All-Star: Johnson, Martin post-race interview

Second and third place finishers Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin: JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S/POWER OF PRIDE MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 2ND: "The final laps we got close and got position, started to put a lot of pressure on Kevin. Our cars...

Second and third place finishers Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin:

JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S/POWER OF PRIDE MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 2ND:

"The final laps we got close and got position, started to put a lot of pressure on Kevin. Our cars were pretty even at that point. I was a little out of control behind him in traffic. Got close a couple times and was trying to get inside of him and got real loose off of two. At that point, I was trying to get a last lap run on him and I got to the top one and two and made up some ground, I kind of wish I would have tried that sooner. Earlier in the night the outside lane wasn't really working for us. Maybe I could have done something a little different there a little sooner to get along side of him. I threw all I had at him, came up a little short. A little disappointed the way the event started for us. We had problems with the left front tire rubbing the fender and the tire to the cords and had to work on that by coming in a couple of times. Even though we had those problems to rebound back, to drive through pack to the front and race for this thing was a decent night, but I wish we could have won it."

MARK MARTIN , NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 3RD:

"We started in the back and we had a great run. We kept getting better. The format, 20 lappers are pretty short for me. Not my specialty, I am very proud of the U.S. Army team. We got great results. With 10 to go, I knew I had a shot to win and I ran the fool out of it. Kevin nor Jimmie neither one were faster than I was, we were all very equal. I looked really hard to try and make something happen for about seven laps, then with three to go, I had abused my right front to the point I didn't have what I needed to get it done."

JIMMIE - ON GOOD FINISH BUIDLING MOMENTUM FOR COKE 600: "It is as close as you can get to the 600 conditions and you have all the teams. Everybody is at pace. It is not like a test session where you can't tell what somebody had for tires. Not sure if everybody has their good engines or the right car or whatever might be going on, this is real racing. So what you learn tonight, you can really apply to the 600. Granted it is later in the race. The beginning of it is the magic to find the balance of it. I would say if I was in the No. 29 shoes, I would be coming back with a lot of confidence, and have a very good idea of where I would want to be at the end of the 600 race."

JIMMIE - ON WHAT WAS WRONG EARLY ON THAT CAUSED THE EXTRA PIT STOP: "When the race started, I was dragging the track really bad. I think we missed the travel a little bit on the fronts and the chassis was getting in to the ground and also the tires were up in the center wells and on the left front tire. Once we made the first pit stop, I got really tight, on that first run. Came in and took the tires off and was leaving pit road, Chad (Knaus, crew chief), said I had to come back in the pits, we had something rubbing and we need to look at it. So that is why we came back in and worked on it and tried to get the front-end heights where we need and pound that fender out. As I was catching Kevin, early in that run he left the bottom, I am not sure if he was tight or loose, but I could see he gave me a little window of hope. I kept chasing him on the bottom trying to force him to make a mistake. But he drove a solid race. At the end of the last lap, I thought, well the bottom hasn't worked, for me yet and I knew Mark was making some ground up there, but it hadn't worked for my setup earlier in the race. I thought it was the last lap; I had a cushion behind me so I thought what the heck. I got in one and two and got right to the No. 29 bumper and said why didn't I try that a lot sooner, but that is racing."

MARK: ON CHANCES HIS TEAM HAS FOR 600 NEXT WEEK: "We feel good about it. With 10 to go, there wasn't a faster car on the race track. Certainly my specialty is a little bit longer than 20 laps. We feel great. We also know that there are 15 cars that can really get it done and showed a lot of speed tonight. Then there is another four or five that will show speed next week that didn't this week. There is really a lot of good cars. You look at the guys that finished up front here tonight, they will be strong, but they aren't the only ones and if I were a writer they aren't the only ones I would be talking about. I would be talking about the awesome race we are going to see next Saturday night.

JIMMIE: CHANCES HIS TEAM HAS FOR 600 NEXT WEEK: "I feel really confident about coming back and what we need to have. The No. 17 (Matt Kenseth) and the No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) both had some trouble, so I expect them to be favorites. But as Mark pointed out, coming through the pack and racing tonight, it seemed like clean air made a difference being in the first two or three cars but outside of that, when I was running mid-pack, I didn't really have a lot for anyone. The cars were pretty equal through the field. I don't really have a clear favorite going in to it. I think we will have to wait until next weekend and see how things shake out."

MARK: ON IF MATT KENSETH AND JEFF GORDON WOULD HAVE BEEN STRONG COMPETITION IF THEY HADN'T HAD ISSUES: "Yes, the both had trouble. But you never know. Every run is a little bit different. Sometimes, you will be awesome one run and maybe not so awesome the next one. It is hard to say. You can only go off the final result. Other than Jimmie, the teams that were in the front didn't have major trouble and had really good runs. I am not in to the what-ifs."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin