Below is post-race quotes from Team Chevy drivers Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon, and Jeff Gordon.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SECOND
GOOD SOLID EFFORT, YOU GUYS WERE PATIENT THEN WHEN IT WAS THE CLOSING LAPS OF THIS EVENT YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TRY TO JUMP IN THERE AND GAIN SOME SPOTS. WHAT DID YOU LEARN DIVING OUT OF LINE LATE IN THE RACE? “I had a really good pusher Austin Dillon so that helped a lot. I wanted to do it with two (laps) to go, but we didn’t have a run at that point so we had to wait until one (lap) to go. I was able to get by the No. 20 and then get close to the No. 18, but Kyle (Busch) was strong. We would have needed more laps to try to work together to see if we could have passed him at any point. It was still a great run for our Farmers Insurance Chevrolet. Looking forward to the (Daytona) 500 we made some gains since Saturday nights Sprint Unlimited race, just feel like we are getting closer and closer. I’m excited about where we are at right now.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 33 HONEY NUT CHEERIOS CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED THIRD
YOU GOT 60 LAPS UNDER YOUR BELT IN A DRAFT FINALLY WHAT DID YOU LEARN OUT IN 60 LAPS? “Quite a bit, it was fun out there. I had some good people helping me with (Jeff) Burton and Kasey (Kahne). I wanted to get a Chevrolet in Victory Lane, but it was awesome to get in the race. When they told me we were in I was looking forward to just having that Sunday. It’s going to be awesome; I will always remember the first one.”
DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD ENOUGH CAR TO PULL OUT SHOULD YOU HAVE NEEDED TO? “I could get some runs every now and then through the tri-oval. There at the end that is why I was kind of like ‘let’s go right now’ it happened and we got there pretty quick, but just not enough to get the No. 18.”
NOT A BAD JOB FOR A ROOKIE IN YOUR FIRST QUALIFYING DUEL. “Yeah, that’s awesome. After that first one, we still weren’t in it so we got a little nervous before that. So, we stayed in it all day and rode that top line. I ran behind Kasey (Kahne) the whole time. I was waiting for a Chevy to get into Victory Lane right there.
“I just couldn’t get enough of a run at Kyle (Busch). His car was really good. But I want to thank Honey Nut Cheerios for giving me this opportunity and this is an awesome feeling and I’ll always remember the first one.”
ON HIS EXPECTATIONS FOR DAYTONA “”Yeah, we’ve got a good hot rod. This thing is all about being there at the end; going into conservation mode early and then getting them at the end.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH:
HOW WAS IT? “It was great. Real happy with the Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS. The car is fast; drove really good. Of course, I was out front the whole time, but there are two things that I take from this. This is why you want to qualify on the front row, because of a little incident like that (pit road speeding penalty). As well as, that is why we race this race. It’s nice, because we need to learn that now on the tach, and on pit road to make sure that doesn’t happen in the 500.”
DID YOU HAVE A TACH GUAGE PROBLEM? “I think we just missed on…you want to maximize everything you have out there. Every opportunity. You don’t want give up anything on pit road, and we were just a little bit too aggressive with our setting. I ran it spot on where it needs to be. They gave us the numbers, it was just a tiny bit over in three segments. It wasn’t that we had a problem or anything like that, we just pushed it too hard.”
IS IT DIFFICULT TO PASS THE LEADER? “I would have liked to have been up there with Kasey Kahne. You have got to have somebody go with you; you can’t do it by yourself. But you can get a run, definitely. No doubt about it. I knew Kasey was just sitting there behind me just waiting for the right moment and opportunity late in this race. This is a real thinking race now. It comes down to the way it used to. You get yourself in position. Everybody kind of rides, and thinks about what they have. You have to have your car handling pretty good, which is tough to do further back in traffic. It looked like a few guys had a few small issues; nothing major. But it is hard to make it up through the field, and everybody is working together like that in that single file lane. That is the way it used to be. Long enough runs, especially when it’s a little warmer and sun out, you are going to be able to make some moves. I was happy to see Kasey get up there at least to second. I think in the closing laps of a run, you start to see some moves happening.”
WERE YOU ABLE TO LEARN SOMETHING OUT THERE THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW? “I was out front, but I learned we have a very fast race car, which is the best thing to learn. Car handled good. Drove good. But, we were out front. The only thing you kind of wish is that you got a little bit further back to see what to expect. But, I feel good. We had a great day. Brought the car, our Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS back in one piece. We’re starting on the front row of Sunday’s Daytona 500 with a very good race car.”
-Team Chevy PR