DOVER, DE -- June 1, 2008 -- Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS scored a top-five finish followed by Martin Truex, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Impala SS in sixth, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS in seventh, and Jeff Burton, No....
DOVER, DE -- June 1, 2008 -- Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS scored a top-five finish followed by Martin Truex, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Impala SS in sixth, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS in seventh, and Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Impala SS in eighth to give Team Chevy four of the top-10 finishing spots in the rugged 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race on the tough asphalt track of Dover International Speedway.
The grueling 400-lap event was marred early on lap 17 when a multi-car crash left most of the racers scrambling to catch up to the leader and eventual winner, Kyle Busch. In the end, only six cars finished on the lead lap.
"Well, we finished fifth, said Gordon, who remains sixth in the series point standings. "You got to be happy about that. You know, it was a distant fifth and we got just too loose there at the end. I was just riding it to the finish. I knew it was going to be a big points day. Unfortunately some guys had some big trouble. We've got an awesome pit crew and team. They are doing their job right here on pit road and with communication. It was a solid day for us. We were about a fifth place car, and that's what we got."
Burton maintains his second position in the standings with his ninth top-10 finish in the 13 races run thus far in the season. Earnhardt Jr., who was caught in the early-race accident, finished a disappointing 35th after being caught up in a multi-car accident on lap 17 but holds on to third place in the standings.
Johnson, despite being penalized for speeding on pit road, recovered nicely to score a top-10 in the end and jumped two positions in the standings to seventh.
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 DIRECTV Impala SS sits eighth in the standings after today's race and Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS rides in the 10th points position to give Team Chevy six of the 12 drivers currently battling for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS -- Finished 5th:
"Well, we finished fifth. You got to be happy about that. You know, it was a distant fifth and we got just too loose there at the end. I was just riding it to the finish. I knew it was going to be a big points day. Unfortunately some guys had some big trouble. We've got an awesome pit crew and team. They are doing their job right here on pit road and with communication. It was a solid day for us. We were about a fifth place car, and that's what we got.
SOLID RUN FOR YOU ALL DAY LONG, HOW WAS THE HANDLING? "We were real solid. We started off real good and then we got a little bit tight. We made some adjustments and I'm really proud of these guys. Steve Letarte and all these guys on this DuPont Chevrolet really made some great adjustments and got us up in the top five. We pretty much stayed there the rest of the day. We tried to fine-tune, but it was a distant fifth, a good fifth. I'm really happy with the way this car and this team performed this weekend, but we've still got some work to do."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS, FINISHED 7TH:
"The wreck that we had changed the race a lot, a lot of good cars went out, a lot of guys racing in the points. We wanted to be smart and keep that in mind. I got caught speeding on pit road, and had to rally back from that. We lacked a little speed, but we were close."
TALK ABOUT RACING FOR POSITION AT THE END OF THE RACE: "We just got lapped there at the end, and you hate being a lap down, but there wasn't many cars on the lead lap. All-in-all, it wasn't a bad day."
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS, FINISHED 6TH:
"We just don't really know what happened to the car today, just can't figure out what happened. In happy hour yesterday, we honestly thought we had one of the cars to beat, we were really, really good. At the start of the race, we were really loose all day until we finally moved the track bar on a pit stop and it came alive and we had something really going then, but didn't have enough time."
WOULD MORE YELLOWS DONE IT FOR? "I sure as hell would have liked to see it. A couple more adjustments and we would have been right there. We were having a really good time there at the end; the car was driving really good there at the end. We just missed it by that much and once we fixed it on that pit stop, man it was like a different car and we ended up doing what we would normally do. A little frustrating but over all a great day, we needed the points."
IS THIS THE KIND OF DAY YOUR TEAM NEEDED? "We had a great day. The guys did a great job on the car and Bono (Kevin Manion, crew chief) made a great decision to go ahead and do that track bar on the left side that one time and that really made our day. We were going to be a lap down if he hadn't done that.
"Our car was no good at that point; it hadn't really been all day. We took a big swing at it and it got really good. That worked. That was the turning point of the day and I have to thank Bono for that, it was some good thinking on his part. Surely we didn't have any bad luck today, things went as they should and when they go that way, this is how we run. Hopefully we will just keep it up.
"We have run like this all year, top-10, we haven't been up there leading laps, but we have been a sixth, seventh eighth place car so this is what we need to keep doing."
YOU WERE THE LAST CAR THROUGH BEFORE THE BIG WRECK, WAS THAT YOUR LUCKY BREAK OF THE DAY? "I wore my underwear inside out today because my Mom suggested I try it (to change our luck) and I think I might be doing it from here on out.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS, FINISHED 35TH: NOTE -- Earnhardt, Jr. was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 17, but returned to competition several laps down to the leaders:
"There was a big wreck and we got in it. I couldn't tell what happened, but Elliott (Sadler) told me the 38 got in the back of him. It was just a miserable day at Dover and long. We stayed third in points, but there ain't much you can do except keep going."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, FINISHED 23RD:
"That was a tough day out there," said Martin, who started the race 30th. "The car was extremely loose early on and we never really got a handle on it. The leaders were really fast. We were just trying to hang on to a reasonable finish and then we had a flat leaving the pits and that really put us behind the eight ball.
"Sometimes that's just the way it goes," added Martin, whose career record at Dover includes four wins, 20 top fives and 27 top 10s . "We struggled for much of the weekend and we had a hard time early on. We were able to come back and get the car running pretty well, but unfortunately by that time we were several laps down.
"We'll soldier on and see what we have at Pocono next week. That's all you can really do, is put this race behind us, take what we have learned and move on."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS: Involved in a multi-car accident on lap 18, remains in the garage as the crew repairs the car:
"The wreck happened in front of us and we had actually stopped on the track because it was blocked and got hit in the rear by another car. Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and the guys are working on it to get us back on the track. It isn't going to be pretty but we well get back out and salvage as many points as we can.
-credit: gm racing