After finishing 12th in Chicago and 5th in New Hampshire, Jimmie Johnson sits fourth in the Chase heading to Dover International Speedway this weekend
Raleigh, North Carolina (Sept. 23, 2014) – NASCAR driver and six-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson has been heard talking about his race car driving like a tank. Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway Jimmie Johnson met with the media and fans to talk about the upcoming Bank of America 500 and take a comparison drive in a World War II tank.
“I have made references to how bad my race car is driving and it driving like a tank. Today I will find out if it’s true,” Johnson joked before climbing aboard. “It’s usually relative to our car not turning sharp enough and from our debriefing earlier, it doesn’t turn very sharp.”
“The comparison’s fair,” Johnson said of driving the 75,000-pound battle-tested beast. “They don’t turn very well. I just feel bad that I tore up the grass so bad.”
You can watch Jimmie Johnson compete in the fifth race in the Chase for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Championship, the Bank of America 500, at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 10 and 11th. Check ESPN and local providers for details on possible television coverage of the upcoming race.
“When we get to Charlotte – granted the format is far different now – but you usually have an idea of who the players are. We’ll have a good idea of who’s showing strength,” Johnson said. “I want another win sticker. This has been a great track for me over the years. It has changed a lot. The surface in May was finally starting to lose its grip. We have a lot of little bumps building around the race track which over the next few years will turn into big bumps and allow us to move around the race track and find some different lines.”
Ford Fusion and Team Penski sit in the drivers’ seat after third straight win
Joey Logano combined a quick pit stop to grab four new tires on Sunday during the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with a great restart to take the lead with just two laps to go and then won the race down the stretch to the finish line. This victory punches his ticket to the Contender round of the 2014 Chase to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Championship.
Sports History Today was on hand after the Slyvania 300 to hear what Joey Logano had to say about his victory and the upcoming race at Dover International Speedway.
Did you know that four tires would be the call of the day?
“No, I thought we gave it away at that point, but four tires were good and we had some good restarts and were able to get ourselves back up there. We worked hard. This is my home race track, the coolest place to win for me. I could never pick a better race track to win. I watched my first Cup race here when I was five and I won that other Cup race here, but I just felt like I had to win one the right way here, and this means so much. I’ve got to thank all the boys at Team Penske. We’re doing what we’ve got to do to win this thing right now – both teams are – and I’m proud of that. This is my home track so it means so much to me.”
What went through your mind when the caution came out with four to go?
“I had a lot of things I can’t say right now that came to my mind, but we were able to have some good restarts. The guys did a good job setting this thing up and gave me something to win with today. I went to sleep last night hoping for a top five. That would be good for me at this track because it’s not one of my key places, and that’s why it means so much to win here.”
How does it sound to be going to the next round?
“It feels good to go into the next one. We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing though. We’ve got to keep our eye on the prize and think about the big trophy at the end.”
How did you feel heading into the race?
“A lot went into this one, that’s for sure. I’ll just take you back to when we unloaded we were OK and then yesterday in practice we were so-so. I didn’t feel like we were great and towards the end of practice we made a couple changes and found some speed, started seventh today and was able to work our way up a little bit in the beginning of the race. I felt like, ‘OK, ‘we’ve got something to contend for a victory with,’ if everything worked out right and we ran around top-three most of the day. We came in and put two tires on and a couple cars stayed out, and at that point I had a bad restart third and another bad restarted when I was fifth and that put us sixth or so when the caution came out. Todd put four tires on it and at that point I thought he was crazy because we came out 16th, and I was like, ‘Well, let’s just try to salvage something out of this and try to get a top-10 or top-5,’ because our goal coming into the race was to get to the next round. We’ve got to get to the next round to win the championship. That’s our ultimate goal is to win the championship and we had to get through this day the best we could and had some really good restarts. Before I knew it I was sitting third and was like, ‘Huh, I’ve got a shot at winning this thing.’ I’ve got 30 lap newer tires than anybody and we were able to capitalize with that, and then of course it was caution after caution after caution and that was making me nervous for sure. I don’t know if Todd and Walt were, but I know I was and we were able to capitalize and have some good restarts and be here in Victory Lane. Too me, this is almost like Daytona. It’s such a special place for me. I watched my first Cup race here when I was five and started my first one and won my first one. After the week I had in Connecticut doing some really cool fundraisers, to top it off with a victory is really neat.”
Does this increase your confidence heading to the next round?
