KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE Finished 4th (ON STARTING 38TH AND RUNNING FOR THE WIN IN THE END) "It was definitely a tough battle out there. It was a lot of fun in order to race with all those ...
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE
(ON STARTING 38TH AND RUNNING FOR THE WIN IN THE END) "It was definitely a tough battle out there. It was a lot of fun in order to race with all those guys. To come from the back to the front was definitely a long task at hand. I knew that from qualifying all the way back there and of course hitting the fence and making the guys work extra hours here after the garage closed last night. But they did an awesome job for me in getting it back in one piece. We were able to drive up through there. I knew we had a really good race car. I wasn't sure exactly sure why it didn't qualify good and that was kind of a shame. But we just kind of proved we had a good race car here in the race."
(ON THE REASONS BEHIND SHORT-PITTING ON LAP 32 AND WHETHER IT WORKED OUT LIKE HE THOUGHT IT SHOULD HAVE) "We thought basically we could get a good track position by coming in and jumping in early on the guys and getting two tires to try to beat them out there. We knew if we short-pitted and a caution came out with four tires that we'd go a lap down. So we wanted to make sure that if a caution did come out, we didn't go a lap down. So we decided to come in for two tires. It made all the difference for us. We were just able to go out there and we moseyed around for a while and kind of ran really good lap times there and weren't quite as good as we needed to be there at the end of the race, but a bunch of other guys came in later and ended up taking tires and then they were just faster than us because of the fresher rubber that they had."
(ON EARLY PROBLEMS IN THE PITS) "Yeah, I think it was the last pit stop under green there, so it was later. But I ended up sliding through the pits just going down pit road and got in the boxes over there. The No. 8 pit, that was two behind us, I think they had fire extinguishers out earlier in the race and there was still some of that dust down. But still, it was my fault. I overshot the pit just trying to get in there as fast as I could in order to get the tires done so maybe we could come out and have the lead. So, I ended up screwing us up there and we fell back a few positions but we were able to make that back up on the race track."
(WHAT DOES ANOTHER TOP 5 FINISH DO FOR YOUR TEAM'S CONFIDENCE?) "That's just the way we should be finishing every week. It's not really any confidence that's any different. It's just the cars that we've had. We've had some really good cars. It's just all about trying to build that consistency on a regular basis and trying to run up front that way. It's been fun that we've been able to participate with some to these guys and run up front that way. It's neat to be able to race with everybody else who is up there and of course with Carl (Edwards) and Brian (Vickers) leading most of the race today, it was neat that Hendrick came out of here with a two and a four."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
(HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BEAT THE TWO HMS VETERANS, JIMMIE JOHNSON AND JEFF GORDON TODAY?) "It feels good. And then we've got to start over again and go to Michigan. But the No. 5 and the No. 25 shops were phenomenal all day. I saw Kyle out there a lot and he came by and we threw some hand signs out there and just waved at each other for good runs and just played around a little bit. But we both had good cars. It says a lot for the opportunity the Hendrick family has given both of us and bringing over Brian Whitesell and putting the crew chiefs in place and the whole team. The building is nice, but it's the people inside that are making the difference and it's really starting to show on both these teams." KYLE BUSCH: "Oh, just what Brian said. It's great to have such a great team and to be able to participate with such a great team and have the great team leadership of Brian Whitesell and of course Alan Gustafson on my side and Lance McGrew on his side. It's just fun to be able to race up front every week and that's the main goal in NEXTEL Cup racing, and if you can do that you'll keep winning points and basically being able to run up front give you all that momentum boost week after week as well. We hope we can keep doing it week after week."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET
(HOW WAS THE DAY FOR YOU?) "Well, when they started the race I was able to pass quite a few cars the first couple of laps. I knew that was going to be short-lived. I got extremely tight and I think we dropped back to about 30th position by the time the first caution came out. So, we had to work on the car and make major adjustments - pull rubbers and put rubbers in - all of a sudden the car was good and then we started passing guys. Every stop that we made, Ryan Pemberton adjusted on the car and made it better. He kept making it better and better and we were able to pass and get up to the top five."
(ON THE TIRE ISSUE - THE MEDIA POLL INDICATED THERE WERE 22 TIRES THAT WENT DOWN ON 11 CARS)
NEMECHEK: "I didn't have a problem and Brian (Vickers) didn't have a problem. I think that's one of those deals (where) a lot of guys were taking two tires and the left fronts were wearing quite a bit. That's probably the tire that was wearing the most on the car. And when you only put two tires on, now you're going to ask that thing to do another 20 laps of work. And it's going to be tough. I contribute that to using two tires."
VICKERS: "I have to agree. We didn't have any problems. Our tire wear was good all day. We were real cautious about when we did take two tires that we didn't have too many laps on the left sides because they were wearing a lot. I don't know the specifics of the problems other people were having. But I thought Goodyear gave us a great tire here. It started out really good and it dropped off the right amount to make for some good racing and more than likely those problems are caused just by user error more than the builder.
"There was a lot of trash and stuff on the track today. It's like a snowball effect. You blow a tire and then you've got metal that's built into the tire all the way around the race track and then you cut another tire. And now you've got two rubber trails around the track and now you cut another tire and a lot of that stuff gets stuck in the rumble strips and thing that we use around this track. That probably added to it as well."
