KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, received damage in a multi-car accident on lap 22, taken to the garage for repairs: WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE: "From what I can see the driver of the No. 12 just ran out of talent, drove through the...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, received damage in a multi-car accident on lap 22, taken to the garage for repairs:
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE: "From what I can see the driver of the No. 12 just ran out of talent, drove through the crash and spun out and just crashed. That is just part of where we were in the field. The car was good. The guys did a great job with our Shell-Pennzoil Chevy. Just got caught up in somebody else's mess."
ARE THEY GOING TO TRY AND GET YOU BACK OUT THERE? "I hope they can't. I'm tired of wrecking."
IS THIS A PRODUCT OF ROAD COURSE RACING? "You have got guys that qualify well up there that are probably well over their means of their experience level. It is just one of those deals."
YOU SAID SATURDAY YOU HAD SUCH A GOOD CAR, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? "It looked like the No. 12 just drove through the grass and we just got caught up in the wrong spot, wrong time. Just the story of the year."
ANY CHANCE TO GET IT BACK OUT? "I hope not."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS, after car damaged beyond repair on lap 40:
WE HEARD YOU SAY "BRAKES". WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAR OUT THERE? "Going into (Turn) 3 I mashed the brake and it worked for a split second and then it went to the floor like it blew a hose. It was a brake line or something. I tried to miss the No. 43 and couldn't do a good job at that, but there wasn't much I could do. I couldn't slow my car down and the gravel trap slowed the car down a little bit and the tire barrier worked great and hopefully the car's not too bad. But, just real bad luck. We've had some real bad luck."
THIS IS A HEAVY BRAKING TRACK. DID YOU HAVE ANY BRAKE PROBLEMS DURING PRACTICE THIS WEEKEND? "I didn't have any problems with the AMP Energy Chevrolet all weekend. The last couple of laps I was fading, but I let the No. 71 and the No. 98 pass and then they broke."
IS THIS SEASON TESTING YOU SO YOU CAN WIN THE LOTTERY OR A CHAMPIONSHIP DOWN THE ROAD? IT'S BEEN A TOUGH SEASON. "Yeah, it's been a hard season. But we've been through worse stuff and we're still real fortunate. We've still got a lot to be thankful for and life in
DO YOU JUST SHRUG YOUR SHOULDERS WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS? JUST HARD LUCK? "Yeah, pretty much. I ain't never had the brakes just completely fail on a car like that, so that was really an experience. I'm glad the gravel trap did a little bit of work there and worked fine in that tire barrier. But it's been a tough year, man. I guess if I sat there and thought about all the bad things and got further down, it would just be a longer time to get back and somehow or another you've just got to have some kind of positive thoughts and pull something out of it to keep yourself feeling like you've got a shot the next weekend and the next weekend. So, we can't give up. We can't quit. We've just got to keep trying. I've seen some high spots, but we've had some pretty bad luck. We'll just keep trying."
YOU DIDN'T FEEL IT COMING ON? "I did. I felt the brakes fading just a little, but when the brakes went, it was like it just blew a line and all the fluid came out. A symptom of brake fade wouldn't have anything to do with that in my opinion. I don't know, it's hard to say what happened. I'll get over there and I'll find out.
"I'm all right. I'll get it going. It's just the way it's going to be. A lot of bad is coming along right now, but if you want to see any good one day, you've got to go through it."
WHAT HAPPENED? "I mashed the brake pedal going into ten and it just went to the floor. It braked for just a second and then it was like it blew the line or something. I tried to miss the No. 43 and he turned in the corner and I'm real sorry about that for those guys but there wasn't nothing I could do. I didn't have any brakes. I was pumping them going through the dirt, just skipping through there, and hit that tire barrier. Luckily it's a safe race track and why we'll be able to run next week."
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A HARDER HIT THAN THAT? "Oh, yeah. That gravel trap and tire barrier worked perfectly and the Hans device kept that neck from stretching too far and so we're really lucky with the things they've done to the cars and I always hear that in these interviews and it's true. We've just had some bad luck. I felt pretty good about the car. We had a speeding penalty coming off pit road. It was my fault and it got us behind a little bit. But we were just back there taking it easy and I felt the brakes fading a little bit so I let the No. 71 and the No. 98 pass and a lap or two later they broke."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR IMPALA SS -- Involved in multi-car accident on lap 61:
ARE YOU OKAY? "Yeah, I'm okay. It's really disappointing. That was a hard hit. We had a good car and then suddenly something happened to us with our brakes and we started falling back. But I was really happy with our car and we were running well but it's just been one of those years. I'm too old for this. It hurts too much (laughs). But I think everybody is okay. That was a big hit for everybody."
WHAT DID YOU SEE FROM INSIDE THE CAR? "You know what, on Friday in Nationwide practice, Jason Leffler spun in front of me and hit the barriers, hit the tires, and came right back in front of me. When I saw Sam (Hornish) go out, I knew he was coming back. There was nothing I could do. I eyed him and I knew where he was coming and I tried to get slowed up. I knew he was coming back but there was nothing I could do. So I wasn't real sure which one I hit or if I hit both of them, but it was a bigger hit than I want to have for a while."
