Martinsville: Jeff Gordon Friday practice quotes

Jeff Gordon quotes following Friday practice Martinsville Speedway INCIDENT IN GARAGE WITH KEVIN HARVICK? He was backing out and his spotter never told him I was back there. It did damage but it's fine. Luckily we're at a short track. If we...

Jeff Gordon quotes following Friday practice
Martinsville Speedway

INCIDENT IN GARAGE WITH KEVIN HARVICK? He was backing out and his spotter never told him I was back there. It did damage but it's fine. Luckily we're at a short track. If we were at Atlanta or something like that, we'd be pretty upset.

YOUR IN CAR CAMERA WASN'T GOING, WAS IT? I don't think so.

It wasn't his fault. When you're backing out of the garage like that, your team should be on the radio telling you what's behind you, because there are a lot of blind spots and I saw him coming and my engine wasn't even running. All of a sudden.BAM.he drove right up over the top of me.

There should be somebody constantly watching their back until it's clear.

DRIVERS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE PENALTY FOR THE MIDDLE FINGER GESTURE. WHEN THE IN CAR CAMERA CARRIES A STIFF PENALTY, DOES THAT TAKE AWAY A UNIVERSAL COMMUNICATION TOOL? It's not different than the rest of these little things that come along with either something that you say or something that you give. It's the same concept. It's that there are people and kids and a big audience that's watching out there. You just need to ..It doesn't mean that you can't confront somebody, it's just how you handle it. That one was handled inappropriately, and he paid the price.

YOU DON'T MAKE THAT GESTURE, DO YOU? I can't say it's never happened.

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU SEEN IT? Plenty. It's been given and it's been received. It's not on a red flag situation, it's when we're racing and conditions and outside the window and things like that. I guess some times you get caught and some times you don't but we give hand gestures all the time. Some of them are appropriate and some of them aren't. I think I know that anytime that happens, especially now, that there could be a penalty if it's seen by the wrong people.

DO YOU FORGET ABOUT THAT SORT OF THING WHEN YOU'RE IN THE CAR AND THE IN-CAR CAMERA IS ON YOU? We hardly ever have in-car cameras on my car, so I would probably forget about it if I had an in-car camera if I was used to having one. We're usually pretty conscious of our surroundings.

I've just noticed over the years that the sport just gets that much more competitive and what happens is the intensity level rises and the frustration level will rise as well. It's how.you've got to be able to manage your emotions, from the highs and the lows, through a season if you're going to be a contender for the championship or if you want to win races.

IS THIS ANOTHER PRECEDENT SET DOWN BY NASCAR? I think that.I don't know. When I look at that situation I think there was a little bit more to it than just that. You've got Shane who was on a rampage and probably just lost some patience there. And took it too far and then you had a confrontation. So, I think it's a combination. I don't think, in my opinion, it was just him giving him the middle finger.

THIS IS YOUR FIRST COMPETITIVE TRIP BACK HERE SINCE LAST FALL. DOES THAT MAKE THIS TRIP ANY MORE EMOTIONAL, ETC? Well, it definitely brings up the memories of that weekend and makes us think about it. But, we're here to do a job. We're here to race. The mourning period of a tragic loss like that-there is no time period on that. And everybody is going to handle it in different ways. I know that those families still have heavy heavy hearts and we have heavy hearts for them. So, we always want to have tehem in our memories but they know and we know that we have to come here and focus on our job and move forward and deal with it the best way that we can. Once you get out there in that car and start.it's definitely all about racing.

CAN YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO THINK ABOUT THINGS LIKE THAT IN A SETTING LIKE THIS? Everybody handles it differently. Like I said, everyone handles it differently. Once I get out there in that car, I'm focused on driving that car.

WILL PEOPLE BE MORE CONSERVATIVE AFTER BRISTOL? I look at it the same way I look at any weekend. And that is: if you play it too aggressive, it's going to get you in trouble. If you play it too conservative, it's going to get you in trouble. It doesn't matter whether you're at Bristol or Martinsville or wherever. I think that's the case and the approach we have every weekend.

HOW DO YOU FEEL WITH YOUR CURRENT POINTS SITUATION? I can't say that I'm concerned. I just know that we've got a great team and you know, we've got a capable.we're certainly capable of getting top fives. We just want to get those results. We know that when we can get those going for us, we'll have no problem getting into the top 10..some of the situations and positions we've been put here recently, we haven't put the finishes together that we..there's still a lot of racing left to go so it's not a thing where we're really panicked or worried about right now.

Well, I think as long as you're in that top 10 in that last 10, then you've got a shot at the championship. It doesn't mean that every weekend we're not trying to get the best thing that we can and wouldn't like to be leading the points right now.sure I would. I would love to have that going our way right now. For us it's about getting that momentum back and getting some consistency going and that just builds confidence and builds everything in your direction. And we know we've got a lot of races left to do that. Because our cars are running good, I'm happy with the chemistry of the team and all those things, I know this is a weekend where that can all start. If it doesn't happen this weekend.next weekend. I just know we've been good pretty much every weekend.

YOU'VE DONE GREAT HERE. HOW DO YOU RANK THIS RACE TRACK? IS THIS YOUR FAVORITE RACE TRACK? It was before they changed the concrete. This is a new race track. This is not the same race track it used to be. The track is much smoother, transitions are much different, grip level is greater. Even though you might think it is the same, it drives totally different. Those setups and the advantage we had for a number of years.I'm not saying it's gone but it's not as strong as it was and we need to get that back. We've got a good car here today and hopefully we can find some things on Sunday and learn from Jimmie's setup and experience he had when he won this race last year. Hopefully we can get back to where this is our strongest track like it was before they changed the concrete.

WHAT IS THE FEELING BEING 12TH IN STANDINGS? I don't think it's representing what we're capable of. I feel fortunate that in some ways, we haven't had many things go our ways. Half the races we've had decent luck and the others we've had horrible luck. Unfortunate things..with the points happen when it's like that. We've won a race and led laps, and those things are more important to me than where we are in the points right now. I have a strong team and good cars and those are the things that are going to move you up in the points.

-gm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon