Fontana: GM teams race quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "I'm wiped out. I feel like I was in a fight all day it was so hot out there. I fought the car all day. It never did the same thing twice. It wasn't until about the last hundred laps...


"I'm wiped out. I feel like I was in a fight all day it was so hot out there. I fought the car all day. It never did the same thing twice. It wasn't until about the last hundred laps or so that I could do anything with it. "


"I'll tell you what, if we have days like this and finish in the Top 10, I'll be happy. The GM Goodwrench Chevy got a bad set of tires there in the middle of the race and it really got me loose in the corners. We were on the verge of getting lapped when we got a caution. That gave us a chance to fix what we needed and get the car get back good enough to work with. A run-in with the No. 88 car knocked the left front fender in and fought a tight condition there at the end.

"It's weird, but that set of tires may have actually helped us because it gave us two chances to gas-n-go before that final green flag run. We were able to pick up a bunch of spots there at the end when everyone started running out of gas.

"This hasn't been my best race track so we really tried hard to make good and I think we did that today. It's nice to finish this good so close to home."


"That was a good run for us. We needed that. We overcame a lot of adversity there after we spun on the front stretch. Tony made great adjustments to the NetZero Chevrolet all day and we're pretty happy with that finish. Our Hendrick motor ran great all day and I'm proud of this team for not giving up."


On 7th-place finish ...."That's huge for this team at this point of the season and it's a great day for Hendrick Motorsports, with three cars in the top 10. We've struggled and have been looking for a breakthrough, and I believe we got it today. We just kept adjusting on the car and working on it, but still wound up too loose late in those green-flag runs. This is the best we've run at this track since the first couple years we came out there and I think that's a sign that we're heading in the right direction. And we're going to a track where we've had a lot of success in the past (Richmond), so this is a great chance for the team to really build some momentum."


(Note: Nemechek was running 10th when he ran out of fuel with two laps to go)

"Not much to say except it's frustrating to see another good finish go south. The calculations showed that we would have enough fuel and I was also trying to conserve fuel on the last run. What probably hurt us was that we ran by ourselves and didn't have any drafting partners. When you run alone it eats up more fuel. This is the fourth straight event that something has happened to us late in the race that cost us a top-10 finish. One of these days it's going to turn in our favor, and when it does, it's going to be good."


OBVIOUSLY YOU RAN OUT OF FUEL. WAS THIS A MISCALCULATION OR A GAMBLE? "I don't know. I didn't ask. Nobody told me that we were going to be close, so I didn't ask. I think we went a lot faster that run too so maybe that had something to do with it. But anyway, it was a good day for us to finish fifth. With that second place that we had going there it's hard to complain too much."

"I think what got us there was when we made up a lot of time there on Jeff (Gordon). We got within probably a second or so of him I guess and then ran out of gas going into Turn 1 on the last lap. So we finished fifth. The guys did a great job today. I'm sure we didn't miscalculate, we just came up a little bit short after that last run."

(ON BEING THE FASTEST CAR ON THE TRACK FOR THE LAST 45 LAPS) "We didn't make an adjustment. We just put tires on and took off. I told them not to make an adjustment. The first two laps were really good. I figured it would give up there in the long run. And it did some, but not like it did earlier in the day. We just got it right for the track there at the end of the race."


"It was an exciting day. We'll take it any way we can get it. When guys ran out of gas, we were able to take second. I was really settled into fifth and thought that was where we were going to end up. There are a lot of elements to this team and fuel mileage was one of them. Congratulations to Jeff Gordon and his entire team. It was a great day for Hendrick Motorsports to finish one-two. We were good in the middle part of the race, but there at the end I just got so tight that I just didn't have anything for anybody.

"This whole team is just extremely consistent. We had to overcome a whole lot of adversity this weekend. We crashed our primary car in practice and ended up in our back-up car. My hat's off to this entire Lowe's team. I just can't believe it to be in second today."

(WAS IT HOT IN THE CAR?) "I have a great system in the car to help keep me cool. But when you still have 100-degree air blowing across your body, it's like having a blowtorch blowing on you. But I don't feel too bad."


"Holy cow, we got here at the inaugural race, but it's been a while since we've been here (victory lane). But I went to do my burnout and spin around in the grass, and I ran out of gas. It's an amazing run. Robbie Loomis (crew chief) did an amazing job. We weren't the best car. We weren't really one of the top five after yesterday in practice. But these guys just dialed it in. I couldn't be happier. I've just got to thank all my sponsors. It's just been amazing these last two weeks."

(ON THE MOMENTUM OF WINNING TWO WEEKS IN A ROW) "When you have race cars like we do and a team like this and the research like we do at Hendrick Motorsports - by the way, Randy Dorton and the engine shop, that thing was going down the straight-aways. But we do have momentum right now. We're going to enjoy one over the off-weekend and just try to keep the momentum for when we come back.

"This team is just awesome. These guys never give up. They just work so hard. We just worked so hard yesterday getting this car dialed in. But when they dropped the green flag, this Dupont Chevrolet just drove straight to the front and it was just a joy to drive. Those last several laps when Bobby Labonte was running me down, I was getting real loose and trying to conserve fuel. We had great calculations and great communications by Robbie Loomis and Brian Whitsel and all the guys on this Dupont team."

(ARE YOU IN A GROOVE OF RACES WHERE YOU RUN WELL?) "This is not a track where we've done well the last few times. We've been a 5th, 6th, or 7th place car, which isn't bad, but we've stepped it up today. Bobby Labonte, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and all those guys are so strong on these types of tracks and we're competing with them. This has given us a lot of confidence in what we're doing. This is a great race car. This is the car we had at Atlanta and Texas.

"But we're looking forward to the schedule. There are a lot of great races. We want to be in the top 10 so we can really go after them in the last 10 races."

(ON BEING 27 POINTS OF THE LEAD) "That's incredible. It's been an amazing four or five races that we've had. After Darlington, we had a pretty tough wreck there, and we just shook it off and just kept on plugging away and going strong. It makes we really proud to get behind the wheel of that car when you know you've got guys like that behind. That was the baddest engine I've ever had underneath the hood of a race car."

-gm racing-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Jimmie Johnson , Robbie Loomis
Teams Hendrick Motorsports