Chevy Racing– Texas Motor Speedway Postrace

TEAM CHEVY POST RACE RECAP – TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
 
FT. WORTH (April 13, 2013) – With a sixth-place finish tonight at Texas Motor Speedway, five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevrolet SS, continues to lead the point standings following the seventh race of the 2013 season.
 
Other Team Chevy drivers scoring finishes in the top-15 are: Ryan Newman, No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS – 10th, Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS – 11th, and Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet SS – 13th.
 
Kyle Busch (Toyota) was the race winner. Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota – 2nd), Carl Edwards (Ford – 3rd), Greg Biffle (Ford – 4th) and Joey Logano (Ford – 5th) were the top-five finishers of the night.
 
The next race is at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, April 21, 2013.  Live coverage will be on FOX TV, MRN Radio and Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
 
 
 
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TEXAS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER RACE NOTES & QUOTES
APRIL 13, 2013
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 CROMAX PRO CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined on lap 306 with front suspension issue. FINISHED 38TH:
ON THE SUSPENSION FAILURE:
“I’m not sure maybe a burned wheel bearing or something.  No signs just went down the back straightaway and went to go to the brake and the brake pedal was spongy and the car just didn’t turn.  I thought I had a left-front tire going down.  Man that was unfortunate.  That Cromax Pro Chevy was awesome fast.  It was so much fun to drive and what a great job this team has done to prepare for this weekend and hopefully more to come on these mile and a half’s with more cars like that. We’ll learn what happened and we’ll try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Most importantly, we know we have a fast race car and we know we can put another fast race car out there on the track.”
 
WHAT DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE WHAT HAPPENED?
“I don’t know for sure. We won’t ever know for sure until we pull it all apart. It’s just unfortunate for it to happen that close to the end and to be running that good. I’m pretty upset. This team has just worked so hard to try to claw ourselves back into the points; and we had a great weekend last weekend and we were having a great day. The racing in the passing is difficult when you’ve got three cars all running the same speed out there. I’ve never seen three cars just sit there and run the same lap time after the same lap time; and run in the same line, too. I was trying to deviate from my line and made a few gains on Kyle (Busch), so I thought I might have a shot at him before this thing was over. I don’t know about Martin (Truex, Jr.), but we won’t know.”
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 37TH:
“When you’re running solidly in the top-five and then to have a parts failure knock you out of contention it’s very frustrating. We came in here with a fast race car, qualified on the front row and continued the strong performance until we had a part on the fuel injection system break. What’s done is done and we have to put tonight behind us and focus on getting these problems rectified sooner than later. I feel confident that we’ll have another fast Furniture Row Chevrolet SS in Kansas next week.”
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 29TH
WAS THAT JUST A PERFECT STORM OF THINGS GOING WRONG THERE FOR A COUPLE OF LAPS FOR YOU GUYS?
”We just had a battery go dead and didn’t diagnosis it correctly to just switch it.  We have two batteries in there we have a switch in the driver’s seat that goes from one to two.  I didn’t know it was a battery until we got down on pit road and I got to looking at the gauges and really understanding.  At that point we had lost a couple of laps.  I couldn’t control my speed on pit road because the motor was not running coming on.  So we sped there and we came down pit road to serve the penalty but Steve (Letarte, crew chief) wanted to get tires.  You can’t get tires serving a penalty so we had to come back and then serve the penalty.”
 
INAUDIBLE:
“It’s just I don’t know what else we could have done different aside from me understanding better what was going on with the car and diagnosing it on the race track and switching to the second battery and not losing any laps. That was just my mistake.  You know things break on these cars; you don’t know right away what it is and it’s just real easy to have hindsight and say ‘man you know that was pretty simple’.  When the motor quits running you don’t really know why.  You just have to diagnosis it.  It took us more than a few seconds.  I couldn’t coast past pit road if it was something I couldn’t fix in the car we were going to be stalled on the track and lose a ton of laps that way anyways.”
 
FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT DID EVERYTHING JUST GO OUT? 

“Yeah, all the gauges went bad.  All the gauges just went haywire and so I couldn’t read the gauges to really diagnosis what was happening, but once you start to think about it you are like, ‘well if all the gauges are going bad we have electrical issues’.  Then you go right to the battery. The thing quit running going into (Turn) three and I couldn’t stay on the track if it wasn’t the battery we would have stopped on the track and lost all those laps.  I came down pit road, sped, no motor, no tach (tachometer); figured out by the time I got to the pit stall it was the battery.  We changed the switch over to battery two, get fired up, take off, come down pit road change tires, came down pit road serve the penalty and that was the night.”
 
HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
“It has been rough, but we had a really good car tonight.  If we were running bad and having these kinds of nights we would have a hard time making that Chase, but running good eventually things will turn back around for us.  We will get going.  We have a lot of confidence.  We’ve got a lot of positive attitude and feel like we will have no problem rebounding.”
 
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 10TH:
ON HIS RACE: “We had a tough day in the pits for the most part; and got a lap down. Long green flag runs kept us a lap down for a while there. We got lucky and got the Lucky Dog. We never got the car balanced quite right, but the guys did a good job of coming back. We were probably our best at the end of the race there. We did not have a 10th place car all weekend until there at the end of the race. “
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 6TH:
“We fought hard all day but we just didn’t quite have enough to pull off a win in the Lowe’s Chevy tonight. It was a great effort by (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) and everyone.  We just came up a little short.”
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 28TH:
“It was a tough night. The car was just kind of all over the place at the beginning. Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the GoDaddy guys kept working on it all night and we made some improvements on it. The pit crew did a good job on the stops. We just need to get better on the 1.5-mile tracks. I know the team will keep working at it. We’ll see what we can do in Kansas.”

World of Outlaws–Schatz Claims Epic Thriller in Outlaws Return to Kings Speedway

Schatz Claims Epic Thriller in Outlaws Return to Kings Speedway
Seven official lead changes highlight the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event
 
HANFORD, Calif. – April 12, 2013 – Wearing an ear-to-ear grin, Chad Kemenah hopped out of his car and went in for the hug on Donny Schatz.
Keep in mind, Kemenah had just finished second to Schatz in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series return to Kings Speedway on Friday night.

“That’s just what happens when you get a race track to race on wide enough,” Kemenah said. “These fans come out and just get a hell of a show. That was a lot of passing.

“I just want to thank all the fans for coming out here and Donny for such a good race. They got their money’s worth and we’re excited.”

Schatz was a bit more subdued in celebrating his first career victory at the 3/8-mile track, which has featured a different winner in each of the last seven World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series main events.

“It was fun to have a good enough car to go around the race track in perfect condition to be able to go on the top and the bottom all the way around the whole track,” Schatz said. “It was fun, but it was definitely not an easy win.”

Despite nine cautions that kept the leader out of traffic, the race showcased seven official lead changes and possibly twice as many actual ones. Schatz and polesitter Tim Kaeding swapped the lead five times in the first 10 laps before a flat right rear tire derailed Kaeding around the midpoint of the 35-lap feature.

But as Kaeding faded before eventually spinning off the track in turn two on Lap 20, Kemenah picked up the heat on Schatz and rocketed to the top spot exiting turn two on Lap 17. He held onto the lead until Schatz powered around him in turn two on Lap 22.

“You knew the track was going to change drastically and it was pretty slick when we started,” Schatz said. “We were able to maneuver on both ends.”

Kemenah stayed within striking distance as they hit traffic on Lap 28, but the ninth – and final – caution flag was waved one lap later as D.J. Netto collided with fourth-place running David Gravel in turn two. The crash popped Gravel’s left rear tire and forced him to pit. He returned to the race, but finished 12th.

Schatz got a clean restart and maintained the lead in the closing laps with Kemenah and third-running Sammy Swindell in tow.

“It was a fun race to watch,” Swindell said. “We weren’t any better than they were. It might have been different if I could have ever got to the front, but I don’t think we were strong enough to quite get there. It was fun to watch and be able to participate in it.”

Championship points leader Daryn Pittman, who dropped from 13th to last place after spinning on the opening lap, placed fourth to collect his series-leading ninth top five. Kraig Kinser drove from 12th to finish fifth.

Joey Saldana ended sixth, Craig Dollansky seventh, Paul McMahan eighth and Kyle Hirst charged from 20th to ninth to earn the KSE Hard Charger Award. Steve Kinser rounded out the top 10.

After driving from the back up to eighth following his caution, Kaeding slid off the track on the final lap and was credited with a 13th-place finish.

Chevy Racing–Texas Motor Speedway–Kurt Busch Media Availability

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TEXAS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 12, 2013
 
FT. WORTH (APRIL 12, 2013)  – Kurt Busch, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing/Serta Chevrolet SS, led a strong contingent of five Chevrolet SS drivers who posted top-10 qualifying times today for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.  Busch will start second in the 43-car field, his best qualifying effort at the 1.5-mile speedway.
 
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet will start sixth when the green flag waves Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. CDT.  Jimmie Johnson put the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS in the seventh starting position for the 334-lap, 501-mile race.
 
Jeff Gordon will start the No. 24 Cromax Pro Chevrolet SS in the eighth spot on the grid. And, Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target/Kellogg’s Chevrolet SS will roll off in the ninth starting position.
 
A total of 17 Chevrolet SS drivers will take the green flag for the seventh race of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
 
Kyle Busch (Toyota) was the pole winner. Aric Almirola (Ford) – third, Marcos Ambrose (Ford) – fourth, and Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) complete the top-five qualifiers.
 
Live coverage of the NRA 500 will be provided by FOX TV, PRN Radio and Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
 
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SECOND
 
TALK ABOUT THAT QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“It was a great run for us. Real happy the way the car unloaded right off the truck. Had good practice speed yesterday in race trim and qualifying trim. To back it up, it’s the strength of the team. It’s there. For us to be second, outside pole, is a great achievement from where we have been the few weeks past for qualifying. I think we found some things this weekend that will translate to all the mile and a half’s and we are hoping that combination gives us that stability that we need to build up the foundation in points that we have lost this year at Martinsville and Phoenix.
 
“Starting up front it’s awesome.  We will have great pit box selection.  We will have track position early in the race.  We will need to pace ourselves to understand how the race will unfold going from 7:00 p.m. (CT) start time into the evening when the track will be blistering fast at night.  I’m just real proud of my guys, really. Vegas was a struggle and we turned it around quick at California and posted a top five; and here we are at the third mile and a half track in a sense, and we are outside pole.  It’s definitely exciting for the Furniture Row Chevy SS guys and the team and everybody that is involved.  We want to keep pushing hard and get the mattress sponsors that we have with Serta, Simmons and Sealy the exposure they want out of partnering with a NASCAR team and advertising with Furniture Row.”
 
IS IT STILL TRUE THAT YOU AND YOUR BROTHER KYLE (BUSCH) HAVE NEVER FINISHED ONE-TWO IN A SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE?
“You might be right.  We have won on weekends and he has won on weekends.  Then it turned into four weekends or five weekends in a row for the two of us.”
 
MIGHT THIS BE THE BEST CHANCE FOR THAT BEING THAT YOU ARE STARTING ONE-TWO?
“Yeah, in 2009 we raced each other for the finish.  It turned into a little bit of a fuel mileage race at the end.  We won it and he dropped off at the end he might have been third or fourth, but the two of us were the fastest two cars throughout the race.
 
WHERE?
“Here at Texas, 2009 fall.”
 
OBVIOUSLY PIT BOX SELECTION IS KEY AT THE SHORT TRACKS WHAT TYPE OF DIFFERENCE WILL IT MAKE TO YOU AT THE BIGGER TRACKS LIKE THIS?
“Just having a bigger cushion to not have guys run into you by choosing a pit box with an opening close to it.  Then the timing lines are all important on big tracks where the timing lines are spread further apart.  It just helps with the ease of operation throughout the day when you have a nice pit box selection.”
 
WHICH WOULD YOU CONSIDER TO BE A BIGGER ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR THIS TEAM: TO COME HERE AND UNLOAD AS FAST AS YOU DID OR TO BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN IT AND CAP IT OFF WITH A POLE AT THE END OF THE DAY?
“I would say with where we were at (Las) Vegas to unload this weekend and to be as fast as we were that means we are doing our homework right at the shop.  When you get to the track you get into the groove of some common adjustments where you can’t move the needle that far.  When you unload and you are fast that means you moved the needle back at the shop that is a big accomplishment especially where we were at (Las) Vegas.”
 
AT SPEEDS LIKE THIS, ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE CLOSING RATE AND WHAT ABOUT THE BRAKES? I KNOW YOU DON’T USE A LOT OF BRAKE HERE BUT YOU COULD BE USING A LOT OF BRAKE TO STABILIZE THE CAR GOING INTO THE CORNERS.  ARE YOU WORRIED AT ALL THAT SOME OF THE TEAMS MIGHT HAVE PROBLEMS IN THAT AREA?
“No, the cars have good stability in them with the rear camber and the rear spoiler that is on the car is very tall so you have the drag number that slows it down a little bit.  We could see much higher speeds at the end of the straightaway but the spoiler slows it down a little and then you have the extra downforce for the middle of the corner.  Brakes are no issue what so ever you just have to put some heat into them before you come to pit road.  Because you really are not going to be using the brakes all that much when you are out on the track going 190 (mph).”
 
IS THERE ANY CONSOLATION IN THE FACT THAT IT WAS YOUR BROTHER AND IT TOOK A TRACK RECORD TO KNOCK YOU OFF THE POLE:
“Track record is a small feather in the cap.  The fact that it’s Kyle (Busch, brother) I wouldn’t want to lose to anybody other than him, but it is bitter because I did lose to him.  The biggest issue is if they are still giving away an $80,000 shotgun he doesn’t even know how to use it (laughs).  That is where you could say I’m bitter.  He got the shotgun and if I grab a rubber band leaving the media center that is all I will have for weaponry.
 
THANK YOU, KURT
“But I have a question. Do they still hand out a shotgun?”
 
NO.
“No more shotguns. Oh, well. I tried for years to get one. I got close.”
 

Chevy Racing–Texas Motor Speedway–Qualifying Notes

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TEXAS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES
APRIL 12, 2013

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 42ND:
ON HER QUALIFYING LAP:
“It was horrible.  I was fine coming to the green and then I was fine in (turns) one and two and it was just really tight in (turns) three and four.  Tony (Gibson, crew chief) tried to say I was two tenths quicker than the pole sitter going into (turn) three which means I lost 1.2 seconds in (turns) three and four.  That seems like a lot, but it sucked in (turns) three and four.  It’s not going to be a good qualifying.”
 
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 QUAKER STATE/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 19TH:
ON HIS LAP:
“We probably just over adjusted a little bit. We were too loose in practice and just a little bit too tight right there. I feel like (Turns) 1 and 2 were good. I kind of got off the bottom in (Turns) 3 and 4 and just lost some time. But we have a good race car, for sure. We’ll be fine.”
 
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 14TH:
TALK ABOUT YOUR LAP:
“It was a really good lap. We made great changes to get to that point. I was just on the free side, so I had to back pedal in the center of (Turns) 3 and 4. I think we would have been pretty close. It felt really good.”
 
