Chevy's Jimmie Johnson scored his second career win at Dover International Speedway and moved into 2nd place in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate joins Davey Allison as only the second...
Chevy's Jimmie Johnson scored his second career win at Dover International Speedway and moved into 2nd place in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate joins Davey Allison as only the second rookie ever to win at Dover (Allison won in '87). Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo, has now captured three poles and two wins in just 16 Cup starts.
Chad Knaus, crew chief, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"We came up on the air pressures a little bit because we really wanted him to sprint and I'll tell you what, Jimmie just got up on the wheel. We were a little concerned about fuel and that caution was just what we needed. That put us over the top. I have got the best driver in Winston Cup, I have got the best teammate in Winston Cup, I have got the best car owner in Winston Cup. This is a dream come true right here. I couldn't be happier."
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"We were worried (about 92 laps on the last set of tires), but this Chevy came through. Track position was everything. I knew we'd be good. I didn't realize the No. 9 (Elliott) was coming that hard and I had to step it back up to stay up there. These guys gave me a great racecar - Chad Knaus and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports."
Does this make up for not winning at Charlotte?
"Yeah, it sort of does to not blow it like I did at Richmond or at Charlotte. I'm really happy.
"When that caution came out there at the end, it had me worried for a minute. But once the green flag came out, I knew we were going to be in good shape. Once we got back out and Ricky (Rudd) checked out, I just kept focusing on the cars in front of me, and picking them off. The next thing I knew, we were in front. Chad Knaus and these guys have been giving me kick-butt racecars all year long. I had a shot of winning at Richmond and then at Lowe's Motor Speedway and finally here and I didn't blow it.
"Points racing is a tough thing to do and I've just been going the Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle. We're second in the points now. I'll keep doing that. But with the success that we've had on the track, who knows? Maybe we'll be at the front table in New York. I doubt it. I don't think it's very probably for a rookie to do that, but we're going to try."
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"That one set of tires killed us. We blistered a right rear tire. We adjusted around that set and lost track position and we could just never regain it. Jimmie was awful good and I felt like if we could just free my car up a little bit, we'd be good. But that set of tires just killed us."
On Jimmie Johnson's win
: "He's just a talent and a smart driver. We're really thrilled to have him. What a great job they're doing. And you've got to give credit to Hendrick Motorsports. Not to take anything away from the No. 48 and the Lowe's team - they do a great job. They're getting aggressive with the stuff and making it work. But they came into a organization that really knows how to put top-notch equipment out there. I told Jimmie that we would put him in top-notch equipment and he's really making it work by getting into victory lane."
Are you getting closer to a win?
"We're doing good in the points and today I thought we were going to be really good. I thought we had a shot at winning this race. We've got to get things going our way. We came out of here sixth. That was not too bad. But we're happy to gain a lot in the points"
Robby Gordon, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"That was a great race for the Cingular team - our first top 10 of the year. We missed it on shocks a little an the first two sets of tires were junk. But we worked on freeing g up the car and put some scuffed tires on it because we were faster on scuffs in Happy Hour. The Cingular Wireless guys gave us some awesome pit stops and we kept moving forward.
"Bobby Hamilton was a little slower than us at the end, and the No. 32 got by both of us. I nudged him out of the way a little bit but didn't wreck him. I knew better than to let him hurt the Cingular Wireless Chevy on the cool down lap. We needed that finish."
Joe Nemechek, No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"I'm pretty frustrated right now. It's a bad day for this whole UAW-Delphi Chevy team. I don't know what was with Todd Bodine. He got into me on the backstretch. I'd been on the outside of him. He knew I was there, but evidently he thought he had more room than he did and got me turned on the backstretch. He just kind of held me along into turn three. It's a shame you know. We had a good car. I just tried to do a good job. This shouldn't be happening that early. He needs to pay attention to where he's at on the racetrack."
Can you get back out?
"Probably not. I think it's pretty much done. There is a lot of fuel cell damage and you can't go anywhere without gas."
Steve Park, No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"Just look on TV and you can see that the No. 12 car (Ryan Newman) just smacked into the side of us. The media needs to pump up all the young guns so they drive just like Ryan Newman did. We're going to try to get the Pennzoil car fixed. I'm just not pleased, you know. We're having a tough year. We had a good car. We thought we'd just pace ourselves and finish in the top 10 somewhere. But to have a rookie take us out in a dumb, dumb move is just jackass that's all."
Dick Trickle, No. 71 Continental Fire & Safety Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"We were running solid for most of the day. We could have kept running, but we used nine quarts of oil already and I've been in the business long enough to know not to burn the motor up when you're just not going that well. We had a good car in qualifying and practice."
Jeff Green, No. 30 AOL Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"The last set of tires was a lot tighter for some reason. I guess I just wore the right font out and it popped going into (turn) three, and before I could get it stopped, I hit the fence. Not real hard, but hard enough to probably end our day. We had a good day going, a decent day. But it was still not what we wanted."