Sunday, Dec 04

Johnson Surges to Record Fourth NASCAR Sprint All-Star Win

Sunday, May 19 1469


JIMMIE JOHNSON (WINNER, No. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET): JIMMIE JOHNSON (WINNER, No. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET): “That’s crazy, wow. To beat Jeff (Gordon) and (Dale) Earnhardt, two guys I’ve looked up to my whole life and two of the best icons of our sport, this means the world to me. I didn’t really think we had a shot at winning tonight starting 18th but we had a great race car and worked our way through there and got our job done. But over time, honestly, it’s just dedication and drive, every member of this Hendrick race team, we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished, but we know we need to keep working harder and keep pushing. What we did here tonight – I don’t know how we keep doing it; I’m very proud of this race team.

“It’s incredible, especially the way we had to go about it tonight. I didn’t do us any favors qualifying yesterday, and with this average that we had the first four segments, I was really fearful I wouldn’t have a shot at a front-row start or a second-row start. And I felt like the winner would come from one of those two rows. Not to state the obvious, but the goal for all of us is to be on the front row for that last restart, and through a lot of aggressive driving, a great-handling race car and a lot of different things, we were able to keep clicking away at some good finishes through the second, third, fourth segment, and that got us to fourth. Then pit road came around, and our guys had an awesome pit stop. We almost got off pit road first, but we were on the front row, and the front row’s what we needed for 10 laps. Kasey (Kahne) and I pretty much ran wide open around here for two laps side by side. I was finally able to edge by and have the track to myself and put some distance on him.”

CHAD KNAUS (CREW CHIEF, No. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET): “I was very proud of those guys. We knew what we needed to do on the race track to get ourselves in good position. We felt like we could come down in the top 5 and try to get a good pit stop and maintain that we would be solid. I really didn’t think we would be able to come down pit road and have a pit stop that fast. Man, those guys just absolutely nailed it. We had to switch some things around over the past month or so, and they rose to the occasion.”

JOEY LOGANO (SECOND PLACE, No. 22 PENNZOIL FORD): “It was entertaining. My guys did a great job calling the race and keeping the average finish up. I thought we averaged fifth and came down pit road, beat one car out and that put us in the second row. In the back of my mind, that was where we needed to be, on the second row, to have a shot at the final 10 laps. My guys, they got me what I needed there, and then it was up to me. But I made the most of what I had. The 48 (Johnson) was really fast. When he got in that clean air, he was gone. And then all I could do was hope for a caution, and that would give me one more shot. Second is nothing to hang our head down, but it doesn’t mean much since there are no points. I gave it all I had today.”

KYLE BUSCH (THIRD PLACE, No. 18 SNICKERS BITES TOYOTA): “I was just getting beat around there on restarts, but that is alright. We definitely had the best car here tonight. We ran up front most of the night. We had some really good runs through the segments. We won two of them, and average finish-wise, we were right there with Kurt (Busch). He beat us out a little bit. Coming down pit road, my guys always prove their worth. Unfortunately, tonight we didn’t have the best stop and came out third. That was the race right there. You have to come out on the front row if you are going to win this thing. Unfortunately on the restart, we were getting sucked around and side-drafted and getting loose and everything else. I had to get it straight and get everyone off me so I could finally race. Once I did that I could go forward. Just another missed opportunity here. We had the best car but came home without a win. ”



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