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET/KELLOGG’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 10TH:
HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT?
“Our car was really good. We picked up where we were supposed to pick up. I was maybe a little too tight for what I wanted. But I think, to be honest with you, this year I can say everywhere we’ve been really good, like set-up wise (and) really close. But we were miles away here when we unloaded. We are closer, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SECOND
JUST SAYING IT WAS A GOOD LAP BUT THERE ARE STILL SOME GOOD GUYS TO GO.  NOT READY TO JUMP ON THAT BANDWAGON YET ARE YOU:

“Well, we will take it.  It’s a great lap for us and our Furniture Row Chevy.  We unloaded fast and we stayed fast and we delivered there. A pole would be nice, but we do have a couple of strong cars still left, don’t want to put the cart in front of the horse.”
 
YOU HAVE HAD SOME GOOD RUNS THIS YEAR WITH THIS TEAM.  IS THIS A SIGN THAT THIS TEAM IS BECOMING A BETTER AND BETTER TEAM ALL THE WAY AROUND?
”I think we have A-Z in front of us as far as parts, people, just the knowledge and the know-how.  We just like last week got bit by a brake issue and a fuel pump issue.  Those are things that if we can get that weeded out that will help us.”
 
WILL YOU BE THE LONE STAR WHEN QUALIFYING IS OVER TODAY?
”I hope we are.  It was good.  A little bit still left out there but just the improvements of this team.  When we unloaded we were fast.  That car has kept its speed.  I have delivered right now and now we can start moving into the 500 miles for the NRA 500.  Make sure we are on the right pit sequence and make good calls throughout the race and see what night time brings us with this new Chevy SS.”   
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SEVENTH
IS THAT WHAT YOU EXPECTED?  
”I expected to have a good lap and we certainly did.  I thought that was good enough to get Aric (Almirola) but hats off to him and his team.  That was one whale of a lap.  I thought mine was pole worthy and ended up third.  Still have a chance to get beat there are some good cars coming out here a little later and the track is getting cool.  Very thankful for a fast Lowe’s Chevrolet.  We have a cool white paint scheme on the car and hopefully we give it a good run this weekend.”
 
ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK YOU ARE EXPECTING YOUR SECOND CHILD.  IS GENEVIEVE EXCITED? 
”I think she does.  She seems to get it and is excited about things.  She takes very good care of her little baby dolls.  I think she understands things in the scheme of things.  We will see.  I’m sure they will be siblings and they will do what siblings do.  I know what I did to my two younger brothers beating up on them over the years.  We are very happy to have a second on the way.”
 
YOU PICKED UP A TON FROM PRACTICE TODAY:
”The second practice we worked on race runs.  We elected to make our qualifying run in the first session.  We felt really good about our car.  I felt really good about that lap.  My hats off to Aric (Almirola) he put up one heck of a lap there.  I thought I was pole worthy there and I’m still probably two tenths away from him.”
 
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 13TH
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LAP?
”Yeah, I’m pretty happy with that. We picked up a second there, so, that’s a lot of speed to pick up here at Texas.  Man these cars are fast around here today.  I told Steve Addington (crew chief) I said I would like to rerun that lap because I think I could go quicker, but I just really don’t want to do it today (laughs).”
 
YOU WERE LATE GETTING TO THE GRID WAS THERE A PROBLEM?
”I don’t know.  I don’t know what the holdup was but they said everything was fine when we got there.  My job just to get in it and drive it.”
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS, QUALIFIED 6TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING: “I think our balance was just a little too tight. The guys did a good job though.  We got a good draw. The track was in great shape. We had a good shot at good qualifying lap, and we got one.
 
“I think I over-drove the car quite a bit, and the balance on the car just a little off. The wind is blowing off of (turn) two down into (turn) three so it makes the cars just a little bit too tight; a little bit tighter than you are expecting. The way it drives in (turn) one and two is great. You try to go into three thinking you are going same response out of the car, and it’s just a little bit tight.”
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 CROMAX PRO CHEVROLET SS, QUALIFIED 8TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING: “The track has picked up so much from practice. So it is hard to really predict how hard to push it, or what adjustments to make as a team. They did a great job. The car was a little bit better than that actually, I kind of feel like I left a little bit out there. Still a real solid lap, so happy with that.”
 
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BELL HELICOPTER CHEVROLET SS, QUALIFIED 11TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING: “The car has been really good actually all weekend. I am happy with it in race trim. I bottomed out right there a little bit in (turns) one and two, and it got us up the race track a little bit. Really, it’s been a good weekend. It was a good lap again for us. Happy with that. Our cars have been much better this year, so really pleased.”
 
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 51 BRUCE LOWRIE CHEVROLET/REALTREE CHEVROLET SS, QUALIFIED 12TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING: “I’m really happy with that. The Phoenix Racing guys have done a great job all weekend long. The car has had speed in it, so I’m really happy with it. Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet on the hood, and Realtree on the side of hit, it is going to be a fun NRA 500.”

Chevy Racing–Texas Motor Speedway–Jeff Gordon Media Availability

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NRA 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 12, 2013
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 CROMAX PRO CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway and discussed yesterday’s test session, practice today, the difference between the 1.5-mile tracks of Texas Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, plus many other topics.  Full Transcript:
 
TELL US ABOUT HOW PRACTICE WENT TODAY:
“We did qualifying runs in the second one where a lot of guys did qualifying runs in the first practice.  I felt like we’ve had a good day, good week here so far.  I think we have made some improvements from previous mile and a half’s and the team has worked really hard so I’m proud of them for that.  Our race run stuff I thought was really close.  Qualifying trim we have a little work to do, but even so you are practicing during the day and you are qualifying late afternoon, you are racing at night.  It’s a real guessing game right now.”
 
HOW TO LAS VEGAS AND TEXAS COMPARE AND HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
“I mean I kind of throw California in there just that type of race track, high speed, aerodynamic, downforce race track. They are definitely a lot different.  This track is abrasive, this track you can really search around the race track to find a groove that works for you.  Tire management is important, but they are still high speed fast places that the attitude of the car has got to be right, grip level has got to be there and you have to be comfortable to be able to carry good speed through the center of the corner.  Those were things we were missing in (Las) Vegas that I feel like we’ve made gains on.”
 
NEXT WEEK YOU WILL TAKE A NEW CAR TO A FRESHLY PAVED 1.5-MILE.  HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT GOING TO BE TO ONLY BE ON THAT TRACK ONCE AND NOW HAVING THE NEW CAR TO GO ON IT?
“It’s going to be tough.  Those are not my favorite kinds of tracks the newly repaved tracks.  The tires are extremely durable so that makes it very edgy not a lot of grip.  So we are going to really have to be on our game.  We are going to be challenged at that one.  I think we have made gains so I’m confident that we can make improvements for when we get there, but it’s going to be tough.”
 
AS A KID WHAT MUSCLE CAR, HOT ROD CAUGHT YOUR FANCY? WHAT WAS THE ONE YOU REVERED GROWING UP AS A KID?
“Probably ‘68/’69 Camaro, I remember a friend of mine who was older had one.  I remember riding in it.  It was a beautiful car and I thought ‘wow if I grow up if I could ever have a cool car this is the one.’ I never have had one of my own, but I always thought that was a very cool car.”
 
WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU GET THE SENSATION THAT THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF A RIGHT-FRONT (TIRE) GOING DOWN AT A HIGH SPEED TRACK LIKE HERE AT TEXAS?
“Well, one going down I don’t mind so much because usually when one is going down you can feel it going down.  It’s when it just blows and you don’t have any warning that is the toughest thing.  We are keeping a real close eye on our shoulder temperature and our bead temperature.  We had a tire come apart here the last time we were here.  We were running strong up towards the front, I think we had a shot at winning that race had that not happened.  We are certainly keeping a real close eye on it.”
 
FROM A DRIVER STANDPOINT IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT THE AFTERMATH?  JUST TRY TO KEEP IT OFF THE WALL AS BEST AS YOU CAN?
“There is not much you can do.  If you can kind of feel that something is happening they are all different.  Sometimes it’s delamination and you can have a little bit of a warning.  Sometimes it’s stuff in the tread so when those cords break then you can usually feel that, but other times you don’t feel it at all and you just ride the fence.  Basically if it happens you just slow down and hit pit road.  You don’t want to do it too quick because then you will damage the tire more.  Just about trying to find that right pace to get back to pit road and hope the caution comes out soon.”
 
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE A GOOD HANDLE ON WHO THE CONTENDERS ARE AT THIS POINT OR IS IT STILL TOO EARLY?
“I will be honest with you I don’t even think that is where our focus is right now.  Our focus is on making our car go faster each time we get to the track.  I think our short track program is good but the mile and a half stuff is really where you have got to be good if you are going to be a threat for the championship.  We have not really been a threat at those tracks.  Our focus is just improving our own cars and set ups so for us being 12th in points that was a good gain from last week.  We were 18th prior to that.  You don’t think about who you are beating for the championship when you are that far back in points.  You think about how do we get in the top 10 and we get ourselves solidly in the top 10 and start competing for wins then we will start thinking that way.”
 
HOW FAR AWAY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE BEFORE YOU FEEL YOU ARE READY TO BE A TOP 10 GUY?
“This sport is too competitive it doesn’t happen overnight in one race. We are gathering as much information as we can.  That test yesterday was valuable for us.  The weekend off was crucial for us to work on some things, gather information from our teammates who have been good at (Las) Vegas, but not so good at California.  Just trying to see all that information looking at our competitors things that they are doing what they’ve got and trying to apply that to our set ups.  I think we made gains.  This is a good track for me.  We have run good here the last couple of times we have been here.  It is a bit of a unique mile and a half compared to come of the others that are out there right now.  I think this one suits my style a little bit better like an Atlanta.  I think we have a shot at being more competitive here regardless even if our program is off a little bit.  I do think we have made some gains.”
 
DOES THE PAINT SCHEME SEEM WEIRD TO YOU AT ALL?
“It is not weird to me, it just brings back a lot of memories. This is kind of that paint scheme that we’ve had for years. Really, all the people I am working with; the same paint brands like Cromax Pro; they are the same as what I have been dealing with. It is just a new company. My biggest thing right now is trying not to say DuPont. They haven’t finalized their logo yet, so that’s why it’s not on the car. It a big company. This is a big paint company; a lot of big paint brands underneath them. It takes a long time to structure all of that. I look forward to when we can have that logo on the car – that will be fun. The flame paint scheme on the black car – that’s the one common thing that we do have that really is tying…in trying to explain how this company is really the same, just a different name.”
 
DID YOU SAY IF YOU COULD BE ANY OTHER ATHLETE, YOU’D BE SHAUN WHITE?
“Yes, man, I would say so. I mean, flying through the air on a skateboard or a snowboard is something I think would be pretty awesome to do. He’s won gold medals, X-Games and I’ve met Shaun, and he is a great kid too, doing some Pepsi commercials with him years ago. Growing up as a kid, I used to ride a skateboard, so that always something…Tony Hawk is a guy that I always idolized, but I was never really on a half-pipe and things. Shaun is kind of the ultimate when you think of it now. I had just gone snowboarding on our time off for Easter, so that was kind of fresh in my mind. Looking at that half-pipe thinking about what Shaun does on that, it’s pretty amazing.”
 
BY CONTRACT, ARE YOU NOT ALLOWED TO DO THINGS LIKE SKATEBOARDING?
“I might, but it doesn’t stop me. LAUGHS I mean, I try to be smart in everything I do and not go do
something that is going to get myself injured – you know, push the limits. I was snowboarding, and I wasn’t going down black diamond runs or anything, I was just cruising. I like to scuba dive too. Usually they are more in the insurance policy than they are in the driver’s contract.”
 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT ON THE CIRCUIT?
“I don’t go out to eat any more. I used to. When we are in Sonoma, I get to go out and eat. There’s a place called Auberge du Soleil that I love. I just love the atmosphere. The food is awesome. Other than that, I’m cooking on the bus. We have chefs that cook for the drivers. Between that, if my wife is with me like she is going to be tonight, sometimes she’ll cook a great Belgian meal. I’ll be honest, I stay put in the infield these days. I don’t really get out that much.”
 
NO KANSAS CITY BARBEQUE NEXT WEEK?
“We went to Oklahoma Joe’s. That place is awesome. We stopped on our way home, and that place was really good. I would definitely go there again.”
 

Chevy Racing–Texas Motor Speedway–Dale Earnhardt Jr. Media Availability

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NRA 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 11, 2013
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – met with media and discussed last week’s race at Martinsville, his expectations of on-track testing at Texas, classic cars, team reactions to disappointment, and more. FULL TRANSCRIPT:
 
WHAT MAKES TEXAS SO SPECIAL FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM?
“It’s just the fact that you got a win here; won your first race here. That’s what makes it so special.”
 
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE LAS VEGAS TRACK AND THE TEXAS TRACK?
“Well, the asphalt is a little bit newer in Vegas. There are a lot of different bumps. Vegas has got a lot of bad bumps going into Turn 1 and this place has got a pretty bad bump in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2; and 3 and 4 as well, where the tunnels are.”
 
HOW IS THIS TRACK GOING TO BE FOR THE NEW RACE CARS?
“I think it’ll be just fine. It’s not a whole lot different than what we’ve brought here in the past. There are a couple of things different on the aero and the chassis is pretty much the same as last year. So, we’re not going to have to really go scratching our heads trying to figure anything out.”
 
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH YOUR RACE CAR LAST WEEK AT MARTINSVILLE? WAS IT THE TRACK BAR?
“Yeah, the track bar came loose on the left side and was moving all over the place. We just had, what (crew chief) Steve (Letarte) labeled as ‘improper installation’. There’s a key in the back that holds the sway bar in place on the mount and that key came out and got turned. And so when they tightened the sway bar up in the morning, the key wasn’t in place to hold the sway bar tight and the bowl was able to back-out rather easily with just the general forces that it sees in the corner and laterally and on the load.
 
“So, it came loose and it dropped down and when you move the track bar down, that really tightens the car up. The left side seems to tighten the center of the corner up at the majority of the race tracks. It moved an inch, which is a big major change and it really affected the handling of the car. The car just wasn’t driving very well, especially at the end of the race.”
 
UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES, ARE YOU SURPRISED YOU RAN AS WELL AS YOU DID?
“No. I’m surprised I didn’t get run over sooner.”
 
THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT JIMMIE JOHNSON LAPPING YOU WHILE THE CAUTION WAS OUT; AND THAT MAYBE HE SHOULD HAVE LET YOU STAY IN FRONT OF HIM. IS THERE ANY SORT OF PROTOCOL IN THAT SITUATION?  WERE YOU UPSET AT ALL ABOUT IT?
“No, Jimmie couldn’t slow down. If you slow down, the guy behind you has the rights to take your position. I lost a position to Hamlin under caution at Phoenix, so I know all about that too well. Jimmie, leading the race, couldn’t take the chance.
 
