JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/MADAGASCAR CHEVROLET – WINNER
ANOTHER DOMINATING PERFORMANCE HERE AT DOVER. WHAT WAS THE ELEMENT THAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THAT LED TO TODAY’S SUCCESS?
“It was a team effort. Obviously, I had an amazing Lowe’s Chevrolet to drive today. I that No. 24 was the car to beat. He had two tenths on us but he had some troubles. I think the way we protected the win was pit road. Last week was hard on us but this week these guys stepped up and did it every time I was on pit road. Awesome day for this Madagascar 3/Lowe’s Chevrolet.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET – FINISHED 2nd
YOU GUYS PUT YOURSELF IN A LITTLE BIT OF A HOLE WHEN YOU OVER SHOT YOUR PIT ON LAP 226, BUT YOU GUYS REALLY FOUGHT:
“Yeah, I’m just glad we had a Jimmy John’s Chevrolet that was capable of keeping up today. To be able to make up that much track position says a lot about the distance that we have made up on the cars. We fixed a lot of problems, driver made the biggest mistake today. We fixed the pit crew, we fixed a lot of things and we are right on the verge of having enough speed to win races.”
HOW IMPORTANT WAS THIS TOP-FIVE FINISH FOR MOMENTUM MOVING FORWARD?
“Well this never has been a really strong track for us. I feel like this is the best race we have ever run here. To come here and do that and be able to be solid all day and not fluke into something is what we needed.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET – FINISHED FOURTH
I KNOW YOU WERE LOSE ON THAT LAST RUN WAS THAT THE DIFFERENCE? COULD YOU HAVE GONE AFTER THE NO. 48 IF YOU HAD IT TIGHTENED UP JUST A LITTLE BIT?
“I don’t think anybody could but Jeff (Gordon). Man that No. 24 was fast, I know they are disappointed they did such a great job, that car was amazing. Jimmie (Johnson) did a good job. I’m real happy for Hendrick Motorsports, Rick (Hendrick) and everybody all the employees. We’ve got the fastest cars in the business right now. They ought to be real proud. We were just a little loose on breaking getting into the corner and couldn’t really challenge Matt (Kenseth) or anybody really around us. Wherever you kind of settled in after the restart is kind of where you were. We had a good car though. We had good speed. I want to thank AMP, Diet Mountain Dew and National Guard, all our sponsors. It was a good day for us, a good point’s day. I run as hard as I could run. I didn’t have anything left. We are getting close. We are finishing good when we are not winning. I can’t complain too much about how we are doing. We’ve got some tricky tracks coming up for us. The summer months aren’t really my thing, the tracks at least, but hopefully we can have some more good runs.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET – FINISHED 9TH:
HOW DID IT GO OUT THERE? ARE YOU PLEASED WITH YOUR FINISH?
“From where we were running half-way and at lap 300 I think top 10 was good for our whole Hendrickcars.com Chevy team, but I wasn’t real happy. At times, we were the best car and the rest of the race we were not even close. So it was just a difficult struggle for us today. There was something with our front end. We just didn’t hit it right. And at Charlotte, we did (won there last week), but we didn’t today.”
ON THE NUMBER OF CAUTIONS
“Yeah, there were some cautions. You get spread out here and you get running high and low and there are some blown engines and then that big wreck at the start. I haven’t seen what happened there, but cautions and then some debris stuff. It was kind of a normal Sprint Cup race for these days I thought.”
ARE YOU HAPPY FOR YOUR HENDRICK TEAM AND JIMMIE JOHNSON’S WIN?
“Yeah, it was great that Jimmie won. That’s four weeks in a row for Hendrick Motorsports. So everybody is doing a great job. It’s awesome to be part of that.”
HOW WOULD YOU SUM-UP YOUR DAY SINCE YOU’RE REALLY BEEN ON A STRONG ROLL LATELY?
“Yeah, we were really good early and in the middle parts of the race, we fell way back and we were struggling. We had a good pit call there to get back in the top 10. But we just kind of missed on the front-end. I couldn’t get the feel that I wanted with the front-end with our Hendrickcars.com Chevy. But it was cool to see Jimmie Johnson win again and another win for Hendrick Motorsports. I think that’s about a month and it’s cool to be a part of all that.”
YOU WERE 31ST IN POINTS EIGHT RACES AGO. NOW YOU ARE 14TH MOVING UP ONE MORE SPOT AFTER TODAY. WITH THAT WIN LAST WEEK, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?
