ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS: "Good Lord, I've never seen so many cautions at the end of a race in my life, but I'm glad we could hang onto it. These Kellogg's guys have worked their tails off. Kyle (Busch) has done...
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS:
"Good Lord, I've never seen so many cautions at the end of a race in my life, but I'm glad we could hang onto it. These Kellogg's guys have worked their tails off. Kyle (Busch) has done a great job. That's a mean machine right there. That car has won two races and gotten six top fives and an eighth place, so we're looking forward to bringing that one back in the Chase."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 37th and drops to 11th in the point standings:
ON THE ACCIDENT WITH RYAN NEWMAN, WHAT HAPPENED? "I got wrecked by Ryan Newman. Everybody races each other different. And there's guys are really good at give and take and there are guys that aren't. Ryan is one of those guys who is not good at the giving part. He's really good at taking, but he's not very good at giving. We're racing everybody the way they race us and most of the guys get it, but there are a couple of them who don't.
HOW FRUSTRATING IS THAT AS FAR AS POINTS GO? "I think that's pretty obvious."
YOU'VE HAD A COUPLE OF TOUGH RACES RECENTLY, HAVE YOU STARTED LOOKING AT THE POINTS NOW? "No, you've still just got to take it a week at a time. You can't dictate who is going to wreck us and stuff like that. It's clear that he's not going to make the Chase, so he doesn't care about the guys who are worrying about it and trying to make it themselves. I like Ryan. Ryan's a great guy and he's a good friend, but I just wish he would learn a bit more on the give and take side of things."
IS THIS CONSISTENT WITH THE WAY HE'S BEEN THROUGHOUT THE YEAR? "It's been that way since he's started. He's not the only one who's had problems with that. We've had problems with both Busch brothers. We've had problems with Greg Biffle. But as time goes on, they learn and they get it. Ryan is one of those guys that just doesn't get it yet.
There are about four or five guys out there that only car about one person and that's themselves. They don't care about the other 42 guys that they have to share the race track with and race with each week."
WITH THAT ATTITUDE, DID YOU THINK ABOUT LETTING HIM GO? "Well, normally you would. But at some point you finally get tired of giving to everybody or to particular individuals and all they do is take, take, take and they don't give back. So when you catch them 30 laps into it and you have to race your guts out to get by him, it doesn't make you really want to pull over and just let the same guy go later on in the race."
RICK HENDRICK, OWNER, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
ON KYLE BUSCH WINNING THE RACE: "Man, I am too old for this, I had a birthday last week! What a great car. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) told me last night to come up here because we were going to win this race. We were going to be awfully close on fuel.
"It is hard to believe he is as young as he is and has as much talent as he does. I think he is up to fourth in points, which is awesome.
"Just a great day for the Kellogg's Chevrolet team."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS - Race Winner
ON BEING WORRIED ABOUT FUEL: "I ask Alan when we came in on that last stop and was wondering if we had enough fuel to get to the end if there was overtime and he said I was fine, then he told me to save gas. So I didn't know what to think.
"But man, I just want to thank all these guys. They didn't have to sweat as much today as they did the last two days preparing this thing. They did an awesome job for me. We just kept trying to make it turn better in the center. They did an awesome job for me with this Kellogg's Chevrolet to bring it here to victory lane."
ON GETTING SHUFFLED BACK IN THE PACK ON RESTARTS "I was a little bit concerned, especially when there were a few accidents in front of us. I hate it for the 20 car. I feel bad for Tony (Stewart). I wish we could have battled it out there at the end because I know he was ver, very strong. He had a very fast race car and so did the No. 31 (Jeff Burton).
"I think it was the No.12 car (Ryan Newman) that got spun out there and we barely made it past those guys. But it wasn't that big of a deal in order to bypass those guys. We had a good enough car that if we just bided our own time, we could just clear them all and go on."
ON NOW BEING FOURTH IN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS CHASE "The biggest thing with that is yes, it is great, it is cool and all that but the difference between fourth and 10th, I mean it is just so darn close that this week we went from eighth to fourth and next week we could go from fourth to 12th. We need to just keep rolling like we are here, the past three weeks we have had a third, second and a first. I guess I have to win to get a TV interview so hey, if that is what it takes, that is what I will do. We will be here next weekend. I think we can do it." (more to follow)
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 9th ON THE RACE:
"That was the beating of the day, We got caught in the pits when the caution came out. I got in the wall twice on my own. Had to deal with coming in to get the car fixed. It was a lot of hard racing. That is probably the hardest racing I have ever done on a flat track there with Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, the No. 31 (Jeff Burton) there at the end at least for a few laps. It was a lot of fun.
"It was a tough day, we got cycled out there early. We fought back, got up near the front and picked off a few spots. We just need to stay up near the front all day and not have to rally back at the end of the day."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 7th "I just feel really dumb for getting caught speeding down pit road again. I don't know what that's all about. I'm not saying it's anything else. It's my fault. This is the second time this year I have done it. I think that's about the fourth time in my career I've gotten caught speeding. We bumped our pit road speed to be more competitive on pit road; we just have to back it down some. It was a great car. That's just hurt us and we played catch-up all day after that. We were three laps down and came back and finished seventh. I can't complain about that.
