MIKE WALLACE, NO. 01 USG SHEETROCK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX Finished 37th: "Two cars banged tires on the back straightaway for some reason. I saw one of them go to the bottom of the racetrack and I thought I could get by on the outside, and I guess I...
MIKE WALLACE, NO. 01 USG SHEETROCK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX Finished 37th: "Two cars banged tires on the back straightaway for some reason. I saw one of them go to the bottom of the racetrack and I thought I could get by on the outside, and I guess I got caught as he came back up the racetrack. I backed into the wall and then came back down, and I don't know who everybody hit. I saw Bobby Labonte on fire when I was facing the wrong way. It appears that they ran into each other on the straightaway and turned around, and we got caught up in it."
JOHNNY SAUTER, NO. 4 KODAK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX Finished 35th: Note: Sauter, last year's winner in the Busch Series race here at Chicagoland Speedway, made contact with the wall on Lap 105 after cutting a tire. "The Kodak Pontiac was running pretty good. It was a little tight at the start and we were able to free it up, and we actually had it pretty good when we cut a right rear tire. That's how we've got a torn up right side of the car.
ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE IT BACK OUT? "Yea, we're not doing Kodak or Pontiac any good sitting here in the garage. We'll get back out and get these guys some points."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 7th: "I had a real good car today. We were a little tight in the beginning, but I knew I had a good car and told the guys we could work it through, and we did. I feel bad for (teammate) Kevin (Harvick), but it was a great finish for us. Good day!"
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO Finished 36th: "I'm fine. We had a bad break there. We had a bad break there. We had to come back in and lost a lap. We got going pretty fast. It looked like someone got into the No. 10 car (Johnny Benson) and he got down low and spun to the inside and clipped me in the left rear I guess. It was pretty close. I thought I had it made. We backed into the fence and then we had this problem with the fuel cell blowing up again and it makes for a bad scene. It looked worse than it was. I just want to tell everybody back home that I'm fine."
WHAT WERE YOUR EMOTIONS AS YOU POUNDED THE GROUND? "It was just frustrating, you know. The fire was one thing, but it was just frustrating to be out of the race. We had to battle back there and got up to 13th. It's just frustrating that it had to happen. You hate to see it. All the safety stuff in the car worked great and I feel fine. I smell like a BBQ pit, but other than that I feel fine."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO Finished 38th: "We had just made a pit stop and made a lot of adjustments. I told the boys the car was tight. But I just couldn't drive another lap. I'm fine. We just had to go through loops to drive it. I just lost control of it. It's unfortunate, but it was a handful. It was out of control. I think I may have had a flat tire, but we had just pitted three laps before that. So I think we just over-adjusted and I wasn't going to make it another corner. It was too bad but I couldn't handle it."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "To come here and get the pole and then finish second this weekend was not exactly what we wanted, but it we were one step away from it. We had a really good car all day. We had one change that we should have made yesterday but I didn't ask for it and should have asked for it. That held us back a little bit. All in all we had a good day. This Home Depot Monte Carlo was bad fast. The thing has been good everywhere we've been with this particular car."
IT LOOKED LIKE GUYS COULD MOVE AROUND ON VARIOUS LANES TODAY, WHAT ABOUT YOU GUYS? "I don't know about the fans, but I liked the fans. I think this race track is finally coming into it's own and getting it's own personality and it's finally a place to go where Illinois can be proud of. I think we have a pretty good race track right now." ---More to follow---
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO Finished 3rd: We had a great race car. We came from the back and were able to work our way to the front. We had some ductwork blow off from underneath the bottom of the car and that hurt us pretty bad there at the end. I heard something dragging and then finally it came out from underneath. We just got tight.
"But those guys had great strategy to stay out. And we came in and just topped off and it worked out in our favor and they did a good job. Ryan (Newman) was very fast in the end. But we're happy to have the weekend we did."
DID THIS RUN HELP YOU IN THE POINTS? "This was great for us to get some points. The No. 17 (Matt Kenseth) had trouble. The No. 8 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) wrecked. The No. 18 (Bobby Labonte) wrecked. So it was a good day to close the gap on those guys a little." ---More to follow---
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO Finished 4th: "We had a solid run. I'm real happy with that. It's all about track position. When you'd get out front there the car would just set sail and you could drive the wheels off the thing. Back in traffic, it changes everything. We were real loose on new tires. And so we fought with that all day long. But once we got going, we felt like we were as good as anybody. We had a fifth place car there at the end and then I think Kevin Harvick (ran out of gas) made it up one spot for us. But it was a great points day for the Dupont Chevrolet."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROET MONTE CARLO Finished 5th: "I'm happy. We are just a notch off. We can almost run with the leaders but not quite. And that's pretty consistent week in and week out. It's fun to run like we are but it would be a lot better if we could get up there and mix it up for the win. I'm proud of my team. They made great adjustments all day long on our NAPA Chevy. It was just a decent day and we made the most of it. We maximized our day by having good fuel mileage and being able to stay out there at the end and get some track position and hold those guys off."
WHERE WAS YOUR CAR HANDLING THE BEST? "The best the car will handle is on the bottom, that's for sure. But I learned yesterday (in the Busch race) that if somebody is in your way, you can pass them on the high side. So if a guy is hooked up around the bottom, he's going to be tough to beat. This track or these tires just have so much grip that the turns don't fall off a whole lot. So therefore, you don't see a lot of change in the running order. If the tires were harder or slicker in some way, or the track was slicker, then maybe you'd see more craziness happening - you know, guys going from first to 20th and back and forth. But as it is right now, there's just a lot of grip so you can kind of manage to hold your track position."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO Finished 17th: "We had a great car until we ran out of gas. The car started out loose, and then got tight towards the end of each run. That's what happened there at the end with Ryan (Newman). I couldn't get up to him because the car was just too tight off the corners."
"We all thought we had the pit strategy worked to perfection. Before we came in that last time, we took a gas n' go that we thought would make up for about six laps that we thought we'd be short. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way for some reason."
"We ran out of gas and that was it."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONIAC GRAND PRIX Finished 17th: "Man we had a good car today but it seemed like everything worked against us. At the start of the race we were fast but not as f ast as Tony Stewart. We lost a lap and that really hurt. Even though we could race with everyone we could never make up our lap and that was frustrating. We were great in the middle of the race, and I thought we would make up that lap, but then the #41 came down on me and I couldnt save the car. Bobby clipped us and that is when the big wreck started. I hate it for everyone because a lot of good cars were tore up. But we have a lot of positives to take out of the race today. We ran well and despite everything went through we managed to finish 17th."