“Well, it’s good. We keep moving up. Every week we move up at least a spot. So that’s a good thing. We’re working hard for that. We’re just trying to be consistent; but I just want to get the car right. I missed it in practice I guess with the way we had our settings. We’ll work on that this week and figure out what we did wrong.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – FINISHED 13TH
“The fastest car doesn’t always win the race. And we’re sitting here in 13th or whatever; it’s silly.
AS BAD AS YOUR MISFORTUNE WAS, IT SEEMED LIKE IT WAS GOING TO WORK OUT AND YOU WOULD BENEFIT FROM IT
“Until that debris caution? Yeah, I can’t wait to see that debris on TV. I’d like to see it because I certainly never saw it. I’m not going to make any comments until I see what they’re reasoning for it was. I don’t know who you blame if there really wasn’t much out there because all the media has been talking about all week long is oh, there’s no cautions, there’s no cautions. It used to be debris cautions. So, who do you blame that on?
IS IT FRUSTRATING BECAUSE YOU WERE IN THE LEAD AND THEN YOU HAD THE TIRE PROBLEM AND YOU WERE MAKING YOUR WAY BACK?
“Ultimately, we put ourselves in this position to get his finish. So, that’s very frustrating. We’ve had things out of our control this year. And I’m not really sure what happened. But obviously something happened. And then I don’t know. I don’t know what happened. But we definitely had a loose left rear. It didn’t go on right to begin with and the left-rear tire-changer knew that. And so when I started to complain about it, we knew that there might be an issue there and there was. So, in some ways we got fortunate today. I could have stayed out there and wrecked because it wasn’t really vibrating. It was getting real loose.”
WERE RESTARTS AS CRITICAL AS THEY LOOKED?
“You know, it was the greasiest restarts that I’ve ever felt here. There was just zero-grip for the first three, four, or five laps. So you really couldn’t even race one another on a restart because you were so out of control. And there’s a lot of rubber laid down on the race track and then the way the rubber on the tires matched up to it after you got going there was horrendous. Other than that, the tire was awesome. I really liked it. We ran great with it and the restarts were definitely hairy.”
YOU’VE HAD SO MANY FRUSTRATING MOMENTS THIS SEASON. DOES THIS ONE TAKE THE CAKE? OR HAVE YOU JUST HAD SO MUCH CAKE THAT IT’S ALL THE SAME?
“It’s always more frustrating when you’ve got a car that can win; and you show it by going up there and taking the lead. We don’t care about finishing top 15 or top 10 right now. That does nothing for us. We need wins.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY No. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/ALLSTATE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 19TH –
“We were really chasing the handle on the car today and throughout the weekend. We went to extremes both loose and tight throughout the race. Our guys thrashed to work on our car and kept us on the lead lap and managed a top-20 finish. I am really proud of the effort by our guys on this Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet today.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – FINISHED 28TH – "Our day didn't turn out like we had hoped, that's for sure. Not even 10 laps into the race and we got involved in someone else's mess. Someone spun in front of me and when I tried to slow down, I got rammed from behind. The guys did an incredible job to get the Target Chevrolet patched up and back out on the track. They practically fixed every inch of this race car. No one gives up on this team."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 BB&T CHEVROLET – Sidelined with engine failure – FINISHED 22ND
DID YOU HAVE ANY INDICATION IT WAS GOING? WHAT HAPPENED?
“Well, first of all, we had a good car today. The BB&T Chevrolet was fast. We had a solid top-10 car easy. And I thought on the long run, we had a top-5 car. So that’s the good thing. I feel like we’re starting to get our big track program turned around. We’re getting some stuff in the cars. It feels good to me and it’s showing so that’s the main thing. We broke an engine here, but it just is what it is. The monkey is on us right now. It will get off one day but it seems like for the past year and a half or so, it’s been on us pretty hard. We’ll keep digging. I’ve never quit anything in my life and I won’t quit this.”
HOW WAS THE RACING OUT THERE AND HOW MUCH IS THIS TRACK CHANGING AS WE NEAR THE END?
“Everybody runs the same speed. You know, I was sitting there running eighth a little while ago and the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th place cars were all in a big pack. And it’s just so hard to pass because the cars are so competitive and everybody is running fast speeds. So, you’ve got to get it done early. You’ve got to make a move on the restart; whoever can get by Jimmie or whoever the leader is, it’ll be hard to get back by. So to me, right at the first five or six laps during a restart, that’s the most important part.”