MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS: NOTE: Truex, Jr. was involved in a multi-car accident on lap of the final segment of the Budwieser Shootout. The No. 1 Impala SS was damaged too extensively to repair and return to...
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS:
NOTE: Truex, Jr. was involved in a multi-car accident on lap of the final segment of the Budwieser Shootout. The No. 1 Impala SS was damaged too extensively to repair and return to competition:
ON WHAT HAPPENED: "The No. 38 hit the wall and I was running wide open up against the wall and there was no where for me to go. I just hit the 38, he was up there up against the wall and nowhere to go. I was two car lengths behind him and couldn't get slowed down."
ON HOW THE IMPALA SS WAS HANDLING: "Not bad at all. My car was handling good. I kept getting in the wrong damn lane."
ON KNOWING MORE ABOUT THE CAR IN A PACK UNDER RACING CONDITIONS: "Yes, I think they are drivable. There weren't any big issues out there."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST IMPALA SS, FINISHED 6TH:
"I am really happy with everyone on our Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet team. I mean, we just a lot of performance, that we were fast. We had speed, we had a good a good race, we were just in the wrong place in the wrong time. Guys got in the fence, guys checked up and we got dropped all the way to the back. We came all the way back up to sixth so that is good. I think we learned a lot for the race on Sunday."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, FINISHED 8TH:
"I'm doing good. I know we only finished eighth, but it was really a strong horse. I'm thrilled with my Earnhardt / Childress engine program. They've really stepped it up since the test. That's a strong horse. I think we can give those U.S. Army soldiers something to cheer about on Sunday. I look forward to the Daytona 500. I love working with these guys. It was fun out there. It wasn't as crazy as I thought it was going to be. It was fun."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS, FINISHED 3RD:
TALK ABOUT THOSE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS: "I felt like Flint Flintstone in this thing trying to get this short track car to go (laughs). We had a great effort. The car really drove well and that's what kept me in the game. I made some smart moves and good decisions and was up there racing with the guys. It was a lot of fun racing with those guys. Tony (Stewart) had a great car. Jeff (Gordon) had a great car. We came from the back a couple of times. I just had a lot of fun out there. I'm glad to see we had a pretty clean race and I'm definitely happy for Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. getting his victory in his first time in a Hendrick car."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT YOU CAN TRANSLATE TO THURSDAY AND TO NEXT WEEK? "It's so tough to tell. The 500 car is much different than this car. So we'll get into that next week, but I think having the car handle well and drive well is going to be really important like it typically is here. So, we'll focus on that stuff and we'll send this one back home and get it ready for another short track race and get in that 500 car tomorrow."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS, FINISHED 4TH:
TALK ABOUT THE RACING OUT THERE THIS EVENING: "It was fun. It's just really wild how you get momentum in these cars and you've just got to maintain that momentum. You get in one line and you think that one is going to work and then you get in another line and see if that one is going to work. Obviously handling is going to be an issue over the long runs, but I had a lot of fun pushing my teammates and I had a lot of fun passing them. So it's just one of those things where it's the Bud Shootout and you've got to go for it and go for the win. And we were going for it as well as everybody else out there. I'm really happy for Dale Jr. It's awesome to have him at Hendrick Motorsports and I'm real proud of those guys to do that in their first race out."
HOW MUCH DIFFERENT IS THE RACING OUT THERE WITH THESE CARS TONIGHT? "Oh, it's a lot different than what we've had here in the past. I'm glad that we had the experience to get out here and feel what it's like. The daytime is going to be a real handful. Obviously we've got to get the cars handling really, really good. And I think we showed the racing can be pretty spectacular."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS, WINNER OF 30TH BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT:
ON WHAT IT MEANS TO WIN: "That was fun. The Shootout is a neat race. I had a blast those last few laps. I got some great help from my teammates. I didn't win the race without Jimmie Johnson) pushing me. Thanks to him and Chad (Knaus) and those guys for working real hard to get that car ready. BACKUP, BACKUP. Thanks up to my team, had a great pit stop, got us out second. Thanks to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, the National Guard, Amp, Sony, Adidas - everybody that is helping us.
"I hope the fans enjoyed that. Wow, man that was fun. I am so happy. My new team. Victory lane, it doesn't get any better."
IS THE SLINGSHOT BACK AT DAYTONA? "I got it used a couple of times on me and I was able to make it happen (laughs). It looks like it. I had a blast. I had a really, really good race car. That was 50 percent race car and 50 percent teammate. Jimmie Johnson gave me a push there at the end and it helped me a lot. Him and Casey (Mears) were lined up there on the outside and that was great for us. I've got to thank those guys for the help. I've got to thank my team for building a beautiful race car and they did such a good job all winter and everybody back at Hendrick has worked so hard. This is great for us, man. This is exactly what we needed coming out of the gate. I hope the fans enjoyed that race. It was fun for me. And I'm just so proud of my team, National Guard, AMP, Sony, Adidas and everybody that's helped us. We've had such a long off-season. This makes it all worth it."
TALK ABOUT THE RACING WITH THIS NEW RACE CAR: "My cousin and my crew chief, Tony Eury Jr. put a great set-up under the car that allowed me to drive it anywhere I wanted. It would draft really well. We've got some great air boxes and things like that that helped my car pull up. I'm just so surprised to be here. I knew I had good enough stuff and I just thought we would have to be patient to be able to really enjoy all the hard work and this is enjoying the hard work right here."
TALK ABOUT THE LAST RESTART, KNOWING YOU HAD THREE OF YOUR TEAMMATES SURROUNDING YOU: "I knew I could get some help but I knew they wanted to win the race too. I couldn't count on those guys just dedicating themselves to me. But if they had an opportunity, they would try to win. That was totally what I expected and what I would do too. And unfortunately for Jimmie, I didn't give him any opportunity or any room on the outside or inside of me and his only choice was to draft and push. He did a great job. He put us in the lead and I've got to give him a lot of credit. I've got to give this car a lot of credit. Rick and everybody at Hendrick has been such a joy to work with. To have this opportunity, I can't thank everybody enough."
-credit: gm racing