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JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 drive TO end HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – gyeongju WINNER
THIS IS your EIGHTH WIN below AT MARTINSVILLE. AFTER gift SO close SO numerous TIMES THIS SEASON, HOW an excellent DOES IT feel TO be IN victory LANE?
“It’s hard to height what that feels prefer to win; particularly when you’ve to be through every one of what this drive to end Hunger Chevrolet team has actually been through. I’m simply so proud that them because that never giving up. We’ve shown it all year long. We’ve been with a lot, yet boy, this is do it all worth it. To be able to get a huge win below at Martinsville because that points, because that the Manufacturers’ Championship, for every the Hendrick family and also for every those that were shed several years ago; seeing stack (Hendrick) here means a lot of to all of us.
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“Man, what a good race car. I believed we’d provided it away a pair of times there; and I’m just so proud of exactly how we fought. Us had great pit stops and also just that never give up attitude. I assumed I acquired too loosened there at the end, running with Matt (Kenseth). Every time he"d on slide the tires I simply tried come let turn off a small bit.”
JEFF GORDON WINS because that TEAM CHEVY in ~ MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY
VICTORY offers CHEVROLET THE 2013 NASCAR acceleration CUP collection MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIP
With 20 laps to go, Jeff Gordon – No. 24 journey to end Hunger Chevrolet SS, made the winning happen in the Goody’s Headache Relief shoot 500 at Martinsville Speedway come score his very first NASCAR sprint Cup collection (NSCS) success of the season. It was his eighth victory at Martinsville and also the 88th acceleration Cup victory of his career. The victory ties him v Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, for the most wins at Martinsville among energetic drivers, trailing only Richard Petty and also Darrell Waltrip on the all-time wins list at the .526-mile quick track. Gordon move up 2 positions to third in the point standings, just 27 points behind the leader.
Gordon’s success clinched the 2013 NASCAR sprint Cup collection Manufacturers’ Cup Championship because that Chevrolet. That marks the 11th consecutive year, and the 37th time overall that the Bowtie Brand has caught the prestigious location in NASCAR’s premiere series. That is likewise the very first Manufacturers’ Cup award for the Gen-6 Chevrolet SS race car. It to be the 14th NSCS win this year for Chevrolet and 716th overall.
JEFF GORDON and also ALAN GUSTAFSON, NO. 24 journey TO end HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – gyeongju WINNER
POST RACE press CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
KERRY THARP: Let"s role right right into our post‑race win team, winning driver and also crew chief, because that the 65th annual Goody"s Headache Relief shot 500 it is provided by Kroger here at Martinsville Speedway, and the gyeongju winner to be Jeff Gordon. The drove the No. 24 drive to finish Hunger Chevrolet because that Hendrick Motorsports. He"s join by his crew chief Alan Gustafson. This is Jeff"s 88th career NASCAR acceleration Cup series win, his first win in 2013, his eighth victory at Martinsville. The ties him with Jimmie Johnson for most wins among active drivers.
Jeff, you may or may not recognize this, yet this also gets you in the 2014 NASCAR acceleration All‑Star Race due to the fact that your provisional had actually expired.
JEFF GORDON: Well, you know how bad we"d love to it is in in the All‑Star Race, for this reason that"s cool. That"s a most positives come come out of a win.
KERRY THARP: friend know, you"re third in points and also made up part ground there, however anyhow, congratulations. Talk about what it intended to win below today.