“He did actually try to slow down and I think that he saw that I had two left-side flat tires and it was pretty pointless for him to wait. If he stopped at all, the guys behind him would have been able to pass him for that position. He couldn’t give up that opportunity or take that chance or that risk. I would have done the same thing Jimmie did. I’m leading the race. I’ve got to think about my team and my car and what I’m trying to do. I don’t think he did it out of spite or anything like that. He just was driving is race.
 
“We shouldn’t have been back there in the first place and been in that position to be run over. But unfortunately it was just a bad day for us and it just seemed to get worse. But he wasn’t doing anything that he wasn’t supposed to be doing. The guy is leading the race, you know? He’s got to take care of what he’s doing. He’s got a race to win.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RICK HENDRICK BEING NOMINATED AS ONE OF THE FINALISTS? DO YOU THINK THIS MIGHT BE THE YEAR THAT HE GETS IN?
“Yeah, I think Rick gets in. He’s accomplished a lot. The other thing that might keep him out is that he is technically still an active owner. There are a lot of guys that aren’t with us anymore that started this sport back in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, that maybe should go in before him because of that reason. But I think he’s got a great chance.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BRUTON SMITH FINALLY MAKING THE TOP 25? HE’S BEEN LEFT OFF THE LIST THE WHOLE TIME?
“Yeah, I think he deserves to be in there. I think that he probably has a real good shot, too. He’s going to get a lot of exposure, probably more exposure than some of the other names on the list, through the press and through the media, building up to the voting for the five. So, I think he’s got a good shot.”
 
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NRA AND THEIR SPONSORSHIP OF THIS RACE?
“I think it’s a good fit for Texas. I think it’s obviously a decision the track made; they partnered with them. I think that our opinion is if we get an opportunity to win the race, we’re going to treat Victory Lane just like any other race and we’ll be happy to celebrate just like everybody else has celebrated here in the past.”
 
DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR YOUR FANS REGARDING THE NRA SPONSORSHIP?
“I own guns.  I like to hunt.  When I’m not hunting I keep my guns in a safe, (where they are) out of reach from my younger family members and my nieces and nephews.  I like to hunt and I believe in ownership, but I also believe in responsibility.  You can’t ever be safe enough in regards to that, especially with gun ownership.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR AGENDA ON THE TRACK TODAY VERSUS TOMORROW?
“It’s kind of the same.  I’m going to treat this like it’s part of the race weekend.  I’m not really looking at this like a test.  I’m looking at this like this is us preparing for the race.
 
“It’s not going to but it could rain tomorrow so you’ve got to anticipate anything happening that might not get you on the race track tomorrow.  We are just going to work toward getting our car ready to race and getting our car fast enough to try to win the race on Saturday night.”
 
DO YOU LIKE THE HANDS OFF APPROACH NASCAR IS USING THE PUSHING AND SHOVING AND SO FORTH?
“I think there is a way to manage it.  I think being able to get out there and show raw emotion and race hard is real important. The fans need to see that, the fans want to see that.  I think you’ve got to also carry yourself with respect and treat people the way you want to be treated.”
 
YOU TALKED LAST WEEK ABOUT SOME OF THE FAVORITE CARS YOU OWN AS A KID WHAT WAS THE FIRST CAR YOU REALLY REVERED WHAT CAUGHT THE APPLE OF YOUR EYE?
“I don’t really know.  I didn’t really have a favorite car growing up when I was a kid.  My favorite car was the one I drove.  It was a 1986 single cab short bed (Chevrolet) S10 pickup truck 4×4.  I got that when I was 16 (years old).  I wish I still had it.”
 
HOW MANY CLASSIC CARS DO YOU HAVE?
“I don’t own a lot of cars.”
 
IT SEEMED LIKE SOME OF THE STORIES YOU HAD KIND OF HAVE A MEMORY WITH EACH ONE?
“No, not really I don’t own a lot of cars, but I have a few that I appreciate. I like the 70’s era cars the way that I perceive how the world was back then.  So the cars the Camaro’s and stuff like that from ’73 and the Oldsmobile 442 from ’77 stuff like that is pretty cool to me.”
 
IT’S EASY TO TEST A RACE TEAM WHEN THINGS ARE GOING GREAT, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE A ROUGH WEEKEND HOW IS YOUR TEAM HANDLING THAT?
“Everybody handles that kind of stuff differently.  I really didn’t get over that run last week until we touched down today in Texas. I wanted to get to the race track as soon as I could just to get that behind me and put a good result on the board and just forget about that run.  You can’t really do that until you can
get to the race track.
 
“Steve’s (Letarte, crew chief) got kids. Kids seem to get you over thing like that a little faster.  You get home and you see what they are doing and get involved in their lives and you kind of forget about all the bad things happening in your life.  I did spend some time with my nephew this week that helped out a little bit.  It’s just everybody handles it differently.  It’s hard for me to get over stuff like that.  It takes me until I can get to the race track and redeem myself really to be able to get over it.”
 
DENNY HAMLIN LAST WEEK SAID THE HARDEST PART FOR HIM AT THAT RACE AND HE DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD BE THAT WAY WAS THE START.  DID YOU FIND THAT?  WAS THAT THE SAME FOR YOU OR DID YOU FIND SOMETHING ELSE TOUGHER ABOUT HAVING TO SIT OUT?
“I can definitely understand where Denny (Hamlin) is coming from.  I think that was the way I felt when I first started watching them practice.  Practice was televised on television it was tough to watch; just sitting at home being so far away and not being able to be in there working and grinding.  You get so used to working with those guys, working with the group you are with and then you are not there and they are moving on they are doing what they are supposed to do and you are not a part of it.  It’s a really tough, odd feeling.”
 
CAN HE (DENNY HAMLIN) MAKE THE CHASE?
“Absolutely, they have a good enough team to win races and get into a wild card spot.”
 
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT GOING TO KANSAS NEXT WEEKEND?
“I haven’t raced there, missed the race last year with the reconfigure so I’m really anxious to get out there and see what kind of speed we have.  See how I can get ahold of the race track really quick and those guys that I’m going to be racing against have a race on me there.  I feel a little bit behind the eight ball with that deal, but looking forward to getting there and seeing what kind of speed we have.  I think we tested really well before we had the crash.  I thought we had good speed.  I was enjoying the race.”

Chevy Racing–Texas Motor Speedway–Danica Patrick Media Availability

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NRA 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 12, 2013
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway and discussed her experience at Texas Motor Speedway, last weekend’s run at Martinsville Speedway and other topics. Full Transcript:
 
THIS IS A TRACK YOU HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE AT IN VARIOUS FORMS OF RACING.  HOW MUCH OF THAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU BRING OVER TO THIS WEEKEND’S RACE?
“Every car you drive on tracks that you have been on feels different; other than being familiar with how to get to the track and how to get to my bus at the track that is really about it.  I almost felt like coming from IndyCar the tracks that I drove an indy car on it was almost more confusing to drive a stock car because the line is different.  You find different bumps out there.  Sometimes it’s nice to come with a clean slate.  It’s fine.  I came here at the end of the year last year and raced the Cup race.  I have some notes and some things to remember.  This is the first race Tony Gibson and I worked together.  We’ve got something to start with this weekend because we were here last year.”
 
WAS IT HARD NOT TO BE OVERLY EXCITED ABOUT LAST WEEK?
“I don’t know if I necessarily get overly excited about much.  I was probably overly excited that I won playing golf last night, but that is because I didn’t expect to.  Driving a race car I’m supposed to go fast and I’m supposed to have good results.  It was a satisfying moment, but I think it’s a reminder that is what we work hard for and that even after Daytona and qualifying on the pole and running basically in the top three most of the day knowing that was one that we didn’t come away from too high either.  We just know that we are going to have those days and we know that we are going to have days like (Las) Vegas where it’s just a very trying day.  That’s what we work hard for.  I think that is more of what we felt.”
 
CAN YOU COMPARE THE 1.5-MILE TRACK OF LAS VEGAS AND THIS TRACK?  ANY COMPARISONS ANY DIFFERENCES THAT YOU HAVE NOTICED?
“Every track is a little bit unique, but mile and a half’s are mile and a half’s. Usually you can take set ups and move them across the board through a lot of them, generally, at least a platform direction from one track to the next. Even Fontana we are using the stuff we learned there too.  Again, every track is a little bit unique.  Also, the tires change from track to track.  We don’t always get the same manufacturing processing compound.  Everything is a little bit unique.”
 
HAVE YOU TALKED TO (BRIAN) VICKERS AT ALL SINCE LAST WEEK?
“No, but I talked to Kevin Harvick.”
 
WHAT DID HE (KEVIN HARVICK) SAY?
“I said thanks because it looked like he was giving me a hand there with someone that was a little upset.  He was a little upset with him (Brain Vickers) too I think there were a lot of people upset with (Brain) Vickers after Martinsville.  I don’t know.  I haven’t raced with him very much so I’m getting on with my day.  You saw what happened and like I was told by a couple of people I just got hit and I did.  At least I only lost one spot.”
 
WHAT DOES A RACE LIKE LAST WEEK DO FOR YOU CONFIDENCE WISE, GROWTH WISE IN THE SPORT?
“I think it’s a nice reminder sometimes that I can drive a race car.  Sometimes you get a little down on yourself and it’s those days that help bring it back.  Like I was just saying it’s a nice reminder of what we work hard for and why we need to have a good attitude.  Being at Martinsville for the first time, we all expected to have a tough weekend and nobody really new exactly what to expect.  I think that it’s a good reminder that when you do kind of go in a little open minded and with a good attitude and knowing that if you just keep trying and take what comes and stay positive that good things can happen.  I feel like it was just a nice reminder.”
 
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS YEAR AND LAST YEAR?  LAST YEAR YOU ONLY RAN A HANDFUL OF CUP RACES, THIS YEAR YOU HAVE THE SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT YOU WORK WITH WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT:
“I mean it just ends up feeling more comfortable.  More comfortable with the car, more comfortable with everything that has to do with the Cup Series.  I am adjusting to more work though.  There is a lot more going on.  You basically have over a month worth of extra work just because you are at the track one day.  Then there is lots of testing, but for me as a rookie drive in the Cup Series that is a great thing.  Definitely keeping me a lot more busy, but we’ve got all the 10 crew we have a really good relationship.  We have a lot of fun and I’m really happy to be working with this group.”
 
IS THE BELT BUCKLE YOU ARE WEARING FROM (RICKY) STENHOUSE?
“It is.”
 
DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHO MADE IT OR HOW IT CAME TOGETHER BECAUSE IT’S BEAUTIFUL:
“Thanks.  This started at the beginning of last year when I said that… he (Ricky Stenhouse) wanted some Twitter followers.  So I was like ‘well if I help you with that can I have a belt buckle?’ So that started at Daytona and so anyway he had it made.  I got it just before the second Texas race last year.  I wore it last year at the end of the year.  It was very nice.  I know these things they are handmade. They are not cheap and it’s really cool to have.  It says ‘fastest girl in town’.  That was a nice gift.  He didn’t actually need to live up to that bet, but it was nice that he did.”
 
DO YOU HAVE THE MATCHING COWBOY BOOTS?
“I will be honest.  This is what y’all show up for these answers.  I put on the cowboy boots this morning because I got a new pair and the jeans are too short first off and you just can’t wear boots if the jeans are too short.  They look really good, but man I kind of feel like I’m dressing up for the track.  Being someone who likes to dress up you think that would be okay, but I felt weird walking through the garage with boots instead of tennis shoes.  I’m going to wear them tomorrow though.  Race day they are going to be my game day shoes. I’ve got to find some longer jeans and I’m going to wear them.  I will be a little taller, but I will look the part.”

Permatex/Follow A Dream Team Set to Defend 2012 Richmond Win

Marstons Mills, MA –April 11, 2013-Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car team heads to Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., this weekend for the first of back-to-back-to-back races. Driver Todd Veney is the defending champion at Richmond and made his quickest (5.52) and fastest (262.64 mph) runs ever last year at Charlotte. The final stop of the triple header is Houston, where in 2005 Blake’s Follow A Dream team collected its first major victory.

“We’ve got a good history at all three tracks,” said Blake, Follow A Dream’s team owner and crew chief. “Virginia was off the tour for a few years, and it was great to get the win in our first year back. Charlotte has to be the nicest track we’ve ever been to, and Houston has always been a special place for us.”

“Last year at Richmond was the first time I ever had low e.t. and top speed at an NHRA race, and it was a weekend I’ll always remember,” Veney said. “Everybody should be back again this year – plus some guys who weren’t there last time – so it’s not going to be easy.”

Qualifying sessions are slated for 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Friday, and eliminations are set to go off at 1 p.m. Saturday. From Richmond, the team will head straight to zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C., for the 4-WideNationals.

Chevy Racing–Texas Motor Speedway–Jimmie Johnson Media Availability

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NRA 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 12, 2013
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway and discussed the importance of leading the points, last fall’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, the importance of yesterday’s test session and other topics.  Full Transcript:
 
TALK ABOUT MARTINSVILLE AND COMING HERE WITH THE POINTS LEAD:
“It’s real early in the year so it’s hard to get too excited about the long term picture of what Martinsville means.  Very excited to win another race, the team works so hard to bring quality equipment week in and week out that is a big thing for the race team and great for everybody it builds a lot of confidence.  The thing I look at the most is that it’s a track within the Chase.  Coming back there in the fall we have a great place to start and hopefully can have the same type of performance.  All in all good, my mind is clearly on big picture and championship, but we won a great battle there.  My mind is really focused on the war and trying to win a sixth championship.”
 
TOO EARLY TO WORRY ABOUT BEING FIRST IN THE POINTS?
“I like it.  I love being up top.  I think it sends a message to the garage area that we are buttoned up and we are ready and we are able to lead.  Leading in the Chase has a bit more impact than leading now, but I will take it.  I have always said that.  I want to lead every weekend if I can.”
 
THERE WAS AN OPINION ABOUT LAST YEAR’S RACE HERE AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY THAT THERE WAS A LACK OF EXCITEMENT.  DOES THAT RACE SORT OF STAND ALONE OR IS THAT THE KIND OF STYLE OF RACING THAT YOU WILL SEE AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY?
“It just depends on circumstances.  This track and the age of the surface, the bumps that are on the race track really promote great side-by-side racing.  I think the fall race speaks to that the battle that (Brad) Keselowski and I had racing for the win and for the point’s title essentially.  There are different circumstances that control it. Some of it just the teams and a couple of guys every now and then hit on it and stretch away from the field and you don’t have that side-by-side competition, but there is no doubt that last fall, especially the final stages of the race was awfully exciting.”
 
YOU HAD BIG NEWS THIS WEEK (ANNOUNCED HE AND WIFE CHANDRA ARE EXPECTING THEIR SECOND CHILD IN SEPTEMBER) CONGRATULATIONS.  IS IT TOO EARLY ALREADY TO START THINKING ABOUT HOW YOU WILL HANDLE IT SINCE THE BABY IS DUE AS THE CHASE BEGINS?  DO YOU HAVE A BACK-UP DRIVER?  HAVE YOU GONE THROUGH ALL THOSE PARTICULARS YET?
“We haven’t yet. We know that we need to, but we still have some time.  We are not sure who will be available come that time.  I was joking with Aric Almirola last weekend that if he wanted to be my back-up driver again he clearly has a full-time gig and can’t do it.  We will just have to see, but we will definitely have a plan like always we will be buttoned up.  Our doctor has told me that a father has never missed a birth.  That gives me a lot of confidence that I will be able to do my weekend job and then be around during the week to meet number two.”
 
HOW IMPORTANT WAS THE TEST YESTERDAY?
“It’s important, but I think the teams have all changed their mind set some.  The second practice today, really all of our practice sessions are during the day so they don’t give us the accurate track conditions of what we are going to qualify on or race on.  So, this morning practice will be helpful and useful.  Yesterday the temperatures were cool enough that I think a lot of teams focused on race practice and will use that practice to set them up for the event.  The afternoon practice today, I don’t know how productive it’s going to be.  I know for us, yesterday was very important and we treated it as if it was a practice session.  This morning we will be in qualifying trim.  If we are way off, which I don’t think we will be the way yesterday went, we will work harder in the second practice today.  If not it will be a pretty casual afternoon for us.”
 
WHY IS IT GOOD FOR THE SPORT THAT NASCAR HAS TAKEN A HANDS OFF APPROACH?
“I think rivalries are good.  That is the fine line that sports walk.  Unfortunately, regardless of sport if it’s someone charging the mound like what happened yesterday to drivers charging other drivers that draws a lot more attention to whatever sport it is.  There are a small percentage of people that like that and they want to see punches thrown, but I think in general sports fans like rivalries.  We all thrive for that moment.  That is kind of a line we walk and where the wave crashes.  We want the rivalries, we want heated emotions and we want door banging.  I don’t think the fans want a sterile environment they want some trash talking.  That is the part we want, but we don’t want broken backs.  We don’t want drivers injured issues like that.  It’s a fine line that our sport walks and all sports walk.”
 
YOU ENGAGED YOUR FANS LAST WEEK SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE YOU WAS THERE A REASON WHY YOU PICKED LAST WEEK TO ENGAGE THEM?  WAS THERE SOMETHING THAT THEY SAID THAT MAYBE PUSHED YOU OVER THE EDGE?
“It wasn’t just last week.  You have seen them before where I will call someone out in kind of a polite way and thank them for their dislike or whatever it may be.  I just honestly wanted to have fun with it.  I saw a theme developing and I just felt like having a little fun with it and kind of stirring the pot.  It’s funny after that tweet I haven’t had much negative coming in.  Again, I even said this in interviews earlier in the week there is a small, but loud fan base.  I think all of us that work in the sport can sense that through the social channels.  The majority, I think there is a large chunk that are pro No. 48 then the majority are respectful of No. 48 then there is a small portion that aren’t.  I will take those numbers that is fine by me.”
 
HAS IT EVOLVED INTO A ONE ON ONE COMPETITION BETWEEN YOU AND BRAD KESELOWSKI?
“It’s not really fair to say that it’s just a No. 2 and No. 48 thing.  It wouldn’t surprise me if it does.  I expect a lot out of that No. 2 car.  They proved it last year.  They are only getting smarter and the more time they spend together the more experience they have. They are only getting stronger.  It’s evident that the relationship Paul (Wolfe) and Brad (Keselowski) have is something like Chad (Knaus) and I have had.  Ray Evernham and Jeff Gordon had.  You can go down through the list of the great pairings of driver/crew chiefs.  I absolutely expect him to be there in it, but the garage area is full of a lot of very competitive drivers and crew chiefs.  It wouldn’t necessarily be fair to say it’s a No. 48, No. 2 thing, but again it wouldn’t surprise me if that is what it came down to.”
 
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR ON TRACK RELATIONSHIP WITH BRAD (KESELOWSKI)?  YOU GUYS AREN’T EXACTLY RIVALS?
“No, and I have this relationship with a lot of guys where we are going to race hard. I think Brad (Keselowski) and I what we showed here in the fall showed that.  We are going to race hard and get right to that line, but there is nothing malicious involved in it.  Absolutely, I want to crush him, I want to lap him every race and I know he wants to do the same to me.  I feel that way about others, but I will get out and I will have a beer with him.  I will get out and shake his hand and congratulate him for a win, but in the heat of the moment I want to crush him.  I don’t want bad things to happen to him, but I absolutel
y have that competitive spirit and want to crush him.”
 
HAVE YOU WATCHED THE END OF LAST YEARS RACE AND CAN YOU APPRECIATE WHAT IT MEANT AS A MOMENT?  ALMOST REMOVED FROM THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE?
“Yeah, it was awesome.  I enjoyed it in the car.  Thought I was going to get turned around in (turns) one and two one of the restarts we had, but we didn’t.  We raced right to that ragged edge and pulled it off.  Of course I had a good perspective of it after the race when I watched the video and I smiled.  That is just good hard racing.” 
 
DID YOU GAIN MORE RESPECT FOR THEM?
“For sure, for sure. I have that great relationship with quite a few guys. There’s others that you get around that maybe don’t have a lot of experience racing for a win so you’re not sure how they are going to handle it or maybe they’re in a position where they are very hungry and aggressive and you have to weigh those things out.  With Brad (Keselowski), I put Brad in that category of racing — Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and guys that I really trust and don’t even think about it — just racing for the win.”
 
DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A BETTER HANDLE ON THE NEW CAR?
“Just depends on the week.  In California we were ready to throw away all of our cars and notebooks and setups and ideas. Go to Martinsville and we had a dominant weekend. I think it’s a work in progress. We’re still evolving with the car.”
 
ON FAN RESPONSE TO YOU NOT BEING A GOOD TEAMMATE WHEN DALE EARNHARDT JR. SPUN AT MARTINSVILLE:
“It was all kind of equal, from being a bad teammate to being lucky and having a cheated up car. They all sting in a relatively similar manner, but to be honest the sting isn’t all that bad. I’ve been in the sport long enough to know that people are going to say whatever they want, especially hiding behind their laptop or their phone. You just have to take it with a grain of salt. Honestly, I was just having fun with him and just kind of stirring the pot. If they are going to say those types of things then I’m going to play into it and get a good laugh out of it.”
 
WHY DIDN’T YOU STOP TO LET DALE EARNHARDT JR. GET HIS LAP BACK?
“When the caution came out down the back, the amount of time I had to get the car stopped, my spotter is telling me whatever the car is now blocking the road and I show up. The car is stopped in the middle of the road and now it backs up and I know that I am the head of 42 cars. I assume he’s (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) backing up to let me by and I’ve been in that position where I’ve got to get turned around in front of the field and can’t and my goal is to get the hell out of the way. I just assumed he was backing up to let me go through. After talking to him and Stevie (Letarte, 88 crew chief), really the situation, I was just trying to get going and would liked to have not put him down a lap, but there is no fault held there by what I did. Again, I thought he was backing up to get out of the way.”
 
ON THE TITLE SPONSORSHIP OF THE RACE
“It’s clearly a sensitive subject and I think that’s a question to be answered by Eddie Gossage or the staff here at the track. It’s a very sensitive subject; and as drivers, we’re here to do our job and put on a great race this weekend. The title sponsorship of an event is well outside of the driver’s focus or anything we have to do with. I do recognize that it is a very touchy topic right now.”
 
HOW IMPORTANT IS RUNNING WELL AT KANSAS?
“Winning there or running well to try to keep her (Kristine Curley, PR director) happy, she is from that area so as long as I keep Kristine happy then we are in good shape.”
 

Chevy Racing–Texas Motor Speedway–Danica Patrick Media Availability

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NRA 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 12, 2013
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway and discussed her experience at Texas Motor Speedway, last weekend’s run at Martinsville Speedway and other topics. Full Transcript:
 
THIS IS A TRACK YOU HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE AT IN VARIOUS FORMS OF RACING.  HOW MUCH OF THAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU BRING OVER TO THIS WEEKEND’S RACE?
“Every car you drive on tracks that you have been on feels different; other than being familiar with how to get to the track and how to get to my bus at the track that is really about it.  I almost felt like coming from IndyCar the tracks that I drove an indy car on it was almost more confusing to drive a stock car because the line is different.  You find different bumps out there.  Sometimes it’s nice to come with a clean slate.  It’s fine.  I came here at the end of the year last year and raced the Cup race.  I have some notes and some things to remember.  This is the first race Tony Gibson and I worked together.  We’ve got something to start with this weekend because we were here last year.”
 
WAS IT HARD NOT TO BE OVERLY EXCITED ABOUT LAST WEEK?
“I don’t know if I necessarily get overly excited about much.  I was probably overly excited that I won playing golf last night, but that is because I didn’t expect to.  Driving a race car I’m supposed to go fast and I’m supposed to have good results.  It was a satisfying moment, but I think it’s a reminder that is what we work hard for and that even after Daytona and qualifying on the pole and running basically in the top three most of the day knowing that was one that we didn’t come away from too high either.  We just know that we are going to have those days and we know that we are going to have days like (Las) Vegas where it’s just a very trying day.  That’s what we work hard for.  I think that is more of what we felt.”
 
CAN YOU COMPARE THE 1.5-MILE TRACK OF LAS VEGAS AND THIS TRACK?  ANY COMPARISONS ANY DIFFERENCES THAT YOU HAVE NOTICED?
“Every track is a little bit unique, but mile and a half’s are mile and a half’s. Usually you can take set ups and move them across the board through a lot of them, generally, at least a platform direction from one track to the next. Even Fontana we are using the stuff we learned there too.  Again, every track is a little bit unique.  Also, the tires change from track to track.  We don’t always get the same manufacturing processing compound.  Everything is a little bit unique.”
 
HAVE YOU TALKED TO (BRIAN) VICKERS AT ALL SINCE LAST WEEK?
“No, but I talked to Kevin Harvick.”
 
WHAT DID HE (KEVIN HARVICK) SAY?
“I said thanks because it looked like he was giving me a hand there with someone that was a little upset.  He was a little upset with him (Brain Vickers) too I think there were a lot of people upset with (Brain) Vickers after Martinsville.  I don’t know.  I haven’t raced with him very much so I’m getting on with my day.  You saw what happened and like I was told by a couple of people I just got hit and I did.  At least I only lost one spot.”
 
WHAT DOES A RACE LIKE LAST WEEK DO FOR YOU CONFIDENCE WISE, GROWTH WISE IN THE SPORT?
“I think it’s a nice reminder sometimes that I can drive a race car.  Sometimes you get a little down on yourself and it’s those days that help bring it back.  Like I was just saying it’s a nice reminder of what we work hard for and why we need to have a good attitude.  Being at Martinsville for the first time, we all expected to have a tough weekend and nobody really new exactly what to expect.  I think that it’s a good reminder that when you do kind of go in a little open minded and with a good attitude and knowing that if you just keep trying and take what comes and stay positive that good things can happen.  I feel like it was just a nice reminder.”
 
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS YEAR AND LAST YEAR?  LAST YEAR YOU ONLY RAN A HANDFUL OF CUP RACES, THIS YEAR YOU HAVE THE SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT YOU WORK WITH WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT:
“I mean it just ends up feeling more comfortable.  More comfortable with the car, more comfortable with everything that has to do with the Cup Series.  I am adjusting to more work though.  There is a lot more going on.  You basically have over a month worth of extra work just because you are at the track one day.  Then there is lots of testing, but for me as a rookie drive in the Cup Series that is a great thing.  Definitely keeping me a lot more busy, but we’ve got all the 10 crew we have a really good relationship.  We have a lot of fun and I’m really happy to be working with this group.”
 
IS THE BELT BUCKLE YOU ARE WEARING FROM (RICKY) STENHOUSE?
“It is.”
 
DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHO MADE IT OR HOW IT CAME TOGETHER BECAUSE IT’S BEAUTIFUL:
“Thanks.  This started at the beginning of last year when I said that… he (Ricky Stenhouse) wanted some Twitter followers.  So I was like ‘well if I help you with that can I have a belt buckle?’ So that started at Daytona and so anyway he had it made.  I got it just before the second Texas race last year.  I wore it last year at the end of the year.  It was very nice.  I know these things they are handmade. They are not cheap and it’s really cool to have.  It says ‘fastest girl in town’.  That was a nice gift.  He didn’t actually need to live up to that bet, but it was nice that he did.”
 
DO YOU HAVE THE MATCHING COWBOY BOOTS?
“I will be honest.  This is what y’all show up for these answers.  I put on the cowboy boots this morning because I got a new pair and the jeans are too short first off and you just can’t wear boots if the jeans are too short.  They look really good, but man I kind of feel like I’m dressing up for the track.  Being someone who likes to dress up you think that would be okay, but I felt weird walking through the garage with boots instead of tennis shoes.  I’m going to wear them tomorrow though.  Race day they are going to be my game day shoes. I’ve got to find some longer jeans and I’m going to wear them.  I will be a little taller, but I will look the part.”

Showtime Funny Car–Festival of Power

FESTIVAL OF POWER

Santa Pod March 30th – April 1st

The 2013 season got underway with the traditional Easter meeting. 2013 will have added interest for the Showtime FC as it marks a significant move forward for Fuel Funnycars. Trakbak Racing (parent company of Santa Pod) CEO Keith Bartlett has put together a European Funnycar Challenge Series with 3 rounds at Santa Pod and 1 at Hockenheim. Five cars were entered for the Easter meeting with more expected as the season progresses.

The action was scheduled to begin on Saturday and the Showtime crew were raring to go. Unfortunately no-one had told the weather we were going racing ! The Santa Pod crew had done a great job preparing the newly laid surface but near freezing air and track temperature did not bode well for the Fuel cars. Having spent a couple of hours warming the oil in the trailer, it was put in the car and we fired up. Everything sounded good. Off down to the start with the crew dressed like an arctic expedition, it was bl**dy cold!!!

John did a lengthy burnout to try and get as much heat into the tyres as possible, but to no avail. The tyres spun immediately on the hit, John tried pedalling, quickly lifting and idled through. No damage on servicing, maybe Sunday would be better.

During Sunday morning John was in front of the TV cameras doing 3 interviews for the upcoming TV and web broadcasts of the Funnycar Challenge Series.

On the racing side it was an identical build up with oil and warm up. Having fired up at the start, there was a slight problem and we were told to wait before re-firing. Another long burnout.

At the hit, the car disappeared in a huge cloud of tyre smoke, when it cleared there were “S shaped” tyre tracks away from the line. Being behind the car the start line crew were not aware what had happened. The car had turned very hard right at the hit and John had lifted and straightened it out.

The sequence below was taken from the spectator bank:

                               

During servicing a potential clutch problem was identified, and it was decided to review further on Monday.

