Homestead: Johnson, Knaus post-accident quotes

Note: Chase contender Jimmie Johnson retired after an accident on Lap 125. Jimmie Johnson -- ...

Note: Chase contender Jimmie Johnson retired after an accident on Lap 125.

Jimmie Johnson -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet

RE: DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED? It (the right rear tire) just exploded down the backstretch. But I didn't have a soft tire, so I'm not really sure what happened or why. But maybe it equalized or was coming apart. But either way, we're out of this deal and I feel terrible for all the guys at Lowe's and Hendrick Motorsports. I'm very proud of everyone. They put up a strong fight. But that's big time auto racing. Stuff happens.

DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU RAN OVER ANYTHING AT ANY POINT THAT MAY HAVE INDICATED THERE COULD BE A PROBLEM? No. When I took off on that restart, I started going backwards. Something was up. We were about three seconds off the pace on that restart and had just put new tires on. I was coming down the backstretch going into Turn 3 the right rear just exploded and around I went. It just wasn't meant to be, I guess.

CAN YOU GET BACK OUT THERE? Yeah, we're going to take a look at things. The calipers are blown off. There is quite a bit of work. So I'm not sure what we'll be able to do. We wanted the big trophy. We don't care about anything else.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "I look back at the season and we did everything we could. I'm disappointed, but very proud of my team and everybody involved. It's just too bad. We'll be back next year.

Note: the team made a decision after the above interview that the #48 car would not return to the track.

Chad Knaus -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet
Crew Chief

RE: DO YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WAS WRONG? No, we didn't know what was wrong. We had to, obviously, hold out as long as we could. We asked him if it was a tire going flat, and he said no, it wasn't going soft. So, the tire must have delaminated or came apart. We looked at it a little bit and it looks like it was shearing, like the rubber was starting to come off of it, but it wasn't going soft.

HOW WAS THE RACE GOING FOR YOU UP UNTIL THAT POINT? Oh, it was going great. We were passing cars and running speeds comparable with the guys in the top even when we were running 25th or 26th. So, he was going forward. I was real happy with it. The last pit stop we were running, I think, eighth or ninth. And then the tire started to go south or whatever went on there.

WILL YOU GUYS BOUNCE BACK FROM THIS NEXT YEAR? That's a silly question. This is the best team in Motorsports. We can bounce back from anything, easy. We've gone through more trials and tribulations as a team than any other team has possibly tried to overcome, and we have overcome it all. And this is a championship caliber team and it has been since its inception, thanks to Mr. Hendrick and Jeff Gordon and everybody that put it together. So, we'll come back next year and battle for the championship.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS RIGHT NOW? It's sad. It's disappointing. You work a long time all season long to get this championship and we've been in this position since this team was first born. Since 2002 we've battled for the championship. So, as long as we keep doing that, consistency will sooner or later pay off for us. And we'll get the trophy, it's just hasn't been meant to be just yet.

Per Greg Stucker, director for Goodyear Racing

"Prior to the accident of the #48 car, two drivers on the track radioed in that the right rear tire appeared to be low for several laps. Upon examination by Goodyear tire engineers, the tire had an obvious sidewall overdeflection, which is common with a punctured tire."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Chad Knaus
Teams Hendrick Motorsports