JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 3rd: "To me, that was a winning effort by the team. Unfortunately, we just kept adjusting all day for the long run. We really got the car better up on the high side on those long runs....
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 3rd:
"To me, that was a winning effort by the team. Unfortunately, we just kept adjusting all day for the long run. We really got the car better up on the high side on those long runs. It came down to that short-lap shootout and that killed us. I got that one good run on the restart and got the lead and stretched it out there. Kurt (Busch) was a little bit faster than us that time but I think I may have been able to hold him off. But the next one, he got right to my bumper and got me loose and there wasn't much I could do about it from there on. But it was a great effort by this Dupont Chevrolet race team. I couldn't be more proud of the effort by this race team. It was a winning effort. Unfortunately, we finished third." -- More to follow --
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC - Finished 2nd:
"We were gaining on him (Busch) - just half a tenth a lap. But gaining on him and passing him is one thing. I don't think it made that much difference. On the restart, I made a run on him on the outside going into (turn) three. But I just drove in there too far. I thought it would stick, but it didn't stick good enough. It was the best shot I had and the only shot. After that I had to get behind him and make sure I didn't get passed for second. But we didn't have a second place car there at the middle of the race, so the guys did a great job on pit stops and pit strategy staying out and changing on the pit stops to get the car freed up to my liking.
"Track position was the big thing (at the end). The guys gave me that. We had a good race car for a few laps and then we kind of gave up some speed there. We battled pretty hard there all day. We were not very good. A lot of guys were better. The caution flags fell our way. We made some good adjustments that last time and got it to where it turned good enough to where I liked it and didn't feel like I was going to wreck at the same time. It got better. Yesterday I didn't think we had quite the car to run for the long run.
For about a split second there, I thought I might be able to get a run on him (Busch) but that was about it. I tried to get him high there off turn three but lost all the air off the nose and then it got loose. I got back on the gas and he was already gone."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 5th:
"Our car was great at the start and good at the middle and good at the end. We're proud of the team and the great calls in the pits. The adjustments were there. It was a team effort. We put our heads together with the NAPA crew and made it a good day out of something that was marginal. The team is pretty confident that we could do this every week. It's just making everybody else believe it I guess is the big part. But we don't care about that."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 8th:
WAS IT A DECENT RUN? "We weren't good enough to stay where we were. We stayed up there because we had good track position, but we were too tight. We made a change there at the end with 40 laps to go and took a car that was reasonable, just a little bit tight, to making it really loose. Idiot lapped cars don't help either."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 7th:
WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND MATT KENSETH AT THE END OF THE RACE? "Every time we're racing each other, he (Kenseth) runs me into the wall. I mean, we're buddies and all, but hopefully he won't get mad when I plant him. He had new tires and he as going by me. I don't know why he had to use all the race track up. He killed my momentum and I lost two more spots it seems like I could have had, you know. But that's the battle. If that's how they want to battle, that's how we'll battle."