Q&A with Johnson and Newman on Engine Issues at Talladega
PETE RONDEAU, CREW CHIEF, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/FARM AMERICAN CHEVROLET, sidelined with engine failure on lap 15: WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "We had an engine failure and are not sure at this point what caused it. The folks at ECR (Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines) are going through an analysis process. All was going well -- Regan started in the back, moved up to the front and then was settling in when the engine started to smoke. Very disappointing since we had high expectations today."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET – Sidelined with engine failure on lap 43
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ENGINE?
“Oh, just something underneath the hood. I smelled oil off of (Turn) 2 and felt the motor tightening-up I lost oil pressure and gained a bunch of water pressure. I just pulled it out of gear. I knew it was blowing up, but just seeing if we had a chance to fix it and hoping we could make it or fix it or whatever. But I’m pretty sure it’s hurt. But I’ve got to thank Johnny Morris and everybody from Bass Pro Shops for jumping on board for this race. It’s unfortunate but it’s part of it. We saw the No. 78 (Regan Smith) blow up earlier too. Hopefully the fans will see a good one and hopefully (Tony) Stewart can pull it off for us.”
DO YOU FEEL IT WAS HEAT RELATED OR IS IT TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE THAT?
“No, what happened was not heat related.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, sidelined with engine failure on lap 65:
YOU SAID THE CAR WAS RUNNING REALLY WELL WHAT HAPPENED? "A problem lost oil pressure there. We don't really know why just yet. Unfortunately, the No. 39 is sitting in here with a similar issue. I'm hoping that our teammates, the other Hendrick engines out there don't have the same issue with this oil pump. Or oil pressure situation we don't know exactly what it is yet. They are in there working on it. The car still spins over so hopefully we can get things, find out what went wrong, get back out on the track and try to collect some points. It's just a bummer; we had such a great race car, up there leading the race and had something happen there."
HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO FURTHER DIAGNOSE WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE ENGINE?
"No, not yet, I don't think that the debris that I ran over on the apron getting back out on the track did anything. We lost oil pressure somehow. The guys are digging in right now they are trying to understand what went on. The engine still spins over, so hopefully we can get a new belt, new oil pump and all that on the car and get back out there and collect a few points. It's just a bummer, up there leading the race and I could smell a little smoke and I looked in the mirror and said 'oh man that is me smoking.' Here I am in the pits wishing I was out there racing."
DID YOU HAVE ANY ISSUES WITH WATER TEMPERATURE OR IS IT SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
"No, it is definitely something different for us. I started 19th and was able to manage my temperatures pretty good coming up through the pack. Up there leading in all that clean air, my stuff was way cold. We had a problem with oil pressure; the No. 39 did as well. I'm hopeful my Hendrick teammates stay out there on the road all day today."
Team Chevy Racing PR