Team Chevy race notes, quotes

Richmond

TEAM CHEVY TAKES 3 TOP 10 FINISHES
Seven Chevy Drivers in Top 12 in the Standings

Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

RICHMOND, VIRG. (April 30, 2011) – In typical Saturday night racing fashion, it was a wild 400 laps of action at Richmond International Raceway for the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, Round 9 on the 2011 tour.

Clint Bowyer, No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet led the line-up of Team Chevy drivers with a sixth place finish and moved up three spots to seventh place in the current point standings. Jimmie Johnson, in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, struggled with handling problems throughout much of the race, rallied to and eighth place finish; and Tony Stewart, No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet crossed the stripe in ninth, giving the Bowtie Brigade three of the top 10 finishing spots. Johnson remains in 2nd place overall and Stewart gained two places and now ranks 10th on the charts.

Tight racing between Ryan Newman, No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet and pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet brought out the first caution on lap 108; and then again when the pair tangled again about 100 laps later. Both were able to complete the race, with Newman finishing 20th and Montoya finishing 29th; and each maintained in the top 12 in points. Newman ranks 8th and Montoya is 12th in the standings.

There was plenty of action, including a flurry of cautions after the race’s halfway point which created numerous make-or-break fuel and tire decisions for all the teams. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet was victim of a late stage seven-car accident, slamming hard into the inside wall along the backstretch. Unable to complete the race, Gordon finished 39th and dropped three places in the points to 16th overall.

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, finished 12th, Mark Martin, No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet was 14th, Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet was 16th, Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet was 17th, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet finished 19th.

The race was won by Kyle Busch (Toyota), Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was 2nd, Kasey Kahne (Toyota) was 3rd, David Ragan (Ford) was 4th, and Carl Edwards (Ford) rounded out the top five.

The series moves to Darlington, SC for Round 10 next Saturday night, May 7.

***

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL1/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH:YOU BATTLED BACK FROM GOING DOWN A LAP EARLY:

“Yea, we did but we have a lot of work to do. We suck right now. I am embarrassed about how bad our stuff is.”

WITH WHAT RYAN (NEWMAN) AND JUAN (PABLO MONTOYA) WENT THROUGH….”I don’t know what Ryan and Juan went through so don’t ask me about Ryan and Juan. I don’t know what happened. You know more about it than I do right now.”

WHAT DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE MISSING RIGHT NOW? “We can’t make our car turn for anything. I mean, we have a lot of work to do right now. There are three organizations that are kicking our rear ends right now something awful, it is going to be a long year if we race like this.”

***

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH:

ARE YOU HEADED TO THE HAULER TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH MONTOYA? "No, I'm just headed to the NASCAR hauler to see how this situation is going to be handled."

HOW DO YOU WANT IT TO BE HANDLED? "Just fair, I guess. I don't know that you can have that. I mean, I know that he (JPM) ran up on my off of (Turn) 2 there and I clipped him; I mean I'm not going to try to dump myself into the wall. But to retaliate the way he did just didn't show much class."

THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF HISTORY THAT DATES BACK TO HIS FIRST CUP START AT HOMESTEAD: "Yeah, I don't know if he could even remember back that far. But I'm just proud to represent the U.S. Army and we'll see what we can do with him."

***

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET, FINISHED 16TH:

ON TONIGHT’S RACE: "Tough race for us tonight. We fought to get back on the lead lap for much of the race but, when we did, our Caterpillar Chevrolet was handling better and we were able to make up some ground. The rash of cautions near the end threw us out of sequence and we had to pit for fuel with about 20 laps to go. I'm proud of the team for trying some strategy but, unfortunately, it just didn't work out in our favor."

***

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH:

ON TONIGHT’S RACE: “I'm really happy with the BBT Chevrolet team's sixth-place effort. Even though we got caught up in one of those typical short-track incidents, the guys never gave up. We led some laps and got out of here (Richmond) seventh in the points.”

***

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 LIBMAN/MENARDS CHEVROLET, FINISHED 37TH:

ON TONIGHT’S RACE: "There's really not much to say. The Libman/Menards team worked to adjust on the car with each pit stop and eventually we got back on the lead lap. We were running sixth when we were caught up in someone else's mess. The guys did a good job of keeping us on the lead lap despite about eight or nine trips to pit road. It wasn't until we started to overheat that we had to come in under green and lost a lot of ground. It just wasn't our night."

***

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH:

YOU MANAGED AN TOP 10 FINISH OUT THERE. HOW WAS IT? “We got a good finish out of it but it was a long, long night. Hats off to the team for not giving up, for sticking with it and staying after it. We got the car semi-competitive and then finally got some strategy and finally got back on the lead lap and we went from there. So frustrating night but a good points night.”

TALK ABOUT YOUR NIGHT. “It was a long one. Obviously a great finish. Shows the fight this team has and the ability to keep our heads in the game, so very proud of that. We just didn’t have the car that we thought we did in practice. At this point I’m not sure. We had Hendrick cars running up front most of the night with a little different set up. Junior (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) and I were kind of in the back so maybe we can combine the two setups from both shops and kind of go from there when we come back here in the fall.”

***

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, involved in a multi-car accident on lap 302:

WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE: "It knocked the wind out of me. I just saw the corner through my mirror, a car come into my left rear, and around I went in a hurry. I was hoping that I spun quick enough that I wasn't going to spin to the inside wall. And then I hit really, really hard. I'm just so proud of these guys on the DuPont Chevrolet. We had an awesome race car tonight. I don't know if we had a car capable of winning, but we were certainly going to give it a heck of a try and we certainly had a top-five car pretty easy. So, I hate it with the pit sequence and the pit strategy that was going on there that we lost all that track position. With 100 (laps) to go and everyone was just getting so impatient; you had to dive in there three-wide. I don't know what happened behind me but somebody shot up and got my left rear and around we went.

"I must have hit the corner of that inside wall. Again, I wish they had a Safer barrier there. I seem to be able to find the ones without the Safer barrier. But what a shame, man. That DuPont Chevrolet was so strong tonight. I'm so proud of Alan (Gustafson) and these guys. I hate that we lost that track position there, you know, with all the pit sequences and pit strategies that were going on there. You know, with 100 to go, everybody is losing their patience, including me. We were all three-wide. I don't know what happened. I just know that somebody got into my left rear and around I went."

YOU SAID EVERYONE WAS LOSING THEIR PATIENCE OUT THERE INCLUDING YOU, IS THERE A LOT OF BEATING AND BANGING GOING ON OUT THERE? “Well, there is 100 to go. I think it is a little early, but any time you have cars that stay out, cars that take two, cars that take four, they are going to be diving in there taking it three wide. I was having to do it to. I’m sure not blaming anybody else. Just kind of the circumstances when we’re like that. I just think that we got the bad end of it.”

YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO FIND THE SPOT WHERE THERE IS NO SAFER BARRIER: “I know. I don’t know what it is. I’m not trying to teach anybody anything. I really am not. I think it is pretty well known we need safer barriers everywhere. You think it is a short track and everything but man, I hit a ton and hit right on the corner where you don’t want to hit. It definitely got my attention. That is for sure. It rang my bell.

-source: team chevy

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Tags richmond 400, sprint cup