JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTEL CARLO SS - Finished 2nd THOUGHTS ON TODAY'S RACE: "I couldn't be more proud of our organization and the cars they gave us. The way all of the shops work together and give us great race cars. That same ...
JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTEL CARLO SS - Finished 2nd
THOUGHTS ON TODAY'S RACE:
"I couldn't be more proud of our organization and the cars they gave us. The way all of the shops work together and give us great race cars. That same teamwork worked out on the race track and it didn't really get around Kyle (Busch) too much but with Casey and Jeff and myself, I think we really took care of one another out there and kept one another from falling too far back in the draft. It's just great to have the company all pulling in the same direction and I couldn't be more proud of my Lowe's guys and also real happy for Jeff (Gordon). Being able to take possession of sixth (on the) all-time win list is pretty special for him as well."
COMMENTS ON BEER CANS ON RACE TRACK:
"That's terrible. They're going to hurt somebody. I just can't believe that people who love this sport would take the change to hurt a kid; hurt another person. I'm sure there were cans that didn't make it to the track that landed in the stands and a full beer can hitting somebody on the back of the head. On one level that's disrespectful and the other side of it, throwing them at the race cars and damaging our race cars, that's not a way to show that you support our sport and our racing. I'm just disappointed to see that and it's getting worse and worse every week."
WHAT WILL MONDAY BE LIKE AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CONSIDERING THE MISCOMMUNICATION THAT CAUSED THE WRECK BETWEEN YOU AND CASEY MEARS?
"First of all, we need to figure out why I was never told he was pitting. I'm not sure why I couldn't see Casey waving me off. It's real tough to see through the back windows of the vehicles but at this point I literally had no idea he was pitting and it was just a major communication error. I guess the No. 24 knew but it never made it to me. When he came off Turn Four and hit the brakes to slow down, I just had no clue what was going on. I was all over him and spun him out."
DO YOU THINK THAT THERE WERE MORE BEER CANS HITTING CARS THEY WEREN'T INTENDED FOR? DO YOU THINK THIS BEER CAN SHOWER WAS WORSE THAN WHAT IT WAS IN 2004?
"There were a few that made it over this trip and I could see in the mirror that there were a lot more behind so I'm not sure if they were upset the race finished under caution or if it was at Jeff. Because as you pointed out, they didn't throw them at Jeff, it was really for the whole field. I heard that the officials had missiles coming in on them, down there checking the spoiler. I don't see what would possess someone to throw a full beer can out on the race track or people or at race cars. I really don't know the logic behind it. I just hope it goes away."
EXPLAIN HOW YOU GOT TO THE FRONT:
"I think everybody was wondering when the big group was going to get down on the bottom of the race track and start fighting for the win. Tony Stewart and myself and Jeff were doing some finger-pointing down under caution trying not to talk on the radio and I felt that Tony.It's tough to tell because if you make the wrong move they're not going to follow you. It looked like there was enough excitement and hand gestures that everybody was itching to make a move. I waited a lap or two after the restart, got a good run, went to the bottom and a fair amount came with me and we got the inside groove marching and unfortunately I stayed to the bottom and something developed behind me where Jeff got into the middle. Jeff was able to get by me and then I got up into the middle a few cars behind him and the middle worked out with him in the lead in front of the No. 26 and then I was in third at the end. I guess that's it. There's so much that goes on; I'm trying to remember it all. I think that's kid of how it developed."
WAS THAT 'TYPICAL TALLADEGA'?
"To gain that many spots at the end it gives you the sensation of it being easy but it's only because of circumstances. There was so many times today where I was deep in the pack and would try to make moves but the right holes didn't develop and the right push. the scenario wasn't there to really advance myself. At the end of this race, every move I made ended up being a good one. I think Jeff could probably say something similar to that; nothing really broke his momentum, he was able to just keep weaving through there and get to the front. I know the No. 20 was with us and something happened that bottled up the No. 20 and he was eighth or ninth on that last restart."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT GORDON SAID AT THE DRIVER MEETING ABOUT NOT WANTING TO BE THE VOICE OF NASCAR LIKE THE LATE EARNHARDT BUT THEN SEEMED TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF TONY STEWART?
"I don't think that played into Jeff's mind but I think that inside the garage area people have talked to Jeff or thought that Jeff would be the guy to have the voice for the drivers. And I wasn't around to see what affect Earnhardt had. I know that Jeff doesn't want to be Dale; he wants to be himself and do things his own way. I know he doesn't want to be in this position to be the voice of the drivers but he almost has this responsibility that's developing for him and he has the right approach on how to handle NASCAR and how to handle drivers and how to present things the right way. I feel if many other drivers would have spoken up today and said like what Jeff did in the drivers' meeting it would have come off wrong and people would have laughed. It wouldn't have come off the same way but Jeff is at that spot in his career and he's so well spoken and comes from a fair place when he's speaking about those things that people are listening. I think that role is developing for him whether he wants it or not."
SHOULD GORDON HAVE DONE A BURNOUT ON THE TRACK?
"I'm not sure it was safe for him to be out there much longer. That and tearing up our race cars. Those full beer cans just destroy all the hard work that's gone into our race cars and I think for both of those reasons you don't want to instigate them and at the same time just wanting to keep his race car clean - it was in pretty good shape."
DO YOU THINK ANYONE ELSE WILL GET AS MANY WINS AS GORDON?
"That's such a huge number. If you look back at the years that Jeff had, 13 wins and 10 and eight, it's so tough to do that today. I'm sure everybody said that from (Richard) Petty to the next driver that came in and had control of things and on and on. I think it's going to be very difficult. I don't want to say it's impossible. I like to set my goals high and I'd love to have more championships and more race wins than Jeff. I'm shocked that I have the 26 that I do but 51 more, that's a lot. So we'll just have to see. I think Jeff is doing a great job and the thing that I couldn't be more proud of Jeff for is the fact that he's been able to work through different crew chiefs and different types of cars, through different eras of racing and everything that comes with it. And he's still winning on all disciplines of race tracks. I think that says a lot for himself and his ability to lead his team. He's certainly been a big help to myself and learning how to come into this sport and do things the right way."
-credit: gm racing