Jimmie Johnson brought the Lowes Chevrolet through the chaos and mass destruction to claim the six-shooters in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson, whose car sported a unique red and white paint scheme to honor the employees of Lowes, was strong from the beginning of the weekend.
“This is a testament to this team and the fact that we never give up,” Johnson said. “We’ll always keep fighting and trying to make our cars better. We’re not in the Chase, we’re not where we want to be fighting for a championship, but (it was) a great day today with this Red Vest Lowe’s Chevrolet. Old red got it done. We have a lot of people that wear that Lowe’s red vest each and every day that I want to say thank you to and dedicate this win to them,” said a happy Johnson from Victory Lane.
Kevin Harvick came across the line in second place, easing the points loss from last week’s loss at Martinsville.
“Yeah, you just try to do all you can do. Obviously it was no-holds barred there with the 2. He was in bulldoze mode. I’m proud of all my guys on our Budweiser team. We fought all day and put ourselves in position to win. A lot happened at the end of this race, and we were able to put ourselves back in the hunt,” commented Harvick.
Brad Keselowski would improve his chances of making the cut to the final four by finishing the race in third. It would not be without controversy that would erupt after the race with Jeff Gordon. Keselowski made contact on the next to last restart with Gordon cutting down a left rear tire and causing Gordon to spin out eliminating his chance at victory.
“We did a lot of clawing. I wish we would have gotten a better finish out of it but we didn’t. It was hard fought. I am doing everything I can to win this race and stay in the championship hunt,” stated a battered and bleeding Keselowski.
At the drop of the checkered flag Jeff Gordon pulled the AARP Chevrolet up next to Keselowski’s Miller Lite Ford. He exited the car and walked around the front of Keselowski’s Ford. Gordon attempted to talk to Keselowski about what happened on the track. Keselowski turned his back and then turned back to Gordon. Kevin Harvick approached from behind and shoved Keselowski into the fray. Gordon lunged forward and numerous crews and crew members became involved in the brawl between the two former champions. Numerous punches were thrown and many found their mark. When the fight was broken up both men were bloody and bruised. Keselowski was bleeding from his mouth and forehead and Gordon from his mouth.
Kevin Harvick stated when asked about the incident, “I mean if you are going to run into people all the time you are going to have to fight your own fight, so I helped him get into it,” Harvick said matter of factly.
Jeff Gordon recounted the events leading up to the incident, “We were sitting there on a little bit older tires. I spun the tires a little bit but got a pretty decent start. We went down into Turn 1 and I just wanted to get on the outside of the 48 and out of nowhere I just got slammed by the 2 and it cut my left-rear tire. He’s just a dip shit. The way he races, I don’t know how he’s ever won a championship and I’m just sick and tired. That’s why everyone is fighting him and running him down. Your emotions are high. That was a huge, huge race for us. We had the car and had the position. I’m so proud of my team and I’m proud of Jimmie Johnson for winning that race and not letting that little you-know-what win that race,” stated Gordon.
When asked about what he had said to Keselowski, he replied, “There wasn’t a conversation. You can’t have a conversation with him. He gets himself in this position and he has to pay the consequences. I’m going to race him the same way he races me. That kind of stuff is just uncalled for and I’m not going to stand for it.”
Gordon feels like to NASCAR it’s just a racing incident, but to him, as a competitor, it’s a lot more than that. “To them, I’m sure it’s a racing incident. But to me, it’s just a bunch of crap. The kid is just doing stuff way over his head. That’s just uncalled for. You’re racing for a win and a championship. You don’t go slam someone and cut their left-rear tire. If that’s what it takes, then no problem. We can do the same thing to him,” said Gordon.
Brad Keselowski saw it differently, “There was a hole and I went for it. It closed up and we bounced off each other and kept going. It was just a battle for the win.”
Keselowski was asked about Kevin Harvick’s involvement in the post race scuffle and said, “Kevin likes everybody to fight for some reason. I came here to race, not to fight. I raced as hard as I could and these guys just didn’t like it.”
NASCAR director of competition, Robin Pemberton stated that the situation would be reviewed and any penalties would be announced on Tuesday. He said the fact that Brad Keselowski is still on probation would be considered in those decisions.
Chase Points going into Phoenix:
Final Finishing Order:
|6||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr|
|19||78||Martin Truex Jr|
|23||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr|