KYLE BUSCH WINS AT BRISTOL AND SCORES 600TH WIN FOR CHEVROLET IN NASCAR NEXTEL CUP COMPETITION Impala SS Drivers Capture Eight of Top-10 Finishers; Jeff Gordon Takes Lead in Series' Point Standings Victory in Food City 500 Marks First Win for...
KYLE BUSCH WINS AT BRISTOL AND SCORES 600TH WIN FOR CHEVROLET IN NASCAR NEXTEL CUP COMPETITION
Impala SS Drivers Capture Eight of Top-10 Finishers; Jeff Gordon Takes Lead in Series' Point Standings
Victory in Food City 500 Marks First Win for Impala SS in Return to Cup Competition; Win by No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS is 200th NASCAR Victory for Rick Hendrick as a Car Owner in Cup, Busch, and Truck Combined
Bristol, TN - March 25, 2007 - In what can only be described as a banner day for the Bowtie Brigade at Bristol Motor Speedway, 21-year old Kyle Busch, No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS, scored not only the 600th win for Chevrolet in NASCAR Nextel Cup competition (NNCS) but, the first win for Impala SS in its returns to the race track to give the flagship nameplate 61 victories. It also marked the 200th win for his team owner Rick Hendrick in NASCAR Busch, Cup and Truck competition; the fourth NNCS victory of his career, and he led eight Impala SS drivers to top-10 finishes.
Busch led two times for a total of 29 laps and took the lead for the final time on lap 185 to score the win in a green-white-checkered finish.
"I need to thank Jeff Gordon for giving me a break there in one," said the Las Vegas, NV native. "Jeff Burton could have dumped me there in three and four but I think our Vegas finish helped me out a little bit with that. I think I had some brownie points to use up. I used them all up in one spot there. I really want to thank everybody at Carquest and Kellogg's and everybody on this Hendrick Motorsports team and everybody at the shop. This is 200 for us, and 600 for Chevrolet so glad we could do that for everybody."
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Impala SS, came home second and now sits second in the NNCS standings, just three points out of the lead.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, finished third and took the lead in the standings. Gordon won the pole for the Food City 500 giving Impala SS a perfect record in its debut back on the race track.
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, finished fourth, giving Chevy drivers four of the top-five finishing positions. Harvick sits fifth in the standings.
Jeff Green, No. 66 Best Buy Impala SS finished sixth, his best finish of the season followed by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Impala SS in seventh and Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniels Impala SS in the eighth spot.
Casey Mears, No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Impala, finished 10th, his best finish since joining Hendrick Motorsports at the beginning of the season.
Defending NNCS champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, is third in the standings after finishing 15th in today's race.
Round six of the 35-race 2007 NNCS will be Sunday, April 1 at Martinsville Speedway.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS - Finished 17th- Note: right front flat; melted a bead
"I got the brakes too hot trying to chase down Carl Edwards. We had the middle section of the race something went wrong and we just weren't that good. We got it better at the end and started making up some ground. But I unfortunately overheated the brakes."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS IMPALA SS - Finished 2nd
"We kept fighting and never gave up. That's what we do. We never give up with this team. Kyle (Busch) did a great job there. He's always driven me clean and I'm going to drive him clean. That's the way I race.
"I wanted to win the race really bad obviously but I wasn't going to knock him out of the way to do it. In my opinion, you knock him out of the way; you didn't win. If you can pass him without knocking him out of the way, that is how you do it and you do the best you can. He has always driven me clean and I tried to return that."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL IMPALA SS - Finished 4th:
"We came up a little bit short. But our Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet and these guys did a great job putting a great car underneath me. We just got one crappy set of tires there and it's just a shame. You can put one set of tires on and they should give those to you for free because they're junk. But we put that last set back on there and the car came back to life and we just raced to fourth. So it was a good day."
YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO RUN WELL AT BRISTOL: "I just like this place. Everything about Bristol is a lot of fun. You can race hard and beat and bang a little bit and get after it. So it's just a fun place to race."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS - Finished 3rd:
"Oh, my goodness, what a fight this was for us. It was a great fight for the DuPont Impala Chevrolet. We had our trouble. We started on the pole and went backyards pretty fast. Steve Letarte and all the guys on this team did a great job making adjustments. That was teamwork right there. We were fortunate not to go a lap down there a couple of times. Right there at the end, we actually had a pretty good race car. We put new tires on and I wasn't as good as some other guys. So I'm real happy for Kyle Busch.
"That's an awesome win for him. I wanted to race with him. I got a run on the inside and I knew (Jeff) Burton was going to get a run on the outside and I knew I was in trouble, so I just tried to hold on to third. That's a great win for Hendrick Motorsports.
"It is always a team effort, if those guys didn't listen to me and make the right adjustments, it doesn't matter what I do out there. I showed them what I could do with that car with that car at the beginning so it obviously wasn't me. It was unfortunate we got that far behind in the beginning. We really struggled yesterday in practice and we fought really hard to day. We were fortunate to stay on the lead lap.
"I am really happy for Kyle Busch. That is a great win, I am glad he got it for Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet. It was a great day for the DuPont Impala.
AND THAT'S NUMBER 200 FOR RICK HENDRICK? "Yeah, and it's number 600 for Chevrolet. So, what an incredible day. What a roll Hendrick Motorsports is on. We're going to get us some of those (wins) this year. We've just got too good of a team and a race car, so I'm looking forward to the whole year."