“I would think so. It definitely didn’t go the other way. You get a win like that. This is personally I consider my worst race track. That’s terrible to say because it’s my home race track, but I’ve always struggled when I come here. To be able to win at your worst race track that makes you feel like you can win anywhere. It’s just special to be able to do that and the confidence is high with the 22 team right now and all of Team Penske. We all feel like we’ve got some championships to win this year, not only on the Cup side but on the Nationwide side also. Obviously, we’ve already got one with IndyCar so we’re just trying to catch up to them.”
Did you think you had a good chance to win with all of those late cautions?
“Restarts you never know what’s gonna happen, but Todd gives me a really good car that I can be aggressive with on restarts and I think that’s a big deal because the more in control I am the more aggressive I can be, and the more aggressive you are in restarts the more you’re in control of the restart. You don’t want to be the guy going the wrong way. Todd said a second ago about being on the offense and not on the defense. It’s not just putting tires on that makes it like that, it’s having a car that’s capable of running in traffic and it’s something we work on a lot in practice and making sure that we have something that’s gonna be good in traffic and that can restart well. We’ve seen it time and time again with these Sprint Cup races that it’s most likely gonna come down to a late-race caution, so you’ve got to be able to execute the restart and the first five laps around traffic. That takes a good car and kind of knowing what to expect and trying to play it out in your head before it happens.”
How does it feel when you have a car that responds to your input?
“It’s nice when you say something about the race car and Todd is able to adjust it and fix it and it gets better. That’s what we get paid to do. When we go to practice it’s, ‘OK, where we are on speed and what do we need to be better.’ We talk about it and be methodical about our adjustments and go from there. I think Todd does a great job. Todd doesn’t just make changes to make changes. I know that’s how I would be if I was a crew chief. I’d be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, just do that and do that and it will be fine and go for it.’ But Todd really understands and takes the time to talk it out with me, which I think is very important to dig out the deep information and then think about what the adjustment is gonna do and what the reaction to other parts and pieces of the car is gonna be when he does it, and understand why it changes a certain thing. I think that’s what makes him very strong as a crew chief, and that’s why I wouldn’t be a crew chief because I would just go for it. So together we work out.”
How much sweeter was it to win this race today compared to the last time?
“I didn’t know where Victory Lane was here actually, so I just made another lap. I said, ‘I’m just gonna keep going around.’ I didn’t have any rear tires on it. I think it drug the frame rails off the car, but I just didn’t want to come in. I wanted to stay out there. This is, like I said, how big of a win this is for me. I never got out in front of all the fans on the front straightaway before but it was just too cool. I couldn’t give up that opportunity. Then I just wanted to keep going, so I just kept making laps out there. There might not be much left of the car, but it was really special to win here and I wanted to make it last as long as I could.”
Has this track always been an outside line restart track or did weather conditions play a role?
“As far as I can remember, yes, the outside has been the preferred lane, but it’s kind of sketchy. It is where you can get the momentum and most likely you come out in the lead, but the way you get in the corners here, it’s so flat just one lane down that the inside car gets loose really easily, so it’s dangerous being out there, but it is the preferred lane and that’s why when I was in the lane I did everything I could to make sure I had a good enough restart that I had position on him, that I didn’t have to race him through turn one. That was my big goal on every one was just getting through the gear box as quick as I could.”
What happened on the restart when you and Brad were together and Harvick passed you guys for the lead?
“It’s exactly what I just talked about. I got on the inside and we were both racing for the lead and I got loose and I started chasing it up. Thank goodness he held onto it and we held onto it and we both ended up with good days out of it. The important thing is that both of us have moved on to the next round and we can keep racing and working together and trying to win the championship.”
Did you think your shot at the win was gone at that point?
“No, it’s not over until it’s over. I’ve seen these races change a lot in the late laps. No, it’s never over until it’s over. If I’m running fifth with four to go, I still think I can win this thing a lot of times. I think that’s the attitude you’ve got to have. If you get a late-race caution it’s like, ‘I’ve got a shot at it. It might take a miracle, but I’ve got a shot,’ and that’s all I can ask for.”
What’s your attitude heading to Dover?
