Jamie McMurray Finishes Third at Bristol, Jeff Gordon Clinches Spot in Chase Bristol, Tenn (August 21, 2010) - Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, moved to 13th in the point standings with a solid third-place finish tonight in the ...
Jamie McMurray Finishes Third at Bristol, Jeff Gordon Clinches Spot in Chase
Bristol, Tenn (August 21, 2010) - Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, moved to 13th in the point standings with a solid third-place finish tonight in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. With two races remaining until the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, McMurray is 100 points out of the top-12 Chase positions.
Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, clinched a spot in the 2010 Chase with his 11th place run tonight.
Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, finished fourth in tonight's 500-lap/266.5-mile race. He is 12th in the standings after 24 races.
Ryan Newman, No. 39 Wix Filters Chevrolet, continued to battle for a spot in the Chase with a strong sixth place run tonight. He is 15th in the standings, 118 points behind Bowyer.
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet, was seventh at the checkered flag to give Team Chevy four of the top-10 finishers.
Points leader Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, battled a loose race car for the majority of the night but came home in 14th place. He holds a 279-point lead.
After on-track contact forced him to pit road for repairs, two-time NSCS champion Tony Stewart brought the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet to the finish in 27th place. He dropped to sixth in the standings.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, also fought handling problems all night. He finished 16th and remains seventh in the standings.
Four-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, finished 35th and dropped to ninth in points after contact on-track send him hard into the wall and to the garage for repairs. He returned to the track 70 laps down.
Mark Martin, No. 5 CARQUEST Auto Parts/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, dropped to 14th in the standings after handling issues relegated him to the 23rd finishing position, 101 points out of 12th.
Kyle Busch (Toyota) was the race winner.David Reutimann (Toyota) and Kasey Kahne (Ford) completed the top-five finishers.
After the final off weekend of the season, the Series' resumes action at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010.
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD:
ULTIMATELY WHAT KEPT YOU FROM GETTING KYLE THERE AT THE END AND CATCHING REUTIMANN AS WELL? "We put the last set of tires on and we did it under green and the front tires just felt flat the whole time and I had lots of grip but the balance felt real tight. It was a real good night for our Bass Pro Shops Chevy. We had Johnny Morris, his boy and some friends here tonight and they have been at every race that we have won and I knew that we had a really good car after happy hour was over and when I saw Johnny here I was like, 'we have a good car, and you have been good luck so you never know.' And honestly at one point there I thought we were going to have the car to beat at the end but we just didn't have the speed we needed."
THIRTEENTH IN POINTS AND I KNOW YOU ARE STILL 100 AWAY FROM THAT 12TH SPOT. CAN YOU DO IT IN 2 RACES? "I don't know everybody worries about points but every time I do we struggle. I appreciate you telling me how far we are out but it is really irrelevant. We have had a great season and in two races a lot can happen. And fortunately there is only one guy you have to beat now and when you have four or five in between you it makes it a lot harder but that is cool, the cars are fast right now."
YOU MAKE UP A LITTLE BIT OF GROUND AND NOW YOU'RE IN 13TH "Yeah, I let Bono worry about the points. He's really worried about that and I haven't paid any attention to it. That's a lot of stress that you can put on yourself when you're worried about points. So I'll let Bono and those guys worry about it and we'll just worry about racing the car."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH:
ON HAVING A GOOD RUN? "It was a well-needed run. It was a good way to bounce back. It was a bummer we didn't get to experience a good race the last time we were here. I love this race track. I love competing here."
HOW DO YOU LEAVE HERE? "We've got two races to go. Two good race tracks -- I love Atlanta, run well there, and I love Richmond, run well there. With any luck at all, we'll be in this thing."
TALK ABOUT COMING BACK FROM THE PIT ROAD SPEEDING PENALTY: "We all talked before the race. This is a team effort and it's going to take a team effort to get ourselves in the Chase. They did their job on pit road; they did their job all weekend long. I promised them I would do my job."
DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE A TEAM THAT CAN CONTEND FOR A TITLE? "RCR is an organization that can contend for a championship. We've seen my teammate (Kevin Harvick) capitalize and show our potential at RCR all season long. Jeff (Burton) and I can compete at their level. One of us should bring home a championship. It's the best shot we've had since I've been at RCR. I look forward to it."
YOU BATTLED ALL NIGHT LONG, DIDN'T YOU? "Yeah, I messed up in the pits and got us a pit road speed penalty. But the guys responded good. We had a good weekend with the Hamburger Helper Chevrolet and I'm just proud of our effort. This is exactly what we needed and the boys did a good job. Kyle Busch? Little turd! Three races right here at Bristol; that's pretty cool, love him or hate him!"
YOU'VE BUILT YOURSELF A LITTLE CUSHION WITH 2 RACES TO GO BEFORE THE CHASE "Well, it's a little bit of cushion. Jamie McMurray is 13th now behind me and he beat me tonight. But we've just got to keep doing what we're doing. If we do that, I don't think they can catch us."
