Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Chicago–Post Race

SEPTEMBER 14, 2014

HOW MUCH FUN WAS THAT BATTLE WITH KYLE LARSON? “Oh my gosh. I was having a pretty good time watching him and Kevin (Harvick) go at it in front of me. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I thought for sure there was going to be a wreck. But that’s just two guys that are wheeling it. I’m really proud of Kyle Larson. Man, what a great effort; such a young talent. I really wanted to see him win that race because I like him, but I didn’t want to see those other guys win it either. But we had a couple restarts and this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet was really solid. The whole team effort was extremely solid. And that’s a great way to get started, especially with restarts like that to come out second. Brad (Keselowski) is really strong and Joey (Logano) is really strong in those short runs, and we had them beat I think, prior to that. Kevin (Harvick), well, maybe (Kyle) Larson, too, had us all beat prior to that. But still we were a top three or four all day long so to come in second, I couldn’t be more proud of this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet team. And I want to say thank you to every name that’s on this hood that’s helping us to end hunger.”

“He was just giving me some advice there. He was pretty proud of me. I’m sure there are some things I could have done differently on that restart, like he was telling me; and I’ll definitely know for next time. Man, I was so close. I didn’t need that caution there. I was just cruising out front and then we got that yellow and I had to battle (Kevin) Harvick really hard then. That allowed Brad (Keselowski) to get by both of us. It really ended our shot at a win there. We had one more shot there at the last restart, but just didn’t have enough for Brad. He was really good around the bottom. He was about the only car that I thought could get around the bottom all race long. I had a lot of fun gripping the wall. I ran inches off of it the whole race and finally got into it there battling Jeff (Gordon). I had a really good Target Chevy. Man, for a back-up car, that was amazing. It really shows how tough our team is and how hard they work at the shop preparing primary cars and back-up cars. I just hate it that we came up short. But I’m happy about the speed we had in our car and once again, thanks to everyone back at the shop. Thanks to Target and all their partners and to Chip (Ganassi) and Felix (Sabates) and Jamie (McMurray) who has been a lot of help to me this week. It’s just been a great team effort all week.”

“Well, the No. 42 (Kyle Larson) was better than us. He passed us the run before and was able to get track position and restart on the bottom. On the restarts, for whatever reason, I was tight those last several restarts up on exit, so I had to kind of go into defensive mode. Obviously Kyle wants to win a race and that’s how you’re supposed to race and everybody was going after it pretty hard. It was a fun day. I’m proud of all my guys on my Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for the job that they did and it’s a solid start to the Chase.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 8TH: “I made a mistake early on trying to get on pit road trying to get all I could. It was as if I was going to pass 15 cars and go to the lead all at once. Spun her around, bad mistake on my part. Spent two-thirds of that race digging out of that hole. Spent the last one-third racing hard. I felt like we were in the our Haas Automation Chevrolet with the front runners. Got up as high as fifth or sixth. On the final restart fell back to eighth. Every spot is so crucial. You can see how everybody is racing. Had a great time out there racing hard carrying the weight of the team after I made my mistake. “

DALE EARNHARDT, JR, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 11TH: ON HIS RACE: “This has been a tough weekend. We weren’t very good in practice. I was really, really concerned. We had a real bad P3 (third practice). Steve (Letarte, crew chief) and those guys, man, they just worked real hard all night long, and stayed up on the computer and looked over the notes, and we had a real good car today. It was a top-five car. Restarting on the inside there in fifth or seventh, a little bit tough. Outside was where I kind of wanted to be on restarts. The guys behind us got tires, and we got beat by tires on a couple of cars there. If you would have told me that we could have finished 11th this morning, I would have happily taken it. But there in the middle of the race, kind of started getting greedy about positions because the car was better than that. We didn’t have a good car at all. It was one of the worst Fridays and Saturdays we’ve had all season. I feel like this team can run for 11th on its worst day. That will do it. That will get us through the next round until we get to some tracks that maybe we run a little bit better at, or tracks that suit us a little bit better.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR. NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/DENVER MATTRESS CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 14TH: “It felt good to get a little lucky. We were a 15th to 20th place car all day. We could never get track position. The first run of the race was really bad — it got us a lap down early. It took us forever to get back on the lead lap. The finish (14th) wasn’t what we wanted but we made something good out of it. The key for us today was picking up two laps late in the race. We stayed out as long as we could when other cars pitted under green. And when the caution came out shortly after we were the Lucky Dog. I can’t recall ever picking up two laps that quickly. Once we got back on the lead lap that gave us an opportunity to gain track position instead of being stuck in the low to mid 20s and two laps down. It’s been a tough year for us with bad breaks so today we got a break that went our way that got us to a decent finish. The Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet got better towards the end of the race. Making the car turn was a big problem for most of the race.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 19TH: “I heard my spotter (Brandon Benesch) say that the 14 (Tony Stewart) was below me on track and I didn’t know the 17 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) was there on the high side of the track. My spotter took the blame on that one. I just didn’t know Ricky was up there and I obviously don’t want to hit his car or anyone else with 10 laps to go. I talked with Ricky afterward and we’re fine. It’s just a tough deal. We finished 19th even with the damage so it was a decent run. We just had a tight car all day.”
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