NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
QUAKER STATE 400
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
JUNE 28, 2014
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 3RD
THIS IS YOUR BEST RUN OF THE YEAR. KNOW YOU WANTED TO WIN THIS THING, BUT DOES 3RD PLACE PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE AT THE END OF THE NIGHT?
“It’s a big gain for us and our Caterpillar Chevrolet. All the guys at RCR and ECR got us that first top five of the season. I’ve got to thank everybody from Caterpillar and Quicken Loans for the opportunity they’ve given us this year. It was a good run. The No. 2 (Brad Keselowski, race winner) was obviously the fastest car all night. The No. 18 (Kyle Busch) got a little bit better there at the end. We were pretty solid. We never really changed the car. It felt like we were pretty neutral and didn’t want to screw it up. So, we ended up where we did.”
IS THIS SOMETHING THAT YOU THINK YOU CAN REPLICATE AT FUTURE 1.5-MILE TRACKS?
“Well, we sure don’t come back here (laughs). So I hope it translates. And I think it will. I think we’ve got some stuff coming. Pocono and Indy are a couple of races that I really look forward to.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 5TH
YOU WORKED YOUR WAY TO GET YOUR THIRD TOP-5 IN THE LAST 1.5-MILE TRACKS. THAT’S PRETTY IMPRESSIVE
“Yeah, I didn’t have any answers for why we were struggling yesterday. Steve (Letarte, crew chief) and the engineers got in the hauler and talked all night long, and all day today and put a great car underneath us. And the pit crew did an amazing job tonight. Those guys were gaining spots for me every stop. Even when we were taking four tires, we were beating a lot of guys off pit road. They’re just a great group and deserve a lot of credit, too. The National Guard Chevy was way better today; a lot more fun to drive. This place is a bit of a handful for me. I don’t think I’ve got it figured out just yet. And I don’t exactly know what I’m looking for and how I need the car to drive. So Steve and the guys did a good job in having to deal with me and trying to put a good car under me this weekend. It was a lot of fun in the race. The strategy was good on pit road. Steve’s fuel strategy gained us a lot of track position.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 8TH
ON HIS NIGHT:
“We battled hard. I had to fight we had some damage when the No. 1 (Jamie McMurray) stopped when another car was spinning. I couldn’t get stopped I hit him, the No. 43 (Aric Almirola) hit him, just too many cars in one spot on the road. We had a bad pit stop at the end that put us 18th and got back to eighth so I was really happy with the speed of our Great Clips Chevy just too many errors if you want to run up front.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 10TH
WAS THE PENSKE DOMINATION TONIGHT DEMORALIZING AT ALL? OR WERE YOU ABLE TO RUN YOUR RACE DESPITE WHAT THEY WERE DOING?
“We had issues that started on Friday. We didn’t qualify well that had us in a terrible spot with track position. I would work my way to the front and get in the top 10, top five and then come down pit road and because of our poor qualifying position we just didn’t have a good pit stall. I was between the No. 10 (Danica Patrick) and the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and they were both fast all night long. I would lose five or six spots on pit road each time. According to lap times what I heard in my ear I think we were a competitive car and we could have been up there and maybe had a look at those guys in some clean air. But we just messed up on Friday and got behind the eight ball.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 RUSH TRUCK CENTERS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 11TH
STARTED BACK IN THE BACK BUT BATTLED FOR A GOOD FINISH:
“Yeah I mean I would have liked to have been a little better than what we were there at the end, but I think we definitely had to fight our way up there through the day. We never did anything trick to get track position. We pitted every time the pits were open. We didn’t do any less than anybody else did on any stop. All in all I thought we had a pretty honest day there can’t complain about that.”
WAS IT ANY HARDER TO GET THROUGH TRAFFIC HERE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE?
“No, the race track was wide enough and guys were moving around enough that if your car was working you could get through there. It’s just we just weren’t working good enough. I was kind of stuck in one or two spots on the track and not in a wide enough spot to really do anything.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS ARE MAKING PROGRESS?
“Yeah, I think so across the board. Kurt (Busch) and I talked about our cars right after the race and we both were fighting the same thing with our cars. I think the No. 10 (Danica Patrick) and the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) were fighting a different set of problems. I think as an organization as a whole we were pretty good. Danica (Patrick) was pretty good all night just got kind of off on the tire sequence there and I think that bit them. I think all four of the cars were pretty good.”
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 19TH
“We had a lack of grip and no rhythm tonight. We fought for every inch to finish 19th. At the beginning of the race we didn’t have any rear grip. Once that got better we started to have trouble with our front-end grip. Leaving our pit stall was also a problem tonight. We took a good hit from behind on one pit stop that caused damage to our Chevrolet and later in the race we were blocked in after taking two tires and hoping to gain on track position. We obviously wanted a better finish for World Vision but hopefully we’ll get another opportunity with them down the road.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – EXPERIENCED A TIRE ISSUE ON LAP 77 WHICH RESULTED IN CONTACT WITH THE OUTSIDE WALL
ARE YOU OKAY?
‘Yeah, I’m okay. Blew a right front (tire). This is the first time that’s ever happened to me in stock car racing. So, big hits. But is sucks. We were hoping for a good points day to pad our points were we are before we go to Daytona where it’s a real crapshoot. It’s disappointing to have two weekends that didn’t end up very well the last couple of races. Oh, well. That’s how it goes. We’ll try and go to Daytona and rebound and gain some more points.”
DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA THAT WAS COMING?
“No, not really. I saw Denny (Hamlin) blew his right front and I’d been pretty tight. But I didn’t think we had any tire issues all weekend, so I was kind of shocked when he blew his right front. And then we were pretty tight on our run. I felt like I was using up my right sides; and run up in the grey a lot trying to get the top working. I told myself to get back down just in case there would be tire problems and I guess I just used up my tires too much.”
IT APPEARED THE SAME THING THAT HAPPENED WITH DENNY HAMLIN EARLIER HAPPENED TO YOU IS THAT ACCURATE?
“Yeah the same thing that happened to Denny (Hamlin) I think. It looked like he blew a right-front (tire) and so did I. I heard a big ‘pop’ and then it just went straight. It sucks it happened, but I didn’t know we had any tire issues at all throughout the weekend. I don’t know if the rain had an effect and washed the rubber off the track or what. It sucks it happened but we will go to Daytona next week and try to get the Target Chevy into Victory Lane.”
ANY INDICATION IT WAS GOING DOWN?
“No I didn’t have any warning just was a little bit tight the whole race so far. I didn’t really feel like I was abusing my right-front tire that bad, but apparently I was. It just went.”
IT SEEMS REALLY ODD THAT YOU WOULD HAVE TWO ISSUES SO CLOSE TOGETHER ALMOST WITH THE SAME AMOUNT OF LAPS ON THE TIRES:
“Yeah, I was surprised to see Denny (Hamlin) blow a right-front because I didn’t think that many teams had tire issues at all. I hadn’t heard anything. Then it happened to us. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen to anybody else out there tonight because those hits definitely hurt. Oh well, we will go to Daytona and try and do better.”