CHEVY NSCS AT DAYTONA TWO: Race Notes & Quotes

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

COKE ZERO 400

DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

CarParts.com
American Muscle

TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES & QUOTES

JULY 7, 2012

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – INVOLVED IN MULTI-CAR CRASH ON LAP 123

WHAT HAPPENED?

“I haven’t seen the video. We were all getting ready to pit so I was waving my hand out the window down the backstretch through (Turns) 3 and 4; and as soon as I let off the gas to come to pit road, someone got into the back of me. I don’t know if they didn’t see my hand waving or what really went on, but I was just trying to get slowed down to come onto pit road and I got hit from behind. I went down on the inside wall. As I was spinning, I could see a lot of other cars were collected too.”

WHY WAS PIT ROAD SO CRAZY TONIGHT?

“Whenever you have a track where you do two-tire stops, you’re going to have some chaos. There were so many cars on the lead lap, plus two-tire stops; the guys running up front complete their pit stop and leave their pit stall as traffic is coming in and you have some issues. Right now it’s the only place to pass; especially today. The cars were on the edge of overheating. There wasn’t a lot of energy in the pack due to the limitations with the cooling of the car so you couldn’t get in there and bump-draft someone of push them and make a pass happen. And we kind of rode single file. Your lane would move; your lane would fall back, and you just kind of sat there until you got to pit lane and could try and get all you could on pit road.”

OBVIOUSLY, YOU ARE VERY DISAPPOINTED BUT IT’S SORT OF PAR FOR THE COURSE THAT AT THIS RACE TRACK YOU NEVER KNOW.

“Yeah, it is. My plate record is not looking too good this year. I hope to get all this bad luck out of the way so that when we come back in the Chase, we can have a good finish. But its plate racing. I show up every time and know what can happen. Unfortunately it does usually happen to me.”

WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?

“I had some contact. Somebody hit me from behind. I was trying to get slowed down to get to pit road. I waved off of Turn 2 down the back and motioned down the side in Turns 3 and 4 that I was coming to pit road and someone didn’t get the message behind me and ran through me as I checked up to get on to pit road. It’s an unfortunate break for the Lowe’s Chevrolet.

“It was real tough to pass out there but I felt like our car was good and we could pass a few cars and get into a decent spot, but I think pit strategy and track position is going to be key for the winner tonight.”

BILL ELLIOTT, NO. 50 WALMART CHEVROLET – INVOLVED IN MULTIPLE CAR CRASH ON LAP 123

WHAT WENT ON OUT THERE?

“Everybody was checking-up and I was trying to check-up and I got turned a little bit and I got it gathered back up and I thought I was going to hit the inside wall and I got it turned back. And then when I came back up, the problem is whatever happened up ahead. We were just a victim of the circumstances. But man I was proud of all those guys on Turner Motorsports and Walmart. That’s the best I’ve run in a long time. The car drove so well. I could go anywhere on the race track and just wait around biding my time and just seeing where we’re going to play out at the end.”

YOU’VE RACED BASICALLY EVERY PACKAGE NASCAR HAS EVER HAD ON PLATE TRACKS. WHAT WAS TONIGHT LIKE?

“You couldn’t hardly pass, man. I mean when I was running third there early on in the race, I ran every lap wide-open and never came off the bottom, you know. And that’s kind of where you were. The problem was when I got in that inside line there right before the accident, we could make a little bit of headway on the outside line and then the outside line would make a little bit of headway on us. When I’d have to check-up at the end of the straightaway to keep from running up I guess, Logano, in the No. 20 car; then the outside line would get a little bit on us. But man it was just so hard to ever position yourself. And my car ran really hot on the outside line but it ran great and cool on the inside line. Man, guys, I don’t know.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – INVOLVED IN MULTI-CAR CRASH ON LAP 152 AND FINISHED 28TH:

