Chevrolet richmond race notes, part two

Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt finished 1-2 in Saturday night's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Ironically, Gordon and Earnhardt rank 1-2 among active drivers who have won races in the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the...

Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt finished 1-2 in Saturday night's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Ironically, Gordon and Earnhardt rank 1-2 among active drivers who have won races in the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the most successful nameplate in NASCAR Winston Cup history with 283 career victories. Gordon has won 52 races in 248 career starts (.210 winning percentage), and 50 of those wins came in the Monte Carlo. Gordon ranks ninth on NASCAR's all-time winners list.

TEAM MONTE CARLO WINNERS CIRCLE Here are the 26 drivers who have won races driving a Monte Carlo. Team Monte Carlo drivers have made Chevrolet's Monte Carlo the most successful nameplate in NASCAR Winston Cup history with 283 career victories.

<pre> Jeff Gordon 50 Darrell Waltrip 48 Dale Earnhardt 44 Cale Yarborough 38 Bobby Allison 15 Terry Labonte 15 Benny Parsons 14 Tim Richmond 9 Harry Gant 6 Geoffrey Bodine 6 Richard Petty 6 Neil Bonnett 5 Sterling Marlin 5 Bobby Labonte 4 Donnie Allison 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2 Ricky Rudd 2 David Pearson 2 Buddy Baker 2 Charlie Glotzbach 1 Ken Schrader 1 Greg Sacks 1 Earl Ross 1 Bobby Hamilton 1 Joe Nemechek 1 Steve Park 1

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I did not want him (Dale Earnhardt) to get close to me. There's nobody that's going to hold him back from going for a million. I promise you that. "I think that it's positive (restrictor plates at New Hampshire). I think slowing the cars down is good. I don't know what the race is going to be like. It's going to be interesting. We're all going to be throwing a lot of different springs and shocks at that thing, I can tell you that. The engine shop is working extremely hard to get ready already because none of us know what it's going to be like when you're on and off the gas like you are and the type of gear and rpm and stuff. It's really going to be interesting. We've got a lot to learn on Friday. I think in the time span that NASCAR had and the testing they did that this is the best way to go into it this coming weekend. I think collectively we can still go forward and come up with some things in the future also. "Bobby Labonte and that team has done an awesome job this year. If you look at right now where the season's at, they deserve to be the champions. Whether you deserve it and whether you do it, they're two different things. Earnhardt and that team have come out strong and they've done their job. They've performed well this year. They're hungry, and he wants that eighth championship. I don't think he's going to give up until he gets it. They're making it interesting, and I think it is good for the sport. Everybody wants to see a tight battle for the championship. Everybody loves to see Earnhardt... they love him and they hate him. That makes things interesting. "You've got to have things going your way. When you have a bad night you've got to be able to survive, and they (Bobby Labonte's team) had a bad night. It was unfortunate what happened. Maybe a different guy moved into second, but he still gained points. It was still a pretty darn good night. It could have been devastating for them. It is a tight battle right now. I think they've got to look at this as another step toward that championship. Sometimes when it's your year, it's your year. You never know when things can go the opposite direction, but right now, it doesn't seem to be going that way for them. It seems to be going pretty good for them. "There's a lot of praying that goes on in those meetings. I see these guys coming together, and I just try to keep them up and tell them the good things they're doing and the things we can do better as a team. I think it's just a need to see us all come together and get together before these events. I think everyone needs to know it's not one person out there doing it on their own. It's not me. It's not Robbie. It's all of us collectively. That's what this year has brought for this team. It's brought the team closer together as a team. They realize that it's not going to be easy. It's a lot of hard work, but the only way we're going to survive a month like August or get back into that championship form is to believe in one another and move forward together. That's what I've really seen coming along the last two or three months. August was tough, but it made the guys dig down deeper inside and say, 'all right, you know we're not going to let this tear us apart. We're going to the next race and run strong and maybe win.' "I don't think they ever lost faith in one another and the team and what we're capable of doing. I think that now that we've come to victory lane, this team could go on a roll, and I hope that they do, but I know their attitudes right now, how they are, and come Monday morning at the shop and next week at the race track, they're pumped up. A tough month and a win can really do that. "I think just the fact that we have survived through it shows the team has come together. I think if we were on the verge of falling apart, we would have through that. It just seemed like nothing would go our way, through controversy, everything else. I think the good runs we had going were positive. I think if we had been running 30th and those things had happened, then we might have had a few guys leave. They stuck it out. I don't think Robbie gives himself enough credit. He's the guy in the shop throughout the week that has to keep these guys fired up. I'm there maybe once a week. I do take maybe more of a role at the race track, but he's the one who has to keep them going in the right direction and fired up at the race shop. That's very important. Like Talladega, it just kind of worked out. We've got a really strong road course package. I feel like this was more of the team developing, the team coming and having a good test and then this is a tough track to win on. We just did everything right as a team, great pit stops, we continued to adjust on the car, our communication was good. The wins earlier were great. We want to win any of them we can, but I just don't think they to me meant as much as this one for whatever reason, plus I've never won here at night before. This is something we did as a new team almost, accomplish something that we've never accomplished before, and I think that's great."

