DALE EARNHARDT Jr No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo "We came here and qualified real well and I was surprised that we qualified so well. We had a good car and I didn't think we had that good a car. The guys we telling me that we had the...
DALE EARNHARDT Jr
No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo
"We came here and qualified real well and I was surprised that we qualified so well. We had a good car and I didn't think we had that good a car. The guys we telling me that we had the fastest car out there but I didn't feel like it. During driver introductions Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett said that if I kept doing what I was doing yesterday I'd run away from them.
"As we went on we really were good at the beginning but as we went on at about 200 laps, the car just started chattering and bouncing up the race track. I don't know what happened whether the shock went away or what. The car got away from me and we tried to make a few adjustments. We went from a third place car to a fifth place car in the matter of about 75 laps.
"With about 125 laps to go we started making progress in getting the car better. We had a bad pit stop that put it back to 8th place. I was kinda worried about being able to get back up there but we were able to move back up to 3rd position under the green flag. That's when Ricky spun. It was really unfortunate for him. It cost him the race or a chance to win the race, of course. But we were able to capitalize on that. I don't think we would have been able to win the race if he hadn't spun. With the pit stop we had to make we could have made some changes but I don't know if I'd be able to pass him if I caught him. I think I could have run him down but catching and passing are two different things.
"With 53 laps to go we had a restart and we were able to pull away from guys got us a pretty big lead. We were able to kinda ride around and hold about a three second lead with about a 12 second lead when another caution came out.
"I was really worried that, of course that would bunch the field up, and I'd really have to race and drive hard to win the race and not make any mistakes. Apparently we had a better car than I thought and we were able to get away from them and win the race. The first five or six laps our car was just better than everyone else so we took advantage of that and tried to get the biggest lead we could and hold on to that.
"When everything did even out after five or six laps we had enough lead to hold 'em off."
No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo
"This was, I think my 10th provisional this year. This year I've really be struggling a lot on qualifying. I can't seem to get after the car. A lot maybe the tires and just trying too hard. We feel like we've really been pickin' up a lot. Last week we started last and finished 14th. The week before we finished 9th at Darlington, had a great run there.
"And this week, we've really been patient. I started working my way up halfway through the race. There was a little scuffle up there in the front and fell all the way to the back and gradually worked back up to the front.
"I didn't have much for Junior, he had a great car on short runs. On that last restart I got in the back of him. I almost had a great restart but I just didn't have enough. It was good to come home second."
What does a second place finish mean to you "Well it feels great. You know everybody wants to win, everybody works hard to win and these sponsors pay a lot of money to win races. We'll get our break. I've never been known to be that good here. We led here last year in this race and blew a tire and ended up in the wall. But to come out of here in second from 41st, you can't ask for much more. The guys worked hard and we though we could have won the race judging by the way we ran yesterday during happy hour. I mean we had a great race car. But there late in the race Junior just turned it on."
Talk about safety issue inside the car or even outside the car. "What happened last week was a real wake up call to everybody in the whole world that anything can happen. I think George Bush and his side are going to do everything it takes to regain our freedom because of what happened. Our hearts and prayers was for everybody in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania and what happened there and their families. We had a lot of fire fighters here this weekend and this was just a good tribute the fans and also for New Your City and the American people. I'm proud to be an American and I'm not afraid safetywise. I pay a lot of attention to my car and what we do inside my car. I think everybody has been kinda afraid this is, like they say, the land of the free. What happened a couple of weeks ago, hopefully we can get that straightened out and we can all get back to business."
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo
"Pretty hard fought race for us today I can tell you that. We started in the middle of the pack worked our way to the front and we just kept have a little bit of trouble. We got into Ricky Rudd one time when somebody checked up in front of him and messed up the left front fender up. The next time I got into Ron Hornaday and messed up the right front. So it was a tough day for us but to come back and get forth and really not lose much in points, that was really good."
KENNY WALLACE No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo "The car was running real good but it was getting real loose and I spun out. We just want to get a good finish today, you know be calm be cool and not mess anything up. I hope I cut a tire and I didn't screw up. I don't know if I cut a tire or what. I heard something bounce off the bottom or the car and I spun out."