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "The No. 77 was on the outside and the way the No. 9 drove under him they just came off side-by-side and maybe touched a little bit and put Sam (Hornish) into the tire barrier the same way (Jason) Lefler did the other day in Nationwide practice. He shot out in front of me in Nationwide practice and I missed him but when he shot out in front of me this time I couldn't miss him and I hit him and Jeff (Gordon) really hard. It was a hard hit for all of us. I don't want to hit that hard again for a little while."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS, involved in multi-car accident on lap 61:
MAN THAT LOOKED PAINFUL. "It was. It wasn't that hard of a hit its just my back can't stand too many hits. I really was concerned for Sam (Hornish). He took a heavy hit into the wall, a heavy hit by me and Jeff Burton. I saw him go off into the grass and I knew he was going to come out in front of me and I was just hoping to squeeze by and didn't make it. It just made a rough weekend for the DuPont Chevrolet even worse. Now we just leave here and focus on Michgian."
HOW DO YOU FEEL RIGHT NOW? "I'm hurting. Everything feels good except my lower back where I've already had issues. It will just take a couple of weeks for it to heal. By then we'll go to Bristol and get through that then we'll be alright."
WHEN YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO HIT HIM, DO YOU BRACE DOWN OR RELAX? "The first thing I was trying to do was make it by him. Actually I sped up a little bit. I saw him slide off there and I was trying to get off the corner as fast as I could to get by before he got out there but as soon as I saw him and bounce out I knew I was going to hit him. I just braced myself and got on the brakes and waited for the impact."
HOW IS YOUR BACK? ARE YOU OKAY? "It's just not what I needed you know. You take three or four steps forward up to this point, and you take a hit like that and you take a couple steps backwards. So yeah, it was a heavy impact. I'm just glad Sam (Hornish) is all right. I saw him get wide there off the carousel and I knew he was going to hit the tire barrier and ricochet off and I was just hoping I'd get by him before he got out to me and man, I nailed him and spun him around like a top and my car just came to a halt and it really took a toll on my back again. So I hate that, but I was real proud of this DuPont Chevrolet team.
"We didn't have a great weekend going and the car wasn't perfect, but we were playing out the strategy and got caught up in that first incident. It's just one of those days. But we were going to ride it out and make something out of it. I think Steve Letarte had some tricks up his sleeve with the pit strategy. Just wrong place, wrong time."
WHAT WILL YOU HAVE TO DO THIS WEEK TO GET READY FOR MICHIGAN NEXT WEEK WITH YOUR BACK? "Oh, Michigan is pretty easy. If we were going to Bristol next week, I'd be concerned. So we've got a couple of weeks to hopefully heal. We went through this at Dover when I hit at Dover and hurt my back as well. Every time I hit something it takes a toll on my back, but it seems to recover. But when you're braking that hard it's already pretty tight and then you hit like that and it spasms a bit. But we'll be all right.
"Rough hit really for Sam. I saw him get taken wide there off the carousel and once I saw him starting to go around I knew he was going to get the outside wall and I kind of knew with what we saw with Jason Lefler in the Nationwide race. I was just trying to pick where to go. I don't know if there is any safe place to go from where I was sitting. I just nailed him. I tried to squeeze by him on the outside and there was just no way. Nailed him and spun him around like a top. It took a toll on my back. Nothing else hurts, everything else is good. It's jsut the back. Then I got into the outside wall the other side and was just sitting there in the track hoping nobody was going to hit me again."
ITS BEEN A TOUGH WEEKEND FOR YOU. "Sure. The only saving grace is that there are no road courses in the Chase. You want the bonus points. You want a good run. You want momentum. We just haven't been good here in quite some time. I think our car was actually decent today we just didn't qualify good enough to show for it. We moved up quite a few spots which is already tough to do on a road course. You don't see anybody passing unless they've got fresh tires out there. I got caught up in that first incident and that really messed up our strategy. We were making some ground up until that happened. I'm proud of the guys. We made improvements as the weekend went on. We'll just have to wait until the next time we come back here to show just how many improvements we really made?"
ARE YOU SORE? "Oh man, my left side and my back is super sore. It's going to take probably a couple of weeks for it to heal completely and then we'll be back to new. This happened at Dover when I hit the wall in Dover it was similar. This is a little bit different angle and it's hurting. Luckily we've got Michigan coming up next weekend. It's pretty easy on things."
WHAT'S YOUR FIRST REACTION AFTER SOMETHING LIKE THAT? "Well first reacation is man that hurt and then you hope you don't get hit again. I was just bracing myself. I saw cars that were still coming by pretty fast. As long as the car wasn't on fire I was good to sit in there until everybody went by.
"Then I just wanted to get out and see what kind of pain I was in with my back. I knew I was hurting and then was wondering is Sam (Hornish) was okay because he took a couple of heavy hits there. I saw Jeff Burton was in it too so just making sure everybody was alright and then get back here and go home."
HOW MUCH DO YOU PROTECT YOUR BACK NOW? "There's nothing you can do. You got to get out there and you've got to just hope you don't get into situations. It's not life-threatening or anything its just painful. I've had MRI's and everything else after these things and everything looks fine. It's just some spasms that go on. You've just got to calm that down but it doesn't just calm down by itself in a day. It really does take a couple of weeks."