DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS -- Finished 15th: ON FAIRNESS RACING ROOM BY KYLE BUSCH: "Whether it is fair or not, he is going to need some security. I haven't seen the replay, Tony, Jr. (Eury) said it looked like ...
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS -- Finished 15th:
ON FAIRNESS RACING ROOM BY KYLE BUSCH: "Whether it is fair or not, he is going to need some security. I haven't seen the replay, Tony, Jr. (Eury) said it looked like Kyle got loose underneath me. That happens. I wasn't good on the bottom so I moved up to the top to run as good as I could up there. He had been running the bottom, so I figured we would race that out. It got a great run around one and two, and he nearly got by me. He gave me room off the outside of two so, I wouldn't say that was intentional going in to three. Because if he had wanted to, he could have just thrown me in the fence off two. We had been racing each other earlier and had no problems. I have done that before. That is what happens if he got loose underneath me.
"The worst part about it, is that I have been priding myself on running good all year and I was in position for a win. I ran hard and got wrecked. I had a top-three car and should have finished in the top-three. So, I was going for the win. Just ended up on the hook today. Just disappointed."
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS: "We weren't that great on restarts and new tires. We had a run there where we had been running for a while and got the lead and was driving away. The No. 11 had the flat and parked on the race track. That was unfortunate. We ended up, on that restart, I ran the bottom through a couple of corners, Kyle (Busch) was beat me like that, because he could get to the outside and pin me down because I was tight. I moved to the top, I got a little deep in to one corner, and he almost cleared me off of two, but I got back side-by-side going in to three. I tried to run him pretty tight running up top, and he just ran in to me or got loose or whatever."
JUST TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN: "I am pretty disappointed to say the least. I had a good race all night. I had a good top-three car most of the night. I just don't like it, well, to me it is just disappointing to not get what you can get out of the race car. Me and Kyle got together down there, not sure why it happened or how it happened. But, it is definitely unfortunate for us.
"I am and have been preaching how good we have been running, We are sure happy about that."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS -- Finished 9th:
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR FINISH? "I am. I thought we were about an 8th or 9th place car. There were a couple cars that had problems there at the end so maybe a 7th place car. We came in and got tires there and it was the right move, but some other guys took two (tires) and that kind of got ahead of us. From the start, to start 43rd, and go a lap down and have to get our lap back, I'm really proud of this DuPont Chevrolet team. That was a great battle; it was a great fight. It showed what we're made of. To come home with a top 10 was good. We didn't make a lot of gains in the points, but we didn't lose anything. It was good momentum for our team. We needed this run."
THERE WERE A LOT OF LOOSE RACE CARS, AND A RED FLAG, AND A LOT OF ACTION THERE AT THE END. WHAT WAS IT LIKE FROM YOUR VIEWPOINT? "Whew, I had my hands full. You just try to match yourself up against the competition. We started out and we were loose in and tight in the middle and loose off, and that's a hard thing to fix. But we got it freed up in the middle and that's when our car got better. And we made some moves and got to the front. A lot of guys were struggling with handling tonight. There at the end we weren't as good as we needed to be but we were and 8th or 9th place car."
WITH WHAT YOU AND STEVE LETARTE WERE TALKING ABOUT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE RACE, WAS IT ALMOST A MIRACLE TO GET A TOP 10? "Well, in a lot of ways, yeah because we went down a lap so early and I was giving it everything I had and the leaders just drove by me like I was standing still. And we just weren't getting the cautions at the right time and then I just got by the No. 44 and the No. 00 and the caution came out and I was like man, that's the first good thing that's gone our way in a while. We were making gains on the car at that time and we really were better than a lot of guys we were racing around and we started driving to the front. It was pretty impressive that one time we drove from 30th up to about 15th or something. And I was really impressed with that run. We needed that."
