NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
FEDEX 400 BENEFITING AUTISM SPEAKS
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
JUNE 1, 2014
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – WINNER
TAKE US THROUGH YOUR RUN TODAY:
“It was an awesome race car. The first run I wasn’t sure we were really going to have the normal Dover magic here. Once the track ‘rubbered’ in our car came to life and it was so good. It’s amazing that we can stay on top of things here with the different generation car, different rules, different tires. This place just fits my style and Chad Knaus’ style.”
DID YOU HAVE ANY CLOSE CALLS THROUGHOUT THE DAY?
“The first run or two I didn’t think we were in a dominant position, but towards the end of the first run thing started coming around and I felt like we were in great shape. Even with some varying track strategies and I lost track position we were still able to smoke our way through traffic and get to the front and control things. I think we would have had a heck of a race with the No. 4. I’m not sure what trouble he had, but outside of that I think we had everybody covered.”
THIS IS YOUR NINTH VICTORY AT DOVER
“It is incredible I have so much to be thankful for. I wish Mr. Hendrick was here; am sure he’s at home watching. I’m so thankful for an awesome race team and awesome car and such great support. I’m so thankful for the support we get from Lowe’s and KOBALT Tools and I’m just happy to get the job done today.”
YOU SAID YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD RACE CAR TODAY. HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT?
“Well, we’ve got a new generation car that Chad (Knaus, crew chief) just had a lot of faith in and put a lot of time and effort into. He told me I’d love the car, and sure enough, we unloaded and got on the track and he was right.”
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 6TH
*Best Finish of 2014
“All-in-all it was good day. We battled from the beginning, lost the handling of the car for a while but Todd Berrier made some great calls throughout the race and we were able to finish strong. You can just feel it that we’re heading in the right direction. We also had a top-10 car last week in Charlotte, but had a freak breakage occur with nine laps to go. We’re a new team and takes a while to get all the pieces of the puzzle in place. We’re learning about this car and how to be competitive with it. We’re getting closer and closer to finding that sweet spot. One constant we have had all year is excellent pit stops and today was a continuation of how good these over-the wall guys are. You know when you come into the pits there’s a good chance you’re going to gain spots. And all the dumb luck we’ve had didn’t bite us today. It almost bit us on Friday when a bird hit our car during practice and caused some damage to the left headlight area. We still have a ways to go but the feeling is upbeat knowing that we have more speed and can be more competitive. Dover has been good to me over the years and it was also a great feeling to bring home a strong effort at what I consider my home track.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 9TH
ON HIS DAY:
“Steve (Letarte) did a good job on his adjustments all day. Strategy was pretty simple. Keep putting four tires on, we had a two-tire run that worked out for us one time. I liked the speed of the car. Yeah, a second or third place car just got messed up there on pit road. Really can’t blame anybody there, but myself.”
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN THE CONCRETE STARTED COMING UP OVER THERE?
“Concrete has been losing the battle for preferred surface on a race track for 60 years. I don’t think they are going to start paving them all with concrete anytime soon. It is okay and I think they got their money out of what they put down here. I would be a little nervous because there are so many joints and joists in this place it’s a lottery on which one is going to come up next. If they repave it, I hope they put asphalt down and we would give the fans a hell of a show around here.”
IS IT IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND ON A RESTART AFTER THEY PATCHED THAT THING?
“Well what we did was sent a guy down there with a radio and he could keep his eye on it. At the level I was at I couldn’t see if there was a hole there or not. We got a guy looking at it the whole time and he was like ‘alright it’s staying together, it’s looking good.’ If it was going to come apart we would have been able to get notified and move up a lane and run through there until – we weren’t going to be the first person to find out when that thing came apart. That was a good deal on my team to do that extra leg work to make sure we were clear. They did a great job patching it up. I was real happy and it looked like it stayed together so good job on NASCAR’s part.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 13TH
ON HITTING THE PIECE OF TRACK IN TURN 2, WHAT DID YOU THINK HAPPENED?
“I’m not 100% sure. I guess that the race track came up. And when I came off of the corner, it just felt like I hit something, obviously, heavy. Initially I thought I’d blown a tire out. When I hit it, it actually pushed the car to the right and I got into the fence a little bit. And as I slowed down, I couldn’t figure out first off, why I didn’t hit the fence harder, and then what happened. I didn’t see anything. It just hit the front end and ripped the splitter off and it pushed the car to the right. So, I’m not real sure.”
WELL THAT WAS UNUSUAL:
“Yeah Martinsville is the last time I remember something like that happening. I really don’t know I guess the race track came up. When I came off Turn 2 I heard a huge boom and then the car felt like it got really tight. I thought I had blown a tire out or something had fallen off the car. As I got going down the straightaway I wasn’t real sure because I was like ‘well the tires feel up now.’ So I just stopped getting into Turn 3 because I didn’t have any idea what was going on.”
HOW MUCH DID IT AFFECT YOUR CAR?
“Well it killed the front-end. That pan that is underneath there is critical. We worked really hard to make that just right and the pan underneath I think is really torn up. It definitely took a lot of front downforce off the car, but our guys did a really good job recovering here putting all the stuff on and we salvaged what we could today.”
THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE ASKING WHY THEY WOULDN’T LET YOU GUYS WORK ON THE CAR UNDER THE RED FLAG BECAUSE OF THE CONDITIONS. HOW DID IT FEEL SITTING IN THE CAR?
“Well it’s really frustrating. All I was thinking about was the No. 18 at Charlotte last year when he got the wire stuck under his car. I thought they let him work on their car under the red flag, but I don’t know. It’s hard. It’s really frustrating when you are sitting in there and you want them to be able to fix it, but it is what it is.”
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES