NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER RACE NOTES & QUOTES
MAY 17, 2014
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined in accident on lap 61:
“I’m not exactly sure what. Hopefully we didn’t damage it too bad so we can’t find out what it was. I was going down the backstretch going into Turn 3 and I felt something in the front end give. All of a sudden I had more wheel and I wasn’t even in the corner. As I got in the corner, the car just went straight. It wasn’t like it was a right front where it just shot there; it just slowly went there. We’ll have to do some investigating to find out. It was certainly was one fast Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet up until that point.”
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE RACING TONIGHT? HOW INTENSE IS IT?
“It’s intense. It’s awesome. These cars are fantastic and the conditions couldn’t be more perfect. It’s nice to see some guys switching up their strategies. That’s what making the racing so good because they realize how important it is to get track position and some of them are able to maintain it. Unfortunately for us, the 11 car decided to do it because he pretty much ruined our night.”
ANY IDEA WHAT HAPPENED?
“Something broke in the front end, either a tire or something in the suspension because I was going down the back straightaway and as I was getting to the corner it just sat down and started going straight. I hate we caught those guys up top on the outside of me. But man what an awesome Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet we had tonight. Drive to End Hunger has been such a great supporter of ours and I so badly wanted to get them into victory lane. We had the car to do it tonight but we didn’t have many breaks going our way. That 11 staying out in the second segment killed us because we got behind him a bunch. And every time he was weaving we would get by him. But our car was super-fast and we could go to the high side, middle, and bottom. We were looking forward to the average working out if we could make some ground up in that run but unfortunately not to be. Great effort by this team by this team and I am still just loving driving these race cars because they are just so good.”
YOU LOOKED AT THE REPLAY, WERE YOU ABLE TO LEARN ANYTHING FROM WHAT YOU SAW?
“I just wanted to know what broke. Somebody said the engine, but I think that happened after we hit the wall and broke a line or something. I was just trying to figure out if it was the left front or right front. It didn’t just shoot into the wall which made me believe it might have been in the left front. I am not really sure and all I know is it just went in there and went straight.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO CHEVROLET SS – WINNER
WHAT ABOUT THE RESTART AND THE BATTLE WITH CARL EDWARDS?
“Really, as a kid, that’s what you grew up wanting to do is to have a shootout like that and have a possibility to just race for 10 laps. And Carl got a little jump on me on the restart and I was able to hang on to his quarter panel. And I was like heck with it, it’s for a million bucks. If we wreck, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s still cool to come out on top of that. It’s a lot of fun. I have to thank Sprint for putting this up. My little boy, when he woke up, I asked him what he was going to do today. And he said he was probably going to play in his sandbox. And then he said, ‘What are you going to do today, Dad?’ And I said, ‘I’m going to race for a million bucks, Carter!’ It’s so cool that we were actually able to win and Christy (wife) asked him if his dad wins, what would he want. He told her, ‘A train.’ So Carter, you’re going to get a really cool train in the next few days, I promise you.
I’ve just got to thank Bass Pro Shops and Johnny Morris. He’s been with us a long time. And we’ve gotten to win some really big races with him. I know you’re watching Johnny. This is so cool and I can’t thank you enough for your friendship and everything that you’ve done for our race team. This is an awesome day.”
ON KEITH RODDEN’S CALLS DURING THE RACE, WERE THEY THE WINNING MOVES?
“Absolutely. Keith did an unbelievable job. He was a huge secret in the garage and I’m so glad that I get the opportunity to work with him. We’ve had good cars all year long. We had some bad luck. But this is one of those races that makes up for a lot of bad times.”
TELL US ABOUT THE RESTART AND WHAT YOU DID TO GET AROUND CARL EDWARDS
“I just drove as hard as I could. I’m really fortunate that Chip (Ganassi) and Keith (Rodden, crew chief) gave me a car that was capable of winning today. Carl got a little bit of a jump on me and I was able to hang on to his quarter-panel. I could have pulled in behind him but I knew whoever got out front, it was going to be hard to pass. So those couple of laps with Carl… he wasn’t going to let up and neither was I. We were both sliding up the race track. That is as much fun as a race car driver that you can have. I hope it was fun to watch.”
WHO MADE THOSE CALLS FOR TWO-TIRE STOPS?
One hundred percent Keith Rodden. He did an amazing job today. We’ve had good cars all year long and he’s really good at calling the races. As a driver, when they tell you stay out and you know that (taking) tires are better, it’s really hard to do want to do that. But I really believe in Keith and he’s done a great job for us this year. He’s truly what put us in the position to win this race.”
WHERE DOES THIS WIN STACK UP IN YOUR CAREER?
“This is an amazing race. I’ve been fortunate enough to win the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. But the All-Star race is different. When I woke up this morning, I was like ‘I’m just going to have fun. We were talking about the old days of the All-Star race when it was more laid back. It’s way more serious now. That’s what I told the pit crew – just have fun. It’s about having a good time today and doing your best. And fortunately we were the best ones today.”
CHIP GANASSI, OWNER CHIP GANASSI RACING WITH FELIX SABATES
“I was excited, I’ll tell you. It’s great to be here in front of the hometown crowd. The great fans from Charlotte… all the teams are here. Everybody saw who won this race tonight.”
KEITH RODDEN, CREW CHIEF, NO. 1 BASS PRO CHEVROLET SS – WINNER
“It’s pretty surreal really. Jamie did a great job and the pit crew just really stepped up there at the end. It’s a pretty amazing night, really.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 HUNT BROTHER’S PIZZA CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 2ND:
WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE?
“Just a bad pit stop. The guys did a great job putting a fast race car on the track. We recovered from the first one and the second one cost us the race. All in all, they put a car on the race track that was capable of the winning and we just didn’t get it done.
“We recovered from the first bad pit stop on pit road and we didn’t recover from the second bad pit stop on pit road. But I’ve just got to thank all my guys on the Hunt Brother’s Pizza Chevy. They did a great job and provided a fast car. We just didn’t get it done on pit road.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 4TH
“We fought a tight car all night. We really were trying to figure out how we can improve to get better for the (Coca-Cola) 600. I know the guys will work hard all week and try to get us a little more front grip and a little more speed. We made some adjustments and got it better at the end, obviously. A lot of guys that were good had trouble so that gave us a couple of spots at the end of the race that we wouldn’t have had or would have had to race for a little harder. We need to improve a little bit, and I think we understand that and we’re going to work hard all week. I feel pretty confident going into the 600 weekend with the improvements we’ll have on the
“They made the car a little bit better there at the end. But we’ll think about it. And look at everything we need to look at to make it better for the 600 and I’m happy for Jamie (McMurray, race winner). It’s a pretty cool deal for him. We need to work a little bit and get a little better and the guys will do it. I’m confident that when we come back here next week we’ll be good.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE RACING TONIGHT?
“It was what I expected – guys not giving a whole lot of room. You can’t. If you want to win the race, you have to take what you can get. There’s going to be some guys getting turned around, but that’s going to be part of this style of racing. I hope the fans really enjoyed it. Congratulations to Jamie and his team. Hopefully we’ll get that 600 next week.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 6TH
ON THE RACE
“We just didn’t get off pit road where we needed to and those first couple of laps those guys got away. And Jamie (McMurray) got free and took off, so I congratulate those guys. I think tonight was a great night for our sport. To have qualifying take place like it did and have the fans get into it and see how excited they were; and then to have the race straight after that was pretty cool. It was definitely not the performance that I wanted for our Lowe’s Patriotic Paint Scheme tonight, but I think it was a great night for our sport.”
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES