Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet (Finished 5th) "I have to hand it to my team. They caught me off guard, the strategy they had. The car was great. We lost a little bit in the brakes in the front there at the end. We couldn't hold...
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet (Finished 5th)
"I have to hand it to my team. They caught me off guard, the strategy they had. The car was great. We lost a little bit in the brakes in the front there at the end. We couldn't hold Mark (Martin) off. We haven't had a top five in a while. I'm real proud of my team, the Budweiser crew, the spotters. Everybody did a great job. We had a real good car at the start of the race. We kind of lost it somewhere there in the middle."
(PHYSICALLY THIS RACE CAN BE HARD ON A DRIVER. HOW DID YOU FEEL?) "It was pretty tough. Long green flag runs will wear you out a bit."
(HOW DOES THIS FINISH COMPARE AFTER THE MONTH YOU'VE HAD?) "It's a pretty big deal. I'm real proud of our team. They did a great job. I've been needing them to step up and they did today. We had a pretty good car to start the race. My middle way crew is not good at all. They did some things and got me out there and had fun. On pit road the strategy they had was great. I just kind of held on to it and held my position."
(ON BECOMING A SKILLED DRIVER ON ROAD COURSES) "I was a little more proud of myself last year. This year we didn't have a car good enough. We worked on it a little bit. We could have had a better car."
(HOW ARE YOU FEELING NOW?) "I feel good."
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet (Finished 6th)
"We had a really good race car. I made about three mistakes getting into the inner loop. I didn't want to have to go through there. I really wheel hopped the car and had to stop and let everybody go by. It was better than being in the sand pit. All in all it was a good day for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. We did what we had to do. I think we probably gained a lot of points."
(ARE YOU GAINING MOMENTUM AS WE APPROACH THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP?) "It seems like we always gain momentum about this time of the year. Last week we overcame the car and wound up with a good finish. This week the car overcame. We had a good enough car to overcome the driver making some mistakes. We got four more to go. Hopefully we'll have our stuff together and we'll be in that Chase."
Robby Gordon, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet (Finished 16th)
(YOU STARTED OFF VERY STRONG, WHAT HAPPENED?) "I broke first gear around lap 50. I broke second gear around lap 70. I only had third and fourth gear for the rest of the race. This was a fourth place car not a winner."
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet (Finished 21st)
(WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RACE TO DROP YOU BACK?) "We just broke a transmission. Went to go up from second to third, went into gear and it just fell to pieces. I heard a lot of rattling around. I put it in fourth gear. I tried second gear. There was nothing there. I just rode around in fourth gear all day. It's a disappointment, obviously. We looked like we were going to finish third. I would have loved to have finished third."
(ON RACING WITH TONY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE RACE) "It was fun. We were having a good time. We were pretty equal at the beginning. We just couldn't get the team to keep up with the track. The track kept getting looser and looser and we kept fading."
(ON THERE BEING A LOT OF MECHANICAL PROBLEMS FOR A ROAD COURSE) "We were trying new things. Maybe we shouldn't of risked it that much. We felt like right now it's a road course. There isn't a road course in those last ten races. We're almost testing today for next year. It was a call we made as a team to try it. It didn't work out for me or Jimmie. That's disappointing. Other than that it was a good day."
Ward Burton, No. 0 NetZero Hi-Speed Chevrolet (Finished 37th)
(WHAT HAPPENED TO PUT YOU IN THE GARAGE?) "It looks like something on the bottom end of the motor broke. Hendrick has the best motors in Nextel Cup. It's just one of those unfortunate situations that we're in. I'll tell you the positive thing. That car was running so well. Ken, Bill and all the guys on the NetZero Chevrolet are working really hard together. They're dialing the car in for me. Right then our lap time was good to run a top five, top six. We were going to get back up there after the car went down. It's one of those things that you can't control but it's coming."
(WE'RE HAD THREE ENGINE FAILURES TODAY, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOURS?) "It's not an rpm issue even though we may be turning a bit more than some of the other teams. They've been working really hard. They do a lot of research. They do a lot of R&D work before they bring something to the race track. I'm really puzzled and aggravated right now but there's a positive thing going on with my race team. Hendrick will get will get their motor program and find out what is going on and get it fixed. They've got awesome motors. I'm proud of that NetZero Chevrolet. We're heading in the right direction. We'll get to where we need to go."
Terry Labonte, No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet (Finished 39th)
(WE HEARD YOU HAD BRAKE AND ENGINE PROBLEMS OUT THERE. THIS MUST HAVE BEEN A FRUSTRATING DAY FOR YOU) "That's a good way to put it. We popped a value I guess. It wasn't our day. We kind of struggled all week a bit trying to get going. It's unfortunate we that happen."
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet (Finished 40th)
"I'm disappointed in myself. I made a mistake. We tried a little different shifter combination. I made it through practice without any errors. I made a few mistakes today on a restart. I came from second trying to hit third and fell right into first. It hurt first gear. It's a terrible deal. I have no where to look but in the mirror."
(ON HAVING BAD LUCK HAPPEN BEFORE THE FINAL TEN RACES) "The way the system is you can kind of have some bad days. We hate to have them. I'm real disappointed in myself. We'll just move forward and get ready for that final ten."
(DOES THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM ALLOW YOU TO MAKE SOME MISTAKES?) "Definitely. I've been the slowest one to conform to the new points system and it's a positive thing for days like today. You have that extra to fall back on. We'll just do what we can and get things cleaned up and in order for that final ten. We had a little bit of bad luck today. The driver made a mistake. We'll come to Michigan. We'll come out with a real big smile and have a good run."
(WERE YOU TRYING SOMETHING NEW?) "We were definitely trying something new. We tested with it and didn't have any problems. We practiced with it. I haven't missed a gear with it yet. This is the first time in my career I've ever missed a gear. I've had a fall into another gear. I've heard stories of that and I've always kind of laughed about it. It just never happened. Today I did it myself and took myself out of the race."