KYLE BUSCH AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. GIVE MONTE CARLO SS 2ND AND 3RD PLACE FINISHES
BRISTOL, TN - Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's Monte Carlo SS, overcame a pit road mishap to finish a strong second in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch dropped to 31st early in the 500-lap event but battled his way back through the field to finish within 0.591 seconds of race winner Matt Kenseth (Ford).
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS, finished third in a strong run from his 40th provisional starting position.
A total of six Monte Carlo SS drivers grabbed top-10 finishing postions in the annual night race at the famed Tennessee half-mile, high-banked track.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS finished fifth followed by Raybestos Rookie contender Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Freight Monte Carlo SS.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Monte Carlo SS who started outside of the front row, finished ninth. Current NASCAR Nextel Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS finished tenth to maintain the points lead and secure a place in the final Chase for the Nextel Cup.
Chevrolet continues to lead the Manufacturers' Cup standings with 180 points, 14 wins. Ford has 143 points with 5 wins and Dodge has 133 points with five wins.
The series moves to California Speedway for the September 3rd for Round 25, the Sony HD 500.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 10th, maintains point lead, and secures a place in the Chase
ON SECURING A PLACE IN THE CHASE: "That's great news. We took care of business tonight. It wasn't anything pretty and it wasn't anything really racey. We weren't up there fighting for the win, but we stayed out of trouble and took care of the race car and we did what we needed to do tonight. I'm proud of this Lowe's team. It was a good effort for us and we'll go on to Fontana and I think it'll be a good race for us. It was a long day for us, but a good day for us. Getting out of here with a top 10 is definitely a good day."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 32 TIDE / DOWNEY MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 20th:
"The only thing we were missing tonight was track position. Qualifying hurt us. The car was good, really good; we just needed better track position. This was certainly a better finish for the Tide Ride compared to earlier this year so we really were able to accomplish something. That's another top-25 for us so that's awesome."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 REESE'S / GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 11th:
"We had a great car, we just blew a right front tire and lost a lot of track position. It was a good night for our Reese's Chevrolet to get back 11th. It was tough to get back through traffic because the car wasn't quite as good as it was before we wrecked. It was hot out there and I am pretty whipped but it was a pretty good night all in all."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 5th:
ON YOUR CONVERSATION JUST NOW SCOTT RIGGS..IT STARTED WITH A SMILE, BUT WASN'T SO GOOD IN THE MIDDLE THERE, WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? "I was definitely holding him up. There was no doubt about it. There are ways to pass and hey, I've been there before and moved guys. I was more concerned that he was going to spin me out, so I was just telling him I would like him to pass me on the straightaway and get a run on me. He had such a good car. We had a great car there at times. We just lost the handling on it there at the end. We just got way too tight. I'm probably just more frustrated that we weren't able to keep up with those front guys more than anything else."
"Well, the thing is, it's a top five for him. And that's a great job for him. I mean he had a top five. It's just when you get more experience racing with the guys up front you do things a little bit different. I saw him in my mirror and he was all over the place. If he would have just calmed down and been smooth, he would have had me -- no problem.
"Scott Riggs had to race me really hard there to get that position. He was definitely lot better. I am just not sure why we didn't have a better car there. We were really good at one time with the DuPont Chevrolet, we drove up there and took the lead, we got tight and just could never get freed up enough. It was a great job and a great run for Scott, I think if he had a little more experience, there would have been a little bit cleaner way to pass me. I was definitely holding him up, so I don't blame him. It was definitely a good night. Anytime you come out of Bristol with a car in one piece and in the top five, obviously, you had a good night. I think the guys that are racing the points were right there with us or just ahead of us, so it was nothing where we could gain a lot of points. We did a little on a few guys, but all and all a great effort by the DuPont Chevrolet team."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 3rd:
YOU WERE PATTING YOUR CAR THERE: "I was actually telling my guys, thanks. They worked so hard. Friday it was really, really hot here and my car was not very fast. And it's hard to work in the heat like that. I just told them, man, that's a motivation for me. I tried to do what I could on the race track. Our pit stops tonight were the best they'd ever been. And I mean that. That's obvious. I gained spots every spot. Tony Jr. made some great calls as far as when to pit and when not to pit and that got us up toward the front. I'd like to thank DEI and our engine shop for our great motor and Tony Jr. and our whole team and everybody worked back home; and everybody building the cars that was a great race car. Those boys came to Bristol and they worked really hard and turned a pile of crap into a pretty decent race car. But I don't know. It wasn't that good Friday but today it was great and I owe it all to Tony Jr. and the whole team. They did everything.
"The car wasn't fantastic, but it was pretty good. I have got to thank everyone at DEI, all the guys on my team, the road crew. When we got here, we weren't very good at all and they worked really really really hard. For us to come back and finish where we did was because of all the hard work. I have never seen guys work so hard in the heat like they did on Friday. It was so hot out here. They worked their guts out. We got the car driving better, Tony, Jr. made some great calls on our pit stops. It was great, it was awesome, I mean it was awesome. We are just trying to do what we can do. I love Bristol, I love racing here. I love everything about this place. I try to run good here, I love running good here because my Old Man did."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 2nd
"Not enough laps for our Kellogg's Chevrolet to be best tonight but Matt Kenseth had a very strong car, congratulations to those guys, the deserve it. I mean they were on their own almost. It was a tough race for us to try and get back to where we did. I am proud of the whole team. We had a mishap on pit road early but we were able to rebound from that and come back to finish where we did for a strong race run."
THIS IS A TOUGH PLACE TO HAVE AN EARLY PROBLEM THAT PUTS YOU BACK TO 31ST: "Yeah, it was kind of an issue for us, but it wasn't too bad that we couldn't overcome it. That was a great run by our whole Kellogg's Chevrolet team. They did a great job for me. To rebound from that and come back with a strong run and finish second, that was good. That was cool. I wish we could have gotten Kenseth there at the end. That would have been a heck of a show probably. I've got plenty of door dings and everything else out there and I'm not sure I could have done it clean. So I'm probably glad I didn't get there really. Congratulations to those guys. They had an awesome car and were the class of the field. What more could you really ask for?"
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 9th:
There is something to be said for big picture racing but we can't say that is why we finished where we finished. We gained two positions back in the points, it beats the heck out of losing them, that is the silver lining in this. We are a little disgusted with ourselves at the moment. We will be over it tomorrow. We have fast race cars, it just seems like at the end of these races we don't have as good as we need it to be. We are all in this together, and it is as much my fault as it is anybodies. We will keep working and keep pushing. I am proud of my guys but disappointed in it at the same time. We lost quite a few spots on that last stops but our team was flying. If you look at the tape, the guys were flying. I don't know what happened, I honestly don't know. I got busted for speeding last night on pit road so I wasn't going to do that tonight. We had a 13 second pit stop and got beat. It is right after the race so I am disappointed but by Monday I will realize things aren't as bad as I feel like they are right now. So we will keep digging and keep trying to be better and keep trying to improve. I feel good about our team and I just think we have to be better in some areas and when I say we, I am including myself."
-credit: gm racing