Team Monte Carlo Rookie Jimmie Johnson Sixth In Vegas Dodges and Fords dominated today's 400-mile/267-lap Winston Cup race in Las Vegas, but rookie Jimmie Johnson was Chevy's shining star, as he finished sixth in his No. 48 Lowe's Chevy Monte ...
Team Monte Carlo Rookie Jimmie Johnson Sixth In Vegas
Dodges and Fords dominated today's 400-mile/267-lap Winston Cup race in Las Vegas, but rookie Jimmie Johnson was Chevy's shining star, as he finished sixth in his No. 48 Lowe's Chevy Monte Carlo. Johnson was the first Team Monte Carlo driver in the field, and the only one in the top 10. Sterling Marlin took the victory in a Dodge.
Johnson brought his Monte Carlo back to the front after losing a lap, and led six laps during a flurry of green-flag pit stops.
The next Chevy Monte Carlo finisher was Jerry Nadeau, 15th, in the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVY MONTE CARLO, was the highest Team Monte Carlo finisher, placing sixth after being down a lap. "We had a lot of things working against us, starting in the back, worked our way back to the front, got caught in the pits when the caution came out, our buddy Robby Gordon tried to get me back once, had me up in the fence. And we rallied back from all that, came home with a top 6, a top 10, so this is awesome. I got a lot of fans and friends out there in the stands, I'm glad I put on a good show for them." "We put ourselves in a real good position and the caution came out."
CAME UP TO NINTH, THEN A LAP DOWN; "We just keep working, luckily we were bale to keep working and get the thing under control."
FIRST CHEVROLET: "First Chevrolet? Cool. I didn't know that. That's great."
ON GOING SIDEWAYS ON LAP 251 WHILE CHALLENGING FOR FOURTH WITH TWO OTHER CARS: "That wasn't intentional. It was an accident. I had a run on both of those guys and wanted to try to pass them while I had the chance. When there's three cars side by side it depends on how they're positioned. One of them is going to get the air off their spoiler and it happened to me. The two on the outside of me, the cars were positioned right and it took the air off my spoiler and got me real loose, and luckily we didn't wreck."
YOU DID A GREAT JOB OF SAVING IT: "That was my off-road days there."
YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY: "I'm really happy. It's an awesome way to finish in one of these races. I'm racing with my heroes out here and to race with these guys^Ê.I was walking through the garage and Jimmy Spencer stopped me and went out of his way to say hey it's fun racing with you. That's the start of the respect that I have to develop and earn from these guys. He's probably one of the hardest ones to get respect from. The fact that he said that means a lot. It's neat to be there; we just have to try to be consistent every week. There's going to be some tracks where I'm going to be strong, like Vegas, Chicago, Kansas City. Martinsville I've never been to, Pocono. Rockingham we weren't so good. It's going to be hit and miss until I get some more experience. But when it's on we're going to be real good."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 32 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVY MONTE CARLO (37th):
ON INCIDENT ON LAP 254: "(Jerry) Nadeau hit me in the back and I hit Kyle (Petty). Nothing I could really, really do about. I tried not to hit him. There's no reason to be racing like that for those kind of positions. Corner before that him and somebody else were together, so once you get back there I guess the best thing to do is just survive. We had a really great race car; I'm really, really disappointed. We've got two holes in front of it. I just got too aggressive with (Mike) Skinner. I started to go by him on the outside ^Ìcause we came down pit lane, we got ourselves back there."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVY MONTE CARLO (17th, never in contention today, ran only as high as sixth):
ON CHEVROLETS' LACKLUSTER PERFORMANCE TODAY: "Jimmie did pretty good. If one can run the rest of them can, that's what I always say. I always say leave it up to the wind tunnel. Take the cars to the wind tunnel, see what they have there. Those Dodges -- the 40 car has been good here in the past. I wasn't even close enough to the front to know what the heck we needed to be better. I was loose all day."
BOBBY HAMILTON, NO. 55 SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC CHEVY MONTE CARLO, hit the wall in turn 3 on lap 8:
"I don¹t have any idea (what happened). I passed a bunch of cars. I was going down the back straight, I felt like it started wobbling, like a tire was down on it or something. We thought we would try to ride it out a lap, and I was going down the back straight and the right rear tire blew out on it. It must have hit something."