“Dover is a crazy race track. It’s so much fun to go around it. Right now, my focus is on Texas though. We’ve got a test down there the next two days and we’ve got to make sure we make that test everything we can do out of it and make sure we’re ready for it when we get to Texas and try to win down there again. Right now, I’m focused on that and then we’ll think about Dover. You talked about being relaxed, it’s not really the case. Walt said earlier our next focus is the next race and we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We focus hard on each and every race track and we want to go to Dover. Knowing that we’re in the next round is nice, but we want to go out there and win. We want to keep the momentum going and you never know what’s gonna happen later on in this Chase. There could be a time that we don’t make it to the next round and we’ve got to revert back to points. It would be pretty nice to have a solid finish at Dover to try and get a good, solid points position at the end of the year. Our goal is to win the championship though, so we have to get from round to round, but just because we’re in the next one doesn’t mean we’re gonna take an off weekend next week.”
The next test for competitors is the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014. Four drivers will be eliminated from the Chase for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Championship next week. You can catch the race live on ESPN starting at 1 p.m. eastern time and the race begins at 2 p.m.
Penske Racing gives Ford its 1th win of the season, but the first at Chicagoland Speedway
Joliet, Illinois (Sept. 14, 2014) – Brad Keselowski won for the second consecutive time, and the fifth overall this season, on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway to advance to the Challenger round of the 2014 Chase.
This win puts Keselowski and Ford Racing at the front of the pack and in control of their own destiny heading to the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 21. Presently, he’s just seven points ahead of second place racer Jeff Gordon, nine ahead of his teammate Joey Logano in third, and 13 ahead of Kevin Harvick in the Chase for the 2014 Sprint Cup Championship trophy. You can check the official standings for the Sprint Cup series here.
With only two weeks remaining in the first round of the Chase, several drivers are on the verge of being eliminated, and need to put their foot down on the accelerator. Ryan Newman finished 15th at Chicagoland Motor Speedway, after starting second on the grid, and needs to pick up the pace this Sunday. AJ Allmendinger sits five points outside the cutline, and after finishing 22nd last week, will need to find a path through the pack and finish high in the standings to keep his hopes for the second round of the Chase alive. Greg Biffle sits nine points behind the cutline and after an average start and 23rd place finish at Chicagoland Motor Speedway, is expected to let his horses do the talking this Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Sports History Today was on hand after the race to listen to Brad Keselowski talk about his win at Chicagoland on Sunday.
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
How you were able to win? “I am not really sure what to say. I don’t really know what happened I just know we got to the lead. There was traffic and I was just digging and in the zone. The recorder was turned off so I don’t remember what happened. I had my head down doing all I could do. We had a great Miller Lite Ford Fusion that I knew from the start would be good but man it was really awesome the last few runs. We really dialed it in and the 2 crew did a excellent job. What a day. Man, I am still pumped.”
Starting 25th on the starting grid, how much patience did it take to make it to the front and win? “You have to be so patient. The cars in traffic are all over the track and it is very easy to spin out on your own and you have to pace yourself. I don’t know what to say. I am so thankful to be here. I want to say thanks because I know the fans can hear me. I saw all of them standing on their feet when we made the pass for the lead and that was awesome. Thank you fans for being here and for your support. What a great day. God that was sweet.” How does it feel to make it to the next round of the Chase? “Awesome.”
Give our readers a few comments about the way the race played out for you today. “I guess you couldn’t ask for a better way to start the Chase other than starting up front. Just phenomenal with the way things played out. I don’t know if we were the fastest car. There were some runs where I thought we were really fast and then some runs where I thought the 4 and the 42 were really fast. It was so hard to tell. Whoever had the cleanest air was really at such an advantage. But towards the middle part of the race, that’s when we lost track position. That was something that we all thought was awful at the time, but I guess it worked out. Then from there we just fought, just climbed and clawed. I think we got up to eighth, and Paul made the call or decision to pit a little bit late. It worked out perfectly. We were able to be on pit road right as the yellow came out. That put us from eighth to fourth, I think. We were able to take advantage with that on the restarts, get up to third. I just saw a hole and I went for it. The 4 and the 42 were racing really hard, doing all the things they needed to do. It just opened a hole. I didn’t know if my car would stick or not, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try it. I tried it, it did. That got us into the lead. Even that was going to be close. I think the 42 was quite a bit faster as the long run went. We got that yellow. Things evened out. We were able to take advantage from there.”
