Loudon, NH -- With a runner-up finish in the rain-shortened Lenox Industrial Tools 301, Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, pulled closer in the battle for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship. The four-time champion now sits 69 ...
Loudon, NH -- With a runner-up finish in the rain-shortened Lenox Industrial Tools 301, Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, pulled closer in the battle for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship. The four-time champion now sits 69 markers behind fellow Team Chevy driver Tony Stewart, No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Impala SS with his ninth (9th) top-five and 12th top-10 finish in the 17 races run to date.
Stewart, a two-time NSCS champion, finished fifth when the race was called completed at lap 273 of the 301 scheduled at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was Stewart's ninth (9th) top-five and 13th top-10 of the year.
Brad Keselowski, No. 09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort Impala SS, finished sixth, his third (3rd) top-10 finish in just five NSCS starts.
Three-time and defending NSCS champion Jimmie Johnson brought his No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Impala SS, to the checkered flag in ninth (9th) today to remain third in the standings with just nine (9) races remaining to the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Ryan Newman, No., 39 Haas Automation/U.S. Army Impala SS, sits seventh (7th) in the standings with a 29th place finish after having to pit for fuel on lap 264 while leading the race.
Mark Martin, No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS, remains 11th in the standings with a 14th place finish today.
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Impala SS, finished 12th and remains 12th in the Race to the Chase standings.
With eight (8) victories to this point of the season, more than any other manufacturer, Chevrolet continues to lead the NSCS Manufacturers' Cup standings.
Joey Logano (Toyota) became the youngest rookie in NASCAR history to win a NSCA race. Kurt Busch (Dodge) and David Reutimann (Toyota) completed the top-five finishers.
Next on the NSCS schedule is the July 4th Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 THE HARTFORD IMPALA SS, FINISHED 20TH:
"Our Hartford Chevy was pretty good today. We got out of sequence on our pit stops and the race ending early didn't help things any."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS, FINISHED 11TH:
"Our Jack Daniels Chevrolet was pretty fast today and then we got caught up in an accident. The teams' hard work and never quit attitude kept us on the lead lap as they made repairs on pit road. Then, we got lucky when the rain came and were able to score an 11th-place finish. We'll head to Daytona next Saturday night and look for another solid run."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS IMPALA SS, FINISHED 9TH:
"We had a decent finish and a decent run. We led laps early and hoped to be in contention for the win - I think we may have even led the most laps. But contact with the 2 car took us out of the running. We just never could rebound from that, but still a decent day."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION/U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, FINISHED 29TH:
"We had a good strategy, but for some reason, we didn't the mileage that run there. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, we could have been leading at the end. The bottom line is we didn't have the fuel mileage on that last run, ran out of fuel and lost a couple of laps on pit road. It was unfortunate. We had planned on doing two tires and at least get some track position back. It just didn't work. I told the guys on the radio when it's not your day, it's not your day. It didn't work."
HOW MUCH DO YOU WISH THIS RAIN WOULD HAVE COME OUT ABOUT 10 LAPS EARLIER? "Very much so but you never know what's going to happen. I don't know if we're going to get to go back racing again but either way we gave it our all in the Haas Automation Chevrolet. We just came up short. We ran out of fuel there. Not really sure why. We shouldn't have ran out of fuel based on the numbers. We'll go back and refigure out what we didn't figure out and see what we can do to try to do this all over again and win."
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 09 MICCOSUKEE INDIAN GAMING & RESORT IMPALA SS, FINISHED 6TH:
GOT A GOOD SOLID FINISH TODAY: "We played the strategy the whole time anticipating this. We kept pitting under the yellows to top-off, even if we didn't need it. We had probably a better car than where we were running. We kept pitting to make sure we were covered for this situation. And low and behold we got a break when this situation came up. We put ourselves in position to take advantage of it and here we are. Good finish out of it."
WHAT A YEAR FOR YOU IN CUP RACING. YOU WERE ABLE TO GET A WIN IN TALLADEGA AND NOW YOU ARE HEAR IN THE TOP-SIX HERE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE, TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN. "We're just taking advantage of the opportunity that we have here. They made some good pit calls there. Could see this rain was coming and was just trying to be prepared for and the guys did a great job on the Miccosukee Chevrolet of calling the right pit strategy. I think this is going to be it but its hard to tell. Just real proud of them. To get another solid finish with the No. 09 car that's really great, really special."
YOU HAD A GOOD FINISH YESTERDAY IN NATIONWIDE AND CUP RUNS ARE GETTING BETTER, YOU HAVE TO BE FEELING PRETTY GOOD ABOUT THIS: "Yes, I am. We are catching breaks but we are putting ourselves in position to catch them. That is important. That is what good race teams do. I am really proud of everyone to get this finish in this Chevrolet."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS, FINISHED 13TH:
YOU HAD A VERY SOLID RUN OUT THERE TODAY AND LOOKED LIKE A GREAT, COMPETITIVE CAR: "Yea, we did. We ran good today. I want to thank Lance (McGrew, crew chief) and the team, our National Guard and AMP guys. They worked hard all weekend. They did a good job man giving me a good car. I had fun today. I hope we can keep this up. We are inching so slowly up back in to where we need to run. It is taking a while, but hopefully we keep moving forward."
HOW MUCH SATISFACTION WAS IT TO BE UP THERE BATTLING FOR THE LEAD? "Being around fifth and looking at the top-five, that was great. Seeing the leaders most of the day in your windshield is better than where we have been. The restarts were kind of tough. I like the double-file restarts, but man, if you are on the inside, you are going to lose a couple of spots every time. We were on the inside the last three and we lost the opportunity to run in the top-five, got shuffled back to just inside the top-10. We had a good car, good run. Solid day for us and I hope this pumps the guys up and keep moving forward. We are working to keep the momentum moving in the right direction."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS -- Finished 2nd
IT WAS A DOGFIGHT ON THE RACE TRACK AND A DOGFIGHT ON PIT ROAD. HOW WAS YOUR DAY? "It was a great day for us. Unfortunately I don't think we're going to get back going again (red flag due to rain). I'm not so sure that's a bad thing because we were terrible on the restarts, but I sure would have loved to have given it a shot at a win. I thought we had it; I didn't even know the No. 20 (Joey Logano) was still out there running and (crew chief) Steve Letarte was telling me what was going on. It was just a phenomenal day in the pits and by this whole crew. Yesterday we weren't very good. Steve Letarte and all those guys really went to work last night and brought an awesome race car to the track today. It wasn't good on the restarts but other than that, it felt like we had the best car. And then that last pit stop, the guys were really getting it done in the pits today. That's what I thought got us out first, but it just got us out in front of all the guys that we were racing. You've got to give credit to the guys on the No. 20. It's a gutsy call and it's going to pay off for them."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT IMPALA SS, FINISHED 5TH:
YOU'RE PROBABLY HAPPY FOR JOEY LOGANO BUT DISAPPOINTED WITH THE OUTCOME. "Yeah, I'm happy for Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief, No. 20 car) and Joey and all the guys on The Home Depot team. Man, you take 'em any way you can get 'em. That's as much as a strategy as shocks and springs and everything else. They still had to work to get themselves in that position, so they did a good job.
"I'm really proud of our guys. We were just a little bit off, but we had sparks of brilliance during the day where we were really decent. So, we can't be too disappointed with that.
"I'm a big, big fan of this double-file restart stuff because it's so much fun restarting with the guys that you're racing with and are used to running up front with and not having to deal with some of these other guys on the restarts that you sometimes have to deal with."
"It's been a hard learning year for Joey, and he's done a great job, and it's like I told him, I said 10 years down the road nobody's ever going to know how this win came, but the thing is, they still had to earn it. They had to put themselves in position to be in this spot. They did a good job strategy-wise. For them, it makes up for the one that we lost here last year because of the rain. I'm happy with our run, but proud for those guys too.
"We just weren't tight enough at the beginning. We needed to take that early opportunity to come in and make an adjustment. We knew we weren't going to take fuel, but it gave us a chance to take four tires then and know that when the competition caution came that we'd only have to take two (tires) to get some of that track position back. We didn't gain much of it back, but we ended up having a car that was good enough to drive back through there."
-credit: gm racing