Sunday, July 25, 1999. Pocono Raceway. Pennsylvania 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes. WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: Dallenbach scored his best finish of the season Sunday and for the first...
Sunday, July 25, 1999. Pocono Raceway. Pennsylvania 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes.
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: Dallenbach scored his best finish of the season Sunday and for the first time in his career has put together back-to-back top-10 finishes after coming home seventh two weeks ago at New Hampshire. "I guess this place suits my driving style. Some tracks I go to I can't do anything with, but this is one track that suits the way I drive. The car was good off the trailer. We're just going to try to keep doing what we've been doing the last two races and end this deal on a high note. I was looking for a ride when I got this one. "We were biding our team. The stop before the last stop, we got the car just a little bit too loose. When we came in for that last pit stop, we made an adjustment and that's what I needed. It's a big deal for everybody. We've been doing this all year. We just haven't been finishing. The team is good. That's what I've been saying all year long. We've just got to get the finishes to back up what I've been saying. The last couple of weeks, we've done that. "He (Tony Stewart) was just a little bit better than me through turn one. We were about the same everywhere else, but he was getting through one a little bit better than I was. We were just a little bit tight there at the end, and the Pontiacs are strong here. They'll be strong next week at Indy. I raced him as hard as I could, but I didn't have enough for him. "Our cars always seem to be better on longer runs. These guys stop looking at Happy Hour times and practice times because we go fast when we need to, but we try to concentrate on getting the car going good under green for a long time. It pays today, not Happy Hour. "We just have had bad luck. I don't know what else you can say. We've had wheels come loose and motor problems. "The Bud team gave me a great race car today. This is the car we had here last year. We stayed on top of the adjustments all day and made the right calls. The guys did a good job. When they keep giving me cars like that, we keep running up front. We're starting to put the finishes together. "I don't drive any harder when I'm out of a job or with a job. These guys work hard all year, and I know what we had and what kind of team we have and I drive my guts out for them every time we go racing. I don't need any motivation. "We've been there all year. We were running ninth or 10th at Daytona when we got involved in a wreck. We've been having some problems, but the team is a good team and now we're starting to show what we can do. We've got a lot of races to go this year. All I worry about is the next race. I don't worry about next year. We'll just keep doing what we're doing and maybe we'll win some races. "The situation doesn't matter. I do the same thing all the time. It's good for the team. It's good for everybody. We'll go to Indy and see if we can't bump it up a couple of notches."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I'm just glad we didn't end up in the wall when we cut that tire. There's really nothing anybody could do about what happened today. It was just bad luck. The car had been running good. It's just something that happened that was out of our control. I don't know if we're out of the points race now or not. You'll have to ask Dale Jarrett and those guys about that."
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "We salvaged a top 10 out of it after going to the rear there near the end when we pitted for four new tires. The car didn't feel good on the other tires. I think that was the smart thing to do. It ended up kind of crazy. That car qualified well, but I don't know about it for the race. I think we've got a better flat-track car for Indy. That was a good run for Steve Park today. It was good to see him running up front. They need some good luck on that team. Pit strategy was a big key today. I was amazed that some of them made it on fuel, but that's the way it goes."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We raced with Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte all day. Then we got out of sequence on out pit stops and it's a hero-to-zero when you do it. We didn't have enough gas to make it when they came in and Larry (crew chief McReynolds) obviously couldn't tell how many cautions there would be out there. They pretty much got lucky. If it would've stayed green, they probably would have had to come in for a splash-and-go and we might have got ahead of him. "We got back there with the lapped cars and one of them knocked the right front fender off the Lowe's Chevy. He'd been in the way all day. We tried to work with him. We tried to get our spotters to work with him and he ended up wrecking himself. He's a young guy. He's learning, and he's going to be a good race car driver. He just needs to calm down a little bit. It probably cost us a top-five finish. "The Lowe's Chevy ran pretty good all day, at least until we banged up the right front fender and started pushing. This car ran terrible at Lowe's Motor Speedway (Coca-Cola 600), so we really gained on it a lot. The engine ran good all day."
STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We ran well at Indy last year, and today definitely helped us build some momentum for Indy. These guys have really stood behind me. We crashed the car out at Sonoma and it kind of killed the momentum a little bit. They've gone back and built some new cars and really stood behind me. This is the momentum we needed to put back in this team. Again, today wasn't about Steve Park. We had about an 18th-place car and these guys pulled off some awesome pit stops and got us out front all day. You always look forward to going to the Brickyard. We had a pretty good test out there and it's Indy. That's a place we all dream about going and racing. We had a good run there last year, so we're kind of looking forward to going back there and trying to get a better finish. We had a great run, but we didn't have a good finish. Now we're going to try to get a good finish. "We knew we couldn't stay out front today. We played the strategy role and got out front. We knew we didn't have a car that could win, but we knew we had a car that could run in the top 10. The guys got me out front, and I just had to drive a smart race. Bobby and Mark Martin and those guys had some real fast race cars and some fresher tires. We just wanted to stay out front as long as we could and collect those bonus points and then try to settle in and get a good, consistent finish. The windshield is a hell of a lot clearer when you're running out front and you don't have all those cars clogging your vision. I could get used to that."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 Philips Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "On the long runs we were clipping people off. The cloudy conditions didn't play into our hands at the end, but it wasn't a great, big deal. We were a little off on the short runs, and that concerns me. I've got a couple of ideas why. We elected not to run a rear swaybar here. About 80 percent of the field had them, but we couldn't seem to make it work. We had to make some guesses this morning on the chassis setup. Luckily I've got a real smart crew. They made some educated decisions and did a good job."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We just weren't very good today. We had to put on new tires to keep up. We were better on the long runs, but we were just off. I'd say we were off a second a lap, but we stayed on the lead lap and finished 17th, so it could have been worse."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "Well, that's another top 10 finish for this car. We finished 11th with it two weeks ago at Loudon or it would have been five for five in the top 10. We gained a spot in the standings and ran up front a lot today, so all-in-all, I think it was a pretty good race for us."
GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That's our best finish since we finished eighth in the second race of the season at Rockingham. That's been a long time. We had some pretty good runs, but we haven't had the good finishes. Maybe 13th will be lucky for us. We had a good test at Indy, so we'll go up there in a couple of weeks and try to keep getting better."