Chevy Racing–Chicago–Post Race

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
GEICO 400
CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY RACE DRIVERS NOTES AND QUOTES – POST RACE
SEPTEMBER 15, 2013
 
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER DESIGNATE A DRIVER CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED THIRD
TELL US ABOUT THE CLOSING LAPS AND THE BATTLE WITH YOUR FUTURE TEAMMATE KURT BUSCH:
“Yeah, we had a lot of fun.  Obviously our Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet was running really good after the break there.  These guys did a lot of work in between while it was raining there.  So they did a good job with the car and making some adjustments to the car there towards the end.  Just too loose there the last couple of runs on exit.  Had a lot of fun and came up a couple short, but a good day.”
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 4TH: TAKE US THROUGH YOUR NIGHT:
“We had to overcome adversity with speeding on pit road.  All my lights were green, but hey when you are cutting it that close and they say you are speeding just take it, get your penalty over with and get back on your horse.  We had to come from behind and then we got the waive around.  It was a great call by Todd Berrier (crew chief).  Battling up through on the restarts, one of them we went from eighth to third and then the car just was off just a fuzz.  A little bit tight on entry I couldn’t power down into the corner and then hold the apex.  So when you know you are off just a little bit guys are going to beat you, but yeah we had a battle with (Kevin) Harvick and we brought our Chevy home in fourth.  Top fives are what it’s all about in the Chase and one down and nine to go.  Just hats off to this crew.  It’s a long day with rain delays and just in of focus, out of focus and we gave it our best effort.”
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 5TH: YOU HAD TO BATTLE THROUGH SOME UNFORTUNATE SITUATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE EVENING, BUT TO COME BACK AND FINISH 5TH, HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THAT IN THE CHASE HOPES?
“Yeah, really big. The next to the last run, we got ourselves right back in the thick of things. And unfortunately, just didn’t have the speed at the end there, for that final segment to go race for the end. But, from a jack failing to a call on pit road for a lugnut that was not supposedly on, and a variety of issues, it was a great comeback. So, we wanted to finish better of course, but we’re very proud of all the hard work from Hendrick Motorsports, Chas Knaus, and this No. 48 Lowe’s race team. We’re off to a good start.”
 
YOU GUYS HAD A ROLLER COASTER DAY/NIGHT TONIGHT.  ALL IN ALL DESCRIBE THE EFFORT THIS EVENING:
“Just a great effort you know we never gave up just got to keep working through things.  That second to last run we had a very fast race car and got up to the front and thought I had a chance to win this thing, but that last run we just didn’t have what we needed and came home in fifth.”
 
HOW MUCH DID THE TRACK CHANGE FROM THE RAIN DELAY TO WHERE WE FINISHED TONIGHT?
“It cooled off and it gained a lot of grip.  That changed our balance a little bit, but after an adjustment we got it right.  I felt like we had an awesome car.  We just lost track position.  We had a jack fail tonight we had a weird call on the right-rear on one of the pit stops just had a lot of issues with track position, but still got a good finish.”
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 6TH: A BIG SMILE ON YOUR FACE WHEN YOU GOT OUT OF THE CAR. WHAT DID YOU ACCOMPLISH TONIGHT?
“Well, that was an incredible accomplishment. It just shows how much fight this team has in them. We never give up. And, what an awesome Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet race car we had tonight. Whoa! Man, it was so much fun!  To think how far down we were with 40 laps to go, I know we were like 18th on one of those last restarts. So, to be able to come up through there and get 6th and have a shot at a top-5 was a lot of fun. That’s what needed to get this thing started off right. And I’m proud of this team. Can’t wait to get to this next race. What is it?  Loudon? We’re ready!”
 
WAS THE FAST PACE A PRODUCT OF THE LATE RESTART AND BEING COOLER? “When it turns to dark like that, it was going to be fast anyway because of the overcast. But, to be able to have a night race like this where the temperature has dropped so much, the cars are just stuck like glue. If anything, I thought our car was better when we went back racing. We were going to try to make adjustments to make it better during the daytime, but the nighttime sort of brought the car to us. The car just turned a little bit better; we needed that.”
 
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 10TH:  “Happy to come out of here with a top-10 finish tonight. Track position was really important. We were stuck in the back of the pack for a while and couldn’t really get going – every time I got up behind someone, I’d just get so tight I couldn’t do anything with it. Matt (Borland, crew chief) got us position with a couple of two-tire stops, and once we were up front we were able to make a little more of it. Our Quicken Loans Chevrolet was definitely better on the long runs. Head to Outback Steakhouse for a Bloomin’ Onion tomorrow. And, we paid 10 mortgages with Quicken Loans’ expanded “Bring it Home” sweepstakes.”
 
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 12: NOT THE EXACT FINISH YOU WANTED FOR FIRST RACE OF THE CHASE, BUT GREAT RECOVERY FROM DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES: “Yes, it was actually a pretty good finish for what we had. There were like three or four guys clueless on pit road; they are all stopping and can’t find their stalls – like we’ve never done this before. I was racing Carl (Edwards) and the next thing you know I’m trying to stopped and Junior (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) is trying to get stopped and we are all hitting one another. Hurt our car pretty bad and from there we just battled. The pit crew guys did a really nice job. I had a fast car prior to that. We were making our way forward.”
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS, SIDELINED WITH MECHANICAL ISSUES ON LAP 227:
YOU WERE LOOKING AT THE CAR. WERE YOU LOOKING FOR ANYTHING? DID YOU SEE ANYTHING?
“I was just trying to see if it was terminal or if we can get back out there. I’ve got to get other to the garage and see. But whatever it broke, it was something pretty serious.”
 
IS THERE A CHANCE YOU CAN GET BACK OVER THERE?
“It ain’t the motor, so we’ll have to go see.”
 
WHAT HAPPENED?
“I’m not really sure if it was motor or transmission, but it has got us sitting on the sidelines for the time being, maybe for the rest of the race.”
 
HOW TOUGH A NIGHT IS THIS?
“Pretty tough.  We had a car we were pretty happy with and you know just thought we were going to have a pretty good night.  I don’t know what was going on on pit road there but we knocked the front end off of it on pit road.  Those guys all stopped on pit road in front of us.  We were trying to get that fixed.  We still had a chance to get that fixed and get the downforce back in the front.  We cut the grill all up and the downforce was gone and we lost a lap there.  We were going to get that patched up and maybe be able to make something out of it, but something broke there in the motor.  It’s tough.  It’s going to be really hard to win a championship this far behind.”
 
ANY IDEA IF THE DAMAGE FROM THE PIT ROAD DEAL CONTRIBUTED TO THE ENGINE PROBLEM?
“I don’t think it did.  We had the temperatures under control the whole time. I think that this was either something that was an anomaly just something that just happened or we were really on the chip very hard tonight with the extra speed. Even at the beginning of the race this afternoon we
hit the chip harder than I’ve hit it all year.  We will look back through the data and see if I did something.  Maybe I did something on a restart or something, but I am usually pretty honest about that stuff and I don’t remember doing anything.”
 
FINISHING IN THE 30’S DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO MAKE THIS UP?
“We have some pretty tough competition in the Chase.  The average finish is going to be inside the top 10 to win the championship.  So you can do the numbers, you can do the math.”
 

Summit Racing–Anderson Ready to Get Back to Work After Charlotte

Anderson Ready to Get Back to Work After Charlotte
 
Mooresville, N.C., September 15, 2013 – Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson has a strong record at zMAX Dragway, the site of this weekend’s sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals. With three Pro Stock victories in Charlotte on his scorecard, Anderson always has high expectations when it is time to race at what he considers a home track. This weekend however, he was left wanting more.
 
“The Summit Racing team is such a strong group, and my teammate showed here this weekend that we have power and the Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros can be great cars,” said Anderson. Line was the No. 1 qualifier and runner-up at the event. “On the other hand, we clearly have some work to do to bring my car up to the caliber of racecar that we have for Jason.”
 
Anderson made four passes in the 6.5-second zone during qualifying, and his best time of 6.556 at 210.44 mph resulted in a start from the No. 7 position. The four-time Pro Stock world champion squared off with Vincent Nobile in the first round of eliminations on Sunday, and he took full advantage of lane choice to make his start from the much-preferred right lane.
 
Anderson’s opponent was in trouble soon after the launch and he easily moved on to take the win with a 6.596 at 209.75. Although he logged the round win, Anderson lost lane choice to Mike Edwards for their quarterfinals match as Edwards’ opening round elapsed time was .015-second quicker.
 
“Lane choice was very important this weekend, and the work that we did last night and this morning to bring our car closer to Jason’s really could have made a difference if we hadn’t lost lane choice,” said Anderson. “But we just weren’t fast enough in the first round, and we didn’t get the job done. We missed a little bit on the first run, and it was the kiss of death.”
 
Anderson’s Camaro was first off the starting line by a bunch in his match with Edwards, but he soon lost traction and could only watch as Edwards surged ahead to take the win light. The early ending to the day was particularly disappointing as Anderson had hoped to make a strong start in the first of six races in NHRA’s 2013 Countdown to the Championship. Anderson entered the event as the No. 7 seed but was bumped down one spot to eighth at the conclusion of the event.
 
“It was a shame that we weren’t able to have a better outing here, but that’s okay – we’ve got a great team, we know we have Summit Racing Camaros with a lot of potential, and we’re just going to pick up and keep going,” said Anderson. “We’re going to stay here at zMAX Dragway tomorrow and do some testing, see if we can rectify what went wrong this weekend before we go to the race next weekend in Dallas. We’re going to keep digging. Today wasn’t our day, but we have a lot of confidence that we can right this ship and get the Summit Racing Camaro back up there.”

Summit Racing–Line Races to the Final Round in Charlotte, Moves Up in the Standings

Line Races to the Final Round in Charlotte, Moves Up in the Standings
 
Mooresville, N.C., September 15, 2013 – The first race of NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship netted near-perfect results for Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line. The Mooresville, N.C., resident earned his first No. 1 qualifier award of the season at the sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals and powered his silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to the final round on raceday to move up to third in the series standings.

“It was a good day today, but I would be a lot happier if it would have been just a little bit better,” said Line, who entered the event as the No. 6 seed in the championship chase and was looking to defend the title he earned in Charlotte one year ago.

Line launched into the weekend with a hot rod to be reckoned with and picked up bonus qualifying points in each round en route to the 34th pole position of his career and fifth at Charlotte’s venerable zMAX Dragway. On Sunday, Line continued to show muscle with a car that was either first- or second-quickest in each round of eliminations.

In the opening act, Line was .022 at the starting line and 6.563, 210.70 mph at the finish line stripe to top veteran Pro Stock pilot Warren Johnson. In round two, a remarkable 6.546 pass at a booming 211.49 mph flashed on the scoreboard as Line obliterated the traction-troubled run put forth by opponent V. Gaines, and the dominating pass would stand as low e.t. of the meet and top speed of eliminations.

KB Racing driver Line slowed some in the semifinals, but his 6.579, 210.73 was still second-quickest of the round and effectively put Erica Enders-Stevens on the trailer. Unfortunately, Line’s winning run was .003-second slower than that of Jeg Coughlin, and he forfeited lane choice to his final-round opponent on a day where choice of position on the racetrack proved pivotal.

“Today it was a one-lane racetrack out there, and losing lane choice going into the final was painful,” said Line. “We knew it was critical, and to be honest, even though our run in the semifinals was one of the quickest, it was not a good run. The win light came on and I thought, ‘Well, that’s great,’ but I knew we had lost lane choice.”

Although Line had been respectable at the starting line for most of the day and launched either ahead of or right alongside his opponents in each of the preceding rounds, his reaction time in the final round proved to be the culprit in a disheartening loss. Coughlin left first, clocking a .026-second reaction time to Line’s .052, and although Line cleared the finish line with a quicker 6.578 at 210.97 mph that was the most impressive run of the day in the left lane, Coughlin turned his starting line advantage into a 6.583, 210.05 victory.

“We could have and should have won today. The silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro was the best car out there this weekend, no question,” said Line, who competed in the 63rd final round appearance of his career and second of the season (he won in Houston this past spring).

“I feel like we have had the best car for a couple of weeks, but we just haven’t been able to show it. This weekend, we did. They knew we were here. To outrun him in the final, I’m obviously proud of that. We have a fast hot rod, and it’s unfortunate that I didn’t come through better as a driver. But as a team, we did great. We’re definitely going to be tough from here on out, and that feels good.”
                                          

Mopar Racing–Mopar Sportsman Racer Barton Wins Factory Stock Showdown at NHRA Carolina Nationals

Mopar Sportsman Racer Barton Wins Factory Stock Showdown at NHRA Carolina Nationals
 
·         Sportsman racer Barton wins Factory Stock Showdown held during the Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway
·         Barton’s winning 2010 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak debuted third generation 426 HEMI engine at Indianapolis
·         Barton defeats Dave Connolly in FS/AC runoff to advance to final against Bo Butner
·         Barton wins Factory Stock Championship title with an eight-second run, fastest recorded pass by a V8 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

 

Concord, N.C. (Saturday, September 14, 2013) – Mopar Sportsman racer driver David Barton put his 2010 Dodge Challenger with the brand new Gen III 426 HEMI engine into the winner’s circle with the victory in the Factory Stock Showdown, a modern-day muscle car shootout, at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway this weekend.

Barton, son of legendary HEMI engine builder Ray Barton, debuted the third generation 426 race HEMI at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis two weeks ago. In Charlotte, for just its second appearance, the Mopar defeated adversary Dave Connolly, who was at the wheel of Victor Cagnazzi’s COPO Camaro, in the FS/AC runoff for the class win. While Connolly (9.206 sec / 144.78 mph) had the advantage off the start with a 0.040-second reaction time to 0.108, Barton chased him down then passed him with a 9.019 second (146.15 mph) elapsed time run for the decisive victory.

As the class victor, Barton then advanced to take on the winner of the FS/DC class Bo Butner, who was aboard a 2013 Ford Mustang, in a handicap start for the overall Factory Stock Showdown championship. Butner red-lighted his start giving the 2010 Dodge Challenger (8.999 sec/ 147.29 mph) the win and the Gen III 426 HEMI engine a first overall Factory Stock championship and trophy. Most notable about Barton’s run was that it produced the first eight second pass by a V8 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. He later improved on that time in Stock eliminations with an 8.90-second pass.

“The new Gen III 426 HEMI has been really great to us,” Barton said. “We realized early even on paper that this was going to be a great combination, but to actually piece it all together and make something of it is a different story. Mopar was quick in getting us the parts we needed.  We did the best we could to get it done with the tools and time we had and here we are in the winner’s circle with an 8-second run and a Wally.”

The Factory Stock Showdown is a competition showcasing the Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak, Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, and Chevrolet COPO Camaro factory-built race cars with “heads-up” racing. In order to provide a level playing field, entries are split into two classes, designated as FS/AC for naturally aspirated engines and FS/DC for supercharged entries. Entrants then race in a heads-up, no-breakout format until a finalists in each class is crowned. The winners of each class then return for a final showdown using a handicap start (three-tenths staggered) to determine the overall Factory Stock Champion.

The showdown debuted in 2012 at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis to rave reviews despite a limited entry field and was expanded to three races for the 2013 NHRA season to include the Summernationals in Englishtown, N.J., a return to Indianapolis, and this weekend’s Carolina Nationals in Charlotte, N.C.

“It’s like it was 50 years ago,” Barton said. “They’re bringing out the factory stock hot rod and it’s basically who has the fast stuff between Chrysler, Ford and Chevrolet. It’s just a big battle. This is a way for them to run head to head, have fun, the best stuff wins and get back to the true spirit of drag racing.”

John Force Racing–HIGHT WINS IN CHARLOTTE AGAIN JUMPS TO 3RD IN FUNNY CAR POINTS

HIGHT WINS IN CHARLOTTE AGAIN JUMPS TO 3RD IN FUNNY CAR POINTS

 

CHARLOTTE, NC —- For one afternoon history repeated itself at the 6th annual Carlyle Tools Carolina NHRA Nationals as Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang won and made a dramatic jump up the Mello Yello Funny Car point standings. In 2009 Hight defeated Matt Hagan in the finals and in the process jumped from 10th to 3rd in the point standings. Today in front of a packed crowd at zMax Dragway Hight again bested Hagan and moved from 9th to 3rd heading to the second race of the Countdown to the Championship.

 

Hight used a superior reaction time .055 to .074 to seal the win when his Auto Club Mustang crossed the finish line with an elapsed time of 4.083 to Hagan’s 4.066.

 

“Not many people beat Matt Hagan on a hole-shot. I am not going to count on doing it again either. That team has been No. 1 for a reason all year. I am pretty sure there are a lot of Funny Car drivers that are happy that I won,” said Hight, who has now won eight rounds of racing in a row. “To have him come in here No. 1 in points and leave with the win would have been devastating to the whole class trying to catch him. That was a 40 point swing for me. I was 100 back coming into the Countdown and if I would have lost it would have been 120. Now it is 80 points with five races to go. 120 points is a mountain to climb.”

 

In 2009 it was a Hight and crew chief Jimmy Prock combination getting the win and today Hight relied on crew chief Mike Neff to lead him to victory.

 

“I have said it before but Mike Neff is the smartest Funny Car racer out here. We could have tried to go up there on Friday night and do something we have never done before which is try to make a three second run, but Neff made it go down the track. We ran 4.04 and it got us in the top half. Mission accomplished for Mike Neff,” said Hight, who was the No. 8 qualifier this weekend.

 

“That is how he races. Yesterday we came out here and in the first session we were the quick car and we were second quickest in the second session in the worse of the two lanes. We picked up five bonus points and we are definitely counting points. I have learned from Mike Neff that even if we are struggling a little in qualifying you ignore it because he gets his act together on race day.”

 

Hight came out in the first round and outran rookie Chad Head 4.075 to 4.863 seconds. In the second round he had to race No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon and Hight stepped up with a 4.055 seconds to 4.103 seconds win and set up a JFR versus JFR semi-final match-up with teammate Courtney Force.

 

“The first three round we were the quick car. We don’t have a whole lot of time to celebrate we move right on to the AAA Texas Fall Nationals in Ennis next weekend. It will be a total different set of circumstances. You know it will be hot this time of year,” said Hight.

 

Coming into this race Hight had some momentum for him win at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. It was Hight’s first win in 35 races and his third win at the biggest race on the NHRA Mello Yello Series schedule.

 

“The Indy win was huge. When we switched teams I knew I was getting in a really good race car. Suddenly we just went silent and I started doubting myself. I started thinking it was me. When you have self-doubt you are not performing to your best. To pull it all together at the biggest race of the year was huge. I am not looking back because you can’t be over confident. We will have our hands full,” added Hight.

 

“The standings haven’t shown how good this team is. We had a lot of goofy things happen. I lost on a hole shot in Sonoma when the fire bottles went off. We just had a lot of goofy things going wrong like spark plugs going out. We were better than that and luckily we pulled it all together before Indy. I have a great team. These guys work night and day and they are so meticulous. My guys at the Auto Club team were awesome too. I have been lucky to work with two great teams. I watched my guys between rounds today and my blower guy took the blower apart because he wanted to double check that he put oil in it. It was all correct but he wanted to be sure. These guys aren’t leaving anything to chance. We are clicking. This is only one race.”

 

Courtney Force moved up a total of 46 points this weekend after dismissing Bob Tasca III and Ron Capps from the show. Force started the 2013 Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship in the No. 7 spot, but picked up enough points to put her in the No. 6 spot going into the next race in Ennis, Texas just outside Dallas.

 

Force and her Traxxas Ford Mustang team posted a quick 4.094 at 313.95 mph to beat Ford driver Tasca III. This was the eighth time the pair has matched up in eliminations, the fourth time they have met in first round. Force is now 7-1 to Tasca III, 4-0 in first round encounters.

 

 “All three of our Funny Cars got through first round and we ran a pretty good number for that session. The started coming out and the track started heating up a little bit, but to go out there and still run a 4.09 was great for that session. It was a close race against Tasca, another Ford Mustang out there. He’s a tough competitor. You really get fired up when you’re going up against him. We’re going after that championship and you really have to make every round count,” said Force.

 

Force and the Traxxas Ford Mustang were able to pick up their second round win against Ron Capps for her fourth career win over the Don Schumacher Racing driver. She posted a 4.107 ET at 311.77 mph to Capps’ 4.112 ET at 309.20 mph.

 

“We had a really tough second round against Capps and won by just .002 of a second. It’s always tough going up against those Schumacher cars. I was really excited we were able to get that win. I was trying to stay on my game, keep the car shallow. We were aiming to get lane choice in the semis, but Robert outran us,” said Force.

 

“I’m excited for our Traxxas Ford Mustang team that we were able to score that big round win over Capps. These guys have been working hard and I’m glad I was able to do my job up there on the starting line. I left right with him and we were able to outrun him for the win,” said Force.

 

The 25-year-old driver suffered a loss in the semi-final round to teammate and brother-in-law, Robert Hight. Her Traxxas Ford Mustang smoked the tires at the beginning of the run as Hight went sailing down the track.

 

“I ran Robert in the semis. It’s always tough going against a teammate and Robert has a really good car over there. We didn’t have lane choice on that run and we struggled a little early trying to get our car down there. We knew they were going to put a good number on the board so we were prepared to give it our all. The track just wasn’t agreeing with the numbers we put in the car. It struck the tires pretty early and I tried to pedal it, but he was long gone.”

 

“It was a tough round loss for us, but we’re excited thinking about the fact that we did move up in points. We gained some points in qualifying and going rounds today and I think that’s the most important thing- to focus on the positives. I think we’ve taken a step forward and we’re excited to get to Dallas,” said Force.

John Force and the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang dropped a tough second round race to eventual finalist Matt Hagan. The 15-time champion left the starting line first but at the finish line it was Hagan winning with a 4.063 second run to Force’s 4.098 second pass.

 

Force, the No. 7 qualifier,  had a strong outing in the first round with his Jimmy Prock tuned Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car taking out veteran and fellow Countdown competitor Johnny Gray. In
the opening session Force posted the second quickest elapsed time, 4.076 seconds, to Gray’s 4.144 seconds.

 

“We’re starting to have race cars that look really good. We’re Funny Car people, but we’ll find our way with the Castrol EDGE dragster and my daughter (Brittany Force) is learning,” said Force.  “But my Castrol GTX Funny Car is running, Courtney’s is running, the sponsors Castrol, Ford, Auto Club, Brandsource, Traxxas, Mac Tools, they ought to be proud. Robert (Hight) to pull it out with a .055 light against Matt Hagan who ain’t no slouch. We got some good race cars. We got a shot at this title.”

 

In a tough turn of events for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award contender, Brittany Force, she lost a close race to new Top Fuel Mello Yello points leader Spencer Massey. The 27 year-old driver from Yorba Linda, California made a strong run in her Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster, 3.834 seconds to Massey’s 3.822 seconds. It was the fourth time these drivers have faced off and each time Force has given Massey a tough race but come up just a few hundredths of a second short. In this race both dragsters had issues at the top end but Massey was able to hold on for the win.

 

“It was definitely a good run for the Castrol EDGE team. It just wasn’t quick enough though. Spencer Massey is a tough competitor. He keeps whooping me, but we will get him one of these days,” said Force. “We ran a 3.82 to his 3.81, so it was still a very good run for us and I’m very happy about that. I think we would have made it down there, except we had some problems right at 700 feet which really slowed us down.”

 

Chevy Racing–Chicago–Rain Delay Notes

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
GEICO 400
CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY RACE RAIN DELAY DRIVERS NOTES AND QUOTES
SEPTEMBER 15, 2013
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS:
109 LAPS IN WHAT DO YOU GOT?
“So far we have been a little bit too tight, just trying to get the car to turn which I had no issues with that yesterday.  I think we just over adjusted for the weather conditions and things.  Kenny (Francis, crew chief) and the guys are doing a nice job with adjustments.  It was much better that last run we took off and we were close to the leaders speed the first 10 or 20 laps and then started falling off again.  So we have a little bit of work to do, but we are back to ninth and hopefully going forward from here.”

YOU TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER CONDITIONS AND HOW THEY CHANGED FROM WHEN YOU PRACTICED TO WHERE WE STARTED TODAY.  NOW WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SIGNIFICANT RAIN AND IT’S GOING TO BE DIFFERENT AGAIN WHEN YOU COME BACK AND RACE HOPEFULLY LATER THIS AFTERNOON OR THIS EVENING.  WHAT CHANGES IN THE TRACK AND IN THE CAR DO YOU LOOK FOR THEN?
“Well I think you know more rain, probably the most rain that we have had so far.  So it will wash all the rubber back off the track and it will be similar to how the race started I would imagine.  Then it’s going to get dark and everything.  I don’t know if it will free up tonight or not, but I’m kind of expecting it to be similar to how it’s been this afternoon.  Once it does rubber back in at that point we just need to be a little bit looser.  Hopefully we can get that done and go forward.”

I KNOW YOU’RE A SEATTLE SEAHAWKS FAN SO DURING THIS RAIN DELAY HAVE YOU BEEN CHECKING YOUR FANTASY FOOTBALL?
“Yeah, I may go check on my fantasy football.  I don’t know how that is going so far.  Yeah, the Seahawks are going tonight against the 49ers which is going to be a great game.  Probably won’t be watching that I’ll probably be racing, but I hope the ‘Hawks win.  They are pretty tough this year.”

YOU WON’T BE ASKING FOR ANY UPDATES DURING THE COURSE OF THE RUN TONIGHT?
“I don’t think so.  I have enough to focus on right now.  We need to get a good run in today at Chicago and get off to a good start in the Chase.” 

CHAD KNAUS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – Comment during red flag
EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE PITS STOP ON LAP 77 REGARDING THE RIGHT REAR. THE OFFICIAL ASSUMED THERE WAS A LUGNUT MISSING?
“Yeah, there was one hanging there. One had fallen off during the hand-in, so it was kind of hanging there; but the tire changer had taken the time. He did his job. He did a great job getting the other lugnut on there and making sure it was tight. The official thought there were only four on there. We all make mistakes. That happens from time to time. Hopefully we can get the Lowe’s Chevrolet back up towards the front and compete for the win.”
 
YOU WERE VERY CALM AND COMPOSED WHEN YOU TALKED TO JIMMIE JOHNSON ON THE RADIO, AND DIDN’T SEEM TO BE RILED AT ALL, EXTERNALLY. INTERNALLY, WERE YOU A LITTLE HOT?
“Well, the competitiveness side of me obviously didn’t want that to happen. We had a good opportunity to come in and retain the lead. But unfortunately fell back about five seconds because of that. So, we’ll just have to get out there and battle with them a little bit. But I think we’ll be okay. The car is running really good. Jimmie is doing a great job and the guys did a really good job of preparing the race car. We just have to get this rain out of our system. Looks like we might be racing under the lights, which might make it pretty exciting.”
 
YOU CALLED HIM IN A LITTLE BIT EARLY FOR THAT SECOND STOP. WAS THAT A STRATEGY MOVE TO MAKE A SECOND STOP BEFORE HALFWAY OR WERE YOU WORRIED AT ALL ABOUT A RIGHT FRONT?
“No, not worried about tires at all. Just wanted to get in here. We felt like we had everybody in a position where we could capitalize on it and catch them off guard and maybe get out there and pull all them down pit road. And all that worked perfectly! The only problem we had was we were a little slow on our pit stop (laughs).”
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – Comment during red flag
WHAT WERE YOU HEARING WHILE YOU WERE WAITING FOR THE CUE TO GO ON THAT PIT STOP?
“I was definitely waiting. And I could see confusion. I saw an official waving and I saw my rear changer done and at the wall, arguing with Chad (Knaus) and telling him that the lugs were on. In the end, I guess the official thought all the lugs weren’t on the right rear. And that’s where there was a conversation and an argument. Chad didn’t want me to leave the box without all the lugs on because that’s a penalty and on and on it went. So, long story short, I saw there on pit road while the clock was ticking and we proved our case that all five were on there. I took off. We certainly lost track position but I think we have a strong enough car to get back up there. We just need to get this place to dry out and get my Lowe’s Chevy back on the road and we’ll be in good shape.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE TWO-TIRE CALL EARLY? HOW WAS YOUR CAR HANDLING?
“It was good. My car has driven the same either way. So, I’m really happy with how my car feels. It’s got plenty of speed in it. The motor is running awesome. It’s nice when you can get up and run the high line and can feel the rpm in the engine and the Hendrick horsepower running down the straight. So, all is good. I’m just looking forward to a nice solid finish today and a good run. Hopefully that’s the only hiccup for the afternoon and we’ll be in good shape when the checkered falls.”
 
WE JUST TALKED TO CHAD KNAUS. HE SAID IT WOULD BE EXCITING RACING UNDER THE LIGHTS. DO YOU AGREE?
“Yeah, I just want to race today. I want to get home and see my girls. So as long as we can get it in tonight, today, or whatever it is, we’re ready to run.”
 
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS: YOU STAYED OUT A LITTLE LONGER THAN EVERYONE ELSE DURING THAT FIRST ROUND OF GREEN FLAG PIT STOPS TO LEAD A LAP. DISCUSS THE WAY STRATEGY WORKS ESPECIALLY IN THE EARLY PART OF THE RACE:
“My crew chief just walked away you should have asked him. He was the one that kept me out there.  I think he was working on if the rain did stay and last a little bit longer we would be able to stay out longer than everybody else.  Not knowing what the mindset is of everybody seeing if we might be able to get to halfway at that point.  At the same time the tires aren’t falling off that much so it wasn’t going to hurt us.  Either way we got a point I guess from what you told me, because I didn’t know.  We stayed on the lead lap there after the cycle and feel like our Quicken Loans car is decent.  We need some track position no doubt.  We will keep working on it.”
 
DOES THIS NOW CHANGE THE WAY YOU GUYS APPROACH FROM HERE ON OUT WHEN WE GO BACK RACING?
“No, my goal is to get to the front.  It doesn’t change any approach with respect to that.  What my crew chief does and how we get to the front might be a different story.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER DESIGNATE A DRIVER CHEVROLET SS:
HOW IS YOUR CHEVY?  I UNDERSTAND YOU WERE STRUGGLING WITH IT A LITTLE BIT WITH IT BEING REALLY TIGHT EARLY IN THE RACE?
“Yeah, we’ve just not been able to make it turn getting towards the center of the corner.  Once we get past 15 or 20 laps the cars speed is really good we just have to get it going.  We are going to make some adjustments on this pit stop after we had some time to sit and talk about it.  For as off as I thought we were at the beginning of the race we are not in too bad a position here to make up some ground.”
 
WE JUST SHOWED THE FEATURE WHERE YOUR CAREER REALLY JUMP STARTED AT THE TRAGIC LOSS OF DALE EARNHARDT.  I KN
OW YOU ARE LEAVING THIS TEAM AT THE END OF THIS YEAR.  WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU TO LEAD THIS TEAM TO A CHAMPIONSHIP GIVEN THE FACT THAT RICHARD CHILDRESS BELIEVED IN YOU AND PUT YOU IN THAT SEAT WHEN THEY LOST DALE?
“Obviously there were some extreme circumstances. We have heard that a lot this week haven’t we.  In that situation there were some extreme circumstances to fill a void for the company at RCR.  I felt like we did what we had to do to make everything right for the employees and everybody to keep that car on the race track.  Richard definitely gave me an opportunity and I will always be grateful for that.  We are just going to race as hard as we can these last 10 weeks to get the best finishes we can and see where we wind up come Homestead.”
 
AS A LAME DUCK DRIVER DO YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?  IS YOUR FOCUS STILL ON DOING WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THIS NO. 29 BUNCH AND BUDWEISER?
“Yeah, you definitely have to be focused.  I’m a one week at a time person.  It’s focus on what we need to for Chicago and Monday morning we will be focused on what we need to be focused on for Loudon.  Obviously during the week there are some conversations and things that need to happen for next year, but the biggest things that we have to worry about are already taken care of with crew chiefs and things like that.  Those guys are all working hard and we are going to work hard as a team this year to finish these last 10 weeks.”
 
YOU ARE ONE OF ONLY TWO DRIVERS TO WIN HERE MULTIPLE TIMES.  WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS TRACK IS GOING TO BE LIKE AND WHAT IS IT GOING TO BE LIKE ON THE RACE TRACK WHEN YOU GUYS GET BACK OUT THERE?
“Well the groove was pretty much on the bottom at the beginning of the race there until everybody started burning the track in.  It took several laps for that to come in. We will have to go through that period again.  I think that the cars are going to have more grip.  I feel like they are going to turn better.  They should turn better through the center of the corner, but the speeds are going to be up at the same time so hopefully the balance stays pretty close to the same just higher speeds.”
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – Comment during red flag
YOU WERE RUNNING 6TH WHEN THE RAIN CAME. HOW WAS YOUR CAR?
“We started sixth and we were passing cars; and then we had some guys change-up the strategy with two tires, so we had to come back a little bit from that, but the car is really, really strong. We were a little bit tight on the longer runs, but we’ve got a really strong race car. So I’m excited about the rest of the race; get this rain out of here and get this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet up a little bit further forward.”
 
WHAT’S THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE STRATEGY MOVING FORWARD BETWEEN YOU AND (CREW CHIEF) ALAN GUSTAFSON AT THIS POINT WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S AHEAD OF YOU THE REST OF THE DAY?
“Well, we can use the conditions that we had when this race started. It rained earlier. So, we’re really just thinking about what the track conditions are going to be and what our car has been doing on our first run and each run after that. It’s really just about tuning the car to make it go as fast as possible; and keep the team warmed-up and ready to go and just keep that mindset to be ready at any time. Don’t get complacent. We’re fired-up. This day is going well for us and we hope it continues.”
 

Tracy Hines Racing–Tracy Hines Finishes Eighth in the Haubstadt Hustler at Tri-State Speedway

Tracy Hines Finishes Eighth in the Haubstadt Hustler at Tri-State Speedway
By Tracy Hines Racing PR
 
NEW CASTLE, Ind.— Sept. 15, 2013— Consistency has been the name of the game for Tracy Hines with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series over the second half of the season, as he has racked up eight top-10 finishes in ninth starts, since the beginning of August. He extended his current streak of top-10 runs to seven consecutive races on Saturday, Sept.14, by finishing eighth at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind., in the Haubstadt Hustle, which was co-sanctioned by the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series and the Midwest Sprint Car Series (MSCS).
 
Hines started the 40-lap A-Feature on the outside of the front row aboard the Hansen’s Welding Inc./The Carolina Nut Company DRC. The native of New Castle, Ind., took the lead at the start, but Brady Short reclaimed the top spot by the time they crossed the start/finish line to complete the opening circuit. The first caution flag of the night flew on the second go-around. A long green flag stretch of racing followed, with Hines running among the top-eight for the duration of the contest.
 
The Haubstadt Hustler was run under the MSCS format, with drivers drawing for starting positions in the heat races and then passing points earned, and used to line up the main event. Hines started on the outside of the front row in the second 10-lap heat race and won that contest to lock himself into the 40-lap A-Feature. Being among the top-six in points after the heat races, Hines was part of the re-draw for the main event.
 
The 2002 champion of the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series is currently sixth in the standings, with six nights of racing remaining for the series in 2013. Hinnes has a pair of wins this year, along with 15 top-10 finishes.

Kraig Kinser Racing–Kraig Kinser Finishes Eighth at Both Clay County Fair Speedway & Deer Creek Speedway

Kraig Kinser Finishes Eighth at Both Clay County Fair Speedway & Deer Creek Speedway
By Kraig Kinser Racing PR
 
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Sept. 15, 2013— The pace of the racing programs this past weekend for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series were complete opposites. On Saturday, Sept. 14 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., the event was run in hurry-up mode with rain surrounding the area, with the checkered flag ultimately flying at 8:38 p.m. Central. On Friday, Sept. 13 at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, a couple hours delay early in the night to get the track service in racing shape, paired with a number of cautions in the main event, along with a fuel stop, pushed the completion of the program to well past midnight. The results were the same each night for Kraig Kinser though, as he crossed the line eighth aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation/Casey’s General Store/King Racing Products Maxim.
 
Kinser took the green flag for the 35-lap main event that capped the Asgrow/DeKalb Clash at the Creek at Deer Creek Speedway from the 14th spot. He lost a position on the opening lap and was running 15th when the first caution flag of the night flew on the third circuit. On the ensuing double file restart, he was able to gain a couple of spots and had worked his way up to the eighth spot by just the sixth lap.
 
The race was slowed twice more for caution flag periods, with single file restarts being used from this point on due to track conditions. Kinser fell back to ninth on the 10th go-around, but would gain the eighth spot back on lap-14 and would remain there for the duration of the 35-lapper, which was run with light rain falling the entire time, to earn his 32nd top-10 finish of the season.
 
“We were definitely glad to get the race in,” said Kinser. “It’s always tough when you know rain is coming and when it starts falling a bit that makes it even tougher. Everyone did a great job to speed the program through and get all 35 laps in for the fans, which is the main thing. We were able to move forward in the feature on a very tricky surface, so all in all, it was a decent night for us.”
 
The native of Bloomington, Ind., was 14th-quickest in qualifying at Deer Creek Speedway. He lined up fifth in the second heat race and wound up sixth to earn a spot in the main event. When the field assembled for the 35-lap A-Feature, the third-generation driver found himself on the outside of the seventh row in the 14th starting spot.
 
The 30-lap Arnold Motor Supply Shootout at Clay County Speedway on Friday night began with a yellow flag on the initial start for an accident, with a complete restart in order. On the second start, the caution came back out and led to a third start. On the third start, Kinser started to work his way forward and was up to eighth by the third lap. He found himself sixth just before the halfway point of the 30-lap contest. Kinser then was engaged in a spirited battled with Kerry Madsen for the fifth position, taking that spot for a few laps. Late in the going, Kinser raced Cody Darrah for seventh, and wound up finishing eighth to earn his 31st top-10 finish of the season.
 
The 2005 winner of the Knoxville Nationals opened the night at Clay County by timing in 13th-fastest, missing the heat race inversion by just one spot, which equated to two-thousandths-of-a-second. He charged from the fifth starting spot in the first heat race to finish second, which put him in the dash. The dash saw Kinser line up 10th and he was able to gain one position in that six-lap contest, and earn a starting spot the inside of the fifth row for the 30-lap Arnold Motor Supply Shootout.
 
“I’ve always run well at Spencer (Clay County Fair Speedway),” he noted. “We had a good heat race and were able to get in the dash and that’s always important. We just missed the heat race inversion in time trials by a hair, so to be able to come from fifth to second in the heat was great. The track was challenging in the feature, but we were able to maintain and come away with a solid finish.”
 
Kinser will return to the track next weekend at the famed Eldora Speedway for the running of the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series portion of the 4-Crown Nationals, followed by a trip to Lernerville (Pa.) Speedway for the Commonwealth Clash. The third-generation driver is currently 11th in the series standings. He has one win this season, along with 32 top-10 finishes.
 
“We are excited to get back to the shop and spend the week catching up on things and working on some things,” said Kinser. “It’s always nice to sleep in your own bed as well and for all the crews, this week will provide a well-deserved break, after all the long hours they have put in the last few weeks and all of the miles driven as well.”
 

Chevy Racing–Chicago–Rick Hendrick

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
GEICO 400
CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 15, 2013
 
 
RICK HENDRICK, OWNER OF HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS, met with media and discussed NASCAR’s rulings following last weekend’s race at Richmond, Jeff Gordon making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field, his thoughts on sponsors, pressures and expectations, and more. FULL TRANSCRIPT:
 
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS WEEK?
“Well, it was probably one of the most, I don’t know, up-and-down weeks. I thought, as the race (at Richmond) ended Jeff (Gordon) was in the race until the monitor showed that he wasn’t. And then I didn’t really learn a lot of the facts until I got back home. And I applaud NASCAR for really looking at things and trying to make it right. I thought he deserved to be in the race and I’m glad he’s in the Chase. So, I think it’s all worked out now and we kind of move on and I’m really ready to focus on the Chase now that we’ve got all four cars in it and hopefully we’ll have a good day here today.”
 
FROM A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DOES HAVING JEFF GORDON IN THE CHASE MEAN TO YOUR BOTTOM LINE?
“Well, it makes all the sponsors happy. And you know, it’s something you shoot for the whole year. And being in the Chase, that was one of the things that we worked for. We did it last year. We had all four in and we wanted to do it this year. And of course, AARP was calling me all week like they were very disappointed and upset. And I happened to be with them Thursday night here, when they were packing meals, and they were happy to find out Friday, I guess it was, that he was in the Chase. Everybody is happy now. It’s important to the sponsors. I mean you know, the teams have bonuses and you know it’s a shot at the championship. Everything has happened during the year with all your bad luck and whatever and it’s down to 10 races. The guy that runs good and has good luck could win this thing; anybody can win it. It’s just a lot of excitement for the sponsors on the car.”
 
THESE ARE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR DECISIONS THAT NASCAR MADE THIS WEEK
“Oh, it’s huge. You don’t want a sponsor to feel like they got robbed and NASCAR’s in a tough spot. You can’t make everybody happy. They have to have a rule and live by the rules. And I think they did a good job. And I think they’re going to, from what I’ve heard, Brian (France) is putting his foot down and we’re going to see a lot tighter reigns on what’s going on on the track. And I think if we can fix the restart deal now, and I’d love to see timing lines like we have on pit road. What’s wrong with running the pit road speed, a light comes on, the leader goes, and everybody runs instead of running all over each other. So, we’ll see what happens there. But everybody has had an up-and-down week. I’m just ready to get on with the Chase and you know you have all the excitement and the nerves of the race in Richmond, and then you come away disappointed because you thought you were in. Literally, coming off the box, I thought we were in. And I heard the radio say you missed it by one or two (points) and I said, ‘How could that be?’ And I went back and it was just –  The Chase is a great deal. It’s great for the fans. But man, it’s a nail-biting time for teams and drivers.”
 
ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED IN THE MANIPULATION?
“Yes. And, but you know, I think maybe that’s something that’s going to do us all a lot of good. The sport will move on and learn from it and go out and race and show the fans a heck of a good time and get what they pay to see. These guys drive their hearts out every week. I’ve been doing this over 30 years now and it’s the most competitive I’ve ever seen. I’ve raced when you could clinch a championship with three or four races to go, and that wasn’t any fun for people watching. It was fun for the guy; as a car owner it was fun. It took a lot of pressure off. But this is what has made it exciting and everybody’s got a tremendous amount of pressure to perform. And now it’s going to be interesting to see how these guys race today and the next 10 races because they’ve got to be a little bit cautious but you’ve got to be really fast. And I think the fans are going to see some extremely hard racing. And I think it’s going to come down to somebody making mistakes and other guys not making mistakes. We’ll see.”
 
WERE YOU SURPRISED AT ALL THAT NASCAR TOOK SUCH AN UNPRECEDENTED ACTION IN RESTORING JEFF (GORDON) TO THE CHASE? 
“Well you know I didn’t have to make that decision, but I sure felt like it was obvious that he got taken out by a manipulation instead of getting beat.  I think the world knew it and they had to do what they did.”
 
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT YOU GUYS GOT DRAGGED INTO IT WHERE ALLEGATIONS MAYBE YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN UP TO SOMETHING OR THE NO. 48 AND NO. 24 MAYBE HAD HELPED EACH OTHER.  WERE YOU ANGRY AT THAT?  DID YOU MAYBE HAVE WORDS WITH MICHAEL (WALTRIP)? 
“Well it was kind of stupid if you saw that Jeff (Gordon) was running top seven, he pits and the caution comes out.  It hurt Jeff.  How can anybody say it helped Jeff?  We burned the alternator up on the car that is what we were talking about voltage.
 
“I think people were just stabbing at things to get the pressure off of them maybe.  I didn’t really hear what anybody said.  When you have that kind of trouble and when that happened I was thinking our caution has cost Jeff the deal.  That is what I was thinking.  Then for somebody to turn around and say that was somehow timed or whatever that was a miserable night for the No. 48 and we were changing batteries.  The alternator was burnt up on the car, so that hurt all of our teams that caution did.  You know I’m just ready to end it.  I’m glad that Jeff is in the Chase.
 
“I think NASCAR, I think Brian France did a great job, he stepped up and he said I made the decision and this is the way it’s going to be.  It sounded like Bill.  I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen and this is the way we are going to race from here on.  I applaud NASCAR for what they have done.  I think everybody in the garage if we could go back and run Richmond over it would be a lot different.”
 
DID YOU GET ANY CALLS OR DO ANYTHING TO TRY TO HELP JEFF’S CAUSE WHEN YOU GOT WIND THAT MAYBE SOMETHING MIGHT HAVE BEEN UP LAST SATURDAY? 
“Well, you know you talk to everybody.  I was just like all the fans.  I was texting and emailing and saying ‘how could this be’.  Really nobody was responding so I didn’t have any idea what would happen.  I thought it was just 50/50, either they were or they weren’t. I thought all of you folks in the media did a great job of breaking it down.  You were the ones that had it on TV and I saw and read and listened to all of the information.  I think they did a good job of waiting and dissecting everything. And then before they pulled the trigger they knew what they were doing and knew what they were looking at.  It was such a mess Saturday night in Richmond; everybody was going home confused because you just didn’t know what happened.  I had no idea anything happened other than the No. 15 spun.  That is all I knew when I left the track.”
 
WE DON’T HAVE CHALLENGES LIKE THEY DO IN THE NFL. THE TEAM OWNERS OR DRIVERS OR CREW CHIEF OR WHOEVER CAN GO TO THE HAULER TO SHOW THEIR DISPLEASURE.  WHY WASN’T THERE MORE OF THAT THAT TRANSPIRED ON SATURDAY NIGHT?  WHY DID WE HAVE A HANGOVER ALL THE WAY UNTIL MONDAY OR EVEN FRIDAY IN YOUR PLACE? 
“I’ve been doing this 30 years and I’ve never been to the hauler at the end of the race and had any decision reversed for jumping the start or whatever.  The race is the race and that is it. That is the way it’s been for 30 plus years.  I was just disgusted a
nd left.  I didn’t hang around.  I got out of there as soon as it was over because it wouldn’t have done any good.”
 

Richard Childress Racing–Dollar General 300

Dollar General 300
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Chicagoland Speedway
September 14, 2013
 
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished fourth (Austin Dillon), ninth (Kevin Harvick) and 14th (Brian Scott).
Dillon is second in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Sam Hornish, Jr. by 17 points, while Scott is seventh in the standings, 72 points behind the leader.
The No. 3 Chevrolet team ranks fourth in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 2 team ninth in the standings and the No. 33 team 11th.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Dillon ranked fourth in Average Running Position (4.515), was the Fourth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run (167.403 mph),was fourth-Fastest on Restarts (167.124 mph) and had the fourth-best Driver Rating (114.1).
Harvick ranked third in Quality Passes with 35 and was the fifth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run (167.396 mph).
Scott made 21 Quality Passes.
Dillon and Harvick were among five drivers who spent 100 percent of the race running in the top 15.
Kyle Busch earned his 10th Nationwide Series victory of the 2013 season and was followed to the finish line by Joey Logano, Sam Hornish Jr., Dillon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The next Nationwide Series race is the Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 21. The 27th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPNEWS beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio channel 90.
   
Brian Scott Finishes 14th at Chicagoland Speedway
 
Brian Scott and the No. 2 Shore Lodge team traveled to Chciagoland Speedway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ 27th race of the 2013 season with added confidence after a strong finish at Richmond International Raceway last weekend. Scott started the 300-mile affair from the 19th
position, battled a tight condition for the majority of the event and earned a 14th-place finish. The 25-year-old competitor moved inside the top-15 during the early laps using the momentum from the top groove, but reported to crew chief Phil Gould he was extremely tight through the corners. The first caution flag was displayed on lap 23, allowing Scott to bring his Shore Lodge Chevrolet to the attention of his pit crew for two tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The Boise, Idaho-native restarted second on the ensuing restart after taking two tires. While the field set in for a lengthy green-flag run, Scott reported the adjustments helped the handling of his Chevrolet, but he was still too tight. Gould called the Richard Childress Racing driver to pit road under green-flag conditions for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment. Once pit stops cycled through, Scott was shown in the 19th
position. Through the next several laps he battled for track position climbing as high as 12th, but made contact with the outside wall during a late-race restart and suffered right-side damage. The damage caused his Chevrolet to become even tighter and he ultimately crossed the finish line in the 14th spot.
 
Start – 19         Finish – 14         Laps Led – 0         Points – 7th
 
BRIAN SCOTT QUOTE:
“We were just too tight all weekend. From the time we unloaded our Shore Lodge Camaro through the whole race we battled the tight-handling issue, which was really different from our first visit to Chicagoland Speedway earlier this season. I’m proud of the guys on pit road, they were solid all day long. We’ll evaluate and learn from this race and move on to Kentucky Speedway next week.”
 
 

 
Austin Dillon Earns Top-Five Finish in No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet at Chicagoland Speedway
 
Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish in the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday afternoon, after starting the 200-lap race from the second position. Dillon reported to crew chief Danny Stockman the black No. 3 Chevrolet was tight in the middle of the corners during the initial run, prompting the team to make a chassis adjustment during the first round of pit stops under caution on lap 26. The Welcome, N.C. driver restarted in the sixth spot on lap 28, but struggled with a loose-handling condition on exit of the corners during the ensuing run, prompting an additional adjustment during a lap-84, green-flag pit stop. Running solidly in the top five for a majority of the 300-mile race, Dillon was scored in the fourth position for a restart on lap 171 and took the opportunity to make a three-wide pass to claim the second position. Several late-race restarts ensued in which he battled side-by-side with fellow championship point contender Sam Hornish Jr. for the second position. Dillon prevailed and maintained the second position before developing a tight-handling condition and dropping to fourth for the race’s finish.
 
Start – 2            Finish – 4              Laps Led – 0             Points – 2nd                          
 
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
“The No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet was just a little bit tight during the final run, which caused us to drop a few spots.  It was fun racing side-by-side with the No. 12 car towards the end of the race. Sam Hornish, Jr. is a great competitor and this championship is going to come down to who is going to make a mistake. If he ends up making one, we will be there.”
 
 

 
Kevin Harvick Collects Top-10 Finish in NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Chicagoland Speedway
 
Kevin Harvick and the No. 33 Rheem/MenardsChevrolet team battled handling issues during the Dollar General 300 on Saturday afternoon and finished ninth at Chicagoland Speedway. Starting from the 13th position, the two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion maneuvered his way into the top 10 within the first 10 laps of the 200-lap affair, while battling a Chevrolet that was tight in and loose off of the turns. The Ernie Cope-led pit crew made adjustments to the car during scheduled four-tire pit stops on laps 25, 82 and 109 in an effort to alleviate the handling issue. Harvick was running in the fifth position when he alerted the team the handling of the neon yellow machine had transitioned from loose to tight during the final laps of the event, leaving him to settle for a ninth-place result.
 
Start – 13         Finish – 9         Laps Led – 0         Owner Points – 11th
 
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“This wasn’t the most fun race for our team today. We had a solid run, but struggled all day to find the right handling we needed to get the Rheem/Menards Chevrolet up front.”
 
 

Summit Racing–Line Earns First No. 1 of the Season at zMAX Dragway

Line Earns First No. 1 of the Season at zMAX Dragway
 
Mooresville, N.C., September 14, 2013 – Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line effectively preserved his position at the top of the pack at the sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals and will start from the No. 1 position on raceday for the first time this season. Line, of Mooresville, N.C., powered the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to a qualifying-best time of 6.541 at 211.86 mph on Friday night to score his first low qualifier award since the final race of the season in 2012.

Line had a true hot rod throughout qualifying and kept his Summit Racing Camaro at the top with a series of carefully executed 6.5-second runs that were consistently among the three quickest in each session. Line earned critical bonus qualifying points for his outstanding performances in every round and will add a total of nine extra marks to the pile in his run for the season title in NHRA’s 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

 “We’re really happy that we got those bonus points every run, and I think we got more points this weekend than I did all year,” laughed Line. “This weekend has already been a big confidence booster, and I’ve got a good car for sure. You have to be steady every run, though, so we just have to keep at it. I’m certainly not going to trade cars with anybody else right now.”