Everything didn’t go well with the car today, but despite this you seemed to be confident throughout the race. Was there ever a time during the race you thought things were about to fall apart, or were you confident throughout the competition? “I knew we were going to need to catch a break to get to Victory Lane from there. That was going to be tough. We did catch a small one. But I was really surprised how much speed we had to get as close as we did to the front there. That was amazing. I think we drove up to eighth. We restarted 16th or 17th in position, but probably had to be 30th or something in car order. So to get by that many cars, get close to the front, was really an incredible run, and put us in position to capitalize when that yellow came out. That was something that all came together. From there, I knew once we got to fourth with 30 or 40 to go, it was going to be about executing the restarts. We had an okay one the first time where we just really held serve. The outside groove was very, very difficult to get a good restart in with wheel spin. Then we had a great one there the last one. There were three of them. I can’t remember there were two or three of them. The last one, once we had gotten the lead. We just put it all together, and that was very, very special.”
Give our readers an idea of what this win means in terms of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship? “It means a lot. My boss would say don’t read your own press clippings. I want to enjoy the moment but I still know there’s nine weeks to go. We have a bit of a hall pass for the next two, which I’m very appreciative. But those other seven, nobody cares that we won Chicago, nobody cares that we won Richmond or the other three races. It keeps resetting. You have to reset yourself. You have to keep developing the car and pushing as a team, whether it’s on pit road, the car handling, spec, whatever it might be, or driver tactics. So I want to be thankful for today, but I know there’s a long ways to go. Today was about as much of a statement as you can make on a week one with ten weeks to go. I don’t want to understate it but certainly don’t want to overstate it. It’s a hard balance.”
What does this race mean for you and the team? Is this win a road sign the other racers need to heed? “I think kind of like I was saying before, it’s a statement for this week. After we get done with Dover, everything resets. I still don’t think we were the fastest car. It was probably pretty even between the 4 and the 42 and maybe the 24. It was about the clean air and restarts. But I’m still very thankful for what we were able to do today and we got to keep pushing.”
How is this win going to change the way you race this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway? Will you be willing to let it all loose, knowing it doesn’t really matter what you do here, or will you play it conservative and save the car for later races? “I don’t know. I guess that’s something we have to sit down and discuss as a group. I can’t really say I’ve thought about that in detail. I think there’s potential with people. There’s potential with pieces we might be worried about from a reliability standpoint, things of that nature that come to mind. I don’t know what those opportunities are. A guy like Paul, Travis, Tim Cindric, they know that best and could probably answer that question better, but we still have a lot to talk through and work on. Certainly don’t want to lose focus on the seven races after that, as well.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup series action continues this weekend on the pavement at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Brad Keselowski will be on hand to entertain and make a run for his third consecutive Sprint Cup series win. Always willing to talk to fans and let it all go on the race track, Brad will be happy to show you his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion, and sign an autograph.
If you can’t make it to Loudon this Sunday for the running of the Sylvania 300 on the pavement of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. ESPN’s Motorsports This Week is airing a live telecast of the second race of the 2014 Chase on NASCAR Countdown starting at 1 p.m. ET. The green flag will drop around 2:15 p.m., so you have time to grab a few snacks and get ready for the fun!
Defending Bank of America 500 champion Brad Keselowski and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory were in Raleigh on Wednesday to compare notes on the 2014 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship and the Upcoming Bank of America 500
Raleigh, N.C. (Sept. 10, 2014) – Defending Bank of America 500 champion Brad Keselowski and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory say hello during a Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour stop in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday.
“I came to watch the race and it was one of the most incredible experiences and I’ve been a NASCAR fan ever since,” McCrory told the crowd. “I want to encourage all the people in Raleigh to come to the Bank of America 500 Oct. 10 and 11 – Friday and Saturday night. It’s a huge weekend. But don’t come to the raceway and sneak in the back like I did.”
“I think Charlotte is probably one of the most important races in the bracket,” said Keselowski, whose appearance was part of NASCAR’s day-long “Chase Across North America” event, which included stops by all 16 Chase drivers in major markets across the United States and Mexico. “Let me tell you why. In that bracket we have Talladega and we have Kansas – two tracks that really don’t dictate your own fate. You see a lot of wrecks in both these races so that makes it really tough. But if you can go out and win Charlotte, win that bracket and get to the next round, that can be a huge momentum swing.”
Brad Keselowski and Miss Sprint Cup Julianna White flirted for the cameras and shared a laugh with the hundreds of race fans that showed up at City Plaza in the heart of the city.
Brad Keselowski looked relaxed while talking to fans about the importance of the upcoming Bank of America 500 for the Chase to win the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.
