NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST RACE QUOTES & PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 19, 2010
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER:
ON THE UPS AND DOWNS OF YOUR DAY: “You know I don’t know what happened to our car there halfway through the race; the carburetor started missing. I couldn’t get going on restarts, but it actually worked in my favor you know once the run got in. I hate it for Tony [Stewart]. You hate win races like that but I tell you we’ve lost a couple here this year. Just so proud of Shane Wilson, all the guys on this Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet. Fourteen years General Mills has been in this sport and I finally got them a win. BB&T, The Hartford, everybody that is involved on this—Coca-Cola, Richard [Childress]; this is awesome. I just had a feeling that this race felt like back in 2007 and we did it again.”
YOU SAID THAT YOU CAN’T GO RUN HIM DOWN AND SAVE FUEL AT THE SAME TIME. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? “It’s terrible you want to go and I thought I could run him down, but I was just using so much fuel through the middle of the corner that I had to back it down. I could tell in his voice. You can always tell, once you get that relationship with somebody, you can tell in his voice how nervous he was and he sounded pretty nervous.”
YOU COME INTO THE CHASE 12TH AND NOW YOU’VE JUMPED TO SECOND, JUST 35 POINTS OUT THE LEAD. WHAT HAS THIS WON DONE FOR YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP RUN? “It’s just momentum and that was exactly what this team needed. The confidence, momentum—everything that a first win brings—the first race of the Chase, this couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m excited. Second in points, let’s go get ‘em! Thank you to Sprint and the fans that came out; that was a hell of a crowd and a great race. Thank you.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: “It was a really good day for us, though. I had a solid weekend and I think this is statistically my worst track so it’s really good for us to come in here and have a solid run. When I passed the 14 for the lead, really thought I was going to be able to drive away. I ran a couple laps there and opened up about ten cars and I drove into turn one and the splitter started crashing the ground, I’m really looking forward to Dover.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR. NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: ON HIS RACE: “The setbacks we had today hurt us a lot. I want to thank AMP Energy and National Guard and the team, they worked really hard. We unloaded a great car, they did a good job preparing it at the shop. We worked on it all weekend. It was pretty good in practice and we approved on it a little bit. We had an eighth place finish last time and felt like we were really fast and competitive all day long. We can’t qualify very good here, but once we get in race trim, we just kind of go to the front or get near the front.
“It felt like we had a top-10 car and we had the jack-stop break and had to go to the back and then a miscommunication with the No. 78 (Regan Smith) on pit that cost us a half of a lap under green, just battling back from that stuff. Track position was what we needed at the end, we didn’t have it.
“We were able to start on the outside and gain some spots on some guys that were a little bit slower than us and get back to where we needed to be. I think if we had the track position, we were as fast as the No. 14 (Tony Stewart) at times and the No. 1 (Jamie McMurray) and all those guys that were up there battling for it at the end. We just needed the track position. The No. 33 (Clint Bowyer) had everybody covered. I don’t know if anybody would have been able to hold him off. He was pretty fast all day.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH:
YOU GUYS REBOUNDED AND GOT YOURSELF A TOP-FIVE FINISH. THAT’S WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP ISN’T IT “We didn’t have a great day today. We didn’t have a great weekend honestly and to be able to come out of here with a top-five says a lot about everybody on this Shell-Pennzoil team. So we will just keep fighting and if we keep doing that on our bad days……we will be in good shape.”
“Congratulations to the whole 33 team. That’s awesome for them. We had an eventful day. Track position was critical, and we fought it all day long. We were too tight in the center, and then we adjusted too far, and our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet was just loose. But we hung in there, we battled, and we came away with a top-five finish. We need to get better, and we will. With how the day unfolded, I am happy.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/NATIONAL GUARD FACEBOOK CHEVROLET – Finished 6th:
YOU WERE REALLY PATIENT. TAKE US THROUGH YOUR DAY AND GIVE US YOUR THOUGHTS GOING FORWARD
“I think that’s taking advantage of our experience of being in the Chase and being in championships in the past. We just fought it out. That’s what we do best. We just never give up. I thought (crew chief) Steve Letarte called an awesome race.
“We probably could have made an adjustment that last time we came in to do a gas and go, because I was a little bit tight on that run but there at the end we just didn’t quite have the car but still sixth, and we didn’t want to gamble on the fuel like those other guys did. We gave up a couple of spots on the track but made them back up with fuel.”
