NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
SEPTEMBER 22, 2013
Jimmie Johnson Leads Team Chevy Finishers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
LOUDON, N.H. (September 22, 2013) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS, finished fourth in the Sylvania 300 to lead four Team Chevy drivers to top-10 finishes. Today's run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion's second consecutive top-five finish in the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. With two of 10 races in the books, Johnson is third in points, just 18 points down to the leader.
Jamie McMurray recovered from a lap 38 spin to bring the No. 1 Linksys Chevrolet SS to the checkered flag in fifth place to give the Bowtie Brand two of the top-five in the final finishing order.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS, finished sixth and now sits 11th in the Chase standings.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet SS, was the fourth Chevrolet SS driver in the top-10, crossing the finish line in eighth place.
Other Chevrolet SS drivers in the Chase championship battle finished as follows: Kurt Busch, No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet SS - 13th (7th in points); Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS - 15th (8th in points); Ryan Newman, No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS - 16th (9th in points); Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS - 20th (6th in points) and Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS - 37th (13th in points) after contact on lap 253 sent him to the garage for repairs.
Matt Kenseth (Toyota) was the race winner. Kyle Busch (Toyota) and Greg Biffle (Ford) complete the top-five finishers.
The Series moves next to Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware on Sunday, September 29, 2013 for Chase Race Number Three.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FOURTH
ON HIS RACE:
"It was better than we thought it would be. I felt like we were really going to have to scrap for a top-10, maybe a top-five. I truthfully feel like we had a shot to win this race, if not run second or third. Those last couple of restarts lining up on the inside lane just didn't work for anyone. I'd lose a couple of spots and have to get them back. Strong, strong performance. And, again my crew has worked so hard over the last three or four weeks getting ready for Richmond, which didn't go well. Then getting ready for here which went really well. It took a lot of hard work to get the end result, but we've got a nice race car for these flat tracks. I'm looking forward to Phoenix now. It's good to have a good run here knowing we can go to Phoenix and be competitive too."
IS THIS A SENSE OF RELIEF HEADING TO DOVER?
"Yes, to open (the Chase) with a five, four (finishing positions) is great. One, one like Matt (Kenseth) has is a lot better, but we're in a good spot. We haven't given up to many points, and we're going to one of my best race tracks next week in Dover. So I certainly hope to have this Lowe's Chevrolet in Victory Lane over there."
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY:
"Definitely wanted more. I think we had a great race car. There are the end I was in the inside lane on those restarts and I would lose two or three (spots) each time. Just part of it one of those things, but a great performance. Great start to the Chase you know our five, four isn't too bad. It's hard to beat a one, one that Matt (Kenseth) has right now, but we will keep plugging along. We are getting into the meat of the Chase and where there are some great tracks for this Chevrolet that I am driving and all these Lowe's guys working so hard to make it fast."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 LINKSYS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FIFTH
YOU CAME BACK AND YOU CAME BACK BIG. EARLY SPIN, THE BACK OF THE CAR KNOCKED OFF AND YOU STILL CAME BACK WITH A TOP FIVE:
"Yeah, are car was really good even after the crash. I told you before the race that if we had good track position at the end I thought we could finish good. It was a really good day for our Linksys car. Just a fun day racing."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SIXTH
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY AND THE BATTLE WITH (JAMIE) MCMURRAY AT THE END:
"Yeah, I run out of rear tires trying to hold him off. Couldn't get the power down just off the corner and he was a pretty fast car to begin with. I knew it was going to be difficult to hold him off, but we had a good car yesterday. Almost as good as it was today. Just real happy to be able to rebound from earlier on pit road and get a good finish. The car was fast as heck yesterday, one of the top three cars I thought. Glad we were able to get a decent finish out of it. Just want to win one, I'm trying hard."
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/DENVER MATTRESS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 13TH
ON HIS RACE:
"We didn't hit it right on the adjustments today. It was nobody's fault, we all agreed what adjustments to make and it just didn't work out. We struggled with the handling and couldn't make a move to the front with our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet. While we aren't pleased with where we finished (13th), we fought for every position and gave it our best effort. There's still a long ways to go in this Chase. When you're off the way we were today and still finish 13th I guess it's not all that bad. But we know we can do much better and we'll keep on plugging away."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 15TH
YOU LED 36 LAPS AND THEN THERE WAS THAT PIT STOP. TAKE US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED
"I'm highly disappointed in myself. The team put me in a great position. We had a decent car and then track position made it into a great car. So it was obviously important to maintain that. I just came in and slid through. I hadn't come close to sliding through all day and I guess just leading, I carried a little bit more speed in there and crossed the splitter over the line by an inch and that's all it takes to make a difference between a chance at winning and finishing 15th."