VICKERS: (GIVEN THE NO SHIFTING RULE, IS IT SURPRISING THAT THREE OF THE TOP FOUR TOP FOUR FINISHERS WERE YOUNG DRIVERS?) "I think it just says a lot for the teams as a whole. Myself, Kyle, and Carl were new to this race track. But it's still just another race track. We had great cars all day long. The only think I can think of that comes to mind is I like a little bit of a loose car. I could tell that Carl was in the same position and I think that helped keep your momentum today - kind of keeping your car on the right rear helped to keep the car wound up and free and just not bogged down tight."
VICKERS: (WERE YOU CONCERNED THAT CARL EDWARDS CAR GOT BETTER ON LONG RUNS?) "It wasn't a real big concern for me because right we're trying to build something in this GMAC Chevy team and that's constancy and top fives. So I felt like either way, we were in a position to do that today. Going after that win, which we want so bad, yes. And it's not something we did intentionally to set our car up for short runs. It just worked out that way. We started out a little free on a run real fast, and the car would get looser and looser. We were anticipating it would get tighter and tighter as the run went on, but it did the opposite for us for whatever reason today. And Carl was just great on long runs. We built air pressure up and we slowed down and he didn't. He just kept digging. I don't know where he got the speed from but those guys did an awesome job on long runs. The only thing we were doing at that point was the best we could to adjust our car with good pit stops. We just hoped that a caution would come out with 20 to go and we'd come in and get four tires and we'd be good for 20 laps. Anything after that, it was going to be tough. We just did the best we could at that point to make a solid day of it."
VICKERS: (ON THE LAST RESTART) "I was kind of glad we got that. I was hoping maybe our tires would cool down a little bit and we could take a shot at him (Carl Edwards). Usually I was a little better than him in Turn 1 all day and I was hoping I could get him there. But we both took two tires. Both of them were old - even the right sides and especially the left sides. He was just better on older tires. I went down in Turn 1 hard and tried to get under him and go after him and the car just got a little tight and I just lost my momentum. And then Mark (Martin) just jumped under there but I don't think that really hurt us a lot. It didn't help. It took a little bit of my line away on the exit. But they were good on old tires and the race ended on old tires and that was just the bottom line."
NEMECHEK: (ON TH LAST RESTART) "I was very fortunate on the restart. I got past Mark Martin and Kyle Busch. I just got through Turn 1 on the restart really good and so did Kyle. We got up beside Mark going in the tunnel turn and once he got past Mark, Kyle actually got loose and he slid way up out of the groove. Once he slid up out of the groove, my car was on track and hammer down and got past him. The caution came out not long after that. But my car was really good there at the end of the run. We elected to take four tires. A lot of these guys took two, but I think the lap times they were all coming back to Mark Martin and myself."
NEMECHEK: (FIVE HENDRICK ENGINES FINISHED IN THE TOP 10 TODAY. IS THE SAME HORSEPOWER GOING TO MICHIGAN NEXT WEEK?) "That makes me feel really good. The engines were great today and we were bogging those things down to 5800 rpms in the corner. They were down pretty low. It was incredible that they pulled up off as good as they did. My engine ran as good as anybody else's out there. Brian, Kyle, and everybody ran good today. We're looking forward to Michigan." VICKERS: "I think the Hendrick engine department is doing a great job. They've been working real hard and continue to try to get better and better. I'm thankful to be there and have the engines we have. I wouldn't say it's in the bag going to Michigan, by no means, because the Roush departments have their stuff together too and we've got some competition on our hands. So we've got to get it together as a group and go after them."
NEMECHEK: (HAS THE RULE BEEN ABLE TO CONSERVE ENGINES AND TRANSMISSIONS?) "Because you weren't shifting, I think you're not going to have a transmission failure. The only guy I knew who was shifting was Robby Gordon. How did he do today? Did he break a transmission? I think so because he was smoking pretty bad there after about 20 laps.
NEMECHEK: "But the way the transmission rules are now you can't hardly do it and make it work. Last year, we were turning 10,000 rpms and you make them run from 8500 to 10,000 and fix your gear ratios. Now, it's kind of old school to get more bottom in because we're in the lower rpms more. The engine guys work so hard. It's a whole combination of stuff that makes this deal work. You've got to have the whole package to make it go. On the other hand, you can have the best motor in the world and if your car doesn't go good, you're going to run 20th. It takes the whole package."
NEMECHECK: (WHAT GAVE YOU THE EXTRA BOOST AFTER LAP 117?) "We took four tires every stop. I knew when they made an adjustment what it would do. We had one set of tires in there. I had them free the car up just a little bit and we got too loose. But we made a gain on it. At first we were tight. We made it better and we were able to pass cars. We had good pit stops today and we were able to pass one or two in the pits every stop. Every time they'd get the car better, I was able to pass guys right and left, high or low - whatever it was. You've got to have a good handling race car. They kept making it better and better. Maybe if we could have gotten to the front earlier to run with these guys, maybe we could have run with them."
VICKERS: (WHY DO YOU THINK CARL EDWARDS HAD SUCCESS HERE ON HIS FIRST TIME AT POCONO?) "I think it's a fun race track and he does too, obviously. It's a result of good teams - of young drivers being in good cars. And they had a great car all day and he did a great job driving it. I wouldn't say that not shifting didn't help him any, but it probably didn't hurt any. But I don't think it was a big advantage for him. Anybody who is talented enough to run in the top five in the NEXTEL Series is capable of doing that. Not shifting is going to keep them from doing that. You're going to be able to drive a car up there whether you shift or not."
NEMECHEK: "We had to have our race cars free here. With him not having any experience here, shifting and having his car tight - they went at it a whole different way and it's just natural. He was just going after what he thought he needed and I think he hit on it. We were way too tight when we unloaded. That was the same set-up as last year and it was terrible. We had to work on our car."