Jimmie Johnson Wins at Las Vegas to Score Back-to-Back wins in 2010; Kevin Harvick Remains Points Leader with Second Consecutive Runner-up Finish of Season Las Vegas - February 28, 2010 - Jimmie Johnson continued to roll with momentum by taking...
Jimmie Johnson Wins at Las Vegas to Score Back-to-Back wins in 2010; Kevin Harvick Remains Points Leader with Second Consecutive Runner-up Finish of Season
Las Vegas - February 28, 2010 - Jimmie Johnson continued to roll with momentum by taking his No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Impala to victory lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). His victory in the Shelby American was his second consecutive win in 2010 and his fourth victory on the 1.5-mile track.
In scoring his 49th career win, the four-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion became the all-time winning driver on 1.5-mile tracks. The trip to victory lane moved Johnson to 12th on the NSCS all-time race win list, one race behind NASCAR greats Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson. He jumped seven spots in the standings to fifth with today's win.
Johnson's win was the fifth win for Team Chevy at LVMS and the third straight trip to victory lane for the BowTie Brigade in 2010.
Kevin Harvick remains the NSCS point standings leader with his second-place finish behind the wheel of the No. 29 Pennzoil Ultra Impala. Harvick, who led twice for two laps in the 267-lap./400.5-mile race, holds a 47 point lead with three of 36 races in the record books. It is the second consecutive runner-up finish for Harvick and his third top-10 in three races.
Jeff Gordon brought the No. 24 DuPont Pepsi/Max Impala to the finish line in third after leading seven times for a total of 219 laps, a record for laps led in NSCS competition at LVMS. The four-time NSCS champion jumped nine positions in the standings to 13th, only two points out of the coveted top-12.
Mark Martin, No. 5 GoDaddy.com Impala, finished fourth in the race and jumped to third in the standings.
Tony Stewart's seventh place finish in the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Impala and Clint Bowyer's, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Impala, eighth place run gave Team Chevy six of the top-10 finishers.
Bowyer remains second in the standings and Stewart climbed six spots to the 11th points position.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Impala, finished 11th today and is seventh in the standings after three races.
Matt Kenseth (Ford) completed the top-five finishers with Joey Logano (Toyota), Kasey Kahne (Ford) and Greg Biffle (Ford) filling out the top-10 across the stripe.
PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA -- involved in crash with teammate Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch -- Finished 37th
WHAT HAPPENED? "He (McMurray) runs straight into my ass. He nearly ran me into the fence in (Turn) 2 as well. I don't know. He's not doing himself any favors.
"I'm sure (McMurray) is going to say, 'Oh, I didn't mean that.'
"Just Jamie (McMurray) plain and simple just wrecked us. Every time I am around him, he wants to run the shit out of me. I don't know if it is ok to say that but I just did (LAUGHS). On the restart I was inside of him, I think he got tight and never lifted, I didn't hit the fence because.....it was a miracle. Then I arced it in to three and he just plain and simple just wrecked us. I'm sure on the radio it was "Ah, I didn't mean that." He is just trying to prove to people he can drive a race car and I guess he isn't doing too many favors on this team."
HOW BAD IS THE CAR? "We will get it back out. I know he is trying to prove a point and show everybody he can drive a race car, but it really ruined our day. For the Chase, this doesn't help. We had a problem last week with the motor and this week this. It is painful. He nearly ran me in to the fence out of two as well. Going in to three just plain and simple just wrecked us. Oh well but not doing himself too many favors."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALDS IMPALA -- Finished 34th
DID YOU EXPECT YOUR TEAMMATE (JUAN PABLO MONTOYA) TO BE A LITTLE KINDER OR NICER IN HIS REMARKS ABOUT YOU AFTER THE CRASH? "Well, you're really frustrated. I haven't heard what he said but it wouldn't shock me that you're upset in a situation like that. We both had really good cars today and unfortunately we crashed."
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT HAPPENED AGAIN IN THE ACCIDENT? "I just got really loose and underneath him and he turned in a little bit earlier than what I was expecting and when it did it made even looser. And I just had to catch my car and unfortunately I got into him whenever I did that."
HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN RACING SIDE-BY-SIDE EARLIER AND WE DIDN'T SEE IT? "I don't think so, no. I don't know. No, I don't think so."
OBVIOUSLY MONTOYA HAD SOME HARSH WORDS FOR YOU DURING THE RACE WHEN HE GOT OUT OF THE CAR. HAVE YOU GUYS HAD PROBLEMS IN THE PAST? HE SAID THAT YOU ALWAYS DRIVE ROUGH AROUND HIM "Oh, you're probably just frustrated for what happened on the race track, so you guys (the media) probably shouldn't put a lot of stock into what he said when you ask somebody something immediately after getting crashed. They typically don't have nice things to say."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA -- Finished 8th
"Shane Wilson (crew chief) made a great call to stay out during that final caution. We couldn't seem to get the grip we needed to stay in the top 10 most of the day, but that call allowed us to gain five points for leading a lap and good enough track position to get that eighth-place finish. It was another solid points day the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper team and we'll look for another solid run next weekend in Atlanta."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL ULTRA IMPALA, FINISHED 2ND:
YOU WERE CLOSING FAST IN THOSE LATE LAPS: "I just have to thank all my Pennzoil Ultra guys, they did a great job this weekend after crashing in to the wall there at the beginning of practice and putting us behind for the start of the weekend. We had a good enough car to come through the field. Just came up a little bit short again this week. But just a good day for us. Led a lap and did what we had to do."
