NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
GOOD SAM CLUB 500
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER RACE NOTES & QUOTES
OCTOBER 23, 2011
CLINT BOWYER NO. 33 CHEVROLET 100 YEARS CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: ON HIS VICTORY:
“I told him( Richard Childress) , this is Chevrolet’s 100th Anniversary, what an awesome paint scheme, so proud of the paint scheme, this is Richard’s 100th race that he has won in the Cup series, so I told him congratulations, I guess I am going to have to race his ass for the 101st ( laughs) ,but just thank you to Cheerios, Hamburger Helper, everybody involved with this car, BB&T, they have been a long supporter of ours, it meant a lot to me to get all these guys back in victory lane before we cap off this season. Good day, thank my teammate Jeff Burton, we just were really good together, we thought about it, we talked about it a lot before the race, and things really did play out just how we planned. We were really good on the restarts, just kept getting together, getting bunched up before the other cars and I think that is what ultimately won the race.”
TAKE US THROUGH THE LAST LAP:
“It was pretty calm day to be honest with you. It was methodical and I wanted to stay up front, I told him that we needed to stay up front and stay racing with these guys, that way when the time comes we would have practiced and were ready for it and we can race like the end of the race needs to be raced. That restart we got bunched up before everybody else, I was really really worried about the No.14 and No. 27, the Red Bull cars were hooked up, I didn’t think it was going to be like that but, sure glad it did. Obviously, I was trying to figure out where to pass him, and I said, aww, I am at least going to give him a shot at it. I am going to try it early and it’s going to be a drag race.”
SHANE WILSON, CREW CHIEF NO.33 CHEVROLET 100 YEARS CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: ON THEIR WIN:
“It is really good, this deal, we have worked hard and been close here and there. Missed the Chase this year, but, this group is a good group and it is a shame that it is going to end but that is just the way it is and just proud of everybody today, everybody at RCR, ECR, had really good cars today and just glad.”
WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THE NO. 31 TEAM AND JEFF BURTON; THOSE TWO NEVER LOST EACH OTHER:
“We were good all day, those guys did a great job, did their tandem deal there very well, track position was worth a little bit especially at the end, I think it made us better for the end running up there all day.”
JEFF BURTON NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND:
ON THE END OF THE RACE:
“Well, I mean that is plate racing, we put ourselves in position to win the race and Clint (Bowyer) did a great job, I thought he made his move a little too early and as it turned out he did it perfect. We had a great day, part of me wants to cry and part of me wants to cheer, anytime you leave here and the car is in one piece you should be happy; but to come that close after the year we have had is pretty disappointing.”
WHAT KIND OF ENCOURAGEMENT DOES IT GIVE YOU?
“It has been a hard year, it really has. I am proud of everybody though for keeping our heads up, and everybody has continued to fight, proud of Caterpillar, and Chevrolet, and everybody on this car, all these people on this car have been very committed to us, even though we have had a bad year and I really appreciate that.”
DAVE BLANEY NO. 39 GOLDEN CORAL CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD:
ON HIS THIRD PLACE RUN: “I don’t know I had that big blue No. 2 car pushing me. I can’t thank Brad Keselowski and that whole team enough, they committed yesterday or Friday to just work together the whole day and we kind of struggled at times figuring out what to do and when to do it, but man he could really push me well. It turned out good, man happy for Golden Coral, finally get to feed a lot of kids on Monday, and that is big for us.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 EL MONTEREY/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH:
ON HIS RACE:
“I screwed up and got out of sync with Ryan (Newman) and crashed him, and after that you just had to pick up whoever you could pick up. We had a good run with Joey (Logano) there for a long time and were lucky enough to pick Paul Menard up. I had good partners to push with. Paul and Joey both did a great job and Ryan did a great job. I let Ryan down today.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR. NO. 88 DIET MOUNTAIN DEW PAINT THE 88/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET, FINISHED 25TH:
ON HIS DAY:
“We both (Jimmie Johnson) tried to lead a lap early and get that point. Then, you know, we thought being…we raced a little bit but no a whole lot whenever we thought they were getting a little bit crazy, we’d move into the safe areas and we road there most of the day with a lot of other people doing the same thing. Then at the end, we had a lot of cautions late, we wanted to try to work our way toward the front in the last 20 laps. The cautions kept coming out and we ran over some debris and we had to come to pit road. We just didn’t have the track position at the end to make a run with two laps to go. Just not enough time.”
