Kevin Harvick, driver of the GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo, put Chevrolet on the podium with his 3rd place finish in the Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson finished 7th in his Lowe's Monte Carlo and ...
Kevin Harvick, driver of the GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo, put Chevrolet on the podium with his 3rd place finish in the Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson finished 7th in his Lowe's Monte Carlo and regained the point lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle. Notes & Quotes follow:
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH SERVICE CHEVOLET MONTE CARLO -- Top finishing Chevrolet in 3rd
HOW DID THE WEATHER CHANGE FROM YESTERDAY TO TODAY INFLUENCE YOU AND YOUR TEAM? "We tried to compensate with what we thought was right this morning and free our car up a little bit, but it was still way to tight when the race started. Every time I've ever been here, we've been a little bit free in practice and then the race starts, and you're really tight. So we went ahead and freed it up. That was the right move. We just didn't do it enough. All in all, it was a good day for the Goodwrench Chevy.
"We took a gamble there with about 55 laps to go and we thought with a couple caution laps we could make it on fuel. But we had another caution so that didn't work out. We had to battle our way back. But it was a good day for us all in all."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - finished 7th -- Top finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate
"Our race was real good. For some reason, Fridays have been terrible days for the Lowe's Monte Carlo and us. We get behind and spend the rest of the weekend trying to get back to where we need to be. One thing I'm very proud of these guys for is their awesome pit stops. They give me a great racecar and we seem to find our way back to the front in the race. I would like to start near the top 10 and I think we could probably finish in the top five. But it was just a great day all in all for the Lowe's Monte Carlo and I'm glad to be back - hopefully ahead in the rookie race." (Points update: Jimmie Johnson = 295, Ryan Newman = 293)
BY HAVING TO GO TO A BACKUP CAR, WAS THIS AS GOOD A DAY AS YOU COULD HAVE EXPECTED? "We knew our back-up car was going to be really strong. We just fought a real loose condition the whole time here. And then the green flag comes out for the race, and we were tight. So what was going on really had us spun out. I thought we could have probably finished in the top four or five if it had stayed green, but there at the end when some guys put some tires on, they were able to come back and get by us."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (finished 21st)
"I thought we were going to be okay there. We didn't need that last caution. We were going to be okay without that. Everybody came in and got new tires. We stayed out still and that hurt us. But it was a good call by Kevin Hamlin (crew chief) and the crew. We should have had a top 10 (finish)."
"We didn't take tires there at the end. We just took fuel and that got us our track position. It thought it was going to be the call of the day. We got a little tight at the end and couldn't make the turns."
HOW MUCH DID THE NOSE KICK-OUT HELP? "Yeah, it was a pretty good day for both Pontiac and Chevrolet. Like I said before, DEI was fast here last time (June) and we came here and tested. My teammate, Harvick, did a good job of finishing third, and (Jeff) Green finished 9th. So it was a good day for us. It probably equaled it up a little bit. I think today confused everybody a little bit just because the sun came out. We didn't run all week with sun out. Friday and Saturday it was cloudy. And then Sunday, the sun came out and changed the balance. But we chased our car all day long. We were loose in and tight off."
ROBBIE LOOMIS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Jeff Gordon finished 19th
"We've been off our game this whole season. It's just unfortunate. We had a real good car again, but I made some bad calls on the adjustments and that took us out of the ballpark. But the pit crew did a great job all day long and kept him (Gordon) right in there. But there again, we got behind and you can't make anything up when you get back out."
DID THE KICK-OUT HELP? "Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus (crew chief) did a great job on the Lowe's Chevrolet with it. We were off a little bit. The car, like I said, was a little bit loose. So we've got some work to do to get it tightened back up.
YOU'RE NOT FINISHING WHERE YOU WANT, BUT YOU'RE STILL IN THE TOP FIVE IN THE POINT STANDINGS "We've been consistently finishing races, but you know what they say - you've got to finish first before you can finish first. So we've got to work on that."
NOTE: With today's finish of the Pepsi 400 at MIS, Jeff Gordon set a Modern Era record (1972-present) of 54 consecutive finishes without a DNF. Entering this event, he was tied with the late Dale Earnhardt at 53. Gordon's last DNF was Darlington in March of 2001.