Sunday, April 18, 1999. Martinsville Speedway. Goody's Body Pain 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "That was a heck of a race. John Andretti did a great job. He got...
Sunday, April 18, 1999. Martinsville Speedway. Goody's Body Pain 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "That was a heck of a race. John Andretti did a great job. He got shot out of a cannon there at the end. He ran places nobody else could run out there. You've got to take your hat off to that team. There was two grooves out there. You could run around the bottom for a little while and then the middle and top groove came in. Late in the race I could get underneath Burton, but I wore out my right rear out doing it. John Andretti came along there and he was trucking along on the bottom and beat us all. We're just happy to have a third-place finish out of this one. "There was one time when Rusty and I left pit road about the same time. He might have left a little before me. We were going to race and it wasn't even worth it because we would have had a big wreck. I got fortunate where the car in front of me had trouble, and I was able to get in and out pretty good. It looked pretty tight when I was going by some other cars. "I got loose. We tried to make some adjustments to tighten it up and that set of tires for some reason was much looser than what we had all day long. I knew we were going to be in trouble if we went long green flag runs and we went all the way to the finish and I wore my right rear tire out. "It was a great race. John and that Petty team have run well here many times. He was tough early on, and I think he got a lap down. Somebody needed to keep him a lap down because I knew he was going to be somebody to threaten us at the end and he certainly showed that. That team deserves a lot of credit. John could drive where nobody else could, right around the bottom. I think maybe Jeff (Burton) and I wore ourselves out trying to go too fast there at the end. "We took four tires on like we did all day long (on last pit stop), and that actually tightened it up. That set of tires was actually looser. I knew right from the beginning the car started too good and it was going to wear out my right-rear tire. When I got out there racing with Jeff, it wore it out even more. I think both of us were racing too hard and here comes John. He was just a rocket ship. They did a great job. "There weren't a whole lot of racing grooves out there. There were and there weren't. The bottom would be good for awhile on new tires and then it would move up to the top. You'd get your nose under a guy, but you couldn't really make a pass. That's what John did so amazing. He came through there and did it on the bottom of the race track and nobody else could do that. I got real, real loose. My car was really good there in the middle of the corners on most of the long runs, but I would wear the right-rear out a little bit. That last set, I wore the right rear out really bad. "I was just way too loose. I started sliding the car really bad getting in. I knew once he took that outside there was no way I was going to be able to get underneath him and make the pass unless we got in lapped traffic. I just tried to stay with him and it kept getting worse and worse and worse. "I don't know how he got his lap back, but I'm sure he didn't take two tires there at the end. There's no way. I'd like to double check that. How can I get beat by two tires on a 110-lap run? Can you believe he could run that thing right there on the bottom? "I got pretty fortunate on pit road all day long. The car in front of me had a little bit of trouble. I was able to get in and out pretty good. Being one of the leaders, at least in the top five most of the day, that certainly helped also. I came out of there a few times, one time with Rusty and we were side by side. It got pretty hairy. One of us had to back out. I had to back out because it wasn't worth it. It was so tight and really dangerous on pit road. Luckily, I didn't see any real problems, but I'm sure there were some. "Absolutely, it needs to be wider, in the corners especially. It seems to me it's much wider on the straightaways than it is in the corners. "I don't know if I necessarily used up the brakes. I had plenty of brakes all day long, but that last set of tires was loose and I wore out the right rear. Jeff Burton and I got to racing each other, and I'd stick my nose underneath him thinking I could make a run on him, and I think I wore out the right rear even more. I was just along for the ride."