NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
AAA TEXAS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
NOVEMBER 3, 2013
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – RACE WINNER
WE RAN OUT OF ADJECTIVES TO DESCRIBE WHAT HAPPENED TODAY – INCREDIBLE, SPECTACULAR, IMPRESSIVE – HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT?
“It was all of that. We came here and tested and did an awesome job of understanding what I needed in the car and what was going to create speed. We came back and had a very smooth qualifying session and practice sessions yesterday, and just kept putting more and more speed in the car. It paid off today. Obviously we need a lot of speed in the car and a win to get any points because Matt (Kenseth) is there in the top-five. Nice to gain just a few points on him. But just a dominant day for this Lowe’s team. I can’t thank everybody at Hendrick Motorsports enough for their hard efforts. Great car, great effort. Pits stops…all across the board. This Chevy was fast. I know there are a lot of Lowe’s employees watching and excited and are cheering so thank you. Thanks to all the No. 48 fans. Hopefully my wife (Chandra) gets here soon with my two little ones, I can’t wait to see them.”
WITH TWO ROUNDS LEFT, HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT THIS IS YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP TO WIN?
“I have been watching a lot of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting lately, and you’ll fall into a rhythm and think that somebody has got the fight won, and it doesn’t end that way. That’s how this is going to be. Matt didn’t have maybe the best day and still finished fourth. This thing is going to go to the last lap at Homestead, and it is going to come down to mistakes. I’m very excited about our performance and what we did here. We’ll enjoy this, but there is still two weeks of very hard racing ahead of us.”
YOU HAVE A SEVEN POINT LEAD, AND LEFT HERE LAST YEAR WITH THAT NUMBER, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
“I hope history doesn’t repeat itself. That is the perfect example of this thing isn’t over until it’s over. Last year we had eight great races and two bad ones and didn’t get the championship. Very important to finish strong. There are two very important races left.”
HOW GOOD WAS THIS NO. 48 CAR TODAY?
“This was an awesome, awesome race car. I have to go back to the test session we had last week or the week before. We did a nice job of developing a plan on how we wanted to show up in qualifying trim and in race trim. We had an awesome, awesome race car. And we needed it. Matt (Kenseth) didn’t have the best day and he finished fourth or fifth. So it’s hard to get points in this championship battle, and we got a couple today.”
YOU HEAD TO PHOENIX WITH A SEVEN-POINT LEAD. DO YOU CHANGE YOUR THINKING?
“You can’t do it. You have to go racing. Last year, we had the lead leaving here and had two bad races. We have to go to Phoenix and have a very strong race, and then back that up with another one at Homestead. It still isn’t over until the last lap at Homestead.”
RICK HENDRICK, WINNING TEAM OWNER
YOU SAID YOU HEARD JIMMIE SAY HE HAD A VIBRATION WITH 15 LAPS TO GO, WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND?
“We’ve had it happen here with just a few laps to go. But all the cars ran good. Jimmie was just so strong all night. It felt like that last 30 was unbelievable. I asked him when he had a vibration; please don’t say anything on the radio any more, not with 10 to go.”
DO YOU THINK THIS IS YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP WITH TWO RACES TO GO?
“Absolutely not. We were like this last year going to Phoenix. Anything can happen. You know, we’re not going to know how this thing is going to end until the last lap at Homestead. It is so tight. That is such team. Matt (Kenseth) is such a great driver. Anything can happen. It happened to us at Phoenix last year. It’s not going to be over until the last lap at Homestead, so we just have to keep doing what we are doing. All the cars are running great. I hate it for Jeff (Gordon) but that Lowe’s Chevrolet was on the money tonight.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY GOLD/7-ELEVEN CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SECOND
THIRD TIME IN THE LAST SIX WEEKS YOU HAVE FINISHED RUNNER-UP, YOU ARE GETTING CLOSE:
“That’s right. We’re getting close. I have got to give Steve Letarte (crew chief) a lot of credit. I want to thank AMP Energy Gold, National Guard, all of our sponsors – Time Warner Cable. The team has done a good job. We came here and tested so we thought we would have a good chance to win it here. Obviously our teammate was here testing too, so it paid off for him. Congratulations to Jimmie. We’ve been working really hard. Steve has done a great job. It’s paying off. We’re getting close.”
WHAT WAS THE DAY LIKE?
“Saturday morning in the first practice we were struggling. We got it a little bit better and a little bit better and then we worked on it last night in the bus studying. When the race started, it wasn’t that great; it was okay. But we dialed it in and I think the track kind of came to us as it got dark here. That’s about what the conditions were when we tested. Steve is doing a good job of dialing the car in. He is giving good cars every week. I am driving them alright; I’m just staying out of trouble.”
YOU HAD THE FIELD COVERED FOR JUST ONE GUY:
“He (Johnson) was in a class of his own. We were joking that we won the GT class. They were super-fast. I was super, super impressed with those guys’ car. I’m happy to have a good effort and looking forward to the last couple of races. Hopefully we will get us a win. We keep getting close.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FIFTH
ON HIS RACE:
“We had a pretty good Time Warner Chevy today. We were seventh to 10th most of the race, and worked our way to fifth there at the end. Not quite as good as what Jimmie (Johnson) and Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) was. I know if Jeff (Gordon) had been out there, he would have been fast as well. The Hendrick (Motorsports) cars were good today. Congrats to them. I’m glad we were able to have kind of a flawless race, and race all day and make a little bit of ground at the end.”
HOW MUCH DID THE TRACK CHANGE?
“It actually changed a good bit where it got a little bit more rear grip, so we had to take a touch of wedge out on that final stop and that helped with the front tires. So it did change, I think it helped us a little bit with battling our front end the whole night. It was still a good race. It feels good to get a solid finish and kind of be in the hunt.”
HOW GOOD DOES IT FEEL TO RUN UP FRONT?
“It seemed like we ran seven to 10th. We kept working on it. We never really hit it like we would have liked but it was the best run was definitely our final. It’s been awhile since we’ve run up front so it feels pretty good.”
HOW GOOD WAS THE NO. 48 CAR?
“It seemed like he was pretty good. I never saw him. I could only see him on the restarts, so I knew he was really fast. I knew he was going to be really fast after yesterday’s practice. He looked like he was pretty unreal all day from where I was.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/DENVER MATTRESS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 17TH
ON HIS RACE:
“That’s all we had, and for us it wasn’t a good day, or for that matter, a good weekend,” said Busch. “We were off since we unloaded on Friday and never found the right balance for this track. We gave it everything we had, but yet it was disappointing because these mile-and-a-half tracks should be good for us. We need a turnaround in the final two races because it has been too good of a year to end on a struggling note.”
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES