KEVIN HARVICK COLLECTED A COOL $1 MILLION AS WINNER OF THE NEXTEL ALL- STAR CHALLENGE Concord, NC - Kevin Harvick captured the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge and collected a $1 million paycheck in his No. 29 Pennzoil Platinum Monte Carlo SS at...
KEVIN HARVICK COLLECTED A COOL $1 MILLION AS WINNER OF THE NEXTEL ALL- STAR CHALLENGE
Concord, NC - Kevin Harvick captured the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge and collected a $1 million paycheck in his No. 29 Pennzoil Platinum Monte Carlo SS at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Harvick beat two-time All-Star winner and defending Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS to the finish in the reverse order of last year's race, when Johnson beat out Harvick.
Mark Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet, Jeff Burton, No. 31 at&t Monte Carlo SS, Tony Stewart, Home Depot Chevy, and Johnny Sauter, No. 70 Yellow Monte Carlo SS finished third through sixth, respectively, giving the bowtie brigade a top six sweep.
Harvick's win marked the 13th victory for Chevrolet in 23 years running of this non-points event under the lights at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
This was the second million-dollar payday for Harvick, who also earned $1.5 million for winning the '07 series-opening Daytona 500 in February and established himself as a winner of two major events in the sport.
"To win the Daytona 500 and the All-Star race is pretty cool," said Harvick, who gave car owner Richard Childress his first win of the All-Star since racing legend Dale Earnhardt won in 1993. It also marked the 20th year anniversary of Earnhardt's famous pass in the grass.
Childress and Harvick also celebrated the first victory for the new Chevrolet RO7 engine. "This was the first win for GM's RO7 engine and I'm just really happy that Richard Childress Racing got it," said Childress, who just recently formed an engine program with Dale Earnhardt Inc. "We're excited about doing our new deal with DEI. I know that's what Dale would want us to be doing today. Hopefully we can all work together and make both outfits a lot stronger. Kevin really got the job done all night. I'm just proud of the whole team."
The Series returns to regular points racing next Sunday evening, May 27th at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the tour.
TODD BERRIER, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM MONTE CARLO SS - WINNING CREW CHIEF:
"How about that? Pretty exciting race, anything could have happened out there. We have had some bad luck and now we have some good luck. We came here with the car and the attitude to win."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM MONTE CARLO SS - WINNER:
"This Pennzoil Platinum Chevrolet was really good all night. We were terrible down here at the test and these guys decided to bring back a different car than the car we raced last year. To win the All-Star race is just a lot of fun. Jimmie (Johnson) and I raced hard. He taught me a little something there getting into Turn 3. I was way over-driving it. I've just got to thank everybody on this Pennzoil Platinum Chevrolet team. To win the Daytona 500 and the All-Star race is pretty cool."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/POWER OF PRIDE MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 2ND:
"We got off to a rough start tonight. We had a problem with a left-front rub and we had to work that out and then we were just kind of behind. But I'm just proud of my guys. They did some great adjustments in the pit stops and really got the car right in the end. Unfortunately we lost a lot of track position throughout the day, but we still passed a lot of cars and came awfully close."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 3RD:
"It was a blast, man. It's an honor to represent all our soldiers and to drive the U.S. Army race car. Ryan Pemberton and this team gave me a shot to win this thing and with 10 to go, we were nose to tail, the three of us, and I searched for everything. I ran the high groove, which is not normal for me. It was anybody's race right there at that point. With about three to go, I had pretty much used my right front up and kind of fell off there. But man, it was a good race. Even though we weren't swapping the lead back and forth, it could have been any of the three of us at that point."
AT THE END OF THE RACE, YOU STUCK YOUR HEAD INSIDE OF JIMMIE JOHNSON'S CAR WINDOW. WHAT WAS THE CONVERSATION? "I told him he was one heck of a race car driver."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 at&t MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 4TH:
"We were pretty good. We got fast there as those top two or three guys. We put ourselves in the right position on the restart with Kevin. He went through one and two there and hadn't lifted yet. I tried. We just got a little tight there at the end. Great night for RCR. Real proud of everybody. I think that might be the first Chevy R07 engine win. Proud of all my at&t guys, they worked real hard. It was a good night.
"It is a tough race track, those tires are really tough, the rubber is just pretty hard. Not conducive to this type of racing, just flat out. Not made for this kind of racing but will be good for the 600 next weekend."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED FIFTH:
"We got fifth, so pretty happy. It was a good night for us. We started dead last because of the motor change. To go from 21st to fifth is pretty good considering how bad we have run here the last two or three years. So I am pretty happy with it.
"We will keep that for next week. We came here to run 80 laps and we did that. We didn't care where we finished, we just wanted to finish the race tonight and to break the jinx of the last three years of crashing out of thing."
REGARDING HOW THE HOME DEPOT TEAM WILL USE WHAT THEY LEARNED TONIGHT AS A TUNE-UP FOR THE COCA-COLA 600: "That's what this race is all about [working toward the Coca-Cola 600.] That was the best we've run here in at least the last three years. We've crashed out the past few times. My goal was to run 80 laps tonight and I did. We started dead last because of the motor change and we got up to fifth and we're really happy with that. That was a good run for the Home Depot team."
ON IF HE THOUGHT THE HOME DEPOT TEAM HAD A GOOD NIGHT: "I ended up fifth. It was a good night for us. We started dead last and to go from 21st to fifth was a really good night. Considering how bad we've run here in the last two or three years I'm pretty happy with it tonight."
ON IF WHERE THE HOME DEPOT TEAM FINISHED WAS IMPORTANT: "Our goal was to run 80 laps and we did that. We didn't care where we finished we just wanted to finish."
REGARDING THE HOW THE FOUR PHRASES AFFECT THE OUTCOME OF THE EVENT AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE APPROACH: "It's a lot to do in four phases. This tire is so hard and track position is so important. The track's finally come around. Humpy's finally got him a good race track now we've just got to get a good race tire to compliment it. The racing can be better if Goodyear will work with everybody but I'm not sure if that will happen or not."
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CARQUEST MONTE CARLO SS: POST CRASH QUOTE - FINISHED 20TH - OUT ON LAP 16 OF FINAL 20-LAP SEGMENT
"Well, it's the All-Star. We had a good car. We had a real good car - a car that could win the race. Matt (Kenseth) got us on that restart and we got back there a little bit, so strategy was playing out. And the No. 2 (Kurt Busch) was struggling to get by the No. 31 (Jeff Burton) and Kyle (Busch) got a good run and got down into (Turns) 1 and 2 and touched there. It's just unfortunate. All these Kellogg's CARQUEST crew guys have worked their tails off and done a real good job. We had a real fast race car. We've had too many on the hook here lately, and we didn't need that. Kyle has gone to the infield care center to get checked out and make sure he's okay. That's what's important. Hopefully it was a good show for the fans."
DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX MONTE CARLO SS: POST CRASH QUOTE - FINISHED 17TH OUT ON LAP 17 OF FINAL 20-LAP SEGMENT
"I think me and the No. 25 (Casey Mears) were battling for last or something like that (laughs). It was just a night I'd soon forget. We didn't run very good at all. We ran a whole different front-end package than we've ever run in the past two years. And it just didn't work. It just looked like he got loose and thanks to him, now we're out of our misery and ready to go home.
-credit: gm racing