JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS INVOLVED IN MULTI-CAR WRECK ANY CHANCE WE'LL SEE YOU BACK ON THE TRACK TODAY? "I'm sure we'll get the DuPont Chevrolet back out there. There's still a lot of laps left and no reason for us not to try and get...
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS
INVOLVED IN MULTI-CAR WRECK ANY CHANCE WE'LL SEE YOU BACK ON THE TRACK TODAY? "I'm sure we'll get the DuPont Chevrolet back out there. There's still a lot of laps left and no reason for us not to try and get out there. There is a lot that can still happen. But there is no chance of us winning this race and making up any points on anybody, that's for sure. We got shuffled to the back. We were trying to get together with our teammates and it just wasn't working out. I was all the way in the back and the No. 44, it looked like to me like he just cut a tire. He just turned left out of nowhere. I tried to avoid him and when I did, the car turned to the right and just lost control and went into the well. It's pretty much going to end our day. We had a great car and we had great pit stops and everything was going the way we wanted it to go. Unfortunately we got shuffled back, there. But that's part of Talladega.
TELL US WHAT YOU SAW "Yeah, it's either feast or famine for us. We kind of got shuffled back there on the restart. The guys on this DuPont Chevrolet were awesome. We had great pit stops and a great race car. We had a lot of fun bouncing my way up through the middle to get to the front and the No. 44 just looked like he cut a tire turned right down in front of me. I swerved right, and when I did, the car just lost control and I got the nose in the wall."
HOW DO YOU REGROUP YOUR GUYS FOR NEXT WEEK? "We've just got to do the same thing we do every weekend and just go out there to win and work as hard as we can and put this one behind us and get the car out there and get as many points as we can."
SHOULD WE HAVE TALLADEGA IN THE CHASE? "Of course it should be. It's the most exciting race we have in the whole season. They'd be crazy not to this race in the Chase. Just because crazy things happen out there and take a bunch of cars out; stuff like this can happen any race weekend. I don't see any reason why this one should be taken off.
"There are all kinds of things that determine the outcome of the Chase and race wins and you've got to take the good with the bad. It's just not our day."
WERE PEOPLE BEHAVING THEMSELVES OUT THERE? "No. No. Guys were idiots driving into one another. That's the way you have to race any more. I include myself in that statement when I say it because that's the kind of racing we have out there. You've got to beat the rear bumper off the guy in front of you in order to get ahead; to make a move. And you're stacked up there three-wide, several rows deep, and it's like bumper cars at 190 mph. It's crazy. It's great when you come to the checkered flag and you see it and you're in one piece. It's awesome. But it's getting there that's tough."
YOUR TEAMMATES WERE TRYING TO HOOK UP WITH YOU BUT IT SEEMED WHEN THEY TRIED TO, THEY FELL BACK "That's because sometimes when you go to hook-up with your teammates, you give up the momentum. And you're trying to be loyal and trying to get three cars or four cars together and hope that it pays off. And I can tell you, it wasn't paying off. It cost us a lot of spots. And I've seen it before. You try and that's the best you can do. When it works, it's great. But you always have to go with the momentum. If the momentum of the teammates is moving forward and you can hook up together, that's great. But when the momentum is shifting and going backwards and you try to be loyal and get down tin there, it's going to cost you a lot of positions. You hope you can regroup and get it back and that's what we were trying to do right there and it certainly wasn't working out too good today. But we were trying."
"But not kind to us today for sure. We were getting hung out pretty good on those restarts, but once we would get back in to the thick of things, we could just drive our way back up to the front. A lot of beatin' and bangin' going on, but we were having fun. It was great to get up there and be competitive and be up front. You have got to have a race car with fenders on it at the end of the day if you want to be a competitive car and win this race. So that is pretty much going to take us out of that.
"We are just going to try and salvage as many points as we can. We know we aren't going to make any gains, we are just going to lose. But, if we can keep that to a minimum, lot is still left to happen in this race."
STEVE LETARTE (CREW CHIEF) AND THE GUYS ARE WORKING ON THE CAR, ANY CHANCE TO GET BACK OUT? "We are sure going to try and get our DuPont Chevrolet back out there. Still a lot of laps left and no reason for us to not try and get out there. Lots is still going to happen. But no chance of us winning this today and making up any points on anybody that is for sure."