The No. 1 qualifier award is his first of the season, but it is also the 34th of Line’s career as a Pro Stock driver. It is the fifth time that the Summit Racing driver has started from the top spot at Charlotte’s venerable zMAX Dragway, and as the race at his home track signifies the start of the Countdown, Line notes that turning his early weekend success into a victory would contribute to a strong fight for the coveted championship.

“If we want to contend for that big trophy, we have to win here,” said Line. “It’s a must-win deal for Team Summit. I looked at my side of the ladder, and there are definitely a few tough customers there. It’s going to be a hard day.”

Line will race against veteran driver Warren Johnson in the first round of eliminations, a driver he last met in the second round at the fall race in Las Vegas in 2012; Line took the upper hand in their most recent meeting. Another potential match of note would be in the second round when Line could square off with Buddy Perkinson, the diver of the third KB Racing Chevrolet Camaro this weekend in Charlotte.

“It’s good that my teammate Greg Anderson is on the other side of the ladder, but there aren’t going to be any breaks on the way to the final,” said Line. “Buddy is a great driver, and we know what these KB Racing cars are capable of. We’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow, but I’m very happy to have a Summit Racing Camaro at the top.”

Mopar Racing–Mopar Set for First NHRA Playoff Elimination Round at Carolina Nationals

Mopar Set for First NHRA Playoff Elimination Round at Carolina Nationals
 
·         6th annual Carlyle Tools Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway is the 19th of 24 NHRA events and the first playoff event of 2013
·         Hagan qualified second with his three-second pass to pace the Mopar Funny Cars
·         Johnson is top Mopar Pro Stock qualifier in fifth place, Coughlin seeded sixth
·         Sunday’s eliminations is the first of the six playoff events as Mopar drivers work to defend championships in both Funny Car and Pro Stock classes

Concord, N.C. (Saturday, September 14, 2013) – The final day of qualifying at the 6th annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals didn’t produce too many surprises but it set the stage for the first set of elimination rounds in the 2013 edition of the “Countdown to the Championship” with Matt Hagan and Allen Johnson as the top seeded Mopar drivers in Funny Car and Pro Stock classes. Sunday’s eliminations will be the first of the six playoff events as Mopar drivers work to defend world championship titles won in both Funny Car and Pro Stock classes last season.

 

After Friday evening’s qualifying session, which produced most of the fastest Funny Car runs of the weekend including a three-second pass by Hagan and his Don Schumacher Racing Mopar machine, track conditions weren’t quite as favorable for seeing lower elapsed times. In fact, very few clean passes were made in the first session of the day and while better performances were seen in final qualifying, only a few drivers were able to improve their positions on the elimination ladder. Hagan did grab two more bonus points in the first Saturday session with a 4.105 sec (309.63 mph) which was good for second spot on the time sheets and then another point for the third quickest run (4.082 / 310.48) of the final session.

                        

Hagan’s 3.992-second elapsed time was edged out by No.1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon (3.980 sec / 319.22 mph) on the qualifying score sheets, but the Rocky Boots / “Magneti Marelli Quality Auto Parts Offered by Mopar” entry did however come away with the top speed in qualifying at 320.58 mph. As second seed, Hagan will face fellow Dodge Charger driver Jeff Arend in the first round. Fellow DSR teammates Johnny Gray (4.093 / 308.14), Jack Beckman (4.099 / 309.91) and Ron Capps (4.103 / 308.14) found themselves seeded tenth, 11th and 12th respectively. Gray will see John Force as his first opponent, while Beckman will face off against Del Worsham and Capps will race Alexis DeJoria.

In contrast to their Funny Car counterparts, cooler temperatures for Saturday’s first Pro Stock qualifying session promoted quicker elapsed times than the prior evening’s runs. Allen Johnson’s Mopar Express Lane Dodge had the quickest elapsed time run of all the Mopar entries with a 6.549-second (211.59 mph) pass to take up the fifth place spot on the scoring sheets which were topped by adversary Jason Line who set the low e.t. at 6.541 sec (211.93 mph). Jeg Coughlin Jr. was right behind his Mopar teammate in sixth place on the strength of his 6.554 sec / 211.06 mph run.

 

In the fourth and final qualifying session, times didn’t improved but HEMI-powered V. Gaines paced the Mopars in that outing, setting the third lowest e.t. of the session (6.558sec / 211.46 mph) to earn a bonus point. Coughlin (6.569 / 210.87) was fourth quickest with Johnson (6.571 / 210.60) in fifth place.

 

Atop Sunday’s Pro Stock elimination ladder is No.1 qualifier Line who will face Warren Johnson in the first round. Mopar’s top qualifier, Johnson, is seeded fifth and will stage his Dodge against Larry Morgan while Coughlin, the sixth seed, will face Greg Stanfield. Gaines, in eighth spot, will line up next to Buddy Perkinson in a third Summit Racing car while fellow HEMI-powered Vincent Nobile is the tenth seed and will have Greg Anderson as his first round opponent.

Richard Childress Racing-EnjoyIllinois.com 225

EnjoyIllinois.com 225
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Chicagoland Speedway
September 13, 2013
 
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished fifth (Ty Dillon) and 25th (Brendan Gaughan).
Dillon is third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 59 markers behind the leader; while Gaughan ranks 10th in the standings, 126 points out of the top spot.
The No. 3 Chevrolet team is fifth in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 62 team 13th in the standings.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Dillon earned the third-best Average Running Position (4.700), was the third-Fastest on Restarts, earned the fourth-best Driver Rating (111.2), had the fourth-Fastest Green-Flag Speed and Speed in Traffic, was the fifth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run and fifth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run.
Dillon was one of three competitors in the 36-truck field to spend 100 percent (150 laps) running in the Top 15.
Gaughan was the Fastest Driver Early in a Run and Late in a Run that didn’t finish within five laps of the leader, earned the fifth-best Average Running Position (6.847) and was the fifth-Fastest on the Restarts.
RCR teammates posted eight of the Fastest Laps Run, Dillon earned five and Gaughan three.
Kyle Busch took the checkered flag and was followed to the line by Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Matt Crafton and Dillon.
The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the Smith’s 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 28. The 17th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
 
   
Dillon Earns Second-Consecutive Top-Five Finish in Chicago
 
Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team finished fifth under the lights at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night despite battling a tight-handling Chevrolet for the majority of the 150-lap event. After posting the second-fastest time in qualifying, Dillon took the initial green flag and immediately reported his black and orange machine was too tight. Crew chief Marcus Richmond called for chassis adjustments during routine two and four-tire pit stops under caution periods on laps 68 and 100. Quick work by the Richard Childress Racing pit crew allowed the North Carolina native to maintain track position within the top-10 for the entire 225-mile race. Due to multiple long green flag runs, the handling on the No. 3 Chevrolet didn’t improve causing Dillon to battle handling issues until the checkered flag waved when he crossed the finish line in the fifth position. Friday night’s result marks Dillon’s second-consecutive top-five finish.
 
Start – 2          Finish – 5          Laps Led – 0        Points – 3rd
 
TY DILLON QUOTE:
“I’m glad we could bring home a fifth-place finish tonight. We battled a tight-handling condition all night. It was a lot worse on long green flag runs, but the Bass Pro Shops team never gave up. I hope we can continue this momentum and turn these top fives into wins before the season ends.”
 
 
 
Solid Run by Gaughan Spoiled by Misfortune at Chicagoland Speedway
 
Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino team fell victim to another round of bad luck Friday night when overheating issues relegated the team to a 25th-place finish in the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at Chicagoland Speedway after a solid run by the Richard Childress Racing team. Starting from the fifth position, the Las Vegas native maintained a spot within the top 10 during the majority of the 150-lap event while battling a tight handling Chevrolet. Gaughan was scored fourth when he radioed to crew chief Shane Wilson that the temperature of the black and gold machine suddenly skyrocketed, forcing the team to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 141 to assess the issue. The pit crew pulled tape from the grille in an attempt to bring down the engine temperature. Gaughan returned to the racing surface, only to come back down pit road the following lap. After final evaluation, Wilson determined the issue could not be remedied, forcing the team to settle for a 25th-place result. Following the 16th race of the season Gaughan remains 10th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings.
 
Start – 5         Finish – 25          Laps Led – 0          Points – 10th
 
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
“It just seems like we can’t shake this bad luck lately. We had an incredibly solid run going tonight, and the South Point Hotel & Casino crew did a great job working on the truck and keeping us up front. This is not the way I wanted tonight to end, but we’ll move on and focus on the next race at my home track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway.”

Mopar Racing–Mopar Ready to Roll at NHRA Carolina Nationals and the ‘Countdown to the Championship’

Mopar Ready to Roll at NHRA Carolina Nationals and the ‘Countdown to the Championship’
 
·         6th annual Carlyle Tools Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway is the 19th of 24 NHRA events
·         The Carolina Nationals is the first of six NHRA playoff events in the ‘Countdown to the Championship’
·         Hagan paces the Mopars with a sub four-second run for the provisional second place spot in Funny Car qualifying
·         Hagan, Capps, Gray and Beckman start 1-2-3-5 in the Countdown standings
·         Johnson, Coughlin and Nobile get the Countdown started in 2-3-4 in Pro Stock standings
·         Gaines in eighth but is on a hot streak with three final round appearances in the last 5 events (Denver, Brainerd, Indy)
·         Mopar –powered Pro Stock drivers have advanced to the final round in 8 consecutive events leading up to the playoffs

Concord, N.C. (Friday, September 13, 2013) – A new season begins for Mopar teams and drivers this weekend at the 6th annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals, the first of the six-event playoff series called the “Countdown to the Championship”. Following the last regular season event of the year at the 59th annual U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the championship points were reset to help bunch up the top ten candidates in each professional category vying for a NHRA world title and setting the stage for an exciting showdown. Mopar Dodge drivers are at, or very near, the top of those standings in both the Funny Car and Pro Stock classes entering the playoffs.

 

All four Don Schumacher Racing Mopars begin the battle in the top five Funny Car positions with Matt Hagan leading the fray in his “Magneti Marelli Quality Auto Parts Offered by Mopar” / Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T. His teammates Ron Capps and Johnny Gray are hot on his heels in second and third place, along with defending Funny Car World Champion Jack Beckman rounding things out in fifth spot.

 

In Pro Stock competition, the 2012 World Champion Allen Johnson is within striking distance of the leader with his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger as second seed in the Countdown, while his teammates Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Vincent Nobile are breathing down his neck in third and fourth place respectively. The HEMI-powered Dodge of V. Gaines, while sitting in eighth place, has been on a hot streak as of late, cutting a perfect 0.00 second reaction time in eliminations at Indianapolis and making three final elimination appearances (Denver, Brainerd, Indy) in the last five events. Mopar –powered Pro Stock drivers have advanced to the final round in 8 consecutive events leading up to the playoffs.

 

“This is the most pressure-packed time of the season but it’s also the most fulfilling and rewarding if you can find some success,” said four-time Pro Stock champ Coughlin who is hoping to get things going in that direction by taking his JEGS.com Mopar to the winner’s circle at Charlotte for the first time, only one three venues he has yet to earn a victory. “The Countdown does everything a playoff format is supposed to do; it stacks all the fun into the end of the year. We’ve got six races to make it happen.”

 

To start things off at zMax Dragway, Hagan followed up the second quickest run of the first Funny Car session with a sub four-second pass (3.992 seconds / 320.58 mph) in the cooler Friday evening conditions to pace his Mopar teammates and remain in second place and earn four valuable bonus points after two qualifying runs. Competitor Cruz Pedregon stole the provisional pole from him with a 3.980 e.t (319.22 mph). Gray was tenth on the strength of his first run (4.093 sec / 308.14 mph) after hazing the tires in the evening session. Beckman endured a similar fate and was right behind in 11th (4.099 sec / 309.91 mph), while Capps was on the outside looking in 14th place after his two difficult sessions.

 

In Pro Stock, Nobile topped the first session to earn three bonus points, but by the end of the day it was Coughlin (6.552 sec /210.31 mph) who led the Mopar contingent with a provisional fourth place spot in qualifying. Johnson was close behind with the fifth quickest run of the day posting an e.t. of 6.555 sec (211.06 mph). Gaines and Nobile ended up seventh and eighth while adversary Jason Line (6.541 sec / 211.86 mph) earned the provisional No.1 qualifier position.

 

Summit Racing–Anderson Friday in Charlotte

Anderson Friday in Charlotte
                                                                                     
Mooresville, N.C., September 13, 2013 – Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson enjoyed a good opening day at the sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals, and the three-time zMAX Dragway winner is looking for more on day two at the annual event that takes place at his home track, a facility just a few miles from the KB Racing engine shop.
 
In his first effort, Anderson was a swift 6.597 at 210.11 mph in his white Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to take over the No. 6 position in the lineup, and he came back with a charging 6.556, 210.44 in the later round to preserve the position. Anderson will have two more sessions on Saturday to move up in the qualifying order.
 
