Panthers’ Rivera impressed by teamwork
Chip Ganassi Racing and Jamie McMurray had a special guest in their Victory Lane celebration Saturday night – Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera.
Team part-owner Felix Sabates joked that Rivera needed to come to more of the team’s races in the future.
“It’s all new to me, but what I thought was real interesting was to watch the teamwork they use, watching how the pit crew worked and got the car back out on the track as fast as possible and the synchronization with which they worked,” Rivera told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio while in Victory Lane.
“I was looking at it from that perspective and playing a football game. I tried to take something out of it. It was exciting and neat.”
Rivera said getting the experience at the track was far better than watching on TV.
“You get the real flavor of the excitement,” he said. “When the team has a great pit stop, they’re excited and when they have a bad one, they’re on each other talking about ‘We need to do better.’ ”
Pit stop problem: Kevin Harvick believed he had the car and the speed to win Saturday night’s All-Star Race, but the team’s pit stops needed to be better.
“I thought we had a really fast race car and did all the things we needed to do to put ourselves in position on the race track, and just couldn’t get it done on pit road,” Harvick said.
“We just didn’t make it happen at the end and ran out of time as we got to the closing laps.”
Five key moments
5 key moments
1 . Kyle Busch easily won the first 20-lap segment, but his race came to an abrupt end during Segment 2 when he was caught up in a three-car wreck.
2 . Jamie McMurray was among four drivers who didn’t pit after Segment 2 and he took over the lead on Lap 41 for the first time.
3 . After four segments, drivers entered pit road for the final scheduled stop based on their average finish. Entering pit road first was Kevin Harvick, followed by McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards.
4 . Edwards edged McMurray off pit road during the mandatory four-tire stop and held the lead entering the final 10-lap segment.
5 . McMurray quickly got alongside Edwards on the restart and the two battled side-by-side for several laps before McMurray cleared him driving around his outside.