Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins in Richmond; Chevy Monte Carlo SS Sweeps Top Three DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - WINNER ON BEING BACK TO VICTORY LANE: "It feels great especially with the company I'm with. Tony (Eury) Jr. did a...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins in Richmond; Chevy Monte Carlo SS Sweeps Top Three
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - WINNER
ON BEING BACK TO VICTORY LANE: "It feels great especially with the company I'm with. Tony (Eury) Jr. did a good job calling the race. My team did great on the pit stops. I was real proud of the race car. It says a lot about the guys back at the shop putting the car together and calling the set-up plate and everything. I really didn't have to work real hard. The car was real easy to tune. I'm just real proud of the job everybody did at DEI. The motor was really good. I'm real proud of the engine. We made some great strides there. Those guys should be really happy with all the hard work and late nights. We're having fun and finally winning some races. This is a great deal for our team."
WHERE DOES THIS PUT YOU TO BE A CONTENDER AGAIN FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "I think we're there. We keep taking our shots and winning a race here and there. We're pretty competitive and I'm real proud of the team I got. I've got a great group of guys.
"I really enjoy coming to the race track with this group. I sort of learned a lot last year with the group I was with to teach me to really appreciate good people. It's kind of carried over into this season. Everything is really working great. I couldn't ask for any position on this team and in the shop to be better. I'm just really happy with the effort everybody has given me. I try to go out there and drive it as hard as I can every lap. I hope the fans enjoyed the race. It was a fun race for me. I'm just glad to be back in Victory Lane. It just really feels good."
ON RACING DENNY HAMLIN FOR THE WIN: "Well I can appreciate Denny racing in front of his home crowd. A little part of me wanted to see him get the win here but I didn't want to be the guy he had to pass. Denny's a real great friend. He's a good, smart racer. He's going to win a lot of races. He's going to have a successful career. I was just real glad to be able to race him. You want to race against your friends and be with your friends. It's kind of a gift at this level to be able to do that. I had a lot of fun tonight."
DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 2ND
"First of all, I couldn't tell you how many times me and him (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) been in that situation on the computer. I usually get the best of him but he got the best of me tonight. If I could just get to him. I just wanted to race side-by-side with him those last few laps. He was just too strong. I want to thank everybody for supporting me over the years - FedEx, Chevrolet, all those people behind, Joe Gibbs Racing. I'm just happy to be here."
WHAT'S IT MEAN TO RUN WELL TONIGHT AT HOME? "It means a lot. It seems like I struggle at this place every time I come here. I put too much pressure on myself it seems like. When you have a great car like Mike Ford (crew chief) and those guys put under me, it makes my job a lot easier. They definitely made me look good today."
HOW'S THE INJURED HAND? "The hand is good. It stings a little bit right now but I was feeling no pain."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 3rd:
"It was a good finish for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. We just got tight there at the end and lost a little bit of speed. We were short on fuel and just hoping for another caution."
DID YOU GET TIGHT: "Yeah, we got tight."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 5TH
"It was a good night, definitely a great night for the Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS and everybody on the team. They gave me some awesome, good stops on pit road today. It was great. I can't thank those guys enough. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) made some great calls for me during the race and gave us a better handling race car. All is well. We came from the middle to the back side of the pack and kind of made our way up towards the front a little bit. We had a mediocre day but we ended up fifth and we're proud of it."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 6TH:
"It started off really, really bad. We were really off the mark. The car just would not get in the race track. But as the night kept going on, we kept working on it and almost got another top-five out of it. So, not too disappointed at all."
JOE GIBBS, JOE GIBBS RACING:
"Just a great night for both those cars. A great effort by the teams. Denny, this is like his home track. He gave it everything he had. I thought we had a chance all the way to the very end, and FedEx was all excited about that. And Home Depot too, because they had a great night again with Tony. Tony is getting close - moved us up to second in points, so that's exciting. So we're all excited about Darlington and going into Charlotte, because I think we've got good cars there too."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 12TH
"It was just a hard fought day. We were a little off at the beginning. We got down a lap. We fought our way back and got back in the thick of things at the end. I think we could have been in the top 10 but I just kind of ran out of laps. I'm very proud of the effort. It wasn't an easy night by any means but everybody did a good job."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 15th:
ON BEING 12th IN POINT STANDINGS: "We did a nice job with the car tonight. And we did a terrible job with everything else. We pitted. The pits weren't open. We had bad pit stops. Everything that we did -- short of getting the car to work good -- was wrong. And out pit crew had been awesome; I'm not down on them. It's just that because the No. 29 (Harvick) had trouble, we were going to be in position to win the race. The last run, the car was so fast. We were the very best when it counted and with decent pit stops and without us being on pit road, we restart third and have a legitimate change to win the race. So, I'm pretty disappointed; but, a bad night could have been way worse. We finished 15th. We soldiered through. I'm disappointed, but optimistic all at the same time."
ON THAT LAST INCIDENT: "Something happened in front. I turned left and Mark (Martin) turned more left and it was just everybody trying to go through a wreck. Nobody did anything wrong. It just happened. But I'm just disappointed. We just made the car better, and better, and better and better and short of the No. 29, we were as good as anybody. And when the No. 29 had his trouble, we were position to win the race."
THE RCR CARS WERE STRONG. IS THIS JUST ANOTHER SIGN OF THE ENTIRE ORGANIZATION HAVING THE PROGRAM ALL TOGETHER? "We don't have it all together. We've made a big gain. We've done a nice job of getting better in many areas. But having it all together is when you lead every lap and win races every weekend, and your never going to be there. So we've made a gain on it, but there are still some teams that are a step ahead of us -- maybe not a step ahead of the No. 29; the No. 29 is right there. We're off just a touch. But we're close. We've struggled. We've run well all year. We just got into some wrecks and stuff -- two that weren't our fault -- and then we had a tire problem that wasn't our fault. And boom, three bad races in a row and there you are. We've just got to go to work and get a little better, but I'm very optimistic."
ON EVERYBODY WORKING HARD AT RCR: "Everybody has raised his hand and asked what I can do to help and to make the company better and I think we're making major strides. But I'm not above anybody and I'm playing my part. Certainly my experience can help us and I do seem to have a pretty good ability to talk to people about things that are controversial about having a controversial conversation.
"And that helps us because when you have 360 employees, everybody's not going to be on the same page all the time and everybody is going to have different ideas. And when you do that, if you can keep your heads together and understand that everybody is working for the same goal, you can make yourself better. So I'm comfortable with my position there and we'll just try to add all we can."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 32 TIDE MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 27th:
"After our stop (lap 289), we hit on the set-up and that's awesome when building a notebook on what works for us. I'm really looking forward to coming back here. It's a shame we didn't hit on it sooner because our car was running with the guys in the top 10...top 15 there in the end. We just lost two laps there in the first half of the race and that kept us from a top-10 finish at least. No complaints though, we did a good job and we leave here with 27th. Not bad."
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