Richmond: Pontiac Racing race remarks

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: WHAT HAPPENED IN THE INCIDENT WITH THE '88'? "It looked like the '88' car (Dale Jarrett) got up out of the groove. When he came back down, he and the '43' car (John Andretti) got ...


WHAT HAPPENED IN THE INCIDENT WITH THE '88'? "It looked like the '88' car (Dale Jarrett) got up out of the groove. When he came back down, he and the '43' car (John Andretti) got together. I saw all this happening, but I guess the '10' car (Joe Nemechek) didn't see it happening, so he caught me a little bit in the left rear and got me turned around. I just stood in the gas, trying to get it to do a '360' down in the infield to try to get away from the '88' because I saw him coming down the racetrack. It didn't work out."


ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THAT RUN? "Yes and no. I brought it home without tearing it up and all the fenders are on it, but I lost three spots there at the end, which I probably shouldn't have lost. We made an adjustment there at the end and that was really the first adjustment we made all day long. And, man, it was a pretty big change and I'm not used to that. That one little change is normally not that big of a deal. But, it was pretty sensitive on this race car.

"I learned something and got a good finish. I'm just happy to help out Johnny Benson and this whole Valvoline Pontiac team."

YOUR CAR WAS REALLY GOOD LAST NIGHT...DID IT STAY THAT WAY TODAY? "Starting out, the track definitely changed and I don't think we were as good today as I thought we were last night. Last night I thought we were going to have an awesome, dominant race car. Today it just seemed like we had a hard time getting a hold of the racetrack. Everybody was just kind of squirming around.

"But for me just hopping in the car, it's a good finish."

WAS IT A NICE SURPRISE TO GET TO SPEND THE WEEKEND THIS WAY? "Oh yeah, it's cool. Johnny [Benson] probably could have won the race with that car. I'm just happy to finish 12th. The team does a good job.

"It's neat to come into different organizations and kind of see how they work compared to all the other places I've been. They've got a good thing going here."


HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR WEEKEND OVERALL? "I've never been so glad to leave a racetrack in my whole life. Joe Nemechek did a great job for us today in the Valvoline Pontiac and we've got to be satisfied. The guy never ran a lap in that race car and finished 12th. We were probably better than that; I know Joe was better than that. We just had some trouble with our pit stops today. That is something we can work on. But, for a guy to walk in, not knowing he was going to race this weekend and get out of here with a top 15 finish - you can't complain about that.

"We were fairly conservative. It's pretty hard for two guys to work with each other that have never worked with each other before. I'll tell you, though - I can't believe Joe Nemechek is unemployed right now. Somebody needs to grab him up."


FROM VICTORY LANE...WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE FOR YOU TODAY? "Greg Zipadelli and all the guys on this Home Depot Pontiac team. They worked so hard today trying to get this car freed up. First of all, I want to thank all the fans that came back today. We knew it's hard on those guys a to stay overnight a lot. But, we appreciate you guys all being here today. Without you guys in the stands, it's no fun for us to run around here, so we appreciate everybody coming back today."

HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO GET BY RYAN NEWMAN QUICKLY AND GET CLEAN AIR ON THE FRONT OF YOUR CAR? "When we got to second there, we really couldn't get by, but we were real strong the first four or five laps. It seemed like once his tires cleaned off that he was pretty good again. It was the old battle of getting in clean air. I never thought I'd say aero was a big deal on a three-quarter mile track, but it was, because as soon as we got in the lead my car got better."

ON LAST NIGHT'S TRACK VERSUS TODAY...WAS THERE A LOT OF DIFFERENCE? "No, it was pretty bad both last night and today, to be honest. But, you've just got to keep working with it. You can't give up. I'll be honest, I was down last night, I was down the first 50 laps this morning, and Greg and the guys kept working hard, and the guys on the crew kept giving us great pit stops. When they're putting forth that effort, I've got to do the same thing. Once those guys kept digging, there was no way I was going to give up on them, so here we are."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Dale Jarrett , Joe Nemechek , Johnny Benson