14 September 2013
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsport - Q&A
There is a concern for that, and I think it's a good question. But there is more concern to me that we get to Homestead and have this come up again. So it needs to be addressed. Usually what happens in a situation that gets to this magnitude, there is going to be an overreaction and you understand that and accept that. It might need to be modified over time, but I think right now an overreaction is probably the acceptable reaction.
Monday night you noted that you felt like the person that triggered the entire chain of events here got nothing. What would have been an acceptable penalty to you to the #15 car? And I'll stop there. What is an acceptable penalty to you?
I do see it differently when it comes to that. I do think that event is what started all this. What really magnified this to a whole other level. I also know that NASCAR - I can't see what all they're dealing with. I'm not in that room. I'm not hearing all of the different sides to it. So I do give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to these types of decisions because they have a lot to think about and what affects those decisions. But to me, yeah, it seemed like they did an overall penalty for MWR that sort of dealt with it but not really, and turned the focus over to what they could prove with the #55 and the radio communication.
But what's acceptable? I don't know. But something. I mean, me a 50-point fine pre-Chase was no penalty. That is all I was upset about. I felt like it was pretty clear. I felt like that's what started all this and that didn't really get addressed.
Do you think it was purposeful?
That's going to be addressed tomorrow though.
Do you think it was purposeful?
I do, yeah. I feel that way.
You were talking about integrity. Beyond just being pro-active and having this meeting tomorrow and coming out and trying to explain what's going to be different, what else can the sport do to reestablish what might have been lost and what do you think has been lost? Is it just a matter of NASCAR saying we're addressing this? We're going to try to fix it? Does that go a ways in terms of restoring that?
No, I think actions speak louder than words always. It's us going on Sunday and racing as hard as we possibly can for every position, battling it out for a championship, and making sure that when we leave here on Sunday there is no radio communication that the media gets ahold of that they've recorded that can say anything otherwise, other than we're out there with the intensity and just the passion and excitement that this sport is built on, that it's known for, and what it's all about.
I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be the case prior to this meeting, but certainly after this meeting I think it's going to be clear for the next ten weeks and on.
Now that you're in the Chase and playing with house money, so to speak, can you write the rest of the script and win the thing?
I always like to say that you've got to walk before you can run. But I will say this has lit a fire under us. I mean, just to go through what we went through Saturday night. Really, I look at last year too. We went through that wild and crazy race and made it in the Chase under those circumstances. We came here ready to go.
I loved the way we handled ourselves, even though we had the throttle issue. We were running third or fourth in that race, and to me we had a shot at either winning or Top Five. And in some funny way this has kind of given us that same fire that we had last year. And we have ten or at least eight, I'd say, good racetracks that are in the Chase that I really like, that we run well at, and it starts right here in Chicago. This is a good track for us. We qualified well. New Hampshire is a great track for us. Martinsville is a great track for us. Obviously, Homestead is a great track. We ran great in Charlotte. I mean, I would say Kansas and Phoenix are the two that are probably on our radar that we need to do better at. Texas is another good track for us.
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