After consultation it was decided to miss eliminations on Monday, as John explained to www.eurodragster.com : “The car is suffering from the cold conditions. We are chasing a problem and are not sure if it is the weather or a genuine malfunction. The clutch is not working as it should and coming in all at once. These cars are not designed to run in these temperatures.We are having to preheat the oil out of the car and put it in at the last moment as running with cold oil could cause main bearing damage. Even with this we are struggling starting the car and getting the fuel to burn”

( The above quote courtesy of www.eurodragster.com )

 


Race Winners Week Ending 4/7/13

Rolex Series
DP- Max Angelelli/Jordan Taylor
GT- John Edwards/Robin Liddell

IndyCar
Honda Grand Prix of Alabama- Ryan Hunter-Reay

NASCAR
Camping World Truck Series- Kroger 250- Johnny Sauter
Sprint Cup- STP Gas Booster 500- Jimmie Johnson

NHRA
Top Fuel — Tony Schumacher
Funny Car — Cruz Pedregon
Pro Stock — Allen Johnson
Top Alcohol Dragster — Joey Severance.
Top Alcohol Funny Car — Tony Bartone
Competition Eliminator — Adam Bowdish
Super Stock — Dan Fletcher,
Stock Eliminator — Kayla Mozeris
Super Comp — Justin Morgan
Super Gas — Gerald Turczyn Jr.

Honda Racing–Dixon Stars in Battle at Barber

In an exciting finish that left many in the near sellout-crowd standing throughout the final 15 laps, Honda-powered Scott Dixon battled defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay throughout the closing stages of Sunday’s Honda Grand Prix of Alabama, coming up just six-tenths of a second short of the victory at the checkers.

After starting on the outside of the second row, fourth, Dixon lost two positions at the start while avoiding contact with Will Power, who had gone wide and briefly off-track at the first turn.  He remained near the front of the field throughout the first two-thirds of the 90-lap contest moving from sixth to second and back to fourth as several other competitors – including Power, Helio Castroneves and fellow Honda driver Simon Pagenaud – committed to “off-sequence” pit strategies in a bid to move to the front. 

After the final round of pit stops on Lap 70, Castroneves led, followed by Hunter-Reay, Dixon, Power and an impressive Charlie Kimball, having his best run since finishing second at the Honda Grand Prix of Toronto in 2012.  Hunter-Reay, and then Dixon, passed Castroneves by Lap 76, and for the remainder of the race, Dixon closed in on Hunter-Reay, but was unable to get by. 

It was Dixon’s fourth consecutive second-place finish in the four-year history of the race which, coupled with a fifth-place result at the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, puts Dixon second in the drivers’ championship, just nine points behind early-season leader Castroneves

Chevy Racing–Grand Prix of Alabama- Driver Press Conference

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 7, 2013
 
Ryan Hunter-Reay Wins at Barber Motorsports Park
With Strong Run, Helio Castroneves Takes the Points Lead
 
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  (April 7, 2013) – Defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay started the No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet on the pole, and finished the day atop the Victory Lane podium celebrating his 10th career-win, and his first at Barber Motorsports Park.
 
Hunter-Reay was credited with leading a race-high three times for 53 of the 90 laps that comprised the Grand Prix of Alabama, race two of the 2013 season. The win moved Hunter-Reay to third in the overall championship standings.
 
“Congratulations to Ryan Hunter-Reay on his hard-fought win today, and to Andretti Autosport on their second consecutive victory in 2013,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “Back-to-back wins and poles, is a tremendous way for the Chevrolet IndyCar twin turbo V6 program to start the season. As we suspected, the competition was fierce and the win required very high execution levels from the team and tremendous focus and concentration from Ryan in the cockpit.  As we head to Long Beach, Team Chevy will be doing our part with the same tremendous focus and concentration to allow the Chevy IndyCar twin turbo V6 to put our Chevy Teams in a position to win again.”
 
With his third place finish, Helio Castroneves, No. 3 AAA Insurance Turbo Team Penske Chevrolet, jumped to the top of the point standings.  The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner started sixth and led once for a total of 25 laps during the race that saw only one caution flag for a total of four laps.
 
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finished fifth to give the Chevrolet IndyCar V6 engine three of the top-five finishing positions on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course.
 
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, was the point leader going into today’s event after his victory at St. Petersburg in the season-opening race, but sustained damage on lap one when several cars stacked-up in turn one.  Unable to return to competition, he was credited with the 26th finishing position, and now sits fifth in the point standings.
 
Scott Dixon (Honda) finished second, and Charlie Kimball (Honda) was fourth to complete the top-five finishers.
 
Next on the IndyCar schedule will be the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 21, 2013. The race on the Streets of Long Beach be televised live beginning at 4:00 p.m. (ET) by the NBC Sports Network (Verizon FiOS 90/590, DirecTV 220, DISH 159 and AT&T UVerse 640) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211 and www.indycar.com. Race timing and scoring can also be found on

John Force Racing–COURTNEY FORCE RACES TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT LAS VEGAS

COURTNEY FORCE RACES TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS, NV —- Courtney Force raced to her third final in the last five races and retook the Mello Yello Funny Car points lead with a runner-up finish at today’s 14th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals. The second year driver moved around Johnny Gray for the points lead when she outran Matt Hagan in the semi-finals but in the finals the driver of the Traxxas Ford Mustang smoked the tires against two-time Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon.

This was the second time for Courtney to face Pedregon in a national event final. The last time the pair matched up was the finals of the Auto Club NHRA Finals to close out the 2012 season with Pedregon also prevailing in that race. Pedregon becomes the fourth different Funny Car driver to win in 2013 following Courtney Force, Ron Capps, and Johnny Gray. Last year at this point only John Force and Robert Hight had won Funny Car events and it took eight races to have four different winners (John Force, Robert Hight, Ron Capps and Jack Beckman)

Starting from the No. 2 qualifying spot today, Courtney Force beat out three major competitors to reach her second final of 2013 and made her way up the Mello Yello Funny Car point standings from the third spot into the points lead.

“Our car ended up in the No. 2 spot this weekend which was great for us. We were just trying to get some consistent runs down the track. I struggled a little bit with the right lane throughout qualifying trying to keep the car straight down there, but we made good runs and we were happy” said Force.

 In the first round of eliminations Force took on fellow Ford racer and pilot of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Mustang, Tim Wilkerson. Force was 3-0 against Wilkerson in prior events, but turned on another win light when she ran low ET of the round. Wilkerson was up in smoke at about 200 feet and Force posted a 4.109 ET at 314.46 mph.

“The pressure was on on race day and I feel like our team did a great job. I feel like I improved more as a driver on Sunday than I did during qualifying. I had a tough matchup each round, but our team pulled off some great round wins over some of our biggest competitors,” said Force.

Force took lane choice over Del Worsham, who was 1-0 against the 24-year-old in their previous match-up. Force had .072 reaction time to Worsham’s .167 on the tree. Force made a 4.153 second run at 312.06 mph against Worsham’s 4.198 ET.

Force also scored lane choice over Matt Hagan in the semifinals. Force was 4-2 against Hagan in prior events. Hagan was up in smoke at about 100 feet, and Force took it straight down the groove to move on to the final round.

“Race day is where it counts and we had a great, consistent race car all day up until the final round,” said Force. “The great thing about coming to Las Vegas this weekend is that we have a consistent car. We were able to run in the heat of the day and run well at night when the temperatures drop, so we’re excited.”

Force lost in the finals when her Traxxas Ford Mustang went up in smoke alongside Cruz Pedregon.

“We’re excited to get to Charlotte and we’re leaving here in the points lead. We can’t complain about it. We made it to the final round and we’re happy,” said Force.

Brittany Force became the fourth member of her immediate family to win a round in the NHRA Mello Yello Series Sunday but the first to do so in Top Fuel when she drove her Castrol EDGE dragster past the Mac Tools hybrid of Doug Kalitta in the first round of the 14th annual SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“My Castrol Edge team ended up No. 11. We ran first round against Doug Kalitta and I got the win. It was my first professional round win ever and I was really excited about it. It was huge for our Castrol EDGE team, John Force Racing and all of our sponsors Ford, Traxxas, Auto Club, Mac Tools and BrandSource,” said the second youngest Force daughter.

It not only was Brittany’s first round win since turning pro, it was the first round win for John Force Racing, Inc., in a pro category other than Funny Car; it was the first round win by a Ford-powered dragster since 1970; and it was the first round win for a Team Castrol Top Fuel car since Pat Austin beat the late Blaine Johnson in the second round at Topeka, Kan., on Oct. 1, 1995.

Brittany’s Castrol EDGE dragster had lane choice over seven-time Mello Yello Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher in round two by virtue of her quicker first round elapsed time 3.846 to 3.843 seconds. Both dragsters launched hard but Schumacher pulled away quickly as the Castrol EDGE dragster hazed the tires after a few hundred feet.

“I went out there second round against Tony Schumacher, who I’ve been waiting to run for a while just because he’s Tony Schumacher. We lost that round, but we had a good day. Courtney went rounds so it was a great day as a whole for John Force Racing.”

“I’m still learning on each run and getting a better. I’m trying to work on improving my lights. My team’s really excited that we’re moving up in the points. We’re almost into the top ten. Our plan is to qualify at all the events and try to go more rounds so we can move up there into the top ten,” said Force, the Automobile Club Road to the Future Award contender.

With her strong qualifying effort and the first round win of her career the rookie driver moved up from 15th in the Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings to 12th place. The driver from Yorba Linda, Calif., is only a round and a half (32 points) outside of the Top Ten point standings.

After the race Top Fuel winner Tony Schumacher had nothing but praise for the rookie driver.
“She has a long good career ahead of her. She will be tough to beat. I just didn’t want to be her second round win,” said Schumacher.

Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team had a solid turn around weekend qualifying No. 1 for the second consecutive year at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals. The perennial Las Vegas winner took out veteran Jeff Arend before falling to Alexis DeJoria and the Tequila Patron Funny Car in the second round. DeJoria had lane choice and that proved to be the performance tipping point at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In a close race DeJoria crossed the finish line a nose in front of Hight, 4.141 to 4.157 seconds.

“There is no one hanging their heads in the Auto Club pits. That was a tough race to lose but you have to tip your hat to (crew chief) Tommy DeLago and Alexis DeJoria. We made a good run and they were just a little quicker,” said Hight, winner of the last two SummitRacing.com Nationals. “I am glad we made two of the quickest runs in qualifying and we got a big first round win today. We’ll load up and get ready for the Four-Wide race. I won there last year and we are ready to get back at it.”

Hight will leave Las Vegas with a much improved race car and a secure hold on seventh place in the points and the Auto Club Ford Mustang is only three points out of sixth place.

The Castrol GTX Ford Mustang was the first John Force Racing Mustang to fall to a surging Alexis DeJoria on Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As the No. 9 qualifier Force relinquished lane choice to DeJoria and at 200 feet his Funny Car lost traction as the Tequila Patron pulled away.

Force, the team owner, was pleased with the overall team effort considering Brittany won the first round of racing for a JFR Top Fuel dragster, Courtney retook the Mello Yello Funny Car points lead and Robert Hight’s Auto Club Mustang continued to improve in both qualifying and on race day.

“You gotta look at the overall picture. Robert Hight and Auto Club walked out with a No. 1 this weekend and Courtney was No. 2. My Castrol GTX Mustang was in the bottom half, but it’s starting to get respectable. To watch Brittany step up to the plate and get that first round win for John Force Racing this early in the seas
on was pretty cool. And we leave here with the points lead. I got whooped by a girl, but I know her dad is happy and I’m good with that. We’re going to go to Charlotte and I think we’re starting to get back on track,” said Force, the 15-time Funny Car champion.

Summit Racing–Line Encouraged by Gains in Las Vegas

Line Encouraged by Gains in Las Vegas
 
Las Vegas, Nev., April 7, 2013 – An action-packed weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway culminated in a gathering of important information and a step up in the standings for Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line. Driving the blue Chevy Camaro with Summit Racing livery, Line recorded a top-half performance in qualifying and logged a round win on raceday at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals to move from 7th in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings to the No. 6 spot.
 
“It’s great to see progress with my Summit Racing Camaro, but to be honest, I’m not thinking about the points yet,” said Line, simply. “Our main concern is with winning races and winning rounds. That’s what matters right now, and that’s what this Summit Racing team is working towards. If we can manage those two things, then the rest will come.”
 
Line qualified in the No. 8 spot with a solid 6.689-seconds at 207.78 mph and was rewarded with an undesirable first-round meeting with a familiar four-time world champion: KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson and his silver Summit Racing Camaro. It was only the third time in the past 10 years that Line and Anderson have met in the first round of eliminations. Although an early meeting with his counterpart is never on the agenda at an NHRA event, Line and Anderson made the best of it by utilizing the circumstances as a test session in the tricky conditions at the Las Vegas facility.
 
Anderson took an early lead in their meeting, but soon the tires of his Team Summit Camaro were spinning on the unforgiving surface, and Line raced ahead for the 6.680, 207.69 mph to 6.755, 203.80 victory. In the quarterfinals, Minnesota-native Line was first off the starting line and powered down the racetrack right along side No. 1 qualifier Mike Edwards in one of the closest races of eliminations. Line forfeited the match by just .007-second.
 
“We definitely learned something today, and neither one of the runs were great, but my Summit Racing Camaro actually felt as good as it has in a long time,” said Line. “My level of optimism in the last 12 hours has shifted dramatically, and even though we didn’t win today, I do think we learned things that are absolutely, positively going to help us. I’m pretty excited about that.”
 
Team Summit also had the opportunity to compete on Saturday at the event in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, a special bonus race for the top seven Pro Stock drivers plus one driver voted in as fan-favorite. Anderson and Line were each out of the gate ahead of their respective opponents to pocket hole shot wins in the first round and missed an all-Summit final by just one round.
 
With so much information logged over the course of the weekend, Line and Anderson, both still in pursuit of an event win in 2013, share an eager resolve to resume testing as soon as the KB Racing team returns to home base in Mooresville, N.C. The determination and drive of the Summit Racing crew is shown by a collective 103 victories, and the seasoned Pro Stock competitors recognize that sometimes, forward progress necessitates change.
 
“Obviously, the same old adage is true: Keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll keep getting what you’re getting,” said Line. “We need to make changes, so we are, we will, and we’re going to keep working until we get it. That’s all there is to it.
 

Mopar Racing–Las Vegas Wrapup

Johnson Earns Second Consecutive NHRA National Title and Third Win at Las Vegas;
Fifth Victory of the 2013 Season for Mopar

·         Johnson defends previous two Las Vegas National titles with a third and posts his 18th career victory to follow-up on his Gatornationals title.
·         National title victory also gives Johnson the “Sweep Bonus” for following up on his K&N Horsepower Challenge win on Saturday
·         Fourth consecutive national event with a Mopar in the final round of eliminations and fifth win of 2013
·         Johnson takes over as leader in the NHRA Pro Stock Championship points
·         Hagan is top Mopar finisher with semi-final appearance to end Mopar’s Funny Car event win streak at two

Las Vegas (Sunday, April 7) – Mopar driver Allen Johnson will be leaving Las Vegas a big winner. Not only did he defend his two previous NHRA National titles at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but by earning his 18th career Pro Stock victory in the new look Mopar Express Lane Dodge, he claimed the jackpot of a $25,000 “Sweep Bonus” to go with his $50,000 win in Saturday’s annual K&N Horsepower Challenge.

It is the fourth consecutive national event in which a Mopar has advanced to the final round of eliminations in either Pro Stock or Funny Car categories. The SummitRacing.com Nationals win also brings Mopar’s title victories total to five in just the first four races of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Series season.

Johnson’s weekend success comes on the heels of his victory at the Gatornationals, and propels him to the top of the leaderboard in the Pro Stock Championship points standings.

In a repeat of Saturday’s final match up in the annual K&N Horsepower Challenge, Johnson faced Erica Enders-Stevens as his final round elimination opponent with the same result and an elapsed time of 6.713 seconds (206.76 mph).  In previous rounds, Johnson had to defeat his own Mopar teammates, Vincent Nobile and Jeg Coughlin Jr., in order to earn his second win of the year and his third consecutive at the Las Vegas dragstrip.

“It seems like our car really likes altitude tracks, and hats off to my Mopar Express Lane guys for pulling off the sweep today,” said Johnson whose two wins this weekend made it the second year in a row that a HEMI-powered Dodge won both the K&N Horsepower Challenge and the National title after Nobiles’ sweep at Norwalk in 2012. “It’s awesome to win both races. I was asked if this just became my favorite track and I still have to answer that another high altitude track, Denver, is still tops in my books. Not just because it’s Mopar’s title race but probably because I’ve won there four times. But Las Vegas is quickly becoming a favorite after winning it three times now, along with our sweeping the K&N Challenge.”

“All of us at Mopar are thrilled to see Allen (Johnson) return to the winner’s circle for the second consecutive event and defend his titles at Las Vegas,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Allen and the Mopar Express Lane team haven’t stopped working and building on the successes of last year and have set the bar even higher this season. It’s great to watch him continue to contend and take the Championship lead amid some tough Pro Stock competition.”

Coughlin Jr. took the JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger to the semifinals for the third time in four races and stands third in the championship points race. Nobile rounds out the top-five on the strength of his win in the season opening race while the HEMI-powered Dodge of V. Gaines is in seventh place.

Don Schumacher Racing winning streak for Mopar Funny Cars ended at two after a good effort by Matt Hagan to drive his ‘Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar’ Dodge Charger R/T past first round opponent Bob Tasca and then his teammate Jack Beckman, only to lose his semi-final match-up against Courtney Force. While Force went on to face eventual title winner Cruz Pedregon, she did take over the lead in the NHRA Funny Car Championship standings.

Hagan maintains his fourth place on the leaderboard splitting the team’s previous two event winners; Johnny Gray is second in the points while Ron Capps who drops to fifth place. Defending Funny Car Champion Jack Beckman has his Dodge Charger eighth in the standings.

Next on the agenda for Mopar teams and drivers is the spectacular Dollar General Four-Wide NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway in Charlotte on April 19-21, for the fifth of 24 events on the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
 

Chevy Racing–Martinsville Post Race

JIMMIE JOHNSON TAKES TEAM CHEVY TO VICTORY LANE AT MARTINSVILLE
Chevrolet Drivers Bring Home Three of the Top Five Finishing Positions in STP Gas Booster 500
 
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 7, 2013) – Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS team brought Team Chevy to Victory Lane for the third time in the first six races of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Hendrick Motorsports now has 20 victories at Martinsville Speedway, the most of any organization. The win marks Johnson’s eighth trip to Winner’s Circle at the 0.526-mile short-track, placing him in third on the all-time track win list; more than any active driver on the circuit.  The No. 48 Chevy SS dominated the competition leading 346 of the 500 laps and now retakes the point lead by six markers over second position.  Chevrolet has now won the last five straight races at Martinsville Speedway.
 
Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, posted his 33rd top-10 finish in 41 races at Martinsville Speedway. The solid run moved Gordon up six positions in the point standings and into the 12th spot.  Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, recorded his third top-five finish at the circuit’s oldest track.  Kahne gained two positions in the point standings and now occupies the fifth position.  Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet SS, recorded his 11th top-10 finish in 21 starts at Martinsville Speedway.  His seventh-place finish is his best run thus far this season.  McMurray moved up three positions in the point standings to 13th.
 
Stewart Haas Racing driver Danica Patrick, No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS, made a valiant run after recovering from an early spin to record a 12th-place finish in her first start at Martinsville Speedway.  Patrick is the only woman to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway and was the top finishing rookie.  Richard Childress Racing’s Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, came home 13th followed by Tony Stewart, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, in 17th. Virginia native Jeff Burton, No. 31 Childress Institute of Pediatric Trauma Chevrolet SS, finished 18th followed by his Richard Childress Racing teammate Paul Menard, No. 27 Menards/Pittsburgh Paints Chevrolet SS, in 19th.
 
Clint Bowyer (Toyota) finished second and Kyle Busch (Toyota) rounded out the top-five with a fifth-place finish.
 
The series heads to Texas Motor Speedway next week for the NRA 500 on Saturday, April 13th.
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, CHAD KNAUS (CREW CHIEF) AND RICK HENDRICK (TEAM OWNER), NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – RACE WINNERS
 
KERRY THARP:  Let’s hear from our race winning team, today’s 64th annual STP Gas Booster 500 here at Martinsville Speedway.  Our race winner is Jimmie Johnson.  He drove the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.  He’s joined up here by his team owner Rick Hendrick. This is Jimmie’s 62nd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win.  This is his eighth win at Martinsville Speedway.  That’s third all‑time in the history of the sport.
 
For Hendrick Motorsports it’s their 20th win at Martinsville Speedway, most of any organization in the history of the sport.  Not only do you guys win, but you make history.  Congratulations on that today.  Chad Knaus, crew chief has joined us, as well.
 
Jimmie, we had the conversation Friday about winning that eighth clock, and certainly you put the hammer down and went after it and got it.
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Yeah, we had a great weekend and I know that the stats clearly show that.  But probably the most calm, relaxed thought‑out weekend that we’ve had as the 48, and mature weekend we’ve had.  We really fell back on our experience and stayed committed to that, and Friday was easier to stay committed because qualifying trim, Chad and Dave and everybody gave me just a way fast race car.
 
Made that easy, but as we got into Saturday and race practice, this track can play some games with you, and there were times where we could put up a fast lap but we didn’t have what we thought ‑‑ it wouldn’t look competitive compared to other guys on track and guys adjusting their cars to the current conditions.
 
We stuck to our game plan and knew what we wanted to have in the race and stayed patient, and it was tough to do at times, but it certainly worked out well.
 
And in the race, we had to adjust on the fly.  The track changed more than we thought it would, and Chad put some great changes under the car.  It’s kind of the time when the 18 and the 20 got to us, and we were able to get our car dialed in.  I’m not sure where they went following that, but and the 15 and 24 showed up and I still had my hands full.
 
Just a very well executed race, or I should say weekend, and clearly the race today, by the whole 48 team.
 
KERRY THARP:  With the win today Jimmie takes over the points lead, six points over Brad Keselowski, 12 points now over Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
 
Chad, just talk about the work that goes into a weekend like this and then how, as Jimmie alluded to, experience, you’ve got a blueprint for success here, how all that plays out.
 
CHAD KNAUS:  It’s funny you say that like that because I was actually talking to my father last week when we were coming to the racetrack, and he said, man, you guys have got a really good setup for Martinsville, you ought to be in pretty good shape, and I said, well, we did until they changed all the rules, and unfortunately all the rule changes and with the new car and everything that we had coming in here with the new tire, we really had to dig in deep.  And the off weekend gave us an opportunity to really look back over some past history and draw some conclusions that we were hoping were going to work out.
So my father, he’s like, well, how do you know where you’re going to start?  I said, well, I guess we’re just going to guess.  Fortunately enough we guessed right.
 
It was a great race.  It was a lot of fun.  I do want to put out there that I think Goodyear did a really good job with the tire that they brought.  Obviously it’s difficult for them to figure out what it is that they want to bring to the racetrack because when you do come here and test you don’t necessarily get the same conditions that you always have in the race.  And this tire was good.  I thought that it made us and forced us to come in and take four tires, and I thought that was pretty fun for the fans.  It was fun for me to watch how somebody that would come in and take tires, they could maneuver up through the field and pass race cars.  I think that was a big contributor to a great show today.
 
KERRY THARP:  Rick, 20 wins at one racetrack.  There are a lot of organizations that would like to have just 20 wins overall, but 20 wins at a racetrack, and certainly maybe just talk about obviously the latest one today, but 20 wins here at Martinsville.  Congratulations.
 
RICK HENDRICK:  Yeah, this is a ‑‑ I was looking at that scoreboard over there, the first time I ever came to a Cup race was here with my dad.  We’ve been very fortunate to have some great drivers, and this track has been awful good to us.
 
I knew we were tied with Petty I think the last win, and he’s dominated this place for so long.  But really proud of these guys and proud of the organization because they all ran good today.  Junior had some trouble, but I was worried that we were going to end up like we did this race last year when that caution came out because I didn’t know who was going to take tires and who was going to stay out.
 
But played out, and it’s been a great day for us.
Q.  Jimmie, what was going through your mind after that red flag came out?&n
bsp; It had to be a little bit anxious with Clint on your tail there.
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Yeah, it was.  I mean, I had a real nice comfortable lead at that point, and didn’t want to see a caution at all and give those guys another chance at me, to get alongside of me.
 
But over the years, I feel like I’ve learned that there will be cautions, that things you do inside the car to kind of preserve the life of the tire, and then also how to restart and run your best laps, best five, ten laps, whatever it is, on old tires.  It’s not an easy thing to do.  And I’ve given away a few races over the years, really lost them to Jeff with his great experience here and how awesome he is at this track, and I’ve learned to adapt.
 
I think from a setup standpoint, too, Chad knows what kind of changes we need to make as the race goes on and the sun starts to set, and then for the short run, there’s always a bunch of short runs at the end.
 
Again, I think experience plays into it, and I felt like if I could get two or three corners and maintain the lead on Clint that I could stretch it back out.  Again, looking back on just one other thing, the most concerned time I had was during the red, wondering who was going to pit and not pit, and then when everybody stayed out, I didn’t have to worry about any tires coming, I felt a lot better about things and then knew I just needed a couple of good corners to get away from Clint.
Q.  Are you as comfortable with your notes for any other track in the series, and where does Texas rank in your comfort level?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Yeah, there’s just a rhythm and feel here.  The reason we laugh is my note‑taking has gone downhill in the last few years.  You can’t read what I write anyway, so I’m even sure why we take notes.
 
But there’s a feel to this track, and the history we have, 10, 11 years now of coming here and doing this, we just draw on and fall back on. For me to roll in here off of vacation and literally got home the day before and first lap out on the track put it up on the top of the board just tells me how good of a car I had.  It was really up to me to not mess it up as the weekend went on.  I usually need four or five runs to shake out the vacation stuff.
 
KERRY THARP:  How about Texas, where does that stand as far as your comfort level and how you
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Yeah, I feel good about it.  We ran really good at Vegas, and California didn’t go as well as we wanted, but it’s a much different racetrack than what we have at Texas.  I would say that Texas and Vegas are closer together than Texas and California.  We’ll go there and see.  We’re still learning this car on the big tracks.  Fontana we were certainly trying some things, and smarter leaving there, and I know that these guys will work hard and give me a great car this coming race.
Q.  Clint came in here and he said I thought Jeff Gordon was going to be the car to beat today, and Jeff looked at him and said I thought you’d be the car to beat today just because of what they saw on Saturday.  What happened between Saturday and today that made you guys so dominant?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Saturday is just a different day.  We have very little laps on the track at that point.  The truck race changes it, and then our race is so long the track continues to evolve and change.  It’s kind of a moving target.
 
I was looking at the scoreboard wondering where Clint was.  I expected him to roll right up there with how awesome he was yesterday. And Jeff on the longer run probably had the car to beat.  Jeff has a really good line here on the long run, and he started catching me before the last caution, and I was thinking, man, if this stays green this could be a Jeff Gordon day, and when the caution came out I knew it was swinging back my direction because we had such a good car on the short run.
Q.  Was yesterday nerve‑racking at all after the contact with Joey, and were you nervous at all today on that one restart where you fell back to sixth and the caution came out so you ended up being back up front?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Yeah, there was some oil down in 3 and 4 so that’s why the caution came out.  I went into the turn and the car just went straight.  I’m not really sure what happened.  Caution was out, fortunately I was still leading and I got to hang on to the lead.
 
But the contact with Joey, I stayed in the car so I didn’t get to see it.  Chad was ‑‑ we saw another set of stickers left, so Chad looked at it, the guys were working on it, and we were already discussing what changes we wanted to make for that last sticker run.  So I could tell right away that it was more cosmetic and nothing really bad.  I hate that the contact happened but it luckily didn’t hurt our car or move the splitter around. That would be the tough part is if ‑‑ luckily it hit the bumper bar and smashed that in instead of bending the splitter up or down.
Q.  This question is for Jimmie.  Jeff Gordon was on pit road during his post‑race interview and kind of joked around saying when you guys qualify 15th or back in the pack you kind of gave them a chance to win.  What’s the advantage of getting that No. 1 pit stall and doing it two times in a row, the pole in the fall, winning the race, and doing the same thing here in the spring?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Yeah, you make your day so much easier when you qualify up front, qualify on pole and get that first pit stall.  Jeff sent me a funny text Friday, you’re tough enough to beat when you qualify 15th, now on the pole it’s going to be impossible to beat you.  I got a good laugh out of that.
 
There’s four or five cars that we race with here that I don’t want to see them get the pole because it could be that little advantage that gives them a chance to win.  We all could see how bad it was to start in the outside lane, and if you can come off pit road first and not second, it makes all the difference in the world.  Even third versus second, you’d much rather be third than second.
Q.  I heard you say I think to Chad on the cool‑down lap something to the effect of we looked like we knew what we were doing today, which is kind of amusing when you consider this place has been hosting Cup races for more than 50 years and the only guys with more wins than you are Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip.  I know it’s tough to put that in perspective, but can you talk about being third all‑time here by yourself, no other active driver has eight wins?  Do you ever sit back and think about that?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Yeah, I think the fact that we had just such a calm weekend was the biggest part.  I mean, it’s easy to start chasing things here and get yourself off track.
 
We always race well, and fortunately here you pit a lot and you can make big changes to your race car to get you in the ballgame.  We’ve won races where we were just terrible to start the race, having no fun.  Chad is throwing spring rubbers in the car and track wear is coming up or down, wedges in and out, all those huge, huge changes, and we get ourselves in contention.
 
