Chevrolet Wins Fourth Consecutive Race
((1299888|right|s3}}LONG POND, Pa – August 5, 2012 – Jeff Gordon took advantage of a multi-car accident and timely rainfall at Pocono Raceway to put his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet in victory lane for the first time this season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. It was Gordon’s 86th career Cup win; and he set the record for the most career wins at Pocono with six. He is now in wild-card contention in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driving the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet inadvertently gave Gordon the break he needed when Johnson had a right-rear tire go down on the restart. The chaos that followed opened a hole in traffic, which enabled Gordon to power to the lead. Rain ensued, and the race was red-flagged by NASCAR. Moments later, the race was called due to inclement weather with 98 of the 160 scheduled laps complete. Johnson rallied to finish in 14th position.
Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet, also managed to power by the multi-car accident and finish behind Gordon in second place. Despite a flat right-rear tire, Kahne was able to stay on the track during the caution laps and hold his position until the red-flag was displayed, giving Team Chevy a one-two finish for the day.
Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart piloting the No. 14 Office Depot Back to School Chevrolet came from the 28th starting position to finish the day in the fifth position. His Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet also had a solid day finishing sixth.
Rounding out the top-10 for Team Chevy was Regan Smith in the No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet who finished in the ninth position. The run marked the first top-10 finish of the season for Smith and the No. 78 Chevrolet team.
Richard Childress Racing’s Paul Menard piloted his No. 27 Menards/Serta Chevrolet back-up car to an 11th-place finish. His teammate Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet was 16th followed by Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Allstate Chevrolet in 17th. Pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet came home 20th. Jeff Burton, No. 31 Enersys/Odyssey Batter Chevrolet was 22nd.
Kurt Busch in the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Inc. Chevrolet had a tire go down on lap 87 forcing him into the outside wall. The damage sustained ended his day early relegating him to a 30th place finish. Point’s leader Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet had a transmission issue on lap 51. The team came to the garage area and fixed the problem. Earnhardt Jr. finished the race in the 32nd postion, but remains the point’s leader by 5 over second-place.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET
EARLIER TODAY, YOU SAID YOU’VE HAD A LIFETIME’S WORTH OF BAD LUCK IN ONE DAY. MAYBE TODAY IS WHEN YOU LUCK HAS CHANGED “Well, it’s never over until it’s over. I’ve won races like this here before. I tell you what; the way our year has gone we’ll definitely take it like this. Man, I’ve never seen the seas part quite like that before (laughs) like they did going down into (Turn) 1. I got a great restart and was able to dive to the inside in front of Kasey (Kahne) and I saw the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) get sideways and it just took them all out. And I was like, wow. And then I was thinking about the restart and what we were going to do. I didn’t want to have the same thing happen to us that happened to the No. 48. And it started raining. I tell you what, with all the things that have gone wrong for us this year, I’m hoping that this is the one that makes up for it all.”
YOU HAVE A PRETTY GOOD RACE CAR “We do. Either way, we’re in great shape. We’re good on fuel; we’re good on tires, and we’ve got a great race car. We haven’t even been in clean air so I don’t know how good it might be even better out there in front.”
AFTER RACE WAS OFFICIALLY CALLED BY NASCAR DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, MORE COMMENTS FROM JEFF GORDON WINNER
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS TO PUT YOURSELF THAT MUCH CLOSER TO MAKING THE CHASE? “You can’t ever give up. It doesn’t matter where you’re at. You’ve got to just try to go out there and win races. For all the things that have gone wrong for us this year, I still can’t believe what just happened. But, I think this is the one that makes up for all the ones that have gotten away. I’m just so proud of this team. They just never give up and they gave me a great race car today. To start 27th and only have one caution, and work our way all the way up there like that, is pretty awesome. We got a great re-start and got into that inside lane ahead of Kasey (Kahne) and then I saw the No. 48 (Johnson) get sideways and somehow I just came out on the other end of it leading. So, I’m just so excited right now. I know that you don’t want to win them quite like this, but we’ve earned it because of all the things that we’ve done this year. We’ve been in position to win races and we were at the right place at the right time. We probably had something going our way. I just can’t thank Drive to End Hunger, and DuPont, and Pepsi and Quaker State and Chevrolet and everybody. This is a great moment. And I’ve got both of my kids and my wife here.”
AND THEY’RE DRY “Yeah, I don’t know how they’re dry! They’re the only ones here that are dry. This is just like the greatest moment.”
AS YOU CELEBRATE, TELL US WHAT IT MEANS TO GET THIS SIXTH VICTORY AT POCONO WITH EVERYBODY HERE TO SEE IT “Oh, gosh. It’s just an amazing day. I said to Alan Gustafson (crew chief) that miracles do happen. You start to lose confidence and doubt whether it’s going to happen. Our cars have been good and our team has been good. We just needed some things to go our way and boy did they go our way today. I hate that those guys got caught up in that spin and wreck or whatever happened there. It was slick on those re-starts. I’ve got to say hi to Rick Hendrick; I know he’s not here. And we had a lot of pressure on us. All four Hendrick cars finally get into victory lane in one year. That’s awesome. That’s been a long time coming. I felt a lot of pressure because we hadn’t done it yet. So this feels good. It’s that little boost that we need to get through these next five races and don’t count us out, don’t count us out. This is a great moment. We needed this. And it’s awesome. It feels good and we’ll take it any way we can get it right now and we’re having a blast. And I’m going to enjoy it so much with these guys (family). Happy Birthday to Alan Gustafson! That is a birthday present right there (laughs).”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET – FINISHED SECOND
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SECOND PLACE RUN TODAY AND ABOUT HOW STRONG THE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CARS WERE: “Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) had a problem, but I screwed up in the pits and slid through a little bit and got on top of the hose so we couldn’t use the air hose there. So that slowed us up and we lost a lot of track position there but only one or two positions but a lot of time. And after that we were able to get back through on that restart and Jeff (Gordon) got a great restart which was awesome for him and the 5/24 shop.”
HENDRICK WAS VERY STRONG TODAY ON THE TRACK MAINLY ON THE STRAIGHTAWAYS. WAS IT GOOD POWER OUT THERE TODAY? “Yes, good power but it’s been great all year long and I could really feel it today. We were really getting off the corner really well and down the straightaways so it was pretty solid.”
IS IT A NEW PACKAGE OR SOMETHING? “Pretty much the same thing. Nobody has said anything to me so I think it’s the same.”
WE HEARD ON THE RADIO YOUR CREW CHIEF KENNY FRANCIS ASKED YOU ABOUT TRYING TO RUN A FEW LAPS WHILE NOT SHIFTING. DID YOU GET QUICKER WHEN YOU WERE NOT SHIFTING? “Actually I slowed down, and then they said what happened to Dale’s car was nothing that could be wrong with mine so then I actually felt good about it and I figured the shifting out again and just got confident in it. After that I started shifting again and that is when if felt really good and our lap times got good. We came out of the pits and Jeff (Gordon) was behind me and we were running awesome laps times. I felt good about where we were I just got too far behind him and I am a little upset with myself and the way I ran the race but we definitely had a great Farmers Insurance Chevrolet and ended up with a great result.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT BACK TO SCHOOL CHEVROLET – FINISHED FIFTH
ON HIS RACE: “I’m real proud of Steve Addington (crew chief) and these guys. We didn’t necessarily throw a Hail Mary at it, but we kind of went back to where we started yesterday and worked from that. We only spent about a quarter of the two practices on the set-up that we ended up racing. I’m really proud of him for taking all afternoon and evening last night and finding the package that we ran today it was a much better race car.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION/QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET – FINISHED SIXTH
ON HIS RACE: “I think it was rain shortened. Our car was pretty good, one more restart we would have been in really good shape with the Haas Automation Chevrolet. Never the less the guys did a good job fought hard, had decent pit stops. A good solid day, we needed that, another top 10. We will go on, gained on the No. 18, but now I’ve got to contend with the No. 24 it looks like.”
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/FARM AMERICAN CHEVROLET – FINISHED NINTH
"We had a good car this weekend and it got even better as the race went on. I had mixed feelings about the rain because I felt we might have been able to pick off a few more positions. It's a great feeling in our Furniture Row camp to have the kind of performances we've had the past two weekends with our No. 78 Chevrolet. We had a top-10 car in Indy until our front-end got mangled. Todd (Berrier, crew chief) has done a great job in a short time. He's made the transition real easy for everyone. It's like I've been working with him for a long time. We're moving along with plenty of enthusiasm right now and feel that we're in the process of turning things around."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – FINISHED 14TH
A WILD RESTART TELL US WHAT HAPPENED DOWN IN TURN ONE? “When I was cooling my tires down through the tunnel coming to the green I noticed that something didn’t feel right. I kept trying to clean the tires off and it got a little better so I just assumed I had trash on my tires, but when I got down into turn one I realized that I had a right-rear (tire) flat. Unfortunate that we lost the lead there and we got a couple of cars in the process. I shouldn’t feel bad about that but not much you can do with a right-rear flat.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/ALLSTATE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 18TH
“We struggled with a loose car all day, but our Bass pro Shops crew did a great job of making adjustments and working on our strategy. If we just had a few more green flag laps and it would have started cycle through it might have played more in our favor.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – FINISHED 20TH
"What a crazy weekend. It was huge for us to get on the pole in Pocono and it just goes to show how hard these Target guys are working every day to get this program turned around. I’m proud of them. Come race time we struggled with the handling a bit and unfortunately we didn’t see a lot of cautions to work on the car at length plus with it being shortened at the end we had to settle for 20th.”
Source: Team Chey Racing