“To tell you the truth the Target Chevy was pretty good. I felt at first I had a lot of motor so I had two guys I had the No. 21 in line pushing me so we were making pretty good ground there. To tell you the truth what happened I don’t know. Somebody wrecked in front of us. I lifted and I got spun into the fence and then I got hit everywhere. I mean it’s Daytona.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – WINNER ALWAYS SPECIAL TO WIN AT DAYTONA BUT WALK US THROUGH THAT FINAL LAP WHEN EVERYTHING GOT JUMBLED: “I don’t even remember what happened that last lap. I just got in that second lane and just tried to get the No. 17 and No. 16 pulled apart. Once we got them pulled apart it gave us a run on the outside so it shows what Mobil 1 lubricants and oils can do for you. We were just so good on restarts, just a weird day. These races I’m still voting for a figure eight race here.”

FORTY-SECOND TO FIRST NOT ONCE NOT TWICE NOT THREE TIMES BUT THIS IS YOUR FOURTH MID-SUMMER CLASSIC THE COKE ZERO 400 WIN WHAT DOES THIS ONE MEAN TO YOU? “Well anytime you win at Daytona it’s special, but this Chevy was awesome. I had great Hendrick horsepower and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing did an awesome job this weekend. I’m really proud of our organization. If it weren’t for the cap blowing off of the NACA duct we would have been second and third qualifying and I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of this Mobil 1/Office Depot team and everybody at Coca-Cola, U.S. Army, Quicken Loans, GoDaddy, Aspen Dental, Outback Steakhouse, everybody that is a part of this program. Gene Haas and everybody at Haas Automation they are the ones they got this started so thanks to all those people.”

RICK HENDRICK ONE OF YOUR CORPORATE PARTNERS POKED HIS HEAD IN THE WINDOW WHAT DID HE TELL YOU? “I can never tell that (laughs). He just said ‘Good Job’. Thanks to all of our fans. It’s been a long hot Fourth of July we know that and appreciate all the fans that have stuck it out tonight. It’s been a long hot couple of days for them and we got the toughest fans in the world.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 WHEATIES CHEVROLET – FINISHED SECOND PIECE TOGETHER YOUR NIGHT FOR ME, THE MIRROR FALLS OFF ON LIKE LAP FIVE, LAP ONE YOU ARE AT 240 (DEGREES) ON THE WATER, HOW DID YOU HOLD IT TOGETHER TONIGHT FOR A SECOND-PLACE FINISH? “Well honestly we had to just ride around in the back tonight. Right now if we in a pack in a race we are going to overheat and we are not going to finish the race. Unfortunately, we kind of have to ride around and that kept us out of some trouble though. We got going with about 30 to go and missed a couple of wrecks, had some fortune.

“Kevin (Harvick) and I had a good run going and just had nowhere to go. I did my little thing in turn one, saved it and then they wrecked off turn four and ended up with a good finish. Anytime you can leave here with a car not torn up you probably ought to be happy.”

YOU NEVER KNEW GOING THREE-WIDE IN TURNS THREE AND FOUR WOULD BE SO BRILLIANT DID YOU? “Not by yourself (laughs). I was by myself I didn’t know that was a good thing to do, but they had all got slowed down enough where I didn’t have a lot of choice I had to go somewhere.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 ASPEN DENTAL CHEVROLET – FINISHED FIFTH HOW DID YOU SQUIRT THROUGH THAT WHOLE THING? “He (Jeff Burton) led the way.”

YOU FOLLOWED HIM, HUH? “Well involuntarily, but I was on the high side and tried to go around him when he got loose in (turn) two. He had a heck of a save. It was just a good run for our Aspen Dental Chevrolet, first race for them on our car. I’m really proud to have them as part of Stewart-Haas and myself. A top-five is what our team needed. I think we were about 15th or 16th going into turn three and to come off of turn four and be fifth at the start/finish line. Congratulations to Tony (Stewart) and those guys they did an awesome job.”

MOMENTUM WISE HOW CRITICAL WAS THIS FOR THE NO. 39 TEAM? “Well it was big for us, especially with the stretch coming up. Loudon which is a place which us at Stewart-Haas have done an awesome job at in the past, we look forward to going there. The stretch going into Indy and obviously the Chase it’s important. Well, we might have lost a play-off berth tonight, but we are still in plenty of contention there with the No. 20 car right now.”

WALK ME THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED ON PIT ROAD WITH THE NO. 24 AND ALL THAT WHICH WENT ON EARLIER IN THE RACE: “Basically, the way I saw the No. 24 just didn’t leave us any room. I watched him in the mirror coming off, he was way behind us and he just never made it to the outside lane. When I came off on the outside of the No. 5 the No. 5 turned down, he had to go around whoever it was and we just all three went together. We came together and I got the rough end of the deal it looked like because I spun around and hit the No. 2 car. Luckily, we didn’t hit anybody, all the guys stayed safe. That was important, that is the last thing I want to see is anybody get hit on pit road. I don’t mind bumping into guys on the race track, but hitting anybody is not cool.”

I CAN’T IMAGINE HOW SCARY THAT IS FOR A DRIVER TO BE GOING BACKWARDS TOWARDS A CAR WITH GUYS AROUND IT: “That is one part of it the other part is I know a lot of those guys. I came from there and a lot of those guys have been good friends to me. That is something I didn’t want to see, but fortunately everybody was safe. We will go on. It was a racing accident on pit road. Fortunately, we were running 45 (mph) instead of 155.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET – INVOLVED IN 15-CAR CRASH AT THE END – FINISHED 7TH:

HOW ABOUT THE FINISH AT THE END?

“I felt good about pushing Tony (Stewart), you know a couple of Hendrick engines and I am glad he won the race over any of those other guys up there. It was good, but I don’t feel good about the way it ended up.”

WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE PIT ROAD INCIDENT?

“I really don’t know. I gave him room and then he turned left into me but I think there was another car there on his outside. Kenny (crew chief, Francis) said (Jeff) Gordon was out there somewhere. I haven’t seen it, I have no idea. I just know I was giving him room and then he turned left and spun himself around. I don’t think it was intentional, it was just too many cars and I really don’t know, I haven’t seen it.”

YOU GAVE TONY STEWART A HUGE PUSH FOR THE WIN I THINK HE OWES YOU A BEER: “Yeah I was trying all the way through it another Hendrick engine and as good as our Chevy’s were all night I wanted to see Tony win over those other two. When (Jeff) Burton hit me in turn one I don’t know where he came from or how that happened. I know the inside kind of got lined up so me and Tony started falling back a little. He bounced off; I think (Greg) Biffle and myself and just slowed the whole field down. By the time we got to turn four everybody had caught back up and it was way too many cars in too small of an area.”

YOU HAD DAMAGE ON THE RIGHT FRONT ON PIT LANE, YOU WERE FIGHTING WITH AN OVERHEATING CAR ALL NIGHT, YOU GUYS REALLY CHARGED BACK: “Yeah we did. I don’t know about pit lane, I gave Ryan (Newman) room and then I guess there was a car outside of him so Ryan turned to the left or something. I haven’t seen it. We ended up spinning there, just a racing thing on pit road. From there we had to fight, we had to put water in once, but the temperatures were great after that. Our Hendrickcars.com Chevy was running great. Thanks to Farmers Insurance, Quaker State and everybody that supports us.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/NRA MUSEUM CHEVROLET – FINISHED 13TH

ON THE RACE

“It’s really difficult to pass. It seemed like the bottom line would get a row of 10 or 12 cars and the outside lane could only get to like the fifth-place car and you could never made the pass. It was a little bit frustrating out there because once the start would cycle through, you were just kind of where you were and there were very few cars that could actually make the pass. So, I like this way better than the tandem, but we need something kind of in between because it’s jut too hard to pass right now.”

