McMurray, Johnson Richmond II post-qualifying interview

Team Chevy press release

JAMIE MCMURRY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/ TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWES POWER OF PRIDE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 3RD

Jamie McMurray
Jamie McMurray

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

MCMURRAY - TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT, HAVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT STARTING UPFRONT FOR TOMORROW NIGHTS RACE HERE AT RICHMOND: “Yep, this has always been a fairly challenging track for me so I was really happy with that. We made a long race run at the start of the second practice and thought our car was really good in race trim and then we made a mock run right at the end and didn’t really have the speed that some of the other guys did. Made a couple of small adjustments and I was really happy with that. You run those laps sometimes and you know when you have a good one and I knew that was going to be close to the fastest lap. You just don’t ever know what other guys will be able to run. I was really happy with the car.”

MCMURRAY - YOU HAVE A 9/11 MEMORIAL PAINT SCHEME ON YOUR CAR THIS WEEKEND, TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WENT INTO THOSE PAINT SCHEMES AND ALSO HOW IMPORTANT IT WOULD BE TO YOU AND TO YOUR SPONSOR TO WIN THIS WEEKEND: “Same as what Jimmie (Johnson) said, it is really about for us Bass Pro Shops giving up part of their paint scheme to do this. For me personally it seems like the older I get the more I learn to value different things in my life. Weather it is getting married or having a child and the same thing, I don’t know that our soldier’s get enough credit for the things that they do. Richmond always brings soldier’s to the track or sometimes we go to the Walter Reid prior to this and when you get to go meet them and see the sacrifice that they have given up for our freedom, it is overwhelming to see what they have given up. It is a big honor to get to have the American flag on the side of your car and just show your support for not only the soldier’s but for everyone from 9/11.”

MCMURRAY- SEEING THAT YOU ARE NOT IN THE HUNT HERE WHATS ON THE LINE FOR EVERYBODY ELSE, WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH SINCE YOU ARE STARTING UP FRONT? “I think it’s different from what it has been in the past. When it was you had to get in the top ten and you knew the two or three guys you were racing, I don’t know with the wild card. I picture that different than what it has been in the past. Where if you win the race you can have the wild card, vs. I mean I was the guy on the bubble two or three years in a row and you knew the two or three guys that you had to beat and where they were on the racetrack, you seem to monitor them more but, like Jimmie ( Johnson) said, with the way track position works here and then this is a place that is very frustrating to be on the inside of a guy and not be able to clear him and it usually results in a wreck and we have seen wrecks here to me that are comparable to Talladega wrecks on the back-stretch. I don’t know a lot can happen here.”

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

JOHNSON - TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT, COMING OFF LATE ON THE GRID HAD A GOOD EFFORT THERE, AND YOU’RE OUTLOOK FOR TOMORROW NIGHTS RACE: “Outlook for the race is good. We had a very strong practice session today. I am just a little bummed out at myself, that first lap I did not necessarily do my job on the car. I got a good lap in and I should be happy and I should be happy that we have qualified here a lot better than we have at a lot of tracks recently but that car was capable of sitting on the pole today and I just under drove it a little bit, so disappointed in myself on that and looking forward to the race. We had a great car throughout practice, in qualifying trim and race trim so I will get over this here in a little bit, move on and go racing.”

JOHNSON - YOU HAVE A 9/11 MEMORIAL PAINT SCHEME ON YOUR CAR THIS WEEKEND, TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WENT INTO THOSE PAINT SCHEMES AND ALSO HOW IMPORTANT IT WOULD BE TO YOU AND TO YOUR SPONSOR TO WIN THIS WEEKEND: “It is an honor to carry the red, white and blue on my race car and the Power of Pride logo that is on the car. Hendrick Motor Sports also has a sticker on the car that commemorates the people that we lost in 9/11. It is just cool. It is nice that our sponsors, our car owners and everyone involved puts time and effort into this to honor and commemorate the people that we lost on 9/11. Lowe’s has done a very good job over the years of honoring the men and women that serve our country. We have taken this paint scheme from earlier times that we ran it and applied it here this weekend. I think, we are just the lucky drivers that get to go out and drive these good looking’ race cars. A lot of the credit goes to the people in these executative offices that decide to let us run those paint schemes on the cars. My hats off to Lowe’s and they deserve all the credit for doing this, I am just happy to drive it. “

JOHNSON - IS THERE A BIG ADVANTAGE HERE AS FAR AS HAVING A GOOD PIT SELECTION, HAVING AN OPENING IN FRONT OR BEHIND YOU COMPARED TO OTHER TRACKS? “When you have a turn like a couple radius, like we do here, it opens up more at least to have something to work in or out. Just the angle of the pit boxes change, and usually opens up a few more there. The track position is everything. We will run side by side, 5, 8, 10 laps before you make a pass that is just the way this track has always been. So to start up-front is so important here. I heard a statistic watching qualifying before I came in, that the majority of the crashes take place from 11th-21st, and I am so happy to be north of 11th right now and hope to stay there all race long.”

JOHNSON - ALL DAY LONG PEOPLE HAVE TALKED ABOUT WHAT THEY NEED TO DO FOR THOSE WHO ARENT IN THE CHASE OR HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET INTO THE CHASE. FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE THE LAST FEW YEARS OF THE 26 RACES, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE IN THIS RACE TOMORROW NIGHT AND DO YOU THINK THE WILD CARD SCANIRO ALTERS THAT? “Not really, I think if I look over the races here in Richmond, driver’s tempers get high period. I can remember wrecks that have taken people out that were near the bubble. I remember Jeremy Mayfield staying out on gas and winning a race. Anything can really happen. It is so tough to predict what is going to happen and who is going to be affected chase related because it is a short track and it has been a long year. We have seen a lot of tempers flare up through the course. The boy’s have at it mentality, if someone wrongs you, you’re going to fix it and who knows who it will take out in the process or what will go on from there. I am so happy to be locked in. That was a goal we had coming into the year. The first one on my list, Chad ( Knaus, Crew Chief) asked for us to write our top three or five goals for the year down out of every crew member on the 48 team that was my number one thing that I wrote down was to lock in before Richmond just because you can’t count on a smooth race here, an easy going race.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags chevrolet, mcmurray, richmond, sprint cup