Team Monte Carlo Charlotte race notes

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "Something snapped inside the engine. We were basically sticking to our plan. Our plans were to take some time off and then come back and make progress every week. We're...

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"Something snapped inside the engine. We were basically sticking to our plan. Our plans were to take some time off and then come back and make progress every week. We're making progress every week. The plan is to skip Dover and then go to Michigan, but I wouldn't be surprised to see us at Dover."

RED-FLAG RAIN DELAY JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"We took a big chance staying out. It's worked for Jeff Burton, so maybe it'll work for us. I sure hope this is it. I don't think we've got enough for Bobby (Labonte) or Dale (Earnhardt Jr.). We've got a third-place car right now, but we took a big chance going for the win, so let's just hopes it works out. I think we might have broke a valve spring, but I'm not really sure. It's a Hendrick motor, so it's going to last. If we go back racing, we'll just have to race to win."

TONY FURR (Crew chief No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Monte Carlo)

"We've got some kind of engine trouble, but I don't know what it is. It could just be the ignition box. We're hoping that's what it is. Jerry said it just starting doing it about 15 laps before the rain came. Jerry really didn't want to adjust much on it, but I could tell by looking at some of the tires we took off of it that it was getting tight. We got a little bit behind, and I was trying to catch up on that one stop there. We could have got it back where it needed to be on the next stop. They need to turn off those track blowers. They're making way too much noise. Heck, with my luck, it'll quit raining and the sun will come out in a minute. Whatever happens, happens. We'll take what we get and go to Dover next week."

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"I think we've got a good enough car that if we go back to green it ain't going to take us that much. I got to race with him (Earnhardt) and that's all I can ask. Sitting here ain't no fun. You're ready to get it on and get to the finish and see what happens. Sitting around waiting for it to happen, it's just as hard now as it is before the race. I haven't been able to explain in detail how the car is driving, so I came in here and told them what the car is doing. Obviously it's doing pretty good. We're just talking about little things, nothing serious. The longer I run, the car starts cutting better. At night, you think you'd really be hooked up, but the front hooks up more than the back does, so it's almost like loose. The 18 has worked his way up there, but I'm pretty confident we can beat him. I'm not running as hard as I can. I've got a lot more in me. We got behind a couple of times on pit stops and we had to work our way back to the front. The car is good enough to run up there in the top three or four all day. Matt (Kenseth) is coming up through there. I think he's the guy you need to watch."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"We've got a good car. We've just got to get it up front. We were as fast as the leaders on the last run. We're on the lead lap. The car is where it needs to be. We'll see what the rain does and keep digging. The spin flat-spotted all the tires. We stayed on the lead lap and the caution came out and we came in and changed all the tires. The car was real loose with the sun out. We got loose off turn four, and I got a little behind on the steering, but we'll be all right."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)

"I was pretty tight on those last two sets of tires. We made some adjustments on that last pit stop. The track is going to change now. I think I bent a fender or valence or something because the car is skating on the front end. We ran too good the time before that. I've had fun so far. We'll see what we can do to have a little more fun when we start back."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"I was about the best thing out there on the last run. We just need to get some track position back and racing smart. I don't know whether we got a weird set of tires or what, but we had one set on and really backed up. It's been a top-10 car most of the night. I'm not really worried about any one in particular. I know Little E is going to be tough, and Big E is going to be tough. If we get some long runs, I think we'll be all right."

POST RACE

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)

"It was a pretty good car. It was a little tight there at the end. If I had been a little looser I think I could have run with 'em. I was just a little too tight off. We still had a good race car. Third place is OK, but it ain't what we came here to do. We came here to win. I'd like to congratulate Matt (Kenseth). It was a good night for him, but I tell you, we miss Kyle Petty. We want to have them boys back here. We just hope Kyle and Patti can get over everything and come on back and race with us and be a part of our family. "I'd have been more satisfied if he (Earnhardt Jr.) had won. As a driver, I would have liked to won. Dale Jr. and Matt and these guys have raced each other in the Busch Series and they're doing a good job. Robbie Reiser and all those guys with the 17 car have done a good job. They're a class act. It's fitting he should win as Dale Jr. did, so it's been good for 'em. We feel pretty good about our run and what we're doing with Richard and RCR. I think we moved up in the points a little bit tonight. We still didn't gain on Bobby. "My car was actually better after the rain delay than it had been, but everybody was going for it. We lacked a little or we were too tight off or what. We just never was perfect off the corner. I'd have to back off early and get it to the bottom and keep it on the bottom. We did OK. It was a pretty good night. "During the rain delay we adjusted the car and got it a little freer. I still couldn't run off the corner with Matt and Bobby. Their entrance was better than mine. I couldn't get down in the corner as deep as they could. "On fresh tires I could go pretty good. As it goes, the car would get tight off the corner. We just never got the car as comfortable off the corner as I would have like it, therefore, it didn't run good on long runs. I wish I could have been right there with them guys racing them. I'm pretty proud of my son and their team. I think you're going to see a lot of first-time winners this year. "It was good racing him (Earnhardt Jr.). I enjoyed it, but we've got a lot of racing to do yet. I really hated not seeing his car up there in front at the end like he was all night, but I was pretty proud to be in front of him myself. Still, it was good racing him. I'd like to see Park, myself, Mike Skinner, all of us win a race before it's over here."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"Matt did a good job. I'm happy for him. I don't know what we did on that last set of tires, but we really struggled on 'em. We weren't the car we were prior to that, but Matt and those guys were consistent all night. They deserved it, especially after California. I'm happy for him. He's a class act. I don't think we dominated as much as everybody might think we did. I was really having to hustle to keep the car under me a lot of the time. It was a fun night. I had a good time racing with my dad. I got to do that quite a bit and we ran fourth in a race we had a good chance to win. We lost to Matt, but that ain't too bad. I said during the rain delay that Matt was going to be tough. I knew he was coming. I think we might have been in pretty good shape with the lead we had before that last caution, but that's the way it goes. We'll come back and try again next week."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)

"I knew we weren't going to win the race, but that two-tire stop there at the end got us 10th place, so we gained a spot or two. We just couldn't ever get any track position. At first we were real loose off. We got it better off, but when I was in traffic and around other cars, I was real tight and pushy. I couldn't get the track position I wanted. We did the two tires and got track position, but we knew we didn't have a shot at winning. It's been an unbelievable season. You see a lot of different guys winning. There's a lot of talent out there. I look at our program, and we've got to get our stuff better. We've either got to change the way we're doing our bodies or the way we're setting them up. The same things we used to do just don't seem to work as good as they used to. I think a lot of it is just the way we're doing our bodies because a lot of other Chevys out there are running pretty good."

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"It was cool out there and it was a lot easier than Richmond. My wrist is a little sore, but I'll get over it. I'll be ready for Dover. We can handle it."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

NOTE: This is Park's best finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway in a Winston Cup points race.

"We chased the car all day and it just felt like the tires were flat on restarts. It was much better on long runs. We made a crew change after the red flag to try to improve our pit stops. Our pit stops were a little better after that, but we still need to make them better. At least the Pennzoil team salvaged a top 10 out of it."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"We had a pretty good car. We just kind of wanted to hang out in the top 10 and stay on the lead lap and get up there and race the hell out of them at the end of the day. The old race car got tight on us. I see the valence is knocked in a little bit. They made some great adjustments, but we talked about pulling a rubber out of the left rear and we chickened out. We should have pulled it out. If we had pulled it out, we would have gone up there and got something. The thing was so tight you'd have to run it down in three and just run it off the race track. You'd hang the left front tire off there and it would kick the car a little sideways and if you caught it just right you could go. If you didn't catch it just right, you were in trouble."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Michael Ho