Monte Carlo Charlotte race notes

Bobby Hamilton Jr, No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo (substitute driver for the injured Joe Nemechek hits wall and is sidelined on lap 192): "We was loose. I don't know where we was running, but we was getting better and better as the...

Bobby Hamilton Jr, No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo (substitute driver for the injured Joe Nemechek hits wall and is sidelined on lap 192): "We was loose. I don't know where we was running, but we was getting better and better as the race went on. I don't know whether or not we can get back out there. We might. It would just be to ride around, but I'm sure they'll (the crew) try."

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 29th) (What would you have given for a back-up car tonight?) "Not much. That car was pretty good. I don't know who you blame that on. We should be aware of cars that are coming. We pulled out and boom - got into Kenny Wallace. It's just unfortunate that it happened and we hope it doesn't happen again. Still, just one little thing like that can really ruin your day. It's very frustrating. To have a car that was leading the way to having a car that couldn't keep up and went three laps down, well that's pretty frustrating."

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet Monte Carlo (Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate - finished 2nd) "I've never raced 600 miles before, but I think I've run more miles than all those guys combined. This Chevy wasn't too good yesterday and the Busch race really helped us. We made some educated guesses and we almost got down a lap there during the race, but we fought back and kept going and kept digging and the racetrack came to us.

"We had a good chance to win Bristol; we were real good at California. We've been running real good, we just haven't had everything come together to get the finishes. But it's been a good day for the GM Goodwrench team."

(Do you think you ever had a chance to catch the No. 99 car?) "You know, the run before I thought we could catch him (Burton). We got a little bit tight there at the end and everything just turned into give and take. One lap we'd be faster and one lap he's be faster. I was kind of hoping for a caution so we'd get another restart. But that's the way it goes."

(Are you tired?)  "I'm not tired, to tell you the truth.  Heck, I haven't
even broke a sweat yet.  I told Richard (Childress) there towards the end
that I just woke up. Everything went good today.  I learned a lot today
about the racetrack coming around.  The first half of the race we weren't
great.  And we just kept digging and everything went good."

(How did the changes from daytime to night affect your car?) "The biggest thing is that our car started off extremely loose and Richard (Childress) kept preaching to me hang in there. He kept saying that everything would come around. And as soon as the sun went behind the grandstands, the car came around. We almost got a lap down there. Actually, Ward Burton was on the inside of us and got by us and then they had a crash and we got a lap back. So, I was doubting it there for a bit.

(Did you see Tony Stewart coming on there and how did it feel to hold him off?) "He had the fastest car. He never got close enough to really challenge us, he just kind of ran out of laps. He definitely had a faster car than we did. He just ran out of laps and finished third."

Jerry Nadeau, No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 13th): "All of a sudden it just popped out of gear and I thought the motor blew up. So I didn't have any gear and then all of a sudden I found third gear and then I was able to get it back into fourth. But by then I was dead last. I hate it for this UAW-Delphi team. They did a super job on pit road all day long. It's pretty heart breaking because we had a car to win.

"To be honest, I thought I broke a rear. And then I thought maybe I lost a motor, but then I noticed it was still running. And then I started shaking the shifter to try find a gear and I found third gear and then all of a sudden it went back to fourth. It popped out and then I jammed it back in and it never popped out again. So it's unfortunate, but people know we had a good enough car to win the race.

"Last year we had a car to win too but blew a motor. Last week we ran this car in The Winston and this car seems to come on really late in the race. Today, it was the same thing. We didn't have a car to win in the beginning, especially the first 100 laps. By the end of the race, it was between me and Bobby Labonte and Jeff Burton. But I think I had enough for them to win the race. I don' know. I don't know what I got to do to win a race here."

(Are you surprised at all these guys who were contenders, fell out?) "Well, I think really it was just Jeff Gordon and the No. 02 car (Ryan Newman) that I saw that fell out. Everybody else - the No. 18 car (Labonte) was strong all day, the No. 99 (Burton), and ourselves - and I think it was between us three at the end for sure. We were running second there with less than 40 laps to go and just had a bad misfortune."

Mike Skinner, No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 11th) "This was one of the best cars the Lowe's team has had all season. The thing was a rocket. We lost second and third gears early in the race and had to drop to the end of the lead lap on restarts so we could get a running start on the other guys. The crew did an awesome job on pit stops, but we had to keep giving up those positions early after the restart because of the gear situation. The Lowe's team was able to come back through the field every time though, and that just shows how strong our racecar was. I want to say a huge thanks to the whole Lowe's team for hanging in there tonight. It's just a shame because we had one of the fastest cars on the track all night."

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Jerry Nadeau , Ryan Newman