JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: WINNING BRISTOL IS NOT OLD HAT? "Oh no. Man, we have worked so hard for this. I thought we were in trouble there but those four tires were everything and I was in the outside lane, which was...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER:
WINNING BRISTOL IS NOT OLD HAT? "Oh no. Man, we have worked so hard for this. I thought we were in trouble there but those four tires were everything and I was in the outside lane, which was helpful. All those times we had all of the Lowe's executives here and we ran terrible and crashed on lap three and all that stuff, I wish they were here now. I want to thank all the employee-owners for their great support. If people want tough tools, head to Lowe's and buy some Kobalt Tools. The fans for supporting us. This Chevrolet was awesome. About time, man. I am so proud of this team. I am so proud of us setting a mark and going at it and accomplishing what we wanted to."
HOW FITTING IS IT THAT YOUR 50TH WIN COMES AT A TRACK THAT YOU HAVE SAID IS ONE OF YOUR MOST DIFFICULT? "Yes, it has been one of the most difficult for us. It is so great to set some goals and go out and accomplish them as a race team. I am so proud of what we have done as a group. We've been off here (Bristol) over the years. We focused on what we needed to do and got it done today."
THREE WINS IN THE FIRST FIVE RACES OF THE SEASON, DO YOU THINK YOUR TEAM IS PEAKING EARLY THIS YEAR? "Well, we have a lot of racing left, there is no doubt about it. But when we are winning at tracks we aren't supposed to, the boys better look. Even that No. 2 car (Kurt Busch) that doesn't want the No. 48 to win."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: TALK ABOUT THAT RUN TO THE FINISH: "It was a 10 -lap sprint to the end there. We were too loose the run before that and couldn't get the track position we lost there. He (Darian Grubb, crew chief) left it to me, so whether I made the right call or not, I don't know. Darian and these guys did an awesome job. We got the thing tightened up a little bit to where at the end we could charge. It was hard. We struggled on restarts. Once the track got rubbered in, it was pretty good but we were terrible when there wasn't any rubber on the track."
TWO-TIRE CHANGE AND GREAT RESTART ALMOST PAID OFF FOR YOU: "Almost did. I am happy for Office Depot and Old Spice and everybody at Stewart Haas. Congratulations to Jimmie. I couldn't do anything; that was the best I could do right there. We got us a top-five there and I am proud of our guys. They worked really hard this weekend. We work hard every weekend, but really proud of these guys, they stuck with it all day and we got a top-five out of it."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 TARGET CHEVROLET -- Finished 8th
ON THE DAY: "It was really a solid performance for us today. I'm just racing. I will say that I haven't run this well here in any of my years at Roush. It felt really good to be able to come back. Obviously winning the Daytona 500 was big. Restrictor plate racing is so different. But I've messed up this year a couple of times at the end and crashed myself. But we have had really awesome, really fast race cars all year."
DID YOU NEED A FINISH LIKE THIS AFTER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS? "Yeah, everybody needed a (good) finish. I really just wanted to go to the end because really, it's not a lot, but from 8th to 3rd is quite a few points. When you get down to the Chase, you look for all those (points) that you can get. But as long as we can run like we did today, we'll have a really solid season."
BEFORE THAT LAST RESTART, WERE YOU ALLOWING YOURSELF TO THINK YOU COULD WIN THIS RACE? "No, you know what, when we leveled out, it just seemed like however you caught the traffic; I would catch those guys and they'd clear the traffic maybe better one guy than the next. So, the No. 2 (Kurt Bush) and the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) were really fast today. But I think we had the third best car."
ON NOT FEELING WELL IN THE CAR, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN THAT WAS GOING ON? "Well, I think there's a difference between being tired and your stomach being upset. Honestly, once we would go green, I didn't think about it a lot. But when we'd have the cautions, and then kept brining the jet dryers out and we would run 40 laps it seemed like; and the fumes, I don't know if it was the fumes or something in my drink bottle or what, but 60 laps into the race I felt like I was going to throw up. And it just seemed like it got worse every time there was a caution."
DID YOU EVER GET A CHANCE TO TAKE ANYTHING? "No, because I didn't think they'd be able to give me anything to fix it and I wasn't going to mess a pit stop up for a Tums, you know? (laughs)"
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- Finished 14th:
ON JIMMIE JOHNSON WINNING THE RACE: "Obviously they are an awesome combination and Jimmie is a great driver and they're just wracking them up right now. And it's impressive. It motivates everybody else to get their act together. So, you can give them credit for a lot of things. They always know how to be in the right position at the right time to take advantage when they're not having the best day. Just like today. They were good, but I don't think they were the best car. They took four (tires) and I don't know what happened but I'm guessing that Jimmie drove the wheels off of it and that he got up there and took the lead and won it."
ON THE LAST RACE WITH THE WING "I'm anxious to see what the spoiler is going to be like. I'm really looking forward to it and I don't know how much change there is going to be but I certainly look forward to trying it."
YOU WERE RUNNING CLOSE TO THE FRONT AND THEN GOT CAUGHT IN THAT MULTI-CAR ACCIDENT. WHAT HAPPENED THERE? "It looked like the NO. 16 (Biffle) kinda ran Mark (Martin) up and he got in the wall and damaged the right ride. We were just coming. I was bottled up with a bunch of cars and I wanted to go to the inside of them but wasn't sure it that was going to be a good decision or not. And I went to the outside of him and he came up and we all got collected."
WHAT DO YOU SEE IN JIMMIE JOHNSON IN ACCOMPLISHING HIS WIN AT BRISTOL? "Well, when you're that good of a team and have the resources and communication and confidence that Chad (Knaus) and Jimmie and that whole team have in one another, anything is possible. Those guys have proven that week in and week out, no matter where they go. And right now they're on a great roll. They're really strong. You've got to give them a lot of credit for that."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET -- Sidelined with engine failure:
WHAT PUT YOU OUT? "The motor blew up. So unfortunate. Had a long weekend. Worked really hard. These guys on the BB&T Chevrolet never gave up and got things turned around for practice. The car was fast, we were marching inside the top-10 pretty quick. I was getting pretty excited. Unfortunately it blew up. It is asking a lot of these motors. These guys do such a good job week-in and week-out having no DNFs. We pride ourselves on that at RCR. We'll be back"
"It has been a tough weekend from the get-go. We were just a little bit off. I am really proud of these guys, they never gave up. They fixed the car and we were fast. We were marching to the front and passing car. Unfortunately, the motor blew up. But, hey, hats off to all the guys back there at the ECR shop. They have been working hard and building better horsepower for us. Things happen. We pride ourselves on having no DNFs and things like that and things happen. We are asking a lot of these engines. It is amazing they can do what they do. I feel sorry for BB&T, Cheerios and everybody involved. I thought we were going to have a good day."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- Involved in multi-car crash on lap 343 and was sidelined with broken right upper control arm:
WHAT HAPPENED FROM YOUR STANDPOINT? "I needed to go. I hate it for the Godaddy.com guys, they gave me a great car. It was time for me to go. I was going around the outside of him (Greg Biffle) and he just came up. You know, I was on the brakes but we were hung together when I saw he was going to shut me off. It is just a shame. Man, I think we had a car that I really believe could contend to win. I know the No. 2 was leading but we were running easy saving our tires back there, just adjusting our stuff. Mistakes happen, but that is a real bad deal for us. It was just one of those things. I needed to go, I couldn't be waiting around. I was waiting around long enough on them. I had a fast race car and was going around the outside and just got pinned up against the wall."
-source: gm racing