JEFF GORDON: Oh, mine gosh. This supposed so much. I feel prefer we"ve worked so hard, and also many weekends we"ve left the racetrack looking at one one more going, what do we need to do? We"ve had actually race cars, we"ve had actually pit stops, we"ve had actually strategy. Ns feel choose I"ve had actually days wherein I"ve excellent my part but simply couldn"t gain it all lined up. This day ‑‑ ns mean, us come into this race v a lot of confidence. This is a an excellent track for us, the 24 team, because that me personally, and these guys, Alan especially, they gave me a an excellent race auto all weekend long. Ns was a tiny disappointed in myself qualifying. Ns felt choose we should have actually done a far better job than that, yet he made up for it obtaining that No. 2 pit stall. That was kind of a turnaround because that our weekend in numerous ways, or just that type of included bonus, and also that paid turn off for united state today, together well. And also of course a great race car. Ns feel prefer we"ve remained in position to win this race numerous times the last couple of years, and no various than favor Jimmie Johnson today, you acquire stuck in that outside lane ~ above the dorn restart, all of a suddenly you"re fighting to try to be in the optimal 5 or top 10, and also we go through few of that this day at times ourselves, yet there at the end, an excellent pit stop, tires in ~ the ideal time, an excellent adjustments, and then us were in the within lane the last two restarts, and also to me the made every the difference.
Of food we had actually to really operation in Matt"s (Kenseth) tracks. He was strong. I felt prefer they made part adjustments, do his car even better. That"s probably the most patient I"ve had actually to it is in here, or in a gyeongju in a long time, just due to the fact that I didn"t check out his auto fading favor I assumed it would. It simply took a small longer, and it ultimately did start to provide up a tiny bit, and also we took advantage of that.
KERRY THARP: Alan, talk around coming here this weekend and also maybe a couple things that stick the end in her mind that might have been the key to the win. Is there anything the sticks out in your mind?
ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, it to be obviously a an excellent day. Coming here we knew this was a gyeongju that we needed to try to capitalize on. We essential to obtain a many points the end of here to keep ourselves in contention for this championship. As Jeff alluded to, i think we had actually a really good car all weekend. Qualifying us were a tiny disappointed. We focused exclusively on qualifying top top Friday due to the fact that we really wanted that No. 1 pit stall. We felt like a couple of of the critical races we"ve shed races because we didn"t have actually that No. 1 stall and our rivals did.
A tiny disappointed v ninth, but ended up being a blessing in disguise because I think we acquired a really an excellent stall in No. 2 and we had actually a good car. V the job we had actually track position, had actually a great car, had a decent short‑run car, had actually a an excellent long‑run car, and also we maintained track position reasonably well, and also I don"t mental what lap, yet that was simply a rashes of alerts that acquired ‑‑ when we to be leading that placed us in kind of a compromising position. I had to make a hard decision there to either continue to be out top top tires or come gain tires. I decided to come get them, and ultimately i think hindsight 20/20 it most likely wasn"t the ideal decision. The caution came out 25 laps later and also all the leaders were able come come in therefore we had to battle back from that, and I think the key to the was having a really great car. Jeff go a great job in traffic, and then we had actually two really clutch pit stops at the finish I felt choose that we necessary ‑‑ had actually a tiny bit that a rough start on pit road and the guys gained two really great ones at the end, and when i knew we had gotten earlier to the front with new tires and also were in position, i felt choose it was going to come down to those restarts, and also personally was looking forward to a lengthy run. I felt our vehicle was really good on the lengthy run, and also Jeff is the ideal here at maintaining the automobile straight, driving the vehicle straight turn off the corner, being patient v the car, taking treatment of the car. I think his patience and also his capacity to it is in really an accurate with the automobile at the finish of the race at some point paid off, and he wore Matt down, and also that"s not simple to do. Of all the motorists in the series, Matt is lot like Jeff. He"s a male that does not make numerous mistakes. Ns was yes, really proud that Jeff to have the ability to do that and just wear that down and also ultimately happen him and also win the race.
As Jeff likewise alluded to for me personally, man, we"ve been so close below so plenty of times and have not been may be to success this race, and it"s a gyeongju that i dearly wanted to win and also really happy the we could do it. No far better time than right now.
