JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - finished 3rd: "It wasn't a bad day. A mysterious debris caution cost us and then we had some issues on pit road. But it was solid. We had the speed. We just had a stop at the end that kind of hurt...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - finished 3rd:
"It wasn't a bad day. A mysterious debris caution cost us and then we had some issues on pit road. But it was solid. We had the speed. We just had a stop at the end that kind of hurt us.
"It's good to get some points back and get back going the right direction. I really felt like we had a chance to win today. We had one of those debris cautions with five trucks on the track looking for debris and never found it. It's frustrating when that happens and we had to pit and had a bad pit stop and lost the lead at that point. But still all in all, it was a great day. We needed these points. We needed to get them back after Daytona."
YOU HAD TO BE PROUD OF YOUR CREW. THEY KEPT BATTLING AND YOU JUST KEPT COMING TO THE FRONT: "We did. They gave me a great race car. We passed a lot of race cars on the track today. We got out of sequence once and then with a couple of other situations that had us back in the pack, but I was able to drive by a lot of cars and make up a lot of ground, so I had a great race car."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO SS - finished 2nd:
ON THE LAST RESTART: "I've very happy with that second place finish. We started on the pole and we faded early. We were way too tight with the DuPont Chevrolet. It was really nice to get it turned around and free it up and come back up there. We were sitting there solid in the top two or three and then we had one set of tires that just went crazy on us and got real loose. So we're pretty thankful that the caution came out and we got four new Goodyears and we were able to drive to the front and finish second. It was a pretty good day for us.
"Other than just right on the restart, it looked like Burton - I don't know if he spun the tires or the engine bobbled or what - but he just didn't get up to speed. He left the outside lane and I was able to get a run on him and Jimmie (Johnson) was as well and get down to the bottom. But I just couldn't gain on Matt (Kenseth, winner). I could in (Turns) 3 and 4 but not in 1 and 2. So I was pretty much just trying to hold on and maintain second. I didn't see what all went on behind me other than the pass of Burton. And of course, (Kevin) Harvick had his troubles.
"But Matt Kenseth did a great job. Those guys were solid all day and probably the best overall car for most of the day except for when Jimmie Johnson was out front. Other than that, we were a second or third place car all day."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS - finished 4th
"I'm real proud of my guys. They worked really hard. We had a great pit stop there at the end. I don't know. I dropped the ball. I just didn't get it done. My guys have been working their butts off and it's a good start to the year. We've got to keep working. We still have room to grow, for sure. But I'm real proud of where are and we're going to keep digging."
HOW MUCH DID THE TRACK CHANGE TODAY? "It changed quite a bit for us. But on the next to the last run, the long green flag run, we were really fast. We were mowing them down big time. I wish those last two cautions would have never come out. We would have had a great chance, I think. But for whatever reason, the last set of tires we put on and with the cooling down, it just didn't suit our car as well. But all in all, it was a good day. Sorry I messed up on that restart and spun the tires and gave up two spots, but we'll do better next time."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 5th:
"I'm just proud to represent the United States Army and to work with this team - man, this is just awesome. We had a couple of difficulties here today. We had a really fast car. I'm very encouraged. There were times when we were as fast as the leader. There were a couple of times when we were a little faster and times when we were off. All in all, we have potential here to get up there and win a race. I think we've shown that the last two weeks. We'll keep working to try to make all these Ginn Racing teams better.
"I am just proud to be here representing the U.S. Army. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for this team. Man, this is just awesome. We had a couple of difficulties here today, we had a very fast car. There were times we were as fast as the leaders, there were a couple times we were a little faster. All in all, I think we have potential here to get up there and win a race. We have shown that the last two weeks. We will keep working to make all these Ginn Racing teams better I am very proud of this team to come home with a top-five and I want to thank all the fans. They are incredible, all the encouragement they have given me this week.
"I am loving this and I am rolling, man."
ARE YOU GOING TO STAY IN THE CAR FULL-TIME NOW WITH ALL THE SUCCESS THAT YOU'RE HAVING? "No."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL MONTE CARLO SS, Finished 17th:
Note: on lap 245 when race changed from red flag for wreck to yellow condition, Harvick was running second gaining on the leader, came over radio saying that left front tire was flat. He pitted as race was going green for final three laps and finished 17th, last car on the lead lap. Goodyear reported finding a puncture in the tire on examination on pit road:
"It is a little disappointing, the thing was really good. Man what a great job this Shell-Pennzoil did. This Chevrolet was really fun to drive today. To come to California where we have struggled before and have a chance to win, is awesome. We just had some bad luck. There is nothing we can do about that. That is two days in a row we had tire trouble, so what do you do."
ON WHAT HAPPEN TO THE TIRE: "I don't know what I hit, I didn't notice we hit anything but it is just one of those deals."
