JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO.48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO Involved in multi-car accident: "Yeah, we were racing to win. It's hard for me to believe that the No. 41 (Casey Mears) could have made the No. 88 (Dale Jarrett) and the No. 4 (Jimmy Spencer)...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO.48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Involved in multi-car accident: "Yeah, we were racing to win. It's hard for me to believe that the No. 41 (Casey Mears) could have made the No. 88 (Dale Jarrett) and the No. 4 (Jimmy Spencer) that mad. The No. 88 tried for three or four laps to wreck the No. 41 and couldn't get it done and then the No. 4 tried and finally did it. He was chasing him from the bottom of the race track all the way up to the marbles trying to wreck him. I don't understand why and what, but this is the way this points system works. We've got desperate guys doing desperate things. This could happen at Homestead. That's the one thing that I don't like about the points system is that you can have somebody acting like this and be completely out of a championship. This is why I'm not a big fan of this point system. We've put too much hard work and effort into this to have something stupid like this happen. We'll just roll on. Hopefully lady luck is on our side from here on out."
WAS THIS A TARGET AT YOU? "I have no clue. I was so confused as to why they were trying to wreck for so many laps. They finally did. I'm really curious to watch the tapes and see what happened." More to follow
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Finished 3rd: "What a battle. This is why we're where we at in the points and why I'm so excited about these last 10 races because these guys just never give up. They just do everything that they can to get this DuPont Chevrolet up to the front. We fought it and fought it and fought it all night tonight and we had our hands full. But there at the end, it finally came back to us. That last set of tires was really good. We got lucky. Robbie (Loomis) made a great call and it paid off for us to stay in the top 10. And then somehow, miraculously got into the top five. We were very fortunate. It was just an up and down night. Luckily, the best the car was was at the beginning and the end. We really fought back. Between wrecks happening in front of me and the car going away and losing a lap and then just making that great comeback.... There at the beginning of the race, I thought man, this was going to be a fun night. That thing just drove to the front. We didn't do anything to it, but the thing just went completely away and I'm not exactly sure why. There at the end, we put a set of tires on and luckily stayed on the lead lap by staying out. Robbie made a great call and the car was great there at the end. We drove by some guys and the next thing you know we were fifth, and then fourth, and then finally third. It was a great night. I hate it for Jimmie (Johnson) that he had that problem. I saw a lot of stuff happening in front of me. I thought I was going to be in it right there with him when he went in the grass."
WHAT DID YOU SEE? "I just saw somebody get sideways and there were just a bunch of cars all stacked up. I drove to the bottom. Jimmie was in front of me and I was on the brakes. The car was slowing down and I was sliding right toward him and luckily he spun out of the way right as I got there. We lost some track position because we came in and changed tires and the night just got more and more interesting from there until the end."
ON CHASING A 5TH CHAMPIONSHIP "We just tested in New Hampshire. We're excited about these last 10 races. It's that kind of effort that we had tonight that we're going to put out every weekend for the next 10 weeks. If that doesn't get it done then the other guys can have it. But we're not going to give up this thing without a fight." More to follow
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 WELLBUTRIN CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Finished 16th in the race, ranks 13th in the point standings: "I think we had a better car than that for the most part of the race. It was just the way the caution flags fell and we got a lap down and we were running pretty good there. It was just so hard to pass. I saw that for the past three nights here. I hate it for all the guys. We have great race team, we just haven't been able to prove it for the last six or seven races to rebound from what we had a few weeks ago. I just hate it for all the sponsors and all the guys who work on the car. We definitely tried. We just didn't do a good enough job as a race team. But there are a lot of worse things in the world right now. It stinks but at the same time we'll go on to Loudon and we've got to look forward to finishing 11th at this point in time.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY? "It wasn't all about tonight. I can tell you that. Thanks for asking. We had a better car tonight than where we finished. Through the lap down deal our pit strategy was working out good until that caution flag come out just because track position is so important everywhere we go and obviously I'm not very good at that. If we would of had a better a finish, we wouldn't of made the top ten anyway. But if we had a better finish, it would have been a lot more fun."
DID THE PERSONNEL CHANGES YOUR TEAM MADE EARLY IN THE SEASON PLAY A FACTOR IN NOT MAKING THE TOP TEN? "I think we were going downhill before that. I hated that we had to do that. It was just something that needed to be done. Whether we made it in the top ten or didn't, we knew that decision had to be made. It's just unfortunate for us that it turned out that way because it looks like people probably point fingers at that but that really wasn't the problem."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Finished 12th in the race, ranks 14th in the point standings: "The car was good early. It just got a little bit loose there. In the second half of the race, we just couldn't get in the corner. But all in all, it wasn't a bad night for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. We did the best we could and that's all you can ask for."
WERE YOU AWARE OF THE POINTS SITUATION ALL NIGHT AND WHAT YOU HAD TO DO TO TRY TO GET INTO THE TOP 10? "I saw the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) wreck, so I knew our chances were a lot better than they were when the race started. So I knew it, but we just did what we could and that's it."
ON NOT MAKING IT INTO THE FINAL 10 IN THE POINTS) "We did all we could tonight to put ourselves in position to make the Chase and we just fell a little short. The guys did a great job in the pits tonight. The car just was too loose on that last run."
"It's disappointing to not be in the hunt for the championship. We've had some things not go our way this year and some miscues here and there. You can't make those mistakes and expect to be there. We'll be all right. The sun will still rise tomorrow and we'll still go on racing. We've got a chance to win races still and go for that final spot at the banquet. This team hasn't given up before and we're not going to start now."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
Finished 2nd in the race - ranks 3rd in the point standings: "We got into a crash off of Turn 4 and a bunch of cars got to crashing and we just tried to squeeze by on the bottom but it jumped up in the air and the car landed back on the ground and the car didn't handle too good after that. And then I ran in the back of somebody trying to dodge a couple more wrecked cars. It just beat the car up really bad but it still drove good and that's all that really mattered. We were able to get track position and catch everybody a lap down on gas mileage and take advantage of all that and finish second. We had a good car. I think I had a top five car. We just got in a few wrecks tonight and got lucky on a few other occasions."
ON THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP) "It's a long dang year, man and tomorrow, Sunday, we'll have off. We'll go home and relax a little bit and get ready for that last 10." More to follow