Fontana Team Monte Carlo notes and quotes

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We had an awesome car to start with. I guess we just can't keep up with the race track, I don't know. We had it loose. We had it tight. It was just like the Busch car. We had it all over the...

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"We had an awesome car to start with. I guess we just can't keep up with the race track, I don't know. We had it loose. We had it tight. It was just like the Busch car. We had it all over the place. We just got out run. We obviously had the wrong package there somehow, I don't know how. I just think we got beat. Our team is pretty solid right now. I'm pretty disappointed, but on the other hand, 30 plus teams behind us would change places, so we'll take it."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)

"It was a tricky race track. The groove really widened out and you just never knew where you could run. It was real good for us at the beginning. We moved up through the field. We just used up our tires coming to the front. We were able to have a pretty good run most of the day, and then that one long green-flag run really hurt us. We loosened the car up and we were out there in clean air by myself and we got real, real loose. We lost a lot of time. Thank goodness we got a caution there toward the end and we were able to tighten it up and were able to get 11th. I was tight at the beginning and then I got loose. Then I got tight again. The bottom was the best thing for me, and then I couldn't get it to work on the bottom. They said move to the top. A lot of guys were moving to the top. All of a sudden I started picking up up there. I was just glad we didn't lose a lap. We stayed on the lead lap and were able to come back to 11th.

"This place has never moved up that high. It might have been because of the hot temperatures, and Goodyear has got a little different tire. It seems to be a pretty decent tire, but it's still tricky. That groove moving up as high as it did, that was the biggest difference I saw. We were up to sixth or seventh one time, and I really thought we were able to stay there. We just couldn't seem to get the track position we wanted to and the car just changed so much being in traffic and not being in traffic.

"Eleventh is not bad. We'd have liked a top 10, but we're doing what we need to do to stay in the top 10 in points. I think maybe we lost one or two positions today, but we'll go get 'em at Richmond. I'm looking forward to that.

"That's unbelievable (10 different winners in 10 races). It's pretty amazing how competitive it is right now. Any guy can win. It's just hitting the right combination. Jeremy was fast all day today, and he deserved to win this thing. He fought hard. He didn't give up. He lost that lap and came back. I haven't seen it like this. Almost every year, there's been a guy dominate. Last year it started to get like this, and this year it's unbelievable. It's hard to say why. Guys are going a good job. I really don't know what it is. I can't put my finger on it. It's real competitive and it's good for the sport, but it makes it tougher to get up to the front and battle for wins."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)

"It was a terrible day. We missed the setup real bad. We just fought it and fought it and fought it. That's life. I thought we were going to come back and have a decent finish, but that didn't work out, either."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"The power steering went out with about 50 laps to go, and I had to really wrestle it the rest of the way. We had a good car. I think we had a fifth-place car today. Too bad we didn't finish fifth with it. This is the same car we won with at Texas and finished 10th with at Las Vegas. It would have really been sweet to get another top 10 with it today, but that's all we had with the way things worked out."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX film Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"It was OK. We weren't real good in traffic. It seemed like we needed a little more downforce, but we did it to ourselves. We had the spoiler laid back a little bit. We probably should have run more spoiler. It's got adjustments on it. You can't do nothing about it during the race. The track was slick. We just couldn't get enough downforce today. We had to come back in the pits during the second caution. There was a small mishap in the pit stop. We lost a lot of positions when we had to come back in, but the team worked hard to get back into the top 20. I guess we turned a negative into a positive. We'll take 18th and go on to Richmond."

KENNY IRWIN (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"We had just pitted and we tried to loosen up the car. I guess we freed it up too much. It just took off of me going into the corner, and I couldn't save it."

PAUL ANDREWS (Crew chief No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"We started out real good. I think we were a little better than everybody else at the beginning and then everybody got better than us at the end. We never could get a good handle on the track like we needed to. It was kind of like that in the last practice yesterday. We missed the first practice. We had a little engine problem. It wasn't bad. I sure thought we'd be better than 16th though. With the tire being different here, the track is different now. We had two groove racing today, and I don't think we had that here before. The high line didn't work for a lot of cars today, but the tire made it different. It made the speeds stay real fast, and it was a struggle for us to make the car right."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"First thing I have to say is, the guys did an awesome job getting the car right. The pit stops were great. We were loose for most of the race, and then we took on a set of tires that were just terrible. I couldn't do anything. I got a little excited there and real frustrated. But that to Tony (crew chief Furr), I kept my cool. He made the right calls at the end. After we got our lap back, we took on only two tires and that made all the difference in the world. It was like night and day. For that last run the car was like a rocket ship. We passed eight cars in the last two laps. This really feels great. It's something that we really needed."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Ho