Tony Stewart Captures Allstate 400 at the Brickyard; Second Consecutive Victory for Home Depot Chevrolet Team and Second Brickyard 400 Win for Indiana Native Stewart
Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Drivers Score Six of Top-10 Finishing Positions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS - Tony Stewart scored a convincing victory in today's running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. It is the second consecutive victory for Stewart and the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet team, coming on the heals of their victory at Chicagoland; and his second win at the track considered home to the Columbus, IN native.
Stewart led seven times during the 160-lap race for a total of 65 laps, taking the lead for the final time on lap 151. The two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) champion moved up one spot in the series standings, from sixth to fifth in the standings.
Four-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway winner Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS finished third to extend his lead in the NNCS points Race to the Chase.
Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS finished fourth in the tour's annual visit to the Yard of Bricks.
Martin Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS finished sixth followed by Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Reese's Racing Monte Carlo SS in seventh and Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Monte Carlo SS was eighth across the stripe.
Chevrolet also extended its lead in the Manufacturers' Cup title run, scoring a 16th time in the 20 NNCS events thus far in 2007.
A total of 10 Bowtie drivers continue to hold spots in the top-12 in the standings with six races remaining until the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship begins September 16.
The next event for Team Chevy will be the Pennsylvania 500 on August 5, 2007 at Pocono Raceway.
JEFF GREEN, NO. 66 HAAS AUTOMATION MONTE CARLO SS, started 24th was involved in a single car accident on lap 14. His Chevrolet was damaged too severely to continue in the race:
"I hit the fence coming off turn four. The car was pushing a little bit. Just trying too hard and got into the fence then; came down pit road and put right sides on it. The right rear was rubbing and cut the right rear tire getting in the corner and couldn't keep it under me. We are done for the day I would say, the fuel cell is dragging the ground so I am sure it is done."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 25 NATIONAL GUARD/GMAC MONTE CARLO SS:
"It kind of got off to a bad start. The car was really loose at the beginning and I kept kind of going back to the back to get the guys to tune on the car and get it to work right and I sped on pit road and got us way in the back there. Just going to come through the field. I thought we were making good changes and making the car a little bit better. And I got behind Bobby Labonte to try to follow and pass the No. 70 (Johnny Sauter) and I was tucked up so close behind the No. 43 (Labonte) that when I went to go get on the brakes to make the corner, I just went straight. I ended up getting into the side of the No. 70. It was definitely my fault for getting into the No. 70 there and I hate that. It was a long race and I felt like we had a car that if we could have gotten it right we could have had a good finish. It was definitely not what we wanted for the National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - sidelined in single car accident
WHAT HAPPENED? "It's feast or famine here for us. Unfortunately I had a situation early in the race where (Denny) Hamlin slid inside and got into (Matt) Kenseth and we all got caught up in a wreck and damaged the car. And from there, we were just trying to get the car straightened back out and get our lap back; which, I just got by the No. 8 (Earnhardt Jr) and was in position for the Lucky Dog and then the left front tire blew back out and I went into the wall."
ARE YOU OKAY? "I'm okay. The impact wasn't too bad. The flames had me nervous there inside the car and I lost some eyelashes and the side of my face got pretty hot.
ARE YOUR EYELASHES ACTUALLY SINGED? "Yeah. That's the first time I've had flames inside the car. And at that point you just want to get the car stopped and I'm considering turning the belts loose but I've got cars flying by me on both sides. Finally I got into the grass without anybody getting into me and I came out of the car."
DID YOU HAVE ANY INDICATION THAT WAS EVENTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE TIRE RUB? "The tire rub, we came in and tried fixing it and I think the brace that we put on came off going down the back straightaway. I heard something going underneath the car and I could smell some tire smoke real quick and then boom, the tire was down and into the wall I went."
TONY RAINES, NO. 96 DLP HDTV MONTE CARLO SS:
"I can tell you what Kasey (Kahne) said to me. I went by him so fast on the outside that it got him loose and made him mad. So he said 'I figured if I was going, I'd take you with me.' That's what he said to me. I guess he's having a bad day. It's a frustrating sport and neither one of us want to be racing in the race like this today. When you when six races last year and you can't get out of your own way this year, I can understand the struggles. We go though that a little bit more than he does. I just don't like being the guy he takes it out on." (It looks like you had a good run going): "We were real tight, but we're we going to get better, for sure. We started off good and then had a bad pit stop on the first one, but we were moving forward. We caught the 9 car and passed him in (Turn) 3 and then I got a little tight off of (Turn) 4 and let off and he got beside me again, but then I thought that he had pulled down to let me go around him in Turn 1. His car wasn't handling great I guess. I told you what he told me and that's all I can go off of."
J.J. YELEY INTERSTATE BATTERIES MONTE CARLO SS:
"This is a really long race and this race track is just not that wide. It doesn't like three and four abreast on entry to the corner. It started off real smooth and it's turned into total chaos now. We were in the back and had a lugnut issue earlier and lost track position. Going down in to the front straightaway I could see cars trying to go three and four abreast and you know it wasn't going to be good. I could see smoke and I was pretty much checked up almost in the third groove in turn one. I though we had the wreck dodged and the No. 7 (Robby Gordon) car ran me over and stuck me into the fence. It's one thing to be caught up in a wreck because you had nowhere to go but to have time to slow up and still get run over is hard to take. It was a real tough second day in a row here at the Brickyard. The guys are busting their tails to get the car fixed. At this rate if the guys keep wrecking we can go out there and gain some points."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - Sidelined with engine problems - Confirmed: this was an SB2 motor...NOT an RO7 engine.
ON WHAT HAPPENED: "I was running fifth, I thought that was pretty good. It's hard to lead these things every lap. We broke pulley off the front end of the motor, the harmonic balancer is still there and the pulley is gone. I guess the motor broke but you'll have bad luck every once in a while. We've had great motors all year long and I'm real proud of the engine shop and that one was a good one. That's what keeps up running up front at places like this and we need the same power the rest of the year. You just can't take chances when you are trying to stay in that Chase. I am real proud of my team, Budweiser and everybody that supports our team. We had a good car today. I want to thank all the guys on the car - back at the shop and here at the race track, because the car was fast and I was really enjoying myself today.
"Fabulous job by the Bud team all day long, all weekend long actually. We had a fast car; we just blew a motor. Probably had a bad part or something. We don't have that many failures. Really proud of DEI for everything they gave us the weekend. We had some good stuff. We were going to get us a top-five if not challenge for the win later in the race.
"We finished bad, and that is no good with the points deal and I am not happy about that, but there is nothing we can do about it. They build great motors and we run the hell out of them, it is going to happen every once in a while.
"I am just real proud of my guys and the effort that they gave. Real proud of their pit stops, we had it going on today, it is just unfortunate."
ON BEING OUT OF BREATH: "These races aren't easy. You are in the middle of working your butt off and then all of a sudden you stop. You get a little adrenaline rush and then you are tired."
ON HOW STRONG CAR WAS EARLY IN THE RACE: "We had our Budweiser Chevrolet up front for a little bit and that was really exciting to be able to lead some laps here and be able to show that we a capable of running good here. We got off on our strategy and that lost a lot of track position for us but we had got back on our strategy and got our car handling better again we were coming up back through there and got up to fifth. I was just trying for a top-five if not a win. Just working real, real hard today. I just want to thank everybody because we had some good stuff for them today. I was really proud."
ON BEING BEST CAR HE HAS EVER HAD AT INDY: LAUGHS "Yeah, but that isn't saying much. But we can still do a whole lot better than that. That was a good car and it led some laps, but we were just a litte bit off. This track is so aero dependent, it is tough. Even in fifth place, you get tight. You'd see when the green flag drops within 10 laps we are all strung out because it is all aero. It is not because somebody's car is handling better, it is because of the clean air.
"That is as tough as heck. I don't care how good your car is; it is going to take you a while to get up through there. But we can do better than that, but that was definitely the best car because we have had some bad ones."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS:
"I just want to thank Hendrick Motorsports. I've never had a motor that run like that before in my whole life. If I hadn't had messed up today we might have had a shot at it. Definitely could have done it a little better than that. I broke second gear, didn't shift it right, and smooth enough and broke second gear and was having to guess on my speed a little bit and I got busted for speeding but incredible, incredible guys, incredible car. The motor was unreal and I'm pleased to fight back from all of that. I thought our day was over as soon as we broke second gear so it's partly about just nursing it to getting it to the end."
DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX KINKO'S MONTE CARLO SS:
"We just were a little short on fuel. We didn't think we were stretching it. Once we ran out I just could not get the thing very far. That pretty much ended our day. I messed up at the beginning of the race and got us on pit road but we made that back up. It's just frustrating that we don't have a shot here at Indy, something always happens."
ON IT BEING A DISAPPOINTING POINTS DAY: "It's real disappointing. We're in a comfortable position where we were three weeks ago, we just can't keep doing stuff like this and it's not all on Mike (Ford) and those guys' fault. For some reason we just didn't pick up the fuel that we had in month's past. We should have played it a little more conservative there. You know, we preach about being more aggressive but we didn't need to stretch it right there."
ON RUNNING WELL AND POSSIBLY LETTING A CHANCE SLIP AWAY TO PICK UP VALUABLE POINTS: "I felt like at the end there I could run with the 29 and 20, on the short go they took off but I felt like I could come right back to 'em and finally I decided to get out of the race because I was affecting it. It's just a situation where things didn't fall our way, the stars didn't align for us today and unfortunately it ended up in a bad position for us."
HOW STRONG WAS TONY FROM WHAT YOU SAW? "Tony looked really strong but it looked like his car didn't take off similar to mine but at the end I felt like I had car very similar or just as good as his but those guys capitalized. They stayed up front all day."
HOW DO YOU SEE THE NO. 20 TEAM BUILDING WITH THE MOMENTUM OF THEIR RECENT WINS: "Well they're on a roll right now. Things are working good for them and their capitalizing and they're getting cautions when it counts and they're doing things that are putting them in position to win races and that's what we're not doing right now but we're kind of in a stage where we need to get back on track and get ready for the Chase."
PAUL MENARD, NO. 15 MENARDS/JOHN MANVILLE MONTE CARLO SS:
"We accomplished our goal and that's a top 20 finish. I think it was a good points day. I haven't seen the points but I think a lot of guys around us had problems so we should move up."
IS JUST FINISHING A BIG DEAL HERE? "Today it was, yeah. Probably one of the most exciting races here in a while I would think, at least a lot more exciting being in it than watching it on the couch that's for sure."
GREG ZIPADELLI, WINNING CREW CHIEF, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS:
RELIEF OR JOY? "Oh, absolute joy. We hit something in this race car. We've had it here before but haven't been able to close the deal. For us to be able to do this a second time is just the real deal. He has matured so much. He drove like I can't even tell you. It was a phenomenal race today. I'm proud of him. I'm proud of this whole team. These guys back home work hard and like I said this is the second time out with this car and we've won with it. They work their tails off; the body guys and engineering and everybody else. I'm so proud of everybody."
DO YOU FEEL EXTRA PRESSURE DURING THIS PARTICULAR RACE BECAUSE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO TONY STEWART? "It's not even explainable. The pressure you put on when you walk in that gate on Friday morning. The relationship Tony (Stewart) has with this race track and his experiences growing up and what it means to him makes it double of what it normally would if you had somebody who just wanted to win here."
TONY STEWART, WINNER, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS:
WAS IT HARD TO CLIMB THE FENCE? "Yeah, it is. Try it once. You'll see. You commentators get real good about talking about it."
TALK ABOUT RACING THE RACE CAR TODAY; IT WAS GOOD MOST OF THE DAY, BUT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE LEAD BUT YOU GOT IT BACK "We were about the only guy who could stay with anybody who was leading. This thing was pretty good in traffic all day. I just went down into (Turn) 1 on the restart and we got really, really tight for some reason. Kevin (Harvick) got by us and then once we got going again we could stay right with him. I knew then for about 15 laps we could get a run on him. I was just trying to be patient. We gave him a good run off of (Turn) 1 and got by. He's a hard guy to race with. He's a clean guy. That's one of my best friends and I can't think of another guy I'd want to race to the lead."
IS WINNING THE SECOND TIME SWEETER THAN THE FIRST? "Well, I'm not having to lay down because I'm worn out. So that's a good sign. We had a good day, obviously. Once we got up to the front we just never got passed other than (by) Harvick. We just knew that if we could get a long enough run that he'd come back to us and he did; like he did the run before. I got a little worried though. It was taking a little longer than I was hoping it would take. But I figured if I could get two clean corners after we got by that we'd be all right.
WITH ABOUT 10 LAPS TO GO, IS THAT WHEN YOU FIGURED YOU NEEDED TO MAKE THE MOVE IF YOU WERE GOING? "No, you just had to time it right. That's the thing. This place is such a timing race track that you had to find the corners that he was weak in and find ways to take advantage of him.
THE CROWD URGED YOU ON TO CLIMB THE FENCE. HOW SWEET IS THIS WIN? "It's sweet for all these people in the stands who have got to listen each week to the guys who don't like us. Our fans are one-of-a-kind breed race fan for sure. And people who are race fans have got to put up with a lot of crap. So this is for them."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T MONTE CARLO SS:
"As we were going through the race, we got tight. We put a set of tires on that just didn't agree with us. I am just missing something here at this track. I am just not giving them the information that they need. I am just missing something. I don't know what my car needs with these kinds of tires and these bodies and stuff. We will just go again next week."
ON WHAT TRANSPIRED BETWEEN HIM AND KYLE BUSCH: "That is between me and Kyle."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST MONTE CARLO SS:
"It was pretty good, we had a great day. We had to come down and take tires and it was just too hard to come back up through there. But awesome, awesome car all day long, the guys gave me a great piece. We probably could have fought for the win up there, we will just do what we can here coming in to the Chase."
ON WHAT WAS THE ISSUE WITH JEFF BURTON: "We were talking about working together on the restart before, what he is alluding to is the No. 01 lost second gear or something. On the restart he was in third shifting to fourth, so we were kind of to having to back everybody up. I was getting run over from behind so if he wanted me to get passed, so I would have gotten passed. So I was just doing what I had to do in order to make my day better."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO SS:
ON THE OUTSIDE PASS HE MADE AT THE END TO GET THIRD-PLACE AND IT BEING AN UNBELIEVABLE MOVE: "Well thank you. I knew that Kevin was going to block the inside and I had a lot of momentum so I just stuck it to the outside and just tried to stay up as tight on him as I could to try to take some air off of him, slow his momentum down. There is absolutely no outside groove here but I think his car really faded there at the end and we almost wrecked so it was almost not worth it but it worked itself out there at the end."
WHAT MAKES JUAN PABLO MONTOYA GOOD AT THIS TRACK? "Well, I don't know. He's running a totally different line and everything around there. Obviously Ganassi has gotten their act together. They were faster last year so it takes a total effort and he's a great driver. I mean we all know that but maybe coming to a track that he's more familiar with then some of the other tracks we've been going to which he has no familiarity with, but he did a good job. I had fun racing with him and we were better than most today but there at the end I just got too loose and he made a good pass on me and just following him till the end then."
HOW WAS IT A DIFFERENT LINE? "I was just arcing it way wide getting in the corners to get that run off the straightaways. I couldn't make it work for my car but it was working good for him."
ON TRACK CONDITIONS AND THE TIRES: "It was pretty much what I expected that we were going to see some fairly severe tire wear there at the beginning of the race but once we got 43 cars out there running that we'd lay some rubber down and we wouldn't having any tire issues."
TODD BERRIER, CREW CHIEF OF THE NO. 29 REESE'S RACING MONTE CARLO SS:
ON WHAT HAPPENED ON THE LAST RUN: "Well (Tony) Stewart knocked the left front fender about four inches and it just got really tight. Them two were racing so hard and then knocked the fender in and like it or not, they won't go with 100 pounds of downforce knocked out of the front of it."
AT ONE POINT OF THE RACE KEVIN SAID ON THE RADIO HE NEEDED A LITTLE MORE OF SOMETHING AND THEY'D BE THERE. WHAT WAS IT YOU DID? "It was just two or three tenths of air pressure all day long. It wasn't nothing big. We pulled a rubber out one time early and that got us kind of going and for the most part we were a couple tenths of a pound of air pressure here and there. We took two tires and that was the only time today we took two tires and it seemed to really like two tires. We would have liked for the race to fall out where there would have been a 20 lap run or something and we could have took two tires then but it just didn't work out that way."
-credit: gm racing