Winner Newman and Chevy drivers discuss Martinsville race

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Team Chevy Racing press release

Victory lane: race winner Ryan Newman, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Victory lane: race winner Ryan Newman, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE CHEVROLET – RACE WINNER: TELL US ABOUT THAT END OF THAT RACE. HOW DID YOU WIN IT? “Well, the first green-white-checkered, I told the guys on the radio, I said, ‘Listen, good job today. I’m not sure if I can bring it back,’ and that’s when the whole deal happened in Turn 1. But first of all, I’ve got to thank Outback and Chevrolet and Sprint for all they do for this series; and Coca-Cola and U.S. Army. We have some great sponsors this year. Quicken Loans, Wix Filters, Bass Pro shops, Tornados, Haas Automation and obviously the fans, who are a big part of this sport. I need to thank Hendrick as well for their support. Their engines are phenomenal; and Tony Stewart and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. It was an awesome day for the Outback Chevrolet.”

IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS GOING TO BE A SHOOTOUT BETWEEN THE NO. 24 (JEFF GORDON) AND THE NO. 48 (JIMMIE JOHNSON). HAD YOU GIVEN UP HOPE AT ANY POINT, OR DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A SHOT? “Well, it was. It was just circumstances with the No. 10 (David Reutimann) there doing what he did. I’m not sure what happened or if he ran out of fuel or had a problem whatever happened. Man those were some long green-flag runs. My left foot was ready to retire. But it was an awesome finish for us. We got circumstances there plus we were in the right position. The guys did a great job with the car.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET – FINISHED 3rd WALK US THROUGH THE END “Well, I don’t know what happened. The No. 15 (Clint Bowyer) dove to the bottom and it’s his right. He was doing what he wanted to do to try and win the race. It’s a green-white-checkered and that’s what you’re going to get here. So I think Clint did what he had to do. It just caused a little bit of trouble on the outside down there and we ran into the No. 24 (Gordon). But I just don’t know what the No.10 (Reutimann) was thinking with a broken sway bar and driving around there at 15 mph for two or three laps. Come on pit road; hell, how many laps down are you? Get on pit road. Get out of the race. It shouldn’t have ended like that. It was unfortunate.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – FINISHED 7TH ON RYAN NEWMAN’S WIN: “I’m ecstatic for Ryan. I got to see it on the replay during the caution after all the havoc broke loose. Ryan made an awesome move to the bottom. He was heads up enough to get in the gas and get through that hole before it closed up. He definitely earned this one, for sure.”

ON HIS RACE: “Unfortunately, we had our worse run of the day the last run of the day. We got behind there and got a lap down, but clawed back to get the lucky dog and rallied back to seventh.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 MYLOWE’S CHEVROLET – FINISHED 12TH YOU DROVE WELL ENOUGH TO WIN AND YOU HAD A CAR GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN. TAKE US THROUGH THE CRASH “We just restarted and got going. That inside lane is awfully inviting at times to dive-bomb on people. The No. 15 (Clint Bowyer) threw a dive-bomb in there. I’m sure once he got in there and realized it wasn’t the best idea. It turned me around. It turned the No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) around. But it is what it is. It’s short track racing. I certainly wish it wouldn’t have happened and I wish Clint was more patient there getting started on the restart, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. We’ve still got a decent finish out of it and so we’ll take some decent points. I really thought we had a chance to get Rick (Hendrick) his 200th win today and it is just unfortunate that this MyLowes Chevrolet is all beat-up and didn’t have a chance to get the trophy.”

IT LOOKED LIKE NEWMAN GOT IN THE BACK OF BOWYER THERE AND DID THAT AFFECT THE CHAOS? “I don’t know but the inside on restarts is vulnerable and once you come here enough, and you get screwed a couple times, you realize it’s not the thing to do and every once in a while someone will try to take the carrot and it will end up in a crash. There really is no successful way for it to work and today was proof of that. He went for the dive-bomb and I am sure once he got in there alongside the 24 he realized that the way the curbing comes out…..there is no lane. There is no room when you make that move and there is plenty of room on the straight, but once you get in there it’s over the curb, into the 24, and away we went.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU GUYS TO HAVE THE DOMINANT CARS ALL DAY LONG AND COME UP SHORT? “It’s just unfortunate with something stupid, last-ditch effort, dive-bomb or something along those lines wipes you out. But when you race long enough, you know that stuff happens. My frustration and certainly Jeff’s (Gordon) is to be the class of the field all day long and be up front and have something stupid like this take us out is frustrating and we want to get this 200th win for Rick real bad and we could have been 1-2 today easily.”

