TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: NOTE: Stewart won Sunday's Pocono 500, his first victory of the 2003 season. "We wouldn't have guessed it would have taken this long to get back [into Victory Lane] either, but it's just...
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
NOTE: Stewart won Sunday's Pocono 500, his first victory of the 2003 season.
"We wouldn't have guessed it would have taken this long to get back [into Victory Lane] either, but it's just been one of those years for us. Everybody on this Home Depot team and at Joe Gibbs Racing, they've done such a good job of getting is better cars than we've ever had this year, and the motor department is giving us the best motors I've ever had in Winston Cup and this new Monte Carlo is the best body and the best race car we've ever had, for sure. It's just a matter of consistency on our part. We haven't had any luck all year. All of our sponsors have kept patting us on the back and telling us we were going to get it eventually, we just had to keep our heads up and keep focused and we've done that. We finally got one here today."
DID QUALIFYING HERE FRIDAY TELL YOU THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE A SHOT AT VICTORY LANE?
"Yeah, especially as loose as we were. That's what kept us off the pole. I told Greg [crew chief Greg Zipadelli], 'as loose as this thing is, it should turn good in the race.' It just seems like you can always get a good feel for what kind of car you're going to have in the race by what goes on Friday."
DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE ANY ADJUSTMENTS?
"We just kept having to free it up. We were pretty tight at the beginning, and we wanted to tighten it up a little bit for the beginning to make sure we were on the safe side for the green track today. As the race went on, we just kept having to free the car up. It was real tight on entry and we kept making real good changes and the car kept responding to it. We just kept sneaking up on it, but we never got all the way there. But the guys on the pit crew are the ones that won us this race. They got us track position and we were able to run our pace, not everybody else's pace."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: (Finished 4th):
"I was happy with the top five. We didn't have the best car, and Tony had a real good car. I'm pretty happy. It was a top-five. Matt [Kenseth] finished right in front of us, bit we've been keeping him in sight, and that's all we can do all year long to stay in the point battle. I'm real proud of my team, we had a great car all weekend. When you have a good car, you can do whatever you want."
TERRY LABONTE, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/got milk? CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: (Finished 7th):
NOTE: Labonte was battling with Jeff Green on the 197th lap when the two made contact, sending Green head-on into the inner retaining wall.
"I had a heck of a run on him there, and he cut down to block me. I tried to cut back to the right. I didn't want to let out of the gas, and I thought I had him cleared. I caught him on the back and around he went. I hate it. I just never meant to get into Jeff. He's a great competitor and he was having a really good run there, but I had such a good run on him and we got together."
JOE GIBBS, TEAM OWNER, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It sure has been a long, hard year. Tony has had a good car week in and week out, but nothing has gone right for us. It just shows you how hard this sport is."
STEVE PARK, NO. 30 AMERICA ONLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: (Finished 35th):
"It just got real loose, like we did at Dover, and there's something we're doing that is making it get that way. It's a brand-new race car, so we'll get back and get a good look at it. We wanted to test this car, but we didn't. Its first time on the track was this race. It started off really decent and then got real loose."