Charlotte Motor Speedway
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – FINISHED 15TH:
ON THE NEXT TO THE LAST RUN, YOU GUYS SEEMED REALLY FAST. HOW WAS IT GENERALLY TONIGHT? “Our car was awesome. I think we made some huge improvements for sure to be able to keep up with the guys that have been so fast on the 1.5-mile tracks, the No. 99 (Carl Edwards) and the No. 17 (Matt Kenseth). I still think we’ve got a little bit of work to do. I don’t know what happened on the pit stop. All of a sudden my guys were just thrown up on the right front. I thought I overshot the pit, but I don’t think I did, so I guess they got hit. So that took us out of it for sure. I mean my re-start didn’t do us any favors so that was a bummer. But as far as a race car, man, we had an awesome race tonight. You know, the closer we got to the front, the better it got, which was obviously pretty normal. And that’s exactly what we needed. So, we’ll make a few adjustments and we’ll be ready to rock and roll for the 600 next week.”
DID ANYBODY HAVE ANYTHING FOR THAT NO. 99 CAR? “Gosh, he was impressive you know. One time I got in front of him and we actually pulled away from him, I was impressed. But my car was pretty tight at that time and I didn’t think I was going to be able to stay in front of him for long. But we didn’t get to find out because I messed up the restart. But he was really strong. Even not taking tires, his car just really rolled. All the Roush cars to me roll in the middle of the corner better than we did. We made big gains and we’ve just got a little bit of work to do to get where they’re at.”
CAN YOU TELL US JUST WHAT YOUR STRATEGY WAS FOR THE DIFFERENT SEGMENTS? “Well, the only thing that we really changed up is we didn’t pit for that third segment, which was a great call by (crew chief) Alan (Gustafson); and I questioned it but we got a good restart and got up there. I more questioned just how good our car was going to restart. And we restarted really well and got up to second and man, I was happy about how the car was driving and we were in great shape. And even with me messing up the restart we still ended up sixth, so it was a great call by Alan to do that. And I think we were in great shape there but we had a problem on a pit stop where couple of my guys I think, got ran over.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER-REALTREE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 9TH
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RUN TONIGHT? YOU SEEMED TO PICK UP A BIT THERE AT THE END. “It was a lot better. (The car) was just bad all night getting in the corner and we finally got it to turn and were at least competitive there at the end. So that was a bright spot in the day.”
WERE YOU ABLE TO LEARN SOMETHING FOR NEXT WEEKEND? “Oh, yeah. Heck we almost got lapped in the first 30 laps. There at the end we were moving forward, passing cars and competitive, so that’ll give us a lot better starting spot than where we were.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BURGER KING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 4TH
WHAT DID YOU LEARN TONIGHT? “I learned that Darian (Grubb, crew chief) has a really good setup for this thing. It was good all night. We were loose at the beginning of the race, we got tight through the middle of the race, and we almost got it back to neutral. The good thing is that we have a setup that we can tune to and balance out, so I’m pretty excited about going into next weekend.
“We were pretty good there at the end – just a little bit off still. We went from being loose to tight to not quite free enough at the end, but the good thing is that I think we have a package that’s going to be good for next weekend.”
HOW WAS YOUR RACE? “Pretty excited about tonight. The way our luck’s been – we’ve had the worst luck I’ve seen any race team have. The way we ended up tonight – we’ll take it.
We were pretty good there at the end.
“It was a pretty tame night, at least from an All-Star Race perspective. You get this group of guys out there and you’re racing with the best. You’re racing with guys you’re comfortable with, and guys are pushing the envelope a little bit more than they would on a normal night, but everybody knows that going into it.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 DALE JR. FOUNDATION/VH1 SAVE THE MUSIC/AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH:
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FOR NEXT WEEK? "Steve will go through everything and check everything out. We definitely know we need to be better. Fought dirty air. We had one set of sticker tires that was coming to the front and got up to 10th and the caution came out, so, that was kind of frustrating. We feel like we can definitely improve on this. It is an old car, a couple of generations old. We will bring a better piece next week."
ARE YOU GLAD YOU GOT AN EXTRA 100 LAPS? "I am; I'm glad. I was real thankful to be in the race. Very productive for us to be in there and be running and trying stuff. We changed a lot of things every opportunity we had. We did learn several things. Got a great feeling for the car and what this setup was doing and what we can probably do to make it better."
TALK ABOUT GETTING THE FAN VOTE TO GET INTO THE ALL-STAR: "I think today, once I got here and got to racing around and went through this whole process, I think being in the All-Star Race meant more to me than I even thought myself. I was appreciative that the fans voted me in. I was a little bit embarrassed that we didn't have enough car to get in there. A little bit ashamed that we haven't run well enough over the last several years to avoid this process. But the fans did that for me. I would not be doing none of this without them. I probably wouldn't even want to be racing without the support of the fans. They make this sport what it is. It is such a cliché but it is so true when you get down to the bottom of it. Probably wouldn't be doing all of this without them supporting us. I was glad they got me in that race; got me a little more fun and I'll have to pay them back somehow."
NASCAR SPRINT SHOWDOWN
CASSILL, NO. 09 THANK A TEACHER TODAY CHEVROLET – Sidelined in accident on lap 3:
WHAT HAPPENED? ARE YOU OKAY? “Yeah, I’m okay. I just hate it for these guys. We just needed to get some laps; this is our car for next week. These guys at Phoenix Racing work really hard and it is tough. This is the Open. This stuff shouldn’t happen on lap 2.”
DID YOU HAVE A TIRE GO DOWN ON THE START? “Yeah, I felt it going down and I was lifting out of the throttle to try and save the car. It’s just terrible. Thank A Teacher Today put us in this race and they’re going to put us in the next one, so we’ll see. Hopefully we can do better next week.
"I think one of the Front Row (Racing) cars got into going into turn one the lap before. It is hard racing. This is the Showdown. There is not much you can do about it. He got into us and cut my tire down. Not much you can do from there."
-source: team chevy