JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - finished 9th ON THE TIRE PROBLEM: "They dropped the jack and I was taking off. They were going for the last lug nut and when the gun went in and the tire was rotating, the valve core caught...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - finished 9th
ON THE TIRE PROBLEM: "They dropped the jack and I was taking off. They were going for the last lug nut and when the gun went in and the tire was rotating, the valve core caught the gun and just ripped it right out of the wheel."
DID YOU KNOW THERE WAS A PROBLEM?: "No, I found out when I got on the backstretch and I was trying to accelerate. I thought I had punctured it driving around on the apron. It was so dirty down there."
DID IT COME CLOSE TO COMING AROUND ON YOU?: "Oh, yeah. When it came apart, luckily I had made my way out onto the straightaway when it came apart. And then we were real lucky to stay ahead of the No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) and make it back to the start/finish line and stay on the lead lap."
HOW DO YOU HANDLE YOUR RECENT BAD LUCK AND HOW DO YOU BOUCE BACK?: "I swear, as soon as we started worrying about points, the problems happened. We were just up front (in the hauler) talking about everything and we decided that we don't care what the points end up. All you do is lose sleep over it and get frustrated. We're showing up to win races like we did at the beginning of the season. That's what we did this weekend. Our set-up was way out there and we were in good shape there until the (tire) mishap happened."
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH A TOP 10?: "This is awesome. It's just amazing to me to see how this team can rally back from things. It's just amazing the glue we have and how everybody believes in one another. It's the same on the No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) team. There's just something at Hendrick Motorsports and at our shop where when times are down, these guys don't break down. They just dig deeper and work harder together."
ON THE BACK-TO-BACK WINS FOR THE JEFF GORDON AND THE NO. 24 TEAM: "I've been saying all year long that when that light switch flips on, we're all in trouble. I believe he's found the light switch."
AS HIS FRIEND, WHAT IS IT LIKE WATCHING HIM SHAKE HIS LOSING STREAK AND WIN TWO IN A ROW?: "He's honestly happy and excited about winning, but he's still the same guy that he was through it all. He's never lost faith in his ability or his team and the team hasn't lost faith in him. He's been excited and happy that he's gotten that monkey off his back, but I haven't really seen a big difference."
CONSIDERING HOW MUCH GROUND YOU MADE UP AFTER THE TIRE INCIDENT AND IF THE RACE WAS LONGER, HOW FAR COULD YOU HAVE GONE?: "I needed a caution bad. I had used up everything. I was driving like an animal to keep (Jeff) Burton behind me. That was as far as I was going to get at that point. If there was a little bit more time or if there was a chance to put tires on, I think we might have been able to get a top five."
RICHARD "SLUGGER" LABBE, CREW CHIEF FOR MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO.15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARO - Comment on radio with 100 laps to go:
"We're just a little bit tight right now, but the biggest problem right now is that the throttle linkage is staying stuck wide open and Michael is having to use the kill switch on the steering wheel to get through the corners. Darlington is hard enough, but Michael has his hands full with that. We're just hoping to finish this day and maybe get a top 20 out of it."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH SERVICE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We got in the oil (No. 43 blew a motor) and it just went straight up into the wall. But the guys will get us back out there and we'll get some points, hopefully. We've had a good run for the past two and a half, three months, and we've made up a lot of points. That can happen sooner or later, but we'll get back out there and get 'em at Richmond."
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
DID YOU GET INTO THE OIL TOO?: "I hate to give you a typical interview, but I'll tell you that our Kodak Max Films Chevrolet was running awesome today. We had a good car last week and a great car today. If we keep doing that, we're going to have some good runs here toward the end of the year. Everything was working good. We got off a little bit on that last (pit) stop and the car was a little bit tight. Jerry McClure is doing a great job of spotting and he saw a crash - he didn't see a blown motor. I looked up there and I got it slowed down an awful lot. I thought Kevin (Harvick) hit the wall. Didn't look like an oil crash. It just looked like Kevin hit the wall - like a crash. I went up the racetrack and that was the wrong place to be. It's a shame because these guys worked their tails off and gave me a great race car today. We just need a good finish to show how good the team has been."