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The car was always good. I messed up qualifying bad. We were just terrible on short runs, but I sure would have liked to have a Chevrolet in victory lane instead of a Pontiac, but at least we're in the same family. Our car was awesome after it got about 75 or 80 laps on the tires. For the first 50 laps they'd get so much track position on me that it didn't do any good to be the fastest car. The lapped cars gave us a hard time today, but that's the way it goes at Martinsville. Everybody was trying to race for position. We had a lot of close calls. We tore both sides off the thing. I tore the right side off and everybody else tore the left side off. Richard (Childress) will have me up there Monday morning welding fenders. "Look at all these bodies on these cars. It was pretty rough. I think we had the best car on long runs and maybe the worse car on short runs. That car was terrible. You'd have to get about 50 or 60 laps on the tires and then it was awesome. If we'd stop under caution and not change tires, it was terrible again for 15-18 laps. They'd get away from us so bad that by the time we got going it was too late. This race team did a great job. Larry (crew chief McReynolds) and the guys changed a bunch of springs this morning on the car and we decided to go with some stuff we ran at some other places and here last year. We were good on long runs. We've just got to find that short-run package. We felt like we would have had something for them if we could have done that. I think John took two tires on and got track position at the end. That was pretty smart. "The only bad race we had was Darlington. We've been in the top 10 everywhere else. We had unfortunate deals, tight racing and all, and then a penalty that probably shouldn't have happened at Bristol. We blew a tire at Texas. Darlington is the only bad race this race team has had. We've just got to get back on track here."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That's better than we've been here. That's four top 10s in the last five races here. I had about a fifth-place car today until the long runs. Then I'd get tight. It didn't hurt anybody today, especially with Herman (Kenny Wallace) having a good run, too. When the rubber would build up on the track, we'd get real tight. I wish we could have stayed up there in the top five, but ninth is something to work with. We've been working hard, and we got in a good qualifying run, so things are shaping up. I'm looking forward to Talladega, too. I think we'll have another good run down there."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The car was real good, but I think we blew up the rear shocks. We were good up to 300 or 350 laps, but it got terrible. The air wrench broke on a pit stop. We came in running fifth and got back out 17th. Then the car got loose and we never got it back. This is the same car we led a lot of laps with here last time. We'll get it right for 500 laps one of these days."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We just really messed up bad in qualifying. I don't know where it happened. We started so far back. Me and Jeremy got into it there, and I hate it. He's a real good friend of mine. I just didn't know he was coming down. We came from last after that and it took us 500 laps to get to sixth, but my guys put a car underneath me all day that had good brakes, and I'm happy. A 16th and sixth on the short tracks, well, that wasn't what we wanted last week at Bristol, but we came on this week. "We both did our job for Andy Petree today. Me and Kenny Schrader raced each other as clean as we could. This is an experimental car for APR (Andy Petree Racing), and I'll guarantee you Kenny will have one of these the next race we go to. It just runs and runs and runs. If I can get it to qualify as good as his, maybe we can race for the lead at Richmond. "We knew there was no good place to pit on pit road. There just wasn't. I can tell you that pit road was equal. That hero stuff down there in the front didn't work because everybody is on an angle. The front straightaway looks like where you need to pit. "I was concentrating on Schrader there for a little bit and I got by him and all of a sudden it was like the whole field came back to me. I don't know if Rusty was loose or what, but he was skating up the track. We got him and Dale Jarrett and by the time I got there I was done. My right rear was lit up and I didn't have anything left. "Their cars got worse. My car stayed the same. I studied it while I was driving. I wasn't doing anything different. At one point when I was running with Kyle Petty there, I moved up high and found a groove and went on. I quit bogging my car down on the bottom. "We've had three DNF's that have killed us, two motor-related problems at Daytona and Texas and we got wrecked out there at Las Vegas. A 16th and a sixth isn't anything to write home about, but it is in Winston Cup. We did what we needed to do, we capitalized on our two short track events where I'm really good at telling the crew what we need. They've got something for me next week at Talladega. I can't wait to get there."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolt Monte Carlo) "We had a restart and one of the lap-down cars got to the corner and jumped up in front of me and locks the brakes. I slid into him and cut down the tire. We lost a lap or two pitting under green, and it hurt the sway bar, too. That pretty much took care of our day right there."
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "This Budweiser team really made a great comeback today. We were really off the mark at first. The car was way too tight and that cost us a lap. Tony (crew chief Furr) kept making changes to the car, and during the last half of the race, we really ran pretty well. We just had too much ground to make up."