NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
ORAL-B USA 500
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
AUGUST 31, 2014
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – RACE WINNER
YOU DID IT, BUT IT TOOK A LOT TO GET HERE:
“Yeah, man, it took a lot. We were all over the place during the race but the guys stayed with me and worked hard. On those restart – I didn’t know what would happen because I had great restarts all night and I struggle with restarts a lot. That’s big, because that is one of the things you have to be good at and it worked really well tonight. Really happy and thankful for Farmers Insurance, Chevrolet, Great Clips, Time Warner Cable, Pepsi Max, Sprint, all the fans, and Von Zipper. It’s been tough and we have had kind of a downer year at times and then we started running really good. Last week we were really fast at Bristol and then we had a problem. So it’s been kind of one thing after the other but we are in the Chase with my teammates. I have a great group of teammates, it’s awesome to work with those guys and to be part of Hendrick Motorsports and everything that Mr. H gives us. Glad we are in the Chase and we can race them now.”
DO YOU THINK THE RACING CONDITIONS OF THE TRACK CAME TO YOU?
“Not really, I think it was our adjustments. We started really bad, really loose and then we got the car where it was driving great and I think we got up to fifth or sixth. Then we adjusted our way out of it, and then got it back at the end. So it was all adjustments, what we did, and the communication. Then at the end Kenny made a great call with fuel and how we played that game because it had a big part in what our splitter was doing. So it was a team effort and the guys did great tonight and I am pretty pumped to be here.”
AFTER THE DISAPPOINTMENT AT INDY A FEW WEEKS AGO, WHAT IS YOUR EMOTION NOW THAT YOU ARE LOCKED IN THE CHASE?
“Yeah, we are locked in and I hate it comes down to this – Atlanta or Richmond – just about every year for me. Sometimes we are in, sometimes we are out. But thankful that now at HMS I have been in all three years now. We have the pressure all the way to Richmond, but we made it again, thankful for that. Thankful for Mr. H, Kenny Francis, Chris Spaulding, the guys did a nice job. Friday we started terrible, came back Saturday and ran really good, and then raced pretty well tonight at times. Glad we got those restarts because those were tough and that is where it paid off for sure.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 4TH
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NIGHT:
“It was a decent car. We weren’t the fastest, but as attrition kind of wore on through the evening we found ourselves there in position and a shot at it. That last pit stop didn’t go as planned, but other than that we still had a very strong night and got this KOBALT Chevrolet a decent finish here in Atlanta.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 6TH
*CAREER BEST FINISH
IT WAS A LONG NIGHT AND YOU HAD A LOT HAPPENING BUT YOU ENDED UP GOOD:
“It was a long night. Man, that race felt like it was 700 miles. Sometimes when you are running well they feel like that because you are hoping it stays there, keeps going well, and you keep improving and don’t lose it. There were definitely a couple of times late in the race when we fell back. In the middle of the race the car was very good. We took a little step back, and then it came back in the end. Tony Gibson just reset everything to where we were when we were running well. Obviously the pit stop at the end that was 11 seconds was so good. There were a couple of rough ones in the beginning but that one made up for it because it put us seventh on that restart and we had a good line on the inside and didn’t get caught up on the outside. I am just so happy for the team. We have had pretty fast cars for quite a while now and not really great finishes for it. So this is for everybody and GoDaddy. I have sucked at Richmond every time so I sure hope I can run well at Richmond now.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 8TH
ON HIS NIGHT:
“Yeah, it was a tough race. The first corner or so I felt pretty good. For whatever reason, we got pretty tight in the center and I couldn’t roll the bottom like I wanted to. Really couldn’t go anywhere. I lost a ton of track position. And we got the car better. Couple times we got caught on pit road when the caution fell, so we had to do the wave around and restart behind all the lap down cars. That kind of worked out to where at the end where we are the green‑white‑checkered and the Target Chevy felt pretty good through the green‑white‑checkered. Just had to start pretty far back. But Top‑10 is not bad, but it doesn’t really matter anymore because Kasey (Kahne) won. So happy for Kasey, but that pretty much ends our Chase hopes, unless we win.”
ON TONY STEWART’S FIRST WEEKEND BACK AT THE TRACK:
“I thought he was pretty strong all weekend. It was cool to see Tony on the track. He was really fast and then I think he had some tire issues or something there at the mid-point of the race. But, yeah it was nice having Tony back out here. He’s a tough competitor and really fun to race with.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 19TH
TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE RACE:
“We all probably could have given each other more room. I knew the No. 27 (Paul Menard) was going to get a bad restart and I tried to time it to where I could get on the outside of him. I got on the outside of him and he just kept coming up and I wasn’t going to let off the gas; I knew the No. 22 (Joey Logano) was up there. The No. 27 kept coming up and just came up until we all wrecked.”