I don’t know where we were ‑‑ someone said the worst I was on the track today was fourth.  We just executed from the first laps in practice to where we were at the end of the race, and that was fun.  That’s what I meant by that, that we weren’t chasing a setup or track conditions or a variety of things that we’ve done in the past.
Q.  Chad, after the race Denny tweeted or told somebody, this was a lay‑up win, the inference being he wasn’t out there so y’all had a pretty easy time of it.  Is that the kind of thing you’ll remember in October when you come back or do you not need bulletin board material to get your team up for a race?
CHAD KNAUS:  I guess I am glad I don’t tweet.  (Laugh
ter.)
You know, I don’t really pay ‑‑ I don’t know.  Denny, I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s not Denny, it’s the Gibbs cars.  If you look at Matt Kenseth, he couldn’t get out of his own way when he was in a Roush car here, and he went out there today and was making it happen.  I think it’s probably more car than driver here for that team.
 
But Denny does a really good job here.  He’s fantastic at the short tracks here, Richmond, a lot of those tracks, and I hate it that Denny is hurt.  That’s not the way we want this stuff to go down.  But I still think that they’re going to be in the Chase and I think they’re going to be in contention for the championship.
Q.  Rick, you’ve seen Jimmie win so many times here.  Just from what you watch, what do you think makes him so good here?
RICK HENDRICK:  Just watching him in the car and the feedback he’s giving Chad and then the way he’s taking care of the tires and kind of feeling the race unfold, I watched him today, I like to go to the front stretch and watch the cars come off the corner nice and straight and don’t bobble, and he does an excellent job with the throttle.  I was talking to Gordon about it, and he said that you will master it looking at the traces and figuring out how to run the track.  He said he’s sorry he ever showed you one of his.
Q.  Rick, which would you have predicted today, Jimmie winning the race or Danica finishing 12th?  Which surprises you more?
RICK HENDRICK:  Danica.  I thought he was going to win the race, when we got sitting on the pole.  His track record here.  I didn’t realize she finished 11th.  That’s a great job.  But I’m definitely ‑‑ I don’t know how to answer that.  I’m not surprised that he won the race.  I’m surprised she finished 11th.  Is that what you said?  That’s what you asked me.  Yeah.  Okay.
Q.  Chad, since now we’ve had two of the short tracks and at this point in the season, where do you see the work that needs to happen with this generation of car and maybe a critique at this point, best and worst, good performing versus one you need to actually do a little bit more work to?
CHAD KNAUS:  Honestly I think the car is performing really well to be quite frank with you.  I think that Goodyear needs a little bit more time with this car so they can get us the tires that we need to continue to race.  They did a great job with this tire that we’ve got here.  We actually knew that they tested last year with this tire with the 2013 car, and I think that they came very, very prepared, and I think the more that they can do that, the more experience they get with the Gen‑6 car is only going to help the racing as a whole because as the tire falloff increases I think the racing gets better.  I think we saw that today, and I think that we’ll see that next weekend going into Texas.  It’s pretty abrasive and difficult on the tires so I think you’ll see some good racing there just like we did at Fontana.
 
The more the tracks that we go to where the tire falloff is lower, the racing inherently is not as good because the line selection is minimized.
 
So I think that from a car standpoint, I don’t think we need to mess with it a whole heck of a lot right now, just kind of let things shake out and let Goodyear get to work and see what they can do with the product.
Q.  Jimmie, from your perspective, Jeff called it kind of like more old school Martinsville with the tire falloff.  Most drivers seem to like that. What did you think this weekend and do you feel that it’s heading in the right direction, kind of like Chad said?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:  Yeah, I agree with what Jeff said, and Chad’s point of view, as well.  The competitors have been asking for a tire that falls off, and with changes in the vehicle, this Gen‑6 car is allowing Goodyear to comfortably make some adjustments and change.  Their green tire that they’ve introduced naturally wears out differently, and seems to wear more, which is good, and creates that falloff.
 
So I think directionally we’re going the right way.  I do still feel that there are some surfaces that just ‑‑ the type of surface that’s put down doesn’t put on good races, and we need to be smart when we resurface tracks.
 
But tire falloff is what we’re all after.  The competitors have been saying that for a long time but Goodyear was afraid to do so with some of the loading and things that we saw with the other car.  They still want it to last.  The last thing they want is four or five blown right fronts and drivers climbing out of the car mad and hurt talking about the tire not doing its job.  So they’re walking a tightrope.  It’s easy to beat up on them, but they do have a tough job.
 
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED THIRD
DANICA PATRICK AND TONY GIBSON (CREW CHIEF), NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 12TH
 
KERRY THARP:  Danica Patrick has joined us, too.  She had a strong 12th place showing her first trip here to Martinsville Speedway. Certainly Danica driving the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart‑Haas.  Outstanding job out there today.  Maybe just talk about your experience driving at Martinsville and how you thought things went.
 
DANICA PATRICK:  Yeah.  I had a spin at the very beginning.  I don’t know how many laps in, 10, 20, something like that, and felt like I kind of got pinched down but I also got in pretty hard.  When you’ve got the momentum going that way, it was sort of a perfect storm.
 
But I learned my lesson to make sure that you just don’t go in too hard because they’re going to be holding you tight, and there’s going to be nowhere to go, nowhere to slide up, and you get into them and it’s a lot ‑‑ if you’ve got wheel in it you’re probably going to come around.
 
Learned that lesson early.  We were two laps down at one point, so I’m probably most proud of getting those two laps back and then running strong until the end there on the lead lap.
 
You know, it was just nice to have a good weekend after having so many that weren’t good since Daytona.  Yeah, it was a fun little track.  I was told that if it goes well, you’ll be like, I don’t mind this place at all, let’s come back, and if it doesn’t you don’t ever want to see it again.  Today was one of those days I had a good car, and Gibson has got a good track record here, obviously Newman won this race last year, and he’s always run really well.
 
I think the team has a lot to be proud of.  The stops were good.  We had a little right front damage from early in the race so it was a little bit of a pain in the butt to get that tire off and then back on for stops.  But it was good to get the Go Daddy car up there, and Hendrick did a nice job all weekend.
 
Obviously I had to start from the back because I decided I was going to go from 4th to 3rd and coming up to speed on my out lap in practice, and that’s not the normal progression.  I got 11.4 on the revs, and they were like, we should probably just take that out.  Unfortunately I had to start from the rear.
 
But Hendrick gave me another really strong engine, and I felt like we had decent speed in practice, and it was nothing different today.
 
Q.  How do you feel about your performance today?
DANICA PATRICK:  I guarded down into 3 on the last lap, and then the 55 hit me and got me loose and pushed me up the track, and then I held it next to him, came off the corner, and then Harvick is on the very inside so we were three wide coming to the line, and then for some reason the 55 just spun all the way ‑‑ like big smoke going into 1.  I don’t know if that’s what you were talking about.  I don’t know what happened.  I have n
o idea.
 
DANICA PATRICK:  Okay.  I’m such a rookie.
 
You know, it was ‑‑ we just answered how the day went.  More than that, kind of what Clint said about the sport being exciting, a lot going on.  I hope the fans enjoyed that late red that made for a chaotic last seven or eight laps there.  You know, it was good to look up in the stands and see it full.  It was good to see people with their shirts off.  Summer’s coming, so I’m ready for it.  I’m sure y’all are because it snowed here on Thursday.
 
Things are just going well, and for me it was just really nice to have a nice weekend since Daytona because we haven’t had ‑‑
 
KERRY THARP:  Jeff Gordon has joined us.  Jeff finished third today.  Jeff drives the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, and Jeff, talk about your run, certainly battling for the win out there, but how did it look from your seat?
 
JEFF GORDON:  It was an exciting day for us.  You know, same thing kind of what Clint said, we were a little bit tighter when the race started than we anticipated, but we also burned the rear tires off of it the first couple runs.
 
Luckily that improved, and I made a bonehead move and overshot my pit stall and cost us a bunch of positions.  I was just sitting back there not passing anybody, not going anywhere thinking, uh‑oh, I’ve really screwed us up.  The long run we made a couple of adjustments and freed the car up and the long run came and our car was unbelievable in that long run.  I obviously didn’t want to see a short run there at the end, but you know it’s pretty typical; it’s going to happen at Martinsville.  I think third was a great finish for us, and happy to bring home third.
 
We needed the points.  We needed a good solid run.  The 48, you give him that No. 1 pit stall at Martinsville, and I mean, it’s almost near impossible to beat him.
 
Q.  Danica, they say that the toughest thing about your first race here is getting comfortable.  At what point ‑‑ was there a point in the race where you felt that comfort level grow, and when you did spin, were you thinking, okay, everything everybody said about this place was right, it is a little hard to get around here?
 
DANICA PATRICK:  I think it was just the circumstance, but it just got me on my toes when I was inside of people, making sure I didn’t slide up into them and them kind of help turn me sideways.  Honestly I felt pretty comfortable from the get‑go.  When you have a decent car, things just are a lot easier.  I’ve had a lot of other worse weekends, like Fontana, I’ve been there a bunch of times, but it was misery until the race.
 
It was just a good car, so we were steady all weekend and we just kind of kept improving.  We also improved in the race, which is always really important.  We ended up getting really good power down by about halfway through the race and no matter what I did I could really get on it well coming off the corner.
 
I would say that I learned pretty early, I was backing up my corner and kind of going it easy and trying to kind of save everything.  I was getting really loose doing it, so once I finally got back to going in hard again and loading the front up like I was before, it seemed like the car got really balanced again.
 
I learned that kind of easy, and that’s kind of what helped me get more comfortable in race runs.
 
Q.  Danica, you were five spots ahead of Tony Stewart and many more ahead of Ryan Newman.  How did it feel to be first in class for Stewart‑Haas Racing today?
 
DANICA PATRICK:  Well, I mean Ryan Newman had an issue, and he was really nice out there.  There was one time he let me in when I was stuck up high, so that was really helpful of him.  And I felt a little funny kind of racing really hard for position there with Tony at the end, and then to get in front of him, that was a little victory for me because he’s so good.
I’m going to go over to his bus after this and see what he has to say about it.  But no, it was really fun.  Gibson just prepares nice cars for Martinsville.  It’s not about being first on your team, it’s about being first out there overall, and you work towards that the whole time.
Q.  And then also, is this place ‑‑ you’ve had success at Phoenix, at Milwaukee, at flat short tracks like this.  Does this place remind you of either of those and is that why you got so comfortable so quick and got that rhythm?
 
DANICA PATRICK:  No.  I mean, I just think there’s less risk in finding the limit on a track that you’re not going as fast on.  I think that’s a little bit a part of it as opposed to when you’re at Fontana and it’s a tricky track and you’re carrying a lot of speed, and the consequences seem a little bit bigger when you try and find the limit there than at a short little track here like Martinsville.
 
I think that might be kind of it.  I’m not 100 percent sure.  All I can say is that I know that a car that’s comfortable to drive always makes a huge difference.
 
Q.  As a follow to what you just said, when you were racing Tony for 16th with about 35 laps to go, did it enter your mind at all that maybe it would be a good idea to let him in, or is he just another driver on the track at that point?
 
DANICA PATRICK:  No, we were racing for position, so it didn’t cross my mind to let him in.  I went underneath him to go by him.  No, all that crossed my mind is that I just ‑‑ I’d be fair and give room and run hard, and if I get the spot, great; if I don’t, you lost it to a guy like Tony Stewart.
 
But no, I’m out there to race, and I don’t think Tony would want me to lift.
 
Q.  Jeff, with the victory today with Jimmie, that gives Hendrick Motorsports its 20th victory, breaks a tie with Petty for most all‑time here at Martinsville.  You and Jimmie have combined for 15 of those victories.  Can you talk about the dominance Hendrick has had here and what it means to hold that milestone?
 
JEFF GORDON:  I’m guessing Hendrick has got something figured out pretty good here.  You know, I mean, the first time I drove for Rick, I knew how good their equipment was everywhere we went.  The teams, they just do such a good job from the entire ‑‑ through the depth of the organization, from the engineering and how we build the chassis and everything that we do.  We hit on some things years ago for us here, but they had success prior to me getting there, and then I think the 48 has been able to take that success that we had and really build on that, as well.
 
And Jimmie, he just has really figured this place out.  There’s just certain tracks where the drivers that Hendrick has had over the past as well as now and just our race cars, it just really suits that.  Like I said, qualifying up front really can be huge here.  You get a driver like Jimmie and a team like the 48, or ours, as well, or the 15, you put them on the pole in that No. 1 pit stall, it’s going to be really, really hard to beat them.
 
The next thing we’ve got to work on now is trying to qualify better.  But that’s awesome.  I’m so proud to be a part of Hendrick.  Happy for Rick.  I got to see him out there, and I know that these types of stats and records really mean a lot to him, you know, and he deserves it.  They’ve got an awesome organization and work very hard at it.  It’s great to be a part of that.
 
Q.  Jeff, finally it seemed like there was that moment where it was like, oh, man, we’re going to have a bad day and then you managed to battle back.  How important is that just looking at the season as a whole to have that kind of turnaround today?
 
JE
FF GORDON:  Yeah, when it happened I was pretty disappointed because I made the mistake, and we know how ‑‑ you’ve got to be flawless at a track like this, and it just seemed like it was tough to pass.  When you get that far back in traffic.
 
At first I was disappointed in myself, and I thought, well, we’ve got a good car, we can make it up through there, and they dropped the green and I went backwards and I wasn’t passing anybody, and I thought, uh‑oh, I’ve really put ourselves in a hole here.  Luckily we had a long run, and like I said, we made some good adjustments, and we just started picking them off one by one, and the car was unbelievable on that long run.
 
You know, we can’t afford to do those things.  I can’t be making those mistakes, and we can’t have those mistakes made, and that’s just how crucial it is in the sport today as competitive as everybody is and how close the cars are.  You know, we kind of got fortunate today.
 
Q.  On Friday you said that you didn’t quite know about Martinsville.  Do you like it now?  What’s your feeling about it?
DANICA PATRICK:  Turn left.  Left, brake, left.  You know, as I said earlier, we did kind of answer this, but ‑‑ or I did, I had a pretty good car from the start, so it was comfortable, wasn’t really fighting anything huge.  A little loose in.
 
But I didn’t know what to expect, but I said that I feel like finding the limit on a short track where you’re going a little slower is a little bit ‑‑ there’s a little less penalty there, a little less risk than finding the limit on a really big track where you’re doing 200 miles an hour and you get sideways and you don’t always catch those.  I guess that’s probably the comfort level for me.
 
I felt like it was kind of traditional passing here, setting it up and getting your nose in there, a little bit more road course style, so that might have some effect because I’ve done so much of that.
 
But good car, steady day.  I got a lot of advice on keeping my head cool and just letting things go.  Nobody has straight fenders after the race, although Jimmie might.  Does Jimmie have all of his fenders straight?
 
Q. On her rookie battle between Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
            
DANICA PATRICK:  Actually I decided I’d fly back to Chicago and he’s going to drive back.  That was the plan all along.  But if he’s not back at the bus when I get back there, that means he’ll be mad.
 
