Michael Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson took top 10 finishes for Chevrolet in the rain-shortened New Hampshire 300 NASCAR Winston Cup race in Loudon, N.H. When intermittent rain showers became heavy on lap 207, NASCAR officials called the race. The ...
Michael Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson took top 10 finishes for Chevrolet in the rain-shortened New Hampshire 300 NASCAR Winston Cup race in Loudon, N.H. When intermittent rain showers became heavy on lap 207, NASCAR officials called the race. The following are driver comments from Waltrip, Johnson, Earnhardt Jr., and others:
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 8th:
"I don't think any Chevys beat us, so we were best in class. It just was a real good day for us. We started a little slow and got bounced around a little bit, but the in the long run we were the fastest car here. I'm very thankful for my crew. You can hardly pass cars here at Loudon, so when you come in 15th and come out 12th it's nice when they gain you spots on pit road. I'm just real thankful for a good day. We had a real miserable week last week (Richmond) with a fast car and we got wrecked. So to bounce back this week and run decent is cool. I'm happy."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 9th:
"I wish we could run another 100 laps. "The car was really good. We were a little tight off there at the beginning. We made some great calls based on our run here last time and the adjustments we needed and way we needed to start the race we were much closer.
"It was just so darn hard to pass. We got in clean air and we would fly and catch the next group in front of us and then you had to push your way through. But Chad (Knaus, crew chief) and the guys did a great job on the Lowe's Monte Carlo. I think if we would have had a full length race, we would have probably been in the top five."
WAS THE TRACK BETTER TODAY THAN IT WAS IN JULY? "I don't think it came up as much. But if you got out of the groove, you were definitely in trouble. I thought it was a little better race than we had here before."
HOW MUCH DID THE RAIN PLAY INTO YOUR STRATEGY? "You've got to go as hard as you can. You don't know if the rain is going to play a factor or not. But as soon as we got past halfway, you raced it as hard as you could for every single spot."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 11th:
"We just took our time and got the car working better on each pit stop. We just kind of eased up there. We had a good car when we raced here last time. We just can't qualify real good."
ON THE RAIN: "If it's going to rain, it's going to rain. There's not much you can do about it. We just really hoped we'd be lucky enough to have a good position if it did rain."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 17th:
"We had a pretty good run. We ran 200 laps on the left side tires. They didn't want to give me left sides. We pitted twice, and they gave right side both times. It was just because of track position. One time, if it had rained, we would have finished third or fourth, so I was pretty happy about that. But by not having those left side tires, I was a lot looser than the other guys. But it was still a good day for us. We started 29th and we finish 17th. We'll have to take them as they come."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 14th:
"We were awful. We just couldn't get a handle on it. We were really lucky to come home 14th. The guys made a great call in the pits on taking two tires, watching the rain, bringing it home in 14th, and gaining on the leaders in points. So, we've got to be thankful for that.
"But I hope they reconfigure this race track because I'm not real happy with what they've done to it. We used to be really good here but we're really searching now."
ON THE RAIN: "I was praying for rain there at the end because I knew that was going to save it. But I didn't think we were going to get it off today to be honest with you. I never thought we'd get a completed race. So we can put this one behind us and go on to Dover."
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Retired with engine failure: "It's been a pretty disappointing year. We've sure had a lot of engine problems. We had a crash last week, and rebounded - came back here and put this car in the top five (qualifying spot). That says a lot of this race team. They worked hard. They never gave up. That just kept on pounding on it. Our car was good enough to run 10th or 12th. That wasn't good enough for us. That wasn't good enough for us. We came in and did a bunch of chassis changes to try to loosen the car up. We figured it was early in the race; we were going to go or it. But something happened in the engine."
-team monte carlo-