IS IT BORING RUNNING IN THE BACK ALL DAY?
“Yea, bored. I’d rather race up in there and try to lead laps and do whatever but it’s really not my style of racing. Being pushed and carrying on all day long. Trying to lead a couple of laps that are sort of meaningless really doesn’t make a lot of sense either. You don’t really have…neither alternative is really that great, you know. Pushing around and leading laps and racing up toward the front in a 500 mile race when there’s no real true…that’s not a strategy that is really putting yourself in position to win. But, the No. 33 (Clint Bowyer) did it all day long. They ran up front and raced hard all day long. You have got to tip your hat them for doing that, that is one of my favorite strategies.”
SO MANY OF THE CHASE DRIVERS GOT CAUGHT UP IN WRECKS TODAY, HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR CHANCES THE LAST FOUR RACES?
“I don’t even know what the points look like. I don’t even know what happened to people. I was just out there trying to do the best I could to help my teammate. You can’t pay attention to nothing else. I’ll have to see how everything shook out and figure out what I think about it.”
WITHOUT THE CAUTIONS, WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE A MOVE HERE BETTER THAN DAYTONA?
“Yeah. There’s a lot more room at this place. Daytona is real narrow when it comes down to it. We felt like we were in a good position to make our move inside those 20 laps to go and we just kept having cautions and that sort of hurt our strategy a little bit and didn’t give us a chance there with two to go. I mean, we run up on guys five wide, you can’t go nowhere.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 32ND:
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE STILL IN THIS THING?
“Yes, but obviously that wasn’t the day we wanted. But, but the way the rest of those guys raced, it didn’t devastate us. We wanted to be in the front. We thought that was the safer place to be in case the thing went green. I thought I was around a pretty good group of cars there. I don’t know what happened. It is just one of those deals.”
YOU WERE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU COULDN’T DO A THING; YOU HAD NO CHANCE, WHAT IS THIS COMPETITION LIKE?
“It is a little bit frustrating. You do what you think is right at this particular race track and you hope for the best. We had a lot of great runs in the weeks leading up to this and I guess the odds were against us coming into this one.”
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET, FINISHED 30TH: ABOUT HIS CRASH:
“Yea that was not a fun hit, but it is what we do at the restrictor plate tracks and unfortunately get caught up in other people’s messes. I don’t know what happened, I just know I turned right in a hurry in the furniture row car, it is what it is, and I was hoping we were going to have a good day. My partner, Kurt Busch got wrecked earlier and it was not his fault either, but that is how it goes.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 MYLOWE’S CHEVROLET – FINISHED 6TH:
OBVIOUSLY THE STRATEGY WAS TO BE IN THE BACK AND COME TO THE FRONT. WALK US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED TODAY
‘”We planned our strategy like we had hoped to. And on that last restart at the end; we had some issues with my car overheating. That last caution that came out I got some trash and grass and stuff on the grill of the car. We were out of sequence the way we were lined up. I was going to push Junior and I had to be in the lead the way we had the debris on the grill. And then as we went to make our switch, the pack was organized and with the green-white-checkered situation, there’s not a lot of time to get organized and we lost our momentum there and got to the outside and kind of stalled out up on the top and finished far worse than we had hoped to.”
HOW CRAZY WERE THOSE LAST TWO RESTARTS? PARTICULARLY THE LAST ONE?
“Yeah, I was spotting for Junior obviously in the lead car; and there were one or two times I’m like ‘We’re wrecking, we’re wrecking; stay in it’; I didn’t know what to do and it looked like gaps were closing up and we were going to crash. But luckily we made it back with a straight car; I just wish we had a better finish.”
YOU HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO DO POINTS MATH YET, BUT WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET RIGHT NOW?
“We just keep grinding them out. I had hoped to make up some points on the No. 99 (Carl Edwards) today; but that didn’t happen I don’t believe; I don’t know where he finished. But there weren’t many cars behind me when I crossed the line. So I assume he was in front of me (laughs). But we’ll just keep fighting. Every position counts. Every spot counts. And I want to finish as high as I can in the points. If it isn’t the championship, I want to finish as high as I can possibly finish. So we’re going to keep fighting hard with the MyLowe’s Chevrolet and see what we can do.”
ON THE RACE AND GETTING HIT IN THE SIDE “Luckily the contact didn’t do any damage to the car; it just kind of scared us and challenged my drifting skills as I was trying to keep the car from spinning out on the apron. But we certainly didn’t get the result that we wanted today. We had some issues with the car overheating late in the race due to some debris from that last caution and Junior and I had to swap positions on the restart. By the time it took us to get organized, the pack drove off and was gone. So it was really a bummer there.”
