Team Monte Carlo Charlotte The Winston notes

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We got the car working better than we had it last night. That old Chevrolet Monte Carlo was working well. When I got the lead, I said, 'let's see what we can do with a little air in...

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We got the car working better than we had it last night. That old Chevrolet Monte Carlo was working well. When I got the lead, I said, 'let's see what we can do with a little air in front of it.' I was a little tight behind those guys. Jimmy Spencer pulled one over on me last night, and I wasn't going to let that happen again. "We were hauling the mail tonight. I knew if I could get out front and get some air on the nose of that Monte Carlo that we would be good. When we busted out in the lead, we took off. I've got to thank Pennzoil. This is our first win as a team. Even though it's in a qualifying race for the big show tonight, we just proved to a lot of people that we've been close to victory lane, but we can still find it. It's a great moral victory for this whole team. "Last night Jimmy (Spencer) took me to school here. I told the guys I should have won that race. Jimmy had a lot more experience than I did here, and he taught me a little too much last night. I wasn't going to let him take me to school tonight. It was a good pass and we had a strong race car. We just wanted to make sure we could get the car out front. We're trying to get the car back together. We've got to run one more tonight. We've for the first one. It was a good victory for us. Now we've just got to get the car changed over so we can start in the back of The Winston and maybe we can do it again."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The car wasn't bad. We're a little loose. The first race, there was no way I could stay with Steve (Park). His car was awesome. Three or four times I was wrecked. We made a few changes, came in and got better. We'll start like that the first 30 of The Winston and see how it works. I've had a bad sinus the past three days. These wins make it feel better. The tire situation helped out a lot. I was questioning it at the beginning of the race when we took four and everybody else took two. We were sitting there ninth with about eight laps to go and I was worried to death. Everything fell in our shoes. We had a dominant car yesterday, and our car was awesome at the end tonight. I've got to thank Kevin (Lepage) for racing me clean. This is The Winston. This is the most exciting race of the year. I'm glad to be in it. We're going to make a couple of changes for The Winston. The car is still not biting as much as it did yesterday. The track is still slick. We'll get a little more bite in the car and hammer on the gas."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I guess Elliott just wanted to try to win. It's one of them situations that it was a shootout. He just ran into the side of us or whatever. I know Elliott is a good guy and a good race driver, and I'm not mad at him. It was a shame because we had a good car. The caution really killed us. I don't know what the caution was for, but when the caution came out that killed us. We had an awesome car. Larry (crew chief McReynolds) and the guys made a great call, and the guys did a great job on the pit stop, got us out there with the track position we needed. The car was awesome. It really handled good, and we were faster with cars that got four tires. I hate it for Lowe's and everybody that worked so hard on this car. We've just got the toughest luck in racing I guess. We get ourselves in contention and can't capitalize. The car drove real good. We'll take it back to the shop and fix it and bring it back for the 600. When we saw we weren't going to catch Steve Park (in the Winston Open) we saved the left-side tires in the first run. There wasn't any sense in burning the left sides up if we're only going to put two on, so we slowed down and saved the car and stayed there. We knew what our strategy was. We talked about it before the race ever started. Starting where we were, we knew track position was going to be important. There was some good cars around us. We elected to save the tires a little bit and try to beat them out of the pits. That's what we did. Strategy was awesome. Like I said, Larry and the guys did a great job. The pit stop was great. Maybe we can get 'em in the 600. We've had some pretty tough luck that we've got to shake. Everybody was racing pretty hard there. It was just an unfortunate deal. "I guess everybody has their opinion on it. We were on the inside and the way I see it, he came down on us and caught me over there trying to loosen me up. It worked."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I didn't know when it was mine. Hell, when do you know when it's yours. I was leading the last lap of the race and didn't know if I was going to win it or not. With three to go we were catching the 88 car. It looked like to me it was blowing up or something. We had a great race chance. I was pretty comfortable there. I'm pretty surprised, but the cool thing about it is we've got a lot of good guys on this team. A lot of people have worked hard to make this pay off for us. I could be just as happy making $16,000 a year working at a dealership, but the good thing about it is Dale Earnhardt and Teresa Earnhardt and all these people on this crew get to enjoy it, too. That's what makes if feel good to me. I didn't think we were going to win it, but this Budweiser Chevrolet kept coming up through there. I hope it's that good in the 600. I thought our qualifying would be a little