KERRY THARP: and also with this win now also, Jeff, this wrapped up the NASCAR sprint Cup series Manufacturer"s Cup championship because that Chevrolet, 11th straight championship and also 37th all at once for Chevrolet, for this reason congratulations to Chevrolet ~ above winning that championship.
Q. Jeff, i talked to note Martin a pair years ago, and also he claimed you never recognize when you"re going to win the last gyeongju or the next race, so the further on you gain in your career the more meaning and the much more appreciation they have. Friend alluded to the earlier, however can you just talk about the feel of act this after coming so close and barely making the Chase?
JEFF GORDON: Yeah, i remember for years note saying that, and also we"d constantly laugh in ~ him, it"d be favor his 10th race win of the season. You"d say, wow, friend never recognize when that following one is going come come. I recognize that far better today 보다 I ever before have, just since the wins haven"t come as often, and also it appears like also when we"ve had actually race cars capable of win we"ve been close. Simply the little small circumstances could be all it takes occasionally to keep you the end of win lane, and also it renders you establish how difficult it is come line all those stars approximately make it happen.
Sometimes guys make the look easy, and it"s not. I deserve to promise girlfriend that. Ns think what"s even tougher is as soon as you"re not acquiring the wins and also just gradually it simply starts to accumulate, and it"s tough to keep the trust in what you"re doing. Each individual ~ above the team and also together together a team. That"s what i think I"m many proud of is the we"ve to be able to stick together and maintain a good working connection to know that we just keep on our path and it"ll come.
Now things have really to be coming ours way, and the inert is there, and confidence is there. The race cars are a most fun come drive, and also just going come the racetrack right currently is a most fun and that makes a huge difference.
Q. Along those lines, how long will you think about this win, and how lengthy will it stick v you prior to you start thinking about the following race and also what execute we have to do to ‑‑
JEFF GORDON: i was going to say, as soon as do I obtain to Texas? girlfriend don"t get to gain wins for an extremely long in this series. You constantly want to win a race when there"s an turn off weekend or one off‑season. It"s pretty sweet to victory Homestead last year because we gained to gain that one because that a while.
But this is a unique one for many reasons. You know, it"s Martinsville, that grandfather clock is really special, an extremely historical racetrack. It"s one that"s been very great to me. Likewise memories, not so good memories, therefore there"s a lot of an interpretation to winning in ~ this track.
I mean, i think it"s simply really why it"s going to stick with me is because it"s to be a difficult year. There"s no much better time to victory races than right now, and to have the ability to carry that momentum ‑‑ I"m for this reason proud to be 3rd in the points. Us all desire to win the championship, yet I mean, from whereby we started early on in the season, heck, whereby we started in this Chase, to be third in points ideal now, I"m an extremely proud the that. Us can"t gain the cart ahead that the horse; we"ve gained to evaluate that but likewise take advantage of this momentum and also confidence that we do have, and I can"t wait to gain to Texas. We simply tested there, believed we had a good test, thought we ran great there earlier in the season. Ns mean, best now, prefer I said, I"m looking front to acquiring to every race.
But you try to savor and enjoy this one as lot as you have the right to until we get to the house test ~ above Tuesday. We"re busy right now, for this reason I simply can"t wait to gain home and also see my kids. My daughter, she do me cry top top the phone because she said me she was crying due to the fact that she wasn"t able to it is in in victory lane. That kind of stuff renders every victory special.
Q. You type of just touched top top this a little bit, yet this inquiry is because that you and also Alan. A tiny over seven weeks ago, girlfriend weren"t also in the Chase, and also now with three races left in the season, you have a plausible opportunity to success a championship. What has actually transpired over the last 7 weeks?
JEFF GORDON: Well, it"s not 7 weeks come us since to me it"s about 11 or 12 weeks. It started prior to we obtained to Richmond that ns feel prefer we started to affix on some things with the setup that the cars. I think ‑‑ ns really think back to actually brand-new Hampshire between me and also this guy, the an initial New Hampshire. We had a destructive ‑‑ I went into that race thinking, this is a good track for us, that we"re going to come the end of right here with one of two people a victory or a great finish, and we were no very great that day, and I had a negative attitude, and he and also I had a heart‑to‑heart conversation afterwards, and also I"m therefore proud of him because that stepping up due to the fact that what happened, the points that i said, the attitude I had was just not the way we to be going to acquire ourselves up right into victory roadway or where we required to do it in the Chase.
To me, the turned things around. It type of to be a bonding minute for us and kind that smack myself approximately a small bit to wherein I was like, you know what, I"ve obtained to go and work as tough as ns can, provide these guys whatever I"ve got due to the fact that they"re functioning their butts off, and also let"s pull it together.
I think native that gyeongju on, we began seeing improvement, and sometimes you"ve acquired to have those moments, and I"m proud that we did. It could not have displayed up in ~ the racetrack the next week or the mainly after that, yet it did lastly start to come together, and also I don"t know, Alan probably deserve to touch on it much more so. He"s acquired a better memory than I do when things really started to permit us to even get to that position that we were in in ~ Richmond.
ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, i mean, friend look earlier at it, and also unfortunately or fortunately, ns felt like we did a good job those gyeongju leading as much as Richmond and put ourselves in position and raced really hard in my heart to gain in the race and also put ourselves in the race. And like Jeff said, ns don"t think we had any bad performances or the car ‑‑ vegas maybe, ns think las vegas we were pretty bad, however we"ve had decent speed and we just haven"t been able to placed together the finishes, and also ultimately we obtained to a suggest through the summer wherein we type of reset, and we said, hey, being an adverse is no going come do any good, we"re going to need to go in ~ this and be positive and fight hard and put oneself in position and shot to success some races, and I think us did that and also raced our way in in ~ Richmond.
The point at Richmond that to me personally what taken place there and also barely qualifying because that the Chase, for me it alters your perspective a little bit. Ultimately you sit there, and I don"t desire to speak you take it for granted, since you don"t take it it for granted, however it is a special opportunity to complete for a championship in ~ this level, and also you don"t understand how countless of those you"re going come get. And for me as soon as we didn"t have actually it because that a couple days, the was one of the most destructive feelings in the world, and also I think the guys and also Jeff share that sentiment, and especially in the circumstances, and also when we got the opportunity, ns knew ‑‑ you can see it on the guys" faces, you can see it on everybody"s faces, we"re not going come squander this opportunity, the we have actually a an excellent enough team, us have an excellent enough cars, we have a an excellent enough driver to walk out and compete v these men week in and week out.
Really, really proud the the guys and also Jeff and also everybody for making the through, and ultimately ns think times as soon as you ‑‑ component of the struggle, you watch the highs here, yet that possibly isn"t the best accomplishment. The biggest accomplishment is united state not falling personally on the lows, and also I"m really proud of that.
Q. The win this particular day puts girlfriend 27 points out, which ns think you"re in it, however maybe first, execute you agree, space you in this championship race? and what perform you need to do to obtain closer to it v the way that the 20 and the 48 are running?
JEFF GORDON: Well, of food we"re in it. Till we"re mathematically out of it, we"re in it. This was certainly a huge moment, huge day because that us, and like ns said, us tested in ~ Texas. I"m excited around Texas. I think it"s a an excellent track for us. However it"s nice darned great for both those guys, together well. Lock performed very, very well again today. It"s going to be difficult to catch them.
You know, but all we can do, ns think, is go out and also perform at our best and just watch what happens. The nice thing is that we"re no doing the point out racing ideal now, we"re just going out and also just trying to walk out and also win races and also not think around protecting anything. Friend know, it"s just go and give it everything we"ve got.
ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, i agree. I think we"re in it, and I think that Jimmie and Matt, both the those teams have actually been tremendous all year. I don"t suppose anything different than that. However I carry out feel like it"s plausible. Ns think we have the right to go victory these following three races, and I think the anything have the right to happen.
