NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Toyota/Save Mart 350
Topics: Toyota/Save Mart 350
June 20, 2010
THE MODERATOR: We're joined in the interview room by today's second-place finisher, driver of the No. 7 Monster Energy Toyota, Robby Gordon.
Tell us about your run.
ROBBY GORDON: First, thanks. It was obviously a good run for us. We came here to win the race. But second place is pretty darn close to winning it.
My team needs a little bit of morale here and there. This will boost morale back at the workshop. I will say that we will come to Watkins Glen guns blazing. We'll get a lot of confidence going into the Glen and spend a bunch of time getting more rear grip. At the end of the day, that's what we struggled on with Jimmie.
At the top of the hill, it got loose on me, had to save it, Kevin closed the gap on me a couple times. We have to go to work on our rear tires and rear grip.
THE MODERATOR: We'll roll right into questions from the media.
Q. Take us through how you got to the front. Obviously you were pretty fast. Talk about your pit strategy.
ROBBY GORDON: I think, you know, how do you say it, before a couple of those guys came in there, I think it was Montoya and Ambrose came in early and got tires, we were ninth at that point. Couple guys stayed out. When they stayed out, it's like, All right, we have to do something a little bit different than what they did.
It was going to be edgy to make it from where we did on lap 66 on fuel. But we did get enough cautions. We were able to save enough fuel.
This guy right here raced me really clean. Thank you, Kevin.
We did three stops. Like I said, Kevin and the guys had 10 laps better tires than I did. I was kind of a sitting duck. I'm fortunate enough that him and Jimmie were racing for points and we were able to slide in between them there.
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by today's third-place finisher, driver of the No. No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet. Kevin, tell us about your run.
KEVIN HARVICK: It was a good day for us. I felt like we had a car that was good on speed there at the end. You always have a little something left. When the 26 got off course there, we got shoved out of the groove and lost three or four spots. Took us the rest of the race to make those back up.
These guys are hard to pass because they know what to do in the braking zones. The spots you can pass them, they make up time. It makes it a timing issue to make it happen.
Good day for us. We just got to keep at it, keep doing what we're doing.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions.
Q. Kevin, as the guy who talked about the golden horseshoe, you turned out to be quite the prophet. Do you feel at some point you'll get a horseshoe of some precious metal?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I don't know that you call just running good having a horseshoe. You know, I think we ran in the top five pretty much all day. We'll just keep doing what we're doing.
Q. Had you ever seen what happened to Marcos before today? I realize it's cut-throat out there. Do you feel badly for a guy when something like that happens?
KEVIN HARVICK: I didn't feel bad. When I was sitting there, I was hoping he was going to stay there.
ROBBY GORDON: Kevin, I think you were the victor of this whole thing once before when it happened to me at Montréal. You ended up winning the race about three years ago. It has happened before.
Like I said earlier, I don't know what happened to him. I'm sure he was trying to save fuel and it just wouldn't refire. It does have a rule that says you must maintain speed. That's the same thing that happened to me at Montréal a couple years ago.
Am I happy about it? It is what it is, you know. It's about racing. What I am happy about is NASCAR did stay consistent.
Q. Robby, when that happened, you were in second place behind Jimmie. Did you think you had any shot at all to catch Jimmie or were you just hoping to hang on to second at that point?
ROBBY GORDON: Before the restart I thought I did. I was trying to anticipate when Jimmie would go. Like I said, I was 10 lap older tires than the other guys out there. It just buzzed the tires at the restart. I miss-timed it a little bit and Jimmie got the jump on me.
If I could have got track position, it would have been hard to pass. Like Kevin says, it's hard to pass. I'm sure if it was for the win, Kevin would have moved me. For second, I appreciate you giving me a little bit of racing room.
KEVIN HARVICK: It's all good.
Q. Kevin, the 11 finished 34th, the 18 finished 39th. They had big problems. How big is this as a points day for you? When you're out there, do you even pay attention to other guys?
KEVIN HARVICK: We're fortunate to be where we're at in the points right now. We're able to race hard every lap and really not have to worry about what's going on with the points.
So each race is a different race. Today we were racing in the top five all day. You're just trying to figure out what you got to do to try to win the race.
You know, those guys have been running good and so have we. Just got to keep at it. I don't know who is second now, but just race hard whoever it is. How many weeks we got left till the Chase?
THE MODERATOR: 10 weeks.
KEVIN HARVICK: Okay, perfect.
Q. Robby, you talked about the confidence of your crew. How much does that weigh on you when you're trying to really put it forward to realize that you're carrying a lot of weight of not only what you're doing but your crew?
ROBBY GORDON: On a weekly basis, let's face it right now, we're 34th in points, 33rd in points, wherever we end up. It's hard to build morale when you're 33rd, 34th in points. I think this will build us some momentum. I'm not going to say it's going to push our guys, because the guys have to get onboard.
I believe they'll have confidence going to Watkins Glen that we can actually win that race so we can build some momentum throughout the summer and hopefully have some good runs.
We had a very good test at Indy about a month and a half ago. I'm excited about going there. We got some other racetracks we run good at. Not only Watkins Glen, but it will help us build momentum just in general.
Q. Put a little bit of that swagger back in?
ROBBY GORDON: This is a tough sport. I don't know how to say it. Cup racing, when you're racing against these teams out here, you're racing against the best teams in America. Obviously Cup racing is where it's at. We're fortunate enough to be in it. How do you say it? Sometimes we dog paddle, sometimes we take a few gulps of water. Other times you have days like today that you can build momentum on for a little while.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you for your time. See you in New Hampshire.
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