Indianapolis: GM teams race quotes

Jeff Gordon -- ...

Jeff Gordon -- #24 DuPont Chevrolet
8th position

ON IT BEING A WILD DAY It was. There was a lot of stuff going on. We avoided most it and then unfortunately there toward the end I couldn't avoid Mike Bliss. We had to fix the right front fender. We had a great car. We really did. We never really got to show it. We got it really good the second half of the race and the whole time we were playing catch up.

ON A NEW BRICKYARD CHAMPION I'm proud of Tony and that team. Congratulations to them. I know how bad he wants it. I know everybody wants its bad. He's come so close here so many times. He's on a roll. That team deserves it. They're running really strong right now. I know this one means a whole lot to him.

DID YOU GET THE MONKEY OFF YOUR BACK? I hope so. I'm not going to count on anything until we go through a few more of these weeks and hopefully we can get some top fives, top tens out of those as well.

YOUR CAR LOOKED GOOD AT THE START. DID THE HANDLING GO AWAY FOR YOU? I stalled it on pit road and that hurt us. We took two tires. When we took two tires and I stalled it, it was just a bad combination for us. We ended up falling back and playing catch up. Then we got ourselves in a pretty good position. Then Mike Bliss and I got together. Luckily both of us didn't crash. We both saved it and we had to come in and fix the fender and put some tires on.

ON HIS RECENT HISTORY WITH MIKE BLISS Yeah. There's a magnet on the cars I guess. This was a reverse of the last situation. We were being real aggressive. I dove my nose in there and felt like I was inside of him probably like he thought he was inside of me at Chicago. I'm just glad both of us made it through it and worked through it.

WAS THIS A MORE AGGRESSIVE RACE THAN YOU EXPECTED? Track position is always extremely important here. I thought it was a pretty typical race for the most part. There's not much of an outside groove. The bottom groove seemed to be the best way but you can get out there and run there. You got to have track position. Some guys fight really hard for positions and when they do that's usually when problems occur.

Michael Waltrip -- #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet
16th position

Well, it was good. We just had a lot of problems.  Lot of flats. I had the get the free pass to get on the lead lap. Took forever to rebound from that and got all the way up to 12th. On that last pit deal there we took four (tires) and that was a good call but a bunch of guys stayed out and took two and kind of did us in. Relegated us to 16th. We should have been an easy top 10-we were plenty fast enough.

Jason Leffler -- #11 FedEx Express Chevrolet
33rd position

Yeah, just a long day for us. I got a penalty early on for hitting the commitment cone (on pit lane) and then we had two flat tires. One tore up the left front fender which hurt the performance of the car. Still wasn't too bad. Best car I've had in a long time. Best car I've had at Indy. So, I was really looking forward to a good finish but it didn't happen. We'll get 'em at Michigan.

Scott Riggs -- #10 Rally's Chevrolet
35th position

Had a good day. The car was terrible tight. Made more changes today on pit road on the car than I ever have before. I got it pretty good. Got track position by taking two tires. Took two tires and was able to hold on there. Thought we had a really good shot at top 10. You know, had a big-eared knucklehead that wanted to use an excuse that the car got away from him. You know-he's a champion. A NEXTEL Cup champion. (He) got into us. Of course he apologized, of course. And it took us out of the race. We struggled to the finish.

Jimmie Johnson -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet
38th position

Note: Accident on Lap 143. Was awake and alert after exiting his race car; taken to Methodist Hospital for precautionary evaluation.

GLAD TO SEE YOU'RE ALRIGHT AFTER THAT ACCIDENT Yeah, I'm fine. Man, that was hard. That's by far, I think, the hardest hit I've taken. Just blew a right front tire and away I went, head first, so thank god for the soft walls and HANS device and everything. I'll be okay. I'll be scratching my head for the next day or two, though.

YOU DIDN'T REALIZE IT WAS ON FIRE ON PIT LANE? No, I don't really remember coming from Turn 4 to the pits. I just remember kind of waking up on pit road and the guys were pulling me out of the car. So, it's all good.

Chad Knaus, Crew Chief -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet

WHAT IS JIMMIE'S STATUS? Yeah, they're just going to take him over there and check him out. His bell has definitely been rung. That was a pretty hard hit that he took out there. We cut a right front tire as he was going into turn 4 and knocked the wind out of him, so they're going to send him over there and take a look at him.

REALLY UP AND DOWN DAY FOR THE #48 TEAM Yeah, we definitely had a roller coaster day. You know, back to the front, to the back, we had a lot of weird things go on. But, that's part of racing. You're going to have that. We'll bounce back. We'll be fine.

RE: HOW THIS AFFECTS #48 TEAM IN THE POINTS Does it matter? Once we get to Loudon it basically starts over at zero. So, I'm really not concerned about points. As long as we stay in the top 10 that's all we need to befocused on. We get to that point we'll worry about the championship.

Bobby Labonte -- #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet
40th position

Note: Retired from the race on Lap 116

LOOKED LIKE A TIRE PROBLEM OUT THERE? Well, you can't put words in my mouth like that. First of all, we don't know what happened to it. I mean, obviously the right front tire went down. Was it overabused? Anything like that? We don't know that. The problem was we had a tire go down, whatever happened I don't know. I'm not an expert at it and they've got analysts out there to figure it out. But the biggest thing was we had a good race car. Steve did a good job in the pits. It just ended out day.


Dale Earnhardt, Jr. -- #8 Budweiser Chevrolet
43rd position

Note: Accident on Lap 62 restart, retired.

WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? Everybody took off and then everbody stopped and when I stopped I got ran into. It's hard to see when you're way back in the back-you know, what the leaders are doing. But, they called the green flag and I was  waiting for Bill to go and when Bill took off, I took off and we stopped again. I don't think Skinner knew what was going on, or whoever took off behind me. I think it was Skinner. I got turned into the wall. I don't know. My spotter said the leader checked on the restart, but I don't know-I didn't see anything.

THIS IS A BLOW TO YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE, ISN'T IT? Man, I just hope I don't have to get into that (race car) today. Hopefully I can go home.

BUT ISN'T THIS A BLOW TO THE POINTS YOU WERE TRYING TO GET TODAY? Yeah, obviously. That's life. You've got to deal with it-good and bad. We'll be alright. I mean, if we make the Chase, we make it. If we don't, we don't. We'll still try to win some races before the year is out.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Michael Waltrip , Jason Leffler , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Mike Bliss , Chad Knaus