KEVIN HARVICK (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet): "We're happy with a fifth-place finish. It was real hot. It was a good run for us today. Our car was the best at the end." MIKE SKINNER (No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet): "It kind of killed our ...
KEVIN HARVICK (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet): "We're happy with a fifth-place finish. It was real hot. It was a good run for us today. Our car was the best at the end."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet): "It kind of killed our streak, didn't it? We've had an awful good record here at Indy. We lost a motor. Started losing a cam or something yesterday in practice. We had to change an engine, and the Kodak Max car was really good. We hit on something, finally. We put on four tires, and the car got a little bit tight. We felt like on the next stop, if we could put it back like we had it the stop before and the stop before, it was pretty fast. We was catching a lot of really good cars. It looked like maybe if we could get back, we'd get us another top-10 finish here, maybe top-15 if nothing else, but it wasn't meant to be. Something in the motor cut loose."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet): "I had a good car. Track position is the key. Had a run on Kevin (Harvick), got by him and didn't want to wreck him, so I backed off. But it will be the last time I do that. The heat wasn't too bad. The car felt good. All the guys on the Cingular team did a great job. I had a really good car all day long. I thought we had a car to win the race at the end. The key was once Kevin raced me, four guys got by me at one time, and we were done from that point on. Hats off to everybody here at Richard Childress Racing. We did a great job, and the second half of our season is coming around."
HUT STRICKLIN (No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge): "At the start of the race, we were pretty much out to lunch. The car was really tight, couldn't seem to get loosened up. Finally, about halfway through, we hit on a few things and started to get it loosened up and getting it better and better and better. The guys made a good call there at the end. We took on two tires, and a lot of guys took on four, and it gave us track position. Finally, the last stop, a lot of guys came in ahead of us, and we elected to stay out on old tires and were able to hold them off. All in all, it was a good day, considering where we started."
STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet): "It's a moral victory for us. It was just one of those deals where you could race. If your car wasn't set up right, you'd lose the handling and jump back a little bit, but you could pass on the outside, and we saw some three-wide (racing) down the backstraight. I just love Indy. I think it's a great track. We love coming here to race. The Pennzoil Chevrolet was running great today. It was a really good race car all day today. Track position was key right there at the end. I don't know how the leaders felt, but as soon as I got behind the 24 car, I could roll with him, but I'd get too tight. We took four (tires) with 30 (laps) to go, and when everybody pitted for two (tires) right there at the end, we stayed out. We gained the track position we needed. Paul Andrews (crew chief) did a really good job of calling the race and calling the tires. We're just happy to be here and have a top-10 finish. Last week at Pocono, for the first time I saw people walking around with a their heads up a little bit and a little skip in their step, and we qualified good and ran good and then ended up on our roof. To come here and qualify and run so good is definitely a morale booster, not just for myself, but for the whole Pennzoil team."
JIMMIE JOHNSON (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet): "Man, to finish where we did with all the trouble we had fought. I have to take some credit for it (the trouble). I just don't know my way around here. But we still had a pretty wicked car in qualifying trim, and then when we got into race trim, we started making gains on it, and I got more familiar with the track. I was able to get Chad (Knaus, crew chief) the information that he needed to adjust the car for me. We knew something was wrong, but we just didn't know how to fix it. So once I got into a rhythm on Happy Hour, we sat on it last night, and the guys and Chad did an incredible job getting a car that I could drive, and our guys on pit road showed up today. They nailed some 13-second stops, got us some great track position, and we were able to hold our own when we were there, so it was really good." (About the heat): "It was hot. I just tried to keep breathing. The guys do a good job at keeping the air moving through the car and stuff, so actually I don't feel all that bad."