Charlotte Motor Speedway President Marcus Smith, Brad Keselowski, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Miss Sprint Cup Julianna White pose behind the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Trophy and Bruton Smith Trophy.
NASCAR legend and the race driver credited with discovering “drafting”, spent a little time getting to know Miss Sprint Cup Julianna White during the party Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C.
Country music singer/song writer Jimmy Wayne will perform a few songs on October 11 as part of the party to kick-off the Bank of America 500.
People looking for a fun, free-to-attend, social event where they can meet NASCAR celebrities and legends have three more chances. The Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour will stop in three more cities during the weeks ahead,whichis youropportunity to have a picturetakenwiththeNASCARSprintCupChase Championship and Bank of America 500 trophy. People in attendance also have the opportunity to register to win a Toyota Camry, tickets to the Bank of America 500 and other delicious prizes.
The schedule below lists the three remaining stops on the 2014 Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour presented by Coca-Cola and Walmart.
Wednesday, Sept. 24
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
3950 Grandview Dr, Simpsonville, S.C.
Monday, Sept. 29
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
4424 W. Wendover Ave, Greensboro, N.C.
Monday, Oct. 6
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
5825 Thunder Rd., Concord, N.C.
For more information on the events occurring during the three stops remaining in the 2014 Bank of America Trophy Tour visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
Photo credits: NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway
Bristol, Tennessee – Joey Logano took the lead at Bristol on Saturday night in his No. 22 Ford Fusion race car with just 44 laps to go and then won the race to the finish line in amazing fashion. This first win at Bristol Motor Speedway cements his position in the race to the Sprint Cup Chase in two weeks time and serves notice to the other drivers with three wins this season that he’s definitely ready to battle for the championship.
Currently, the three teammates Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski also have three race wins this Sprint Cup season. It appears the main battle for the Sprint Cup Championship for 2014 is going to be headed by the three drivers for HendrickMotorsports and two for Penske Racing.
During the after race interview Joey Logano said he wants this win to say one thing, “That we can win the thing. What a Shell/Pennzoil Ford there. When I woke up this morning I wasn’t sure if we were a winning car or not, but Todd Gordon is good salesman. He pretty much sold me into thinking we had a winning car and we made some small adjustments on it all night and got our third win of the year. What a year we’re having. I’m having so much fun. The past six or seven races have been unbelievable. We’ve been running up front and it’s just been so much fun. I’ve got to thank Shell, obviously Ford, Sprint and everyone that helps out at Penske – Discount Tire, Hertz, Auto Trader. This is like one of the three biggest races of the year, I feel like – the Bristol Night race – and to have this in the record books with your name on it is really, really cool.” HOW IMPORTANT WAS PATIENCE TONIGHT? “Important and not important. On the restart there when we were sixth with tires I said, ‘I’ve got to capitalize right now.’ So I went as hard as I could, raced the 20 really hard and got everybody I could and then I was trying to keep up. The 20 was really fast and then there at the end I had something going wrong. I don’t know if it was the brakes or a hub failing in the rear, but it started vibrating really bad and getting really loose. I’m like, ‘Oh, come on. A couple more laps, a couple more laps.’ So of course there’s always added drama at the end that you don’t want, but patience didn’t come into play and then when I was racing the 24 there at the end it did come into play. We were able to make there at the end.”
“I feel like the Bristol night race is maybe the third or fourth biggest race of the year,” Logano said. “Just the atmosphere before the race, if it doesn’t pump you up, nothing does. It’s just the baddest mamma jamma race track ever built.”
The full race result for the Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 are below.
Dover, Delaware (September 28, 2013) – Joey Logano raced his way into the history books again on Saturday, winning his fourth straight NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Dover International Speedway in the 5-Hour Energy 200. Joey Logano is now the only NASCAR Nationwide driver to ever win four times on the Monster Mile of Dover and the only driver to win four consecutive events in any racing series at the mile long superspeedway in Delaware.
When asked about his historic day, Joey answered. “This has been my favorite place ever since I started here. Even when I barrel-rolled down the straightaway, it’s still my favorite place.”
With four straight wins at the Monster Mile, it is not hard to see why this track is his favorite place to race. The race on Saturday at the old track was recorded as the fastest ever in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, beating the previous record of 130.152 set in 1998 by Dale Earnhardt. Jr. by 1.082 mph.
