NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
SAVE MART 350
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
JUNE 23, 2013
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SECOND
ON LAP 24, WHEN YOU PITTED TOO SOON AND YOU RESTARTED 37TH, WERE YOU THINKING THERE WAS ANY WAY YOU COULD COME BACK AND FINISH SECOND TODAY?
“This is one of those crazy types of races where pit strategy goes all over the place and you never know what might happen. We were on a three-stop strategy and that’s why we wanted to come in when we did. I hate it for (crew chief) Alan (Gustafson) because that’s the call the crew chief makes and I’m right there. And I couldn’t turn away. At the time I was thinking gosh, I don’t know who has the worst (luck) right now, me or him? The way things have been going on the track for me haven’t been great and the way things have been going with the calls haven’t been going his way either. But, wow, we finally had a race car that was fantastic with this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. And the pit crew and Alan the rest of the day were just spot-on. Great adjustments. We had a lot of fun out there. I knew that we could probably never get to that No. 56 (race winner, Martin Truex, Jr.), but boy, we were sure having fun coming up through there. I do want to say one thing about Drive to End Hunger. Go to Drivetoendhunger.org. We’ve got a really cool program where your name could be on our car and ride around the race with me on the hood for the race in Chicago later this year.
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SEALY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FOURTH
YOU HAD NOT ONE, BUT TWO PIT ROAD SPEEDING ISSUES. YOU MADE AN IMPRESSIVE RECOVERY:
“Yeah, we were fast, even on pit road (laughs), twice. I messed-up, flat-out. I didn’t hit my tachometer right and I was speeding both times. It was one of those where I’m like how does that happen? I just put myself in a position that was poor trying to get too much on pit road. But man, this Furniture Row Chevy was fast. Congrats to Truex. When we were running a lap down with him, I was trying to pace myself. I wanted to get back on the lead lap. We did get back on the lead lap when he pitted, but we had to battle hard. We came back up through there. You’ve got to rub guys and move guys and we gave guys room and just made one mistake. I think we could have gotten all the way up to second, but we never would have caught Truex. I just have to thank the Furniture Row guys. We have Simmons, Serta, and Sealy as our mattress sponsors. But I got busted speeding on pit road. My bad.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SIXTH
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY AND ALL THAT PIT STRATEGY GOING ON:
“We had a good day. We came a long ways from Friday. The guys, Kenny (Francis, crew chief), Keith (Rodden, engineer) did a really nice job. That was one of the better cars I’ve had here late in the race. I was really happy with it. I don’t know we played the right strategy I thought. Maybe we could have stayed out with Martin (Truex) and ran second to him. Martin was the class of the field for sure. I think what we did and got back to sixth was probably better. Because of what we did last year it really bit us. That was our plan. We need the points. We have been struggling to get points. We have been pretty good, but we have been struggling to get points. The Farmers Insurance guys did that today.”
WHAT WAS THE TOUGHEST THING OUT THERE ALL DAY TODAY?
“Grip – just forward drive off the corner. I felt pretty good everywhere expect driving forward. It was real easy to spin the tires. It was for everybody. I felt like my car was probably better than most, but it was a long race. I think we got a little better as it went.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 12TH
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY:
“It was pretty good. We really didn’t have a lot of great speed. We just had good strategy on pit road. Just come home with a decent finish. We will take it. This is definitely my worst race track, my least favorite track. We will take whatever, we will take a top-15 here any week.”
WHAT WAS THE TOUGHEST THING OUT THERE?
“Well just trying to get the car to turn in turns seven and 11. I just couldn’t turn. At the end of the race you couldn’t get turned through there. Just really hard all day long. This tire is not very good. The track is a good track. I think they just need to get a little bit better tire. I don’t know, it’s hard to say. These things are a handful around here. It really brings out the worst in guys like me. We feel good about running 12th.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 34TH – SCORED AS THE FINAL CAR ON THE LEAD LAP AFTER FUNNING OUT OF FUEL ON THE LAST LAP.
YOU REALLY LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD THE FASTEST CAR A LOT OF TIMES TODAY, BUT EVERYTHING REALLY FELL APART IN THE END
“Our Target Chevy was really good today. The guys did an amazing job; it’s just heartbreak. It’s heartbreak for me and everybody on the Target team. You’ve got to defend them in the way that when they do the fuel calculations based on the other runs; and the other runs, when you’re stuck in traffic, you can’t run that hard. Then you get in clean air and they’re asking me to run as hard as I can, and I’m doing that, you’re going to use a little more fuel. It should have been a little smarter. With five (laps) to go you start saving a little bit, just in case. We’ve got tools to prevent things like that from happening.”