Chevy Racing–Richmond–Team Press Conference

APRIL 26, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (APRIL 26, 2013)  – Behind the wheel of his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, Jeff Gordon posted a quick lap time of 20.729 to qualify third for tomorrow’s Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. This marks his 31st top-10 start of the 2013 season, and his sixth in 15 races on the three-quarter mile D-shaped oval.
Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne qualified his No. 5 Quaker State Chevy SS, fourth quickest, and will start on the outside next to Gordon in the second row. Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the No. 42 Depend Chevrolet SS qualified sixth; giving Team Chevy three of the top six starting spots.
Jamie McMurray will roll off the line from the 13th position in his No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, Kurt Busch, No. 78 Furniture Row Chevy SS was 14th, Ryan Newman, No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS qualified 15th, and Jeff Burton, No. 31 Airgas/Bulwark Chevy SS posted the 16th fastest qualifying time.
A total of 17 Chevrolet SS drivers will take the green flag for the eighth race of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Matt Kenseth (Toyota) was the pole winner, Brian Vickers (Toyota) – second, and Clint Bowyer (Toyota) – third to round out the top-five qualifiers.
Live coverage of the Toyota Owners 400 will be provided by FOX TV, MRN Radio and Sirius XM Channel 90 and coverage will begin at 7:30 pm ET.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS, QUALIFIED 3RD:  ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT: “It was a really solid day for us. We went through so much the last time we were here. I think we learned a lot through that experience. We’ve qualified well here the last several times; have come close to being on the pole, also losing by a one-hundredth I think. We ran a great lap in practice there to close out practice. I was a little nervous at that time. I was like ‘this is too early to be that fast, and have that good of a car’.  Then it is just a guessing game. How are you drive it. How to make adjustments to the car; what the guys are going to do that. All-in-all, I am very pleased to be within one-hundredths, two hundredths and be third. Great place to start this race. Good pit stall selection. I feel like our car is going to be good in the race as well.”
IS THERE A FEELING AMONG YOU DRIVERS THAT IT IS KIND OF YOU AGAINST NASCAR? AFTER THE WEEK THAT MATT (KENSETH) HAS BEEN THROUGH, IS THERE KIND OF A “YEAH MATT” FEELING IN THE GARAGE? “I was kind of thinking of my weekend last week in Kansas, and I was thinking how I deserved to get the pole after starting 43rd last week. But, I guess after his week, maybe he deserved it a little bit more. (LAUGHS)  You know, I don’t think so. I think that you go through the ups and downs of this sport if you’ve been in it long enough. Sometimes mistakes are going to be made, or things are going to happen. I’ve been on both sides. We had manifold issues here one time where it was made out of the wrong material, and it was a GM part that was sent to us. It was a mistake, but ultimately the team takes that responsibility and pays the price. You feel for everybody on the team. You feel for everybody on the team. You feel for others when that happens. But, it is just kind of the way it works.”
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR HIS (MATT KENSETH) TEAM CAN BE MORE MOTIVATED BECAUSE OF THIS, AND HAVE BETTER PERFORMANCE? “If being angry, and wanting to have revenge makes you better, then yes. That’s kind of maybe going back to your question as well is that when things like this happen, and you don’t feel like it’s unjust that you kind of take it upon yourself as a team to just push a little harder; just do a little bit more. Sometimes you don’t know that you have that in you, but it is amazing how in that moment you can find a little bit more. I think we’ve seen it in Brad as well with the No. 2 team and that fight. Sometimes it tears you apart, or tears you down. And, sometimes it lifts you up and makes your stronger, and makes you fight harder. The thing is that Matt and his team, they are a rock solid team. They have been showing it this whole year, and continue to. To me, whatever happened this past weekend is not going to affect how those guys perform going forward.”
DOES THE MANUFACTURER HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO THE TEAMS TO DO THE BEST THEY CAN TO COVER THE FINANCIAL END OF WHAT NASCAR HANDS DOWN AGAINST THAT TEAM?  “There is an argument for that. Again, the team is ultimately responsible because they are the one that signs off on everything and take that car. So, if there is a part or piece, doesn’t matter who delivered it to them, where it was manufactured, it is still their responsibility to put it on the car, and make sure that it passes inspection. But as an insider on the team, you are pretty upset when you feel like ‘ok, this is not a part or piece that we need to go through and check the medal…’.  We weigh every rod I know when we get them. Know there’s not a single…and we actually have them heavy. Ours are too the heavy side just to be safe. That’s just what I’m hearing that we do. So, you just assume that is what ever team does. I don’t know if that is the case in this scenario.”