JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/NICORETTE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS: Finished 5th: HAVE YOU IMPROVED YOUR INTERMEDIATE TRACK PROGRAM? THIS WAS ALMOST A CLASSIC JEFF GORDON PERFORMANCE BY GETTING BETTER AND BETTER THROUGHOUT THE DAY "Yeah, I was really...
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/NICORETTE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS: Finished 5th:
HAVE YOU IMPROVED YOUR INTERMEDIATE TRACK PROGRAM? THIS WAS ALMOST A CLASSIC JEFF GORDON PERFORMANCE BY GETTING BETTER AND BETTER THROUGHOUT THE DAY "Yeah, I was really thrilled with the performance of the whole team. I've got to thank all my sponsors for being on board. It was really a cool day for us to be able to get back in the top five and have something for those guys and go forward. It's due to (crew chief) Steve Letarte and the entire team and their effort on pit road and just never giving up. I think we saw this same performance in California; we just didn't get the results. Today we did."
WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON'S WIN, YOU GET TO GO TO VICTORY LANE AS A CAR OWNER. DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THAT? "I did, actually. I had kind of a front row seat. I was sitting back there in fifth. I went into Turn 3 and I saw Jimmie go to the outside of him (Matt Kenseth) and I thought man, if he could just get to his quarter panel I think he's got him. I saw him do it. I wasn't sure if he won at the line, but I was sure pulling for him and I'm very excited for that team. What a great start to the year they've had.
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 3rd:
A TOP THREE FINISH FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, YOU'VE GOT TO BE PLEASED: "Yeah, we're definitely pleased with that. The Ice Age Monte Carlo SS was pretty good today. It wasn't one of the best cars all day. Matt Kenseth had a very strong race car. Jimmie (Johnson) was pretty mediocre throughout the day. We were ahead of him for a little bit there and if you give Jimmie a green-white-checkered, and he's in first or second, he's going to put on a whale of a show for us and he ended up doing that today."
TALK ABOUT RACING TONY STEWART AND THE INCIDENTS ON THE RACE TRACK: "We never hit or anything, but I guess I have to go have another chitchat with him to figure out what I did wrong. I guess we can't race each other, I don't know. California seemed to go pretty well, but I'm not sure what I did wrong today to aggravate him or whatnot, but we'll go figure it out." More to follow
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS:
"It was a good day for us. We'll just keep working and trying to get a little better and keep improving. We're decent. We're not where we need to be just yet, but we can see it from where we are."
DID YOU SEE THE NO. 5 (KYLE BUSCH) AND THE NO. 20 (TONY STEWART) BUMPING UP THERE? "Oh, I saw them (laughs). I wouldn't want to be part of that. It wasn't looking very pretty."
ON THE RACE AND THE TRACK: "This is an awesome race track. It's a shame they're going to tear this place up. It's a travesty that they're going to take this race track apart. It's ridiculous."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS:
HOW DID YOU CUT YOUR (RIGHT REAR) TIRE DOWN (ON LAP 263)? "I had to push so hard to get by Kyle (Busch). We just got tight behind him and brushed the wall (on lap 256). That's probably where we did the damage to the tire, but for sure it shoved the fender in. That's what made me tight and lost us all those positions. Then at the end, we cut a tire down and had to go to the back. I'm not blaming Kyle for that because that was after the last pit stop. You've got less than 30 laps to go, you've got to race at that point. I have no ill feelings toward him over me hitting the wall while I was behind him. What I'm upset about is that with 80 laps to go we're sitting there for 15-20 laps behind him trying to get by and he's holding us up for no reason. With 80 laps to go he's holding us up and we all have another pit stop to make. Work on your car and go on. There's just an etiquette. I'm frustrated with it and I honestly think I have every right to be. There's absolutely no reason to hold a driver up when there's 80 laps to go. That's the only thing I was disappointed about."