Jeff Gordon -- ...
Jeff Gordon -- #24 DuPont Chevrolet
Winner, started 16th
Note: UNSCHEDULED PIT STOP ON LAP 47 AS RESULT OF VIBRATION. PROBLEM WAS LOOSE WHEEL RIGHT FRONT. CAME DOWN PIT ROAD TWO ADDITIONAL TIMES UNDER CAUTION TO CHECK FOR ADDITIONAL DAMAGE. RESULT WAS 3 LAPS DOWN AT RESTART.
GREAT RESULT FOR YOU AT A SPECIAL TRACK FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS There's something special about this place and we lost so many incredible people out of this organization and the racing community. I think it's only fitting for us to get this victory today. I know how much it means to Rick Hendrick and his family and all those other families. It means a lot to this race team. What a great, great race car this DuPont Chevrolet was today. My goodness. It was incredible. We just never gave up that fight, you know? That's what it takes week in and week out, especially here at Martinsville. WE had a problem where we got down, but we fixed it and we never lost sight of winning this race. I'm really excited to get another one of those grandfather clocks.
WHAT DID HAPPEN TO THE CAR EARLY ON? I'm not really sure. We just had the right front come loose. Maybe we didn't have enough threads over there on the right front, maybe had it spaced out too much. But all I know is they fixed it and didn't have that problem again the rest of the day. I knew before how our race car was and I just knew that if there was anyway we could get those laps back.one thing about running here and winning here, it takes a good car, it takes a good team, all those things, but it takes luck. And we were pretty lucky today to get those first two laps back and the positioning of the cars and the track position just worked out for us.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE CONTACT BETWEEN YOU AND KURT BUSCH? I'm sorry that I hit him. I didn't mean to get into him. I think we were just going for the same territory. And it was late in the race and battling hard and I dove inside of him and I felt that I had my car inside and I'm sure he would say the opposite. You know, we're just two people fighting for one position and neither one of us was going to give it up.
Jimmie Johnson -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet
8th position, started 37th
Note: Lap 91: AFTER PIT STOP UNDER CAUTION, JOHNSON HAD TO STOP AT THE END OF PIT ROAD. PADDLE WAS RED TO ALLOW ON-TRACK TRAFFIC TO CLEAR PIT EXIT BEFORE CARS LEAVING PITROAD ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO RE-JOIN FIELD. JOHNSON LOST A LAP AS A RESULT. ON YELLOW ON LAP 105, HE GOT LAP BACK AS RECIPIENT OF FREE PASS
YOU CERTAINLY DID HAVE AN UP AND DOWN DAY It certainly started out very frustrating. But Chad made huge huge changes to the car. We finally got the car to where it would turn and had everything all sorted out.and got back on the lead lap and things were good from there.
THIS IS A BIG VICTORY FOR THIS TEAM EVEN THOUGH YOU WEREN'T THE RACE WINNER It was a little win though and that is was championships are all about. Granted probably not huge in the big picture when we get down to the final ten races, still it is a good thing for the team to battle through.
THIS IS A GREAT WIN FOR YOUR TEAM MATE OBVIOUSLY Absolutely. When I won here in the fall, we didn't celebrate in victory lane so to have a Hendrick car go victory lane today and celebrate is a big thing for our entire organization.
HOW DID THE DAY ACTUALLY GO THAT YOU GOT DOWN A LAP AND THEN BACK UP I think we were down two or three times. Part of that starting in the back with our poor qualifying effort and then after that, just trying to get the car going. We just had some troubles with it and didn't get it right until about 3/4 of the way through the race and then we had a top ten car. I just have to say that I don't think I can be more proud than I am today of my crew guys. Every stop it was like six rounds on the trak bar and six rounds of wedge huge huge chances but they brought the car around and we got a good finish.
Joe Nemechek -- #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet
10th position, started 10th
Note: Nemechek's 10th-place finish was a career best in 22 races at Martinsville Speedway. It was also his best finish of 2005. On Lap 255, flat right front tire goes down as a result of contact with the outside wall. He rejoined the field one lap down.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RACE We grinded our way to a top 10 today. The Army car was strong early and then it got really loose and we went to the rear of the field. Once we put on four new tires the car started to haul. We were on a move and then the right front tire went down and I got into the wall. That was another setback that we had to overcome. But we stayed patient. The guys did a great job in the pits and we managed to avoid any big trouble. Hopefully those demons that plagued us in the past four races have gone someplace else. This was a big lift from a team morale standpoint. This team has plenty of fight and character and there's going to be better finishes for the Army team as the season progresses.
Jason Leffler -- #11 FedEx Express Chevrolet
12th position, started 12th
GREAT WEEKEND FOR YOU AND THE TEAM Yeah, it was a good momentum builder for the FedEx Monte Carlo and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. I had an awesome car, just got behind there, caved the nose in and ran hot so we had to come back down and fix the nose and got a little behind on our adjustment. The guys did a really good job in the pits. The car was really good right from the start.
THE CONDITION OF THE CAR ISN'T THAT BAD No, the car is in good shape. The nose was caved in and it was running hot so we had to come in.
HOW DO YOU FEEL GOING INTO TEXAS? I feel great. This isn't one of my better tracks, so to have such a great car and have a great run is awesome.
