JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Crashed on lap 89, Finished 39th: WHAT HAPPENED?: "We unfortunately had a problem with the engine, we lost a cylinder. The engine problems had us a little slow but the engine wasn't vibrating ...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Crashed on lap 89, Finished 39th:
WHAT HAPPENED?: "We unfortunately had a problem with the engine, we lost a cylinder. The engine problems had us a little slow but the engine wasn't vibrating like there was something major wrong. The thing was still running right, so we thought maybe a plug wire or plug was what was wrong with it. We came in and looked at the plug wires, but we couldn't find anything there. We were just trying to get to the next caution so we could look at it again, but unfortunately we were the next caution.
ON THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE: "It was a pretty good hit. I hope we can back out and hit the minimum speed so we can roll around to do what we need to do for points. But, that was a pretty hard hit. I was on the outside of the No. 14. trying to get around him when something happened and he lost control he came up in to me and pointed me straight into the wall and off I went.
ON RECOVERING IN CHASE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP: "I don't know, we just have to wait and see. It is way too early. I hope I don't eat the words I said early on when I said you can't win the championship here in New Hampshire but you can lose it today. I just know what happened out there, just something weird with the engine that put us back there and then we got caught up in a wreck. We can look at it in a variety of ways. It is too bad for the Lowe's team; we have worked awfully hard. Hopefully this won't keep us from being the champion when it is all said and done."
YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOURSELF FROM BEING FRUSTRATED SO YOUR TEAM DOESN'T GET FRUSTRATED, RIGHT? "Yeah, we had a great race car. So we can sleep well knowing that. We've got to figure out what went wrong with the engine. The engine problem got us back there and got us into a wreck. The wreck was just a racing deal. I'm not sure what happened with the No. 14, but it looked like he lost it and then got into me and pointed me into the wall and then I went into the wall. The big thing we've got to figure out is what's wrong with that engine and then make sure it doesn't happen again; and then just go out and put together nine good ones and hope that it works out."
HOW DEEP A HOLE DO YOU THINK THIS PUTS YOU IN STARTING OUT THE CHASE THIS WAY? "I don't know. It depends on what goes on with everybody else. We'll just have to see. I think we'll have a much better idea of our position in the next three or four races and who has trouble and who doesn't and hopefully we can get through this without any more problems."
IS THIS THE TYPE OF SITUATION WHERE YOU AND CHAD KNAUS AND YOUR TEAM'S BALANCED APPROACH AND ABILITY TO REBOUND IS REALLY GOING TO HELP YOU OUT IN THE NEXT WEEK OR SO? "Yeah, I think so. As of right now, it looks like things are out of our control to get back in this thing right now. I can only make that decision on how these guys are running today. All the Chase guys are up front. There are nine more races. There's a lot of time left. Anything can happen. I lost this Chase for the Championship on the last lap of the last race at Homestead. So who knows, maybe I can win it that way this year."
DID YOU FEEL ANYTHING WITH THE ENGINE? "I lost power, but it wasn't anything major wrong with it. That's why we thought we could correct it over the course of the day."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 7th:
"We ran really good. We just got put in a bad spot. And running the way we were, we couldn't afford to pit and some guys got by us the last couple of laps on that last caution because they had tires. But I'm happy with the way we ran. We just lost our track position and never could make it back up. We ran well all day. We just lost track position."
IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET A GOOD FINISH OUT OF THE BOX LIKE THAT FOR THE CHASE? "Oh, I think it is. I think it's important to run well. Anytime you're running well, you feel like you can build on it. I think that's the main thing. It's important to run well and to get off to a good start. I'm happy with the way we ran."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 32 TIDE MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 27th:
"I thought for a minute I was going to make it out of here in one piece but obviously I was wrong. It's frustrating. We are still missing a little something. We would start out okay but then the longer it would go green the tighter the car would become. It's a shame. Both races here this season we left with a wrecked car. It's too bad. I really love racing here."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 5th:
"The guys on the GMAC team did a great job today. Lance made some good calls in the pits and we were able to run up front all day. Toward the end, our car went away on us because we didn't have the grip we need to run with those guys at the end. A little more grip is really what we needed there at the end of the race. We'll take it though and se what we can do next week."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 38th:
"This care has never finished out of the top-10. Not a good way to start the Chase by wrecking not once, but twice. The sad part is that we rode around and were coming back when we got wrecked again. I had no friends out there for sure. I'm just disappointed, we didnt have a chance to go get them. and see how good our car was. Nine races to go--its not over & we're not out of this yet."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR, NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 13th:
"It was really frustrating. We were tight in the middle all weekend. We just never figured it out all weekend, We didn't figure it out in the race. We made a lot of changes and just hurt it and got just really, really tight at the end. It was just really a frustrating day.
"Just frustrating, I am a good driver, and when I get decent equipment and we can work on it and do right, we will go to the front, we just didn't do right today.
"I don't care what happened to the other Chase contenders, I am competing for a championship so I don't care what happens to anyone but this team. We have to worry about who is running up front running for this championship."
-credit: gm racing