NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
MAY 5, 2013
On lap 125 of 188, the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway was red flagged due to rain. The following Team Chevy comments were captured during the delay:
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – CURRENTLY RUNNING IN THE 9TH POSITION
EVERYONE WAS TRYING TO TIME THEIR MOVES WHERE TO GO. YOU AND JIMMIE (JOHNSON)
WERE LINED UP THERE WHAT HAPPENED?
“Well, some guys built a run on the outside and got in line. A lot of people committed up there and just went around us. I didn’t think the outside line was going to be able to do that, but enough people got up there. They got some good cars going. I don’t know that was our first little bit of experience up in the front. I was trying to understand what the draft was doing and how it works. We have been trying to come back from a little trouble earlier today. Things are looking pretty good. We are going to get this thing restarted and get a shot at it.”
LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT TROUBLE EARLY ON. YOU HAD A LEFT-REAR FLAT TIRE AND TORE UP SOME SHEET METAL THERE:
“Yeah, I was going around the outside of somebody and I don’t know if they got tight or whatever, but we got together. It just tore the quarter panel off; the tire didn’t actually go flat. The quarter panel rolled up on top of the tire and tore the tread off the tire, but the tire was still up. Goodyear builds a good one. I don’t know I just would not have room right there. When we hit, I thought we had a flat; it kind of turned me down and inside there. Luckily, we didn’t have any more trouble than that. Got it fixed up, the team did a good job sorting everything out and getting everything right.”
WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPENS SO EARLY DO YOU PUSH THE PANIC BUTTON?
“It’s a long race a lot of things can happen. I’ve seen a lot of guys get in trouble down there in turns one and two. So a lot of things can happen in this race. We still have a lot of racing left. We are going to get this thing restarted. Things are clearing up real good and we are going to get back on the race track and get a shot at trying to get back up to the front and try to win this thing.”
WHEN WE DO GET RESTARTED DO YOU HAVE A CAR THAT CAN WIN?
“We can win, sure. Everybody out there can win if you do the right things. We definitely got a great engine; the car has been good all week. The guys have been doing a great job.”
WHAT CAUSED THE DAMAGE ON THE LEFT-REAR OF THE CAR?
“I was just going around the outside with some guys and they just come up in the lane I was in as we were going by; and I don’t know whether they got tight or something on the inside of me, but they just hit the tire when we was coming by on the outside and knocked the air out of it or bent the quarter panel, really. The quarter panel rolled over and tore the tread off the tire. The tire was still low. But, we got it fixed. And we sat there and waited until we could get our Lucky Dog opportunity and that came when we had the big accident in (Turns) 1 and 2 and then we had a great strategy to get us out off pit road up in the top five. And things have been going better since.”
FROM A HANDLING PERSPECTIVE, HOW WAS THE CAR RUNNING AFTER YOUR CREW MADE ALL THOSE REPAIRS?
“Well, I think the car runs fine. I can’t really tell what affect the damage has on it because I didn’t really get a good idea how the car was prior to that. We’ve been trained pretty easily. We can’t really get as aggressive as we would like to with the car. But I don’t know if that’s just the way the package is working with the traffic with the draft. When we get trained on the outside by some guys, I see it happen to a lot of cars. So I don’t think it’s anything just particular to our car. It’s been interesting to see how the draft works and what you need to do to get up front. We’re still hoping to have the opportunity to get out there and see what we can do with that.”
IN GENERAL TERMS, HOW IS THE RACING HERE AT TALLADEGA? AND IS THAT WHAT YOU EXPECTED OR ARE THERE SOME THINGS THAT YOU’VE SEE HERE TODAY THAT ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU EXPECTED?
“The package and the drafting is different than anything I’ve ever been around. The side-draft on these cars is just incredible. It’s something I wish wasn’t quite as strong because we can really run up beside each other and just really stop each car. And it really causes a delay in action I guess is the best way to describe it. There is still a lot to learn and still a lot of racing left. I think we saw what kind of racing we can expect if we can get this thing restarted to the finish.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – CURRENTLY RUNNING IN THE 10TH POSITION
WHO ARE YOU GOING TO WORK WITH WHEN WE GO BACK TO GREEN?
“Not sure, I really don’t know how it’s going to unfold. I didn’t expect, I think I heard (Clint) Bowyer talking about when the rain was going to come. I just didn’t expect for it to get crazy when it did, then it didn’t rain, then it got crazy again and it rained. Our Haas Automation Chevrolet in the end is actually pretty good. I don’t know if there is actually a pairing of driver’s or any kind of group run the outside or the inside. I think it is more just a crap shoot right now. I got a run on the outside, went to the inside, got the lead coming off of (turn) four. I was third off of (turn) four and leader at the line, so anything can happen. It’s just a matter of how cars line up. In the end everybody is out for themselves, but they are trying to go fast so they are trying to push. Whoever gets the best run I think is going to have that run.”
YOU BLASTED TO THE LEAD AT LAP 56 AND THEN YOU LED TWO LAPS THEN DROPPED BACK. DOES YOU CAR SEEM TO WORK BETTER AT ONE AREA OF THE RACE TRACK?
“I’m happy that we are 10th right now. We have been keeping ourselves in contention. When I got the lead I wanted to get the lead. I wanted to learn a little bit for the later part of the race, which I didn’t know if it was going to be now or 60 laps from now. Either way, I have been playing it safe and being conservative. I think that has proven to be smart for the last three races for me.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – CURRENTLY RUNNING IN THE 13TH POSITION
IF WE RESTART YOU ARE 13TH. IF WE ARE DONE YOU ARE 13TH EITHER WAY. CAN YOU GET THAT NO. 78 CHEVY UP TO THE FRONT IF WE GET GOING?
“Yeah, the draft has been an interesting game today. However many cars are in one lane, the quantity of cars seems to edge out the guys that don’t have the amount of cars in their lane. So, like when our group is up front running, we were running the low lane, then those guys got on the outside there. They came up charging. A lot of cars jumped on that top side. I think we are in the mix. The guys have been doing a great job on pit road, nice and smooth. It’s interesting with the weather. When they say ‘alright rain is coming’ you should just see the intensity pick up and how the game changes out on the track.”
TONY GIBSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS – CURRENTLY RUNNING IN THE 14TH POSITION
HOW DID DANICA PATRICK AVOID THAT BIG CRASH ON LAP 42?
“We were watching and we were like, holy cow! The next thing you know is she came on the radio and she just aimed for the empty hole. I don’t know how she missed the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) there at the end. The No. 18 came back down across and she said she got loose when she got on the first apron; then when she got on the flat, she got real loose. How sh
e survived, I have no idea. But I’ll take it because usually we’re right in the middle of those things. The GoDaddy.com Chevy did good and our spotter did an awesome job. We’ve got a fast car today. We’ve just got to get up there and show it.”
REGAN SMITH, NO. 51 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET SS – CURRENTLY RUNNING IN THE 25TH POSITION
YOU HAD TO PIT UNDER THAT CAUTION PERIOD. IT LOOKED LIKE YOU MIGHT HAVE HAD A HEATING PROBLEM:
“Yeah, we picked up some debris on the previous run and pushed most of the water out of the car. Fortunately for us the Hendrick motors are great and durable and held up when it didn’t have much water in it. This was a good break for us. We got to get in here, get the thing cooled back down and now we can go out and see if we can get the Hendrickcars.com Chevy back towards the front again.”