Crew Chief -- #8 Budweiser Chevrolet
13th position, started 26th
HOW WAS THE WEEKEND FOR THE #8 CAR? It's a good one. Quite an eventful race. We came out of quite a couple of holes there today and ended up good. I'm pretty happy with a 13th here and the car is pretty tore up, but another decent finish for us.
WAS IT A TOP 10 CAR TODAY? Yeah, I think it would have been a top 10 car. The circumstances kept putting us at the back all day.
IT SEEMED LIKE HIS POSTION KEPT GOING FROM THE BACK TO THE FRONT TO THE BACK, ETC Yeah. I think we would have been a good, solid top 10. We got in that wreck there with about 50 to go and pushed some metal on the right rear tire and heated the heck out of that tire. We just about made it. That right rear tire was just about cut down.
HOW DOES HE FEEL ABOUT HIS FINISH? Yeah, he thought we had a top 10 car and he had fun. He likes to run around here and he like short-track racing.
Jeff Burton -- #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet
16th position, started 30th
Note: UNSCHEDULED STOP ON LAP 163 UNDER GREEN FOR VIBRATION, LOOSE RIGHT FRONT WHEEL CAUSED FLAT. LOST 3 LAPS.
We had a tire go down there with a few laps. We didn't have a winning car but we certainly had a top 8 car. We just can't catch a break right now. Sooner or later it will work out for us.
Scott Riggs -- #10 Valvoline Chevrolet
21st position, started 1st
NOT THE FINISH YOU WANTED TODAY AFTER YOUR GREAT QUALIFYING EFFORT We just could never get a good handle on the car. We fell back there in the beginning but we kept working on the car and working on the car. We had that long green flag run, and we got really tight in the center of the corner and that got us a lap down. That hurt us. And then, to make matters worse, we burnt a plug wire in half so we ended up on seven cylinders. And that got us another lap down and we struggled some more. The guys were finally able to get the plug wire back on it. We were adjusting on the car the whole time, and didn't still have it where we wanted it but we learned a lot and I think when we come back in the fall, we will be a lot better.
We survived and when you get back there in the back, the guys back there in the back do stupid stuff, they start punting you and doing a lot of things they don't need to do. When you run closer to the front, they race you clean, they run you hard but race you for position and don't just race you for position and not just to push you out of the way.
DID THE POLE BUILD TEAM MOMENTUM? It was great for us, a great momentum builder for the team. We wanted to get through these two short track races finishing which we did, we got a 10th and 21st, so we have a 15 1/2 average finishing. We survived, we finished and didn't get a DNF so we met and exceeded our goals. We will go on Texas, cause he know we have a great program for there and we will be good.
Crew Chief -- #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet
26th, started 7th (led for 247 laps)
Note: LUG NUTS WERE NOT TIGHT ON PIT STOP. WHEEL WAS THEN LOOSE, WOBBLED BACK AND FORTH ON THE HUB UNTIL THE CENTER BROKE OUT OF THE WHEEL
DO MISTAKES HAPPEN ON PIT STOPS BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT MORE PRESSURE WHEN YOU COME IN AS THE LEADER? No, I'm just mad that it happened. But hey, we are all human, we all make mistakes. Nobody did anything intentionally. The pressure is on them to do the best they can and get us out. We had been coming in and leaving in the lead all day long. We expect nothing less. We feel we have the best people in this garage area and we all need to stand up and do our jobs and do it right. It is just that simple.
THERE WERE A LOT OF RIGHT FRONT TIRE PROBLEMS FOR MANY CARS TODAY. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHY?
No, I don't know. Ours looked beautiful. That is the disappointing thing. We took our tires off and they looked like they didn't even race. It was amazing. We were graining up our left sides a little bit but today our stuff looked really good. It is just too bad. This Home Depot Chevrolet was good all day but we don't have anything to show for it.
HOW IS TONY? He is doing alright, he is just bumped like the rest of us. That is just the way it is.
Tony Stewart -- #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet
26th, started 7th (led for 247 laps)
IS IT HARD TO HAVE YOUR HOPES DASHED LIKE THIS? I can't even describe it right now. I guess the thing I am proud of is that I am handling it the way I am handling it right now. It's bad. But it is like I told the guys, on the radio and told them again after we got out of the car, we have a lot to be proud of. When the emotion of the disappointment goes away, we are going to have a lot of good things to look forward to. This is the best car we have ever had here. We can't change it now, it is all over with now but the thing that won't be different tomorrow is the fact we had a good car-We had the best car here. Everybody knows who had the best car here today. Jeff is going to get the trophy, Jeff is going to say he had the best car all day but all you have to do is look at the lap times. So that is the win for us today I guess.
All you have to do is look at the finishing order to know this isn't what we wanted but we had the best car all day so we have a look at that. We are all frustrated and we are all mad but that is because we are all competitive. We have rallied around each other in the trailer after the race was over. We are strong, we are a team. We are leaving here with our heads up high knowing we had the best car at Martinsville we have ever had. I am leaving here excited about what happened here.
YOU GUYS WERE SO STRONG TODAY, IS THIS A TURNAROUND POINT FOR THE TEAM? For this place it sure is. Maybe it will be for Richmond and a couple other places but we just needed a day like this. Even though the outcome wasn't what we wanted, hopefully when the emotion goes away tonight, hopefully everyone will be high five-ing each other because we had the best car.