CHEVY NSCS AT WATKINS GLEN: Post Race Notes and Quotes

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
CHEEZ-IT 355 AT THE GLEN
WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
AUGUST 9, 2015

KEVIN HARVICK FINISHES THIRD AT THE GLEN
Three Chevy SS Drivers in Top 10

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – (August 9, 2015) – Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Kevin Harvick, had to settle for a third-place finish in the CHEEZ-IT 355 at Watkins Glen International when his No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS ran out of fuel on the final lap of the race.  Having led 29 of the 90-lap, 220.5-mile event, more than any other driver, Harvick ran dry with just two corners to go.  It marked the second week in a row that a driver ran out of gas and relinquished the lead.


American Muscle

“I thought I’d done a pretty good job of saving fuel under the caution,” said Harvick, who scored his eighth top-10 finish in 15 races at the Glen. “I was just running as fast as I needed to, to protect the lead. All in all, our Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team did a great job today and we were in position to have a win; two corners away. So, hopefully we’re saving that up for the last 10 weeks.”

Harvick continues to hold the lead in the current point standings by 42 markers over second place driver Joey Logano.

Kurt Busch battled back from a pit road violation in his No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS to finish fifth, and six-time Sprint Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson, brought his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS home 10th, to give Team Chevy three of the top 10 overall.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was 11th in his No. 88 Nationwide Chevy SS, Kyle Larson was 12th in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS, and Paul Menard brought his No. 27 Libman/Menards Chevrolet SS across the stripe in 13th place.

It was a rough day for several other Team Chevy drivers who experienced mechanical problems on the 2.54-mile road course.  Jeff Gordon finished 41st in his No. 24 Axalta Chevy SS after experiencing brake issues early in the race. Tony Stewart was 43rd in the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, had the seal in the rear-gear fail on his machine sending him to the garage, and pole-sitter AJ Allmendinger finished 24th in the No. 47 Kroger/Bush’s Beans Chevy SS, after a battery failure mired him deep in the field late in the 90-lap contest.

Logano (Ford) was the race winner; Kyle Busch (Toyota) was second, and Matt Kenseth (Toyota) finished fourth to round out the top five.

The next race on the circuit will be August 16 at Michigan International Speedway.

 

POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER/JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 3RD
YOU LED 29 LAPS TODAY, MORE THAN ANYBODY ELSE. YOU NEEDED TO SAVE 2 LAPS OF FUEL. DID YOU SAY TO YOURSELF THAT YOU COULD DO THAT?

“I thought I’d done a pretty good job of saving fuel under the caution. Really, I was just running as fast as I needed to, to protect the lead there as I was in front of the No. 20 (Matt Kenseth). And once the No. 22 (Joey Logano) got there, I had to pick up the pace just a little bit. But all in all, our Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team did a great job today and we were in position to have a win; two corners away. But that’s just kind of how the middle of this season has gone. We’ve had really fast cars but the circumstances have just gotten the best of us. So, hopefully we’re saving that up for the last 10 weeks.”

 

WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR TEAM HEADING TOWARD THE CHASE?

“It tells me I have the best team on pit road. Our cars are faster than pretty much everybody else’s every week. The circumstances have definitely bit us quite a few times. But all in all, if you have the fastest car and you keep running in the Top 5 and leading laps, eventually you’re going to wear them down.”


KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HASS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – Finished 5th:

ANOTHER STRONG RUN FOR YOU HERE AT THE GLEN. HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS THE DAY?

“It was a great effort. We had to overcome a pit road penalty and just being stuck in the back, I wasn’t quite making the right decisions on some of the restarts. I was trying to be cool and be smooth and work our way back up with a nice pace, knowing some of the front-runners couldn’t make it on fuel. For us on the Haas Automation Chevy, I wanted to finish what we started at Sonoma. I wanted to win it today. A Top 5 is a great effort. Thanks to Monster Energy, Chevy, Haas Automation, and all the Haas employees that were down there in Turn 1 rooting us on, I felt it each lap through there.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 11TH
ON HIS DAY:
“Yeah I guess we ran out of gas off the last corner.  We had a fast car.  Eleventh is not a great finish, but considering we were kind of not in a good position there on strategy.  We didn’t get the cautions.  We just didn’t get them.  Usually you expect to get that late caution inside 20 to go.  That would have made it good and we could have run hard, maybe run in the top 10.”

ON HOW HE HAS IMPROVED ON ROAD COURSE RACES:
“Yeah, we were fast right off the truck.  We qualified with a lot of good speed.  We practiced with good speed.  We raced with great speed compared to the leaders all day.  I can’t say nothing about the effort and just happy because I think that is the best I’ve ran here comparable to the leaders speed, maybe, in my career.  We’ve had some good cars here, but I don’t know.  We came here in ’08 and led and did well, but that was a good car.  I had the leader’s right in front of me all day.”

THOUGHTS ON FUEL MILEAGE RACES:
“You call that a fuel mileage race?  The No. 22 (Joey Logano) won he wasn’t using fuel mileage to win.  I wouldn’t call this a fuel mileage race.  This was a road course and you call these races backwards.  Your guys are going to get aggressive on the fuel.  That is the way it was going to be.  Everybody knew that coming in.  We just didn’t get the cautions we always get.  We still ended up with a good run.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 17TH

ON HER DAY:
“The car wasn’t too bad it wasn’t super-fast, but track position was important.  Obviously at the end it came down to fuel.  We had just enough to make it.  It wasn’t quite like last weekend at Pocono, but I’m sure it made for an exciting finish.  That was the best qualifying, best position at Watkins Glen for the GoDaddy car, so not awesome, but something to build on.”


AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER/BUSH’S BEANS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 24TH

ON HIS DAY:
“I’m not sure. We just kind of missed it today.  The track was definitely tricky.  We fought finding rear grip.  We couldn’t ever really get the grip in the rear that I was looking for.  We kind of changed the platform and it chirped the car.  I was really struggling on the second run and then the third run the battery died.  When the battery died that obviously put us way behind.  I thought the changes we made helped the car a little bit, but I got my lap back and drove as hard as I could to get as much as I could.  I thought maybe we could get back to the top 10.  Just 10 laps short.  I don’t know if it was another fuel pump issue or not.”

 

BRIAN BURNS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 47 KROGER/BUSH’S BEANS CHEVROLET SS:

“We had a good car.  A lot of cars had bad luck today; unfortunately we were one of them as well. Under caution AJ was saving gas turning the car off and he couldn’t get it to turn back on.  We are still trouble shooting to find out exactly what it was, but we changed the battery and it seemed like everything was good after that.  I’m not sure if we had a dead cell or something there.”

 

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 41ST 
WHAT WERE THE ISSUES YOU GUYS HAD GOING ON THAT SET YOU BACK?
“We had a brake line issue.  It wasn’t broken.  It’s not like I hit anything or something came into it and broke it that we can see.  Something went bad with the line and it started leaking fluid and we started losing brakes.  So we had to come in.  Unfortunately, it took us four laps to get that changed.  Just so hard to make up laps when you get that many down, especially at a track like this.  We were okay at the beginning we weren’t great.  It’s a long race, a lot can happen, but you have to be on the lead lap and we weren’t.”

 

HOW DISAPPOINTING IS THIS?
“Well it’s disappointing, but I mean right now I just feel like we can’t afford to have these kinds of finishes if we are going to make the Chase.  I have no idea where we are right now in points or how all that worked out, but just when you think you get something that is going to go your way and something like this happens.  We just keep fighting and digging and try to get the finishes that we need to get ourselves solidly in there.”

 

WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN IMPROVE ON AS WE GO THROUGH THE NEXT FOUR RACES?
“We need to improve slightly performance wise, but I think our performance is not bad.  Right now it is the unknown.  It is the concerns of freak things happening like what happened to us at Indy, what happened to us here.  Those are things out of your control.  We are all about the things you can control and from that standpoint we are just trying to improve the performance of the car slightly.  We are not far off though.”

 

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined on Lap 49 due to multi-car accident – FINISHED 42ND

“I had a run from behind from the time we all took off. I was trying to time it for start/finish and pull out as soon as you get there. But they all stopped before we were at start/finish. So before I could even turn right, I was underneath them.

 

THIS PUTS YOU IN A TIGHT POSITION APPROACHING THE CHASE CUT-OFF. THIS IS THE SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK YOU ARE OUT OF THE RACE EARLY

“I made it longer this week than last (laughs). That was pretty awful last week. Yeah, at this rate we’re going to need to win. That’s the only way we’ll go into the Chase. I don’t know what my deal is. But we’ve got to get a little better. I need to get a little better. We had a nice test at Bristol, so I feel that will help us when we get there. And Michigan; there were times at Indianapolis when we were really quick with that package. I know they’re working hard to bring a little less drag and more downforce type deal there for us, all four of us. So hopefully we can run good at Michigan and maybe get a win there. We’ve won there before and also won there at Bristol before; so, maybe one of those tracks.  Darlington and Richmond; there are some tracks that we could run really well at.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 43RD

ON WHAT HAPPENED:
“We are going to leave it together.  We changed it out, but we are going to leave the rear end together and get it back to Charlotte (NC) and find out exactly what happened.”

 

DID YOU HAVE ANY WARNING?
“When I came off of (Turn) 1 I could feel it like it was kind of pulling heavy and going up through the esses you could hear it let go right at the end of the esses.”

 

FIRST TIME YOU WERE ABLE TO RACE HERE IN A COUPLE OF YEARS THE WEEKEND STARTING AT PROMISING THIS IS KIND OF DISAPPOINTING?
“I guess for me its big picture.  The way our season has been we’ve picked up.  Indy we picked up, Pocono we picked up, we picked up here in qualifying at all three places for sure.  At the end of the day the results won’t show it, but I think for us it’s … granted it’s three totally different disciplines and packages and all that, but I feel like we are starting to gain some momentum.  Like I said, it won’t show it at the end of the day on the results, but I feel good about our weekend.”

 

WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE CAR FOR THE MOST PART?
“Yeah, we were weak in some spots.  Through Turn 10 everybody was beating me between Turn 10 and 11.  We definitely struggled there, but I think there were parts of the racetrack that we made better from Friday.  I felt like we gained on it.”

 

AND YOU USED THE TRACKBAR:
“Yeah (laughs).  Normally he (Chad Johnston, crew chief) has to remind me that adjustment is in the car.  I never thought I would really use it on a road course, but I played with it quite a bit.”

 

THE RECEPTION OF THE CROWD TODAY SEEMED GOOD:
“Yeah, real good all the way around.  Yeah, we had a good weekend, as good as it could be.  Happy to get to race here today.  That is something I have been looking forward to and happy about the couple of weeks we have coming up.”

 

 

 

 

 

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