MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
APRIL 9, 2017
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – RACE WINNER
THEY SAY EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS. HOW BIG WAS THIS WIN?
“I guess I remembered how to drive; and I guess this team remembered how to do it! I’m just real proud of this team. What a tough track and tough conditions. We were really in our wheelhouse and we were just able to execute all day. Thanks to everybody at Lowe’s and Chevy and the fans and a ton of sponsors. Oh, it was hot in there. I got cooked in the car today. I didn’t have any fluids so I’m not feeling the best, but we got into Victory Lane. I’m so proud of the fight in this race team. I can’t wait to celebrate during this off-weekend with my family and friends and really enjoy this.”
YOU WENT THROUGH THE ADVERSITY OF SPINNING IN QUALIFYING AND HAD TO START IN THE BACK OF THE FIELD TODAY. AT WHAT POINT DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD SOMETHING AND COULD POSSIBLY WIN THIS ONE TODAY?
“Oh, probably on the second or third run I knew we were in good shape. From there, off we went. It was so tough those first 23 laps in traffic. The air was very turbulent, the track wasn’t very clean, and just the way it finished now, I think we could start with what I could show. It will just take a little time for this track to age. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. But, it was an awesome day for this Lowe’s team. A big thank you to all the employees at Lowe’s. If you’re not busy this afternoon, head over to Lowe’s and pick up some stuff for your house and let’s celebrate.”
THE RECORD BOOK IS GOING TO SAY YOU STARTED 24TH, BUT YOU WENT TO THE BACK BECAUSE YOU HAD TO CHANGE TIRES AFTER THAT SPIN IN QUALIFYING. HOW DID YOU GET UP THROUGH THE FIELD?
“It was just a really tough day. A lot of just trying to manage the slick surface that we had on the track and the lack of grip that was out there, but kind of once we got about the third run things really started coming together and our car was super-fast. The end of the second stage kind of played a weird game on us with guys pitting and not pitting. And I still drove up through there, passed all those cars and won this thing. An awesome car, big thank you to Lowe’s just a spectacular day.”
ARE WE ABOUT TO SEE NEW OWNERSHIP OF THIS TRACK?
“I thought the repave might change it, but I still think I have the keys to the front door.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CHEVROLET SS – Finished 2nd
YOU MUST HAVE PASSED 100 CARS TODAY YOU WENT FROM THE BACK TO THE FRONT TWICE AND COME HOME WITH A SECOND-PLACE FINISH HOW DOES THAT FEEL?
“It feels really good. Our Credit One Bank Chevy was good from the start, was able to pass a lot of cars there in the beginning. Got a pit road penalty. I clipped too many boxes there and then came from the back and passed a lot of cars again. Just felt like we passed cars a lot. All-in-all a good day. You never know… I felt like maybe if I didn’t have that pit road penalty early in the race I could have gotten to the lead that run with how good we were and maybe controlled the race from there. Just a little mistake on my part and we’ve got to clean that up a little bit and maybe we will win some more of these.”
IF YOU COULD HAVE GOTTEN BY LOGANO EARLIER DO YOU THINK YOU HAD ANYTHING FOR JOHNSON?
“Yeah, I think so. I needed to get by Joey with probably five laps to go or so. I learned some stuff there in (Turns) 3 and 4 that helped my car. I felt like I learned some things through (Turns) 1 and 2 to stay low on exit and get position on him. Bummer that we didn’t get by Joey sooner, but we had to drive hard that last run to get to second. Proud of that.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – Finished 5th
BEST RUN OF THE YEAR SO FAR:
“It was warm. I thought the car was pretty warm all weekend, but our air conditioner wasn’t doing very good job today. We’ve just got to relocate the outlet or the inlet to give it a better opportunity to get some air. But, with the wind, as windy as it is here you’ve got to put that thing in a more opportune place. It’s kind of like a vacuum it’s pulling air out of the helmet it’s going one side of the track. I just ran with the visor up the whole day. I was happy to see that caution late to get us some Gatorade and cool off a little bit. It was hot.”
HOW BAD DID YOU NEED THIS FINISH?
“I figured we would get one sooner or later, but it’s nice. I know our fans are really pulling for us. Could have finished a little better, we will take top five.”
IS TEXAS A TRACK YOU COME TO WHERE YOU THINK YOU COULD DO WELL AND GET BACK ON TRACK?
“Yeah, I mean we ran in the top six here like seven times in a row it seems like, crazy. I like the track. I like the repave. We saw the second groove come in a little bit.”
IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE WE HAVE SEEN YOU THIS WIPED OUT AFTER A RACE. IS THIS ONE OF THE WORST CONDITIONS YOU’VE HAD?
“One of them. I would say it’s in the backside of the top 10. It’s just warm all weekend and my helmet blower wasn’t working. I just had to run with the visor up. The wind is blowing so hard it’s really working against you on one half of the track. I rode 40 miles on the bike. Twenty Friday and 20 Saturday, but Jimmie (Johnson) rode about 100, so that is no excuse.”
YOU TALKED EARLIER IN THE WEEK ABOUT YOU GUYS NEEDING SOME MORE SPEED AT 1.5-MILE TRACKS. DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD IT TODAY?
“That’s a great point. Good question… I mean I felt like we were pretty good and we ran with the cars, the No. 78 and the guys that have been really fast. I think the No. 2 car and the No. 22 car have been really the class of the field. I saw those guys weaving after the race and downshifting hard to reset their housing, so we have to figure out what they are doing and see if we can’t make it better.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 SHERWIN-WILLIAMS EMERALD CHEVROLET SS – Finished 7th
ON HIS RACE:
“We had a really good car. I knew from like lap two or three on I was just able to turn a little better in (Turns) 1 and 2 than the guy’s I was in front of. We didn’t fall off very much. That was key today because we had some long green flag runs. So, very proud of everybody both Ganassi cars ran great again today. We got a little bit behind when we stayed out on Stage 2 and got a little bit behind in the pits and then I had a really bad restart, so we played make-up the rest of the day.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – Finished 9th
ON STARTING IN THE REAR WITH A BACK-UP CAR AND FINISHING IN THE TOP 10:
“Had a good car, just didn’t get back up through the field as well as I would have liked to that second time. Good effort, just not good enough.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TRACK? HOW DID IT CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
“It actually became pretty racy as the day went on. I was surprised. Hopefully, that is a good sign.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 SCOTT PRODUCTS CHEVROLET SS – Finished 21st
“Our finish definitely did not define our day. We had a really fast Scott Products Chevrolet all weekend. It was really disappointing to be involved in the incident on pit road, but we had the speed we needed to get us back in the top 10. Unfortunately, after the end of the second stage, we had a loose wheel and that completely killed our momentum and we had to spend the second half of the race fighting for the Lucky Dog. I’m really proud of my No. 37 Scott Products team. They dug all weekend and worked really hard to get a fast car, and we’ll keep using that momentum and working on 1.5-mile program.”