Saturday, July 3, 1999. Daytona International Speedway. Pepsi 400 Chevrolet notes and quotes. DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "We wouldn't have finished second (with stopping for two right-side tires). That's all...
Saturday, July 3, 1999. Daytona International Speedway. Pepsi 400 Chevrolet notes and quotes.
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "We wouldn't have finished second (with stopping for two right-side tires). That's all there is to it. We were in good shape with tires. I told them if they didn't put tires on we weren't going to finish anywhere. We'll be in the wall. The 99 got right-sides, too, so it worked out in our favor. We hooked up there and got by a couple of cars, and I think within a few more laps we would have got by Jarrett. He might have run out of gas, too, because he was really close on gas. The caution really helped him. It helped me when we needed a caution to catch everybody else up, but then it played in Jarrett's favor there at the end. It was just racing. We were second at Daytona again.
"Our guys did a good job all night. Our car was a little tight and skaty loose and I think a lot of guys were off, too. Before that last stop, I said if we don't get tires I don't know if I'm going to finish at all. I said, 'give 'em to me and we'll suffer the consequences. Maybe I can make up time and maybe I can't.' So we got right sides and it didn't really hurt us, maybe one position if that. I think we were OK there. The 22 pitted when they had the caution, and the caution caught us back up. I wasn't aware of Jarrett's fuel mileage problem, if he was going to be close or run out of gas or whatever. We were fortunate to race back up through there and the 99 car got right-side tires on that caution, too. We were hooked up and coming up through there. If it had stayed green, I think we could have got Jarrett. We stayed right there on him, trying to muster up enough to get together and get by him. It was a key to get those right-side tires on that last stop. I've got to hand it to Childress and the guys. They did a great job. Kevin Hamlin and the guys... We just ran out of time. I think we could have beat him if we hadn't run out of time.
"I was just riding around. He got on the bottom. I thought he was pretty low. If he had run out, it would have been great.
"Ten laps before that, I was about seventh. I was feeling a little better than I was about 10 laps before that, but still, that close to a win and not winning was tough, too. We had a good run, stayed out of trouble all night and we've got a good race car to go to Talladega with. The race car has run second twice and won one this year, so that ain't a bad car."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I think at one time we did (have enough car to win). It's just the way it plays out. We took a little bit longer on pit road. Whether it be my inexperience on stop and goes or whatever. Maybe we put too much fuel in, I don't know. It's just a typical restrictor-plate race. We had a strong race car. We went all night and didn't put a scratch on it. After the race was over some guy came up and ran into the side of Richard's race car. I guess he didn't figure he could run into me, so he tried the race car. It was just another competitor, someone with a little temper. This place kind of mirrors Bristol. It's a total different style. Everybody gets upset. You're supposed to go with this guy and when this guy catches you, you're just supposed to pull over and play dead. When it gets there to the end, there ain't no playing dead. You don't have a teammate. You don't have anybody. It's one of those deals. Dale and I talked about it before the race, and we helped each other when we could and when we couldn't, we didn't. That's the only thing you can do here."
"Some people block real, real hard, and some people think when they catch you you're supposed to get out of their way. It's OK for them to block you, but you're not supposed to block them. When it's five or 10 to go at Daytona or Talladega, I found out the hard way that you don't have any friends. The only friends I have are standing behind that Lowe's banner down there on pit road. Maybe we can all be friends again tomorrow. It was just a tough deal, a tough break. The Lowe's car ran awfully good. I'm proud of everybody who worked on this car. The guys made a gallant effort Friday on that qualifying deal. We were in real trouble. We were 27th, changed the motor and came out eighth. We stayed up front all day, and I'm real proud of my race team.
"We've been in an awful slump. Maybe this will be a place for us to turn it around a little bit. I think we gained on our program a little bit. We felt like we'd run pretty good here, and we needed to get some confidence back. We needed the race team to get its confidence back. This is how we started out. It was a good run for us and maybe it'll build a little momentum going to Loudon and some of these other places."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I wouldn't call it a great run. We were up there in the beginning. We had good track position and kind of got shuffled back and could never get it back. We lost the draft a couple of times. The car got really, really tight up off turn two on the long runs. Tonight was just like it is during the daytime. If you can't run wide open, you're not going to be able to run with the leaders, and we couldn't run wide open. There at the end, I kind of got shuffled back and the guys who came in and got tires finally got to me. We were just trying to keep the car in one piece. Then they wrecked off four, and I was glad to make it through there, but everybody decided not to slow down coming through there the next time. We probably got passed by six or eight cars. It was a pretty disappointing night for us.
"I saw the caution waving as I went by. I just didn't know there was going to be enough boneheads to want to race me back to the caution. That's what I get for thinking that way. We had a decent car when we were up front with the leaders, but the car was just pushing really, really bad. We had no signs of it in practice, and we kind of missed it really."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We took on two tires on that last pit stop. On four tires, we were too tight on the get-go. Then we'd go loose and we had to run at the top of the race track. We took on two because we were tight on the start, and generally two tires make you turn better. That really woke it up for those small number of laps left. I proud of the fact we've got a race car to carry to Talladega and get it better now. We don't have to rebuild it. I've wrecked both restrictor-plate races with it this year before tonight. We got a top-10 out of it and now we'll get it ready for Talladega. It's pretty fast right now. We've just got to get it handling better and Talladega is not a chassis race track, so I think we'll be in good shape there. I got up early this morning and was looking at the schedule for the second half. We've got a lot of race tracks coming up where I run good, so I'm looking forward to the second half."
FELIX SABATES (Car owner SABCO Chevrolet Monte Carlos) "We're making strides. We're moving in the right direction. We're not going backwards anymore. We're going forward. We've got the one-lap deal figured out (qualifying). Now we've got to figure out the rest of it. I'm looking forward to a good second-half of the season for both cars. I think either car can win a race, and I hope we can win a couple more poles."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The guys worked hard on the car since we've been here, and I think it paid off. We made 10 changes on it today and really made some headway on it. This was a car we ran in the Busch Clash, and it's been a long time since I've been in the Busch Clash. It's a pretty old car. We worked and worked on it and changed a lot of stuff. I made them all mad I think, but that's the way it goes. They all hung in there, and we got a good finish out of it. I messed up on that last restart and lost some spots. I let Dale get by me on the outside. I got hung in the middle and lost two or three spots. We went right up to the front before that first stop. I was a little loose on the second set of tires. I was glad it went green the way it did. We've got to turn it around. The month of June has been terrible. This is July, so maybe we're going to be OK. We had four bad races in a row, and I hope we can come back and win another race or two before the year is over and work on next year."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "It was a good run. The car didn't handle real good, but the guys gave me a real fast race car. We survived. That's a big thing here. We've had a good car the last four weeks in a row. We're not happy with the run, but we're able to go on to next week with some good points. I ruined my good car, but we outran some guys that had to pull their backups out, so I'm proud of my team."
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I'm not sure what happened. There were cars all around me. I was a little tight. I checked up and the next thing I know I'm in the wall. I don't know if someone hit the 12 or what. All I know is I ended up bouncing off the wall. Our luck has to change. We had a top five or top 10 car, but three laps from the end, we get caught up in the wreck."