KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 15th "We knew this was a little bit of a struggle for us overall, but we did good. We were just a little bit too loose there. We probably should have put two tires on, but that was my...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 15th
"We knew this was a little bit of a struggle for us overall, but we did good. We were just a little bit too loose there. We probably should have put two tires on, but that was my call. So, shoulda, woulda, coulda. It was a decent night for us."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 16th and
dropped 3 spots in the point standings, from 7th to 10th: "We got real good at the end; it was just too late. We just struggled during the middle part of the race and lost a lot of track position. At the end, we finally got good. But these guys were just so far in front of us we couldn't do more; we ran a bunch of them down but we just ran out of time. So I'm not real happy with the way we ran. Nobody is. We sure expected more than that, but we'll go to Richmond and give them all we've got."
WHAT'S IT LIKE KNOWING IT'S GOING TO COME DOWN TO THE FINAL RACE OF THE FIRST 26 TO TRY TO MAKE THE CHASE? "That doesn't surprise me at all. The No. 9 Kasey Kahne was just way better than we were tonight. When we go to Richmond, it'll be a dogfight for sure, but we'll go there and give it all we got and that's all we can do. I look forward to it. I'm excited about it. I feel like I'm going there with a good team and good race cars.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UNDER THIS MUCH PRESSURE BEFORE? "Pressure is when you don't have a chance in hell to do anything. This isn't pressure. This feels good. We have a chance to have something good happen. It's still ours to win or lose; we've just got to get it done.
"I'm disappointed on how we ran in the middle of the race. I'm not disappointed about how we ran in the end. We got beat by four or five cars that seemed to go the whole way on gas and we couldn't. We weren't good in the middle part of the race and then we couldn't go as far as some of those other guys could and all that stacked up on us. There at the end, we were hauling. We were really fast at the end."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO SS, Finished 5th:
ON TOP-FIVE FINISH TONIGHT: "It has been a tough time for us here and on 1.5-mile tracks in the past, but not this year. Steve Letarte and all the guys at Hendrick Motorsports and this DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo team have got this stuff dialed in. Man it is a lot of fun to be out there driving a car like this. You know I hate we had our problems (possible loose lugnuts) because we had those guys in our sights. The No. 9 was tough, he was going to be tough to beat so was the No. 8 but I think would we not have had our problems, we would have been close to them and had a shot at them. Hey, it was a solid night for us, we did what we needed to do in the points. We are not solidly in for Richmond so we are going to have to perform there, but this finish is going to make it a lot easier."
ON BEING FOURTH IN POINTS HEADING TO RICHMOND: "We have had our troubles at Richmond in the past but I am confident right now with the way our cars are driving and with the way the team is performing, I feel like we are going to turn Richmond around like we have these other tracks."
ON THOUGHTS WHEN TOLD OF POSSIBLE LOOSE LUGNUTS AND NEEDING TO COME BACK DOWN PIT ROAD : "I didn't doubt that could get back up in the top-10, I just didn't know if we could get back in the top-five. There was a string of green-flag runs where we able to put some good laps together and get some of those positions back. I thought Steve made a great call on the gas and go to do that gas and go. We played it conservative really, we weren't sure the lugnuts were loose that time, but we came in anyway to be sure. When we came in on the gas and go, we played it a little conservative on how much gas we took. So hey, it still got us a fifth place finish and that is what we need to do, is to be really solid."
ON TONIGHT'S FINISH: "I am happy with the way we performed. I am happy with the way we finished and I am happy with where we are at in the points. I have to look at the numbers, I don't know exactly where the spread is to 11th. I know that Kasey had a great night but we will just see what other guys did."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS, Finished 8th:
ON TONIGHT'S RACE: "We just kept missing the handle of the cars on the end of the runs. We were very, very fast at the beginning we could kind of take off and lead for a couple of laps but then it started falling off. It was a good run for our Kellogg's Chevrolet tonight, that is all we needed. We just need to keep fighting like we have been and fighting for these top-10 finishes and top-five finishes. That is as good as we had for them tonight. It is kind of weird coming down to the end of these races like that and fend off fuel mileage and tires. All in all it was a good show for the fans and we had a lot of fun passing cars. The weather ended up being a good cool night, so now we will go on to Richmond."
ON GOING TO RICHMOND FIFTH IN POINTS: "I feel good about Richmond. Last three runs there we have finished better than fifth so if we can go there and do what we have done the last times and have a good solid run, I think we will be fine. I think you will see the Kellogg's Monte Carlo strong in the Chase and going to Loudon trying to win that one."
