Ryan Newman in the no. 12 Alltel Ford finished eighth, the final car to complete all 400 laps of the race. MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF NO.12 ALLTEL FORD: "All things considered, not bad. We had a few issues in the pits and we fell back to the...
Ryan Newman in the no. 12 Alltel Ford finished eighth, the final car to complete all 400 laps of the race.
MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF NO.12 ALLTEL FORD:
"All things considered, not bad. We had a few issues in the pits and we fell back to the last car on the lead lap two or three times. Ryan fought his way back up through it every time. We unfortunately ripped a hole in the side of the car in the exhaust and I think it gave him a little carbon monoxide poisoning. He drove a great race and the guys did great pit stops; they just had a couple little hiccups here. All in all, to finish eighth on the lead lap after all that is not too bad."
TALK ABOUT RYAN'S CONDITION AFTER THE RACE.
"He's actually been sick for about three or four days. I don't know if it's a cold or strep throat or what. He had that going and then after we punched a hole in the exhaust in the door that combined with the carbon monoxide probably didn't help anything. He just did a great job. He probably had that for about 250 laps. He just stuck with it and did a great job."
HOW DID HE SPIN THE CAR IN TURN TWO EARLY IN THE RACE AND NOT HIT ANYTHING?
"I don't know. I haven't ask him yet (laughs). Unfortunately we couldn't see it. It must have been something to see."
Raybestos® Rookie Jimmie Johnson in the no. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet scored his third win of the 2002 season sunday at Dover. Johnson led four times for 170 laps, the most of all drivers. Johnson unofficially trails Newman by 16 points (331-315) in the raybestos® rookie standings.
"It's a great day for everyone on the Lowe's Monte Carlo and today was a day where teamwork really paid off. It does every single weekend but my guys on pit road put me in position to win this race. The last pit stop there with keeping me in the lead leaving pit road. Track position was very important. We had a great car. I think the 88 (Dale Jarrett) and the 6 (Mark Martin) and the 20 (Tony Stewart) seemed like we were all pretty equal on speed. It was just a matter of who got out of the pits first. My hat's off to my guys who have been working extremely hard for great pit stops. They've been doing great but today when the pressure was on they stepped up and got the job done. Today I was a little surprised. I though this tire would fall off a lot more that what it did, being a softer tire. The tire was faster, had more grip, and you drove harder. It was amazing. I drove my butt off every single lap today, especially those last 60 working traffic and working to try and stay ahead of Mark once he cleared the 88. It was amazing how much grip that tire had through the whole run."
IT LOOKED LIKE MARTIN WAS MAKING A RUN ON YOU WITH ABOUT 40 LAPS TO GO, BUT YOU WERE ABLE TO HOLD HIM OFF.
"The biggest thing was catching lap traffic. I caught the 55 (Greg Biffle) and he raced me extremely hard for four or five laps and we about wrecked a couple of times. I was trying to figure out why (Bobby) Hamilton was racing me so hard and then I remembered it was Greg Biffle and he's on Roush payroll. The car behind me was a Roush car so then it all became very apparent as to why he was racing me so hard (laughs). Luckily we cleared him and once we cleared him we were able to stretch it back out and bring it home from there."
YOU ARE NOW JUST 30 POINTS BEHIND MARTIN IN WINSTON CUP POINTS. IS THIS BEYOND YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
"It definitely is, to be able to be this successful in our rookie season. All year long we've been trying to not let it be in the forefront of our minds and just playing it off and going on but here we are now with eight races to go and we're in the middle of this points battle so it's a reality that we need to look at. And you never know when these opportunities are going to come along and we need to make the most of it. We did everything we could today: led the most laps and won the race so we got all the bonus points we could get. With the 12 (Ryan Newman) having problems it helped us in the rookie battle. The 2 (Rusty Wallace) had some problems, the 40 (Sterling Marlin) the 24 (Jeff Gordon). Hopefully we can break away here a little bit and see our selves a top-five finish for the end of the year if not the championship."
JOE NEMECHEK SEEMED TO HELP YOU AT THE END OF THE RACE.
"I'm not sure what all happened there. I couldn't see what happened behind me so who knows."
IS DOVER STILL A MONSTER TO YOU?
"It's definitely a monster. I've really enjoyed driving here. You fall off into the turns and carry a lot of speed doing that. The way I've found success is that you pick up the gas firm and hard and almost get the car in a little bit of a slide to hit the banking to exit the turn and if you get the car pitched out there far enough and you hit the banking it straightens you up and you get great drive up off. I've had a lot of fun here, obviously and it's a place where you can take a loose race car and go somewhere with it."
IT SEEMED LIKE IT WAS A TWO OR THREE GROOVE TRACK. WERE YOU EXPECITNG THAT WHEN THE RACE STARTED.
"I was surprised the top didn't work as well as it did earlier in the year. The harder tire, there was something about it to where I could run the top and I pretty much ran the top all afternoon, start off at the bottom and move up. This tire had so much grip. You could beat on it lap after lap and it wouldn't give up and it had the grip on top of that that where the fastest way around was on the bottom all day long."
HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THE PROBLEMS YOU HAD IN PRACTICE FRIDAY AFTERNOON? HOW MUCH OF A CONCERN WAS THAT TO YOU OVER THE WEEKEND?
"It was big concern and it definitely hurt us. We only got about half an hour of practice for qualifying. With the new tires we could have used the full two hours to get the car setup but a freak accident happened and my guys were able to figure it out and get us back on the track with some practice. Starting 19th I was a little worried at first but knowing Dover and knowing that you can search out line is not like starting 19th at Loudon where you can't pass. Great pit stops and great race car and we were able to drive through there. Our Fridays have been hard on us here for the last two or three months, really. It's been like Friday the 13th every week, from crashing cars and had an engine blow one time. That's been putting us behind but luckily we were able to rally through this Friday's problem and win"
OF THE EIGHT REMAINING TRACKS, ARE THERE ANY THAT YOU DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH?
"Looking at the races that we have left, Martinsville is a place that we had some trouble with earlier in the year. We qualified well and ran okay but the biggest problem is that we broke a gear and we had a bad day from that. We're going to go back with a very similar setup to the 24 (Jeff Gordon). They've run real well there. We were trying a little different setup there earlier in the year and it didn't work out. I think we'll be in good shape. I ran good at Rockingham as well, but it troubled me a lot in the Busch Series, but the place that I'm sweating the most is Talladega. Anything can happen there."