JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA was involved in a crash during NSCS second practice session on Wednesday, and will go to a back-up for the Daytona 500. The back-up Chevy is Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout car, which also ran in the July...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA was involved in a crash during NSCS second practice session on Wednesday, and will go to a back-up for the Daytona 500. The back-up Chevy is Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout car, which also ran in the July '09 Daytona race.
THE CAR DOESN'T LOOK THAT BAD, BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO GO TO A BACK-UP? "Yeah, unfortunately the only thing I hit was the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) car. When he checked up, I got into him really hard, but it did some damage to the front-end of the car and we just can't get it 'right' here. So we know we've got a great race car in the truck. We'll bring it out and send this one back to Charlotte and let it be repaired the right way in Charlotte in case we need it after the Duels. So we have a good strategy. We certainly wanted to keep this car and from the outside it doesn't look all that damaged, but the nose is twisted and it just needs to be right if we're going to have it for a back-up down here."
HOW WILD & CRAZY IS IT OUT THERE RIGHT NOW? "I thought things were wild. And here's the biggest problem. Guys have different theories on where they want to blend on the race track. Some people stay on the bottom; others think they blend on the top, and either way there is a draft of 18 to 20 cars coming and we're like a snake weaving through these cars and cars coming in and off at different speeds. And I don't believe that's what caused this wreck, but there were a lot of other crazy moments because of that. I need to go to the tape and see what happened here because I was just riding along and thought everything was fine and the next thing you know, I was in the middle of it."
IDEALLY, WHERE SHOULD YOU BLEND OUT THERE ON THE RACE TRACK? "We really just need to pick one spot and have that be it. But I think the bottom, so that a slow car does not have to cross the outside lane; if all the slow cars would stay on the bottom until they are up to speed. And also they need to fall in at the tail end of the pack. To not have that big speed difference would be helpful. I think the bottom is the place to be."
CHAD KNAUS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA:
ON THE BACK-UP CAR "This car raced here (Daytona) in July 2009, and we finished second with it. And we ran in the Bud Shootout here just last weekend, last Saturday night. So we're just going to go through it and get it fixed up. We are fortunate we were able to keep this car. It's a good race car. We feel confident about it. We're going to send the other car back home (Charlotte) and get it fixed and have it back here tomorrow for a back-up for the 500.
WHAT REPAIRS WILL YOU MAKE TO THE PRIMARY CAR? "The nose is pushed up pretty high. When you come down off the banking at these speeds it just pushes the front of the car up; all the bars and all the stuff up high. To try to fix it here at the track there is just no way we can get it right. It's going to be back here tomorrow afternoon."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA was involved in a crash during Wednesday's first practice session and will go to a back-up car.
"The right front tire let go and we hit the outside wall hard. It's unfortunate because our primary Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy was pretty fast in the draft, but Shane (Wilson, crew chief) and the No. 33 guys are confident that our back-up car will still be strong. It's the same car we finished fourth with in last year's Daytona 500 and we're looking forward to tomorrow's Duel qualifier. We'll have to start in the back, but my teammates (Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick) are also in that race. We'll try to work together, push each other to the front and get the best starting spots we can for the Daytona 500."
-source: gm racing