Chevy Monte Carlo driver Jeff Gordon wins his first race of season. KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVY MONTE CARLO (fourth): "Congratulations to Jeff Gordon. I'm glad to see him get his win streak broken. I know how he feels when people...
Chevy Monte Carlo driver Jeff Gordon wins his first race of season.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVY MONTE CARLO (fourth):
"Congratulations to Jeff Gordon. I'm glad to see him get his win streak broken. I know how he feels when people are talking about things that don't mean anything. You can't keep people like that down long. Good night for the GM Goodwrench team. We gave ourselves a chance to win and came up a little bit short."
"It just started getting tight in the middle; I had to use a lot of brake getting into the corner and I couldn't leave the throttle down like I could early in that run. This GM Goodwrench team had a good night all night long. We kept ourselves out of trouble and came away with a top five. That's what we came here for."
"We gave ourselves a shot to win. We came in about 15 laps before those guys did. I'm glad to see tires making a difference in Winston Cup racing. Everybody should have to come in and put on four tires. Sometimes you benefit from the strategy, but a lot of times you don't."
HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO COME THROUGH THE PACK TO THE FRONT? "We were calm and relaxed and just kind of took our time and picked them off as we could, we kept the front fenders on the car. We just got a little bit tight there at the end and loose up off the corners. We gave ourselves a shot to win, we put ourselves in position and that's all you can ask for. The GM Goodwrench guys did a good job all night long and we're going to Darlington."
ABOUT THE LAST SEVEN RACES: "It's a lot of fun when you're running like we are and my hats off to Gil Martin and all these guys. They're keeping me calm and keeping me cool."
ARE YOU STOKED? "We're real proud of our track record at Bristol and we just have to keep going."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVY MONTE CARLO (third):
"We did all right. We really stepped up communications between me and Tony (Eury) Jr. Everybody just seems to be feeding off each other. We really get along real well. The last couple of weeks we just bore down as a team. I tell you what, it's hard racing to stay after it. We had a good car; better than I thought it was; I'm real happy."
"Yeah, it was a great finish for us. Finally kind of getting the hang of this place."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH WARD BURTON: "I kind of got under him. I feel like I was underneath him going into 3 and he just came down the track to get his position a little more abruptly than I had anticipated. I hate I spun him out; I didn't mean to. Of course I don't want to do that. I checked up but he came down so fast that it was just barely a little bit of a tap."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVY MONTE CARLO (winner; first win of season):
ON RACE WITH RUSTY WALLACE: "He had a good car there at the end and he was ahead of me. He was going to be the guy I had to pass. So I just tried to follow his lead (and) every time he made a pass I tried to stick my nose in there and get up to the front. I couldn't believe when we got by Harvick it was just the two of us. I'd say, Oh, here we go, all over again, but at night. This is going to be wild."
IS THIS A BIG RELIEF? "It's a huge relief. These guys just work too hard and I'm not saying that they have to have a win, they certainly have deserved one in their efforts all year long and have worked as hard as anybody else out there. Unfortunately all the things just hadn't fallen into place. Thank goodness it did tonight."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVY MONTE CARLO (20th):
TOUGH EVENING; TAPPED JIMMIE JOHNSON, GOT TWO-LAP PENALTY: "I didn't mean to do it. I think when he went to make a gear shift I got into the back of him. The biggest thing is Jimmie could have prevented the whole thing. Normally the guys who are two laps down pull behind the guys that are one lap down to give them an opportunity to get their lap back first. That's kind of common courtesy. NASCAR--to be honest with you, I think it's a little bit two-sided. I didn't see Bobby Hamilton get a two-lap penalty when he turned me early in the race. I didn't see Dale Jr. get a two-lap penalty, so why did I get one?"
TYPICAL BRISTOL? "I'm disappointed. We had a good car all night and should've finished on the lead lap, should've finished in the top five and they gave me a two-lap penalty. I think it's really b.s. I'm disappointed that they did that. I haven't seen that done in a long time. There's a lot of other guys that wrecked guys. I got spun out early in the race by Bobby Hamilton, I saw Junior spin out the 22 car. How many other guys spun out guys and none of those guys got two-lap penalties? I don't get it. I think they should have looked at the deal and really concentrated and thought about it really hard because Jimmie Johnson was two laps down at that point and he could have prevented the whole thing by getting out of the way and having common courtesy to do that. I know Jimmie's in a points championship race. I'm disappointed that he had to go laps down. Jimmie's a friend of mine. I know he's going to have other things to say about it and be really disappointed with me, but it is racing at Bristol. We had an opportunity to get our lap back and I didn't mean to turn Jimmie and it is what it is."
JEFF GREEN, NO. 30 AMERICA ONLINE CHEVY MONTE CARLO, crashed into No. 32 on the 315th lap, resulting in heavy front-end damage. The No. 29 crew was helping make repairs. Green went back into the race, finished 35th.
"I couldn't tell you what happened. The 32 was like he just stopped. There were a couple of cars between me and him and I couldn't see him until the last minute. Run all over him before I could get stopped. There was a car inside of me so I couldn't go left. The only thing I could do was hit him. We weren't real good, but we weren't real bad. We just made a few adjustments and we only made one stop there. We screwed it up on the pit stop. I guess it's a night at Bristol."
CAN IT BE FIXED? "I think so, if it didn't hurt the motor. We could surely get back out there, but that's not what we're looking for."
THE NO. 29 RCR TEAM IS HELPING: "We got a team effort. These guys work on all three cars in the shop and that's how they feel about it here at the race track too. That's what it's all about."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVY MONTE CARLO (crashed on the restart on lap 376, after being tapped by Robby Gordon:
"He had me turned sideways before we even took the green; I didn't even have a chance to grab a gear. I guess he's a lap down and he thought he deserved to restart in front of me because I was two laps down. He beat my bumper cover off with two to go trying to get by and I wouldn't let him by; so when we came to take the green he just had me sideways before we even took the green. He was trying to blame it on me missing a shift and it's just him never using his head."