>From NASCAR Public Relations and Chevrolet FOR RELEASE Sunday, May 5, 1996. Sears Point Raceway. SaveMart Super Markets 300. Chevrolet notes, quotes JOE NEMECHEK (No. 87 Burger King Chevrolet Monte...
>From NASCAR Public Relations and Chevrolet
Sunday, May 5, 1996. Sears Point Raceway. SaveMart Super Markets 300. Chevrolet notes, quotes
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 87 Burger King Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I didn't do what I told my guys I was going to do. I just wanted to keep it on the track, but I think something happened to the right front tire. Three or four laps before that (going off course) I started having a real problem in the right-handers. That particular lap, when I went through turn one, it was not real good. When I got into turn two, it just wouldn't turn. We turned our season around last week, and we were hoping for a real good finish today. We'll come back."
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Monte Carlo) "At least I was best in class. We were a little loose today. I was trying to drive it hard, but I couldn't really go as hard as I wanted to. I was just out of control a little bit there at the end, but it looked like everybody else was, too. He (Gordon) just slowed it down too much on that restart and spun the tires. He messed himself up. We were lucky to get that caution. We wouldn't have finished fourth if we hadn't got that yellow. There was some hard racing out there today. We picked up some points on Jarrett, and we picked up some points on Gordon, too. It's about time I beat him. "
TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Monte Carlo) "we were a little bit concerned. We didn't think we were as good as we needed to be. We did lead some of the race and we ended up with a top five finish. I'm just glad it's over and we can go to Charlotte and really race. I couldn't get off the corners good. I'd spin the tires. That was my biggest problem all day long. I just couldn't get on the gas. We fought that all week long. I just couldn't get a handle on it. It's so hard to pass. When you pass people, you've got to beat 'em off the corner. As long as I had one particular line, I could run OK. When I got behind we were in trouble. The 2 got on the inside of the 24 and I was hung up behind the 6 and the 15 ran all over the side of me and kind of knocked me out and the 3 went by me, too. It's the only race track he (15) can run good at -- here and one more -- so you've got to take that into consideration. He's going to try to get everything he can."
RON HORNADAY (No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo reliever) "I had a great car underneath me. We broke in some brake pads and didn't get the front brake pads broke in right. I just tried to drive it too hard at the beginning of the race, and I spun out all by myself. We came back up through the pack and got up to lath or 16th on a restart and I got past somebody on the outside. I guess they didn't like the way I passed 'em. They punted me in the next corner. That's racing. I was just trying to get a good run for Ricky and get him some points and here I am tearing up the car. It's one of those things. We'll come back. It was a great weekend, and then you get an ending like this. That's just part of it. We changed gear ratios from qualifying, and it was just hard to yet used to."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The team had it won for us They did an excellent job in the pits. They put us out where we needed to be. Track position was everything today. I think we had it won before that caution came out. Rusty was working real hard and he might have been a little bit faster, but when I ran smooth laps I felt like I was just as fast. We were just trying to ride it home. That's just the way racing is. There's going to be cautions and if you're going to win it you need to win it after a caution. I didn't get it done. I blew it. I spun the tires or didn't get 'em cleaned off good or whatever. I'm not as mad about having the tires junked up as I am about letting Rusty get to my inside going into the first turn. Once I did that, it pushed me up high and I was in the junk. I couldn't get things off my tires for a whole lap and went back to fifth. I like to at least make somebody work for it. We did our job. The team did a great job. They won the race for us. I lost it for us. I'm disappointed right now, but I'm going to learn and live from this. It'll roll off of my back tomorrow, hut not right now. I feel real good about going to Charlotte. I'm happy we had a good top 10 finish. Yesterday if you had asked me, I would have told you I'd be elated to finish sixth. The way we were running yesterday, we weren't real happy with that. The way we ran today, I'm very disappointed with sixth. You get selfish. You get stingy. You get spoiled with a race car and pit stops like I had today. You've just got to be content with what you get. We put ourselves in position to win today. We just didn't get it done."
RAY EVERNHAM (Crew chief No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "Here's the way I look at it. We struggled yesterday. The guys worked hard. We had good pit stops. That's the most laps we've ever led here. Rusty had the fastest car. Mark had the second fastest car, so maybe we should have been third, fourth or fifth. We ended up sixth. What are you going to do? If you let this drive you crazy, you're going to burn out of this sport. You can't do that. We're all too young for that. Jeff is doing a great job. We're still learning, and when you're learning you're going to make mistakes. I slap him (said with a laugh). That's the first thing I do when he makes mistakes. The first thing you do is say, OK why did it happen? Did you learn from it? Is it ever going to happen again? You do the best you can, and you can't control when the cautions come out. Jeff said he could have won if the caution hadn't come out. If the caution hadn't come out at Richmond, we wouldn't have won. This is a good team. He is a great little driver. We'll just go on to the next one. He still needs people to follow on a road course, but today is the best we've ever run here. We had an OK run here last year, but we had a legitimate shot at winning today. That's the first time we've ever been in that position on a road course. I think we made some gains. I don't think our car was that good. I'd like to build a new road race car."
DARRELL WALTRIP (No 17 Western Auto Parts America Chevrolet) "I think this is the beginning of the beginning. We've been down from the beginning of the season, fighting to stay in the race each week, and we finally got a halfway decent finish. I think we learned over the past few weeks that you can always change something on the car during pit stops to hopefully make it better. We had been doing that the last few races, and it's hurt us in the end. Either we go too far one way or not enough. Today, we had a good car, not the best, but a car we could work with. The trick was leaving it alone and working on the competition, not the car. That's what we did."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 4 Kodak Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I want to congratulate all the Fords. They did enough crying and got the rules like they wanted 'em. After all, they are in wine country. I guess everybody was equal here, but they've got a little lower roof Anyway, they finished 1-2-3, so what can you say. I felt like we had a top five car, and we had a rear brake caliper leak. We didn't have anything but front brakes for a long time. We took a gamble and cats down and put some brake fluid in on the last caution. We came from 28th to 15th in the last four laps, so it turned out pretty good. That's the best I've run on a road course in a long time. It'll be good to get to Charlotte."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 2 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We had a good, consistent run today. We ran in the top 10 just about all day long and finished eighth, so we're happy with that. We learned some things that should help us at Watkins Glen later in the season, so maybe we can go up there and have an even better run."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Monte Carlo) "I passed more cars in the pits than anywhere else. i passed a few on the race track, too, but it was a lot easier to pass in the pits. The car was pretty good, but it wasn't quite as good as it was in yesterday's practice. I didn't have a goes rhythm today like I did yesterday, but we finished in the top 10 and I didn't put a scratch on it. It takes top 10. The same guys so it every week, so if you want to stay up in the points, you've got to hang with 'em. We're still learning, and that's the key. We won't this kind of luck every week, but we're going to get better, too. We've got a new car for the Winston and we've got the car we won with last year in the 600, so we're looking forward to Charlotte."
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