Loudon Pontiac Racing Race Report

TODD BODINE (No. 30 Jimmy Dean Pontiac Grand Prix): "It was just a racing deal. Schrader got me from behind. Wally was pushing us a little bit to get by so I slid up and he got under me. I tried to get back down in line and evidently there ...

TODD BODINE (No. 30 Jimmy Dean Pontiac Grand Prix): "It was just a racing deal. Schrader got me from behind. Wally was pushing us a little bit to get by so I slid up and he got under me. I tried to get back down in line and evidently there wasn't enough room and Schrader got into the back of me. It's just one of those things that happens on a tight, short track. It's a shame, because we had a possible top-10 going here. We had a really good car. Barry was making all the right adjustments. We had good pit stops and the crew has been working hard on that. The Jimmy Dean Pontiac was running good and it's a shame we couldn't stay out there. What put us out was a left-front brake rotor is busted. Points aren't going to gain us anything, so there was no sense to keep running. "Wally was a little impatient and he wanted to get by me, so I slid up to let him go. I came back down into the groove and Schrader got into the back of me. I can't believe he didn't anticipate me coming back down into the groove like that. He didn't mean to do it, it's just one of those things. We were 14th at the time, so we had a good top-10 run going. It's a shame we're not out there to finish it."

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 STP Pontiac Grand Prix): "What happened was a lapped car wanted to get out of the outside lane and to the bottom lane and when he got in the bottom lane I think he pretty much whoaed up and stopped. The guy in front of me whoaed up and I whoaed up, but the guy behind me didn't whoa up. That's when I got hit in the back and turned around. At that point, the STP Pontiac was history."

DAVID GREEN (No. 45 Lucky Dog Pontiac Grand Prix): "Somebody turned the 43 car sideways and then everybody went dodging. The thing about this place if somebody gets sideways there's nowhere to go. I hate it for the 45 team. I had a ball here this weekend. We've got great things to come right around the corner. It's a big setback for the team here and I hate it, but we're excited about the rest of the year."

Note: After 26 races, Pontiac Grand Prix teams have combined to posts. 32 top-five and 69 top-10 finishes.

At the same point last season, Pontiac had 12 top-five and 36 top-10 finishes With his second-place finish today, Tony Stewart has two poles, one win, nine top-five and 16 top-10 finishes with only one DNF. Stewart is fourth in points. At the same point in his rookie season, Jeff Gordon had no wins, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes with nine DNFs. Gordon was 11th in points.

TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): "It was a great day for the team. Everybody on the Home Depot team did a great job. We had a really good car at the beginning of the race. Once that first caution came out it was like a living nightmare out there. Nobody's cars gripped the track. We had oil dry in turn three and I about wrecked. It wasn't exactly the most fun day I've had, but at the end of the day I finished up second and that's a great day for us. We had a close call every lap, I think. They need to get hold of Richmond or something and figure out a way to get some grip on this track to where you don't hold your breath for 300 laps. It wasn't a very fun race. It was awfully slippery out there and as soon as you get anything on the track that wasn't supposed to be there it gets to be a real mess. To end up second at the end of the day, I guess you don't need to complain too much. It wasn't nearly as fun as it was last week. "With 25 to go we had something break in the motor. I don't know what it was, a valve spring, header or whatever. It was just enough so that I was losing about a car length a straightaway. The car really drove well in the corners. When the yellows came out and with as slick as the tires get on the restart and as dirty as the race track was, that pretty much took our shot away. You can't take anything away from Joe Nemechek though. As soon as they dropped the green he was a rocketship. He took off. We couldn't keep up with him. "I would say we would have had a shot. We got up to him even when the motor broke. We weren't bad because we had so many laps on the tires and it seems like his car was starting to fall off. Our car was pretty much maintaining. We didn't gain any speed, but we didn't lose any speed. I could get good bite off the corner and run with him. As soon as that yellow came out that was pretty much it for us. I could have run with him, but I don't know if I could have got by him. He had a really good car. "There were incidents all day, they just didn't cause yellow flags. In my opinion, that was one of the worst races I've seen run right there. To have 11 cautions in 300 laps like that, it's all due to drivers not being able to get a hold of the race track. I don't know what the solution is. They need to do something. It was pretty racy here in the spring. Everybody could run two-wide. Today, you didn't see very much two-wide racing because nobody could get a hold of the race track today. "During the race, things change. If your car is loose, you may have to move up. At least (some changes to the track) would give you that option. Today, if your car wasn't right, you didn't have an option. There was nothing you could do as a driver to help yourself out. You couldn't move up and down the race track. You either had grass laying on the track or oil dry or whatever the case was. It was hard. I'm sure it's a big challenge for these guys. I know how the pavement came up and they had to come up with a solution to make sure the race track held together. At the same time, either them and Goodyear or the track needs to get together with Richmond or something and see if there's some way to put a sealer on it to at least give the cars some grip to where they're a little more raceable."

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix): "The first part of the race the car was real loose. We made some adjustments on it about every pit stop. We got the car tightened up there just past halfway and until the end of the race. It still wasn't quite right. It rotated a little too much in the center of the corner and it just didn't have any forward bite up off. It had good forward bite when it was right, but when it rotated too much we lost bite. We had to fight the car a little bit there. Congratulations to Joe Nemechek. I think that's pretty exciting. I guess it was about nine years ago I was racing with him here and he won his first Busch race then. "In order to win, the 42 and the 20 car would have had to fall out. I wasn't catching anybody and nobody was catching me. We were kind of stagnant right there. "This was the same Pontiac we ran here last time, we fixed it. It was probably just a little bit too loose today. This was a little different tire than we had here last time. This is the tire we ran at Richmond and we just didn't quite get it adjusted enough this time. We were too loose. Even on the long run, it got looser and looser as we went. I'm kind of splitting hairs on a few little things, but any more, it makes a difference. It just wasn't quite as good as it was here the first race. It was a good points race for us."

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Pontiac Grand Prix): "We struggled all day long. The pit crew and all the guys making the adjustments got us this top-10. All the guys worked really hard. The pit crew finished eighth, I sure as hell didn't. We just couldn't get the car to turn in the middle and off. All in all, it was a good run for us, especially here. We've always struggled here, so to get a top-10 was a plus. It's a big step. Tommy made some good adjustments. Our pit stops were the key. We didn't have a pit stop over 16 seconds today. We were the best on pit road today."

KYLE PETTY (No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac Grand Prix): "The oil line broke again. We've had two great runs at New Hampshire this year and both times we didn't capitalize. It takes a little bit out of you. We definitely had a top-five car today, but that doesn't do much good to know that now. We've got to finish there and start building on something for next season.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Joe Nemechek