better than it was, but I was happy with fifth. I just wanted to be in the race. When we put on four tires, I knew that car was fast. That's what paid off for us. "I was following the 2 car and I felt pretty comfortable. I don't know why I hit the wall. We had a tire come loose, all of the lugnuts came loose on the left rear and we had 10 minutes to make sure that wasn't happening and it did. It was kind of comical. It felt like we'd blown a tire and it kept spinning out getting loose so I had to come in real quick. Luckily, by the grace of God, the caution came out, so we were very fortunate there. It's kind of funny. We had a 10-minute pit stop and all the lugs came loose after that. Anybody that was changing that tire shouldn't feel responsible. Everybody is human. Right after it happened, I said, 'don't worry about it. Don't be down. We've got other things to do right now. We've got to concentrate on this race.' "We got lucky. We put on tires and I knew I didn't have a chance to beat them without those four tires. We didn't come here to run second or third. We came here to win and that was the only way we were going to do it. We won it o utright. We brushed the wall and messed it up. I was paying attention. I just ran out of race track. It made the car tight, so we had to come in and do something about it. The only place that pays good tonight is first. Second or third or eighth or 10th didn't matter to me. Tony and the guys did a good job and made some gutsy calls. It was exciting. Humpy (Wheeler) is a good buddy of mine, but I didn't have much confidence in his pick. I don't know if everybody was off tonight or what. I'm going to give it (money) to pop. He knows what to do with the money. I just drive." DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "I thought I could get up there and give Jarrett some trouble. I looked in my mirror and here this thing (No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo) comes. He hit the wall back there and it looked like and got it running better. We thought we were pretty good toward the end. We had wrecked our car up a little bit. We kept adjusting on it and working on it. I was really surprised I was up there racing. This red thing ran us down and I knew I just needed to let him go on. I thought I could go up there with him, but I couldn't. We don't seem to have any luck with the paint schemes. We're coming with a black car next year, I'll guarantee you. I wish we could have been up there with him tonight. The Pennzoil car ran good tonight. The Budweiser car won the race and the Goodwrench car ran good. We're happy."

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We had the best car out there. We had the car to win the race. Some of my emotions took over out there. The lap before, Steve Park turned me sideways. I should have spun out coming out of turn two. That was uncalled for. Then the next lap, I think he let off a little early coming out of turn one. Man, I'm digging. We had a good car. I hope Steve is all right. It's just racing. We had the best car, and I tore it all to pieces. We're good friends. We race. It's just tough. You're out there racing for $500,000, 10 lap segment. I had a good car. His car was tore up. Yet, he tried turning me around, but it's racing. Everybody is racing for $500,000. It's very unfortunate for the whole team. They gave me a heck of a race car. We knew we had the car to win the race. I should have had a little more patience. The lap before, Steve got into me and had me turned sideways back there on the backstretch. We got back around to the front. I don't know if he let off a little early or what, but I got into the back of him going into turn one. It's really unfortunate. We're racing for the biggest payday of the year. It just wasn't meant to be. I should have known better because we had such a good race car. I should have taken my time, and I was going to get by him. I'm really frustrated right now."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "This is The Winston and there's a lot on the line. It's just uncalled for, all this beating and banging going on out there. This isn't a half-mile short track. We're going in excess of 180 mph out there. Me and Joe raced clean all year long. I got into the back of him going down the backstretch and let him go and get straight. Then he got into the back of me going into turn one. It was just a friendly discussion (in back of Nemechek's truck after the incident). Me and Joe are friends and our families are friends. I just wanted to clarify what happened. I just thought it was uncalled for. It wasn't even a heated discussion. It was just a discussion. I thought we had a car that could win. It's The Winston, no points and a lot of money on the line. Somebody can get killed out there also, and we're trying to avoid that. I wanted to make sure Joe was clear on it, and he wanted to make sure I was clear on it. I feel bad for my guys. They worked hard to get the car in the race and right there at the end I thought we might have had something for them, but it wasn't to be. "The car was quick. It showed at the end there. We were able to run the outside real good. When Bill Elliott checked up that gave us the opportunity to go by. I got by Joe on the outside. I thought Joe and I both were going to have the opportunity to run down Dale Jarrett there at the end. It's The Winston. I'm just glad everybody is OK. That was a pretty hard lick. It's just fortunate we can go into each other's trailers and talk about these things. I didn't spin him out. He got into the back of the 94 and got him out of the way and let him go. It was kind of a chain reaction."

