NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: LifeLock.com 400
Topics: LifeLock.com 400
July 11, 2009
KERRY THARP: We're also joined at the podium by our race runner-up, Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Dupont, also the National Guard Patriot, for Hendrick Motorsports. I believe Jeff is up to second in points right now.
Jeff, had to feel good about your performance out there this evening.
JEFF GORDON: Well, our performance overall was so-so. We definitely had a challenging night. We started off, our car was really good the first few laps, but then it got really tight. So we had to make some adjustments. Had a close call there with Carl. We lost a bunch of positions. It was basically just fighting back from that point on.
We got ourselves inside the top 10, which is still a great effort. Then, you know, the caution came out at the right time for Steve Letarte to make an excellent call to come and get four tires. The pit crew did its job getting us off basically first. At that point it was just trying to maneuver through the traffic. I was impressed, and I love the fact that we have a tire that you can make that decision on. The new tires were just unbelievable how I could shoot through those guys. Kasey and I raced real hard together. That stalled me out a little bit. But, hey, you're racing for positions there at the end, so you got to race hard, and we did.
Once I got to second, I don't think I really had anything for Mark until that caution came out. I thought I had a shot at it. He got a great jump and I spun the tires. Then it was trying to fight Kasey again for second. But a great 1-2 finish for us.
KERRY THARP: We'll open it up again for questions.
Q. Jeff, we heard a lot of comments tonight about the double-file restarts, the trouble they caused. What is your view? It's exciting in a lot of ways and hazardous, too. How do you see it now?
JEFF GORDON: I didn't expect anything any different when it was implemented. 50% of the guys out there are gonna like it, 50% of 'em are gonna hate it. It's not for us. It's for the people in the grandstands and the people at home. That's what it's for.
I think it's a great move. I think it changes how we have to race one another. You know, we have to pick and choose how aggressive we're gonna be, whether you're on the inside or outside. Sometimes one lane is better than the other. Tonight seemed like the inside lane was quite a bit better, except for Kasey.
You start 11th or 7th one time and shoot by two or three cars and then you'll be on the outside row the next one, get passed by two or three cars. To me it's always crazy on the double-file restarts. It's exciting, man. That's putting on a heck of a show.
Q. What did you see in the restart when it was Jimmie Johnson and Denny up ahead? Looked like Denny nudged him up to the high line. That's when the whole complexion of the race changed.
JEFF GORDON: You know, that was when we had our fresh tires. I got a great run off of turn two. I saw smoke and cars moving every which way. We were four-wide down the back straightaway. I had four tires, so I could drive it on the apron if I wanted to. And I did on the front straightaway to get by Jimmie and maybe it was Denny to his outside. I wasn't sure who it was.
Yeah, no, it looked like it was pretty crazy up there, but it worked good for me.
KERRY THARP: Guys, great show tonight. Enjoy your week off. We'll see you at Indy.
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