ON RUNNING SO WELL AT CALIFORNIA: "This and Atlanta have always been our worst tracks. So when we can come here and contend for a win, We are doing pretty good. I feel pretty good about it. We had a great run, this is one of our worst places. But to run like that and just have some bad luck, you just can't control that so we will just roll with it."
ON GAINING ON MATT KENSETH AS LAPS WERE RUNNING DOWN: "We were going to beat him. But, shoulda, woulda, coulda. He won the race. We ran him down by a couple of seconds."
ON THIS BEING A RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING YEAR: "I hope so. Our cars are strong and I think these are conservative. So, we will see what happens as we go forward here."
"We had a great Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet today. We just had a little bad luck there at the end there. Nothing you can do about that so we will take all the positives out of it. We had a car that was capable of winning the race and had a shot at winning the race. We had run him down from quite a ways. Just one of those deals."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 8th:
YOU TOLD YOUR CREW THAT YOU WERE 300 RPM BELOW THE PIT ROAD SPEED LIMIT WHEN NASCAR CALLED YOU FOR SPEEDING. "Unless the line is in a spot that I don't know it's at. I don't know. They've got the computer stuff and it tells you exactly when and where, so I'll be interested to see it.
"We had a good race car. I mean, I don't know what kind of times we ran when we were by ourselves, but after the stops and stuff and we got in clean air, we had a good car today that's for sure."
DID YOU NEED TO TAKE TIRES AT THE END? "We had to do something. We knew the guys behind us were going to take tires. We were kind of right in the middle of a cut-off point. We knew a certain amount of guys were going to take four and rest of them were going to stay out that were a little further up there. So, we just took the chance."
JEFF GREEN, NO. 66 YELLOW TRANSPORTATION MONTE CARLO SS -Finished 30th:
"The car just wouldn't turn for us today. We were tight getting in the corners and sliding the back end coming off the corners all day. These tires were just giving us fits. Hopefully, they'll bring a little softer compound back here next time. We qualified well, which is a positive, but we're going to have to work on getting the car to turn with this harder tire on race runs."
JOHNNY SAUTER, NO. 70 BEST BUY/YELLOW TRANSPORTATION MONT CARLO SS - Finished 18th:
"I'm pretty happy with that finish. With how we were running yesterday in practice, you couldn't have convinced me that we could come out of here with a top-20 finish. The car wouldn't turn early on, but 'Bootie' kept adjusting on it and made it a lot better. It was weird, because different sets of tires caused it to handle a lot differently. All in all, it was a good day. I'll take it."
J.J. YELEY, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 13th:
"The Interstate Batteries Chevrolet drove really good. I talked a lot to Steve (Addington, crew chief), after practice. Obviously we weren't spectacular, 42nd in practice, the car just didn't handle the way I needed it to. Him and the rest of the crew, I think that is the beauty of this season could be or have been a crew chief at some point. When you have that much knowledge in a little pow-wow, you are going to get stuff fixed. The car they gave me today was great. We still probably weren't the quickest for the first two or three laps, but on a long run, it was a lot of fun to drive all day, it turned all day and still had pretty good forward grip. When you can get a car to do both of those things, you have done something.
"At the end of the race, it was one of those you wish you would have but don't know if you should have on coming in and taking tires, looking back, we probably could have gotten tires, that would have been a little bit more beneficial. The car was really good there at the end of the last run, you just don't know what is going to happen under a red like that when the cars are sitting around and cooling off. We gave up a little bit, the car was a lot tighter than before the caution came out. I had to check up getting in to three, the 5 car got under me and got me loose. That is the way you have to pass, the bottom lane is where you have to be. Just got me up the race track, I lost a bunch of momentum and gave up three or four spots but we still come away with a good run after qualifying 29th and not good in practice, that is what we need to do all season long, battling all race long.
"It is definitely a lot more fun racing up front. The guys are a lot more generous and hospitable up there and you can return the favor. It was fun to race up there with a bunch of gentleman racers I guess you would say. I am looking forward to going to Vegas.
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS, Finished 9th:
"Today was a great effort by the Carquest/Kellogg's team, we just came up short. Under the red flag, we talked about pit strategy and gambled a bit by coming down for four tires.
"The car got really loose after that and we weren't able to make up the spots we thought we could.
"Just struggled with the handling all day today. We'll take the weekend off and hope to do better at Vegas."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 6th:
"Man this was a great day for our Jack Daniels Chevy team. The old girl, Betsy, has been awesome since we unloaded. She is my favorite car. I had a blast out there running up there today with my teammates. We had to make a few adjustments during the race, but nothing too radical. The car drove great and I am really happy to come out of here with a top-10 finish. Looking forward to Las Vegas and seeing what we can do there."
-credit: gm racing