YOU JUMPED UP THREE SPOTS IN THE POINTS TO FIFTH, LOOKING AHEAD TO DOVER HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CHANCES?
“Well, you know, I was hoping we were not going to lose any more points to somebody like (Denny) Hamlin and close the gap overall to first, but we lost some to him; but I felt like we made some big gains. It was just a really solid day for us and that’s what we need to do.”
A PRETTY SOLID DAY TO GET THIS THING ROLLING
“It was. It wasn’t our best day but I felt like we really brought the No. 24 car home in the best position we possibly could. We had some high hopes when we got up there to third or fourth; even to second at one time, but I think Steve (Letarte) called a great race. He didn’t want to risk the fuel and it just wasn’t worth it. We did a gas and go and probably just needed to make one adjustment on that last set of tires; we got real tight there at the end, but when those guys didn’t make it on fuel it definitely made us feel that much better about the call that Steve made and come home sixth. It was still a good points day for us.”
YOU MENTIONED YESTERDAY THAT YOU CAN’T WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HERE, BUT YOU CAN CERTAINLY LOSE IT. YOU DID A GREAT JOB HERE TODAY
“Well, I felt like our goal coming out of here was a top five. We ended up sixth, so we’re close. It’s not our best track in the Chase and we finished better than we did, well I guess better than the last time we were here, but we still finished really solid and we’re looking forward to going to Dover and some other tracks that we feel like are stronger for us.”
SEEMED LIKE THE THEME WAS TAKING CHANCES WITH FUEL OR WITH RUNNING INTO ONE ANOTHER
“I think that’s just sort of what happens with the Chase. I think everybody gets excited and the intensity builds up and it pushes guys to be a little bit more risky. But for us, we realize that we still have nine more races to go. I just don’t think you can win it here this weekend. You’ve got to make sure that you get everything out of your car and your team and we did that today.”
DID IT SEEM LIKE THERE WAS A LOT OF WILD DRIVING OUT THERE OR OVER-DRIVING, OR DOES THIS TRACK JUST LEND ITSELF TO THAT?
“It’s a tricky place on restarts. And it’s very tough to pass. I saw some guys fighting hard for position like what we see is pretty typical on double-file restarts, but you’ve got to realize that a lot of those guys that were battling were Chase contenders. And I think that maybe sometimes they pushed a little bit too hard.”
DOES IT PAY OFF MORE TO BE CAUTIOUS IN YOUR ESTIMATION, WHETHER IT’S WITH THE FUEL OR TAKING CHANCES IN THE TURNS?
“Well, I don’t think we played it cautious today. I just feel like Steve looked at whether or not it was worth gambling. That’s what we do every weekend, you know? We came into this race this weekend saying we can certainly lose this championship this weekend; we can’t necessarily win it. We’ve got to go and grind it out and work hard and put out that kind of effort for 10 weeks. That’s what’s going to win the championship for us. I feel like that’s the race that we really played today.”
DID CLINT BOWYER HAVE THE BEST CAR ALL DAY? WAS THERE EVER ANY QUESTION ABOUT THAT?
‘Oh, yeah; yeah. He was strong. Obviously Tony (Stewart) had it, had he not run out of fuel. So he had a strong car but wow, Clint was really fast. I’m proud of him. I like Clint a lot. I think he’s a great race car driver and a really good guy. He earned this one today. They worked hard to get here and he was fast all weekend. It kind of reminds me of a few years ago when he won this race in ’07.
“We know the Childress cars are going to be tough and I think this is probably the strongest track in the final 10 and this might give him some momentum to be even stronger for the next nine (races), but we’ve got to look at the ones that are strong for us too.”
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT THE FIELD IN ITS ENTIRETY TODAY ABOUT THE WAY THIS ARE MOVING FORWARD?
“It’s one race, man. There is a lot more racing left to go. We’ve seen all this stuff in the Chase before. It’s still fun to talk about. To me it’s not anything out of the ordinary.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON AND TONY STEWART ENDED UP BACK IN THE PACK, BUT THEY DIDN’T LOSE THE CHASE TODAY
“Teams like the No. 48 are so good at rebounding; you can’t ever count those guys out. For us, our strengths are how consistent we are. And we haven’t won a race yet this year. So while we’re trying to win races in these final 10, we can’t necessarily just expect it to happen; maybe like some other guys might be feeling. So we can’t afford to go out there and have a 25th place finish today.”