YOU WERE ABLE TO SALVAGE A 15TH PLACE FINISH. IT'S STILL EARLY IN THE CHASE. WHAT'S YOUR MINDSET HEADED TO DOVER?
"Well, I'm excited with the way we're performing. Chicago was great and this weekend was great and we just keep that up; we're not far out of fourth. We lost quite a bit of ground to those guys up front but not too much as far as getting in the top 5 in points. I think we are very capable of doing it but the driver can't make mistakes. Today was one of the days. This is a short race. Track position is so important. You can't make mistakes. I made a crucial one and I can't allow that to happen if we're going to get ourselves in the top 5 in points this year."
HOW DO YOU CLEAR YOUR HEAD AFTER A DAY LIKE TODAY?
"Oh, I've been doing this for 20-some years, man. It's not like I've never made mistakes before but you just hate to make them at a crucial time like that. So I'm very disappointed. And I'll be disappointed until we get to Dover and start working on Dover."
YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE OVER THE LINE?
"I knew it was close. When I got in there, the front started to slide. And I knew I was carrying a little bit more speed. I knew it was going to be close but I was hoping it would stop just at the line. I saw the official react and I knew we were in trouble."
FROM WHERE YOU WERE ON THE TRACK THEN, IN 22ND, WHERE DID YOU THINK YOU COULD POSSIBLY FINISH?
"Oh, a top 10. That caution hurt us in general. We didn't need that caution to come when it did. So, that was taking us out of sync for what was going to work best for our pit strategy anyway. So, we were already going to be behind but there is a big difference between starting say 12th and 22nd. We lost a lot of spots to the other guys that took four tires and who knows how much that made a difference, but it was a bunch."
WHEN A MOMENT LIKE THAT HAPPENS AND YOU HAVE THAT GOOD OF A CAR, WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD? WAS IT OH, DAMN, I MIGHT HAVE JUST GIVEN ONE AWAY?
"Well, I knew just from the way that the race was going, that passing was near impossible. And my car was a good race car, but it wasn't a good passing car; not to mention the absolute chaos that goes on. The guys were four and five-wide running all over one another. Just being in the mix of that and trying to battle your way through each position was difficult enough. But our car, being back there, just different have the handling characteristics that we needed to pass cars. We had the handling characteristics of a car that needed good track position and we had it until I messed up."
HOW DO SIZE UP THE FIELD NOW?
"Well, I mean if (Matt) Kenseth keeps doing what he's doing, it's not going to matter what anybody else does. For us, we have to be realistic and look at our points position and outcome and right now we're not that far out of fourth, so that's a realistic goal for us right now. But anything is possible. We go to these next several races and go on a tear, who knows? But we're higher in points than where we started this thing, so we'll just keep that going."
DID YOU EXPECT MATT KENSETH TO BE THIS STRONG?
"I knew they would be strong, but I thought this would be one track that we might have a little bit of an advantage on him. But then I saw the times that he was running yesterday in practice and I was like uh, oh; they've got their act together pretty good. And he was strong today. I thought he was beatable, but they didn't make any mistakes and were really good. Hat's off to them. That was a great job and they're on a roll. Like I said, now we're going to Dover and that's a great track for him. So, yeah, they're definitely the team to beat right now."
HOW MUCH BETTER DO YOU FEEL AFTER THIS RACE COMPARED TO LAST WEEK AND HEADED TOWARD DOVER?
"Last week stung it still stings pretty good. If we would have won today it might of helped a little bit, but we dug a pretty deep hole. When Matt (Kenseth) and the No. 48 and No. 18 are running like they are I'm not going to catch them running sixth. So, we've got to do better."
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 37TH AFTER SUSTAINING HEAVY CONTACT FROM AN ON-TRACK INCIDENT ON LAP 253
"I really don't know what happened. Just racing and I'm not sure if there was contact or if I just spun. I seriously don't really remember how it happened."
WAS THERE CONTACT?
"I'm not sure. I hit the inside wall, but I'm not sure how I got there."