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I was loose and I was trying to find a better line. I wanted to get up there in the top 12 so I could be a part of the lottery. I needed to get past Earnhardt and those guys, and I guess I overdid it. The lights went out on this little Philips Chevy."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "When we hit the wall, it bent the rear end or something and made the car drive different. Before I hit the wall, the car was just as fast as it was right there at the end of the race. "It's kind of funny for me to stand there on that podium and hear people cheering Earnhardt, Earnhardt, Earnhardt when I'm the only Earnhardt standing up there. That was kind of weird. I made sure the big Earnhardt hurried up and got up there so I didn't feel so weird anymore. He's the Earnhardt in the family, and he's the reason people are cheering Earnhardt. This is a really special night for me, and I'll never forget tonight and I'll never forget how proud I am of the team and ourselves as a team. You get up there on stage with your dad and a lot of realizations come into play and come into mind, a lot of flashbacks of old times. I could sit here and talk about it all night long as long as you've got a case of beer. "I had a wheel come loose. The left rear, all the lugnuts came off. It was about to fall off. I thought the tire was flat myself. I came down pit road and I told them I was about to wreck. I'm sorry guys. I know you want me to stay out here and try to weather the storm, but I'm going to crash. The next corner I'm wrecking. They said come on in the pits. Just as I did, the caution came out. Tony and them said go, go, go, so I stayed out on the track. I went out there, and I'll tell you man, that thing was walking like a drunk dog down the back straightaway there for awhile. I felt like some major crap was going on in the back end. I didn't know if it was a tire or what, but something came loose. We came in there, and that was just after the 10-minute break, and Tony was like, how the hell can lugnuts come loose after a 10-minute break. This ain't a 16-second pit stop. This is a 10-minute break. What are ya'll doing? What's going on? He was pretty upset, so I had to calm them down and tell Tony and them not to worry about it and tell the guy who was working on the left rear not to worry about it that we had more things to do and the rest of the race to run. They've all probably done forgot about that now. We were coming down pit road to fix that and Tony said the caution is out, keep going. "You might think I'm full of crap, but I don't want any of it ($500,000 first place money). I had a good enough time tonight to where the work we put into it and the time standing around here since 7 o'clock this morning, it was worth it. I think that if dad wants to put it in the team or whatever, we spent a lot of money and even though we've got a well funding sponsor in Budweiser and Remington and Outlaw, it ain't going to hurt to put $500,000 in a bank account. That might be the smarter thing to do than put it in mine. "We were watching Kerry (Earnhardt, who finished second in ARCA race). That's another topic I can spend a lot of time on. He's been through really tough times and had a lot of people lose a lot of confidence in him, not our family or anybody in our organization, just people we had hired or put in position to work with him. Nobody wanted to work with him and he was under a lot of pressure. I didn't ever even meet the guy until I was 13 years old, so he had to be 17 or 18. It was kind of like a little family squirrel going on there between my dad and Kerry's mama, so for the longest time he wasn't part of the family. He hasn't grown up around racing. He didn't know nothing about racing up until he was about 17 or 18 years old. Everything he's learned he had to learn the hard way by backing cars into the wall, tearing wheels off of cars at Hickory when he was running late model cars. He's come a long way. We're in position now, three or four years ago, we were in position just to spend $100,000 on me, Kelley and Kerry to run late model cars. Now we're in position with what me and Steve have done and bringing in big-time sponsors and things like that, we're in position to put engineers and other people on top of Kerry that believe in him, and now his confidence is starting to get better. He was as smart as I've ever been in a race car today. I saw him go down in a corner where he could have drove in the back of a guy, but he backed off. It was really good to see that. I never thought up until today that I'd be able to race my brother in the Winston Cup Series like the Burtons do, but after today, I think it's a great possibility that we'll see Kerry in a Winston Cup car in two or three years. I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. Just like me and dad getting closer as I've started running Winston Cup, me and Kerry will start to get closer. It'll be a good opportunity for both of us. "We just had a weekend off last week, and I can't deal with two in a row. Two in a row and I get a little antsy. I was asked earlier what was my favorite part about racing. I'm only crazy enough to admit this, but my favorite part is my weekends off. Not to be taken wrong, I enjoy racing, but the weekends off come so rarely, that they're such a charity and such a trophy to have. We do some wild things on our weekends off and we only do it because we don't get many. Our weekends off are great. The fact that they run The Winston on a weekend that we probably wouldn't have off I guess. I don't know, it's probably good we have The Winston or they'd add another race to the schedule. This is only 70 laps and it doesn't last long. It's fun for the fans. It's fun for the drivers. It's interesting. It's a very intriguing race and I enjoy it."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "On the restart, you know, I got behind Dale Jarrett. I was able to catch him, but he was leaking rear-end great quite a bit. I could barely see out of my windshield, and I was sliding in his oil and I abused my tires. That's all we had. I saw the 8 car coming, and I knew he had put on four tires. My tires were pretty bad. Hey, it's one of those things. It's a dash for cash. You just gotta give it all you got. It was pretty wild out there. This is The Winston. There's no points, so you're gonna see stuff like this. This isn't even our 600 car. We have a better car than this. We look forward to next week. I'll tell you. I had a hell of a good time. This is what it's all about. It's been fun. We learned a lot tonight. It was just a good night. We passed a lot of cars. We had to come from the back in the first race and the same thing in the second race, and we put ourselves in a good position to win the race. I've had a heck of a sinus infection, and it cleaned my system out. We're looking forward to next week. We've always had a good team. It's just that the results haven't shown it. Every race we've gone to this season it seems as though we gave it 110 percent. We were always running great, but then something would bite us. If we could get rid of those gremlins... I'll tell you one thing, this is a top-five team week in and week out. We look at the points now, and it's sad because we're 30th. The way we look at it, we're a top-five team."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett , Steve Park , Jimmy Spencer , Michael Ho