Jeff Gordon avoided crash during first practice session, but a piece of debris, a cowl flap, was stuck in the hood.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS
YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND A LONG TIME. HAVE YOU EVER HAD SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPEN TO YOUR RACE CAR? “I can’t say that I have. The whole thing happened so quick.
I’m not exactly sure what happened in front of me; I think it the No. 26 (Cole Whitt) or somebody had gotten into the wall. And it looked the No. 55 (Brian Vickers) moved down to avoid him and came across the nose of the No. 13 (Casey Mears) or somebody. But yeah, I just tried to avoid them and this (points to a cowl flap) got stuck in my hood. I thought I was in pretty good shape until I saw that. That’s a bummer. So, our Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet is a little damaged right now. We’ll fix that damage and I don’t know if we’re going to come back out after this (laughs).”
CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS
WHAT DID YOU SEE OUT THERE? “I was just kind of cruising through the middle and the No. 55 turned down. After looking at the replay it looked like the No. 26 got into the fence and he (the No. 55) was just pulling down to avoid him. These things happen. This is definitely one of those tracks you kind of expect these things to happen. As bad as it is and as much as we don’t want to get involved in something like this you also expect it. It’s not good for the GEICO Chevy, but at the same time these guys will get it fixed up. It seemed like it had pretty good speed in the draft so I like the way it drove. Got to work on it to get it to turn a little bit better, but other than that we are good.”
WHAT DID YOUR CREW CHIEF BOOTIE BARKER SAY ABOUT THE DAMAGE? “They are obviously going to try to repair it where this car is probably going to be useful. That is a good thing it wasn’t bad enough where we have to pull out a back-up. Not the work that we wanted to do. I don’t think we will get in the second practice because they are going to have to take their time to repair it right. But hopefully we will be good for the 150’s.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 PEAK/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? “What I saw in the car was just the front half of the No. 20 car getting kind of squirley like somebody ran into the back of him to try and bump draft. Turns out Joey (Logano) was bump drafting the No. 20 in the middle of the pack when we were trying to get up to speed. I guess that is the end result. Fortunately Parker (Kligerman) is okay and nobody in the stands got hurt. It could have been a lot worse.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE OUT THERE WITH THE SIDE DRAFTING? “I literally just got up to speed and the side draft is huge on these cars with this new style of car. We knew that coming in, but we were just three wide. I’m pretty sure the No. 20 got hit by somebody and the next thing I know I’m sideways.”
THOUGHTS GOING INTO THE DUEL AFTER THIS HAPPENED? “We had a really fast Chevrolet as you saw all the RCR cars have been extremely fast this week. Our back-up car is pretty good too. It comes out of the same shop obviously, so it’s not as good as our primary because it’s our back-up, but sometimes a slower car drives a little bit better too. We will see. I have no reservations about the 150’s. We will try to race our hardest to get the best starting position we can and if we crash, which is 50/50 shot at these places we crash and we will try to get another car out of the shop.”