TONY STEWART, NO. 20 THE HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET -- Finished 5TH "It was such a big improvement from the way we were in the spring here. I'm just so proud of Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) and the guys for the improvement we made. They did a ...
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 THE HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET -- Finished 5TH
"It was such a big improvement from the way we were in the spring here. I'm just so proud of Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) and the guys for the improvement we made. They did a great job. I think if we had to do it all over again we'd make a couple more changes but it was still a good night for us."
(ON THE LAST COUPLE LAPS IN THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED FINISH) "It was no different, same as always."
(ON GOING OVER TO VISIT BRIAN VICKERS AFTER THE RACE) "I told him good job. He had an awesome day today. He needed that. It was just telling a kid that's needed a top five here and hadn't had one for a long time, good job."
"Him and I have had a rocky past. We've kind of made up and become buddies now. I'm just really happy that he had a good day like that. The kid's needed a top five finish and he got him one tonight so I feel happy for him."
(ON GOING TO A PLACE HE LOVES -- RICHMOND) "That's a good thing we get to go there. That's one of my favorite tracks. I'm excited. I'm going to do a triple this weekend by running the Truck and the Busch car. I'm really excited about the weekend."
(DID YOU NOTICE A DIFFERENT IN THE HANDLING OF THE CAR WHEN THE SUN SET?) "It probably got a little bit tighter but we were still really fast when it got dark too. Every time you come in you make the cars better. We kind of just got to the point to where we were pretty much as good as we were and kind of had to live with it. I think we had the third best car really. If the caution doesn't come out, we're going to run third. We had a good day. We just had a situation there where (you have to decide) four tires, two tires, no tires. We thought we made the wrong decision again but we went the safe route and got another top five out of it. I'm really proud of this Home Depot team."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Finished 16th
"We made two four-tire stops during the last 25 laps. At the next to the last one, we took a bunch of wedge out of the car and it got real loose. We made some progress and then as the run went on, I started losing some ground. At the next pit stop and everybody put two (tires) on or none, and we did four (tires) and restarted in 19th and got up to 16th in track position."
(WAS THE CAR EDGY AT THE END?) "The last run at the end, it was really out of control. I was holding on -- trying to do what I could. I lost some track position and then when everybody came in at the end and we lost track position."
(ON GETTING READY FOR THE CHASE) "We've just got to get some emotional control going on our team and get things all pointed in the right direction. We've got the tools and the stuff necessary to win races, we've just got to get everything back in line and get it firing on all eight cylinders."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- Finished 21st
Note: Fell out of the Chase to 12th in the point standings, 30 points behind 10th place driver Jamey McMurray
"It was a hell of a night. It's just one of those nights. You'll have those good nights when things will happen. We thought we had it at one time. I don't know if we just got a bad set of tires, over adjusted or what. We were really looking good and then things just went backwards. We struggled back and forth all night."
(REGARDING HIS COMMENTS FROM FRIDAY THAT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED IN CALIFORNIA, HE'D STILL HAVE TO PERFORM IN RICHMOND) "We're definitely the ones that are behind. We've got to attack really hard. I don't see how we can do anything more than what we're doing. We're already attacking as hard as we can and that hasn't been working. There's nothing more we can do than what we are doing now."
(ON PERFORMING AT RICHMOND TO MAKE THE CHASE) "We just haven't performed this year. We sucked today. That was just pathetic. I just want to congratulate Kyle. What an awesome job. I'm really proud of those guys. They deserved it. They've been running good. We haven't. That's why we're where we are at. We'll go to Richmond and see what we can do."
(IS RICHMOND ONE OF THE BEST PLACES YOU CAN GO TO RACE YOUR WAY INTO THE CHASE?) "Who cares where we go. It doesn't matter right now. Everywhere we go we either stink or we're good. I have no idea. I don't go into it with any expectations. Certainly what we've done in the past doesn't mean anything right now. We had a good test there. I thought we had a great car going into tonight. Obviously that wasn't the case so why should I be the one predicting what's going to happen in Richmond."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Race Winner -
Note: Kyle becomes the youngest driver to win at Cup race at the age of 20 years, 4 months and 2 days. Prior, the youngest Cup race winner was Donald Thompson, winner in Nov. 1951 at Atlanta at the age of 20 years, 4 months, and 6 days.
J.J. YELEY, NO. 11 FEDEX FREIGHT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: (WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?) "I was just trying to mind my own business there in the FedEx Chevrolet. I don't know if we hit the No. 9 (Kasey Kahne) car or if it made contact with me. I'm just glad we didn't get caught up with any of the Chase contenders."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Sidelined with engine failure -- (ON BEING OUT OF THE CHASE) "It's been over for at least 80 laps. Our car was horrible. I'm glad it's over with and I'm ready to go to Richmond. We tested there and hope we can get a good run and try to get some wins before this year is out. I promised my fans that next year we'll be back in Victory Lane. I'm ready to go home and hang out at my lake tomorrow."
(DID YOU HAVE ANY INDICATION THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH THE MOTOR?) "No, not really, other than it ran like crap. We struggled all day and all night down the straightaway. I don't know if something was wrong with it from the start of the race. We ran it hot in qualifying -- I did -- and might have burned something up in the motor and it just finally broke. But it's real disappointing. The car ran good there at the start of the race. We were real loose after that and tried to change the car around all night. It's unfortunate that the motor broke."
(NO WARNING?) "No warning. The motor blew up. If it hadn't blow up it would have gone to hell."
(ON HAVING MORE RACES TO STILL WIN THIS SEASON) "We're going to come to the last 11 (races) and try to see if we can win a couple of them. It should be all right. We just had a bad night tonight, plus all year. We haven't had a good year all year. I'm surprised. I bet you all are surprised. That's the way it goes."
(WILL THE REST OF THE YEAR BE R&D FOR YOU?) "I don't want to run any worse than I'm already running. You've got to get in the car and get no worse and try to do good."