Chevy NSCS at Talladega One: Post race notes and quotes

Danica Patrick: "It was a hot day here in Talladega."


TELL US ABOUT THE LAST FEW LAPS OF THAT RACE AND HOW WILD IT WAS: “Yeah first off I have to thank everybody at RCR and ECR motors. Just so much speed in the race car. I’ve got to thank everybody at the No. 47 shop for doing such hard work and preparing this car so well. The previous restart the outside lane had such a run. I kept inching, inching and then I just waited too late and I got shuffled. I really thought I had messed us up there and that last restart I’ve got to thank Paul Menard. He just kept shoving me all the way up through the inside of guys. Just proud of everybody on this team. I’ve got to thank Bush’s Bean and Clorox and Kingsford, Charter, House Autry, Shore lunch, Scott products everybody that helps us get to this race track and all the great sponsors we have on this team. We are slowly getting there each step day by day. I’m just proud to be on this team right now.”

WAS THE RACING TODAY TYPICAL TALLADEGA OR WERE THERE THINGS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN THE PAST? “These cars the package we have now drafts so well. I kept waiting for everybody to kind of calm down and single file out. I went to the back at one point, like everybody is going to calm down and it never happened. About 50 to go I was like ‘alright I guess it’s time to get crazy with everybody’. I hope the fans enjoyed it. It was awesome to see all the fans come out and how packed the grandstands were here at Talladega. It’s like the old Talladega again so thanks for everybody coming out. I hope it was a great show.”


ON HIS DAY: “We had a really fast Richmond/Menards/Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Chevrolet all weekend. All the RCR/ECR motors qualified up front and we tried to stay up there as long as we could. Kind of got shuffled back and I just played the game when to go/when not to go. I got some damage, maybe 50 laps to go and we were trying to get back up there. We had a good run. Got a little bit of damage, but my boys worked really hard, fixed it. I think we pitted like five or six times to get all the fenders knocked out on it. It was really good at the end. On the last restart just pushed the hell out of AJ (Allmendinger) and wound up being okay.”


TOP TEN-FINISH HERE AT TALLADEGA. ASSESS WHAT HAPPENED HERE TODAY: “We were in a good spot there at the end and what you would want to put yourself in a position to win. I felt like I got a good restart with our Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, but our line just never formed up. The 40 was way out of line and obviously there was some crashing going on behind us. The bottom was able to get formed up better but a good, solid day for our Jimmy Johns team.”


ON HIS DAY: “We had a really good car. The Farmers Insurance Chevy was fast, just didn’t get to the front when I needed to there with like 30 (laps) to go probably. From that point on we were in the back. We just had to wait for wrecks to happen. It was kind of you either charge through and move people a little bit and aggressively do it or else you just wait. I chose to wait and we ended up wherever we ended up. I wish it would have went to the line though because I think we had good momentum me and Ricky (Stenhouse, Jr.) and Paul Menard.”


ON HIS DAY: “We were solidly running in the top-10 but got into the wrong spot on the (final) restart. We managed to get a good start but the guy behind me didn’t and it just pulled me back. When there’s no one behind you it's difficult to get going. I tried to stay on the No. 18’s bumper (Kyle Busch) and got going with him but as I got up through the gears I started to fall off. That screwed us up and put us on the outside lane three wide. For some reason our car wouldn’t work on the outside all day -- we had to run the middle and the bottom. It just came down to being in the wrong place at the wrong time on the green-white-checker. Except for those last two laps it was a good day. We raced hard and ran a lot of laps in the top-10.”


YOU LED A LOT OF LAPS HERE EARLY ON IN THE RACE TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAY: “It was good out front. I wish I could have stayed there. I was just talking about heating issues I was getting hot a lot. I think you saw that from a lot of cars. It was a hot day here in Talladega. When you get back a little bit in the field it gets even worse. I think I was the second lane like second car back real early on and it just felt like it kind of died a little bit. Then I started getting passed. So I dropped back to get some clean air. Got some track position, a couple of times and got up there a little bit, but heating was definitely an issue.

It really limited me to the bottom lane. Because as soon as I jumped up it went there. It was a good car to lead which is something that as a team we struggled with as a car that could lead. I felt good about that. It was good to get the GoDaddy car to lead some laps because it had been awhile and we missed a lot of accidents. The good news is this car is going to get to go to Daytona. That is a positive. The result was not necessarily too much of a positive, but it’s going to get rolled up on the truck so that is more than a lot of people can say coming from a speedway.”