The fast race was really due to the 160 laps they raced under a green flag. Logano had the pole advantage and due to this was ahead for the first 18 laps, before Kyle Busch made his move. By the time they reached the 26th lap things became a lot tighter on the track, when the caution flag was raised due to a spin by Brian Scott. The caution flag was raised again during Lap 37, when Donnie Neuenberger ran into the wall. By this time in the race, the race car of Joey Logano was running noticeably slower on the track. This prompted Joey to come into the pits for a long stop, during which time he had this to say.
“[Busch was] really fast in the beginning of the race and we were really loose,” Logano said. “I even wanted to stop at the caution before that. But we decided to stay out a little bit longer and got that next caution. We took that hit on pit road making these big adjustments. “These Nationwide races are short and you have to make big swings early. [Crew chief] Jeremy [Bullins] made some big swings on this thing and got it close, and we just needed the one more stop to fine tune it. I was just able to run my race and take care of the tires, and do the right things in the car.”
The extended pit stop worked wonders for the race car of Logano and Busch had elected to stay out on the track and gain ground, instead of pitting. When Busch eventually had to head into the pit during Lap 87, the rest of the field followed his example a few laps later, and this put Busch behind the rest of the racers on pit stops, and would mean he would need to stop one more time before the end of the race.
By this time the tires of Logano were 30 laps newer than the race tires of Busch and he started to rapidly gain ground on the leader. He caught Busch on Lap 141 and from that point on there was nothing but open race track between him and the finish line.
Logano “When your car drives good here and you have what you need, when you have lapped traffic it doesn’t even slow you down,” Logano said. “When you’re loose, you get stuck. In these Nationwide races, being able to get through the lapped traffic as quick as possible is key to winning these things.”
At the press conference after the 5-Hour Energy 200 Joey Logano had a few things to say.
Joey Logano – No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang – We had a fast race car. I don’t know what else I need to say. This Hertz Ford was really good when we unloaded and then throughout practice the track changed on us a little bit and last night we made some good changes on the race car. Jeremy and all the guys and girls on the team did a good job tuning the thing up for me. We started the race too loose and they went for it. These Nationwide races are short. You’ve got to make big swings real early and I feel like Jeremy and I have worked enough together now that when I say loose and how loose he kind of knows how much it is and he made some big swings on this thing and got it pretty close. Then we needed one more stop to just kind of fine-tune it. After that second green-flag stop it was dialed in pretty good. I was just able to run my race and take care of the tires, make sure I was doing the right things in the car, and get another victory. It’s just really cool to get four in a row here at Dover. That’s pretty awesome. It’s been my favorite race track ever since I started here, yes, even when I barrel-rolled down the back straightaway it’s still my favorite place, and I think we showed it today. Hopefully, my Shell/Pennzoil Ford tomorrow is just as fast as this one. If that’s the case, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
The No. 22 Hertz Ford
The crew chief for the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang, Jeremy Bullins, also had few comments on the race and car.
Jeremy Bullins – Crew Chief -No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang “It means a lot that we’re continuing to build good cars. This is another brand new car that the guys at the shop built. We just keep pushing forward and, like Joey said, the first race here we learned a lot about what the car needs for him. I feel like we’ve learned a lot about, like what he says, when he says ‘loose’ we’re learning how to work on it and we’re getting closer with that. We talked about it before the race, there were a lot of streaks to be kept alive today and I think we managed to pull that off, so it was just a great day on pit road. The guys did a good job. The whole team just did an excellent job today.”
When asked why it has been so hard for him to have success on the race track on Sunday at Dover International Speedway, Joey answered.
Joey Logano “I tell you what, on the Cup side I really do feel like I’ve had some strong cars here. I’ve had a lot of misfortune in the Cup races, but I’ve had a lot of fast race cars here that are capable of running top five. I’ve had loose wheels. I’ve had flat tires. I’ve had motors blowing up. I’ve gone through a lot here at this race track and that’s why if you look at the stats like you did, you wouldn’t know that we ran as well as we did, but we have run really well at this race track on the Cup side. I’m expecting tomorrow to be similar, I hope. As far as the way the Chase has gone, Chicago, we were doing everything we were supposed to do. We got the pole and we were leading laps, but unfortunately things break on race cars every now and again and that cost us a really good finish there and a lot of points, obviously. Last week at Loudon, it’s probably my toughest race track that I go to. I go from the place that I hate the most to the place I love the most this week and we came out of there with a 14th-place finish, which is not good, but, for me, is decent actually. We come here this weekend and we know that we can still run up there. We still have a lot of momentum on this team and we know what we did to get in the Chase and how good we are, and we’ve just got to keep pushing forward and keep fighting. I always say that the 22 team over there never quits and they never die and that’s what we did to get here. We’re not out of it yet. We can still win it. We’ve got a tough road ahead of us and we really can’t have a bad race in the next eight, but we can still do it. We’re not out yet. The fat lady is not singing yet. She’s warming up her voice, but she’s not singing yet.”
