Team Chevy Drivers Score Five of Top-10 Finishing Positions at Pocono Raceway; Hold Six of Top-12 Points Positions with Five Races Remaining to Start of Chase for Sprint Cup Long Pond, PA -- Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, led a group...
Team Chevy Drivers Score Five of Top-10 Finishing Positions at Pocono Raceway; Hold Six of Top-12 Points Positions with Five Races Remaining to Start of Chase for Sprint Cup
Long Pond, PA -- Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, led a group of five Team Chevy drivers to top-10 finishes in today's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Johnson, who started on the pole, led three times for a total of 34 laps on his way to a third-place finish.
The defending and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) driver is fourth in the standings with five races remaining until the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, rallied from a spin on the first lap, caused by contract from another car to finish fourth. The solid run moved Harvick to 11th in the standings.
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, finished sixth to move back in the top-12 in the standings.
Mark Martin, No. 8 Steak-umm Burgers Impala SS, finished eighth. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS rounded out the top-10 and remains sixth in the standings.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Team USA Impala SS, dropped to fifth in the standings after taking the checkered flag 21st in today's event.
The race was won by Carl Edwards. Tony Stewart and David Regan completed the top-five finishers.
The series moves to Watkins Glen International for the second road course event of the season on Sunday, August 10th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS, FINISHED THIRD:
YOU COASTED THERE, PULLED IT IN AT THE END OF PIT ROAD DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE THAT CLOSE ON FUEL? "No we really thought we were going to be okay. We pitted a lap later than the leaders did and thought we were going to be just fine and I was pushing hard to get to the twenty and just couldn't get there. Those guys were really strong all day. Had a real tough time getting by the sixty-six and used up some more gas there. All in all a great day for this Lowe's Impala. We did a great job on the track. Good solid performance."
HOW MUCH DID THE TRACK CHANGE AFTER THAT RED FLAG AND THE RAIN CAME? "I don't think it changed a lot. I think the grip maybe came back just for a handful of laps but them my car went back to the way it was handling before that."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, FINISHED FOURTH:
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A TOP-FIVE CAR? "We had a good car we just got mired in traffic there at the beginning of the race and there at the end when it started raining we pitted and we had good pit strategy. We were in our window right there where we only had to pit once at the end if it went green and man it went green. Just proud of Todd (Berrier, Crew Chief) and all my Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet guys for everything that they've done. It was the same car that we raced at Indy last week. They turned it around and fixed half the body and brought it here. Big improvement for us.
"We were in a window right there and to make one more stop and it worked out really good there in the end.
ON RECENT BAD LUCK: We don't give up, I can promise you that. We stick in there and fight, even when they tell us we're all done. To come to Pocono and finish in the top five is a huge accomplishment for me. At the beginning there, I was just up underneath somebody and think the No. 78 just got in the back there and we all kind of got jammed up. I don't know if it was anybody's fault or not. But it worked out good. We were able to work on our car early and make it better and we just kept making it better all day. And really at the next to the last run when we put two tires on was the best we were all day. So I'm just proud of Todd and all the Shell-Pennzoil guys.
ARE YOU LOOKING AT POINTS ALL THE TIME? "You just go out and race as fast as you can. That's about all you can do."
SPEAKING OF BIG IMPROVEMENT, ITS GOT TO BE A BIG IMPROVEMENT IN THE POINTS RACE AS WELL. "Yeah, I don't really follow that too closely just for the fact that you go out and race as hard as you can and you want to try to win every week. If you can't win, do the best that you can and where ever that puts us is what we do. So we wouldn't do anything different even if we were counting points."
TONY EURY, JR., CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS, FINISHED 12TH:
WAS THIS ANOTHER WEIRD RACE DAY? "Yea. I don't know what happened there at the end. The car got real loose and he kind of started back pedaling there, but we were sitting there running fourth and kind of minding our own. We should have been a lap to a lap and a half to the good (on fuel) I thought. It seems like it ran out somewhere over there by the tunnel or somewhere. It kind of caught me off guard. It was one of those deals where we pitted where our window opened for the fuel mileage. We weren't trying to push nothing, kinda weird.
"The No. 24 ran out and the No. 48 was out when he crossed the line. Those guys were getting worse fuel mileage than we were all day. When we got loose there, we started
pedaling the throttle a little bit more and might have used up a little more fuel. That is why you take an average of all-day. Ours was a little bit low on the end."
IS TRACK POSITION MORE IMPORTANT NOW WITH THIS CAR THAN THE OLD CAR? "Very much so. It is very hard to pass with the car. Everybody is kind of struggling. They are needing all the race track they can get. That is what it has turned in to. Track position means more than tires, but you still have to have fuel in it to finish."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS, FINISHED 6TH:
WAS IT HARD TO GET IN A RHYTHM TODAY? "It was kind of weird. Just track position with this car is everything. We had a flat right there at the beginning, I didn't qualifying very good and that didn't help anything. We got back in the back. Once you get back toward the front, it gets easier to go. You picked up a second, you feel like Superman in the car. The car handles good. Everything is good. We have to work on our qualifying program. Still have to work on our big track program. You have to take these good finishes when you can. Obviously I hated to give up that to Harvick. Even the No. 6 car beat us, we just have to get better. But looking forward to the road course and Michigan ahead.
"It seemed like you couldn't make two tire stops like we did here in the June race. You just have to do whatever you can to get some track position. Mother Nature kinda played a part of the race today. Gil (Martin, crew chief) made a good call today.
"There are some good tracks for us coming up. We are excited about it. At least we have a shot at this thing and that is all you can ask for. There is a lot of pressure on everybody. There is still five races to go, a lot can happen. Just have to be smart here and not get too excited but it is time to get going."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 STEAK-UMM BURGERS IMPALA SS, FINISHED 8TH:
YOU HAD A GREAT RACE CAR TODAY! "That was an awesome car. I hate for these guys but I told them to be proud of what we did do. Don't be disappointed about what we didn't do. We did some great things today, I am proud. I appreciate them letting me drive the car. I just want to thank everybody at DEI and this whole No. 8 team for letting me drive their car. That is what life is all about right there. I know that they are disappointed.
"This car was good enough that if everything went our way, that is what we were looking for at Indy. With that kind of performance at Indy, we could have give them a run for it. Everything still has to work out in your favor. We got one of the fastest crews on pit road and I don't think we have had a disappointing pit stop all season long.
"We had a little snag or two today and that is ok. I told them to be proud of what you did do.
"Getting behind on the pit stop affected our strategy most. We were looking for a way to try and get that back, we just had to get it back. We got a long green flag at the end, we just had to do it all on the race track. We didn't get any on pit strategy, the way it fell. We just had to go battle. We finished 8th on two stops when all the cars but one ahead of us made one stop, that is pretty awesome. That is a lot of speed."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T TEAM USA IMPALA SS, FINISHED 21ST:
"We had a top-five car. Unfortunately, we had a tire violation on our last pit stop and had to serve a pass thru penalty. The AT&T pit crew has had great stops all year so we'll learn from this and move on. The AT&T Team USA Impala SS was loose all day but we learned a lot and leaving Pocono with a 21st-place finish isn't bad considering what happened."
-credit: gm racing