NSCS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE TWO: Jeff Gordon Press Conf. Transcript

SEPTEMBER 27, 2015

Fuel Mileage Hampers Chasers

LOUDON, N.H. – September 27, 2015 – Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson, led the way for Team Chevy with a sixth place finish in his No. 48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the track known as the ‘Magic Mile’.  While running third in the field on lap 200 of the 317.4-mile race, a left front flat tire sent Johnson to the rear of the field; but he was able to rebound.

American Muscle

“We were fortunate to catch a couple quick cautions to get us back on the lead lap and get new tires on the car,” said Johnson. “From there, we had to go racing with I think, 50 (laps) or so, to go. The car was strong. Maybe it wasn’t a race winning car, but certainly a top five car. I think we got inside the top 10 and then it sounds some guys ran out of fuel and got us to sixth, which I’m really happy about with this Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet. We had to deal with a lot of adversity today and overcame and got a great finish.”

The race was not so ‘magical’ for defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Kevin Harvick, who ran out of fuel in his No. 4 Ditech Chevy SS with three laps to go. Harvick led 216 of the 300-lap event in dominating fashion, but finished 21st in the final order.

Jeff Gordon, who today became NASCAR’s new Iron Man as the All-Time Consecutive Starts Leader with 789, finished seventh in his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SS.  All the career starts by Gordon have been in Chevrolet race cars.

“Jeff Gordon is a true professional,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet, U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “He has competed at the highest level, each and every race weekend for more than two decades, winning 92 races and four championships with Hendrick Motorsports. We are so proud that he has been with Chevrolet for this entire historic run. We congratulate Jeff and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team on their 789thconsecutive start.”

Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevy SS finished eighth, Kasey Kahne was ninth in his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SS, and Ryan Newman finished 10th in his No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, giving Team Chevy five of the top 10 finishing positions.

Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevy SS and Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS were also victims of the eventual fuel-mileage race.  Both ran out of gas in the end; and finished 19th and 25th, respectively.

Matt Kenseth (Toyota) was the race winner, Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was second, Joey Logano (Ford) finished third, Greg Biffle (Ford) was fourth, and Carl Edwards (Toyota) finished fifth.

There are currently nine Team Chevy drivers competing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.  They finished as follows:

6th – Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS

7th – Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SS

8th – Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevy SS

10th – Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS

14th – Jamie McMurray, No. 1 FLIR Chevy SS

15th – Paul Menard, No. 27 Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet SS

19th – Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevy SS

21st – Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Ditech Chevrolet SS

25th – Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Nationwide Chevy SS


The next event in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be October, 4 in Dover, Delaware.



THE MODERATOR:  We are now joined by Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet.  Talk to us about your race today.

JEFF GORDON:  Well, as expected, I knew we were going to have to fight really hard.  This is a tough racetrack.  It’s just ‑‑ the flat turns and the long straightaways and the compound of the tires, there’s just not a lot of grip.  You know, I was a little bit worried.  We started the race off, and the balance was way off.  The grip wasn’t great, and I thought, man, this is going to be a long day, but a lot of credit to Alan and the team.  They did an excellent job making adjustments, improving the car.  You know, we had a bunch of things that didn’t go our way, and then luckily there at the very end, we had it go our way where we came in and got four tires, had a decent restart, and were able to drive all the way up there.  Luckily we had that long green‑flag run and I know a couple other guys ran out of fuel.  That was the best we were all day, and pretty happy to finish it off like that.


I’m wondering if you can kind of reflect a little bit about the success you’ve had here in New Hampshire.  I talked with Red MacDonald who owns the USA Speedway.  He talked about you racing down there, but just kind of the state, particularly of this track in your career.

JEFF GORDON:  Yeah, when I think about racing here throughout all the years, one of the things that really comes to mind is coming here the very first time with the Busch Grand National series, and I think it was in the Baby Ruth car.  You know, it was an interesting time in the sport at that time because this was a new track that was being praised.  It was great to have a track like this in the northeast, which is something that didn’t exist as a true oval this far north, and so we knew there was a lot of big race enthusiasts and teams and drivers up here.

But the rules back then for Busch Grand National South versus Busch Grand National North had differences.  You could run V‑8s in the North series; you could not in the South series.  You could run a different rear end up here, and you couldn’t down there.  So we got our butts kicked when we came here that first time.  That’s what really stands out to me, and maybe that was ’91, I don’t know, I thought it was ’92, but you know, I’ll never forget that, and then coming back here with the Cup Series, I felt like I had a great idea of what this track was like and what it had to offer, and I think it paid off for me over the years in the Cup Series.


I know you and your crew took the duck boat out before coming out.  Can you describe the morale, any stories, any other laughs that the guys had?

JEFF GORDON:  It was very cool.  I mean, first when I laid my eyes on it, I was like, that’s awesome that we get to ride in this around the track.  It’s a unique experience, and thanks to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for doing that, and my family got to go with me.  It’s rare that we get the team and my whole family and they get to ride around the track with me like that, so that was very special.
It certainly seemed like the fans were pretty excited about it, as well, the way that they were reacting.  It was really cool.  Yeah, great way to get the day started.


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