WHAT WERE YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS WHEN THAT HAPPENED ON THAT FINAL RESTART? “It can happen now and then. Some people take that opportunity on a restart. It looks cool on the straightaway and it looks like there is room, but once you get to the corner there is no room. Guys typically don’t make that move because you are on the curb on that inside lane when you drive in there like that so when I heard three-wide it was pretty late and I didn’t have anywhere to go and I was just hoping Clint wouldn’t hit the curb and I didn’t know who it was honestly, and then I felt the 24 come up into me and I knew we were in trouble.”

WERE YOU A LITTLE WORRIED BECAUSE YOU KNEW THEY HAD FRESH TIRES BEHIND YOU AND YOU WERE EXPECTING IT? “No, I didn’t know what the tire situation was to be honest with you. Jeff and I had been the class of the field so I really thought it was going to be a race between the two of us and it certainly didn’t turn out that way.”

IS IT FRUSTRATING GIVEN ALL THAT YOU HAD COME BACK FROM TODAY INCLUDING THE SPEEDING PENALTY AND THE STALL ON PIT ROAD? “Yeah, I passed more race cars than anyone today and it shows how fast of a race car I had. I wish the results were different but everybody knows the MyLowes Chevy was fast today and we worked traffic awfully well.”

TELL US ABOUT RACING JEFF GORDON AND HOW MUCH YOU GUYS WANTED TO WIN #200 FOR RICK HENDRICK “Definitely. I started to get loose in after that run and started adjusting my brakes and it helped my entry but it killed my center of the corner and in a matter of 2-3 laps after I made my adjustments to the brake bias, he was on me and inside me and I was like ‘oh man!’. Then I felt like I could keep him pinned down on the inside and at least stay door-to-door with him to the checkered and it would be an exciting finish for everyone. But the caution came out and we re-racked everything, mixed it all up, and we had a big wreck.”

ISN’T THERE A DRIVER CODE TO GET OFF THE TRACK WHEN YOU HAVE PROBLEMS OR SITUATIONS? “I didn’t even know. I didn’t even know what it was or where he stopped. Sometimes you just can’t get down safely so I will just have to look at it and see.”

WHAT IS THE FEELING INSIDE THE RACE CAR WHEN A TURN OF EVENTS LIKE THAT HAPPENS? “Lot of cussing (laughs). Lot of frustration. Upset about what happens especially when it happens like it did with a last-minute, dive-bomb, and hope-that-it-works type thing. That stuff is just no fun.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVER TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET - FINISHED 14TH WHAT DID YOU AND CLINT BOWYER TALK ABOUT? “Clint (Bowyer) is a friend of mine. He is a great race car driver. It was not like him to do that. He said he got a hit from behind from the No. 39. I didn’t get the best restart. The tires are really old. I spun the tires a slight bit. When I saw him go down to the inside of me I knew we were all in trouble. All I could do was just hold on tight. The No. 48 couldn’t go anywhere, I couldn’t go anywhere. He was just coming with so much speed. It won the race for the No. 39. Yeah, that’s Martinsville right?”

HOW FRUSTRATING WAS THAT THINKING YOU HAD IT? “It’s pretty frustrating. Such a hard fought race, we had the car to beat early on for most of the race. I knew Jimmie (Johnson) towards the end would be tough. He always is. He proved that, but we just stalked him and stalked him and stalked him. I saw him start to get a little bit loose getting in. I was loose getting off. I was able to get inside of him. I wish there hadn’t of been a caution. I think we had the race right there. I still thought we had it on the restart. Like I said I didn’t get the best restart, but I wasn’t expecting somebody to be shoved to the inside of me and take it three-wide.”