SOME PLACES WHERE YOU WERE GOOD LAST YEAR WITH THE NEW CAR, YOU HAVEN'T BEEN THIS YEAR. HOW DO YOU QUANTIFY WHERE YOU ARE WITH THE TEAM? "I know why it's happening. It's happening because Goodyear is changing tires on us a little bit so we've had to adjust to that. The competition has gotten better. If we come back the same, we're going to be even worse than we are now. That's just the way this sport is and how, really tough and competitive it is. Your competitors go to work when you're good or when they're not. And that's what's happened. And now we're in the position that we have to go to work and that's what we've been doing. We've been testing a lot these last couple of weeks."
LOOKING AHEAD TO DARLINGTON WHERE YOU'VE TESTED TWICE, IS THERE COME COMFORT IN THAT? "Yeah, I feel comfortable that we know what to expect with the tire. When you're there in a tire test, you really don't get to work on speed and making the car better and go faster. You're just trying to test for Goodyear. But it gives you good data to work on back at the shop and I hope that it pays off for us."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS / TRACKER BOATS IMPALA -- Finished 5th:
YOU MUST BE PLEASED WITH A TOP 5 RUN "Yeah, I'm real happy. I don't think we were a fifth-place car by any means at the end, but at times throughout the race we were. So, I'm proud of the guys. They did a good job for me all night. The motor ran really good tonight. We just had to hang around. Finally at the end of one of these deals usually we're one of the ones getting wrecked or blowing up or having all the unfortunate luck. I feel bad for the No. 11 (Hamlin). He was just the class of the field by far. It's not often you get cars like that. So I feel a little bad for him. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my team and the job they did tonight."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 BB&T IMPALA SS -- Winner:
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN YOU HAD TO MAKE THE MOVE OF THE RACE TO AVOID THE TWO LEADERS WRECKING IN FRONT OF YOU? 'They were just racing so hard there and you knew it was going to happen. I just took advantage of a misfortune right there. But I'm real happy for all these guys and for BB&T. She was fast all night long. I messed up in qualifying for these guys in starting in the back, but was able to bounce back so that was really good."
YOU WERE ONE OF THE FEW CARS AND TEAMS THAT DID NOT MAKE MANY CHANGES TONIGHT. "I knew it was going to be better than we qualified for sure. But we just slowly marched to the front and it really didn't take a whole lot. Things worked out for us tonight.
"This is just awesome, I just love this place. I really messed up in qualifying for these guys. We just dug deep and worked hard, and things worked out. We took advantage of a misfortune there up front, but I am just really happy for BB&T, the Chevrolet was fast all day. Jack Daniel's, DIRECTV, everybody involved with this team, I just want to thank everybody. This is awesome."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, Finished 8th:
"We just weren't very good tonight. We are going to have to try and figure some things out here. I think everyone was pretty loose at the start of the race. Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and the guys kept working on our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet to get it better. There was a point there about mid-race when we were pretty good and made some good moves to the top-three, but then the car just started going away again and we couldn't seem to get it back. It was a decent points night for us, but we want to be running up front and contending for wins. I know everyone at RCR will continue to work hard on our program to get us where we need to be."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS -- Finished 3rd:
"Well, you know, just really, really proud of Tony Gibson and the U.S. Army team, and just want to reiterate how much of a privilege it is for me to drive the car, be a part of Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
"I really want to see their faces in victory lane. I mean, they are right there. They are getting it done. You know, we were just one little whisker off of being able to get it done tonight. It was very close. But the car, we got off a little bit the middle of the race and lost some track position and then got the car back something better toward the end; not quite a hundred percent, but we got it better. It was tough out there."
DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE N0. 18 AND THE NO. 88? AND WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU EARLIER? "You know, I could see what was happening up there, but I was having to drive my own race car. So I can't describe it; I can't tell you exactly. And I didn't hear your second question. Just felt like some of the lap cars were disrespectful today, tonight, that's all."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS -- Finished 11th:
"We were loose for most of the race. We got caught up in the 11-car incident but was fortunate to escape with some minor fender damage. The AT&T team did a great job of fixing the car and getting it to where we can race. Although we finished 11th, we had a good points day. "
-credit: gm racing