Three Dodges Finish in Top Five at California; Two Dodges in Top 10 JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- Finished 4th, Moved to 11th in standings, 25 points out of 10th place. "Donnie (crew chief Wingo) made some real good changes...
Three Dodges Finish in Top Five at California; Two Dodges in Top 10
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- Finished 4th, Moved to 11th in standings, 25 points out of 10th place.
"Donnie (crew chief Wingo) made some real good changes there, and I'm really proud of him. The pit crew did a good job tonight. We had struggled a little bit there. Really, all-in-all it was a good night for our race team. We came from 18th with about 75 laps to go to get a top five. We had to make huge adjustments (after the sun went down). Our first run we were great. The next run was pretty good and then I couldn't believe how tight the car got. We made huge changes.
"I heard Ryan (Newman) say if you could finish in the top five in the last two races you could more than likely make it. I don't think either one of us were thinking everyone else would finish in the top five with us, but it was a good night. I thought after Happy Hour we had a top-five car time-wise, and it drove great. We changed a lot of stuff, and Donnie earned his year's salary tonight."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Sony/ALLTEL Dodge) -- Finished 5th, moved to eighth in standings, 20 points ahead of 10th-place Mark Martin.
"We fought the balance for a little while, but we had a good racecar, and that kept us in the top 10, top 15. I didn't feel the greatest, but getting track position and trying to outrun those guys was pretty tough. I've had a cold all week, and that didn't help tonight.
"It was pretty eventful there at the end. It was a good run for us to get the Sony Dodge up in the top five. It was a good team effort. We got some good track position there at the end, passed a few cars and got a top five. The track got a lot faster. We fought the same balance issues from the beginning until the end of the race. The car just got faster.
"We're still as much on the bubble as we were before. We're going to Richmond to win. We can still be 13th or 14th after Richmond. We've got two shots now. We're eighth and 404 out of the lead, so if we can just finish in front of the points leaders we might still have a decent opportunity no matter how everybody else does eighth-12th.
"It was definitely hairy running three wide there at the start of the race because the track was so greasy. There at the end it was hairy again and the track was stickier. Guys were running a lot harder and there was a little less give and take. I know I had to check up a few times and a few times people had to check up for me, but we had a decent race it seemed like.
"Not a bit (surprised at the problems Hendrick cars are having). I'm pretty sure they're experimenting right now, and they should be. They have the ability to because of the points. We would if we were in their position."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Engines & Transmissions Dodge) -- Finished 42nd
"Our guys build safe stuff and all those things are very well put... Bill Simpson's helmet, the impact helmet, I'm fine. I'm very upset. This is a kid (J.J. Yeley) that will go back and drive a sprint car and be a superhero, but he comes out here and won't have a clue how to save a racecar, how not to turn it back up the hill. Either leave it at the wall or bring it down. He had a chance to leave it at the wall and do no damage. He tried to bring it down, I went low. He brought it down and I went high. He came right back up in front of me. He'll be in that ride next year, and he'll be the superhero, but cost some of us our jobs going out here doing it week in and week out. The Kodak car was a pretty good car today. We got a penalty, went to the back and didn't get to finish.
"When you're running back there with guys like him, sometimes it happens. Unfortunately for us, that's the story of our year, little mistakes. This is a great race team. Shane Wilson and Matt Lucas, our crew chief and engineer, they do a great job on pit road calls. We just keep having those little things bite us in the butt, and this is one of those things. I didn't look over to the flag honestly (to see if pit road was open). I here things in the helmet and follow people depending on what's said. Enough people came in that I came in. I should have had my eyes open a little better and looked at the pit road open and closed flag probably.
"He's a superstar. He's a World of Outlaw winner or whatever he is. He'll be cleared for Daytona. He'll come and race next year full time. He'll make his mistakes, and they'll be rookie mistakes. I'm glad I didn't do it to anybody."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Pop Secret Dodge) -- Finished 27th
"The guys did everything they could do tonight. Everyone was sliding around. We just couldn't get off the corners. That hurt the Pop Secret Dodge all night. I'm still proud of everyone on this team for sticking with it tonight and getting a decent finish."