing go ‘round. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys have put in, but what a race car.”
YOU HAD A DOMINANT CAR, BUT DID THOSE CAUTION FLAGS MAKE YOU A LITTLE BIT NERVOUS?
“It did because the No. 22 (Joey Logano) was able to time the restarts there and I knew that what was going to happen was he was going to take a shot down low. So, I tried to do the best I could. I’m just really happy and thank everybody at the Hendrick engine shop and all these cars sharing information. Dale Junior racing there for second was a lot of fun. Man, this is awesome!”
VICTORY LANE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY ONE MORE TIME:
“Well I just have to thank everybody on this Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for all the work and effort and really everybody at Stewart-Haas. To add an extra team, bring in a bunch of new guys, new driver, Rodney Childers has just done a phenomenal job of putting this team together. These guys all want to win that is why they came here. That is why I came here too. I just got to thank Gene (Haas) and Tony (Stewart), Eddie Jarvis, in 2012 I told him it would be fun to have Tony and I on the same team and here we are in Victory Lane.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 16TH/ WINNING TEAM OWNER:
YOU MAY NOT BE THE WINNING DRIVER, BUT YOU ARE THE WINNING CAR OWNER. HOW DOES IT FEEL?
“It’s pretty cool. Heading to victory lane right now. Kevin had the best car yesterday in practice, so I’m glad to see those guys finish it up.”
WITH THE GROUP YOU PUT TOGETHER, DID YOU KNOW IT WOULD BE THIS GOOD, THIS FAST?
“You never know for sure, but the one thing is that Kevin had a lot of confidence in Rodney (Childers, crew chief). I didn’t know Rodney that well, but Kevin’s pretty keen on all aspects of this. He’s been confident all winter with our program and today it showed. They’ve been working hard.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SECOND
YOU DID EVERYTHING YOU COULD BUT JUST DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH:
“Yeah we had a great car. (Kevin) Harvick was so fast all weekend, congratulations to him and his whole team. They did an awesome job getting ready for this race and were just fast out of the gate. We got a little bit better; we leaned on our teammates and got the car a lot better. Steve (Letarte) and those guys just keep getting better and better. These cars I’m driving I think are the best in the garage. Right at the end of the race I think we were a little bit quicker than Kevin (Harvick). Just real, real happy with the cars, just hate to come home second, but that No. 4 car was quick all week.”
IT SEEMED LIKE YOUR BEST SHOT WAS GOING TO BE THAT LAST RESTART, WHICH GOT A LITTLE DICEY
“Yeah, we got running side-by-side there for second and just let Kevin (Harvick) get out there a little too far. I thought we were running him down those last few laps but we were just too far away. It was a great job by Kevin and his whole team. They did a great job all weekend. They were fast. We worked on our car. We got a little help from our teammates and it was a lot of hard work to get better and get better. I ended up where I thought we should have finished. We were a little faster at the end, but they were stellar; impressive as heck all weekend. I’m happy with National Guard, Diet Mountain Dew, Kelly Blue Book and Chevrolet. I hope everybody enjoyed the race. We were really working out butts of there and giving it everything we had.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FIFTH
ON HIS RUN:
“You know when Ryan Newman is in front of you on a restart it’s going to get interesting. I didn’t know if it was going to get interesting because me and him were side-by-side or because he got side-by-side with somebody else. We were able to capitalize on it. Our Pepsi Max Chevrolet started the race really strong and we just didn’t like four tires. We needed two tires and we came in and got two on that last pit stop and unfortunately got caught under the caution under green a lap down. Great fight by this team. What a week it has been for this No. 24 team from that top-five in Daytona, the Pepsi Max Test Drive II and then here we are with another top-five here at Phoenix. Great way to start the season.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SIXTH
TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAY:
“A good day. I was in position to be third or fourth a couple of different times late in the race. Just racing incidents happened where I lost a couple of spots and have to work my way back through the field, but all in all okay. We thought we would be a little stronger unloading this weekend. Had to work for it really hard and next week’s test in Las Vegas is going to be very helpful for us. It looks like we spent a lot of time focusing on closing out ’13 strong which was what we needed to do and maybe a couple of guys got a head start on this 2014 package.”
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD THE PIT STRATEGY FIGURED OUT THERE LATE IN THE RACE. WHAT WERE YOU MISSING IN THIS EVENT?
“We were a decent car all day long. We just need a little bit more time with this new package to dial-in our race car. From where we unloaded to where we raced today, we had a very, very strong Chevrolet, a Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet. So, just a little bit more time and I think we would have been there. Strategy was on our side and we were certainly making up some time. And when those cautions came around, it allowed everybody to cool their tires and we were kind of even at that point. But it was a solid day. We want more for sure, but we’ll take it. And I’m looking forward to next week’s test in Las Vegas. It’s going to be big for the No 48.”
PHOENIX WAS ALWAYS ONE OF YOUR PLAYGROUNDS. DO YOU WALK OUT OF HERE THINKING WE’RE JUST A LITTLE OFF, OR DO YOU JUST NEED A LITTLE BIT MORE TIME?
“Kind of both. Just a little off and a little bit more time. We were very focused at the end of 2013 to close-out ’13 strong. We didn’t participate in the test sessions that took place at Charlotte Motor Speedway on 2014 package. We knew it would hurt us a little bit at the start of the year and there’s a little bit of that there. But, from where we unloaded to where we raced was a huge, huge difference. We even qualified real nice. So, we’re definitely on the trail. We just need a little bit more time with the car.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SEVENTH
ON HIS RUN:
“It was a good team effort for our Quicken Loans Chevrolet. The guys did a good job in the pits. We caught a good break with the debris caution but that happens. I’m sure we’ll get the opposite at some point this year, too.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA/BAD BOY BUGGIES CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 10TH
ON HIS RUN:
“Overall a good day. It’s really hard to pass here. I thought a top 10, especially being really quick in all the practices and qualifying in the top three for our first, what I would say is our real race of the season is a great way to start. We have had two solid cars both races this year and just can’t wait to get to (Las) Vegas. That is a really good track for me and our cars are really good this year. So I’m pretty pumped about everything right now.”