Atlanta: Team Monte Carlo race notes

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson led the way for Team Monte Carlo by finishing second and third in the MBNA 500 at Atlanta. They were the best finishing Chevrolets in the top 13 positions. Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet...

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson led the way for Team Monte Carlo by finishing second and third in the MBNA 500 at Atlanta. They were the best finishing Chevrolets in the top 13 positions.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo - finished 2nd:

"It was a little difficult (to catch Tony Stewart). They did a fine job of adjusting our car all day. You'd see his car kind of go away and then come back when they made adjustments and that's what we did too. We've been up front at a lot of these races at Atlanta, we just haven't been there at the end. Today was a good day for us to be able to race for the finish and just be part of the action. We've always run real good here, we just haven't been there at the end to be part of the show. We're real happy about the adjustments we made during the pit stops today. That's what has bit us here in the past. Tony Eury Sr. and Tony Jr. and the guys have got their heads together and we got a good finish. We need some points and hopefully this will move us up.

"It seems like we always need a shot in the arm. But hopefully we can get to where we can run up front all the time. I love driving these cars and we couldn't have a better sponsor than Budweiser, but we need to be up front more often and we need to figure out how. We need to get off the trailer fast and that's been a tough part for us."

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo - finished 3rd, and was highest finishing Reybestos Rookie of the Year candidate:

"I thought at times we had a shot at it. It just blows my mind that we're this competitive and we can run with these guys. Last week we knew we were solid and we were hoping to improve on it. We came here and finished third. At times we had a chance to win it but it didn't play out in the end for us. But the guys on this Lowe's team are really coming together strong."

Teresa Earnhardt Note: For the first time in her capacity as a team owner, and in her second race appearance of the 2002 season, Teresa Earnhardt attended today's pre-race NASCAR Winston Cup Drivers & Crew Chiefs meeting.

Michael Waltrip, No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo:

"We only ran a couple hundred miles so I don't know if the one-engine rule has anything to do with anything. It was not a good day for the NAPA Auto Parts team."

Jeff Green, No. 30 AOL Chevrolet Monte Carlo: "We just didn't have a good day. The racing was pretty good. You could pass if you had a good handling racecar and that's what we were doing. But we were just using all the racetrack - all the way up against the wall in the corner and you could get a good run off the corner. That's where my car wanted to run." (On the one-engine rule) "I'm not an engineer, so I don't know. But we did put 174 laps on it in practice."

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo:

Richard Childress comment: "We ran about 130 or 140 miles yesterday and we've got about 100 to go right now in the race. Normally we don't break engines and we broke two today. (Has the one-engine rule hurt you?) "Yes, definitely it has. We just need practice engines."

-tmc-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Jeff Green , Jimmie Johnson