Monte Carlo Richmond race notes

Steve Park, No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 4th): "I just want to thank all the Richmond race fans. You could hear them hootin' and hollering all night long. This is a great place to race on Saturday night. I didn't want to see...

Steve Park, No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo (finished 4th):

"I just want to thank all the Richmond race fans. You could hear them hootin' and hollering all night long. This is a great place to race on Saturday night. I didn't want to see that caution. Our Pennzoil Chevrolet was coming on strong there at the end. We just ran out of laps. I just want to thank Pennzoil, Chevrolet, and Goodyear - they had a great tire here. We could go almost 100 laps on it. I just love racing on Saturday night."

Mike Skinner, No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo:

"The Lowe's Chevy was great the second half of the race. We were a little too tight at the beginning and went down one lap early. The guys made good, smart adjustments and got the car running great. Our laps were just as fast as the leaders. We tried like heck to get that lap back, but never could get in the right position to do it. I'm proud of this Lowe's team. These guys busted their tails and we really pulled together. We made great strides with the Lowe's team today."

Jerry Nadeau, No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo: The team reported that a water pump belt that broke. They put another belt on, filled it with water and sent Nadeau back out on the track.

Terry Labonte, No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo (involved in multi-car crash):

"I really don't know what happened. There was a hole, but then it filled up with smoke. We have to do quite a bit to the car to get it loaded up. So, if we can get that all done, we might be able to get back out. We'll see."

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet Monte Carlo:

"Well, you know he body-slammed me pretty bad there at the last corner. I mean it was just racing, but I was a little mad at him, you know. I thought it was a little uncalled for. He got a good re-start and he got underneath me but there was no reason for him to just slam me all the way up into the other lane. The Dupont Chevrolet was just great today. I thought we had a shot at winning there at the end. You never know what can happen with the old tires there on the restart. We might have had a shot at him (Stewart), but we'll never know now. But I'm real proud of Robbie (Loomis, crew chief) and these guys. They worked hard and came home with another runner-up finish. It's a good points day for us and we're real happy."

What was Rusty Wallace's response?

"Well he's mad at me because of what happened afterwards 'cause I just thought it was uncalled for, what he did for going in there. He just said, 'Hey, I just drove in there and couldn't stop and just drove into you.' It's just short track racing with two to go.

"I knew on the long runs we'd be good and sure enough, these guys on the Dupont Chevrolet did an awesome job. The adjustments that we made just got the car better and better all night long. We got hung up there on a few cars, on some lapped cars. Tony (Stewart) had the car to beat tonight. He was real, real strong. He had us beat. But I thought I might have had a shot at him on that restart, but the car just didn't take off and then (I had) the deal with Rusty (Wallace.)

"I wasn't happy with what happened down in turns one and two, and I guess he (Rusty) wasn't happy with what happened afterwards. So I guess we're even. Before the race was over, he got underneath me. I gave him the inside. I wanted the outside. He drove into it real hard and just slammed into me and about knocked me into the wall. But we bumped and banged and had some good racing there. I finally got the spot back. Afterwards, I wasn't real happy about it."

"I was looking to get a good restart on Tony (Stewart). The tires were so worn out, they were just slipping and sliding and I was just hoping I'd get up beside him if I could. I took off and the motor just stumbled a little bit. Rusty's got a lot of horsepower and he got a great run and got up underneath me. We both drove in there hard. He just basically lost it and I was his cushion. He slid into me pretty hard and knocked me up. I thought (Steve) Park would have gotten inside of both of us. But then we got a good run from the top and got back by Rusty and started running Tony down. But Tony had the car to beat all night. He was real strong - especially when he got up front. He had it won there before that caution. I thought I might have had a shot at him. But (because of) the deal with Rusty, we'll never find out.

"I was mad about what happened there in (turns) one and two before the race was over, and he was mad with what happened after the race was over. So, I guess we're even. I think our emotions got the best of us. He was fired up trying to get the position, and I was fired up because I wanted the position. But we laughed about it. Rusty and I have been getting along good. He's a fierce racer and I like racing with him, but we're going to bump and bang a little bit out there 'cause we like to finish ahead of one another, too."

In the points, did you gain on Dale Jarrett tonight?

"I don't know what the points situation is. I do know that it's a real strong run for us tonight. We had a really good car on long runs. On short runs, a couple guys had us beat. And like I said, Tony had the car to beat tonight. But I think on the real long runs, we had a pretty awesome racecar. It really came to us there at the end when we made a long run. Some of those guys were pretty loose and started slipping and sliding and our car was pretty good. To come out of here with a second place finish, I'm thrilled. That's a great run. Two seconds in a row - you knock on the door enough times and you're going to get to Victory Lane and that's what we're doing right now. We're getting closer and closer to some more wins. I'm just really proud of this team. They're just doing a phenomenal job - unloading racecars at the racetrack that are awesome. We're just fighting all weekend long to get a good finish like that. In the pits, calls that Robbie and Brian and those guys are making are real good adjustments. I'm just real happy with the way this team is communicating right now." (Dale Jarrett still leads by 14 points)

What was your take on the two yellow flags and then the red flag - was that confusing?

"It's like I did kind of what to see the caution flag come out, but I didn't want to see it come out. I saw (Dave) Blaney lock the tires up. I guess he blew a right front maybe. I thought the caution might come out and when it did, I was pretty sure that they were going to probably stop the field because there were so few laps left. And that seems to the way they're doing it these days when it gets down that close. They want it to end under green. And we do too. But at the same time, just like what happened with me and Rusty, it could have jeopardized the second place finish at the same time. So, sometimes you want to see a restart and sometimes you don't. We were all sitting there on pretty old tires so we were just trying to get it back to the finish. I was more worried about whether the motor was going to restart and all those things that go through you mind about what was going to happen. I'm just happy that we re-started and we came home second."

Can you talk about your pit stops?

"I got boxed-in on every pit stop. I can't say that we had the best of pit stalls tonight because Tony (Stewart) ran so well and he was behind me and so I had to come in behind him basically every time. That really hurt us. That last time (Steve) Park stopped real short on us and I had to back up. It cost us some time and some position, but that's just part of the deal. On these short tracks, boxes are small and that's why qualifying is so, so important. We'll try a little bit harder to get the pole the next time."

Did you start out tight and end up loose at the end of the race?

"I was so good on long runs that what I basically was, pretty snug at the beginning and then got better as the long run went on compared to other guys. It looked like other guys would really lose the back end coming up off the corners. We had good forward bite pretty much all night long - especially on long runs. That's why we were able to make up a few positions there at the end because the drive off for my car was actually better than some of the other guys."

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Jerry Nadeau