Chevrolet Racing Loudon race notes

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We really missed it today. We've been scrambling. We got creative with our transmission, and that cost us. I had to run all day in third gear. That didn't work. We'll just ...

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We really missed it today. We've been scrambling. We got creative with our transmission, and that cost us. I had to run all day in third gear. That didn't work. We'll just change the transmission and go out and run the rest of the race and see if we can improve it. Obviously, I haven't watched a lap of the race, but from my perspective, it (restrictor plate engine) is far from a success. I think that is as detrimental to this team as it is for any team in the garage. We're underfinanced. We didn't have the option to go flying around the country and testing at Milwaukee or St. Louis or whatever our option might have been. Financially, we didn't have that option. Waiting until the last minute like that, the decision coming at the 11th hour, gave the advantage to the teams with the resources. I wouldn't miss 'em (restrictor plates) a bit. I wouldn't miss 'em if we never ran another plate engine."

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We had a valve train problem. It was there from the start of the race, and I really hate it. I fired the motor up on the starting line, and it was clicking."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We looked to see if we broke an axle or if something happened to the rear end. It started getting looser and looser and all of a sudden, something popped and we started going straight for the corner. You don't want to do that here."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "It'll take me awhile to put it into words, and not good words, either. It wasn't (competitive), and we're racing for a championship. This is not Winston Cup racing. They just overreacted. They did the best they could do. It was just sorry racing to me. I hope to hell we don't do it anymore. We can still race 'em (for championship), but it sure did penalize us a lot. "Not having throttle response. Race cars are race cars, not Late Model Stock cars. They put Late Model Stock cars on short tracks for kids to learn how to race. Here we are racing the same stuff in Winston Cup with less horsepower, actually. I don't want to see them (restrictor plates) nowhere. What can you say? They're going to do what they want to do. I'm frustrated the way I raced, the way I run. The way I lost two positions in the points. I lost a lot to the leader. I'm just very upset. I know one thing. I'm holding the throttle down longer than I was on the straightaway. It's like we're running faster through the corners. I guess NASCAR knows what they want. If they want sorry racing for the fans, that's what they want. If I was a race fan, I wouldn't buy a ticket to a restrictor plate race on a short track. "We're supposed to be racing Winston Cup, elite racing. To degrade us down to Late Model Stock racing is pretty bad."

NOTE: Earnhardt will be a guest on MSNBC's "The News with Brian Williams" at 9 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18. Also, the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion will be a guest on the Fox network's "Fox and Friends" at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We took a hard lick. It was just unfortunate. We were making up some ground there at the end. It looked like someone got into the 97 car and got him up out of the groove into the marbles. It looked like he was trying to get back down in the racing groove, and we were trying to go by. We were just racing back up. I guess we put ourselves in that position, pitting and getting caught so far back. It's disappointing. We had a decent race car. We were hoping to get a halfway decent finish and go on to next week. It made it hard to pass, but it seemed like the guy who had the best car and the best driver shined. Jeff Burton runs good here. He was running up front. It's a change, but it takes away a lot of horsepower."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet) "I really feel bad for the team. It's really disappointing. Mark Martin hit me and I spun into the turn two wall, then Dale Earnhardt Jr. hit me on the driver's side. He just didn't have any place to go. We had an awesome race car from the moment it came off the truck. But Jeff Burton was really fast, too. I don't know if anybody could get past him. It's tough when have a weekend like this when you know you have the car to beat and then something happens. It's been like that all year."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The 6 got into the 25 and I went the wrong way. I hit the 25 in the door. I just went the wrong way. The 32 got loose in front of me, and I was in no position to check up. I was making a run on him. He tried to stay down the track in front of me, and I just got into him. The 94 cut down on me. He was hurt, and I probably should have been racing him a little more careful. He just come down on me. I was up to his door, and by the time I was backing out, he was already gone. I probably should have stayed in it and spun him around and he wouldn't have hit the wall so hard. The plates are fun. Our car was pretty good. I was having a good time racing and passing and carrying on. You just can't pass easy. With 10 to go, you ain't going to beat nobody without spinning them out. There wasn't a huge amount of passing all day. We were just kind of riding around. I don't mind the plates that much, but it presents some areas that are uncomfortable. You can't get away from lapped cars. A lapped car is running a tenth slower now instead of four tenths slower. You can't get away from 'em, so everybody is right there together. This rookie thing is ruined because of stuff like this. I don't know what I did to get all this bad luck."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "We ran pretty good. I lost track position in one run when I got pushed out wide, and that hurt us. We just could never make it up. There weren't many cautions the first half of the race and then there were some the last hundred laps. It's hard to make up many spots, but thank goodness for that caution there at the end. We came in and got tires. Robbie Loomis made the call and it was awesome. The car was driving right up through there. We made up some positions and got a sixth-place out of it. A couple more laps and we probably could have got a fourth out of it. It was a good day for us. "The plate was different. It was interesting. I didn't mind it. That's the best I've run at New Hampshire in awhile, so I didn't mind it too much, but I still like the power. The aerodynamics didn't really allow you to pass. It was very difficult. It took you several laps to set a guy up. If he really wanted to push you hard, you weren't going to get by him. It was pretty tricky to pass. It's always tricky to pass here, but I would have liked a little more power to get by some of those guys. You've got to do what you've got to do. When it's tough to pass like that, and you've got a good car, you've got to mix it up and we were. We were mixing it up and having fun. It was a good day for us. To come away with sixth place was good. "The race was never an issue (for safety). It was qualifying and the speeds we were running in qualifying. It was definitely slower, and that was safer. Is that the fix? I don't know. I thought there was going to be a lot more cautions than there were. There weren't many cautions at all until the second half of the race. That did surprise me."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We got bit again. We qualified well and the car was running pretty good. It was a bit loose getting into the corner at the beginning, but the guys got it balanced around halfway. That dang yellow would come out as soon as we started our green flag pit stop. I couldn't get in front of the 99 in time and we lost a lap. We definitely had a top 10 car, maybe a top five. Once we lost that lap, we just couldn't make it up."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Michael Ho , Robbie Loomis , Mark Martin
Teams Williams