PEOPLE WERE SPECULATING THAT YOU AND DALE JUNIOR WERE HANGING BACK AND HANGING BACK. WAS IT AS SIMPLE AS THAT OR WAS IT JUST HARD TO GET THROUGH THINGS TODAY AND GET THE RIGHT POSITION YOU WERE LOOKING FOR?
“No, we were hanging back for sure and then we were around all the cautions. So we kept coming to pit road to get tires on the car to make sure we didn’t run over any debris. And the little bit of track position we had we started to lose and were just kind of in the back. And then on the last caution, we got some trash on the grill and the car was running hot under caution and I wasn’t in position to push the No. 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). So when they dropped the green, we had to swap. He was in front of me and we had to do that swap; and we lost any and all the momentum we had at that point and we were just kind of riding from there.”
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE DEFICIT NOW WITH FOUR RACES TO GO?
“We’ve just got to keep fighting and keep working on getting every point we can at every race. We have no clue what’s going to happen to all the Chase drivers and I want to finish as high as I possibly can in the Chase. That does mean the championship. If it’s not there, I want to finish as high as I possibly can.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – FINISHED 27TH:
ON THE PUSHING ISSUE WITH TREVOR BAYNE AT THE END OF THE RACE
“We worked together pretty well in February; him pushing me and me pushing him. We worked together well. But I think everybody knew coming into the weekend, the Fords made it very clear about what they were doing in working with one another and helping one another out and all those things. So I didn’t expect him to commit to me on the radio. I expected him to say, ‘Man, I’m sorry; I can’t.’ And when he said, ‘Yeah, I’m pushing you; we’re good’; I believed him. But I think they had a different plan.”
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RCR TEAMMATES SPLITTING UP THERE AT THE END OF THE RACE AND CLINT BOWYER AND JEFF BURTON RACING FOR THE WIN?
“You know, I don’t think there’s a guy in this garage area that’s a teammate in a situation like that where if he thought he could get to the finish line first, without costing both of them the win, is he going to take that opportunity? I’ve run that through my head many times. I’m sure many other guys have. We’re programmed to go for the win. And if you see that checkered flag, when you’re a racer, you’re going for it.”
ON THE RACE
“We lost Mark (Martin) as our partner in that last wreck and he got a piece of it. We had to make a decision whether to keep our good track position and work with somebody around us and we made that decision to do that. Unfortunately it cost us and we fell way back by not having Mark.”
DO YOU THINK YOU WERE A PRODUCT OF ANY LATE-RACE FORD DIRECTIVE FROM TREVOR BAYNE’S CAMP?
“Well I just find it odd. We talked on the radio a good bit and agreed that he was going to push me. I came on there and I said, ‘Hey, what’s your deal? You got anybody you’re working with?’ And he said, ‘No, man, I’m pushing you.’ And I went off my radio and talked to my guys and went back to his radio and we talked through it and he said, ‘Yep, yep, yep’. So, Trevor came over to me (after the race in the garage) and said ‘Hey, it wasn’t me; it wasn’t me. That’s what I’m being told to do.’ But I’m surprised that somebody didn’t come back over (the radio). I just think it could have been handled better. If somebody is going to screw you, you’d like them to say it to your face you know? Or, at least on the radio (laughs). I would have been fine with that but I’m sorry; I would have been totally find with that and understood.”
DID YOU TAKE HIM UNDER YOUR WING IN DAYTONA?
“Yeah, but politics play out sometimes. He feels terrible about it. Listen, at that point you work with anybody that you can when you lose your partner then you’re desperate to find somebody. I was going to go with the No. 13 but Trevor lined up behind me and when he agreed to it and I said hey, we can’t go with a better person than that. He’s got a fast race car; we already have history of working well together and I thought it was a no-brainer. But I probably should have known better.”
WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU SAW IN HIM AT DAYTONA THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WORK WITH HIM?
“Yeah, he had a fast race car (laughter).’
WHEN YOU SAY HE CAME OVER AND TALKED TO YOU, WAS THAT AFTER THE RACE?
“Yeah, right here. He came over to the car after the race.”
SO IS THAT TEAM ORDERS AND/OR MANUFACTURER ORDERS?
“It would seem to me like that’s it.”
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