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS:
HOW FRUSTRATING IS THAT? "Well, it is frustrating certainly. We had a great car. I just have to thank everybody at ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) for their engines. All the hard work back at the shop. We had a great race car. We were out there toward the front, racing for the lead. I was having a lot of fun drafting with Junior (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) and them.
"The No. 83 was right there inside of me and his right front tire exploded. I heard BAM like a shotgun going off. Just along for the ride from there. It is unfortunate. Had week last week and another one this week. Guys are working hard. Our cars are fast and that is what really matters. I am pretty with that. I am going to have a bit of a headache tonight I think."
"The No. 83 was inside there and his right front tire just exploded. A lot like what happened to Dale, Jr. in practice I guess. I was talking to him (Brian Vickers) in there (infield care center), he said it didn't give him any warning. He didn't think ran anything over, it just exploded. At that point I was just a long for the ride. I took a pretty hard like down there on the inside wall."
IS THIS TYPICAL RESTRICTOR PLATE RACING? "No, not really. I mean, it wasn't anybody making a mistake and running in to someone. It was a tire failure. When one of those tires pop at 200 mph, there is nothing you are going to do. Your car is going to where it wants. That is what happened there. It is unfortunate. We had a great car. I have to thank everybody at DEI, ECR engines. Best car I ever had here, if we could have made it to the end, we were going to have a shot today.
"He didn't think he ran over anything. Like I said, it blew out all at once. It wasn't like he got low on air or anything. Not sure what exactly happened. Again, it is just unfortunate for our Bass Pro Chevy."
TONY RAINES, NO. 70 IQ DRIVE IMPALA SS: "Unfortunate day for us at Talladega for us. The IQ Drive Chevy was running pretty good and we were having fun until then. There was nothing we could do. I saw a tire pop on the No. 83 and that was just unfortunate. I knew right where we were at, we were going to get in it. And we did."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "It looked like the No. 99 (Carl Edwards) should have drafted all day because obviously he wasn't ready to start racing there until the end and made a mistake and tore up most of the field. I'm just real proud of my Shell-Pennzoil guys. We spun out there. We weren't going to sit back there and ride all day. That's not what these race fans pay to see. They pay to see us race. It wasn't David Regan's fault or anything when he spun out, we just all got jammed up there just racing really hard. So, it was a lot of fun. I just hate for it to get tore up like that. We'll try to get back out and limp around there."
WHAT IS IT LIKE GOING THROUGH A RACE LIKE THIS IN THE MIDST OF A CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT? "It's Talladega. I mean, you've got a 50/50 opportunity to come here and miss the wreck and today we got in it."
THAT'S JUST RACING, WHAT HAPPENED? "Yeah, you know we got spun out there and it's just kind of the way it goes. It was one of them racing deals and coming back up through there it looked like the No. 99 (Edwards) should have been drafting the rest of the day because obviously he didn't know where the front of his car was. It caused a big mess, but man, that's Talladega; everybody racing hard and having a good time. I'm proud of my guys."
IT LOOKS LIKE CARL EDWARDS STARTED THE BIG ONE "Yeah, like I told everybody else, maybe he should have raced the rest of the day. I know that his fans won't be very proud of him sitting back there riding around like a pansy. But when he got up there and decided to start racing, it caused a big wreck. So, it was one of those deals. I'm real proud of my Shell-Pennzoil guys. We raced hard all day. We got spun out there once in the middle which was really nobody's fault, just everybody kinda pushing and shoving a little bit, and came up back through there and just got caught up in a wreck."
YOU ARE HANDLING THIS WELL. IT SEEMS LIKE YOU SHOULD BE MORE FRUSTRATED "Yeah, you know coming here you kind of prepare yourself that you've got a fifty-fifty chance of making something happen. I felt like we raced hard all day and our fans are going to be proud of us for racing hard. That's what the people come to see race that's just the way it goes. The No. 99 just spun the No. 16 (Greg Biffle) out and if he had been racing all day, maybe he would have known how long the front of his car was (laughs).
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS
YOU HAD A STRONG CAR TODAY, WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "Well I was going along and two guys slid up in front of me and ran into them. I'm glad everybody is all right. That was a pretty hard little wreck there. Took a lot of good cars out. We had a good car ourselves.