You know, you have good days and you have bad days, and we’ve definitely had our fair share of bad days the last few weeks, so it was nice to have a decent one.
 
Q.  Jeff, on pit road you mentioned something about this being like old school Martinsville.  Was that in reference to the tires?  And it seemed that many of the people who raced yesterday and today seemed to like the falloff of the tires.  Do you think that’s headed in the right direction?
 
JEFF GORDON:  Yeah, I do.  I didn’t like it at lap 60 on the first run because it seemed like some others had it figured out a little bit better than we did.  But as the race went on and the wear got a little bit better, then it seemed like ‑‑ and the adjustments we made, we were very competitive.  I do like the falloff.  I like how you’ve got to manage how hard you push it at the beginning versus ‑‑ and the grip level, how it goes away and you’ve got to really use your foot to keep from spinning the tires.
 
So that is kind of old school Martinsville that I grew up with, and I do like that.  I think it brings more of the driver into play, even though it seemed like air pressure kind of helped that.  I think we all started maybe a little bit too high on rear pressure.  But yeah, that was fun.
 
I’d like to see that more.  Durability is a big deal, especially on the bigger, higher speed tracks, and so they’re limited on what they can do, especially on the repaves.  But on these older tracks, it’s kind of encouraging to know that they can build a tire that can withstand long runs but does fall off and wears a little bit.  I’d like to see more of that.
 
Q.  Danica, did you talk about what happened when you had contact with Junior?  Did Vickers get inside of you and did you feel like you were giving Vickers enough room there and also at the end?
 
DANICA PATRICK:  Well, we were lined up on the inside of 1 and 2, and Vickers hit me and hit me into Dale, and Dale got sideways and then went down the back straight and Dale was trying to put me down in the wall on the inside, and we got into 3 and he went around sideways and spun.
 
I wasn’t trying to lose any friends out there, that’s for sure.  It was tight, like it is, bumper to bumper, and I just got hit from behind.  Yeah, 55 found my bumper again at the end.  You know, it’s Martinsville, right.  Three wide, coming to the start‑finish line, it’s all exciting.
 
Q.  You’re not mad?
DANICA PATRICK:  No, I wanted to make sure Dale wasn’t mad.  I wasn’t trying to hit him or anything.  We were just lined up on the inside of 1 and 2 and we were all running tight and I got bumped and I got bumped into him and was able to get alongside of him.  Why wouldn’t I take it?  He came on the radio and said he wasn’t mad.  I didn’t do anything wrong.
 
KERRY THARP:  Thank you very much.  Good luck next week at Texas.
 
TONY GIBSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS:
DID YOU IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS THINK SHE COULD FINISH 12TH HERE IN HER FIRST ATTEMPT?
“Nah I’ve never. I figured if we could finish top 25 and be a couple of laps down it would be a miracle. I never dreamed. I knew after Saturday and Friday that we had a good car. I knew she was capable of doing it, as far as speedwise and driving. To be able to go through all that beating and banging and survive and finish 12th – she did a great job.”
 
IN REGARDS TO LISTENING AND ADAPTING:  
“Going to Little Rock was obviously huge. Going there and just king of getting in that mode of braking and working on a couple of things setup wise to help her. Martinsville is one of those places where if you can road race, you’re going to get around here pretty good. Obviously, she’s a pretty good road racer so having that straight line braking mentality and finesse of not just overdriving the car, that helped her the most coming into here. She definitely did a really, really nice job all day. She got aggressive when she needed to at the end.”
 
HOW HAPPY WERE YOU TO SEE HER GET AGGRESSIVE AT THE END?
“It was great to see that. I was worried about that. I knew that with 30 to go the restarts were going to get more and more aggressive, and that’s why I told her it’s not going to get any easier. I was really, really happy to see how aggressive she got. You know, being able to be on the defense. They would bump her and she wouldn’t get flustered and shake her out. I was really, really impressed with that. That was the biggest thing I was nervous about  – how she would do in a situation like that. It will help her gain some confidence. Obviously, this is the worst case scenario of where we go for a restart. To come out of her proving she can do it…on these restarts be more aggressive and do what these guys are doing and hopefully build some confidence that will help her down the road here.”
 
HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES THIS GIVE YOU GOING INTO TEXAS?
“It’s big. We ran really good there with her last year towards the end, and that was our first race with her. We had some confidence out of there and into Phoenix. So it’s awesome to come out of here with some confidence and a little momentum going into Texas and coming up on some tracks wh
ere I think we can run really good at. It’s huge right now for us.”
 

Chevy Racing–Grand Prix of Alabama Driver Quotes

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST RACE QUOTES
APRIL 7, 2013
 
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: ON THE RACE: “Helio and I always race clean. I had a little bit of contact with him before, I just couldn’t slow the car down and he was on the outside of me. Luckily we both just kept going from that, he took the lead at that point. His tire strategy worked in our favor, we had new reds on when he had blacks on, and he was just a sitting duck at that point. Will, on the other hand, did an unbelievable job keeping me behind him on reds. It was our worst set of reds though. I just kept patient and made it happen when I needed to. It was very challenging out there today, I’d like to thank all the other drivers, though, for keeping it on track and not going yellow because man, I didn’t want it to go yellow at the end. I had a little contact there with Helio (Castroneves), I feel bad about it.  Good thing nobody was affected by it but man, I was driving my tail off trying to stay in front of (Scott) Dixon.  Will (Power) did a good job staying in front of me on blacks, not sure how he did it. A lot of great racing out there. It’s just great to get a win for DHL, Sun Drop, Circle K and Chevrolet back in victory lane.  A good way to start the season.”
 
ON GETTING ANDRETTI A WIN AT BARBER: “It is excellent. It shows what we’re about, it shows that last year wasn’t a fluke. We really worked for it today. Unreal. I’m exhausted.”
 
IS THIS TEAM EVEN MAYBE BETTER THAN IT WAS LAST YEAR?  WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE? “It is. You know, we’ve never had a car like this at Barber. So, to do that is just unreal. But man, I’m really disappointed that my wife and my little boy aren’t here. We’re going to have to go win many more.  This one is for the little boy at home. It almost brings me to tears that he’s not here right now. But it is what it is. He’s going to Long Beach and all the rest of them.”
 
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, TEAM OWNER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT – RACE WINNER: ON THE RACE: “It really was a perfect weekend. We got the pole in both races and the win both races and led most of the laps, you can’t ask for much more than that. I’m really happy and proud of the whole DHL crew. They did a great job all weekend, and the whole Andretti team and it was really good. We knew we had to get it done because we had the reds and Helio had the blacks, and that’s how Helio was able to get us, so we had to try to return the favor. The team did a great job all weekend and Ryan did a hell of a job. This is awesome. I’m so happy for DHL and with the DHL car and also Sun Drop and everybody and Chevy. We’re happy to keep their streak going. So it was a good day.”
 
HOW MENTALLY EXHAUSTING WAS IT FOR YOU?
“It was a tough race because there are so many different things going on with the tires and all that. You just had to have faith in our strategy and it worked.”
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AAA INSURANCE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: YOU LOOK PRETTY FRESH, CONSIDERING, BUT YOU WERE NOT IN A GOOD PLACE AT THAT START:  “No, because I was boxed-in. I saw Dixon trying to pass Will and then he got shoved to the side. Everybody went wide. And all of a sudden, I’m like c’mon Will, go! And we were at that point to the rear. It was a shame because we were hoping for a good start. And then we had to change the plan of strategy and Turbo was there in the end. Let me tell you, that little snail was awesome because he was pushing me totally all the way to the end.”
 
BUT THE SNAIL (FROM THE MOVIE TURBO) WISHED HE HAD REDS AT THE END, RIGHT? “Yeah, but that’s the price we pay. We change strategy in the middle of the race and we got to make time and that’s what we did. I thought we would be able to hold on, but it was 15 or 17 laps to go, it was too many laps; the blacks were a little bit tough to hold on to those guys. At least we got a podium and hopefully more points for the championship.”
 
YOU ARE NOW THE POINTS LEADER. DID YOU KNOW THAT?
(Laughter) “See, that’s good. Let’s keep going that way and hopefully we’re going to be there. So, a good job by the boys and everyone. Everybody did a hell of a job and I appreciate the support.”
 
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: ON HIS RACE: “It was a tough start for us, we couldn’t get in the right slot and then committed to a different strategy to hopefully get the Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on the podium. We thought we had a good plan and just needed a yellow at any point after Lap 31. Unfortunately it didn’t come and we fought for the fifth place finish. It isn’t exactly what we wanted to get out of the weekend but is still a good points day and gets us closer to the top.”
 
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: ON HIS RACE:  “I thought we the RC Cola car was quicker on track than where we ended up. Coming into barber, you can always expect this to be a physical race. Not finding the podium is always tough to swallow, but having back to back top ten finishes keeps us in a good position going into Long Beach.”
 
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: ON HIS RACE: “Probably not the race that we wanted. Anyways, we stayed out of trouble and we did all we could. Unfortunately in our race there were not many red flags to give us any margins to risk and to work on strategies. It was a very clean race. Not much action on track – just trying to keep the pace with the others. That’s about it. I’m very happy for Ryan – he won the race! Hopefully my turn is coming.”
 
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY SH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 13TH: ON HIS RACE: “It was just a long day. I started the race on the primary tires in order to get them out of the way and was hoping to get more speed out of the red alternates to pick up some track position, but once I got stuck in traffic in the middle of the pack there was nothing I could do. Lost a handful of spots during our pits and managed to get some of them back at the end of the race, but it was still not our day. Let’s move on to Long Beach in a couple of weeks and focus on getting a better result there.”
 
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 CHARTER PANTHER DRYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH: ON HIS RACE:  “That was a disappointing race. On the first lap, I was involved in the first crash. I got hit from behind and I hit Hinch (James Hinchcliffe), which I’m sorry for. I saw three cars abreast in front of me and I tried to take it easy, maybe Graham [Rahal] didn’t see it and we all just ran into them. It was a bad start and it’s hard to come back from last. We had a decent car, but I had the rear bumper ripped off in that first crash so the car was not behaving at its best. We did what we could, we were never as fast as the top five cars, but we definitely as good as those running 6th, 7th, and 8th. If we would have been able to jump up front, we would have been able to stay there.”
 
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 16TH: ON HIS RACE: “We knew it was going to be a long day starting in the back of the field. We had a good car and were able to make it up to 11th, but I made a mistake and we lost our position and fell back to 13th. On the last lap I was confused with a call on the radio and thought it was the end of the race, so I backed off and lost 3 more positions. Disappointing way to end the day.”
 
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH: ON HIS RACE:  “I felt good all day, and the Panther team did a great job in the pits as well. But I felt like we had a couple varying scenarios that inevitably didn’t go our way. We were definitely expecting
for there to be more yellow flags as the race went on, and with it being so tough to pass, we were trying to get off-sequence with the group of cars that we were around. And early in the race we had the pace to get away from a lot of those guys. In our effort to get off-sequence it was always so close, but never ended up working for us, and that’s the frustrating part. We had to run a long stint there at the end and we lost a few positions, but we were able to fight hard to keep our spot in the last few laps and I think at the end of the day we need to continue moving forward and working with what we have to get better. These last two races if we would have started up front we would have stayed there, so that’s the aim going into Long Beach.”
 
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH: ON HER RACE:  “It was a tough race for us. We were always in traffic and there was always something going on. At the start I kind of got pushed out and lost a few positions and had to work my way back up. You know we were always fighting with different people and different tires and it was really hard to get by, so we kind of got stuck there and it wasn’t great. But, we’ll go on to the next one and hopefully we’ll be alright there.”
 
A.J. ALLMENDINGER, NO. 2 IZOD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH:  ON QUALIFYING:  ON HIS RACE: “All in all today was a good day in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevy and there are a lot of positives to take out of it. We had a good start and I thought I was pacing myself well, we could have had a top-10 day without the couple breaks against us. It was a good day with a bad stall and unfortunately after that point we were saving fuel so it made it tough to make up ground. But I know that I can compete with these guys and look forward to getting even better at Long Beach.”
 
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO.  6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: ON HIS RACE:  “I’m really disappointed with the way our day ended here at Barber. We had an amazing car and I was really happy with it, challenging drivers like Will Power for position. Pit stops did not go as planned and we lost what we had gained, moving to the back of the field. I’m ready to move onto Long Beach and go for the results I know we can get. “
 
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S PREMIUM ULTRA VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 22ND: ON HIS RACE:  “We tried to top off the fuel tank early under yellow and then do a two-stopper.  But the Fuzzy’s car wasn’t very good on the Black Firestones.  I thought the car felt good with the Firestone Red tires.  We ran some pretty consistent laps for a while there.  We committed to a strategy with just two stops and it just didn’t work out for us.  This track is tough and it is very hard to move forward.  We had a good first day here and I disappointed myself on Saturday in qualifying.  But today I felt the car was better and we learned some things for the future.  We had a pretty good at St. Pete and I think we’ll have a good run at Long Beach now.  At the end of the today, we have to take the positives and move on.”
 
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED  26TH – AS A RESULT OF DAMAGE RECEIVED IN MULTI-CAR INCIDENT ON LAP 1 AND STOPPED ON LAP 3 OF THE 90-LAP RACE: ON WHAT HAPPENED: “From what I have been told, we all piled into turn eight; I was behind Tony (Kanaan). From what I hear, (Graham) Rahal hit (Oriol) Servia who got in the back of me. I got in the back of Tony a little bit, but it was pretty square, and it didn’t do any damage to the front. I knew I had gotten hit, but everything was fine at first, but I guess, under caution, things started to work itself loose. As I started to warm the tires up, the wheel actually broke, that was what it was. That goodness it happened under caution where it did, because there are a lot of fast parts of this race track where if your wheel goes flying, it could have been really big. If there is anything to take out of this weekend, it’s all we did is lose a wheel, and didn’t write-off a car.”
 
ON NOT BEING ABLE TO GET BACK TO PIT LANE: “It was frustrating to sit there for 75 laps, watching everybody else go around, when you can ‘t do anything.  Thank goodness Ryan (Hunter-Reay had a good race, he was keeping me excited. I stayed out there the last 15 laps with the safety crew, who are awesome by-the-way. They were trying everything to get me back. It was just awesome to watch Ryan get the win. Happy for him. Two weekends in a row Andretti Autosport on the top step of the podium, and that is what it is all about.
 
“Certainly not the race that we wanted, but it wasn’t really our weekend at all. You know we had problems in practice, obviously the issue we had in qualifying, and then got hit on the first lap of the race. It’s too bad because I think the strategy we had with the tires was going to be a good one, and obviously the car was strong with Ryan bringing home the win. It sucked to have to sit there – praying for a yellow, staying in the car, hoping we’d get the car back to the pits and maybe salvage a position or two. But ultimately it didn’t work out for us; just one more thing that didn’t fall our way this weekend. We kind of laugh it off because there’s nothing else you can do at this point – put it behind us and move on to Long Beach, and try to put the Go Daddy car into a better position.”
 

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