JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: WHAT HAPPENED IN THE MULTI-CAR INCIDENT THAT ENDED YOUR BID? "It looked like the '4' car (Mike Skinner) got loose on the bottom and came up and hit Rusty, and they both spun. I was on the...
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE MULTI-CAR INCIDENT THAT ENDED YOUR BID? "It looked like the '4' car (Mike Skinner) got loose on the bottom and came up and hit Rusty, and they both spun. I was on the outside, trying to slow it down and get away from them and I just couldn't do it.
"We had a great race car. The guys were doing an awesome job. We had a problem in the pits and that put us way back. We were working our way back up to the front and took a two-tire stop there. We were going to fall back a little bit, but I still think we were going to be ahead of the game for that last pit stop.
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WHAT HAPPENED? "I'm not totally sure. But, I think Rusty pulled up on the outside of us and it just took enough air off the car that our car got a little bit loose and I just wiggled up and hit him.
"When we started out we were really, really struggling. The car was really, really loose all day and they just kept working. The guys never gave up. We're just miles from last year. I'm really, really happy with our Pontiac; I'm happy with our team. They did a great job. They got the car to where, when that happened - if we had been in the lead lap - we'd have been a top seven or eight car. We could use that right now."
TONY STEWART, NO. HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"If we hadn't knocked a hole in the fender, I think we could have run second, for sure. We were running with Matt [Kenseth] right up to that point where we had our problem, and I still think we could have made our car better than what it was at that point. So, who knows? We could have won this race even. You know - 'ifs and ands and buts,' but a top five - after something like that - we'll take that any day of the week."
DID YOU FIGURE A TOP FIVE WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION AT THAT POINT? "I knew we had a good car once we got the fender fixed. It was just a matter of getting through the weapons out there, and there were plenty of them out there today."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We're very fortunate that we came out of here today with a clean race car. It seemed like everything that was happening out there was happening in front of me. Luckily, I just wasn't involved in anything.
"The guys on the Interstate Batteries Chevrolet did a great job and we came out with a top five. That's our first top five in a long time, I'm sure, so it feels good."
DOES THAT CAP OFF A SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND FOR YOU? "Yeah, it was. It was a good day. We had a good car all day. We weren't quite as good as some guys on the get-go, but we were better after 20 laps and then we were still good after 60 laps, or whenever we would pit. But, it was good. We were a little bit off at the beginning of a run, but I don't blame that on anybody but me."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 25 UAW-DELPHI CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It was a good day - a good day for our whole UAW-Delphi team. We got up there and we were contenders there for a while. Then, Kevin Harvick - on a restart - tore the left side of my car off. We pitted, just to not take a chance on cut left-side tires. Then, we had a piece of trash on the nose and overheated. We just overcame a lot of odds today and to end up ninth is good. I think we had a car that was capable of running up there in the top three, but we'll take it. It will move us up in the points and we're going to Atlanta. Hopefully, we'll have a shot at winning that one."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
WHAT HAPPENED ON THE LAST LAP WITH STERLING MARLIN? "We were racing hard. Unfortunately, we put just rights (right-side tires) on. We thought we could save a little time because we didn't need a full tank of fuel, and maybe pick up a couple seconds on pit road. But, it just didn't work out for us. It was a great gamble. It just didn't pay off. It's worked at other places, but didn't work here today.
"We were slipping back through the pack, racing hard at the end to try to stay in the top 10 and get every point that I could. We went down into three and the '40' got into me.
"I saw the video on TV. I don't really know what has happened at this point. I hope it wasn't intentional, but I raced clean with everybody all day long and don't put a tire mark on anyone and then I get turned coming to the checkers and lose two more spots. That kind of bums me out there."
STEVE PARK, NO. 1 PENNZOIL CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
[COURTESY OF PENNZOIL PR] "That's a great day. The guys worked really hard. Tony Gibson and the whole Pennzoil team worked good with the rest of our teammates. We really gambled and changed the whole setup on the car this morning. To get a good top 10 run, it just showed that I've got a confidence in this team that we can win races. This just goes to show you what a team effort is all about. We really weren't that good the other day and we changed everything this morning, and came out with a top 10, so it was right along the lines of what we thought."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"That was a real tough day. We think the car was decent. We just kept fighting and fighting and fighting to get up there. We obviously weren't quite good enough. We were just a little slow on the beginning of the runs and really good in the long runs. I don't think we were terrible, at all. We were off just a touch."
WAS IT HARD TO PASS TODAY? "You could catch a guy and you could get underneath a guy, but he would just run side-by-side with you and I couldn't do anything about it."
YOU'VE BEEN STEADY FOR THREE WEEKS... "I guess you could look at that and say, 'Yeah.' But, that isn't the way we want to run. We want to run a little better than this, obviously, and we've just got to keep digging and move forward."