I don't think we had anything for the No. 5 car (Kyle Busch) and I think Tony (Stewart) was better but it was a good day. Other than them, we were really good. We just kept fighting and I'm real proud of my guys. We were leading early in the race, we just have to figure out a way to lead at the end of the race."
"But the real problem I have got is that we were just not that good yesterday in practice, these guys got their heads together last night and spent a lot of time and found a way to make our car a lot better. We just have to keep fighting. This is what this team is about. We aren't always going to be the best but we are going to fight to get something out of it. With some track position, we would have had a chance to win.
IS THAT WHAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE TO MAKE THIS CHASE? "You have to overcome bad days and we did that today. By no means are we in the Chase. But those are the kinds of races that you've got to have because not every day is going to be a good day. And you've just got to find a way to it and that's what we did today.
ON FUEL MILEAGE: "We were really nervous today as everybody was. NASCAR kept going and going and going. I'm like, red flag it or something. I just couldn't believe they kept going. But at the end of the day it worked out for us and our fuel mileage was good and I'm proud of our guys for being able to get that mileage. We've jus got to keep fighting and I'm proud of my guys because we weren't that good yesterday. They made this car a top five car."
ON BEING THIRD IN THE POINTS: "I know we're third in points, but what we're worried about is discontinuing our trend. Obviously we want to be in the top 10 in points. And the better we do, the better chance we have of doing that. That's our goal is to race hard and go get all we can. That's what we did today. We raced hard and we're going to continue to do that. We're not good enough to lay back. Nobody is. We're just going to keep digging and try to make some good things happen for us.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE IT'S GIVEN YOU A LITTLE BIT MORE OF A COMFORT LEVEL? "I don't feel any more comfortable today than I did yesterday. Talk to me at Richmond if we're in the Chase. But I'm smart enough to know. I've seen stuff go wrong quickly. I've been around enough to know that can happen. Your competition is so tough. These guys just don't make mistakes. Just look at the No. 99 car. He's teetering back and forth to being able to be in and he finishes 2nd or 3rd today. You just can't count anybody out. When your competition is good, you've got to be better."
WASN'T THIS KIND OF A STRANGE RACE? "Well, this race has a tendency to be strange with pit stops and everything else and different sequences. It was a normal, strange race today."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 5th
"We came out on the right side of the fuel thing there at the end and (crew chief) Todd (Berrier) and all the guys did a great job today. I thought we were on the wrong side of things but he kept telling me it was going to be fine and to just keep going and everything worked out really good."
HOW MUCH FUEL DID YOU HAVE THERE AT THE END? Man, I don't know. It was just one of those deals where they kept telling me, 'Keep saving gas. Keep saving gas.' There was a lot of hard work back at the shop to make sure this thing gets all the gas it can in it. I just can't thank Todd (Berrier) and all those guys enough on this GM Goodwrench Chevy. They did a great job. I said to Todd, 'We should have pitted,' and he said," Awe, you'll be alright. See what you can get.' I got back up there and everything worked out really good.
DENNY HAMLIN RAN OUT OF FUEL AT THE FINISH. COULD YOU TELL YOU PASSED HIM AT THE LINE? My spotter said I got him but I couldn't tell. All in all it was a good day and we just had to keep going until the end.
TALK ABOUT THE MOMENTUM. We've always run really good here, but we always seemed to come up a little but short. It was a good day for us today.
ON A GOOD SOLID TOP FIVE FINISH WITH THE CHASE GETTING CLOSER: "Yeah, that's what we've got to do. Obviously we want to win, but we've got to have solid days to make everything keep going around for this Chase."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 15th
A 15TH PLACE FINISH DOESN'T SOUND TOO GOOD, BUT IT WAS NOT TOO SHABBY CONSIDERING THE DAY: "Yeah, it certainly was a pretty decent finish for the day we went through. I'm just really proud of this race team and how hard they are fighting right now and every weekend. They're just putting out an awesome effort. We didn't have the best car today. We had track position and that was maintaining a decent run there early in the race. And then we missed a couple of wrecks and had to come in and make a few adjustments and lost track position. We surprisingly fought our way back up to the top 10 there at one time. But we just didn't have it for them to keep going forward there at the end."
YOU'RE 11TH POINTS OVER 11TH IN THE STANDINGS..NOT MUCH BREATHING ROOM THERE "No, that's why with the day we had to finish 15th and to gain a spot in the points. You've got to be happy with that. We'll go to Pocono and hope for better results than we had there last time."
WAS THIS A STRANGE RACE WITH MOST OF THE FAVORITES BEING KNOCKED OUT BY WRECKS? "It was very difficult with conditions today. The track was very hot with this weather. The tires weren't holding up very well at all. Cars were slipping and sliding around. It was just very difficult to pass on this track. Any time you have those types of conditions, you're going to see a lot of guys losing control and you're going to see them getting into one another."