Chevrolet Homstead race notes

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "Congratulations to Bobby. They ran great all year long, and we just couldn't ever come up with enough to do anything with 'em. We fell short at several race tracks. This was...

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "Congratulations to Bobby. They ran great all year long, and we just couldn't ever come up with enough to do anything with 'em. We fell short at several race tracks. This was just a tough day for us. We shoved the nose in the center all day long. We never could get the car to turn down in the center. If it would have I feel like we could have raced a little better, but we didn't race with a darn. "They've got to be excited. Them winning the championship and the 20 car winning the race today, that's a pretty good day for the Gibbs organization. It was a pretty good year for them. They worked hard all year long. Jimmy Makar (crew chief) and the guys deserve it. They put in some long hours and built the race team and won a lot of races. Now they've won the championship. "I used everything I could to try to keep him (Tony Stewart) behind me. I just used everything I had up. We survived. I wish I could have come away with a top five. I've got to race this guy over here now (Jeff Burton) for points now. "On the restart I went down there and had hot tires on and they just didn't turn good. They had stuff on 'em. NASCAR blew all that rubber and stuff down the track. It wouldn't turn. I got up into him (28 car). I tried to keep it off of him all I could. We were just lucky we both didn't wreck."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We got messed up there at the end. We got a lap down to Tony, and the caution came out. We thought we made our lap back up because Tony didn't take the caution. Then they waited too long to tell us we didn't. Then they had to hold us which made us pit absolutely dead last. We went from being the first car one lap down to the last car one lap down. We struggled from there. We got behind the eight ball. We needed to stay out front. "Tony was in a class by himself today. We were decent on old tires, but man, he had us all covered today. I was out there racing with Bobby Labonte for part of the day. He used his head all day long. He wasn't racing anybody and was just staying in the top five riding around. He had a decent race car. "That's another top 10 for us, and we're disappointed. It's nice to be disappointed with a top 10. If you've got a top-five car and finish eighth or ninth with it, you're disappointed. If you've got a 15th-place car and finish in the top 10, you're happy. I thought we had a top-five car most of the day. We got messed up with that one deal and went a lap down and couldn't recover from it. "We slipped around too much on old tires. We couldn't keep it glued down, but that 20 car was pretty strong. Either we've got a little more homework to do or we're not going to be able to win down here at Homestead. This Pennzoil team has worked hard. We got another top 10, but I thought we had a top-five car. We had a little bit of bad luck, but other than that, we had a good race car. Congratulations to Bobby Labonte. It's pretty cool to clinch the title with one race left. That's pretty amazing in this modern day Winston Cup era. We'll just lick our wounds, go to Atlanta and try to win there. "We were chasing that 20 car today. At times today, my car was the best it could be and the 20 car was a tenth and a half faster. We couldn't make it any better. We'll just have to smile and go on to Atlanta. We had a good run there earlier this season, so maybe we can pick that up a notch or two." Sunday, Nov. 12, 2000. Homestead-Miami Speedway. Pennzoil 400 Presented by Discount Auto Parts. Chevrolet notes, quotes. Page 2.

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "We came out and had just pitted and I guess they said a throttle spring broke. I never had that happen before. It's interesting because it stuck the throttle as I was going into turn one, not wide open, just a little bit, enough to where I had to lock the brakes down and flat spot a tire. I guess NASCAR threw a caution because they saw the smoke coming off there. That hurt us, but we would have had to come in under green anyway. "That was exciting for me to run at a place like this, which really hasn't been our best race track, and drive from 28th to third with a car like that. That was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it a lot. The guys were doing a great job in the pits. We worked our tails off all weekend long to get the car to handle like that. This is the track I struggled the most at last year. That was a great run for us. I thought we had a second or third-place car today. "He's (Tony Stewart) got something. They really know what they're doing around this place. He's a good driver. You put a piece of equipment like that under a driver like that, they're going to hide from everybody and toy with you all day long. "It's been a competitive season, but Bobby Labonte has been the most consistent. They've done the best job of anybody all year long. They deserve the championship. I want to congratulate Bobby and Jimmy and Joe Gibbs and that whole team. They've done a phenomenal job. They've been working on this for the last three or four years. It's finally come together for 'em. "We're getting close. We're really gaining on it. There's just a few areas we need to tweak on. It's never perfect, but it's going phenomenal right now. I'm real happy with the team effort and the way the cars are handling. The communication is especially good right now. "I just want to keep running the way we're running. If we keep doing that, we might have a shot at winning that final race. I felt like we had a top-five run today even though we finished seventh. Those types of runs are what win you championships and get you in the championship hunt. We've done that the last half of the season and really the last four or five races. "I don't know exactly how the throttle spring broke, but when I released the throttle it must have hung up. It didn't make it stick wide open. It just made it stick where it had too much speed going into the corner and I had to lock up the brakes. It was kind of scary there for a moment. I used that switch on the steering to shut it off. If it had stuck wide open it wouldn't have helped, but it helped me in that situation."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We struggled pretty hard all day. I don't know what we've got to do. At times we could keep up, but we didn't have any track position. At other times, the car never could get hold of the race track. It couldn't get any grip. If it's not an even playing field, we need to make it one. It was a tough day for us, but we're going to a real good race track for us next week at Atlanta. We almost won it last time there. All I can do is keep my head up, go to Atlanta and give it the best I can. If we hadn't got called for speeding on pit road today, we would have had a half decent finish. Somehow they called us for speeding on pit road. The next time I came in, I went faster than the time before following some of the other cars. I figured we'd all get a speeding ticket the second time. Hopefully there'll be better days ahead, but it was just a tough day today."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart