JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Sidelined with radiator problems (WHAT HAPPENED?) "You do what you can do. We had some contact on pit road (with the No. 9) and I'm not sure if that hurt the air duct and wouldn't let the air...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Sidelined with radiator problems
(WHAT HAPPENED?) "You do what you can do. We had some contact on pit road (with the No. 9) and I'm not sure if that hurt the air duct and wouldn't let the air inside to cool the radiator. Anyway, the car got hot and we cooked an engine. We'll just take it from there. You can only be so upset because we work our butts off. We do everything we can. Stuff happens. Lady Luck wasn't on our side and hasn't been on our side for a little while. But there's nothing we can do about it. It's just too bad for this Lowe's team. We'll come back for the next one and try to get maximum points. There are a few other guys who have had some troubles and now we're in that group. I hate to be in that group but we're there and we'll just have to race hard and if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. We can't lose any sleep over this. We all work our butts off and try as hard as we can. Stuff happens. It was pretty crazy out there.
"We raced three-wide for a long time. Everybody is doing a good job. There haven't been that many wrecks and that's usually a telltale sign that everybody is doing give & take."
TONY EURY, SR., CREW CHIEF, NO 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (ON WINNING THE RACE)
"We made a call when we came down pit road there when the caution came out and we only had like two seconds to make that call and we made the right one. We put two tires on it. Just two tires on the right side meant a lot. We knew we had the best wheelman out there and the Budweiser Chevy got it done. (more to follow)
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 2nd:
"We worked hard all day. We got up there and we were in the lead and I knew they were going to be coming. With Robby (Gordon) behind me, there wasn't anybody in the field who was going to pass us except the No. 8 (Dale Jr.). They just seem to go when they want to. But my hats off to them. They've got it figured out. I've got to thank this GM Goodwrench Chevrolet team and all our other sponsors. It's really nice to have a good finish and get back on track."
(IF YOU GUYS COULD HAVE GOTTEN TWO TIRES ON YOUR CAR, WOULD THAT HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE?) "I don't' think so. Todd (Berrier, crew chief) made all the right calls. We made one mistake and that was my fault. I missed the pits. But I just think he (Dale Jr.) gets up on the outside and gets so much momentum and just drives by us.
"All you can ask for on these restrictor plate tracks is a chance to win the race. Todd Berrier and all they guys gave me a great race car. I knew the only car that was going to be able to get by us was the No. 8 (Dale Jr.). I've got to thank Robby Gordon and Jeff Burton when we were all lined up there."
(WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE, YOU COULD HAVE RUN WITH TONY STEWART AS WELL) "We were here to win the race. And we wanted to do everything we could to do that." (more to follow)
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 19th
"That's why you love and you hate this place because it can give you a great day like it did Junior, or you can be back here and the next thing you know you can be in a wreck with five to go in the back of the pack. It was unfortunate for us. We had a great car. We just had to take what we could get there. We knew we were in trouble when all those guys came to pit under green, I waved at the No. 22 (Scott Wimmer) and he just had no idea that all these cars were going to pit. If I would have put on the brakes, he would have run right in the back of me. So that messed the rest of our day up."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Race Winner:
"That call was awesome. We came down pit road and the yellow came out and we were saying two tires, two tires and we just smoked them guys that were on old tires. The car just drove right around into the corner. I've got to thank Richie Gilmore and everybody at DEI and back at the shop. The body was awesome. I beat the front bumper all to hell today and it's still there. That's five wins this year, I just can't believe it."
(AND THAT WAS YOUR GOAL AND WITH THAT, YOU UNOFFICIALLY TAKE OVER THE CHAMPIONSHIP POINT LEAD AGAIN) "Hell yeah, man. We just keep on doing good. One race at a time and we just might win."
(WHAT DOES MEAN TO WIN HERE NOT ONLY ONCE, BUT FIVE TIMES?) "Well, it don't mean sh-- right now. Daddy's won here 10 times. So, I've got to do more winning. But we're going to get there. He was the master. I'm just following in his tracks."
(WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE CALL TO TAKE TWO TIRES?) "No, I just drive the car. I drive it as hard as I can. If we didn't win, we didn't win. But I'm just glad to get back on top at Talladega, man."
(EARLY ON, THE CAR WAS FLUTTERING UNDER CAUTION. WHAT WAS HAPPENING?) "We don't know what it was, but it righted itself. Full throttle seemed to be the remedy for it. But whatever it was, it's great to be back in Victory Lane at Talladega. I don't know how to explain to you what it feels like."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 9th:
"It was a good run for us. The only way to go to the front is to knock the sh - - out of people. The Cingular Wireless Chevrolet was pretty good. I don't know what happened there at the end. We got spread apart too much and I had to check up when the No. 21 (Ricky Rudd) moved up into my line and Tony (Stewart, No. 20) got by both of us. It cost about five or six positions. I was a little disappointed but it was a good run for us. We finished 9th. We tried to get with Kevin (Harvick) and team up with him, but Dale Jr. was just too strong for us."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 7th:
"This was a pretty stressful day and my mind is tired right now. The pack was there for the entire race and there wasn't much breathing room. You just had to stay in there, be patient and fight your way through. I'm sure the fans liked it because from my view it was pretty exciting.
The U.S. Army Chevy was awesome all day and the pit stops were equally as good. I just got trapped in the wrong lane at the end and couldn't go anywhere. I finally saw an opening on the final lap and jumped to the outside to try and get around these guys. I did manage to pick up four spots on the last corner. Gosh, I needed one more lap because the way this car performed we should have had an easy top five or better. Overall it was a good weekend. We got the pole and pulled off another top-10 restictor-plate finish. (Nemechek finished 6th and 10th at the two Daytona races this season).
SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 ZEREX/VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 11th:
"This wasn't a bad finish for the Zerex/Valvoline team. We had a top-10 car all weekend but just couldn't stay up front today and bring that finish home. I messed up in the pits once and that cost us some track position. We kept battling all day driving to the front and then getting shuffled to the back. In the end there were just some strong cars that teamed up and plowed to the front in those final laps. That's how it is at Talladega-- if you're lucky enough to be in that pack you'll move to the front, if not you can be hung out to dry.
"We didn't tear the car up and we finished 11th, all-in-all not a bad day. It's another positive step toward building this superspeedway program that seems to be getting bigger and better."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 35th:
"I was on the outside, and I don't know if the 40 (Sterling Marlin) got pushed up or what. We were going to pit in a lap, and so were some other guys, and it gets a little crazy with 20 laps to go. It's one of those things, but we'll regroup and come back next week at Kansas."