Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet was the top finisher for Team Monte Carlo when the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway ended under caution. Gordon started 33rd and finished 7th. This marks his ninth top-10 finish, including...
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet was the top finisher for Team Monte Carlo when the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway ended under caution. Gordon started 33rd and finished 7th. This marks his ninth top-10 finish, including four victories, in the last 15 NASCAR Winston Cup races at Rockingham. From ninth place in the point standings after the Daytona 500, Gordon moves up to fifth. Bobby Hamilton, driver of the No. 55 Schneider Monte Carlo, was the second Chevrolet to cross the finish line in ninth place. Hamilton's top-10 finish vaulted him from 33rd to 19th in the standings.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"We struggled with the handling but the further we got to the front, the better it got. So, I'm happy with that - considering what happened on pit road and where we started. It was a hard-fought day for us and I'm pretty proud of these guys on the Dupont Chevrolet."
Do you think the Fords and Dodges might have a little more downforce than the Chevrolets?
"It's hard to tell at a place like this, but yeah, you think that they do. The wind tunnel is the only true test. They can take them to the wind tunnel as far as I'm concerned. This weekend or next weekend. This weekend might be kind of hard because there's not a lot of sheet metal left. But after Las Vegas - that's usually a pretty good place to do that. You know, just like they made rules changes in Daytona based on wind tunnel testing, I'm all in favor of that."
On NASCAR making changes at Daytona on what they saw on the track:
"Well, yeah. They took it a little too far, I thought, once they saw what was on the track. But I don't know. You've got to go off of both, I guess."
Having to start 33rd, were you confident you could get a top-10 finish like this?
"I wasn't sure. I knew we had a car that was capable of being in the top 10. I know we have a team capable of it. You just never know with the circumstances. I'm just glad that we stayed out of trouble. We got into the No. 7 car of Casey Atwood that one time. He checked up and got loose and I got in the back of him. So that was a pretty close call there. At Rockingham, you just want to survive and not hit anything and get back here in one piece. We pretty much did that."
Bobby Hamilton, No. 55 Schneider Electric Chevrolet Monte Carlo - finished 9th:
"The Schneider Chevy ran really strong all day. We had no problems out of it. We had some great pit stops of 15 seconds. I was really impressed with the communication between the teams and the way me and Charley (Pressley, crew chief) talked things through. We pulled a few tricks out of our sleeves at the end and just held on strong for a top-10 finish. It was a pretty good day for us."
Charley Pressley, crew chief, No. 55 Schneider Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"We couldn't get good track position today. We were fighting that constantly. Once we got back there in that lapped traffic, all them restarts really hurt us and we had to fight the lapped traffic. We had a strategy right there at the end. We were going to short-pit - stop early and get fresh tires and I think it would have gotten us up at least in contention to get us a win. And our last pit stop we had just a little trouble.
"All in all, it was a good day. The really car ran good. It was not the fastest, but we were consistent all day. We didn't have any motor problems and we're real happy with that. Our pit stops were very good. At Daytona, we didn't get that many chances to pit. But the guys did a great job today."