WAS THAT JUST RACING?
“I don’t know. It’s just everybody going as hard as they can at the end.”
WHAT’S THE EMOTION BETWEEN HAVING THE BEST RACE CAR EVERY WEEKEND AND ENDED UP LIKE THIS?
“We’ll you just have to ride through it and do the best that you can. You can’t control all the circumstances like tonight. It’s just unfortunate for everybody on our Jimmy John’s Chevy that everything went the way that it did, but what do you do?”
HOW CLOSE WERE YOU TO HITTING THE CAT OR THE SQUIRREL OR WHATEVER IT WAS THAT RAN ACROSS THE TRACK IN FRONT OF YOU?
“That was a cat. The cat ran across the backstretch. That would have been a big mess.”
YOU HAVE BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE OF TONY STEWART. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE HIM BACK AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO HIM AND THE COMPANY?
“Oh, we’re just glad to have him back and just looking forward to having some normal things happen in his life.”
A DOMINATING RUN TONIGHT, WHERE DID IT GO WRONG AT THE END?
“Obviously the 27 and 20 only had two tires and you knew they were going to get a bad restart and I got on the outside of the 27 as soon as I could and the 22 was on the outside of me and the 27 just kept coming up until we all wrecked. Nobody was letting out of the gas at that point and it’s just kind of the nature of the beast I guess. I hate it for all of our Jimmy Johns guys but we have some things we need to work on anyway.”
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO WORK ON TO BE A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM?
“Our cars are really fast and doing all the things we need to do but we lost control every time we came to pit road tonight. So I thought we had that better but we got just absolutely murdered on pit road every time we came down by the 11 and the 20. Those guys are obviously doing a good job and we have known that all year and need to fix it.”
ON HIS NIGHT:
“Obviously, the 27 and 20 just took two tires and we knew they were going to get a bad restart. I got on outside of the 27 as soon as I could. I tried to time it to where I could get on the outside of him but he kept coming up and, I think, the 22 was still on our outside and it just got crazy there and we all wrecked. I think we all could have given each other more room but we just wrecked. It’s just everybody going as hard as they could at the end. You can’t control all the circumstances out there like tonight. It’s just unfortunate for everyone on our Jimmy John’s Chevy that everything went the way that it did but, what do you do? Everyone was on the gas at that point and that’s kind of the nature of the beast, I guess. I hate it for all of our Jimmy John’s guys but we’ve got some things we need to work on. Our cars are ‘Freaky Fast’ and we’re doing all the things we need to do to keep it that way. We had a hard time getting off pit road tonight ahead of the 11 and the 20. Those guys have been really good all year and that’s one area we just need to fix some things.”
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/WORLD VISION CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 23RD
“We had handling issues all night — couldn’t drive off the corners. But we hung in there, fighting for every possible position until Kyle (Busch), for whatever reason, ran into the back of me, causing pretty good damage to our car. I passed him clean earlier and then he comes back and hits me from behind. It was totally uncalled for and hard to figure out why he did what he did. We were in the top-15 when that happened and had a chance of picking off a few more positions.”
CHAD JOHNSTON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined with a tire failure on lap 173
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE THIS WEEK HAVING TONY BACK IN THE CAR?
“It’s been real good and we got off to a good start. The car has had speed all weekend long and we qualified well. I went into today with some pretty high hopes of finishing well and possibly coming out of here with a win but it just didn’t work out in our favor. We got into a little trouble with the 18 and got into the outside wall, knocked the toe out of it, and a lot of heavy right side damage. We were just trying to fix that and salvage what we could out of the day but then we blew a right front there right before that caution came out. So it’s really good to have him back and we are happy to have Johnny Morris here and Rusty Rush and the guys from Code 3 to be here to support him here on kind of his homecoming back. Wish we could have had a better effort and better finish for them but we will move on to Richmond and see if we can’t get it done there.”
YOU STARTED OUT WITH A GREAT RACE CAR AND RAN INTO SOME PROBLEM TELL US ABOUT YOUR NIGHT:
“The Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet was pretty fast today. We made some pretty good progress there at the start, starting 12th. Drove up into the top five and thought we had a pretty good chance. We were just kind of biding our time and taking care of our stuff and got into an incident there off of (turn) two and knocked the tow out of it and had some pretty heavy right side damage. We ended up blowing a right-front (tire) because of it. Not the end of the day that we wanted. We thought we had a shot at winning and with two races to go to get into the Chase this was one of the two chances obviously left to get it done and to get into the Chase. We will just have to lick our wounds and go onto Richmond and see if we can’t do it there and if so it will be pretty exciting.”