If we go victory these races, it"s not like they"ve acquired to end up 20th. Those males go and finish 10th, we"re going to have actually a display at Homestead. That"s what we"ve acquired to emphasis on doing, and obviously we deserve to win. Us did the today and also we"ve acquired to go try to win Texas and we"ve acquired to shot to success at Phoenix and also so on and also so forth. It"s no going to be easy, never is easy, it"s not going to be easy for them, either. Ns haven"t been actually in the precise position they"re in, but I"ve to be close, and also even being very first and 2nd it"s not basic ‑‑ with 27 points in between us, it"s not simple position to be in.
Q. Because that Jeff, girlfriend talked around how going on a winless streak or not winning in ~ a track you"re expected to sort of gets to you after a while. How do you remain confident in ~ this track, considering how well girlfriend run when you come therefore close, and also how perform you preserve that confidence discovering if we have something walk our way, uneven the 2011 feather race, the we can actually come out of here and win?
JEFF GORDON: Yeah, I"ve claimed this fairly a few times end the years. Martinsville is more than likely of all the tracks, every one of the things that you look at v our sports today, it"s more than likely changed. Don"t obtain me wrong, however it"s readjusted the the very least amount as much as I"m concerned, exactly how you drive this track, how you set the dare up, simply the method kind that the race is run. To me it"s changed the the very least amount of every monitor that us go to, so it has allowed me end the years to do what ns did 15 years earlier when we an initial started winning gyeongju here and also apply those exact same things today.
Now, compete has gained tougher, setups have changed slightly, yet I feel like I just shot to go perform the exact same things and also then feed information earlier to Alan and also the males of what i feel favor we require with the car.
So that has helped me tremendously since if friend think around it in another light, when they repave a place like Kansas, ns mean, aerodynamics and the setups and the tire, how it reacts to the racetrack, the has changed so lot over the years, and an old guy like me, it it s okay a little tough to adapt to several of those changes, several of those huge changes in the setups and also what this guys, Alan and also the engineers, space doing to make cars go fast at those tracks, it"s adjusted so much.
But right here I would say that it"s still kind of old school. You"ve obtained to save the tires, you"ve obtained to it is in patient, you have to acquire into a rhythm. I favor this track. I favor Atlanta. I choose Texas. I favor those varieties of racetracks, and it absolutely plays into a male that"s been roughly the sports for a long time prefer myself, specifically when there"s a long green‑flag operation all the method to the finish.
Q. You discussed getting caught up top top the outside a couple times ~ above the restarts beforehand in the race. Have the right to you describe the helplessness of that at this place when you obtain into that situation? And additionally maybe compare how ‑‑ we understand the within line is the far better line here, however maybe compare it come some various other years you"ve raced here. To be it more daunting today?
JEFF GORDON: Well, ns feel like I maintained my composure pretty good all work today other than for those 2 times that I gained stuck top top the outside, and I wasn"t actual proud that that, but I was mad. It wasn"t simply the outside lane, the was some of the points that were going on the the males on the within lane do it also harder for you top top the outside. They understand they"ve got you in a breakable position, and they just run you up the racetrack. And then other guys know, I"ve gained to fill the hole. That"s part of what provides Martinsville so exciting and also why those restarts room so critical.
So the was really frustrating, yet on the flipside that that, when I to be on the inside, I had the ability to take advantage of that situation and make up because that it. However yeah, girlfriend know, informing you, friend get recorded on that exterior on the last restart, the doesn"t issue how great your race automobile is, it"s an overwhelming to come earlier from that.