IF YOU WERE TONY STEWART, HOW TOUGH IS THAT TO OVERCOME?
“Yeah, that’s pretty tough to overcome. I’m sure he’s disappointed. I know they’ll go back and look at all the details and data from the race and figure out whether that was a risk worth taking.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH:
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: “We’re proud of the effort today considering we put ourselves in a hole by qualifying 24th,” said Newman. “Tony (Gibson, crew chief) got together with the team after yesterday’s practice and made some quality changes to the car. The U.S. Army Chevrolet was strong all day and the pit crew was solid. The guys were on it and it was nice to come out of the pits and gain some spots today. We took a gamble early by taking two tires on our first pit stop to get track position and it paid off.
“It was just a solid performance today by our U.S. Army team.”
JEFF BURTON, NO 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH (RAN OUT OF FUEL AT END): ON THE RACE: “We weren’t very good yesterday and they did a great job making the car better. We just came up a little short. We thought we were good (on fuel). We saved on it under all the cautions and the first 3/4 of that run, I was saving too. We just didn’t get as good of fuel mileage on that last run as we had been getting. It is what it is.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24TH (RAN OUT OF FUEL AT END):
A LAP AWAY FROM INCREDIBLE WEEKEND, YOUR EMOTIONS? “I’m not happy, that’s for sure, but we went down swinging. It’s hard to lose one that way but at the same time it was fun racing Clint like that. He was definitely the fastest car and congratulations to those guys. It’s a tough way to start the Chase but I’m proud of my guys. Darian (Grubb, crew chief) kept swinging at it all day and finally on that last set of tires we got it halfway decent.
YOU WERE GREAT IN QUALIFYING, FAST IN HAPPY HOUR AND SEEMINGLY UNBEATABLE ON RACE DAY, IF YOU HAD THE CALL TO DO OVER, WOULD YOU? “Yeah I would have settled for second. If you exactly how much gas you have it would be different, but you never know. It’s part of the sport, always has been. It’s what makes it exciting when you never know until the last lap what’s going to happen.”
MENTALLY WHERE ARE YOU AS FAR AS THE CHASE? CAN YOU WIN THIS? “Who knows? There is so much that can happen in nine races. I promise you this: This Old Spice/Office Depot Chevy team is not going to give up. We’ll do the best we can and give it our best shot.”
CAN YOU PUT IT IN WORDS WHAT THAT WAS LIKE? “Yeah, it sucks. It wasn’t much fun. Congratulations to Clint and those guys. He had a great car all day. He did a good job of saving fuel and I didn’t do a good job.”
TALK ABOUT THE GOOD THAT CAME OUT OF TODAY: “It’s kind of hard to find some.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/JOHNS MANVILLE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 25TH:
NOT THE KIND OF DAY YOU WANTED: “No, it wasn’t. On that one restart, we just got turned around and got some damage that we had to pit and stuff. But, it is the way it is. We showed up today, we did what we could. We had a decent car today and ran in the top-five and top-ten but just didn’t end up finishing there. We’ll go home and get back to work and go after it again next week”
JAMIE MCMURRAY NO. 1 MACDONALD’S CHEVROLET – FINISHED 3RD
POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
KERRY THARP: Let’s roll into our post race press conference for today’s SYLVANIA 300, first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and we are joined up front by our third place finisher, Jamie McMurray, who drives the No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
KERRY THARP: Jamie, certainly you led some laps, had an outstanding race car, and just a continuance of a very solid season for you.
JAMIE McMURRAY: Yeah, when I passed the 14 for the lead, really thought I was going to be able to drive away. I ran a couple laps there and opened up about ten cars and I drove into turn one and the splitter started crashing the ground, so just going to assume that a bump stop or something maybe failed and just let the car over travel, and the whole last run, I couldn’t use I couldn’t really use any brakes. If I pushed on the brake hard at all, it would make the splitter crash into the ground.
So it was a really good day for us, though. I had a solid weekend and I think this is statistically my worst track so it’s really good for us to come in here and have a solid run.
