DENNY HAMLIN, NO 11 FEDEX MONTE CARLO SS FROM VICTORY LANE ON TODAY'S RACE: "Pretty uneventful for once. It was really great to come here and do this again. Man, the car was strong. We did just quarter-turns and this that and the other all...
DENNY HAMLIN, NO 11 FEDEX MONTE CARLO SS FROM VICTORY LANE
ON TODAY'S RACE: "Pretty uneventful for once. It was really great to come here and do this again. Man, the car was strong. We did just quarter-turns and this that and the other all day. It was just a pretty good day for us."
ON WINNING AT POCONO AS A ROOKIE: "It is just a great race car. This is more about the team than it is anything else. I am proud to be with all the people I am with at Joe Gibbs Racing and I can't help that Mike (Ford) is such a great crew chief. He prepares the car perfect every single week and it is up to me to get the job done."
ON RACE STRATEGY: "Our FedEx Chevy was so good that no matter what we did, whether it was two tires, four tires, no tires, it was the best car on the race track. At times other cars started to catch up to us a little bit and tune in on us but we were good."
ON NOW BEING EIGHTH IN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS CHASE: "We have to keep plugging along. That is all we can do. Fate is going to decide this Chase. It is just going to happen. Some guys are going to have bad luck and we are in right now, we are just going to try and stay there."
MIKE FORD, CREW CHIEF NO. 11 FEDEX MONTE CARLO SS:
ON SWEEPING POCONO: "Man for Denny's first two times here, undefeated is pretty incredible. Two poles, two wins, he really adapted to this track well. We had a really good race car and the team really excelled today. We didn't have the dilemma we had here in the first race to overcome, it was really a pretty smooth day all in all. Hats off to this whole crew. We came to Pocono and believe we got a pole and a win. Turned around and took the same car to Indy and won there with Bill Elliott. This car is going back in the truck to Indy."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 6TH:
YOU HAD A GOOD DAY, BUT SOME BRAKE ISSUES THERE NEAR THE END? "We had an issue with an official on pit road. We went to take two tires and we were running third or fourth and he was standing in front of the car and I actually hit him. So I'm glad he's all right. But it kicked the fender in and we lost probably 15 spots on pit road. We recovered from that and got up into the top five and ran there throughout most of the day and then had brake trouble at the end. It looks like I just wore the brake pads out."
DID YOU NOTICE ANY OVERLY AGGRESSIVE DRIVING TODAY? "No, I didn't see anything. I raced with Tony Stewart through a lot of the day. Sometimes things are an accident and things happen. I hope that people aren't over-reacting. There's a knee-jerk reaction when there's contact thinking that somebody is mad at someone..paybacks..or whatever it may be. I didn't see anything where I was today and I came through the pack once or twice. There was just some hard racing. We had a good day."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 7th
DID IT FEEL GOOD TO COME BACK THROUGH THE FIELD AND GET A GOOD FINISH TODAY? "Oh, yeah. It's just like I told everybody last week, just because we're outside of the top 10 for a week, don't get too upset because we're going to get ourselves back in the top 10, so don't even worry about it."
ON THE PENALTY, DID THAT MAKE YOU WANT TO MAKE IT UP TO THE TEAM? "I didn't even want to have to get the penalty, but if we get some of these young guys. If the run the Busch Series on Saturday and they race that way on Saturday, if we can ever get it into their head that Sunday's a totally different deal with these 500 miles races..all we had to do when we got to him was let him go. I mean I didn't have any problems with Jeff Burton or Bobby Labonte or any of the rest of the guys all day who have been here doing it a while. All of a sudden these that are one and two year drivers that think they know everything about Cup racing. They've got a lot to learn."
WHAT HAPPENED ON PIT ROAD WITH CARL EDWARDS? "That was only one of two times he run into us. I don't know. We never touched anybody. I don't know why he's running into us. If he's mad about something, he should have said something after the race instead of trying to take our race car out. We never touched him."
CARL EDWARDS GOT CAUGHT UP IN THE ACCIDENT WITH CLINT BOWYER AND MAYBE THINKS YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE "What happened with me and Clint had nothing to do with Carl. I'm sorry he got into it, but it all started with the 07 car. If he would have just used a little give and take at the beginning of it, none of us would have been in that position in the first place. So instead, we had two guys that had driving penalties and two other guys that got their cars tore up. So one guy that's not being patient and using give and take cost four guys a rough day."