ON THINKING ABOUT POINTS THE LAST SEVEN DAYS: "You can't. All you are going to do is upset your stomach and put everything else in an uproar. So you might as well just go after it when you get to Richmond."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO, FINISHED 9TH:
ON CHANGES FOR MAKING THE CHASE COMING DOWN TO THE FINAL RACE AT RICHMOND: "We have been pretty good at Richmond but so do the guys who are with us in the Chase. We have one more week, we will see. I am not very comfortable at all with 41 points. But if we go do what we normally do at Richmond, we should be all right, but it is no gimme by any means.
"I am just glad to finish where we did. We didn't gain or lose on the pit strategy there at the end, we just need to be better than we were.
"Tonight is over, so we just need to forget about it and go on to next week."
ON PRESSURE NEXT WEEK AT RICHMOND:
"I think we just have to go out and do what we always do. That is how we have won two championships and how we have been in the top-10 in points every year I have been in the series. It is what I have been doing for eight years and it isn't going to change next week. It is just a matter of going out and doing our job and not worrying about it. At the end of the day, we will see where we are."
ON TONIGHT'S RACE: "We just fought tight in the center all race long. It was just one of those bad days that from the drop of the green flag, we fought tight and could never really get it roll though the center of the corner, so we have a little work to do."
ON HOW HE WAS FEELING FROM SPRINT CAR CRASH WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
"It was fine, it wasn't different than any other time. Trust me, sprint car drivers flip all the time. We just had a problem with a steering gear breaking. I wanted to run the whole night, I was having a lot of fun, it is a neat race track (Skagit Speedway) and it was the smallest track I have ran with the winged sprint cars and it was a lot of fun."
J.J. YELEY, No. 18 IMITREX MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 19th
DID THE RACE TRACK CHANGE FROM THE START OF THE RACE TO THE END OF THE RACE? "The race track changed a lot. You'd use a line for awhile that was maybe using the car up, then all of the sudden you'd go 10 laps real good and the front tires would get mad and just give up two or three tenths (of a second) just like that."
TELL ME ABOUT THE CAR. WHAT TYPES OF PROBLEMS WERE YOU DEALING WITH THROUGHOUT THE RACE? "If it would have just been one thing, it would have been easy to fix. Steve did an excellent job. It was just that the car would get loose in, then tight in the center, then loose off. Then 15 laps later it would still be loose in, tight center, but tight off. I was just trying to find a balance. The race track kept changing. I felt like the last two runs, the car was at its best. It took me awhile to find a line that the car really liked. I went high in (turns) one and two early in the race and it just didn't work out very good. I never tried it again. I kind of gave up on it. When (Martin) Truex (Jr.) passed me, I thought "you know, maybe I need to get up there and try that line." All of the sudden the car had a lot of grip entering the corner. I could get it turned and get back on the throttle pretty good. I was able to focus on some other things. The times started picking up. I thought we had a good shot there, but I didn't know what Steve was planning. I knew we were getting close to the end on laps. I know our lap times had picked up a little bit, so I kind of backed down a little bit to see what the plan was. He said we were a lap too short on making it. Those guys are pretty precise, so we would have been a lap short."
YOUR LUCK SEEMS TO HAVE TURNED AROUND A LITTLE BIT . "Yeah, you know, I was thinking mid-race there that if we could finish top-15, top-20, I'd be real satisfied. After finishing 19th, it's pretty disappointing now after it's done. I know that we had a car that was capable of running real close to 10th, but I guess it's better than the alternative. Over the past couple of weeks, we've had the (car) coming back on the hook. It's still in one piece, not a scratch on it."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 2nd
"This is my best finish here. We are happy to get a second any where but especially here at California. These kind of race tracks, we have really turned these around. I am really proud of my team. Congratulations to Kasey (Kahne, winner), maybe we won't be battling each other when we get to Richmond."
ON BEING 6TH IN THE POINTS: "Hey, it is just good runs for us. I am always one week at a time and having good finishes is having fun and that is what it is all about. I don't really feel any of the pressure of the Chase, about trying to make the Chase, most of the pressure is trying to run good, no matter what. I am just so happy for my team. Tony (Eury), Jr. made great calls, the team did great and I can't say enough about everybody at DEI and my team. They have really done all they could for me this year and I am just so proud of them."
-credit: gm racing