MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: NOTE: Waltrip was eliminated when a tire on his Monte Carlo cut down. "The right front cut down on me. Experience told me that I was fixing to get hurt, but I went up there and hit that nice ...
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: NOTE: Waltrip was eliminated when a tire on his Monte Carlo cut down. "The right front cut down on me. Experience told me that I was fixing to get hurt, but I went up there and hit that nice cushiony wall and I didn't get hurt. We had a really strong car and I need to thank NAPA, DEI and Chevrolet. It was a really good year, but this isn't the way we wanted to end it."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 UAW-DELPHI CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: NOTE: Vickers was also eliminated when a right front tire went down on his car on lap 122. "Thanks to Homestead and ISC for the soft walls. That hit was a lot easier than it could have been. I don't really know what happened. It felt like it just cut down. Goodyear did a great job with this tire for the little time they had to get it ready, since the track wasn't paved until very late in the game. I can't wait for Daytona to get here."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Finished 2nd: "The GM Goodwrench Chevrolet was good all day. I hate that I was passing Ryan and those guys and got loose, but I guess that's part of it. What a way to end the year. I hate it for Bill Elliott, man. He means a lot to our sport, and I want to congratulate Matt Kenseth and his entire crew on everything they did this year. They deserve to be champions."
TALK ABOUT THE SEASON. "We've had a great season. I hate that we had to have a wreck down there and for the most part it was a great season for us. These GM Goodwrench Chevrolet guys have done a great job all year, and to come back from what we were last year, it should mena good things for next year."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Finished 3rd: "When we got the lead early, I knew it was too easy. Something had to come up. We had a problem with the left rear tire or something on the left side, and we had to come in and pit. We had to fight to get our lap back, but we had such a great race car and such good work on pit road that we were able to advance and then on top of that, we had a fast race car. We got our lap back and were able to finish third."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DuPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Finished 5th: "It certainly was an awesome finish for us. We had a bunch of top-5s, a couple wins in the last few races and I couldn't be happier with the effort we put out today. We didn't have the best car, we got real tight and we just couldn't get it freed up enough. It seemed like the track kept getting tighter and tighter. We were adjusting and adjusting. The guys in the pits had a great last stop. I just have to thank everybody on this entire team and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. They just put so much effort into us having competitive cars all year long and having a car to battle in the points all year long like we did. I also have to thank Winston for all their support over the years. I have had the pleasure to benefit from a lot of that support and I'm very thankful for what they do. I wish Matt Kenseth congratulations on his championship."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Finished 4th in his final ride in this car, and he was the highest-finishing Pontiac: "It was a great drive. I really have to thank Valvoline, MB2 and Hendrick Motorsports for giving us the opportunity to go and run this car. I hate that they're breaking it up. It's a great race team, and Jay Guy has done a tremendous job. We had a semi-bad year. We had some changes throughout the year. James Ince has done a tremendous job with this team and he needed to take a leave. I hate it. I think we all suffered from it, them wanting to make a change. I'm not going to complain. We had 15 top-5 finishes and a win for the team, and that's great. They can't take that away from me and no one can take it away from them either, so that's cool."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "We should have run better. We wanted to run better, but the car wasn't good enough. We had a good year, had a lot of fun. I just want to go home and take some time off."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Finished 7th: "It was a pretty uneventful day other than the start of the race. It was pretty exciting having a bunch of race car parts lying in the middle of the race track. I ran over a spring real hard and tore the front end up. The guys did a great job getting it put back together. The car was never quite as good as it was yesterday. We ran good all day, so I can't complain too much."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Winner: "Honestly, I had just told Fatback the lap before that, 'man, he [Bill Elliott] is just playing with us. He can go wherever he wants to.' He was fast all day, and it was just bad luck on his part. I'm not sure what happened. Either he ran out of gas like Michael said, or a tire was going down or something like that. He just started wiggling and I just started screaming on the radio. It was a gift. It was way cool for us to win a race. We've been a long time without it, since Atlanta the first race, so we just had a good day, a good car all weekend and we had a lot of fun."
WHAT DID YOU DO TO FIX YOUR CAR EARLY IN THE RACE? "They just talked to me and that fixes it, uisually [laughter]. At the start of the race, the car was just terrible. We ran over the debris when the 97 wrecked, so we battled back. It was one of those fun days. Sometimes you can't do that. This is a great race track and you are able to do that here. Your tires will give up enough and you can set your car up for a longer run. It was a good race for us because we were able to counter back and get something out of it."
JIM CAMPBELL, MARKETING DIRECTOR, CHEVY RACING: "This was indeed a championship weekend for Chevrolet in many ways. We captured drivers' championships in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with Travis Kvapil and the NASCAR Busch Series with Brian Vickers, and we captured the Manufacturers' Championship in the Winston Cup and Busch Series. Bobby Labonte certainly put an exclamation point on our championship weekend with his victory in the Winston Cup race, and four Chevrolets came home in the top five. We're proud of all the Chevrolet Monte Carlo teams for a great season. Monte Carlos won 19 of the 36 races this season, and earned Chevy its 23rd Manufacturers' Championship of the modern era. It's been a great year."
DOUG DUCHARDT, DIRECTOR, GM RACING: "What a weekend for GM Racing. When we came into this weekend, the Craftsman Truck Series championship was undecided and the Busch Series championship was undecided. We earned both of those championships with Travis Kvapil [Trucks] and Brian Vickers [Busch Series], we won the Manufacturers' Championship in the Winston Cup and Busch Series, and GM Racing cars, both Chevrolet and Pontiac, won more races in Winston Cup than all the other manufacturers combined. That gives you some idea of Chevrolet's dominance of the Winston Cup season in 2003. Bobby Labonte earned the victory on Sunday, there were four Chevrolet Monte Carlos and one Pontiac Grand Prix in the top five and Terry Labonte worked his way into the top 10 in the final point standings, giving us seven of the top 10 drivers in Winston Cup. It was a great weekend for GM Racing and it capped a great year for Chevrolet."