MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX finished : NOTE: Skinner was involved in the first accident of the day as the field came around to complete the first lap. Others involved were Jeff Green and Tony Raines, both in Chevrolet Monte Carlos.
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX finished : NOTE: Skinner was involved in the first accident of the day as the field came around to complete the first lap. Others involved were Jeff Green and Tony Raines, both in Chevrolet Monte Carlos. Skinner's Kodak Pontiac sustained damage to both the nose and the rear. "Everybody started getting together. I know I plowed into the 1 car [Jeff Green] and somebody plowed into me and the next thing I know, all hell broke loose. It's unfortunate for this Kodak team, because we really had an awesome car in Happy Hour yesterday. We really thought on long runs we were going to be one of the cars to beat. We'll get our act together, we're not giving up. We're going to be all right."
JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 0 NETZERO HI-SPEED PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: NOTE: Sprague was running seventh following a pit stop when he crashed on lap 211. "The NetZero Pontiac was awesome. It was a little bit tight in the middle and off [the corner], and they loosened me up on that last pit stop. I went into Turn 3 outside of Matt [Kenseth] and behind Jeff [Gordon]. I saw Matt wiggle underneath me and it scared me a little bit, so I jerked right and jerked left to move up and give him some room. When I did that, I lost traction with my own car and just lost it. One of these days we're going to put to all together. That one was pretty much my fault."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "I just lost it off Turn 2. I chased it, had it saved a couple of times, but I ran out of racetrack. I brushed the outside wall, and when I did that, it turned me down into the inside wall. It's a disappointment. I feel bad I let it get away from me, but we'll come back next week."
GREG ZIPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: NOTE: Tony Stewart was penalized a lap for pitting outside his pit box on lap 138. He was in the lead at the time. He made up the lap and had a chance to win the race at the end. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli talked about the penalty after the race. "It was a tough call. It would be one thing if he [the official] was out there to tell us to get back, but he wasn't. That's what I was upset about. It wasn't a matter that we were [outside the pit box] or we weren't. They held us for a lap. It's kind of his job to tell us if we're over or not. Make the call that we're over the line, don't just close your eyes. We were wrong, but at the same time, it's just a tough deal." DID HE SHOW YOU THAT YOU WERE OVER THE LINE? "If you come over the line, they tell you to stop and go back and you're OK. I can't see from where I'm at, and the tire changer didn't say anything. We weren't over the line, we were on the line by an inch. What are you going to do? A rule's a rule." IF YOU HAD BACKED UP INSIDE, YOU'D HAVE BEEN OK? "Exactly right. It's just like you see all the time." YOU STILL ALMOST CAME BACK AND WON IT, BUT THE 12 CAR WAS TOO FAST. "When you're in the front, you get good clean air and you go. We just used up what we had getting there. We didn't need to see that caution. We had made up 10 seconds on the leaders, never mind all the other time. We had a better shot at finishing second under green than we did having that restart."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "A lot of things happened to us today, so to come home second, I'm pretty happy. We didn't have the best of pit stalls today and I hated that Tony [Stewart] got a lap down, but that's the only thing that got us up there contending for the victory. We could finally come in there straight and not have to get blocked in by guys. We had a real good car, but it was alittle tight all day. We put one set of tires on and it got super loose, so I told the guys to tighten it up. The last set we put on wasn't loose, it was tight and it just killed us. I tried to give Ryan a run there on that restart, and I got inside him, but I knew I wasn't going to do much because I was so tight."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "It was great. The Valvoline Pontiac was running good. It was a long way back where we had to start, but I'm real proud of my guys. Our pit stops were great all day long. I was making a couple of spots on the track and they made up a couple of spots in the pits. If you keep that up all day...I held up my end and they held up theirs, and we got a top-five out of it. DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING FOR THEM ON THE RESTART? "We're real good on a real, real long run, but that was just that one stint there. We came in and got tires and I kind of stabilized with Bobby Labonte. The 24 looked like he was getting away from the 18 and the 20 was pretty quick. We were good enough for fifth. It's hard to say if we were any better than that, because if we were, we'd be up there."
RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 TIDE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "It was interesting. There were times during the day when I felt really good about what we had, and then there were times when things just didn't match up. That last set of tires just didn't match up for us. It was a bit frustrating. But the best part of the whole day was the fact that the pit crew shined at the end when we needed them. Mechanically, the Tide team continues to do an outstanding job. The more we work together, the better we seem to get. It was nice to get out of that slump. Man, we had a couple of tough weeks, so nothing gets you over that any better than a good finish."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "We started the race in the back and finished up 11th, so we passed a lot of cars. (HOW WAS YOUR CAR AFFECTED BY THE CONTACT EARLY IN THE RACE?) "I don't know. That was the first lap of the race, so I don't really know how it was before that."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "What a run for the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet. We have needed a top 10 for a long time and have been good enough to get it, but bad luck or circumstances have bitten us lately. We started out too loose on new tires today but everytime the fuel burned off, we had an awesome race car. We slowly worked our way back up through the field after dropping to the back during the pace laps when the telemmetry equipment fell off and started dangling down under the gas pedal. We had to pit even before the race started but didn't give up and kept working at it. The Cingular team gave me slight chassis adjustments and tire pressure adjustments throughout the race that allowed us to post laps as fast as the leaders. The only problem we had was near the end when we didn't need any handling problems. The car got really tight on those long, green-flag runs late in the race and we lost some track position. But we took four tires on that last stop because we didn't have anything to lose and that gave us enough to get past two cars in the final lap. We picked up a lot of ground in the points to 10th. We just need to stay consistent and it will come to us. We made a goal at the beginning of the year to finish in the top 10 in points and we're slowly inching our way there. But a great run for us. We struggled all weekend long. We knew what our problem was, but unfortunately we found it with about ten minutes left in practice, so we knew we were going to be pretty good today. I'm very proud of everyone on this Cingular Wireless team."