Jimmie Johnson in the no. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet was the RaybestosÂ® Rookie of the race At Michigan. "This Friday ordeal has been killing us on the Lowe's Monte Carlo, but Sundays we can come back and run good. To pass as much as we did and...
Jimmie Johnson in the no. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet was the Raybestos® Rookie of the race At Michigan.
"This Friday ordeal has been killing us on the Lowe's Monte Carlo, but Sundays we can come back and run good. To pass as much as we did and race how we did my credit goes to these guys that give much such great race cars. We've tore up a couple in practice now and we've been able to bounce back. We had an engine failure and bounced back. I'm very proud of these guys on the Lowe's Monte Carlo and we're keeping this championship hope alive. We're clicking off the top-10s now. That's what we need to do. We've been in that top-15 range. We need to refocus for the top-10s and top-fives and hopefully we can take some more trophies home when it's all over."
YOU WERE ABLE TO PASS A LOT OF PEOPLE. DID THE KICK OUT ON THE CHEVROLET HELP YOU TODAY?
"Up until the race, the kick out seemed to be a problem for us. We fought tight all day long in the race so it's hard to know. I'm sure that kick out will help in clean air but when you are in traffic you don't have the air to let that kick out do anything. In clean air it helps you. It actually kind of hurts you, I think, because when you get in traffic you get that much tighter."
YOU RACED HARD ALL DAY LONG.
"We raced real hard all day long; we had to from where we started from. If we weren't aggressive we were going to slip backwards or the leaders were going to come back and catch us. We had to get all we could when we could and it work out good."
YOU HAD A GOOD BATTLE FOR POSITION WITH STERLING MARLIN AT THE END OF THE RACE.
"The 40 (Marlin) and the 6 (Mark Martin). The last I looked those guys were way back there. They must have come in and put tires on. I was just too tight. I couldn't do anything with the 6 or the 40. I was trying to bring this baby home with all the fenders on it."
ARE YOU SURPRISED TO RUN AS WELL AS YOU DID WITH THE BACKUP CAR?
"No, not surprised with the backup car at all. My surprise is that we were so loose in qualifying runs, and even in 'Happy Hour', and then surprised in the race we get it back right. I'd like to make it easier on all of us and we can get things sorted out a little earlier on Friday instead of working so hard all weekend.'
DID THE CAR DRIVER DIFFERENTLY ON RACE SETUP VERSUS QUALIFYING SETUP?
"We still struggled a lot with really being loose in race practice and we got it back for the race."
CHAD KNAUS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET:
"Daily these guys impress me. The maturity that these guys are showing right now and being able to do their jobs when the chips are down and Jimmie to be able to bounce back after crashing in practice. Somebody dropped some oil on the race track. We got into it and crashed. Being able to overcome that type of adversity is championship caliber. That is showing more maturity than these guys need to be showing right now."
ARE YOU SURPRISED HOW WELL YOU RAN WITH THE BACKUP CAR?
"No, not at all. We've got incredible race cars. If you look back we had to pull a backup car out at Bristol, we finished seventh. We pulled a backup car out at Chicago; I think we finished fifth there. We pull the backup out here, we finish seventh. These guys are awesome. We have great race cars. The preparation that we get from the 24 (Jeff Gordon) and 48 team back in Charlotte, North Carolina is just incredible."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO.12 ALLTEL/MOBIL 1 FORD FINISHED 31ST.
'We had an awesome race car, no doubt, just couldn't get that engine to stay together. I don't know what the deal was. We dropped a cylinder. We'll have to take it apart and see what happened."