ROBBIE LOOMIS (Crew chief No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "It's just like any new relationship. Each day you're around each other that you talk and communicate at the race track, you get to know each other better. I can kind of tell by looking at him sometimes that he's really not going along with what we're doing and we start heading off in another direction. That's probably the biggest thing. You start reading each other's body language more than having to listen and lay out everything word for word on what it's doing. This was just total teamwork tonight on everybody's part. Everybody kept working. The month of August has been real tough on this team because they've had a lot of success in the past. It actually brought us closer together and everybody kept digging in and working and digging in and believing we could do it. Everybody kept coming up every 40 laps and coming up on the tool box and saying what about this and what about that. It was all that input that helped us get it straightened out by the end of the night. "August about killed me. The big thing is you just have to believe and you have to know where you're going. If you keep doing it, Jeff has a meeting with us every Sunday before the race. From day one, he's been the real leader of this whole thing. When he has those meetings, it keeps us pumped up. We might not be getting the bottom line by the end of the day, but we're still going in the right direction. "That's the first thing I said Friday night going to the hotel. I wouldn't want to be on a (motor) lease program right now. The guys are all working hard. All the engine builders out there are probably working (Sunday). If you call any engine shop out there. Everybody is going to do the best they can. It's going to be a lot different circumstances for us. Loudon is a unique race because handling is a big part of it. Aerodynamics is a small part of it and then the engines. If we can get the car to handle, hopefully we can come out of there just like we did tonight (Saturday). "A lot of us in victory lane were talking about testing for Loudon. Guys are already looking at what we need to do for Loudon. We're going to have to wait and see and talk with the guys in the engine room and get together with Ken Howes and the guys at the shop. It's really hard. It's hard enough if you come up to a place like this like we did a couple of weeks ago and test and be able to use a lot of it under the conditions you're in for a night race. As far as Greenville-Pickens, if we went to a place like Milwaukee or somewhere like that, that was a mile track, that might make a little more sense to us. "We came out this year and we had a lot of new stuff developed. You saw in the Daytona 500 we had trouble with a fitting break. We kind of set a policy in place. Anything we run is going to be run in two races on a Busch car or truck team before we bring it into Winston Cup. We've got to do a little testing with it (brake device). We knew the 18 and some of those guys were going to be working with it. We just wanted to take that approach. It isn't fair if somebody comes up and hands me something out of a box and I put it on the car if I've got that policy in the shop with the guys on stuff we come up with. We'll go back on Tuesday and have a meeting and hash everything out on what we need to do."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Steve Park , Geoffrey Bodine , Ken Schrader , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , Richard Petty , Benny Parsons , Bobby Allison , Donnie Allison , Greg Sacks , Buddy Baker , Charlie Glotzbach , Harry Gant , Cale Yarborough , Tim Richmond , David Pearson