“The runs my Summit Racing Camaro made today were decent, but really, they weren’t as good as we know they can be,” said Anderson. “We have a little bit of tune-up to do before we come out here tomorrow, but the good news is that my teammate, Jason Line, is the No. 1 guy right now – and that shows we can run really well here. There really isn’t any reason for one car to be faster than the other, so the project now is to figure out why we weren’t able to run with Jason. It wasn’t a bad day; in fact, it was a good day for KB Racing to put a car on the pole.
 
“The weather is supposed to be cooler tomorrow, and it’s going to be fast. We’re excited to come back out here and see what we can do to improve. The bottom line is that there are a lot of good cars out here, and they’re all separated by just a hair. We’re going to have to be perfect if we want to qualify in the top of the pack, but the Summit Racing team is absolutely capable of it.”
 
One of the tough cars in the field this weekend is one of their own. Young gun Buddy Perkinson is behind the wheel of the third KB Racing car in Charlotte, and Perkinson is currently ninth in the line-up.
 
“Buddy is a great driver, and we’re happy to have him with us this weekend,” said Anderson. “We’ve got three good cars between us, and I think tomorrow we should really have something to show for it. I don’t know if the pole will hold, but we’ll all be gunning for it, that’s for sure.”
 

John Force Racing–J. FORCE, HIGHT EXCEL ON SATURDAY AT CARLYLE TOOLS CAROLINA NHRA NATIONALS

J. FORCE, HIGHT EXCEL ON SATURDAY AT CARLYLE TOOLS CAROLINA NHRA NATIONALS

CHARLOTTE, NC (Sept. 14, 2013) – On the eve of the Countdown to the Championship’s first race John Force and Robert Hight served notice that they will be ready for race day. The tandem posted the quickest or second quickest runs in both sessions today at the Carlyle Tools Carolina NHRA Nationals.

Robert Hight and his Auto Club Ford Mustang earned five qualifying bonus points today and wound up as the No. 8 qualifier. In the first session Hight was the quickest Funny Car tripping the lights in 4.091 seconds; the only Funny Car to run in the 4.0 range. In the second session, still in the heat, Hight’s Mike Neff tuned Funny Car crossed the finish line in 4.081 seconds, .001 seconds quicker than Don Schumacher Racing rival Matt Hagan.

“We gained five points today, so that’s big. It would have been nice to qualify a little higher Saturday night, but seeing that we didn’t make it down the track the first run we did what we had to do. Basically we’re going to be racing in conditions like this tomorrow and I think I had the two best runs today,” said the 2009 Carlyle Tools Carolina NHRA Nationals winner.

“The left lane is not as good as the right lane and we were quick when we were in the right and we were second when we were in the left. Mike Neff has a really good handle on this thing. If we need to step up a little bit like he said tomorrow, it’s plenty safe. If we have to step up, we’re racing somebody tough I think we can. I’m excited and I’m ready to get this Countdown started.”

Hight is excited about the prospects of racing tomorrow especially since they made two good runs in race day conditions.

“It’ll be fine. It’s going to be similar tomorrow. The conditions, if you look at the weather forecast, it’s going to be very similar to today. Today really was what counted. When we got out of here first and second in our two runs, can’t do much better than that,” said Hight.

John Force ended the day with the quickest run of any Funny Car on the property. His Jimmy Prock tuned Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car blasted down the track in 4.064 seconds and was far and away the quickest Funny Car under the Carolina sun.

At the top end Force was excited about how well the Castrol GTX race car performed and the prospect of racing under similar conditions on Sunday.

 “We absolutely love this track here in Charlotte. Jimmy Prock got after that thing,” said Force. “I can’t wait to see what Courtney and Robert are going to do. I felt like I was shot out of a cannon. I thought it ain’t gonna hold but it was holding at 100 feet, 200 feet and then at the finish line. It kept on trucking right to the lights. I have a race car that is like a rocket ship so now I have to win a race.”

For the 25th time in her two year Funny Car career, Courtney Force will start in the top half of the field on race day, this time occupying the No. 4 spot. She will face Ford competitor Bob Tasca III in the opening round. This will be the 8th time the pair has met in eliminations and she is currently 6-1 against him. Three of those meetings were in the first round and Force is 3-0 to Tasca in those match-ups.

Force’s Traxxas Ford Mustang smoked the tires and therefore posted a 5.138 ET at 145.25 mph in the third qualifying session, the first to begin Saturday’s events.

 “For me, this is one of the more challenging tracks on the NHRA circuit, just because the first part of the run is going uphill a little and then for the rest of the run it kind of evens out. In my case, this last run I let it move a little to the left on me and when I went to correct it, it was too big of a correction and it spun the tires. Unfortunately we lost out on that run. I’m obviously really hard on myself as a driver. You want to have every run perfectly straight going down the race track and sometimes things happen. Lucky for us, I’ve got a great, supportive team behind me and we’re looking ahead to race day tomorrow,” said Force.

In the fourth and final qualifying session, Force posted a 4.142 ET at 310.98 mph in the heat. The 25-year-old did not improve during Saturday’s qualifying efforts, but the Traxxas Ford Mustang team held tight to their 4.021 ET at 319.37 mph from Friday’s night session

“We were looking to run a little better and a little closer to our teammates running in the 4.0’s, but, you know what, we got our car down there and I think that’s all that matters is having a consistent race car going into race day. We’ll have a tough first round match-up with Bob Tasca III in his Ford, so it will be two Fords, but hopefully our Traxxas team can move on to the next round. It’s pretty crucial now because it’s the start of the Countdown, this is where it all begins and it starts tomorrow,” said Force.

Auto Club Road to the Future candidate Brittany Force remained strong in the final two qualifying sessions at zMax Dragway as she was tenth on the qualifying ladder at the end of the day.

In round three of qualifying, Force was third quickest of the session with a 3.816 elapsed time. With rising track temperatures, it was going to be tough for any team to improve in the fourth session. Midway down the track, Force had to lift off the throttle and coasted down the track. Despite not improving, she was able to qualify her Castrol EDGE dragster inside the top ten.

“We ended up tenth at the end of the day,” Force said. “We actually moved down two spots from the previous runs. Our first run of the day was a good one. We ran a 3.816 elapsed time. On the last run we wanted to improve, but unfortunately we didn’t. I had to lift early and we didn’t get the car all the way down the track like we wanted to. You know, we ended up tenth and we get to race in the show tomorrow, so I’m excited about that.”

Force posted her career best elapsed time this weekend and earned two qualifying bonus points.

“That’s exactly what we want,” said Force. “We got the best ET we’ve had all year and got to gain bonus points from that. It’s not like we’re in the Countdown and can move up, but this Castrol EDGE team is going to go after that No. 11 spot in the points. That’s the highest spot we can possibly get, so we’re going to go for that.”

Going into Sunday’s elimination rounds, the 27-year-old Southern California native will once again square off against Don Schumacher Racing’s Spencer Massey. They have faced each other three different occasions throughout the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Force remains optimistic that anything can happen going into eliminations.

“He’s an awesome guy,” Force said. “I talk to him on and off the track and he loves being out here just as much as I do. He’s excited to be out here and he’s such a great competitor. He has beaten me three times this year, so I’m thinking it’s the Castrol EDGE teams turn to get the win. Anything can happen on Sunday.”

Summit Racing–Line No. 1 at the Conclusion of First Day of Qualifying in Charlotte

Line No. 1 at the Conclusion of First Day of Qualifying in Charlotte
 
Mooresville, N.C., September 13, 2013 – The first day of qualifying ended on a high note for Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line as he raced to the provisional No. 1 spot in his streaking silver Chevrolet Camaro at the Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Line, of nearby Mooresville, N.C., took over the top spot with a breathtaking 6.541 at 211.86 mph on Friday, the opening day of the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series 2013 Countdown to the Championship, bettering by a bunch his 6.586 at 210.24 that was second-quickest in the opening session.

“It’s a big deal to get those little points that are out there,” said Line, of the bonus qualifying points he earned as a reward for his excellent performances on Friday. Line earned two extra points in the first session and three in the later round.

“Somebody is going to get them, and I’d rather it was one of the Summit Racing Camaros. If you get those bonus points, it means you have a good hot rod. We can say that today, that’s for sure.”

If it holds, the No. 1 qualifying position would be his first of the 2013 season. Line’s most recent start from the pole came at the 2012 season-closer in Pomona last November. This season has been out of character for the driver who has claimed 33 No. 1 qualifier awards over the course of his career. Last season, Line started from the top of the pack nine times, and the year before that he was low qualifier at seven events.

“It’s been a strange year for the KB Racing/Summit Racing crew, but we’re finally righting the ship,” said Line. “Obviously, like everything in life, timing is everything. We’re not where we need to be, but we’re a heck of a lot closer, that’s for sure.

“I’m excited because this is the best track for me to start the Countdown, for sure,” continued Line, who has been the No. 1 qualifier at zMAX Dragway four times before. “The last two years we’ve had very good efforts here, and it’s looking like we can do the same thing again this time around. Bruton Smith’s tracks are always the best, and this one is absolutely the best of them all. It’s fun to race here and it’s also nice to sleep in my own bed. It’s also good because all the guys from the KB Racing shop were here, and for them to see the fruits of their labor is a big deal. This is a great place, and we’re all looking forward to tomorrow and then racing for the trophy on Sunday.”

Chevy Racing–Geico 400–Jeff Gordon

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS, met with media following NASCAR’s ruling that has given him a berth in the now, 13-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field.  Full Transcript:
 
THE MODERATOR:  Joining us now is Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.  He qualified sixth out here today for the 13th Annual Geico 400.
 
 
But, certainly, Jeff, it’s been an eventful day for you, just talk a little bit about that and your outlook for Sunday’s race here at Chicagoland Speedway?
 
 
JEFF GORDON:  Well, I mean, we came into the day really just focused on doing what we do.  This is actually a really ‑‑ had a really great race going here last year and had our issues.  So, to me, that was all we were focused on doing was putting together another solid race regardless of what was going on.  Of course, it was hard to not hear rumblings about what may occur, what may not occur.  We just tried not to get our hopes up or get our mind focused on that.
 
 
But I’ll admit, it’s been a rough week.  It was a lot of up‑and‑downs of emotions for this entire team this week.  They’ve been through a lot.  They never gave up.  Not only Saturday night, but this entire week, and I’m proud of that.  I’m very appreciative, very thankful to be in, and I know it’s under the most unbelievable circumstances I’ve ever been a part of in my racing career, and I wish that all of this hadn’t happened.  I wish that we could have just raced for it on Saturday night, but that wasn’t the case.
 
 
Now here we are as a 13th car and in.  Now we just try to take that opportunity and make the most of it.
 
Q.  Number one, you’ve seen a lot of things in NASCAR, but I imagine you’ve never seen anything like this before.  So did you at any point think you had a shot at getting this overturned this way and getting into the Chase?  Two, earlier this week you tweeted that you felt bad for Martin, so in any sense do you kind of wish there had been a ruling that maybe he could have gone into the Chase?
 
 
JEFF GORDON:  Well, what I felt bad about with Martin was the circumstances which he got in under then for that to be taken away.  To be on that stage after the race is over, to feel like that pressure was off, that they made it in.  I know what that’s like.  He drove his butt off.  I raced with him in the closing laps and he raced hard.  You could tell what he was racing for.  The guy didn’t do anything wrong.  For that, I felt bad for him.
 
 
But we didn’t get to see the race play out.  We don’t know what the results were going to be because of the circumstances of that spin changed everything.  That, to me, is the only reason I’m accepting being in in the 13th, because under normal circumstances I would say no, that’s not right.
 
 
But under these circumstances, I feel there is enough reason for us to be in.  I know how hard we worked and that we earned the right to be in.
 
Q.  When did you find out and what were your emotions?  I talked to Alan Gustafson earlier, and he said that he felt even to the closing laps that you guys were Chase contenders and should have been in and expected that to be the case.
 
JEFF GORDON:  I found out when you guys found out.  Well, maybe not.  Maybe you guys found out before me.  I was watching on FOX Sports One. That’s when I found out.  You know, we haven’t had the best of seasons, and I think that’s not an unknown thing.  We all know what we’ve gone through this year.  But we went through a lot last year, and we got to play it out to the final lap of the race last year and we made it in.  This year we had that same scenario being played out and were fighting to the checkered flag and basically doing the similar thing to somebody else’s misfortune.  The 22 was just having a bad day and we were going to make it in.
 
 
So to me, the previous races, this team really started to turn the corner and started putting a string of races together that really put us in that position as well as taking advantage of that opportunity that was there Saturday night.  Even though we got two laps down and had our issues and had to fight back from it, we were still doing what we needed to do.  That, right now, is the thing that stands out the most to me of how proud I am that this team just never, ever gives up.  That’s what we did in the race on Saturday.
 
 
I’ll be honest, by Tuesday of this week, I was letting go of my anger and the things that I felt like kept us from being in it and was ready to move on. I had the most unbelievable support from my fans this week.
 
 
That’s the beauty of Twitter.  We all know Twitter can work both ways on you, and in this case what I love about social media is years ago back when I won my last championship, I had no connection to the fans to this level other than being at the racetrack, going to an autograph session, going to an event for sponsors.  And now I’m able to see what everybody was thinking and what they’re saying and it’s unbelievable.  I never felt so much support that I did.  And also anger as well.
 
 
Like our fans were feeling it right along with me, and it was pretty wild and crazy to watch how that was all playing out this week.  I was ready to move on and when I saw the stuff with the 22 and the 38, I was like, hmm, what’s going to come of this?  And it brought some new hope.
 
Q.  Where do you think the integrity of the sport stands and what do you want to find out tomorrow at that meeting and how vocal will you be?
 
JEFF GORDON:  One thing I want to bring up on this is I’m excited about that meeting tomorrow.  I am.  Even though I think we’re going to get reprimanded a little bit because it doesn’t all lie on NASCAR.  We all have a responsibility in this.  But we are fierce competitors.  I don’t think a fierce competitor can ever be torn down by trying to do everything they possibly can to win a race, to be in a championship battle, to win the championship and in some ways even to help out their teammates who helped them get to that point.
 
 
That is what you’ve got to understand.  It’s not just giving up something for a friend or something like that.  You work as a team.
 
 
In our situation, it’s one of the most unique because of the multi‑car teams.  It is one of the most unique.  So because of that competitive drive, it pushes us sometimes to do things that even we question.  I think that through all of this I think that, yes, the integrity of the sport has been put at question.  I think we have one of the greatest sports that exists.  To see our integrity get questioned is very upsetting to me, and I think we, along with NASCAR, have to solve this.  I’m glad that we are going to get this opportunity to do this.
 
 
I wish it had not happened under these circumstances.  I really do wish we could have come to this conclusion sooner, but sometimes that’s just not the case.  But we are going to move forward and we are going to be a better sport tomorrow and on Sunday and in the future because of this circumstance.
 
 
You’ve got to take a negative and turn it into a positive, and I believe that’s what’s going to happen.
 
Q.  A quick follow‑up.  I know your fans were just so upset and stood up for you big time, like I’ve never seen.  You were angry, we knew that.  Did you contact NASCAR and ask them for anything or you found out about it through the media.  But were you that angry that you got involved in saying I
want something out of this?
 
JEFF GORDON:  No.  I heard from NASCAR about what the penalties were going to be on whatever it was ‑‑ Monday.
 
 
THE MODERATOR:  Monday night.
 
 
JEFF GORDON:  Yeah.  As I’m sure that, you know, they were reaching out to probably a lot of individuals, especially those that probably were somehow affected by this.  You know, I gave my opinion.  Some of it I agreed with; some of it I didn’t agree with, and I told them that via text.  Then I called Mike Helton on Wednesday to tell him that I know he has tough decisions to make and we might not always agree with them, but I support him and I’m ready to go to Chicago and go race.
 
 
We didn’t talk about anything else other than that.  That’s it.  That’s all I’ve done this week, and a few Tweets here and there.  And my very supportive wife.
 
Q.  That’s more than she’s tweeted in the last six months too.
 
JEFF GORDON:  My wife is very passionate and supportive.  Trust me, I said no to her a lot more than the ones I said yes to.  So I’m just glad that these days she seems to at least run it by me before she says it.  Not every time, but…
 
Q.  Kind of a follow‑up to the previous question.  You talked about you guys will probably get reprimanded tomorrow.  NASCAR will address with the participants what it expects to see going forward.  For the fans mostly and even anyone who follows the sport right now, there seems to be a lot of doubt about what or maybe some growing doubt about what they see on the track, is it legitimate.  NASCAR, of course, will address with you guys your actions going forward.  How difficult will it be do you think to undo that skepticism that may have crept in the minds of fans or even kind of casual people who just happen to pay attention?
 
JEFF GORDON:  Yeah, you know, when it comes down to making it in the Chase and it comes down to ‑‑ it seems like it’s the final race where it really comes into play and then the final race of the season for the championship, there is no doubt that for as many years as I’ve been part of the sport there are circumstances in which a teammate can try to help out.  If that is you’ll race a guy maybe a little bit hard or move over for somebody.  I mean, that’s just kind of been standard practice in the sport.
 
 
But it continues to get more and more competitive.  There is more on the line.  There is more prestige, more money, just more competition that is driving the sport all the time.  As long as things like that have been acceptable ‑‑ and I love what Mike said in that press conference, there are times when things need to change.  This has probably been coming for a couple years now and needed to change sooner.
 
 
But I just liked the fact that some things are going to change because all we all want to do is race our guts out every single lap.  None of us want to go out there and give up a spot or race somebody different because our teammate is running for a championship.  We want to go out there racing for every position, every lap, as hard as we can.
 
 
But anybody in our position as a team owner, when you know what all is on the line, as a driver, as a crew chief, you know there are extreme circumstances where we’re in that position to be able to help.  That, to me, doesn’t necessarily make it right, and there are boundaries still even with those moves.  But the boundaries have been continuing to be pushed further and further and lines are being crossed.  I’m more looking forward to the future than looking and bringing back things in the past.
 
Q.  You touched on it a little bit, but clearly a lot of this was magnified because it was Richmond, and as you mentioned this type of thing has been going on for a while.  How concerned are you that at the meeting tomorrow we may go too far the other direction and not be able to let a teammate pull up on your bumper and get paper off or in the middle of the season not fight so hard for a teammate to get by?  Is there a concern this is a very fine line and it needs to be gotten exactly right?
 
JEFF GORDON:  There is a concern for that, and I think it’s a good question.  But there is more concern to me that we get to Homestead and have this come up again.  So it needs to be addressed.  Usually what happens in a situation that gets to this magnitude, there is going to be an overreaction and you understand that and accept that.  It might need to be modified over time, but I think right now an overreaction is probably the acceptable reaction.
 
Q.  Monday night you noted that you felt like the person that triggered the entire chain of events here got nothing.  What would have been an acceptable penalty to you to the 15 car?  And I’ll stop there.  What is an acceptable penalty to you?
 
JEFF GORDON:  I do see it differently when it comes to that.  I do think that event is what started all this.  What really magnified this to a whole other level.  I also know that NASCAR ‑‑ I can’t see what all they’re dealing with.  I’m not in that room.  I’m not hearing all of the different sides to it.  So I do give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to these types of decisions because they have a lot to think about and what affects those decisions.  But to me, yeah, it seemed like they did an overall penalty for MWR that sort of dealt with it but not really, and turned the focus over to what they could prove with the 55 and the radio communication.
 
 
But what’s acceptable?  I don’t know.  But something.  I mean, me a 50‑point fine pre‑Chase was no penalty.  That is all I was upset about.  I felt like it was pretty clear.  I felt like that’s what started all this and that didn’t really get addressed.
 
Q.  Do you think it was purposeful?
 
JEFF GORDON:  That’s going to be addressed tomorrow though.
 
Q.  Do you think it was purposeful?
 
JEFF GORDON:  I do, yeah.  I feel that way.
 
Q.  You were talking about integrity.  Beyond just being pro‑active and having this meeting tomorrow and coming out and trying to explain what’s going to be different, what else can the sport do to reestablish what might have been lost and what do you think has been lost?  Is it just a matter of NASCAR saying we’re addressing this?  We’re going to try to fix it?  Does that go a ways in terms of restoring that?
 
 
JEFF GORDON:  No, I think actions speak louder than words always.  It’s us going on Sunday and racing as hard as we possibly can for every position, battling it out for a championship, and making sure that when we leave here on Sunday there is no radio communication that the media gets ahold of that they’ve recorded that can say anything otherwise, other than we’re out there with the intensity and just the passion and excitement that this sport is built on, that it’s known for, and what it’s all about.
 
 
I don’t see any reason why that shouldn’t be the case prior to this meeting, but certainly after this meeting I think it’s going to be clear for the next ten weeks and on.
 
Q.  Now that you’re in the Chase and playing with house money, so to speak, can you write the rest of the script and win the thing?
 
JEFF GORDON:  I always like to say that you’ve got to walk before you can run.  But I will say this has lit a fire under us.  I mean, just to go through what we went through Saturday night.  Really, I look at last year too.  We went through that wild and crazy race and made it in the Chase under those circumstances. 
We came here ready to go.
 
 
I loved the way we handled ourselves, even though we had the throttle issue. We were running third or fourth in that race, and to me we had a shot at either winning or Top 5.  And in some funny way this has kind of given us that same fire that we had last year.  And we have ten or at least eight, I’d say, good racetracks that are in the Chase that I really like, that we run well at, and it starts right here in Chicago.  This is a good track for us.  We qualified well.  New Hampshire is a great track for us.  Martinsville is a great track for us.  Obviously, Homestead is a great track.  We ran great in Charlotte.  I mean, I would say Kansas and Phoenix are the two that are probably on our radar that we need to do better at.  Texas is another good track for us.
 
 
So I’m excited.  I know we haven’t shown it yet this year, but this team is ready to show it now.  So I think that’s the one thing is when you get yourself in this position, you want to show the world and our racing community, the ones that support us and the ones that didn’t, that we belong here and there is a reason why we’re in this thing.
 
Q.  Jeff, we hear a lot of stories in the garage area through the years.  From your personal side of things, over 20‑plus years of racing, have you ever been helped by a teammate?  Has a teammate ever helped you?  What is acceptable and what is not?
 
 
JEFF GORDON:  Absolutely.  Absolutely, I’ve helped a teammate by either helping him at Talladega or helping him by ‑‑ I mean, I’m trying to think in my mind thinking of a circumstance where somebody said move over for this person.  I don’t remember that, but I’m sure it has happened because honestly it hasn’t been out of line, in my opinion.  It’s been sort of a this is what happens, especially in championships.  If you’re not in it, you see what you can do to help your teammate.
 
 
But you don’t go cause a caution.  You don’t go wreck another guy out there to win the championship for them.  There are certain lines, and I think that the lines have been, obviously, crossed in this situation.
 

Chevy Racing–Geico 400–Juan Pablo Montoya

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
GEICO 400
CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
SEPTEMBER 13, 2013
 
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET/KRAFT CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED THIRD
ON HIS LAP:
“It was close got tight in (turns) three and four and had to bail a little bit out of the gas, but gave it a good go.  Our Target Chevy has been pretty good so I’m pretty excited.”
 
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED FOURTH
WHERE DID YOU FIND ALL THE SPEED FROM PRACTICE?
“I must have had a pretty good car in practice and just didn’t drive it hard enough. Kenny (Francis, crew chief) and the guys made a couple of small changes but nothing big.  I looked at some things; they gave me a little information and did a better job there than I had been.  I felt good about that lap.  It should be pretty close.  I think Ricky (Stenhouse) has been really fast qualifying on these mile and a half tracks lately so I feel like to beat him we should be in a pretty good spot hopefully top five, maybe pole that would be awesome to start here in Chicago.”
 
YOU ARE SHAKING. DID YOU GET EVERYTHING ON YOUR LAP?
“Well, I think it’s a pretty good lap. I maybe gave up a little bit in (Turn) 1. When I landed, I maybe didn’t get wide-open quite soon enough. But in (Turns) 3 and 4, I thought I hit that pretty good. And the guys did a nice job today with our Farmers Insurance Chevrolet. We’re in a good spot. We’ll definitely be in the top-5, I think. I felt like that was a really solid lap. Maybe front row; definitely top-5.”
 
DO YOU HOPE TO GET ANY CLARITY OUT OF THIS MEETING TOMORROW?
“I feel like I have plenty of clarity.  I feel like I know what you are supposed to do and what you are not.  I don’t understand why it’s so difficult.  I think we all know where it started at Richmond and I just don’t understand all the rest.  I feel like I have plenty of clarity.  I’m going to go tomorrow and sit in and make sure I know what I’m thinking is correct, but I don’t think I’m missing too much right now.”
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SIXTH
ON EARNING A SPOT IN THE CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP:
“Oh, it’s been a roller coaster ride this week and an unusual set of circumstances. I’ve never been a part of anything like this before. But for my team and my fans that that have been overwhelming supportive this week, for the tough decisions that NASCAR has to make, and for Drive to End Hunger, I’m extremely happy about this. We’re proud to be in it, and now an incredible set of opportunities lie on our shoulders to go out there and show that we belong in this Chase.”
 
WHEN WE INTERVIEWED YOU AFTER THE RACE AT RICHMOND, YOU WERE TOTALLY UNAWARE, AS WERE MANY, WHAT HAD TRANSPIRED THAT YOU DIDN’T GET IN. NOW THAT YOU’VE SEEN WHAT HAPPENED ALL WEEK WITH THE MEDIA; AND NASCAR’S DECISIONS, IS THIS IN YOUR MIND JUSTICE SERVED?
“Well, certainly from where I’m standing now and all that we’ve been through this week and looking at that race and how hard we worked, it would be easy for me to say that. But we’ve got some issues that need to be addressed. I’m looking forward to this meeting tomorrow; to work through some of those and to interact with NASCAR and hear what they have to say as well as come up with long-term solutions of how we get around these types of events ever occurring again. And I know we’re going to leave that (meeting) with hopefully a crystal clear set of guidelines to make sure that we’re only going out there and racing as hard as we possibly can the way this No. 24 was last week.
 
CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING IN. NOW GO OUT AND MAYBE GET YOUR FIFTH CHAMPIONSHIP:
“Well we had a good car today. And speaking of fans, we’ve got 516 contributors to Drive to End Hunger on my hood that are all going to be riding around here with us on Sunday; and now for a Chase for the Championship in Sprint Cup. Thank you.”
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED NINTH
ONE LAP IS ONE THING WHAT ABOUT 400 MILES HERE ON SUNDAY WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GO TO VICTORY LANE?
“We haven’t done any race runs yet, so I don’t have an opinion there just yet.  We do have a lot of great history here at this track.  It has been a very good race track for me even all the way back to my Nationwide days winning my one and only Nationwide race here.  I’m excited about our race on Sunday and we will get into practice tomorrow and see what we have.”
 
HOW HAS THIS PLACED CHANGED OVER THE COURSE OF TIME?
“The groove has moved around a lot.  There are a lot of bumps and the track is really a lot of fun to drive right now.  I think we are going to have a great race with a lot of racing lines to choose from once it gets going.”
 
YOU WERE OH SO CLOSE. WHERE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU LOST IT THERE?
“That was a really good lap. I had it in the bag and then something happened on the front stretch, but I’m not really sure. I didn’t have any problems on the exit of Turn 4. The car drove great and so I’m excited about that. And we’re on the early side, so that might hurt us a little late in the going with some other cars coming out, but all-in-all it should be a great start for the Lowe’s Chevrolet.”
 
HOW ABOUT A REACTION TO THE DECISION THAT JEFF GORDON WILL NOW BE IN THE CHASE:
“Of course I’m very happy that Jeff is in the Chase.  In my opinion though I believe there should be 12 cars.  One in one out should be the deal.  It’s not, but there are a lot of things to consider and look at.  It’s been an interesting week to say the least.  From conversations I’ve had from things I’ve seen, read, speculations, truth.  Truth lies somewhere in the middle of all this that we keep talking about.  Very happy for the No. 24 to be in the Chase though.”
 
WHO SHOULD BE OUT?
“Whoever was 12th, ones in ones out is the way I see it.”
 
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OUT OF TOMORROW’S MEETING?
“I don’t really know.  I’m sure a lot of threats and things along that side of life, but I just don’t know to be honest with you.  This is something that I have never seen or been a part of in my career.  To watch the sanctioning body react and respond and how they are going to police in the future this is all new territory.  It will be a start of the process tomorrow and I think as the weeks come and the months come following it we will continue to evolve the changes that are going to be put in place and do a better job policing it.”
 
DOES IT HURT NASCAR’S IMAGE TO JUST KIND OF THROW ON AN EXTRA DRIVER LIKE THAT WHEN EVERYBODY THOUGHT THERE WAS GOING TO BE 12?
“I think some people are going to feel it was right.  Some are going to feel that it’s not.  I think the arguable point most will have is that the penalties to MWR are far different than the penalties to the No. 38 and the No. 22.  I think through all of this we all are just looking for consistency.  I think there is probably more argument in that than in 13 cars being in the Chase.  As a competitor and one of the 12 that was in the Chase you just changed the odds and the ratio tremendously by adding a 13th car.  It’s not like… and I feel Jeff should be in so I guess the No. 22 would be the one on the outside looking in if they removed one.  That is a good team. They won the championship last year with the No. 2 car and Joey (Logano) is doing a great job and earning a lot of points.  It changes the dynamic of the Chase quite a bit to have 13 cars in there.”
 
YESTERDAY YOU WERE SAYING THAT YOU DON’T CARE WHAT NASCAR SAYS IN REGARDS TO RESTARTS AS LONG AS THEY JUST MAKE IT CONSISTENT.  DO YOU THINK THIS IS A STEP TO MAKING THINGS CLEAR AND CONSISTENT IN WHAT THEY
WANT?
“In the restart area we still haven’t even crossed that bridge yet.  I think we are all eagerly awaiting for that opportunity too.  I know I am as a competitor.  Certainly want consistency in that area as well.  I haven’t gotten a good clear explanation as to why there wasn’t a call at the end of the Richmond race on that final restart either.  I’m just going to sit back and watch and just see what happens.  We have a lot of voices and a lot of people’s opinions right now.  My phone rings and NASCAR wants my opinion I’m more than willing to give it, but I’m not going to go marching up in there with ideas anymore.”
 
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 QUAKER STATE/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 11TH
YOU HAVE A LOT OF LAPS ON THIS RACE TRACK IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF CARS.  HOW HAS THIS PLACE CHANGED SINCE THE FIRST TIME YOU CAME TO CHICAGOLAND?
“Every year it just keeps getting better.  The grip level goes down which means that the drivers search around a little bit more and the track is really wide.  You are seeing guys qualify in the middle of the race track right now. In the race on Sunday we are going to up by the fence all over the place.  It’s a great race track it’s coming into its own.  That was a good qualifying lap for us.  I wasn’t really sure how it was going to go.  We only did two mock runs in practice.  Trying to work on race trim and try and save some tires for tomorrow.  The guys did a good job making some good adjustments.”
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 23RD
ON HER LAP:
“It was a little tight in (turns) 3-4, but not bad. I’m proud of the GoDaddy guys. We picked up a lot from practice, which it always a good thing. Our qualifying has gotten better, especially on the 1.5 mile ovals. We want to continue to get better.”
 
 

Chevy Racing–Geico 400–Danica Patrick

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
GEICO 400
CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 13, 2013
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Chicagoland Speedway and discussed the first practice session, helping teammates and other topics. Full Transcript:
 
HOW DID PRACTICE GO FOR YOU GUYS?
“Practice was relatively productive got a little bit better, got a little bit better in race trim which leads to qualifying trim.  Still feel like we have a fair amount to improve on.  I felt like I was tight enough through (turns) three and four that I was sure that I was losing a couple a tenths.  So if we can find that it would be awesome.  We will see what that leads to in qualifying.”
 
WHAT IS YOUR REACTION IS THIS WEEK TO ALL THE CONTROVERSY? RYAN NEWMAN GETTING INTO THE CHASE BECAUSE OF THE MWR (MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING) FINES AND STUFF LIKE THAT? 
“Well you just said that Ryan Newman got in due to the fines.  He was my understanding leading the race.  So I don’t envy NASCAR’s position whatsoever.  That is a tough place to be put in when you are trying to sort all of that out and you have so many different entities that are involved.  And put so much into it and it means so much to get in the Chase, but at the end of the day Ryan (Newman) is in and he was running in a position that he would have been in if it would have stayed green.  I think that he has a lot to be proud of for that.  I don’t know.  Makes it exciting to see what the heck is going on, on Twitter everyday though.”
 
YOU ARE A DRIVER WHO IS NOT IN THE CHASE AND YOU HAVE A TEAMMATE THAT IS IN THE CHASE.  ARE YOU CONCERNED AT ALL ABOUT ANY SORT OF PERCEPTION THAT IF YOU GIVE UP A SPOT YOU ARE HELPING HIM?
“I mean at the end of the day you run as hard as you can and you get every single position that you can.  When it comes down to one or two drivers next to each other on the track it is one thing especially if you are teammates.  But I can say that my team has never asked me to do anything at all on the track.  There were no orders for last weekend, nothing, and I don’t believe they would ever make me do anything.  It’s a really gray area and it’s a really sticky situation.  I believe that if you want to give a spot to somebody on the track and they are right behind you, you can do that.  That is your decision, but you are also not affecting the entire outcome of the race.  That is just one spot.  There were things done on this past weekend that involved more positions than just the immediate one next to you.”
 
I DON’T KNOW IF YOU WERE IN CHARLOTTE THIS WEEK, BUT HOW HAS THE MOOD CHANGED IN THE ORGANIZATION?
“I wasn’t.  I was in sunny Phoenix.  Actually rainy Phoenix if I may be honest.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THE GUYS WERE?  VERY DISAPPOINTING THEY WERE SO CLOSE TO GETTING ONE CAR INTO THE CHASE LAST SATURDAY NIGHT AND THEN IT TO CHANGE ON MONDAY?
“I wasn’t there.”
 
HAVE YOU HEARD THE GUYS TALK ABOUT IT AT ALL?
“Look teams work so hard to make the Chase it’s everything.  Shoot from the outside looking in it looks like there is almost more pressure coming down to that last race than there even is at the end of the season.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that there are so many more people involved in those positions as opposed to the end of the year where usually it’s down to two or three drivers.  A lot is on the line.  I’m sure that there is a lot of relief and also a refreshed determination to be in the Chase, but I wasn’t there to exactly witness everyone’s mood, but I know what kind of effort gets put in to get there.”
 
EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A GOOD TEAMMATE.  HOW DO YOU DISCERN WHAT IS APPROPRIATE, WHAT’S INAPPROPRIATE AND WHERE THE LINE IS WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO BE A GOOD TEAMMATE TO WHOEVER THAT MIGHT BE?
“I mean like I just said I feel like when you do things that affect entire outcomes of the race and many positions on the track then that is a pretty big move.  When you are involving one person around you in giving up a spot then that’s I feel like that’s a whole different thing.  You know a lot of that comes down to relationships on the track with other drivers, manufacturers; sure you are always trying to help.  It’s no different than you go to Talladega or Daytona and you try to get in line with other Chevy’s.  It’s no different than that trying to help each other, but it really just comes down to the individual and what they feel comfortable doing.  At the end of the day this has been going on forever and ever and ever in racing.  There have been people that have given up spots here and there.  There have been teams that have asked drivers to do certain things and it’s probably never going to go completely away it’s just trying to figure out how far you can go before you get punished for it.  It’s a gray area there are no rules for it, but I’m glad I’m not in the middle of it.”
 
YOU SAW PROBABLY THE SAME THING IN INDYCAR DIDN’T YOU?
“Yeah, sure, in IndyCar it happens too.  I remember getting told what to do in certain situations or who to be helping out there and when I could pass and when I couldn’t.  Looking back at the end of the day I think some of it is fair and I think some of it’s a little unfair.  I might do some of it different going back in time, but the attitude in general is for the greater good and what allows a team to get the highest result possible.”
 
YOU’VE BROUGHT A LOT OF FANS TO THE SPORT. WHEN YOU HAVE AN INSTANCE LIKE THIS, DO YOU THINK THIS HURTS THE CREDIBILITY BY TURNING FANS OFF? OR, DO YOU THINK IT MIGHT BRING MORE FANS IN?
“This is somewhat negative attention, but it’s still attention on the sport. And there is a negative side to every sport at the end of the day; and every job, essentially. So, we’re just doing it on a televised stage. So, I don’t think it’s the best of things, but I think that when people are talking about NASCAR racing and paying attention to see how it goes, I think that ultimately if they end up loving the sport, it’s a good thing. But, you try and do it with positive attention as opposed to negative.”
 
REGARDING CREDIBILITY (INAUDIBLE):
“Well, I think so and I think that it can have an effect as well on the sponsors involved and not wanting to be part of a negative swirl of attention. I think that’s probably one of the most negative sides to it because our sport is driven on sponsorship. But yeah, I think at the end of the day it’s probably a little bit negative. But if we generate fans because they watch the sport and love it and want to keep watching it, then that’s also a positive.”
 
DOES THIS BUILD UP EXCITEMENT FOR THE CHASE?
“Before Richmond, I, as a driver, could definitely feel the tension. There’s a lot on the line. And people, like I said, put so much effort into making the Chase and I feel like it’s a pretty cool format. I’m sure that when it was introduced, I wasn’t around, but I’m sure there were some people that didn’t like it but at the end of the day it creates a lot of buzz for NASCAR and creates a lot of storylines, clearly, and brings people back to the sport if they’ve drifted away over the summer. And like I said, or it generates new fans. So it’s still racing at the end of the day and you still have to race at this point to get in and you still have to race to the end to get a championship or your finishing positions, so I think it creates a very interesting layer of entertainment.”
 
DO YOU PROJECT AHEAD AS TO WHEN YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO COMPETE FOR A CHASE SLOT?
“I think that realistically, not necessarily for the Chase in particular, but I think to really understand the car and feel comfortable i
n the car and be able to start to have some more established expectation levels, I think it takes at least three years to get to that point. And some people say five years. So, I really hope it doesn’t take that long, but I feel like in my mind it’s realistic to think it could take at least three years to at least feel comfortable in the car; and then it’s about being in the right situation where you’re in the right group and you have the right car and your manufacturers are good. It comes down to a lot of other things. But I think as a driver, after a good few years, you as a driver are probably pretty ready to take the car to the limit.”
 
ON SPENDING TIME IN PHOENIX THIS PAST WEEK:
“This was ‘old friends week’ back in Arizona. It was nice. I saw a lot of people an A/C unit was out, which was very uncomfortable to sleep in a hot house. I think it was about 80 – 88 degrees throughout the house. But that’s okay; I can get everything fixed before we go back in November. It actually rained three days in a row out there. It was terrible. I tried to play golf. It’s really hard to play golf when it’s pouring rain. But I came back to Chicago on Wednesday night and Ricky’s dad came into town and had dinner. So that was nice; got some friends and family coming to the race this weekend. So I definitely make the most of the times when I get back to my home bases.”
 
RACING HERE ON THE WEEKEND ISN’T THAT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM BEING HERE?
“No, it is nice to wake up in your own bed, and spend some more nights with your own kitchen and ‘fridge and whatnot and have a nice view. But it’s not too much different than every other weekend.”
 

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