Q. Alan and also Jeff, if you could both resolve this. Jeff, the critical time girlfriend missed the chase in 2005, you readjusted crew chiefs. The last time you went winless in a season, 2010, you adjusted crew chiefs. Is every little thing that"s occurred in the last couple of months possibly reinvigorated both of you guys and also made you an ext committed to every other and have this surge and also make friend feel favor you have the right to still work-related together and want to have actually a future with each other going forward, offered that past events you"ve made alters in this sorts the situations?
JEFF GORDON: Well, ns don"t desire to acquire too much right into the conversation we had actually at brand-new Hampshire, but I didn"t bring it up, that did, yet it"s one of two people you"ve got to have a heart to heart ‑‑ the point is i love this guy. Ns think he"s a great crew chief. I don"t think he gets near enough credit. And when you"re Jeff Gordon"s crew chief, a many of civilization like to say things as soon as things aren"t walk well, and it renders it also tougher to it is in in his position. Ns think the crew chiefs already have the toughest project out there.
But prior to he was my crew chief, I wanted to work-related with him, and now that he is, I prefer working v him much more than I ever before thought i would. So as soon as things aren"t walk well, the toughest thing is to see him go with criticism or to slam himself or everyone doubt one another. As soon as we"re no doing well, I have the right to tell you, I"m no questioning him; I"m questioning myself. I"m like, man, what do I have to do. However the nice thing is they"re doing the exact same thing, and also that"s how you come together. When he stop believing in me and also I prevent believing in him, climate we"re done.
Luckily for us, that has not been the situation this year, and that"s why i think we"ve been able to stay so solid and come ago and be wherein we"re at today.
Q. You"ve gained a couple of points today, you"re a small closer, 3 races to go, you"re in ~ striking distance. Walk the truth that you"re closer, go it take a little bit of the press off or does it boost the pressure and also ramp that up?
JEFF GORDON: ns think it boosts the pressure. I don"t understand if pressure ever before decreases, walk it?
ALAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, i don"t know that it increases it. Come me i think the opportunity, it sort of ‑‑ you"re constantly competing to win and also you do everything you can, however when it"s obtaining closer and also closer, girlfriend know, in which method or one more you it seems ~ to uncover a little bit much more and a tiny bit more, and also I"ve viewed that in Jeff, and I think it"s simply kind of part of human nature.
Yeah, I"m hoping to walk to Texas and get a little bit closer and then we"ll have actually this conversation again. Ns think the closer we get, really ‑‑ i don"t desire to say the we"re play with home money, yet of every the cars the are completing with it, i think us are. For united state the ideal thing we have the right to do is just go out there and shot to win and get closer and also closer and have a possibility at Homestead. The really to be my goal going into the Chase. Still, mine goal now is to go into Homestead v a shot.
Q. Jeff, as much as the Texas test, once you"re at that test and also Kenseth is there, too, a male that you"re completing with because that the title, exactly how much room you ‑‑ is it difficult not to peek and also look in ~ what they"re doing or wonder what they"re act or wonder what time they"re to run on a test like that?
JEFF GORDON: Well, of food we"re paying fist to that. I think we"ve got one that the toughest competitors not only for this championship however for every track that we go to right beside us in Jimmie Johnson. Friend know, and also really all of our teammates, Kasey and also Junior, they every run great at every track us go to. Yet when you"re at a test like that, you desire a bunch of teams there, specifically the very competitive ones, one, to placed rubber down on the track and get true race problems or as true together you can get, but additionally to stack yourself up versus them.
I"ll be honest, the an initial day ns didn"t think that we were competitive enough, and also I feeling like currently that the Roush guys, lock were down at one end of the garage, so there wasn"t a most peeking and also looking around, that was type of they were on one end and also we were on the other. But we are certainly looking at lap time of them and our teammates and also keeping monitor of it.
You know, i don"t think that really adjusted our game plan. I think us just had to proceed to try to discover comfort and also speed and confidence in the car, and I feel prefer we yes, really made vast gains the 2nd day that us were there. Ns was looking forward to that gyeongju already, yet even more so now.
Q. Jeff, in 2007 you put up some large numbers and were the runner‑up in the points. This season right currently the means you guys are running now sort of gives me the feel. You come every week competitive, girlfriend come v a car that deserve to run peak 5, a possibility to win. Does it give you that feel and also does it frustrate you guys that the worst number you"ve had is 15th below in the Chase and yet you"re quiet 27 points behind? and also, if you can make a comment about clinching the Manufacturers’ Cup Championship because that Chevrolet, as well.
JEFF GORDON: Well, my storage is bad but it"s not negative enough that I understand that 10 weeks back those questions and also comments the you"re make were precise opposite. What"s wrong with you guys? just how come you"re this far back? Why can"t you success races? so it"s an extremely refreshing for us to sit up here and also not simply be talking about a win however hear those types of comments.
I understand, right; it"s simple to counting a team out as soon as we haven"t put up the numbers. But we don"t live off stats. We live turn off of just how competitive us are and what little minor points that room going ~ above that periodically maybe look bigger ~ above the outside but to united state on the inside, it"s like, us were this close. And so that"s why we"re looking at it a small bit differently than others.
But this is a great position to be in. We"re excited come have had these critical six, 7 weeks walk the way that they"ve gone, and it only ‑‑ each race weekend where points ‑‑ actually in a lot of ways, ns think we can have done also better. I mean, ns think the Chicago. I assumed we had a automobile that could win there. Us did a good job getting ago to sixth or seventh or wherever we finished because we had a level left‑rear tires coming to a restart. However we don"t dwell ~ above that, we just move on to the following one.
I can"t speak right now I feel any type of frustration in anything. I"m just an extremely proud, excited, and know the there"s three races ‑‑ that"s a most racing left, and also with the method things are going because that us, anything is possible.
As much as the manufacturer"s championship, it"s a good way come wrap it up v a victory today. It was a great, interesting finish there, battling the out through a Toyota that you"re battling because that the manufacturer"s championship with, and also I know just how much that means to Chevrolet. They"ve been amazing supporters of ours for so countless years, and also it feels good to be able to ‑‑ there"s a opportunity we were going to obtain it one of two people way, yet it"s always an excellent when you"re the one that sort of seals the deal.
Q. I don"t understand if you understand the answer to that or your concept is, however you got roundly cheered in driver intros and also you got wildly cheered ~ the race. This is one of those southern varieties of tracks wherein you didn"t constantly get cheered. What carry out you think has actually changed? Is it you"re no winning as much? Is it the you"re older? Why do people cheer because that you currently at places like that?
JEFF GORDON: Well, you never ever really know why civilization cheer or boo. Sometimes it"s obvious, yet for me ns came right into the sport and also started our third year in, started contending for the championship, and also then the boos started coming. We were winning rather a couple of races and also for the next three or four years we won a most races and it was a the majority of boos and cheers and fan bases structure at the same time. Therefore I never really believed a totality lot around it. It was, ns don"t know, things space going well, and if they"re booing i guess that"s a an excellent thing. As lengthy as they"re making noise, there"s no doubt no winning together much and being older, ns think you earn respect through your consistency and also just trying to go the end there and also show what you"re qualified of and your team fights through a lot of things and also shows signs of the things that the fans love to see your team doing, and then you concerned a ar like Martinsville the you"ve won a many races at yet it"s to be a while. I"ve gained to think that not winning has a many to do with it since Jimmie Johnson come me has actually been so leading here, and I want so bad to watch him right after driver introductions just to say, Earnhardt told me a lengthy time ago, as long as they"re do noise, and also they to be making a the majority of noise for him but it wasn"t every cheers, that"s a an excellent problem come have.
