Wild Sprint All-Star Race Nets Team Chevy Three of Top-10 Finishers Charlotte -- Team Chevy drivers battled to bring home three top-10 finishes in tonight's Sprint All-Star $1 million race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Burger...
Wild Sprint All-Star Race Nets Team Chevy Three of Top-10 Finishers
Charlotte -- Team Chevy drivers battled to bring home three top-10 finishes in tonight's Sprint All-Star $1 million race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Burger King Chevrolet, finished fifth with Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Pennzoil Ultra Chevrolet, in the sixth finishing position.
Bobby Labonte, No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet, took the checkered flag in 10th place.
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, led a race-high 56 laps before spinning wildly through the grass on the second green-white-checkered restart of the final segment. After a trip to pit road for minor repairs, Johnson finished 13th in the final order.
A multi-car accident in turn one on the first lap of the final 10-lap segment sidelined Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, Mark Martin, No. 5 Delphi/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet and Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Federation Chevrolet.
Ryan Newman, No. 39 Tornados Chevrolet, finished 11th and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 Dale, Jr. Foundation/AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet finished 12th.
Kurt Busch (Dodge) was the race winner. Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota), Joey Logano (Toyota) and Denny Hamlin (Toyota) completed the top-five finishers.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series resumes points-paying races on Sunday, May 30th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BURGER KING CHEVROLET -- Finished 5th:
"We learned some things that we hope to use next weekend. It still wasn't perfect at the end but we made ground on it and it finally gave us a little stability. I think we're slightly on to something. Now, we're going to have to work around this a little bit we definitely made some gains."
IT'S BEEN A FRUSTRATING YEAR FOR YOU AFTER THE YEAR YOU HAD LAST YEAR ND A THIS IS A BIG STEP TOWARD TURNING THAT AROU ND "Yeah, last week was too at Dover. I've never been really that excited about top 10 finishes but to run ninth last week and then to run fifth tonight after a crash, I'm pretty happy with that."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET -- Finished 13th:
TELL US FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE: "I was pinned down on the inside on that final restart. Really, the restart before that when we were leading and came off pit road third. Man, being at the head of the pack was so important and especially the outside lane for the first lap or two. I didn't have that luxury; I was pinned on the inside and still had a great car. I just couldn't get going on those first two laps kind of. Then that last time, knew we were coming to the white. Knew I had to clear the No. 11 on the outside of me so I just kept my foot in it and I could feel them outside of me kind of pulling the back end of my car around but I said the hell with it, it's the All Star race. Kept my foot to the floor and hoped that I made it off the turn and I didn't. It turned around on me."
HOW DISAPPOINTING IS IT WHEN YOU HAVE A CAR THAT GOOD THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE RACE? "The All Star race has such a different format to it and I've been through this before where we have led a lot of laps and then at the end, didn't leave with the trophy. So, I knew mentally to be prepared that anything can happen at the end of this thing and I knew how important it was to restart in control of the field. I knew I lost that control when I came off pit road in third. I was needing a mistake and I almost had one when the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) got together. But I was so occupied watching them and got out of the gas, I wasn't sure where they were going to go, then the No. 2 (Kurt Busch) came blowing by on the inside. That was my opportunity there and I was just maybe a little too cautious wondering where they were going to end up."
WHAT DID YOU SEE WITH THE NO. 18 AND THE NO. 11? "I saw hard racing at the end. The No. 18 (Kyle Busch) was working the outside and the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) was looking in his mirror trying to defend and keep the No. 18 in dirty air. I'm not sure if they touched, but it looked like the No. 18 picked up a big push because the No. 11 was up there in front of him and got in the outside wall outside of turn two."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- Sidelined in multi-car crash on lap 91:
"It felt great through (Turns) 1 and 2; even felt great in the middle of (Turns) 3 and 4, but I just completely messed up. They got three-wide or two underneath me and I was just giving them room and trying to get a good run off of (Turn) 4 and I just totally misjudged it and got the right-rear in the wall hard. And it just ruined our entire night with the DuPont Chevrolet. I apologize to these guys. I wanted to see them in position there at the end. It's such a cool format and I wanted to see these guys in that position to be able to knock-off that four-tire stop and to try to win this race. But all we did was just kind of ride around and try to adjust on it and when you're car is beat up like that, it's a long night."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- Sidelined in multi-car crash on lap 91:
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?
"I'm not really sure. It just got kind of crazy out there on that restart. You can't win this thing until you get it started and we were trying to get it started. I didn't get the best start, but it was going to be okay. And then somehow or another, the No. 20 (Joey Logano) car kind of swerved up and the No. 1 (Jamie McMurray) car got in the back of me and we just started wadding up."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION CHEVROLET - Sidelined in multi-car crash on lap 91:
"I wish they would let the drivers start the races and give you a little bigger area to do that in. Everybody has complained for a while that the area that we start these races in is too narrow. I don't know why, but they decided the last segment they were going to let the flagman start the race. All drivers try to anticipate what he is going to do. It caused a big pile up. So very frustrated, we had a fast car. It just had that accordion affect and we were right in the middle of the accordion I believe. We had a really good car and track position is so critical. I don't remember Charlotte being as important as it is, but it was really important tonight."
-source: gm racing