YOU WENT AND TALKED TO CLINT BOWYER WHAT DID YOU SAY? “Clint (Bowyer) and I are friends. I have a lot of respect for him; he is a great race car driver. I’m glad I talked to him before I talked to you guys (the media). I was pretty mad at him. He said he got hit from behind from the No. 39. I heard that from my team as well. I didn’t get the best restart. When he first shoved his nose down there I thought ‘ok we will make it work’, but when he came through there with so much speed there was no way. I had nowhere to go; Jimmie (Johnson) had nowhere to go. It is pretty unfortunate. I didn’t want to see that last caution. We had such a great battle with the No. 48. He is so tough here. To be able to get up beside of him, I had to rough him up a little bit. I felt like I had the position to get the lead. Our car was pretty good on entry, his car was better on exit. It was going to be an interesting race. That’s just the way our year has been going. It can’t go like this forever. We are just going to keep working, keep bringing race cars like that Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet right there and we will be fine.”

CAN YOU BELIEVE AFTER THE WAY YOU GUYS WERE DOMINATE AND YOU COME OUT OF HERE AND THE 200 WIN HATS DO NOT COME OUT AGAIN? “That’s Martinsville, green-white-checkered. There are no guarantees at this place. Anytime they stack them up like that you know it is going to get ugly in the first couple of corners. I was just hoping to get a decent start. I got a good jump, but then the tires spun. I didn’t know if Clint (Bowyer) had a big run or what happened. I guess he got a run and then the No. 39 gave him a pretty big shot. It pretty much took us all out there.”

DID CLINT (BOWYER) APOLOGIZE? WHAT WAS YOUR CONVERSATION ABOUT? “He wasn’t really apologizing he was just explaining to me what happened. I’m glad I talked to him. I like Clint (Bowyer). Who doesn’t like Clint Bowyer? He is just one of those guys that everybody likes. I love racing with him. It was unlike him to do that. I was pretty mad at the time, but after understanding what happened, I wouldn’t blame it on him. It’s still unfortunate, it doesn’t change things. We had a great race, a great race car and that is all we can do is hold our heads up high and go from here.”

TALK ABOUT RACING JIMMIE (JOHNSON) FOR THE 200TH WIN FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS. THE TWO OF YOU WANTED IT SO BAD. “It was pretty intense. You could see both of us how hard we were driving how bad we wanted that. You saw (Dale Earnhardt) Junior doing the same thing earlier in the race. I thought he was the car to beat. When he got by me, I couldn’t touch him. When Jimmie (Johnson) got out there, we made an adjustment on that last pit stop that I didn’t think was working that well for us. But it seemed like over the long run our car really stayed strong. Jimmie started getting loose getting in. He got into some lap traffic. He started kind of running defensive and when he did that I really was able to gain on him. I got inside of him and kind of shoved him up the race track. I didn’t want to see the caution come out from that point on. I thought we had the position to get the lead right there.”

TAKE ME THROUGH THAT RESTART AND THE CONVERSATION WITH CLINT BOWYER: “Restarts at Martinsville with old tires and a green-white-checkered is always going to be exciting and intense. Rarely does the leader win it (laughs). I was just hoping to get a good restart. I got a good jump, but then I spun the tires. I knew he was right there. I moved down a little bit but when he just shot down there I guess he got hit from behind. At that point I was just a passenger. It was unfortunate that it ended the way it did for us. It was sure a great day, something we can really hold our head up high about.”

I KNOW CLINT (BOWYER) CAME OVER AND HE REALLY WANTED TO TALK TO YOU, PEACEFUL CONVERSATION? “He just explained his side of it. I will be honest; Clint (Bowyer) and I have had some great races over the years. I mean tight battles running sideways there is nobody I respect more from just racing hard out there than him. I feel like he has the same for me. When he explained what happened and he is already just hard to get mad at because the guy is just so funny (laughs). We weren’t laughing right there, but I was glad I was able to talk to him before I talked to anybody else.”

