Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Winner Jimmie Johnson, other Chevy drivers comment on their day at Martinsville

Posted On Monday, 31 October 2016 00:00 Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – RACE WINNER

 


WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AT THE END?
“We really had great long run speed.  We lost track position through a couple of different means there at the first half of the race.  Honestly, that caution with the No. 19 car put us in the catbird seat.  I wasn’t sure I could get by the No. 18 or the No. 11, but we got going and I got by both of those guys.  I thought ‘man I hope this stays green’ because that really suits what our racecar was doing all day long.”


WHAT WAS IT LIKE COMING FROM THE BACK AFTER GETTING THAT PIT ROAD SPEEDING PENALTY?
“It was so tough for 20-30 laps; everybody was running the same speed. I would try to maintain my position and not burn off my tires and wait for guys to start slipping and sliding and then I could finally get going. Those long green flag runs towards the end were really what put us in position to win.”

 




THIS IS GOING TO BE THE FIRST TIME YOU GO TO MIAMI WITH A CHANCE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP UNDER THIS FORMAT WHAT IS THE APPROACH THE NEXT COUPLE OF RACES TO LEARN FOR MIAMI?
“I mean at Texas it’s not the exact same track, but we can still learn at Texas and take that to Miami.  Win races; try to put as much pressure as we can on ourselves, because we know come Homestead that pressure is going to be pretty intense.”

 

WHAT A CRAZY DAY FOR YOUR RACE TEAM… RUNNING OUT OF FUEL AT ONE POINT. WHAT WAS THE PANIC AT THAT MOMENT? DID YOU THINK THE DAY WAS DONE?

“Yeah, there were a lot of moments but anything in life you have to work for it. It’s not going to come easy and we knew that coming into this race. There are so many challenges with this track. I’m so thankful for this race team.

“To win on this weekend at this track with the tragedy we had in ’04, we’re thinking of all the loved ones that we lost in the plane crash. We want to thank our family and friends. It’s a great time to start winning races.”

 

IS THIS A MOMENT WHERE YOU HAVE TO PINCH YOURSELF THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BATTLE IT OUT AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP?

“I’ve been trying to ignore this conversation about seven (championships) but now I can’t! We’re locked in. I’m just honored to be in this position. I wouldn’t be in this position without the belief of Lowe’s and all their employees had in me back when I was running 10th or 15th in the Busch Series. Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon… all of the people who have believed in me to get this point. It’s crazy that we have a shot at seven now. We couldn’t do it without our partners at Chevrolet, Valvoline and the list goes on and on. Thanks to them all very much.”

 

ANYTIME YOU CAN JOIN RICHARD PETTY AND DALE EARNHARDT, THAT’S A BIG CONVERSATION. HOW MUCH WILL YOU THINK ABOUT THAT OVER THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS?

“I’ll probably lie to all of you guys and say I’m not going to think about it at all. But it’s inevitable. Fortunately, I don’t have to think about it for three weeks. But we’re going to enjoy this and savor it. We’re going to get our ducks in a row for Homestead.”

 

WHAT SORT OF MAGIC DID YOU GUYS FIND IN THIS 48 CAR TO GET TO VICTORY LANE?

“It was really those long runs. We didn’t get the black right-side rubber to lay down like I had hoped. But it was the closest we had had it for a long time. Having those long runs really suited my style and our setup of our racecar.”

 

HOW WILL YOU APPROACH THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS?

“Obviously we want to win more races. If we can have success at Texas, that will only put us in Miami with more confidence and more speed in our car. That’s a mile-and-a-half. It will be nice to go into Phoenix not having to worry about much - really the next two! It puts us in a good position. The work is far from over. There’s one race that’s winner-take-all.”

----------

 

JEFF GORDON, INTERIM DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 6TH

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE WHAT IS LIKELY YOUR LAST RACE HERE AT MARTINSVILLE? AND LIKELY YOUR LAST TIME BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES CAR?
“Well, I had a lot of fun out there.  It is great to be here in front of all these awesome short track and Martinsville NASCAR fans.  It’s just a special place to me and I had a lot of fun and had a great car.  This No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet was really good. I knew we didn’t have the short run speed for some of those Gibbs cars.  I don’t know where Jimmie (Johnson) came from, wow; he is just so good here.  You get him out front like that and he is just unbelievable.  Congratulations to those guys stamping that victory and getting them to Homestead that is amazing just like we did last year.  Had to overcome a lot of adversity, but that last run I don’t know if it was from running so many caution laps there trying to figure out the scoring, which was kind of a disaster, but that was a tough one for NASCAR to figure out.  I don’t know if that had an effect on our tires or what, but the car just didn’t feel the same on that last run and had to settle for sixth.”

 

ON JIMMIE HAVING HIS SHOT AT A SEVENTH TITLE:
\"When things are on the line and things matter most, Jimmie and that team know how to step it up to another level. They showed that today. He\'ll be showing that again in Homestead. I was back there in sixth or seventh place just watching him go after the No. 11 car (Denny Hamlin). That was just phenomenal driving and racing. Then he just drove away.

\"Well seven is a number to a lot of people, but to me he is already one of the all-time great. That number might just solidify that in the history books and maybe for some others. Maybe it might be special to him personally.\"

 

IS THIS YOUR LAST RACE AND ARE YOU HAPPY WITH SIXTH PLACE FINISH?\"Well I would rather have won. I felt like we had a fourth or fifth place car the run

before that so I always wanted to get the most out of it. I was a little disappointed it didn\'t take off there at the last yellow, but very proud of this team proud of my performance. Best finish I\'ve had in this car.  Good way to finish my run this year in the No. 88 Chevy.\"

----------

 

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CREDIT ONE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 8TH

 

GOOD FINISH TODAY:
\"We had a good car. We got a little bit lucky with the caution there after we had a bad run and got a lap down there. It is nice to have a little bit of luck on our side. We had a really good car; we got a little bit of luck and got a good finish.\"

 

ON CLOSING SEASON STRONG:
\"I thought since we had a little bit newer tires than some of those guys, we would be in a good position with the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson).  We just didn\'t quite have it here when we needed it. But we\'ll keep moving on.\"

----------

 

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER/CLOROX CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 10TH

“Just a good day.  Just missed it a little bit, couldn’t quite get the car to turn kind of right through the exit of the center of the corner to get it pointed.  Just kind of struggled with the same thing all day.  Compared to the spring I thought we were just a little bit off, but we still had good speed, ran in the top 10 all day.  The way that played out I thought we were actually going to be real fortunate and have a shot and unfortunately I just ran out of fuel and had to make the decision to try to go right to pit road there to make sure we didn’t get stuck on the racetrack.  Never seen a race at Martinsville last 100 laps green, I thought if we could have got a caution there we could have maybe fought back up to sixth, seventh or eighth that is kind of where we could run, I thought on outright speed.  Third top 10 in a row, I think it’s the first time I’ve ever had three top 10’s in a row.  I think it’s the first time the team has ever had it.  Martinsville has always been a good place, but it just shows we are getting more speed in the car.  A lot of these places that we are going to it’s definitely helping.  Looking forward to the last three races, brand new cars and Texas and Phoenix are places we have kind of struggled at, look forward to going there and trying to improve.”

----------

 

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUSCH LIGHT CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 20TH

 

WHAT WERE YOUR ISSUES TODAY:
\"We were slow all weekend. We could just never get the handle on it.\"

 

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CHALLENGE YOU NOW FACE REGARDING THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
\"I haven\'t really looked at it. We will see.\"

----------

 

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 STATE WATER HEATERS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 22ND

 

WHAT WERE YOU STRUGGLING WITH MOST TODAY?
“We missed it.  I don’t know where, how, why, we missed it.  Even SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing) as a group we didn’t perform well.  That was not the day we needed.  Sorry to State Water Heaters, their only race of the year and we didn’t perform well for them.  We just missed it.”

 

HOW DO YOU GUYS BOUNCE BACK NEXT WEEK?
“I have no idea, but we will figure something out.  We came all this way we won’t give up now.”

 

CAN YOU PULL OUT OF THIS HOLE GOING FORWARD?
“Yeah, we picked a bad day to miss it.”


-- Transcripts courtesy of Team Chevy

 

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

AutoTechReviews  is your home for In-depth reviews of the latest cars, trucks, and SUVs; information on all the emerging vehicle technology; and breaking news from the world of NASCAR and other motorsports.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter. Don’t miss any news or stories.

We do not spam!