WAS THERE A POINT WHERE (CREW CHIEF) ZIPPY WAS FRUSTRATED? "No. We all stayed calm and we all did what we had to do. We're a pretty good team about doing that and we've been doing it for a long time.
All I know is if the No. 3 car was here (Earnhardt), a lot of these problems we have with these drivers wouldn't be happening because he'd have had it all settled by now and we wouldn't have to worry about this now."
YOU APOLOGIZED TO YOUR CREW ON THE RADIO AND SAID YOU'D MAKE IT UP TO THEM WITH A GOOD FINISH. DO YOU THINK YOU DID? "Yeah, I think this was as good as we were all day. But it was an awesome job by Zippy and the guys had awesome stops all day getting it back to the front there. I just wish we wouldn't have had to race that hard that early in the race to have to get ourselves in position to do that."
TALK ABOUT THE 07 RACING HARD: "He was racing too hard at the beginning of a 500-mile race. The problem is they don't learn give and take in the Busch Series and they run the Busch Series on Saturday. They came from Martinsville yesterday and they come here to Pocono today and they're still racing like they're at Martinsville in the Busch Series. This is the Nextel Cup Series. If they would all learn a little give and take, none of us would have been in this position. Carl (Edwards) ended up with a bad day because of it. The No. 5 car ended up with a bad day. I ended up with a bad day. Four cars ended up with a bad day because one guy couldn't have patience and use give and take like they talk about at the drivers meeting every week."
ON WORKING HIS WAY BACK INTO THE TOP 10: "I never doubted we'd be in the top 10 one week after we got out. I'm not worried about it. Everybody else seems to be more worried about the top 10 than we are because we know we're a top 10 team. We just need to do what we did today and keep digging and we'll be where we need to be at the end."
BOTTOM LINE, AT THE END OF THE DAY, SHOULD YOU HAVE BEEN MORE PATIENT? "Should I have been more patient? I don't think so. I think if the No. 3 car was here, I don't think we'd have as many problems in the series as we have because he always had a way of letting the drivers know where they stood and when to be patient and when to move and when not to move. So I'm not saying that everybody's got to get out of everybody's way, but when it's a 500-mile race and they guy behind you comes up faster..Mark Martin and the rest of those guys let everybody go it just the first year and second year drivers that can't seem to get into their heads to do a little give and take."
AND YOU ARE BECOMING ONE OF THOSE VETERANS NOW..MAYBE SHOULD YOU PUT IT ON YOURSELF AND MAYBE INTERVIEWS LIKE THIS WILL HELP YOU GET THE MESSAGE OUT? "I talked to Ryan Newman last week. Ryan and I got in the wreck last week and that cost us (from) being in the top 10. Ryan gets it. Kyle Busch gets it. There's only a handful of these guys who don't get it. But the problem is they're in good race cars and they run up front, but they don't run up front enough to learn from the rest of the veterans to learn how to race up front. When we got up front with everybody that is used to running up front, we never had a problem like we normally don't have a problem. It's when we get around the guys that we don't normally race with."
DID EARNHARDT EVER COME TO YOU WHEN YOU WERE STARTING OUT AND GIVE YOU ADVICE? "We just need to do something a little different here and that's how you learn things. You learn from guys who are veterans in the series. You've got so many of these guys who are running Busch on Saturday and Cup on Sunday and they don't use their heads on give and take and then we end up in the wall because a guy won't let us go and then he ends up in the wall. It's the same thing the guy in the No. 3 car would have done. He'd have done the same thing if the roles were reversed. Eventually these guys figure out you know, hey, I had a bad day because I didn't use my head. It just sucks when you got to have a bad day yourself and get penalized for it. I don't know what point does NASCAR step in and say listen you guys either got to learn it or they've got to learn it from other drivers on the race track. But it's kind of tough when you're babysitting all day long."
IS THERE A WAY TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS? "Do you have any ideas?
NO "I'm asking you. I don't either then. I don't know. Go sit with them next week and go talk to them and tell them how it works because I'm so tired of talking with guys. I'd sit down and talk with them all day long but the thing is, they look at you like you've got three heads and they don't pay attention and they don't care. They just do it their way. If Earnhardt Sr. was here, you wouldn't have any of the problems that we have in the series right now with the drivers who are first and second year drivers."
WOULD IT BE EASY TO SAY I'LL JUST LAY LOW? "Let me ask you this. If Clint (Bowyer) was faster than me, I'd have let him go. That's the way I do everybody. But is it fair for me to let him go but then not let me go coming up there. I just want to be raced..I expect to be raced the way I race other people. And I think I'm pretty fair. Ask some veterans and ask the guys that I run up front with every week and I think I'm a pretty fair driver to those guys. If I'm wrong on that, I'll quit. I'll give you my hard card and retire tomorrow. But I'm pretty sure that those guys are going to say I race pretty fair 99 out of 100 times. When it comes down late in the race like this, you've got to race hard. I didn't expect Jimmie (Johnson) to give me anything at the end.
"I didn't expect Harvick to give me anything. At the end you've got to race hard. But it's 500 miles, guys. When you're 40 miles into it.you're got 460 miles..you've got all day to work on your car you know. So what are you accomplishing when you're going to pit five or six or eight times, you know?"
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 5th:
"It was a good race today. We had a solid car all day. We got really loose there at the end for whatever reason but we were able to stay in the top five there. So it was a good day for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet.
ON TODAY'S RACE "It is pretty big for us. Our GM Goodwrench Chevrolet was good all day long. Coming to Pocono, we always wonder what is going to happen. Today we had a really good car all day long and were able to run up front and keep the brakes underneath the car. We made good adjustments all race long. Good day for us. Hopefully we can do six more just like that."
ON BEING A GOOD OMEN HEADING TO INDY "I think so. Our test there went really well. Everybody still have a question about the tires, you know, are they going to run far enough and are they going to wear out. Our car seemed to be pretty good compared to others. I am looking forward to the Brickyard and also having only one race next weekend. It will be fun."
ON MOMENTUM IN POINT STANDINGS "I think we have been consistent performance wise all year. We have a lot of things go wrong for us, a lot of crazy things happen - a rock through the radiator at Darlington and just a few things like that. But all in all, the performance has been there week in and week out and that is what we have to keep doing."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 4th
ON TODAY'S RACE "We were a second to third place car all day. We ran in the top group. We lost some track position one time, that hurt us, it was real important today. There were times when we had the balance spot-on. But we were still lacking a 1/2 of a tenth to a tenth on the 11 car, he was just dominant all day. That is the kind of speed you have to find in practice, you can't find it during the race. The guys made good calls in the pits. We had a good solid day, moved us up in the points. It was a good day for us."
ON NOT HAVING PRACTICE ON SATURDAY "I felt like we obviously had a good base setup to start with. We ran well here in the past and ran well here in the first race in June. Obviously the 11 had a better starting point than we did. Practice probably would have helped us, but we were still ok."
ON WHAT THIS FINISH MEANS TO THE TEAM "It feels really good. We had a good car last weekend, just being a little off on pit strategy kind of hurt us a little and then getting caught in some wrecks. We have had some really good cars here lately and to finally get some good solid runs to show for them and move up in the points, that always helps a team. It makes you feel good when you run well."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS: Wrecked on lap 88
YOU SEEMED AWFULLY CALM ON THE RADIO, BUT YOU SEEMED KIND OF UPSET AND NEEDED SOME TIME TO COOL DOWN "Well, I really didn't know who wrecked me and then I found out it was Dave Blaney. I didn't do nothing to him on the race track. I don't think he meant wrecked me. I don't know why he would do that; he's a pretty nice guy. We always got along as friends. But it's a pretty weird deal. I just got run over on the straightaway and I tried to save it but just got too far behind on the wheel there."
AFTER LAST WEEK, YOU DIDN'T NEED A POOR FINISH AGAIN THIS WEEK: "You're are telling me. But what am I supposed to do? My motor blows up and now I got wrecked. I don't know what else to do. I mean, we didn't have a great car. We didn't bring a good race car to the race track, not a good product. I am disappointed in my team on how the car drove, but we will just have to keep tryin."