MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TOYOTA OWNERS 400
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES & QUOTES
APRIL 30, 2017
JAMIE MCMURRAY LEADS THE WAY FOR TEAM CHEVY AT RICHMOND
Chevrolet’s Kyle Larson continues to lead the point standings after nine races in 2017
RICHMOND, Va. (April 30, 2017) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s strong season continued this afternoon at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) as Jamie McMurray and the No. 1 GearWrench Chevrolet SS team led the way for Team Chevy in the ninth round of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season with a sixth-place finish. The run marks the fifth top 10 finish for McMurray thus far this season, and he currently ranks seventh in the point standings.
Ryan Newman and the No. 31 Okuma Chevrolet SS team took a gamble in the later stages of the 400-mile/300-lap contest. By choosing to stay out on older tires, they were able to hold off the field and lead 25 laps. Differing pit strategies and multiple late-race restarts put the former RIR winner deep in the field, but Newman battled hard in the waning laps to earn a seventh-place finish, his third top 10 run this season.
Seven-time MENCS champion, Jimmie Johnson, marched his way up through the field after starting 17th in his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy SS. However, with 56 laps remaining, the 82-time Cup Series winner made contact with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Johnson’s team had to make extensive repairs to his race car, but with tenacity and persistence, Johnson was able to rally for an 11th-place finish at RIR. Earnhardt Jr. finished 30th in the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS.
Kyle Larson finished 14th at RIR in the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet SS, but continues to lead the standings by 40 markers after the first nine races.
Joey Logano (Ford) was the race winner. Brad Keselowski (Ford) finished second, Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was third, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Ford) was fourth and Kevin Harvick (Ford) rounded out the top five finishers.
Next weekend the series heads to the tricky, treacherous and unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500 on Sunday March 7.
RACE NOTES & QUOTES:
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 GEARWRENCH CHEVROLET SS – Finished 6th
YOU HAD A STRONG TOP-5 CAR ALL DAY
“Yep, I had a really consistent car all day. I didn’t have any problems. It was really a normal race. The cautions at the end helped us on one, and hurt us on one. But overall it was a really good day. I’m super happy for GearWrench. This was their debut in NASCAR and it was awesome to let those people in the suite have a super good day and see all that, so I’m really excited about of performance all year long.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 OKUMA CHEVROLET SS – Finished 7th
“It was a good day for this No. 31 team today. We got to lead laps and contend for the race win, so that’s all I can really ask for. I’m just proud of how we were able to improve on our Okuma Chevrolet all weekend long. Our car really raced well during the long green flag run; and if the race would have stayed green for the final 50 laps, I think we would have had something for them.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – Finished 11th
ON WHAT HAPPENED WITH DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:
“I just have to try to figure out if I just didn’t hear it being told to me or if it wasn’t told to me. I just feel terrible, obviously. Man, I’m surprised our cars even kept rolling after that because I just body slammed him into the wall and I could have easily not heard the clear or something else happened. I don’t know, but that’s the last thing you want to have happen with a teammate.
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 KINGSFORD CHEVROLET SS – Finished 17th:“We made some good steps throughout the race. We took a big chance there at the end, we had some good strategy and we got us a couple of positions out of it. We just fought tight in the center all day and just kind of a characteristic of this race track it is just part of it. We will keep working on it and not a bad day overall.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA BRAKES CHEVROLET – Finished 24th
“We just never really hit on anything and I thought we were going to salvage a decent day there by just luck and then kind of the way everything worked forward and just got in trouble there at the end and it hurt too much.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – Finished 26th
“I’m so proud of this GEICO Chevy team. We really had a fast race car today. There’s no question. I hate it that we ended up damaged there at the end. I’m not sure how I could’ve avoided what happened there but the GEICO Chevy was really fast and we were able to gain some stage points today. Next week is the GEICO 500 at Talladega and I’m sure we are all looking forward to getting there.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – Finished 30th
WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND JIMMIE JOHNSON?
“He said he didn’t see us. He had pitted and got tires and we were out there running around the top and weren’t ready to pit yet. He said he didn’t get any notice that he had a car outside. He was coming to pass me. I was running the top right against the fence and really wasn’t watching the mirror, so I didn’t know he was there or anybody was coming. TJ (Majors, spotter) was giving me pretty good warning about guys getting on my inside, but otherwise when you are running the top you don’t have to worry about it everybody kind of takes care of you, but Jimmie (Johnson) didn’t know we were there. Came off the corner and didn’t know the car was there. It was an explosion, but the car held up pretty well. It knocked the sway bar arm off of it, so we ran the last bit of the race without a sway bar hooked up. It wasn’t a great day. We did make a lot of adjustments and that last run I was pretty happy. Obviously, we were trying a pretty wild strategy staying out. I was pretty comfortable it was going to work because our lap times were pretty decent and everybody else was coming to us that had pitted. So, it wasn’t going to be too bad. Just terrible luck. I don’t know what to do. But, we were probably going to finish anywhere around 10th to 15th today, not all that awesome, but (sigh) we just had such terrible luck.”
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