ON THE RADIO YOU WERE PRETTY AGGRAVATED. NOW YOU HAVE CALMED DOWN A LITTLE BIT? “I’m sure everybody will play the radio. When you are on the radio you don’t know what happened. All you know is that you got wrecked. I saw the video a little bit up on the screen. Allan (Gustafson) was talking to me about kind of what happened. Then that backed up what Clint (Bowyer) just said there. It’s unfortunate, but that is Martinsville.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PERSON WHO PEOPLE ARE BLAMING FOR THE ACCIDENT ENDING UP WINNING THE RACE? “(Laughs) That is just racing. It happens sometimes like that. If it was meant to be we would be sitting in Victory Lane right now. Obviously, it wasn’t meant to be.”

THAT LAST CAUTION CAME OUT BECAUSE (DAVID) REUITIMANN DIDN’T GET TO THE PITS WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON THAT? “I don’t know anything about that.”

WILL YOU TALK TO (RYAN) NEWMAN? DID HE GET OVER AGGRESSIVE THERE? “No. That was two cars back behind me. I could sit here and say he ran in the No. 15 and sent Clint (Bowyer) sliding down and took three of us out. There is no use in talking about it. It is just hard racing. Guys trying to get every edge they can. Sometimes they do things that win them the race, sometimes you do things that cause wrecks and sometimes you do both.”

DAVID REUITIMANN, NO. 10 ACCELL CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET – FINISHED 35TH “Number one, I just hate it. I don't even know how the race ended up finishing, but I just hate that I was involved in anything that changed the complexion of the race so I got to apologize to the guys that it affected. It broke a tie rod or something like that. I was just trying to limp around there. We needed to finish next couple of laps to try to stay in the top 35. Then the motor had been breaking up for the last couple of laps. Broke a timing belt or whatever down the back straightaway, and the motor just quit. I would not have stopped on the freaking racetrack. I would have limped it around there and come to pit road, which is what I was trying to do. The thing quit going down the back straightaway, and it shut off. I just didn't stop there intentionally. I know it sucks. I hate it for everybody that it affected, but I mean I can't get out and push the thing. You know, it shut off. It's that simple. Gosh, I can't believe I'm -- I was just trying to finish the day out and trying to stay in top 35, which is why we were trying to limp around out there. They gave me the black flag. We were coming to pit road, and it shut off. And that's far as I could go.”

REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/CSX PLAY IT SAFE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 16TH ON HIS RACE: "We got behind early and due to a lack of cautions it was hard to make up ground in our Furniture Row/CSX Play it Safe Chevrolet. But during the late stages it seemed that things started to click for us. Sound pit strategy and quick stops were the key as we gained a number of positions to finish 16th. Again, this Furniture Row Racing team stayed patient and fought for every position. We always want better than 16th, but considering how we started and where we were at for a long time I consider it a respectable result. "

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET – SIDELINED WITH AN ENGINE FAILURE ON LAP 256:

THIS HAS TO BE A VERY DISAPPOINTING DAY. TELL US WHAT WAS GOING ON THERE WITH THE CAR? “We had a great Hendrickcars.com Chevy. Really fast and the best I had ever been here. Engine was running great and we were just battling a little loose. We needed another pit stop to get that right and we could battle with Jeff (Gordon). It was fun driving and we had a small engine problem that turned into a big one on the backstretch and just shut off and I had oil on my tires when I hit pit road. I just didn’t want to oil the whole surface for all the guys out there so I just shot to the pits and it went spinning and it wasn’t a big deal because I didn’t hit anything luckily.”

HOW DISAPPOINTING IS IT THAT THE BAD LUCK JUST KEEPS CONTINUING? “Well I mean it is and it isn’t. I am upset that we haven’t run great this year, but we are great on Friday and Saturday, we were fast again today, and we have the speed so when it’s our time we will be ready to take advantage of it. “

ARE YOU CONCERNED WITH THE OTHER HENDRICK CARS GIVEN YOUR PROBLEM? “I’m sticking around for the 200th win today. I think it’s going to be today. These Hendrick cars are strong today.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags chevrolet, earnhardt, gordon, johnson, newman