MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "The No. 50 car (Todd Bodine) lost it in front of me." The crew replaced fender braces and the radiator and Waltrip continued in the race. ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET...
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"The No. 50 car (Todd Bodine) lost it in front of me." The crew replaced fender braces and the radiator and Waltrip continued in the race.
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We had an awesome Cingular Wireless Chevrolet. I couldn't have asked for a better car or run, maybe just for better luck. That's the way it's been all year, so I think all of us have lost the shock-factor from having these last-minute mishaps. We easily had a top five car and it all fell apart".
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 8 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I can't believe it. Winning the Southern 500 and winning at Martinsville with what took place with the airplane and Hendrick Motorsports. Going to Atlanta and doing it. Fighting our way back in this championship. I just can't believe it. These guys here behind me won this race on pit road here today. There were a lot of race cars that were equal like the No. 6 (Martin) and the No. 24 (Gordon). I had to overcome some stuff with the No. 29 (Harvick). For some reason he's upset and trying to wreck me and stopping on the backstretch and all kinds of stuff there. But we'll get it sorted out. To overcome everything and to be in victory lane with this Lowe's Monte Carlo is awesome."
(HOW TOUGH WAS IT OUT THERE ON THIS RACE TRACK TODAY?) "It was tough. I think the cooler temperatures helped with the grip. But the hardest part was getting into Turn 3. The sun was setting all day long over there. You'd go in - I'd say for two-thirds of the race - and you'd have no idea if you were going to end up in the wall or next to it. So it was a very demanding day and this Lowe's team did everything right."
(YOU'RE 18 POINTS OUT OF THE LEAD GOING TO HOMESTEAD. WHAT DOES IT SAY ON YOUR GLOVES TODAY?) "It said a lot of things. On my mirror, I put 'don't scratch the right side', and I put a big neon sticker inside that says 'race your own race', and then my gloves said 'tame this'".
(ON BATTLING WITH KASEY KAHNE AND JAMIE MCMURRAY) "Yeah, both Kasey and Jamie stayed out and those guys were racing real hard. I knew I had to get everything I could on my new tires. I got by the No. 9 finally and then ran down the No. 42. He was doing a good job of trying to put his car where I wanted to be and I got into him a little bit off of Turn 4 and loosened him up and then finally set him up so I could get inside of him through Turns 1 and 2. But it was just good hard racing. This track is big enough, but there is such a loss in grip and so much banking that you can race like it's a short track, so it's a lot of fun. That pass was important, but for the last two pit stops, my guys got me off pit road first and that was the whole key."
(WAS IT HARD TO BE PATIENT WHEN YOU CAME OUT 10TH OR 11TH THAT ONE TIME?) "Well you really just have to race the race track. I've made enough mistakes here through my Busch career and last year as well to know that if you have a good car, you'll work your way to the front and maybe it takes 10 or 15 laps for everybody's tires to give up before you can make up some spots. So I just got comfortable and got going.
"We had a lug nut that got hung up in the wheel and kept the guys from pulling the wheel off. They put in a solid effort. We had a little bad luck sneak in there but we made the best of it."
(ON WINNING THE LAST SOUTHERN 500) "It means a lot to me to win here at this race track. It's such a tough track to race at. We have eight wins now in the season with everybody still healing from the loss of everybody on that Hendrick airplane. This is good medicine. We'll just keep rolling with it. From what I understand, we're right in the middle of this championship. So we'll just see what happens at Homestead."
(YOU'RE 18 POINTS BEHIND BUSCH AND GORDON IS 21 POINTS BEHIND. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO THAT FINAL RACE?) "It's going to be a heck of a shootout. NASCAR got what they wanted here." More to follow
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (ON CHANGING THE BATTERY AT THE END) "Yeah, we got lucky the caution came out and gave us a chance to change that battery or we was going to be in bad shape. It was not a good car. We've had better cars here and we've had worse. It's not necessarily the team's fault. We, as a group, just can't really communicate about this track and I can't tell them exactly what I need. The whole place just needs new asphalt and believe me, I'd pay for it myself. I'd buy the whole damn thing if I could. Anyway, it was a good finish for us. I'm happy about Jimmie Johnson winning. Those guys have been on a tear and that's been good to see. It wasn't a great race but it wasn't a bad one."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We got our second top 10 in a row, so we're making some progress. At the beginning of the race we were just really, really tight -- super tight. We even spun coming off of (Turn) 4. But, we were able to get the car pretty good at the end and had a good finish. We worked hard today, but managed to get a top 10 and we'll take that. We've got one more shot at a victory this season, at Homestead. We won there last season, so we'll see if we can make it two-in-a-row."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We were flying at the beginning of the race. The car was incredible that first run and we were able to drive right up to third of fourth.
We had a top five car just didn't quite get there. At the end of the race the adjustments on the car were really sensitive. We went through a spell where we got too loose then too tight. There at the end we were pretty good but we lost a couple spots on that last stop and it was hard to get them back.
Would've, could've, should've-- maybe we should've stayed out there on used tires like the 42 and gambled for a good finish. But you never know. To get an eighth place finish at Darlington is great, especially compared to the way we ran here in the first race. This team is running really well lately and everyone is pumped up. We're ready for Homestead and we have a lot of momentum to take there with us."