WHAT A WEEKEND FOR YOU, YOU WON ON SATURDAY AND ALMOST GOT THERE ON SUNDAY: "I just have to thank all of these Pennzoil Ultra guys. Gil (Martin, crew chief) made a great call in the middle of the race to get us track position. Once we got track position, our car was really fast. Those guys got away from us a little bit on the restart there. Kinda like they did last week. We just needed a complete run. All-in-all, to come from where we started and I got us behind on Friday, got us back in the field on qualifying and we were able to rebound from that. "Those are things we couldn't do over the past couple of years. So, just proud of all my guys and looking forward to keep going to Atlanta."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM IMPALA, FINISHED 4TH:
HOW WAS YOUR AFTERNOON? "It was a great finish. Just a great job by everybody on the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. I was to thank my buddy Bob Parsons and everybody at GoDaddy.com. Awesome race car at the end. We were off a little bit at the beginning, we weren't prepared for that sunshine and struggled for a long time. Then we got the car good there at the end. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and the guys just did a great job. We were pretty competitive there at the last."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/PEPSI MAX IMPALA, FINISHED 3RD:
YOU LED 219 LAPS, HOW TOUGH IS THIS ONE TO TAKE? "It is tough. We came here to win and I felt like every decision that we made today on the track and in the pits was to try to win the race. When you are leading sometimes that tough call can go against you. We were thinking more guys were going to take two tires. We aren't going to beat ourselves up over this one; we had an awesome, awesome DuPont/Pepsi Max Chevrolet. That thing was just strolling today. It was so incredible to be out there driving a car that was that fast and be able to maintain the lead and be able to do the things that we did today. We certainly showed them that we were here. I think that you are going to see a lot more out of us this year. It is disappointing. You can't even have one little blip with that No. 48 team, they are so strong. You give them four tires like that against your two and I knew we were just a sitting duck, I raced him as hard as I could as long as I could. I know it was just a matter of time, there were too many laps to it."
WOULD FOUR TIRES HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE? "I think we just thought more guys were going to take two tires. Had more guys taken two tires, I think we could have gotten them. On four tires, we had the car. That is what makes leading so tough sometimes, just real tough to make the right decision. That No. 48 bunch is so strong, you don't want to give them four tires and only be one or two positions behind you. We fought him off as long as we could. I am so so proud of this DuPont/Pepsi Max team. I mean, we were awesome all day. The car was incredible. The pit stops were awesome and Steve (Letarte, crew chief) called a great race all day. I know he is beating himself up over the two tire stop but, if a few more guys would have taken two, I think we would have been all set."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S KOBALT TOOLS IMPALA, RACE WINNER:
YOU WRESTLED IT AWAY FROM YOUR TEAMMATE JEFF GORDON WHO WAS STRONG: "Yes, he was really, really good. I guess he got too tight there at the end. Man, I did all I could for the three runs before that and I had nothing for him. I could get close then couldn't get the pass pulled off. It worked well there. We had a great race car all day long. I think he really showed the strength of the Hendrick cars when Jeff and I checked out from everyone. I guess the No. 14 (Tony Stewart) was back there running with us chasing everybody down. In the end, we had a car that was right on that last run.
"It is great to have this Kobalt Tools Chevrolet in victory lane. It is a big weekend for us with Lowe's with all of their managers are here for a big meeting that we have going on Tuesday so it was cool to have them in the stands rooting for us."
ARE YOU CONFIDENT WHEN YOU GO THROUGH THIS STRETCH OF THE SEASON WITH ALL YOUR PAST SUCCESS? "No bones about it, I don't feel incredibly confident with the plate racing. I know how to go fast and be in the mix, but it's just not my specialty to look in the mirror 80 percent of the time and try to figure out how to win the race. I'm used to chasing people down. When you get on the downforce track, we get going well and I'm happy that we're off to a quick start this year. A few years back we left this race track with our tail between our legs. But today everything went well."
WOW, WIN NO. 49-TALK ABOUT THAT DUEL WITH JEFF GORDON THERE NEAR THE END: "Man, that was one heck of a race all afternoon long. Jeff and I were racing each other so hard. It is so cool to be in Vegas and get this bad boy (Trophy Belt). Jeff and I were racing so hard at the end of the day. I wasn't sure if I was going to get away from him once I got by him and I did and I was able to get out and away from him. Everything worked well. Great day in the pits. Great day on the track. We have a lot of store managers here from Lowe's, bit sales conference going on this week, it is going to be a lot of fun. I will stick around and see them Tuesday. Just so proud of this Lowe's race team and everything we are doing in these Chevys."
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET - Finished 21st:
"We had some handling problems with the Furniture Row Chevy, but did what we needed to do -- and that was to finish the race with a decent result. The pit crew did an outstanding job and we just hung in there and gave it everything we had. This is a greatly improved race team compared to this time last year. We're moving forward as a team and everyone is upbeat. We know there's potential for better finishes, we just need to be patient. We want top 10s, but right now we're in the top-20 range. We have a little ways to go, but we'll get there. I can feel it, and the entire Furniture Row team can feel it."
-source: gm racing