NASCAR » 26 April 2010
Chevy Drivers Talk about Talladega
“He (Harvick) was below the yellow line. They either have (the rule) or they don't have it. He was definitely below the yellow line. That's just pure b.s. It's just b.s. He was below the yellow line when he passed. He passed Jamie under the yellow line and the rule is very specific. You pass below the yellow line, you're the last car on the lead lap.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TUMS CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: "It was good. Luck of the draw where you went. It was good, we needed this result. It is important to finish well. We have three positives here so it is good. This is what we needed was a race like this."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – Finished 22nd:
WHO WAS AT FAULT TO THE ACCIDENT OUT THERE?
"Which one (laughs)?"
THE BIG ONE THAT YOU WERE IN
"Well, I got collected. I don't know what happened. I'm just excited that we finished on the lead lap, to be honest with you. I think it's been a while since we finished on the lead lap. We got a huge push down the back straightaway. I don't know who it was; maybe the No. 39 (Ryan Newman) or somebody gave me a big shove. And I was coming 10 mph faster than anybody and the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) is testing my patience, I can tell you that. It takes a lot to make me mad and I am pissed right now. You know, when a car is going that much faster, I don't know what it is with me and him right now, but whatever. But the guys did a great job of fixing it. I don't know what happened in the wreck. I just know the No. 31 (Jeff Burton) came across after getting turned and came down in front of me and we got collected, so we just did everything we could to finish at that point and we finished on the lead lap.
"I will say this; that was one heck of a race. I thought all day the racing was amazing. Yeah, there were times it got a little wild. We all knew it was going to go wild at the end but I don't think you could have asked for a better race. I applaud that rear spoiler!"
ON THE BIG CRASHES AT TALLADEGA
"Yeah, that's kind of how it goes here. I mean it doesn't matter until two or three (laps) to go. And that's what I was so excited about is I kind of got shuffled back there and I got a shove from somebody. I've still got to find out who it was. I know it was a black car; that's all I could tell. But I got a huge hit. And the momentum and I was just gone. We were going to drive by some cars and the No. 48 decided to change three lanes and keep me from going by him. And that's just not cool when you've got cars going that much faster than you. So maybe he just didn't know it but we'll just take what we can get out of here and go onto the next one."
DOES IT GET A LITTLE OLD KNOWING THAT THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN AT THE END OF THE RACE?
"Well it's now a lot of fun from a driver's standpoint to know that. You're just kind of holding on tight. Even when we didn't have any wrecks for the majority of the race, you just know that in those green-white-checkereds and closing laps that you've got to start pushing and shoving and getting so aggressive it's the only way you can make a pass and win the race, that you just know it's going to happen. You just hope that you don't get caught up in it. But we've been caught up in it I don't know how many times now; a lot lately."
DID THE SPOILER CHANGE THE RACE HANDLING MUCH?
"I think that the driver attitudes, how we approach the race and just trying to mix it up but use our heads and you can credit the spoiler or whatever you want to credit, but it was great. There were a lot of strategies going on out there. There were guys who wanted to get up there and do the two-car draft thing and try to take the lead. We wanted to lead a lap or two so we got some bonus points but didn't feel like it was worth the risk to get the most laps led. So there were times when I could stay up front there. When I could, I stayed there. When I got shuffled out of line, I just went in the back and rode. There were a lot of different strategies that played out. It's a totally different restrictor plate race these days. It's something we all have to embrace and get used to because this two-car draft thing is what's going to win these races these days."
DIDN'T THINK YOU LIKED BUMP-DRAFTING
"I think it's the dumbest thing you can do. For 90 percent of the races, it just makes no sense to me to sit there and just pound on a guy's bumper. They dropped the green and they were doing it. I don't think that's smart. That doesn't make any sense to me. I don't know how you expect to get to the end of the race or what you're really accomplishing by doing that. I've always expected it toward the end of the race. And there is no getting around it. It is what it is."
AFTER TALKING WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON, HOW DISAPPOINTING IS IT TO HAPPEN AGAIN THIS QUICKLY?
"Yeah, it's disappointing. I don't think it was a very smart move. These cars sometimes get such a shove and sometimes you get so much momentum it's just more of a coincidence that it was him. But I mean, you turn the wheel left like that when a car is coming and somebody's going to have a problem. I did everything I could to keep from wrecking him. I did. I saw what he was doing and I know I couldn't go underneath the yellow line to pass him so I did everything I could to check up but somebody was still pushing me and turned me and I actually got into him. But he's been testing my patience and it's about reached its boiling point."
DID YOU THINK YOU WERE OKAY AT THAT POINT AFTER YOU GOT SHUFFLED BACK AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THE THING WITH JEFF BURTON
"I didn't know what kind of right front damage I had after I hit him. But I thought the car felt like it was still fine and a lot can happen here in two or three or four laps. So I didn't think we were out of it by any means at that point. And I knew green-white-checkers would be coming into play as well. And then I saw a car out of the corner of my eye get sideways and then go across my hood and then the No. 31 (Jeff Burton) came across there and I couldn't miss him."
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