DALE JARRETT (No. 88 UPS Ford): "I don't really know what happened with that pit situation. We didn't get the catch can out for some reason, so I had to come back in. We had a great race car, just never right to the front. Bill Elliott had a great day, and I had a great car. I don't know, we were out in front of him there. If we hadn't made that mistake, I don't know what would have happened."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac): "I was tight, then loose, for the most part of the day. Overall, the car was decent. We got up to about 11th place, that was as close as I could get. Passing was a matter of getting a good run on someone out of a corner. The heat wasn't as bad as last weekend, for whatever reason."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge): "I was real glad to see Bill Elliott win the race. That's pretty cool. Bill had a real fast car all weekend, and I'm pretty proud to see him win it for Dodge." (About the contact with Kurt Busch): "I don't know if something broke on his car or what. He just slowed down immediately, and I bumped him. I sure didn't mean to do it, you know. I thought something broke because he just really slowed down. I think Kurt has a lot to learn, and some of that is to control his mouth."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge): "It wasn't a very good day. We had a problem. We had a rear-end gear that wasn't locking correctly, and we had it right at the very beginning. I called in and told them, and they told me that they had to change it because I had a problem with the other gear. So it was disappointing. The car would just go left and right. It was hard to drive. You just put sticker tires on it and drive the hell out of it. Do the best you can and just hang on the rest of the way." (About the heat): "It was brutal. I'm a little guy, and it tears little guys up. It gets that hot."
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 21 Motorcraft Ford): "We blew a right front tire, messed up the front end, and broke a sway bar. Very frustrating day here at the Brickyard. Not what we wanted to do, but that's the way it goes sometimes." (About the heat): "I was pretty surprised. The guys kept some ice water and some ice packs ready for me. I can feel it right now, but actually with the wind circulating, it's not too bad."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet): "It's been a good week for us. That's a good solid run, and we never gave up. We had good pit stops, good strategy, making smart calls. Really pretty much came home about the best that we were all day. It was so hot out there. The good thing is, Indianapolis is not a real demanding track from a driver's standpoint, with it being flat and as big as it is. It was just so miserable hot, thank goodness for the cautions. I think the cautions allowed all of us to kind of cool down and get some fluids in us and not get dehydrated. My guys took good care of me in the pits. I knew we had a good car yesterday in the final practice, but I didn't know we were going to be that good. I think a lot of guys missed their setups at the beginning of the race with the heat. Ours was just awesome. We were just driving up underneath guys and driving to the front. It was fun. I had a great time. Unfortunately, we kind of lost the handle on a couple sets of tires, and toward the middle of the race we were fading. We regrouped, made smart calls, came back in, got four tires and got that car back toward the front. It was a real good run for the DuPont Chevrolet. It's great for Bill Elliott, it's great for Ray Evernham. I'm happy for those guys. They certainly deserve it. They wore us out today. There was no one even in their class, and we all have to get to work on getting better if we're going to keep up with those guys."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet): "I had a push all day long. We'd get the car really free on new tires, and we'd try to help it on old ones, and it was just a handful, so we weren't balanced very well. We don't know why. Steve (Park) did a great job. I'm really happy for the Pennzoil team."
JOE GIBBS (Owner, No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac): "I thought Tony (Stewart) fought his guys out. Our pit crew did, too. We gave it our best shot. I thought we had a chance to win. I know it's a bitter disappointment for everybody, including Tony. This is the number-one place he wants to try to win a race. I thought we had a chance today, but hey, some other people were better, that's all." (About Bill Elliott): "I thought he was very, very good. To be quite truthful, that one run there, he came out there like he was shot out of a gun. He must have went past four of us. For sure, he probably had the dominant car." (About Tony Stewart's run): "We had a really good car. So Zippy (Greg Zipadelli) and Tony are making small adjustments, because you don't want to make something big out of it. As the day wore on, we got better at one point, then I think we fell away a bit. He didn't say anything on the radio. I know he was upset. When he doesn't say anything, he's upset." (About Tony Stewart's relationship with the media): "I've never been a great athlete that has severe disappointments. It's hard for me to say. This is the number-one place that he wants to win a race. It's a bitter disappointment. I think when you get him in that situation, it's hard for him to even talk. Sometimes, I think he says things he wishes he hadn't said. So, to be truthful, we've kind of tried to say 'Tony, the best thing to do might be just to not say anything.' So maybe, partially, some of that is our fault. I think it's just the heat of battle. This year, we've worked real hard on doing a lot of things. I think it's a work in progress. He knows he needs to control himself all the time. It's just hard sometimes. I think, in total context, that's how I look at it. The guy's got a heart of a champion. He wants to win races. There are so many good things there." (Was there a post-race altercation between Stewart and a photographer?): "I talked to the gentleman, and I feel confident we don't have a problem there. We had a good discussion. That's all I need to say about it."