Q. In the stands later on were you soaking up ‑‑
JEFF GORDON: I"ve never ever felt an ext support from my fans than this year, and I think it has actually a lot to do with social media. You check out it through social media. However that sort of response where they"re sticking roughly after the race, and also while ns can"t hear and also see every little thing going on as soon as I"m passing for the lead or getting the checkered flag, I had actually a many of civilization telling me the reaction, and that"s so cool. Ns think that"s awesome. Even if it is I"m at the monitor hearing the one‑on‑one indigenous the fans or reading about it on Twitter or Facebook, with all that we"ve been through this year, I"ve never ever had an ext support.
And they space critical, in ~ times, don"t gain me wrong. There"s time they"re saying points that room tough, but I recognize that it"s only due to the fact that they want the finest for us similar to we do, and also when you ultimately can pull that victory off and see their reaction, in between the team, mine wife, mine kids and the fans, it"s just nothing better.
Q. From exactly how you gained into the follow to the confident and an unfavorable reactions neighboring that, to to run well, girlfriend win, you now have a shoot to success the championship, perform you look at it together a, hey, take that, to the critics, or go it just feel sweet in the feeling that we belong here and also now I"m going to show you just exactly how much?
ALAN GUSTAFSON: Well, ns mean, because that me, obviously when the unprecedented occasions happened at Richmond and Chicago, best away what ns felt favor it to be fair due to the fact that you deserve to race because that it. It at some point isn"t ‑‑ if we didn"t belong here, climate beat us. If we don"t belong here, then we won"t run good and we"ll be 13th.
But because that me ns feel choose we"ve proved right now we"re a third place team. Eventually at the finish of the year can we be much better than that? We"re walk to execute our best, yet that"s the means I look in ~ it. I think the evidence is in the pudding. Your finishes and also your results ultimately determine how good you are or you aren"t, and also I think that we"ve represented ourselves well, and also I don"t think we"re done.
JEFF GORDON: i mean, ns feel prefer we worthy to it is in in it. I don"t like just how we obtained in it, being an included 13th team. You can conflict that every you want. Yet we"re absolutely not going to say no, us won"t take it. We wanted to be in it. Us feel like we to be in a position to knife our way into it, and I think that this team would have performed prefer this whether we were in it or not.
I was as motivated on Wednesday in between Richmond and Chicago to go out and just prove why we need to have been in it and how we"re going to go into the season strong as i was when I discovered out top top Friday that we were in it. Friend know, to me that decision simply meant the what we"re walking to be racing because that is a championship rather of for ourselves and also pride and to sort of show the critics.
Q. As well as the truth that you just want come win another championship, deep down does it ever cross her mind, hey, I simply want to success it to give all the critics something to talk about, how we acquired in the Chase and also I went on to win the championship, simply to probably frustrate them all off‑season?
JEFF GORDON: ns don"t think the it the way. We just want come win. We just want to win the races and win the championship. That"s all that matters.
Q. One critical question around points. Matt said earlier tonight the anybody in impact one race behind, 48 (points) behind, is more than likely out of it. There are 5 teams tho within that 48‑point margin. Execute you think it"s down to you, Kenseth, Jimmie, Kevin and Kyle? room they the five that space still in it? You"re all much less than 48 points.
JEFF GORDON: Let"s be honest. We"re all alive, but right currently there"s two that space in it. Our project is to go to Texas and also make it three. Realistically, legitimately, we"ve acquired to put push on those guys. Ideal now, various other than this win today, lock don"t really feeling a lot of pressure native ‑‑ they"re gyeongju one one more is the means I look at it, and those males are capable of putting really solid finishes with each other for the remainder the the season.
For us we"re really thinking of we"ve just gained to walk fight hard and also see if us can"t perform something extraordinary, and it"s walk to take it an extraordinary three weeks for that to happen. Yet mathematically we"re definitely in it. But until us close the gap, ns don"t think the anybody rather is really looking in ~ it various other than those two guys.
KERRY THARP: Congratulations to Jeff and also to Alan and also Hendrick Motorsports for this big win today, and we"ll watch you at Texas.
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