Team Chevy drivers Regan Smith and Jeff Gordon both ran into issues during the Pure Michigan 400. Below is a recap of what both drivers had to say about their issues and if they’ll get back out on track.
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/FARM AMERICAN CHEVROLET – INVOLVED IN ON-TRACK ACCIDENT ON LAP 76
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? “Marcos Ambrose is just driving over his head. I don’t know if it is because he won last week, he’s got extra pressure or what. He’s been doing it all day. He’s almost wrecked four times that I’ve seen. Unfortunately, four tires are better than two, and I was four. We’re going to get this Furniture Row Chevy fixed up and get it back out on the race track, and get what we can.”
IT’S BEEN A TOUGH YEAR FOR YOU GUYS. YOU GUYS HAD A REALLY GOOD RUN LAST WEEK HOW DISAPPOINTING IS THIS? YOU WANTED ANOTHER STRONG RUN THIS WEEKEND? “Of course it’s disappointing. We’ve got a top-10 race car and you can’t help guys driving like idiots. That is what he was doing. Everybody has been really loose on restarts on this tire. I think most of us figured that out and most of us figured out how to control our cars and do what we had to do. Pretty disappointed with today. My guys on the Furniture Row team have been working really hard and that is how it goes.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – SIDELINED WITH ENGINE ISSUE ON LAP 95
WHAT WAS IT THAT BROUGHT YOU BACK HERE? “A valve spring, just running along there and all of a sudden dropped a cylinder. I was pretty sure that’s what it was. Of course the No. 14 had that same issue got our fingers crossed for all the other Hendrick engines out there. This is a tough place on engines. We rarely have these issues and it’s unfortunate to have this one here today. It’s the kind of year we have been having. I was hoping after Pocono we could carry some momentum and not have these kinds of back-to-back weekends, but that’s not the case. We go on to Bristol and fight hard there.”
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO DIAGNOSE ON THE MOTOR? “It’s a valve spring. I think that’s the same thing that happened to the No. 14 (Tony Stewart) earlier. It’s something that when you come to Michigan and you turn these kinds of sustained rpm’s on this fast of a track, it’s always of concern here. And that bit us. I’ll tell you, we’ve been having a rough weekend. We’re not handling the way we were hoping to. Track position is so important that all we had to do was get track position and we still could have come out of here with a good finish and even won the race. There’s a lot of laps left and it’s unfortunate we don’t get to find out what we could do with it. It’s the kind of year we’ve been having. We’ll just go on to Bristol.”
IT SOUNDED LIKE YOU HAD SOME ISSUES WITH YOUR TEAMMATE, DALE EARNHARDT JR., EARLIER IN THE RACE. “Well, he took me four-wide and that wasn’t that big of a deal but then he slid up in front of me off of Turn 2 and I had to check up or I would have wrecked all of us. So, I just didn’t think that it was the smartest thing to do, especially as teammates. But, he chose to do it and that’s fine. It all worked out. I don’t care who I’m racing out there; I’m going to show my displeasure if I’m not happy about something. But that one was pretty close; but no big deal. I’m glad to see he’s running good. Those guys have really got their car dialed-in here at Michigan this year.”