Tony Stewart Extends Points' Lead with Runner-up Finish at Infineon Raceway; Team Chevy Drivers Score Five of Top-10 Finishing Positions in SaveMart 350 Sonoma, CA - With a runner-up finish at Infineon Raceway, Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office ...
Tony Stewart Extends Points' Lead with Runner-up Finish at Infineon Raceway; Team Chevy Drivers Score Five of Top-10 Finishing Positions in SaveMart 350
Sonoma, CA - With a runner-up finish at Infineon Raceway, Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Impala SS, extended his lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings,
With one win, eight top-five finishes and 12 top-10s in the 16 races run to date, Stewart holds the top spot by 84 points.
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, finished fourth in the first road course race of the season. Johnson remains third in the standings.
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Impala SS, finished sixth in the 110-lap/350K SaveMart 350. Montoya is now 12th in the standings with 10 races remaining until the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Impala SS, finished eighth in the final order. He is 16th in the standings, but only 65 points out of the Chase.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, finished ninth to give Team Chevy five of the top-10 finishing positions. Gordon remains second in the standings.
Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation/U.S. Army Impala SS, is sixth in the standings after a 17th place finish in today's race.
Mark Martin, No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS, now sits 11th in the standings as a result of a last-lap multi-car accident relegated him to the 35th finishing position.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Impala SS, was involved in the same incident as Martin and finished 34th. He is now 15th in the standings, 46 points out of the Chase. Kasey Kahne (Dodge) was the race winner. Marcos Ambrose (Toyota) and Denny Hamlin (Toyota) completed the top-five.
With eight victories in 16 races, more than any other manufacturer, Chevrolet continues to lead the Manufacturers' Cup standings.
Next on the Series' schedule is the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 On June 28 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS -- Finished 4th:
ALL YOUR HARD WORK PAID OFF, YOU GO YOURSELF A GOOD FINISH TODAY. "Yeah it was a good finish. Unfortunately we were speeding on pit road earlier and I had to come back from that. I passed a lot of cars so very proud of the effort, very proud of the race car. Unfortunately I got together with the No. 2 (Kurt Busch) getting into the esses and got him into the wall so I had to find him and apologize. It was just a racing deal nothing more. Left a bruise on the left front but other than that it was a good day."
"We went through a lot today with the pit road speeding penalty and we had to fight back from that. What a great race car. Chad (Knaus) and the guys did a great job and gave me a great car. Real fast on the long runs so I could just work away at it. Very proud of this Lowe's Impala in the top-four here at Infineon Raceway. This has been a tough, tough track for us so we are getting better and making things better."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT / OLD SPICE IMPALA SS -- Finished 2nd
TALK ABOUT THE RESTARTS. "Well it made it exciting all day. The restarts were awesome. They were fun. The fans had to enjoy that and it was a good race. To have three or four of us at the end that had a shot to get up there if anybody made a mistake, that's an awesome road course race."
DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE EVER GOING TO HAVE A CHANCE TO GET PAST KASEY (KAHNE) OR WERE YOU WAITING FOR THAT BOBBLE? "I wasn't waiting for anything but he made one mistake and we closed in on him and we couldn't do anything when we got there. He never made a mistake. That one time in the last 16 or 17 laps he made one mistake and on a road course where you have 11 corners to only make one mistake like that he did an awesome job."
TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH FUN YOU HAD TODAY: "Yes, it was. The second to the last run there, we were looking in our mirror there, we were fast but Kasey (Kahne) was matching us lap for lap. When he came out in front of us from that last set of pit stops, I was like oh we might be in trouble here. We could run about the same pace, I was just a little too loose in the right-handers and Kasey never made a mistake. The kid did an awesome job. He ran a perfect race."
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU HAD A MIRROR FULL OF MARCOS AMBROSE THERE AT THE END? "I got a little nervous because he got coming there at the end after he got by Montoya, I thought we were going to have our hands full there. I got a charge on Kasey at that point but just couldn't do anything. I couldn't get close enough to really do anything. It was fun, it is great to run with this caliber of guys. We had a great day with our Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy. All the guys at Mac Tools and Coke and all of our fans out here, it is awesome to come out here."
STEVE LETARTE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 DUPONT IMPALA SS
Finished 9th: "The DuPont Chevrolet just wasn't as fast as we really needed to be all weekend. We made some changes for the race. I don't think that made it any better. So he (Jeff Gordon) battled real good. We pitted one time we probably shouldn't have. We worked the first caution really well. We got a little track position and then we had kind of a poor pit stop, and got caught speeding all at the same time and had to go to the back. But the guys kept their heads up and we raced all the way and that's what you've got to do at all these races. So to come home with a top 10 was really impressive.''
DOUBLE FILE RESTARTS ON A ROAD COURSE, DID THEY WORK TODAY? "It looked like it was a good race, so yeah. The question is, what is work? So I thought it was great. There were some passes and there was some excitement. Some guys were probably disappointed that they lost track position, but it gave us an opportunity. We started 33rd there with about 30 or 35 (laps) to go and we got all the way up to ninth. So I'm a big fan of it at the moment."
DID JEFF GORDON SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HIS BACK? HE MENTIONED IT MIGHT BE A CONCERN ON A ROAD COURSE "He didn't say anything to me. I just saw him and he looked fine to me. I think his back is a whole lot better than the car we gave him."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS -- Finished 6th:
A HARD FOUGHT TOP 10. AT ONE POINT WE THOUGHT YOU MIGHT HAVE A CAR TO CONTEND FOR THE WIN. HOW DID THE LAST HALF OF THE RACE GO FOR YOU? "The Target Chevy was really good at the beginning of the race. It was probably one of the top six cars. We made a lot of adjustments and I think we actually screwed it up more than we helped it. The car, you know, you try to make changes and you only have two pit stops and there's so little you can do. But it's great. We finished 6th. It was another good points day. To finish top five or top six is pretty good.
"But the car just wasn't up to it. We struggled putting the power down so much. We made some changes in practice and it was a lot better and today it was like we went back to where we were. So it's a little disappointing, but it's good. This is all we needed to do and we did that. It was a good points day and the bigger picture is good. I can't really complain."
YOUR CREW CHIEF BRIAN PATTIE SAID ITS BIG PICTURE, BIG PICTURE AND YOU DID IT, YOU'RE 12TH IN POINTS NOW BY THE WAY. "That's great. I don't care where I am right now, I'll care when I'm in Richmond where we are. I think Brian has done an amazing job the last few weeks and all the guys on the Target team just kept working on it. They keep working on it week in and week out. Top-10, top-10, top-10. You always want a little bit more but it's all we got. I could have probably got a third or fourth but the guys were going too aggressive and I needed to finish.
ON BEING IN THE TOP 12 IN POINTS "I've been in the top 12 before. We kind of drifted away and then now we're coming back. So you've got to be in the top 12 after Richmond. Today, it wouldn't really matter."
WERE RESTARTS MUCH OF AN ISSUE TODAY? "No, actually we made a lot of ground every restart."
THE CAR JUST DIDN'T ALLOW YOU TO MAKE MUCH GROUND? "I just couldn't put the power down, you know. It would turn good but every time I touched the gas they would just drill me from the back."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA SS, FINISHED 8th:
"It was a good day for us. We have to keep clicking these things off. I made mistakes early in the season and crashed twice within a month and put us way back in the field. Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet was good today. It felt like I could have got two or three more there. Then Montoya was struggling in the corners and I tried to get around him on the last lap and let Allmendinger back in. That is what is so much fun about this stuff, you beat and bang around and go for it."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL IMPALA SS -- Finished 29th
"We looked like we were headed for a top 10 finish, but that's just how our luck has been this season. We'll regroup and see what we can do at Loudon."
-credit: gm racing