COMMENTS AFTER SECOND RED FLAG CONDITION TO RE-PATCH HOLE IN TURN 2: KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA: HOW BIG IS THE HOLE? "The problem is it is right in the middle of the right-side tires so when you go through there and you hit...
COMMENTS AFTER SECOND RED FLAG CONDITION TO RE-PATCH HOLE IN TURN 2:
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA: HOW BIG IS THE HOLE?
"The problem is it is right in the middle of the right-side tires so when you go through there and you hit it wrong, the jackposts and everything hits. The No. 33 (Clint Bowyer) splitter is broken. Everybody has done a great job on our Shell-Pennzoil Chevy and hopefully we can get these next 39 laps in."
WOULDN'T BREAK YOUR HEART IF THE RACE WAS CALLED NOW? "I want to finish it racing, that is what I want to do. Our car has been good, everything may go sour but I would love to finish it."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA: WHAT DID YOU SEE OUT THERE?
"I really didn't notice it until the caution came out, then when I drove by, I could see the hole again. I know my car is crashing the ground really hard down there because the swells are so big. I think the truck arm mount and the jack stub on the right side of the car has smashed in to the ground and just pulling that asphalt out. It got us from the first one, I think we got a flat out of it but this one didn't seem to really hurt us. Hopefully we can get it fixed and finish under green."
ARE YOU ALL JUST WONDERING WHAT IS GOING ON AND IF THEY CAN FIX IT TO LAST ANOTHER 39 LAPS? "Yes, I guess that is in the back of our minds and we talked about it a little bit. The guys that are back here, I am not in the top-10, we want to see a lot of green flag runs so we have a chance to work our way to the front. With the cooler temperatures and these short runs, the lines are stalling out. That is what we were talking about more than anything, you just couldn't go anywhere sitting there two-by-two. So we need a long run. I know my Lowe's Impala can go to the front once we get some laps on the tires."
ONE DRIVER OUT HERE HAS A BIG SMILE: "Yea, Harvick walked by and I asked him if he felt like they should call it and he just smiled even bigger. There is one guy wanting it to be over."
JEFF BURTON, CATERPILLAR IMPALA:
WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE THE WARMTH OF THE SUN OR THIS COOLER TEMPERATURE IF WE GO BACK RACING? "Based on that run, we went the wrong way, so I think the slick was better. We just hadn't...we got up to 12th or so, the No. 48 and the No. 6 got piled up off of two and that backed us all up and then a few laps before that, Junior hit that hole and I mean, he slowed down 30 mile an hour. We were on the bottom both times that happened and lost a lot of spots. That didn't work out for us. The conditions are the same for everybody and we have to be able to adjust and do whatever we need her to do."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN THIS RACE? "This is a huge race. This is the history of our sport right here. The heritage of our sport. This is it. I have run a lot of these things and never won one. There are two things I want to get done and they are win this race and win a championship. I have worked really hard to try and make those things happen and we're here and it is time to make it happen. It is going to be hard to do it from where we are, it is hard to pass when it gets doubled up and there is no where to go, but if we get one long run , that is our best shot."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR. NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA:
IF WE GO GREEN CAN YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATE GO TO THE FRONT? "We will probably have to get there separately. The way these cars are handling, there is really no working with anybody, but you just try to make the moves you can make to get you to the front. We were moving forward a little bit those last couple of run. I feel like we made the car a little bit better and hopefully we can get the race started here and get it finished.
"We are just trying to get that AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet to the front right now, just worried about getting this race restarted, what we need to do to our car to get it handling right, we made a couple of changes and we still aren't where we want to be exactly to get up there and challenge for the win."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA:
WHAT IS IT LIKE OUT THERE WITH THE HOLE? "It was big. It is what you weren't supposed to do. I don't think it hurt it that bad. It broke the splitter, I was a little bit too tight there under Kevin when I was trying to run the bottom so I tried to move up and he got back underneath me and by me. I think we get back out there I think we still have something."
LANCE MCGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA:
HOW MUCH IS THE SET-UP GOING TO CHANGE TO GET THE CARS TO HANDLE RIGHT? "We made some changes there right before we went back green-flag racing right there to get the car tightened up some because I felt like that track was going to get looser and looser as the night went on. The car is pretty racey. We're pretty happy about it. I'm glad I've got a cooler full of Amp Energy drinks right now because I'm having a hard time staying away for this one myself."
HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT TRYING TO KEEP THE TEAM AND EVERYBODY UP? "It's tough. Like any sporting event, once you get your mind focused on participating, you want to see it through. And this starting and stopping just absolutely kills all the momentum. These guys are athletes. They knock out 12 second pit stops and they've got muscle strains and everything else as it cools off. So you have to remind the guys to stay stretched and stay focused and stay close to the pit box because there is no telling what's going on."
ARE WE IN THE WINDOW NOW TO GET TO THE FINISH? "Oh, yes. We're definitely in the window. Obviously everybody is going to pit this time and that should be the last time you'll see us unless they have a double handful of green-white-checkers."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 71 TAXSLAYER.COM IMPALA
HOW HAS YOUR RUN BEEN SO FAR TODAY? "It's been too much like a yo-yo. We sat there in 20th or 25th, and I'd get a good run on the bottom but my car won't work on the top side. So, it's too loose up there. And I need to be running both places and I can't fin d it. I told them right before that last caution that maybe we should just try for the middle and hang out. Still, it's just not handling like we'd like it to. We have another opportunity to make one more adjustment on it that we haven't made but we'll see what happens. We'll dodge the cone over there."
YOU GET THE QUOTE OF THE DAY THAT YOU WERE GOING TO MARRY THAT YELLOW LINE BECAUSE THAT WAS THE BEST PLACE THAT YOU NEEDED TO RUN. "Well, it's not the fastest for me but it's probably the safest. We've gotten our car better so we are better on top than we were earlier. But earlier today, I couldn't get off that yellow line because if I got up top I'd lose so much track position compared to the guys in front of me I just knew I was going to hold somebody up so I married the yellow line for a long time. Now, I've kind of eased back up a little bit so hopefully we can get these last 39 laps in and it's going to be different conditions because it just keeps getting cooler and cooler so we'll see what happens."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? "Well, we're probably going to go a little faster and maybe a little freer. That could be more the case for my car. It might not be the case for everybody's car obviously. But speeds will pick up and it's getting close to the end of the Daytona 500 so it's going to get really exciting."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE IMPALA
WHAT'S BEEN THE SITUATION WITH THE CAR TODAY? IS THERE A PROBLEM OR ARE YOU JUST HANGING BACK? "I wish I could say that's what is going on. But we've just fought tight all day and as the race went on, we weren't gaining on it and other guys seemed to be able to gain on it a little bit. And then we took a big swing at it after the last red (flag) and went way too far so we're going to come back in and take our lump again and try to put it back and work off of where we were and we're going to have a totally different race condition when we go back here. I'm willing to stick it out here all night if the fans are willing to stick it out. They came here to see a 500, and I'm planning to run 500."
DURING THE LAST CAUTION, YOU WERE WORKING ON THE FRONT OF THE CAR. WHAT DID YOU DO? "We did something that didn't work, so we're getting ready to undo what we just did and try to take another swing at it. I just went over the notes from the Shootout and then the qualifying race and today's conditions were a lot different than what we've seen all week because it's been cool and overcast and there hasn't been a lot of track temp and today we had a lot more track temperature than what we've seen. We've really struggled getting this Office Depot/Old Spice car to turn so we'll make another stab at it here in a little bit and see if we can get this thing back up in the top 10."
ALL YOUR WINS HAVE BEEN IN THE JULY RACE. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THOSE NOTES? "Well, the Shootout the other night was a good chance to go off of our notes earlier. And then the qualifying race on Thursday was cool and overcast and more like the conditions we have right now. We had such a good car here in July and even at the Daytona 500 a year ago we had an awesome driving Chevy, but for some reason, I don't know if it's the shark fin or the plates on the rear wing or what but there's something that we've missed that's got our car unbalanced and not happy. The problem is that we'll probably have about 35 laps left when we go back to green and we've got to take a swing at it again. We swung for the fence two stops ago after the first red and it about bit us and we're going to take another big swing at it and we're either going to be feast or famine. I'd rather take a chance and be good than riding around where we're at."
-source: gm racing