Was it surprising to see this race run 160 laps to the finish line without a caution and were you surprised how easily you caught up to Busch after the series of green flags evened out?
Joey Logano “Yes and yes. They were really fast in the beginning of the race. We were really loose, so I even wanted to stop the caution before that because we were hanging on. We were pretty loose, but we decided to stay out a little bit longer and then got that next caution. We took our hit on pit road a little bit making these big adjustments that we were gonna lose a couple spots and some guys took two, and then we were able to drive our way close to the front and then, obviously, he didn’t pit so he has to pit earlier than us, and then at that point we have newer tires so we were able to kind of run him back down. I don’t really know what happened after that. I was just driving in circles as fast as I could.”
“That’s when we just came out on new tires and I radioed in to Jeremy and said, ‘This car is right on. It’s right where I need it to be,’ and I was able to carry really fast lap times. When your car drives good here and you have exactly what it needs, when you get to lap traffic it doesn’t even slow you down. But if it’s loose like it was, you get to a lapped car and you’re just kind of stuck and you can’t go anywhere. He had it right where I needed to be that I was able to pass cars when I got to them and really make up that gap a lot because in these Nationwide races having a fast car is one thing, but being able to get through the lap traffic as quick as possible is key to winning these things.”
Concord, North Carolina (Oct. 12, 2013) – Kyle Busch will be looking to win at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the thirteenth time during the upcoming Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup Series race on October 12, 2013. His twelve victories at the old track in North Carolina rank him first in Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series wins, but he still hasn’t managed to win a Sprint Cup Series race on the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway in Charlotte.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile monster drivers either love or hate, or both
Kyle recently stated he was looking forward to getting his first Sprint Cup Series win during the Bank of America 500, and taking home a Bruton Smith trophy to put on his mantle.
Kyle is ready to race on October 12 for his chance at a championship
Kyle Busch “That elusive win in the Cup series has eluded us here,” Busch said. “We’ve had a lot of great runs – some second place finishes and third place finishes and a lot of good runs where we’ve led a lot of laps, but in the last run of the race it seems like we’re just a little bit off. But we’re looking forward to Oct. 12 here at the Bank of America 500 and being able to take home one of those nice gold (Bruton Smith) trophies.”
Kyle will need to have a strong Bank of America 500 on October 12, if he wants to make a run at winning the Chase. This race will be the fifth of the ten races included in the Chase, and he’ll need to have a strong position heading into this event. His overall record on this superspeedway gives him a good chance, one would think, but anything can happen out on the track. Once you get out there all previous records get thrown out the window and it’s everybody for himself. He’ll need Lady Luck on his side, if he’s going to be successful.
Kyle certainly knows the value of this race, “You want to get off to a good start (in the Chase),” he said. “Our team, the Joe Gibbs Racing team, obviously has gotten off to a good start. Once you get past the halfway point, that’s sort of when you define the contenders… That’s when you know who you’re going to be racing against for the championship.”
Winner of two Bank of America 500 races and NASCAR legend Dale Jarrett was recently asked if he had some advice to give Kyle Busch on how to win at the old track in North Carolina. “What am I going to tell Kyle Busch about winning here? He obviously knows how to win,” said Jarrett, who was seated in front of all 12 of Busch’s trophies from his Nationwide and Camping World Truck series wins at Charlotte. “He’s, if not the best driver I’ve seen come through the ranks of NASCAR, he’s certainly one of the top three. It’s just incredible what he does with a racecar. What I can offer is that, as much as you can have a good car – he has plenty of talent – but good fortune is probably the best thing you can have on your side.”
Kyle Busch fans can watch their hero race for his thirteenth win and first Sprint Cup Series victory at the superspeedway in Charlotte on October 12, 2013. They can also catch all of the fun happening on October 10 and 11, like the Bojangles’ Pole Night and the UNOH Southern Slam, and the Dollar General 300. Just tell them Warren sent you over to have some fun.