Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon Score Top-Five Finishes at Bristol Team Chevy Drivers Hold Six of Top-12 Points Positions with Two Races Remaining Until Start of the Chase Bristol, TN -- Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Pennzoil Platinum Impala SS, continued...
Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon Score Top-Five Finishes at Bristol Team Chevy Drivers Hold Six of Top-12 Points Positions with Two Races Remaining Until Start of the Chase
Bristol, TN -- Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Pennzoil Platinum Impala SS, continued his methodical consistency to secure a solid place in the Chase with a fourth place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick sits eighth in the standings after tonight's 500-lap race.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, rebounded from disappointing runs in recent weeks to finish fifth in the Sharpie 500 in his battle for a spot in the Chase. The four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is ninth in the point standings.
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, rallied from receiving damage in a multi-car crash on lap 216 to finish seventh. The strong performance moved Bowyer to 12th in the standings and gives Team Chevy six of the top-12 points positions with two races remaining until the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Carl Edwards won his sixth race of the season and second consecutive. Kyle Busch was second and Denny Hamlin finished third.
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS, received heavy damage to the car in a multi-car accident on lap 195:
"I don't know what happened in front of me, two cars got together. I was getting in to the corner and the car behind me just didn't see it and ran over me. The AT&T Chevrolet was really good, we were really fast. Just taking our time, trying to be smart. You have to drive further than just about your hood, you have to look further ahead of you at Bristol. Whoever was behind me didn't see what was going on and got run over.
"Typical Bristol wreck. But if you look in front of you, you tend not to hit stuff. I was trying to be smart and cautious, but didn't do me any good, I got wrecked anyhow.
"We won't know how bad of a hit in the points we take until the race is over, but we were in pretty good shape in the points. Things like this are going to hurt you. There is nothing we could have done different tonight. We ran well, we got ourselves in to position and we got wrecked. You can't lose sleep over things like that. We will be ok."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST IMPALA SS, involved in a multi-car accident on lap 216:
"I like my spotter; he is a good guy, but man that's ridiculous. We took a bunch of cars out for no reason. I was just running along, heard clear, clear, clear and went up and there was someone still there. We just took out a bunch of cars for no reason and ourselves. I am pretty upset about it. There were a lot of people that got involved in that which shouldn't have been involved at all because it shouldn't have happened."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM IMPALA SS, STARTED 6TH, FINISHED 4TH:
"It was a really great night for our Pennzoil Platinum Chevrolet. The car was really loose at the beginning and then we got it dialed in as the race went on. It was a great run. Just would like to thank all my guys. We're peaking at the right time here and we'll be ready to go hopefully by the time we get in that Chase.
"It's a big night for the big picture. Always want to win but the whole Pennzoil Platinum Chevrolet guys, Todd and everybody did a great job. Car was off at the beginning. Good thing we qualified good. We were just way too loose and we got that fixed and came back and made a good night of it."
DID YOU GET CLOSE TO ANY OF THOSE WRECKS OR WERE YOU ABLE TO STAY AWAY FROM MOST OF THEM? "I was right in the middle of the one down here with Bowyer and the five and whoever else was in that wreck. Just got lucky there and shot for the right gap and it was still open. Just a good night for us. I don't know where that puts us in the points but hopefully we can go race them hard at Richmond."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS, STARTED 3RD, FINISHED 5TH: "Great top-five, definitely a great rebound from the last couple weeks. Real proud of the DuPont Chevrolet team. They fought hard. We just couldn't get the car freed up enough there at the end and brought it home fifth, so we will take that."
COULD YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED THERE AT THE END BETWEEN EDWARDS AND BUSCH. "I don't know. Not necessarily where I was at. I saw those guys racing pretty hard up front. Those are the guys to beat right now, so it's understandable. They're the guys that are going for the championship in a way because they're the ones that are going to get those bonus points and we're kind of all second or third best right now."
IT LOOKS LIKE IT WAS KIND OF A TAMER BRISTOL FOR YOU. "Well I never said that. You guys said that. I didn't say that you know. To me, it's different Bristol but it's just as exciting."
HOW MUCH DID YOU NEED THIS TONIGHT? "We needed it pretty bad. I could have fought a little harder for third and fourth with Denny (Hamlin) and Kevin (Harvick) but just wasn't worth it. We had to come home with a great finish, a top-five. Rather than getting together with Denny and Tony (Stewart) that one time we had a pretty uneventful night."
LAST WEEK YOU HAD A BAD DAY ON PIT ROAD, OR YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY ON PIT ROAD AND THE CAR WON'T BACK IT UP, WAS THIS THE FIRST TIME YOU WERE ABLE TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER? "Yeah. It wasn't the best race car that we put on the race track, but it was a really good race car. We had good track position through qualifying and great pit stops. Everything really worked out. It was kind of a flawless night in a way. We just didn't have the car to go up there and battle for the lead but still had a great car. A good night for us."
ARIC ALMIROLA, NO. 8 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, STARTED 23RD, FINISHED 13TH: "We had a good car. It is frustrating, we ran in the top-10. We started 23rd, worked our way up there methodically. It was a really good car. I don't know, we just couldn't do what we needed to do to get up there up in the top-five. The car took off really good on sticker tires and that was it, it wouldn't go. Once we ran like 30-laps on our tires, I couldn't go anywhere. We have to go to work on that; we have to figure out how to make our car last a little bit longer. It is what it is."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS, STARTED 22ND, FINISHED 7TH:
"That was a great night for the Jack Daniel's Chevrolet. We got caught up in someone else's mess and Gil and all the guys did an awesome job fixing the car so we could keep racing. It was a total team effort tonight. Our pit stops were awesome and the car was great. We came out of Bristol with a top 10 and we're back inside the top 12. It was a really, really good night."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS, STARTED 40TH, FINISHED 18TH:
"We struggled all night; I don't know what the deal was. The car handling pretty bad all night. We worked on it. It was a good race to watch. This is a good track man; they really did a good job reconfiguring it. I don't know, we have to get a little better man. That wasn't too good of a run there. I am not too proud of that, I was a little embarrassed. I figured we would be ok in the Chase. Man, we have to get our heads on straight, you know what I mean? Obviously we aren't doing things right here, we need to get smart and do it right. It was a tough night; it was tough to deal with."
-credit: gm racing