"We were running up front there whenever we could trying to get those fans on their feet because they bought a lot of tickets here. We didn't have the luck today. There wasn't much I could have done to try to avoid that. I want to thank my team for working really hard this weekend. We tore up an awful lot of stuff and they just worked really, really hard and I want to thank them and I want to thank my sponsors AMP, the National Guard for this weekend and sponsoring the race, they put a lot into it. They're doing it for the fans and for our team. It's a heck of a sport that they have for this program. I'm really thankful for them. It was just tough man. I thought we would have had a better day than that.
"I want to thank my crew. We ran good all day. We tore up a lot of stuff this weekend. They have been working way to hard, they are too good of team."
DID YOU HAVE THE HELP YOU NEEDED OUT THERE WHEN YOU REALLY NEEDED IT? "It's the same song I have been hearing down here for the last five or six years. We didn't need any help today, we were so good."
SO MANY OF THE CHASE GUYS INVOLVED IN THIS WRECK, DOES THAT REALLY PUT YOU GUYS OUT? "Well, we was already kind of a longshot for this thing. But, we were running good today, it is what it is. I will do whatever I can to help my teammates win it if I can't win it.That is the attitude for the rest of the season."
IS IT JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS HERE? "To be honest with you, that wasn't no fun. The tires were blowing. Everybody was scared about the tired blowing. Anybody can pass, no skill involved. We are going to tear up a lot of race cars with this the way it is. The tires were worrying me. I was scared to death I was going to blow a right front tire again. That No. 11 car, I ain't never seen a car hit the wall that hard. We just kept seeing tires blow. I was hoping NASCAR would say something to make us all feel better because we was getting all nervous out there."
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "I was running along there and the No. 16 turned sideways, the No. 99 had him hooked off in the corner. He went down and hit Matt (Kenseth) and turned up in front of me. There was nothing I could do. I was just sitting there trying to get to the front man. I was getting for it to be ugly. We pushed some people out of the way to get in to the middle lane because the bottom wasn't wanted to go. Just running along there trying to make something happened. I ran in to Matt pretty hard, I am glad everybody is all right."
HOW AGGRESSIVE DID IT GET OUT THERE? "It is not that aggressive, that was just so simple errors made. It is pretty rough on the bumping. Them guys need to learn how to bump a couple of them. They just hit too hard and it is just not doing anything so really just aggravates you. Some of us know how to bump draft really good, we do it real good. We like to work with each other. Juan (Pablo Montoya) and I had an awesome time right there working together.
"I had to dump Jimmie on the backstretch and he got real mad at me but I didn't want to go in the top-groove, the middle is where to be. I was going to try and get to work with him a little bit more to pay him back for that because I did him wrong. It was a lot of fun. My car was really good. I am sorry for my team. Tearing up race cars. We ain't going to spend this much time, put as many man hours the next plate race. There is no telling what is going to happen anyways. We got good stuff, it don't matter what we bring to the race track.It was a little nerve wracking with the tires blowing. I was nervous about having my tire blow for no reason, I already had one blow for no reason this weekend and we had a not more blowing for no reason. We had a lot blowing in the ARCA race and Hoosier tires ain't doin' no better. Some kind of combination to do with the surface obviously and then the tire. That made me nervous, but you have to run. I was hoping we could pull off a win, man, we sure needed one."
YOU HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS OUT THERE: "I thought we had a lot of people helping us today. There were a lot of people going for the lead and passing us too, but that is just the way you have to race. I have to thank the people who worked with me today, Juan and several people out there, Elliott Sadler, just a lot of people. Matt (Kenseth) always works with me. We helped some people too. It was fun; we had pretty good time. I don't like the way these cars draft as far as how we are all running all over each other and having these crashes. I wish we were getting a little more separated. But the way the plate is and the way these cars punch a hole it is hard to get away from each other. The tires were blowing. Boy the No. 11, he hit the wall so hard, I was really worried whether he was hurt or not.
"We did all right for our sponsors, we'd have liked to got a win but I feel like we put out a good representation of ourselves. I hope it will be an exciting finish for the fans."
-credit: gm racing