MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
OCTOBER 15, 2017
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – Finished 2nd
ON THE RACE.
“I don’t know that it was a good kind of crazy, but that’s the problem we are in. Proud of the guys on this Caterpillar Chevrolet with RCR and ECR to do what we did. We tried to play it smart and in the end we were close, but not close enough. I got double-teamed with the No. 2 and the No. 22 (Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano). That was the difference.”
DESCRIBE THE LAST FEW LAPS OF THAT RACE:
“We held them off longer than I expected. I couldn’t tell how much nose damage I had and I hadn’t led all day, so I didn’t know what to expect. I saw the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski) car in the mirror backing up and then he lost his draft and then he backed up again and he caught the No. 22 (Joey Logano). That was all it took for him to get a good run. I would have maybe played it differently and backed it up in hindsight, backed up to them in hindsight, but I don’t think it would have made a difference. They were double-teaming me and you know it was still a good race to finish second with the Caterpillar Chevrolet.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET SS – Finished 7th
DESCRIBE THE RACING AND WHAT YOUR DAY WAS LIKE TODAY.
“Yeah, we got lucky. That was just luck being in the right place at the right time and not getting swept up in any of those wrecks. We had one there that knocked the splitter down really bad on the right-front and that is why we couldn’t do anything at the end. The car was just dragging the ground and wouldn’t go, wouldn’t take off, so it was a little wounded out there at the end. Still got a decent finish and came out of here in one piece.”
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THIS AS YOU START TO LOOK BACK ON THIS ONE.
“It’s been better than the last couple of trips here, the last couple of trips we had a lot of trouble in wrecks and hadn’t been able to come home with a decent finish. I would have loved to have won the race for all the fans that come out here. I know a lot of folks came to see this race just for the fact that it was my last plate race and trust me, I wanted to win it for all those folks more than myself, but just couldn’t get it done.”
IT LOOKED LIKE MAYBE YOU HAD A RUN THERE AT THE END. WE SAW THE DAMAGE ON THE RIGHT FRONT FROM THE LAST INCIDENT. DID THAT HURT YOU ON THAT FINAL RUN?
“Yeah, the splitter on the right front was about an inch and a half low. When I’d go in the corner, my splitter would just get tight and slow. I couldn’t really push anybody or get any runs going. And nobody wanted to push me because they could see I was struggling a little bit. So, nobody wanted to go with us. But we got lucky and missed a lot of wrecks there. Man, it’s real hard to get up there to keep that track position. It’s a real challenge. These plate races get harder and harder to win. Congratulations to Brad (Keselowski, race winner). His race car there, has got that cheers to Dale Jr. on it, and that’s pretty cool. It was nice of him to do. So, I was pulling for a lot of them out there if we couldn’t win it. There were a lot of friends out there. But man, it would have been nice. I thought was going to be okay. We got going on that restart and I went down into (Turn) 1 and it was hitting on that splitter and we could get shoved from behind and weren’t going anywhere. They were just flying by us. There was just nothing we could do.”
THIS WAS THE LAST PLATE RACE FOR YOU. WERE YOU SURPRISED YOU DIDN’T HAVE MORE HELP OUT THERE?
“Well, I thought we did when the car was fine. But they could see when it’s low-ended. When other cars have a momentum going by you, you go with that guy. We kind of stuck out like a sore thumb there at the end. But, there were a few times there where we could have used a little help and we didn’t have none. But, I’m not going to complain.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – Finished 11th
“We were able to avoid a lot of the crashes today at Talladega and the GEICO Chevrolet was really fast. We suffered a little bit of nose damage early, but it wasn’t anything that affected the car. I thought if we had a chance to work with another Chevrolet we would be able to get to the front, but I couldn’t get any help from behind. We ended up 11th. It was a good day for our team, but I know our car was better than 11th. It’s just tough and it’s disappointing we couldn’t get any help from behind to make a run at it at the end.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 FIRST DATA CHEVROLET SS – Finished 13th
ON THE LAST WRECK.
“I think the 24 got into the 19 and got him sideways and in to me. There are a lot of torn up cars, but we still finished 13th and maintained our points on the cutoff there. It would have been a worse day. But it also could have been better… could have won.
“I was glad we decided to race there in the second half. There was a lot of opportunities to get caught up in crashes. It was just crazy that a lot of the playoff guys, pretty much everybody except Brad (Keselowski) and Denny (Hamlin) got collected in wrecks. Pretty crazy day, but a typical Talladega.
“Just need to go to Kansas and have a solid race. A top-10 run will be all we need to do probably.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – Involved in a multi-car accident on Lap 173
“Really hard to tell what started it. I just saw the No. 38 turning down across the group and hooked me and sent me up into the wall. What we are trying to get to the bottom of is our spotter was informed to let us start working on the car and I guess there was some miscommunication there from NASCAR to our spotter and we may have lost some valuable points on pit road as a result. So, we’ve got to get to the bottom of that and find out what happened there.”
HOW ARE YOU?
“I’m OK. It knocked the wind out of me for sure. But the thing I’m most concerned about is that there was a cue given to our spotter for our guys to start working on the car. We went out and made a lap and advanced quite a few spots as a result. Now it looks like NASCAR is trying to take that away from us. Us and a few other cars heard the cue to allow the guys to start working when the red flag had finished but we didn’t get the cue on pit row. I’m still not clear on what all went on. I think we’re in a bad situation as a result. Hopefully NASCAR can look at it and we can get this rectified.”
HOW VALUABLE ARE THE STAGE POINTS YOU PICKED UP IN HINDSIGHT?
“Definitely valuable. That was part of the plan coming in here, and I think the whole field kind of had that same mindset. We had a very fast Lowe’s Chevrolet even with it torn up after a couple of little incidents on the track. We were still in there mixing it up for the win. I hate that we’re not on the track now. Whatever is going on with this red-flag issue certainly could hurt us.”
JAMIE McMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – Involved in multi-car accident on Lap 24
WAS THIS AN EXAMPLE OF THE PERILS OF TALLADEGA?
“Yeah. We wanted to pit a couple of laps earlier, and you’re somewhat dependent on the spotters to tell you when you’re going to pit. You assume everyone is working as a group. It was my fault. I assumed that they said the 18 was going to let me in, so I thought we were all going to pit. I didn’t even know where the 77 was. When I got on the brakes, I thought we were all coming to pit road as a group. I’ll take the blame for that. I just kind of assumed we were coming to pit road right there. Obviously not everyone was.”
THIS OBVIOUSLY HURTS YOUR PLAYOFF HOPES. HOW DO YOU PERSEVERE AND MOVE FORWARD TO KANSAS NEXT WEEK?
“There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s part of Talladega. We know you can come out of here with a lot of points and be a winner or you can be in the position we are right now. We’ll go to Kansas and do our best. I’m sure I won’t be the only Playoff driver disappointed today.”