All three RCR teams begin the second half of the '02 season with top 10 finishes at Loudon. Jeff Green, driver of the No. 30 AOL Monte Carlo, placed second to Ward Burton in the New England 300 -- his best Winston Cup career finish to date. Green...
All three RCR teams begin the second half of the '02 season with top 10 finishes at Loudon. Jeff Green, driver of the No. 30 AOL Monte Carlo, placed second to Ward Burton in the New England 300 -- his best Winston Cup career finish to date. Green now has two top fives this season and moves into 18th in the point standings. RCR's Robby Gordon and Kevin Harvick finished 7th and 9th (respectively). Driver comments follow:
Jeff Green, No. 30 AOL Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 2nd): "It was a great day for our America Online Chevy. Track position is everything, like always. Todd (Barrier, crew chief) and the guys did a good job on planning that. We had a good enough car to win the race; it's just that Ward (Burton) got away from us there a little bit. Those re-starts are pretty hairy with those cold tires and wore out tires with all that trash on them. We were just lucky and thank the good Lord for a good day."
(On the struggles of Richard Childress Racing during the first half of the season) "We've had a lot of turmoil and have moved into a new shop and added a new team to the roster. That has definitely set us back. But those guys work just as hard as any of those other guys in the garage area. We've got some great guys back there in the fab shop and engine room working hard every day to make our teams better.
"Going back to some of the same tracks (during the second half of the season) will make our team better too. This first half is the first time we've really seen these guys as a team. They're used to Kevin Harvick talking to them on the radio, not Jeff Green. We're just getting used to each other and thinking alike more and I think that'll make a big difference in our outcome."
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 15th): "The track position was important like always. Early, the racetrack started tearing up. So it really eliminated any type of good racing in (turns) three and four. You had to position yourself on good asphalt and put the guy you were racing with on bad asphalt. It was a wild day. It's just hard for these big, heavy cars to race here - especially when the asphalt is coming up. But for the rough day we had, to finish 15th, to finish around all the guys who are reaching for the championship, we did pretty well. So in the big picture, I guess it was a pretty good day.
"Our philosophy is to race with the leaders. I was lucky to stay out of trouble. We dodged a lot of stuff. There were a lot of people running into each other. I had a couple of incidents out there where we had some bumping and banging."
Robby Gordon, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 7th): "Track position was everything. We had a good call there at the end. We came in and took right sides (tires) and fuel and that positioned us to get a top 10 (finish). I'm real pleased with Kevin Hamlin (crew chief) and all those guys over there. They're making some great decisions. Every week we just keep moving in a little closer. The track was real good."
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 9th): "This always happens at Loudon."
(What did the track feel like?) "Every time we got to the end of the straightaway we'd turn left and you'd go in the corner good and come off the corner sideways."
(On the car): "The car was good all day. We just got a little behind on track position. The No. 40 (Sterling Marlin) kept pinning us in and running over our guys. We just got a little bit behind and made it up and knocked the fender in on the last pit stop coming into the pits. But all in all, it was a good day for all the RCR teams."
Joe Nemechek, No. 25 UAW/Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo: "I've got a little headache. We're working hard on this car. We're trying really hard. We'd been a little loose since the start of the run. The No. 30 car (Jeff Green) just got a little impatient. He knocked his darn headlights all the way inside of his nosepiece he hit me so hard getting into the corner. It was just impatience. It's uncalled for and he shouldn't be doing that this early in the race."
Mike Skinner, No. 4 Kodak Max Chevrolet Monte Carlo: "I think something turned loose in the engine. It fluttered real hard. Instead of ruining everybody else's day, I figured we'd just come in here (the garage) and see if we can figure out some way to fix it or not.