JEFF GREEN, NO. 66 BEST BUY IMPALA SS - Finished 6th
CONGRATULATIONS, I BET YOU LIKE THIS NEW CAR, DON'T YOU? "I like Bristol and this car and Harold Holly and all these Best Buy guys. They did me such a good job today on pit road. We stayed out of trouble. The No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) had something go wrong there on the last lap. I thought I was going to get spun out by Dale Junior, but it was a great race. I think it was a great race for the fans. We just need a couple more spots to be where I want to be, but that's a start for sure."
HOW MUCH OF A BOOST IS THIS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM? "It's momentum for sure. We know we can do this. We just have to get out and do it and not get down on each other and I think we have the last couple of weeks. But this is a momentum builder for sure and a pride builder for sure. Harold and those guys did a great job and I'm not going to give up on them and I know they're not going to give up on me."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER IMPALA SS - Finished 7th:
"Congratulations to Hendrick and Kyle (Busch). They had a great car. I'm sure winning at Bristol is really exciting... I gotta congratulate my crew too. They did a great job adjusting on my car. Tony Jr. and all the Budweiser guys did an awesome job. They gave me a car that ended up being pretty good there in the end. Clint Bowyer and Jeff Green and those guys we were racing at the end drove clean. We just tried to get it home - put it in the bag and get us some points. We didn't have a great car to get up there and battle to with the leaders but I'm real proud of my team, they gave a real good effort."
ARE YOU DISPLEASED WITH THE HANDLING OF THE CAR? "Well, I'd like to have run better. Absolutely, yes. We would have liked to have had a car that was just on and turned better. (Crew chief) Tony Eury, Jr. and them did a great job, I just passed who I could pass and I tried not to give anybody too much trouble. We ended up with a decent finish. We just rode around and stayed out of trouble, sorta like you do on the road courses - just stay out of trouble and hope you get a decent finish."
WAS PASSING EASIER OR TOUGHER WITH THESE CARS? "Passing was tougher because nobody's cars handled quite as good."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN THE CAR TODAY? "Lot of room. Very comfortable. You drove the car basically the same, it just didn't have the same characteristics of downforce and grip. You become frustrated with that. That was the only thing. Hopefully we can just learn the car better."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS - Winner 600 WINS FOR CHEVROLET AND 200 WINS FOR RICK HENDRICK,
HOW DO YOU FEEL? "I need to thank Jeff Gordon for giving me a break there in one. Jeff Burton could have dumped me there in three and four but I think our Vegas finish helped me out a little bit with that, I think I had some brownie points to use up. I used them all up in one spot there. I really want to thank everybody at Carquest and Kellogg's and everybody on this Hendrick Motorsports team and everybody at the shop. This is 200 for us, and 600 for Chevrolet so glad we could do that for everybody. I still am not a very big fan of these things, I can't stand to drive them, they suck.
"I just really want to thank all of my Carquest/Kellogg's guys, they worked their hearts out for me this weekend. Tony Stewart had a great car; he probably could have won the race, Denny Hamlin as well. It looked like he got snookered there in traffic. Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton there at the end gave me a lot room, I really want to give them appreciation and thanks. They let me race and gave it too me clean, so that is cool. I am glad we could come out of here with a victory.
"We have had some bad breaks in the Busch Series for five races, Daytona we had a tough race, Vegas, Atlanta, yesterday. It is just an ongoing battle over there, but just glad we got our program back up to right and the way it is running in the right direction. But here on Sunday what wins is what matters. What wins on Sunday sells on Monday so congrats to Chevrolet on their 600th win and Hendrick Motorsports on their 200th. This is a great team. They are tough, they are strong, they never give up even in our town times. We were terrible at Atlanta, we sucked last week, so come back and bounce back like this just proves that this team doesn't give up and they can dig deeper when they have to and there is a little bit of adversity."
REGAN SMITH, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET IMPALA SS - Finished 25th
(Note: on the first pit stop (Lap 49), the 01 team was penalized for the car being over the pit box line. The team lost a lap and was sent to the tail-end of the longest line, which was 39th place. At the time of the pit stop, Smith was running 18th.
"Anytime you feel like you have a better car than the driver you leave the track disappointed. I was learning a lot out there today. I made a mistake on pit road early and that pretty much killed our day from then on. I was barely over the line. Sometimes the officials are lenient but he wasn't today."
"On the positive side, the U.S. Army Chevrolet was quick at times so that's promising. And it was a huge accomplishment to finish the race at Bristol. We are proud of that because that was the main objective. I'm glad this is over -- all the hoopla about my Cup debut. I am looking forward to Martinsville next week."
RYAN PEMBERTON, 01 ARMY CREW CHIEF
"It was both a good day and frustrating day. The first pit stop when we got penalized for being over the line really hurt. It not only put us a lap down, but it also sent us to the tail-end of the longest line. The good news is that Regan regrouped and went on to drive a solid race. Everyone has to remember he didn't come into an easy situation by driving the car that was in the points lead and making his first Cup start at what is probably the toughest track on the circuit. But he handled himself very well both on and off the track. He's a pleasure to work with and this deal is only going to get better."
-credit: gm racing