“We all did a nice job of being patient out there and managing the race itself until it was time to go. I got caught-up in the first wreck and that did some damage; and I don’t know what happened when I spun out. I just went out in front of everybody. The car just got real loose going into Turn 3 and turned around and collected a bunch of guys, unfortunately. And then after that, I think I got in two more wrecks and somehow still came home in the twenties. So, we definitely have a beat-up race car which was unfortunate because we had a very fast Lowe’s/Valspar Chevrolet today.”

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU SPUN? “We just got turned around. I’m not really sure why. I know I had some damage to the right rear quarter panel and I had a great-driving race car with no issues and then as I was coming through Turn 3, the back end just slid out from under me. So, I don’t know where cars were around me and what could have created it, but it just took a big lazy slide and the back came around.

“I don’t know if the damage to the car played into it because I didn’t have any handling issues all day long. The car drove great.”

CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW THE AGGRESSIVENESS INCREASES THROUGHOUT THE DAY? “As the day progresses throughout the day, you just try to wedge yourself into holes. You don’t lift when you might normally lift. When you have a big run on somebody, instead of dragging the brake a little and avoiding making contact, you just let it roll up in there and hit their bumper; and that energy there creates a lot of that action.”


THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT WEREN’T VERY THRILLED WITH HIM. HOW ABOUT YOU? “I wasn’t so thrilled that a car six laps down crashed the field, that aspect of it. But I get it. You’re trying to get your laps back. But I didn’t have any big run-in with him except for unfortunately being caught up in that wreck.”



YOU LOOKED LIKE YOU SWUNG TO THE OUTSIDE AND THEN THE NO. 98 JUMPED UP IN FRONT OF YOU. DID THAT KILL YOUR MOMENTUM TO GET TO THE FRONT? “Anytime anyone jumps in front of you on the outside line you are not going to shove them out there, especially a car like that. I wanted to help him but it just killed us. You have to have that track position at the end and we just didn’t have it. I knew we were going to be sitting there in 15th at the end and get boxed in or wrecked. We missed a lot of guys that crashed and didn’t tear up our car so we will go to Daytona with this car and try to manage a strategy where we are not giving up 25 positions in the last 30 laps of the race. You have to be up front the entire race if you can. Those guys at the end; the 15, 16, and 11….well the 15 drove up through there. But the 11 and the 16 – those guys managed it real good.”

DID YOU HAVE FUN TODAY? “Yeah, I had fun. I’m just a little disappointed that we didn’t have a better opportunity there. I would have loved to be able to stay out with the No. 16 (Greg Biffle) and the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) and those guys. I didn’t know how close we were on fuel. Steve (Letarte) didn’t think we could make it so we came in and got fuel. But we come out too far behind. It’s hard to drive up through there. The track is three-wide forever. You know they’re going to crash and I can’t afford to wreck anymore here. So, you’ve just got to pick your battles. And I felt like we were better off not getting in a wreck and trying to stay back there. And if we had an opportunity to get a run, we took it; but that one we had just got blocked by the No. 98 (Josh Wise) and with two (laps) to go, you’re not going to get another run.”

YOU ALWAYS LIKE PACK RACING. HOW HAS THE CHALLENGE CHANGED COMING BACK TO FRONT? “It’s different every time. Today it was really, really hard. If you watched the racing and after every time we’d pit, whoever was in the top five usually stayed there throughout that whole run. You wouldn’t see guys driving up through there taking the lead. So, it was very frustrating to be sitting there boxed in with really nowhere to go and even when you had clean air in front of you, you just couldn’t get runs and do things. But I thought we really had it played out really well there. We were up front and took the lead and we were two laps short or something on fuel and Steve (Letarte) wanted us to come down pit road and get some fuel. So, it’s just real hard to get back up through there after that. I just didn’t feel confident we could do it without getting in a crash.”

RISK WASN’T WORTH THE REWARD? “Not to me. We already got a win and like I said, I’ve been in too many late-race wrecks. I didn’t want to be no part of it. And there were three or four there we dodged pretty good. So, we’ve got a car in one piece. We’ll go to Daytona. You’ve just got to have the strategy right to where we’re up front at the end of these races and in the lead or around the top three or four there, inside the last fuel window, to have a shot at it.”

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Paul Menard , Josh Wise , Danica Patrick , Kyle Busch
Article type Race report
Tags aj allmendinger, brad keselowski, dale earnhardt jr., danica patrick, jimmie johnson, kasey kahne, kevin harvick, martin truex jr, nascar-cup, paul menard, talladega