YOU FOUGHT A LOOSE RACE CAR AND A SPEEDING PENALTY, HOW DID YOU GET HERE? "The speeding penalty was my fault and I apologized to the guys but I had to get up on the wheel and make up for them but the Hamburger Helper Chevrolet was good all weekend long and the guys did a good job and this is what we have to do and we are in a pressure cooker and the guys are responding good and I told them to have fun with this, this is my favorite race track and we had fun with it and it wasn't quite what we wanted but a top-five run is pretty good.
"And I will tell you what, love him or hate him but the little turd did pretty good. Three races in a row and winning right here, that is quite a feat to accomplish."
SEEMED LIKE IT WAS TYPICAL BRISTOL TONIGHT AS YOU WERE IN THE MIX THEN OUT OF THE MIX AND YOU ENDED UP IN THE MIX. HOW DO YOU FOCUS ALL NIGHT AND DO THIS? "You know this is short track racing at its best. You just have to go out there and race as hard as you can and take what it gives you and just never give up. You never know the outcome of this thing and I just knew the caution was going to come out and shake things up and we were going to have to play strategy and hold on but it didn't and it was still a good night for us and I am proud of the guys."
OKAY NOW YOU HAVE ANOTHER PURSUER, JAIME MCMURRAY IS NOW THE 13TH PLACE GUY BUT 100 PTS BACK WITH TWO TO GO, HOW DO YOU ASSESS IT? "Well you know, again our cars are running well and a 100 points is a lot. It's a lot more than 35 and he did a good job tonight and he drove a good race, his car was good and I expect they will be but Mark Martin and Ryan Newman are not out of this thing yet either. We just have to keep digging and doing what we are doing and they are not going to catch us."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH:
WAS IT A GOOD POINTS DAY FOR YOU? "Well, not really because (Clint) Bowyer finished in front of us. If we could have kept Bowyer out of that situation, we would have gained on Mark (Martin) and Bowyer. That is neither here nor there. It was a good team effort for everyone on this Wix Filters Chevrolet. We can't expect to make everything up in one race. Another top-10 effort on a concrete track is good for our team. We'll just go on into Atlanta."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: "We had a top-five car, it just hard to get track position with people short pitting and just hard to make that up at the end. Overtaking here is so difficult. But I think, it was where we didn't have car enough to win, but I think we had the car to run where we were all day. It is a bit of a shame, we ran top five all day and finished seventh, that kind of sucks, but we brought our Target Chevy back in one piece so that is pretty good."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11TH: ON TONIGHT'S RACE "We drove up through there, got up to the top-five or six but couldn't maintain it. Got really, really loose on the long runs. We fought it. We had a lot of long runs tonight that didn't do us any favors tonight. We finally started to get it there at the end. That last pit stop cycle kind of pinned us in and we got shuffled back. We didn't expect to come here to win. We've really struggled here at Bristol the last several runs. I felt like we were better tonight. I am really looking forward to going to Atlanta, I think we have a great shot to win there."
YOU CLINCHED FOR THE CHASE TONIGHT: "It is always good. We've had a heck of a season. Very consistent runs and strong runs. We haven't won yet, I still think we have a heck of a shot at the championship. I am really happy to be in the Chase again. Right now we are focused on wins and bonus points and I am a little disappointed with an 11th place finish tonight but it wasn't from a lack of effort, that is for sure.
"I hope these fans here had a lot of fun because it was a lot of fun to race. There were a lot of great battles. They have so many amazing fans here in Bristol so thanks for that."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE TEAM'S MOMENTUM WITH TWO RACES UNTIL THE START OF THE CHASE? "We didn't expect to come here and win. This has been a real struggle for us. This new car, the long greens here at Bristol. We just haven't been the same with our DuPont Chevrolet. There is a lot of work and effort we are putting in, it is a process. We keep trying and I felt like we were better tonight. Hopefully we will be better next time we come back. I think we have tracks coming up that are really good for us."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 35TH: WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE WITH YOU AND JUAN PABLO? "It was a restart so everybody is out there running hard and we came down the back and I have to look at the video but I think I left him enough room on the outside lane there. And we were on the straightaway there for a little bit and all the sudden I got hooked with force, it wasn't like we bumped and banged and I squeezed him. But we were on the straightaway and everything was fine and then around I went so I don't think it was something intentional and I don't think he was trying to dump me but I will just have to look at things and see. I really felt like I left him the room."
WE SAW FELIX SABATES COME OVER AND TALK TO YOU WHEN YOU CLIMBED OUT OF THE CAR, JUAN PABLO'S CO-OWNER, WHAT DID HE HAVE TO SAY? "He apologized and he said that Juan Pablo felt really bad so I am not sure what that may mean but I don't believe it was intentional. The Ganassi guys, Chip, Juan...........we are all friendly and I hate for something like that to happen and I look forward to looking at the video and seeing what really went on because I am really disappointed because I felt we really had a shot at winning this thing."
-source: gm racing