JAMIE McMURRAY: You can’t ask me about Denny (Hamlin), either, okay. You can ask me anything you want, just not about Denny. (Laughter).
Q. Knowing what you know about how far you guys can go on fuel at this place, Clint went 92 laps on his final tank. Is that astounding or plausible? How does that number strike you?
JAMIE McMURRAY: I know he went 92 laps but 20 under the caution; and I know before the race we talked about 75 laps under green. I would say he was really close to being out.
Q. Can you talk about the intensity of the restarts? We saw a lot of three wide racing and seems like things have picked up from your perspective.
JAMIE McMURRAY: I only started outside the Top 3 on one restart. Most restarts I started on the outside of the front row.
So it’s a lot different when you start in the first couple of rows because guys are willing to give and take a little bit. I did have one restart in 25th, and it’s significantly different. The thing about this racetrack is that you race on the apron at certain points in the race.
However, on the restarts, this is like the worst track that we go to for getting for like getting the car going. I mean, you saw two or three guys spin out Friday just leaving the pits because it’s so slick, and when the inside guy enters on the apron, it’s really hard to hang on to your car. So it’s different than what you see at Pocono when people talk about wild restarts. Here, it’s just hard to keep the car underneath you.
Q. You were right up there in front and you had Chase people around you all day; do you have to separate the fact that they are in the Chase and just race your race? Is it too much to think about to say you have to be careful around him or you can race him hard? Do you just have to say, I just have to race?
JAMIE McMURRAY: Yeah, honestly you probably can be more aggressive around the Chase guys because they are thinking differently than what the guys are that are not in the Chase. But really, I didn’t you know, over the last few years, you don’t think about that until it comes down to the last two or three races.
There’s a ton of racing left. I know you guys, there’s only ten left, but a lot can happen, even in two or three races. So really until it gets down until the last couple of races; I don’t pay a tremendous amount of attention to that.
Q. You were quoted as saying I guess before the Chase, you would gladly trade your two big wins this season with Clint for that 12th Chase spot. Given how he won today, would you still make that trade for a win in the Chase, and this result for you being as good as it was, does it make it bittersweet for you?
JAMIE McMURRAY: What I said was that I wouldn’t trade winning those races to be in the Chase and finish tenth and I still would not trade those two wins to be in the Chase right now. It’s a really big deal to win those two races. To win Loudon is a big deal, but it’s still not the Daytona 500 or the Brickyard 400.
Q. Or to be in the Chase?
JAMIE McMURRAY: No, still wouldn’t.
Q. How confident is your team for next year? You guys are really on a roll and you just missed it, and today you proved that you belong perhaps in the Chase.
JAMIE McMURRAY: Yeah, we just were really inconsistent earlier in the year and the last couple of weekends we became a lot more consistent. We did not have a good car at Richmond at all and we still fin 17th; where earlier in the year we would have finished 25th to 30th and that certainly would have put us in the Chase.
We have done a good job, for me, of staying out of trouble and we have had good cars all year long. I know Denny (Hamlin) is not looking forward to Dover but for me, that’s my favorite track to get to go to. We ran really well there in the spring, so certainly running well here, I can’t wait to get to Dover on Friday.
Q. You probably worked just as hard the first year you broke into Cup, but given the year that you’re having, can you share the emotions that you have from when you first started out to what you’re feeling this year, having such a great year?
JAMIE McMURRAY: My first year, certainly filling in for Sterling (Marlin), that was tough to get into somebody’s car that had led the points up till the Kansas race. It’s an awkward position to be put in and then to go out and the win at Charlotte and I don’t know if you guys remember, but they put a cell phone with Sterling on the other end while I was on national TV and me on the other end.
And that’s a really tough position to be put in. That’s hard for any driver to get out of their car, but for a young guy to get in your car and win immediately, that’s just I mean, that’s tough. That was odd for Sterling and for me. Certainly the racing is a lot different now than what it was in 2002 or 2003. I remember the restarts, being able to pass five or six guys on the outside of every restart and some of the guys that had been around for a long time, whether it was Rusty or Mark or those guys yelling at you after the race, just hang on until we get strung out. And now, when they have, you can’t hardly pass anybody on a restart now because everybody goes so fast and so hard, it’s a lot different than it was then.
KERRY THARP: Great first race in the Chase. Good luck next week.
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