ON HANDLING

“Yeah, it’s similar to what we used to have but handling is not an issue and you just can’t get runs on people. So, I mean it was a valid effort but I think we need to have a different package so that we can pass easier.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET – FINISHED 12TH:

YOU WERE SITTING PERFECTLY IN THIRD, EVERYONE WAS STARTING TO MAKE THEIR GREEN FLAG STOPS AND THEN THE TONE JUST ABSOLUTELY CHANGED WHAT HAPPENED? “We were just coming to pit road. I don’t know what happened behind me but they just started wrecking. We got caught up in that. That definitely changed our day. We were in great position, fast race car, pit stops were flawless. At that point it was trying to fix the damage and get track position. The damage they did a great job with the car had plenty of speed, but track position there was just no passing when you were in the back in those final laps. It was just three lanes wide, you just had to wait until somebody wrecked or got out of shape and the momentum would change. We actually had a great run coming through (turns) three and four right there and we were going to be better than I think even 12th. Even though they wrecked we kind of got caught in that wreck too. We had some momentum coming so I think we could have finished 10th or 12th. We ended up 12th, not a bad day considering all the things that happened.”

ON THE RACE

“If you put everything into perspective, there were moments tonight when I felt like we had a car that could win and we were close to being in a position for that. And then when that wreck happened when we were trying to come to pit road, that just changed our night a bit. Not only did it tear up the race car, but it cost us track position, which was very very difficult to make up. So considering that and where we started on those last couple of restarts, 12th wasn’t bad. I even got in the wreck on that last lap and still finished 12th. So, we don’t have much of a race car, but we got a 12th place finish.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE IN DESPERATION MODE YET?

“It doesn’t matter what mode we’re in. We’re going to go to the race track and try to do the same thing, and that’s to win. I guess if we’re in a position to make a very risky call late in the race that we might run out of fuel or something or there is a good chance we’d run out of fuel, then that might be a risk worth taking for this time. But I’d leave that up to Alan (Gustafston) and our engineers and I’m just going to drive the wheels off of it every weekend. And they’ve been giving me great race cars so I know we can win. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s the last two going into the Chase. It’s whatever it takes to get in.”

IS LOUDON A RACE THAT YOU LOOK FORWARD TO AND A TRACK YOU LIKE?

“Oh, yeah. I think Loudon is a great opportunity for us. This race, even though we have a great race car here and everything, this type of racing you never know what you’re going to get here. But at Loudon, you can control your own destiny and at Indianapolis and some other great tracks that are coming up that I feel like we can be very competitive at and have a shot at winning.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD – AN AMERICAN SALUTE/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET – FINISHED 15TH:

TELL ME ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THAT BIG INCIDENT: “We were going into (turn) three and it looked like, I couldn’t tell what was in front of (Kevin) Harvick , but it looked like everybody was coming apart. We come up on them real fast and Harvick went to the inside of the No. 16 and the No. 16 either came down or got shoved down into the nose of Harvick’s car. I don’t know, you see it right there (watching the replay). I was getting shoved at the same time I was lifting off of Harvick and getting shoved into him and just turning left and got clipped by the No. 16 going by. It was pretty wild. We were all running into each other (laughs). It was crazy at the end.”

HOW ABOUT THE FINISH AT THE END?

“I felt good about pushing Tony (Stewart), you know a couple of Hendrick engines and I am glad he won the race over any of those other guys up there. It was good, but I don’t feel good about the way it ended up.”

WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE PIT ROAD INCIDENT?

“I really don’t know. I gave him room and then he turned left into me but I think there was another car there on his outside. Kenny (crew chief, Francis) said (Jeff) Gordon was out there somewhere. I haven’t seen it, I have no idea. I just know I was giving him room and then he turned left and spun himself around. I don’t think it was intentional, it was just too many cars and I really don’t know, I haven’t seen it.”

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