Bank of America 500 Pit Note #21
Bank of America 500 Post-Race Quotes
Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, winner of the Bank of America 500) – After coming so close in the [Coca-Cola] 600 earlier in the season, we really felt like anything less than winning would have been disappointing. As I was catching Kyle toward the end of the race, I was thinking, ‘As long as the caution doesn’t come out, we’re going to be able to win this thing,’ because we were catching him pretty fast. And then when the caution came out, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to have enough speed to outrun him in the last 25-30 laps. It was just our night. Our car was unbelievable those last 25 or 30 laps. It was effortless to drive and had a lot of speed in it. (How does it compare to 2002?) It’s completely different. When I won here in 2002, you’re in a situation where… I don’t know if there’s any race car driver who wants someone else to get in their car and win, much less a kid who had never won in Nationwide Series and trucks. I knew that was very hard for Sterling [Marlin]. So, tonight is completely different.
[About Daytona’s emotional victory lane] I wanted people to understand sometimes you see people’s emotions on TV. I just wanted it to be understood that, after the last four years I’ve had, that I’ve found the power of prayer, and it’s something I really believe in. When I got to Victory Lane in Daytona, I was crying because I was happy but also because you feel like a prayer has been answered. That’s a very powerful thing, and it’s also very emotional. That’s a very selfish thing to ask for, certainly it’s not the first thing I pray for every day, but everyone wants to be successful. So, when you feel like that’s been answered, it’s emotional. And I thought about it the last 8-10 laps, and I thought if I win this race, I’m going to explain to people my feelings and why I felt that way. [Could you have passed Kyle without a caution?] I knew that catching Kyle and passing Kyle were two different things, but I felt like I was catching him fairly fast, and there were 30 laps left. So yes, I thought I was going to be able to pass him, but you never know. Honestly, I was disappointed when the caution came out because I thought it took my chances for winning away. For him, he was in the lead, and they threw the caution, and the next lap he wasn’t, so I understand why he feels the way he does.
Kevin Manion (crew chief, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) – This is incredible. We really wanted it back in the spring, with Chip winning the Indy 500 that day. Just coming home second with the late-race caution in the spring just really made us want to win this one even more.