Team Monte Carlo race notes

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: This was Nadeau's second fourth-place finish in the past three races. The 29-year-old driver from Danbury, Conn., has jumped from 29th to 25th in the series standings...

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: This was Nadeau's second fourth-place finish in the past three races. The 29-year-old driver from Danbury, Conn., has jumped from 29th to 25th in the series standings in those three events. "The guys did an awesome job today. We had the best pit crew today. They couldn't do anything wrong. Our car was real tight, and I couldn't run behind those guys. The car would pick up a real bad push. It would have been real nice to win the race, but we brought it home in one piece and got a top-five finish. I can't think of a better place to get a top-five finish right now."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "The car was pushing all day. We were too tight, and the car wouldn't turn in the corner good. We kept trying to loosen it up to make it better, and that last set of tires didn't help it turn but it made it spin coming off and that just hampered me more. I wish I would have had the set before. I think we've got some aero stuff to work on and make the car better. It just wasn't a great day. It was a hang-on day, a survive day. I wish we had had a little different combination. We were a little bit too tight. We kept working with it, but we never got it right. It was great to see Bobby Labonte win this race, but I want to catch him in the points. It's still not impossible to do that. He gained a lot on us today. We've got to gain some back on him. We've got some good races coming up -- Watkins Glen and Bristol and some of those other tracks. We'll see what happens. We started where we finished today. I just wish we would have got a little better."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "When it got cool it got tighter. Everybody else kept adjusting I guess. We didn't make enough adjustments. The adjustments we made didn't really make a difference. Our car was really good when the sun was out. I got running with Rusty and got the right rear hot and chattering. I backed off a little bit and saved it. I was just chilling out. After the next stop, we never were that competitive again. I guess it just cooled off and got cloudy. I'm pretty satisfied for my first run here. I guess the guys would have liked to do better. We had a good car at the beginning, but we struggled the rest of the day. I guess we gained some points on Matt in the rookie race. Pruett was strong. He was real good. He ought to know this place, so I don't guess that was a big surprise to anybody."

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "It just destroyed the right front tire, and it wasn't going to fix itself. The right front was just coming apart, even after just eight laps. It didn't make much sense, but we had to get it fixed. It was decent at the beginning. We were able to pass several cars."

LARRY McCLURE (Car owner No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo) "We were tight during the first half of the race. We made adjustments and then we over-corrected. Right before the engine blew, we seemed to be all right, but we were never fast enough. The car is fast. The driver is fast. We just haven't hit the right setup yet."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I did something today that I just feel real terrible about. I was trying to help Mark Martin get past the 7, and the 7 ran into the side of him and really slowed Mark down. I ran into the back of Mark and spun him out, took him out. It was a really bad deal. It could have a good points race for him, and I just really, really hate that. That was the worse thing that happened to me today. We struggled with the car. We did some stuff aerodynamically to the nose of the car that really, really hurt the car when it was behind other cars. When the car was out there in clean air by itself, we were just as good as anybody. Our lap times were as good as anybody's. Track position hurt us. Stuff we did to the front of the car really hurt us. We made the car a little too air dependent. When I got behind cars, it just wouldn't go. Larry McReynolds did a great job making calls, and the crew did a great job getting the car in and out of the pits. The driver took out a friend and feels awful bad about it. We've got to keep on doing the best we can and make smart decisions and try to make fewer mistakes."

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I don't like wearing the headsets in the pits. I accepted my decision and that was it. I wish I had been out there, but I wasn't. I hope I'll be back in a couple of weeks. If we can't find anyone to drive my car at Watkins Glen, I might be back next week. I slept late today, and that was kind of unusual. I didn't have a driver's meeting to go to, and I didn't go to hospitality. I didn't get here until about an hour before the race. That was kind of different. Maybe I haven't really thought long enough about the streak ending (a record 655 consecutive starts). I knew it was going to end someday. I guess with Bobby winning the race, it was a good way for it to end. I hate I didn't get to race today. It's more frustrating than disappointing. I just wanted to do what was right, and I felt like that was the right thing to do. You can drive these cars with a broken hand or leg or cracked ribs or broken shoulder, but when you've had a concussion and you hadn't quite recovered from that, that's a little bit different deal. That's a lot different deal. I just didn't feel like I was ready to get back out there and run. I feel fine standing right here, but the Gs in the corners I guess is what does it. I've talked to some other guys that have had the same thing, and it goes away. There's nothing wrong. It just takes a little time. I just feel like it was in my best interest to sit out."

GARY DEHART (Crew chief No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We were a little tight at the start of the race. We adjusted on it and got it better. It was really good at the end of the race. We really had to set up the car a lot different for Todd (substitute driver Bodine). Every week it seems like there's somebody different. We learn something new, even though Terry is out, we learn something. I think Terry learned something today, too. It's great to have Terry sitting there beside you during the race. It's kind of awkward because you look beside you and at first you think, 'What's he doing here? He's supposed to be in the car.' But it's good to have him here at the track with us. We'll try to get a road course driver next week. I don't think Todd will be available. He had his own deal squared away already, so we'll try to find us a road racer. Maybe we can run down Schumacher, but I don't know if we'll be able to talk him into it or not."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "My crew did a great job today and gave me an awesome car. At the beginning of the race, I took it easy. I knew we had the car to beat. Then we started four-tire stops, and the car just got too tight. The crew did a great job, and we had the best Monte Carlo here. I'm pretty psyched. I can't wait to get to Watkins Glen. My guys always give me a good car. We've always been good. I mean, we started from the back, worked our way up front and made a critical decision early in the race and took two tires. That helped us stay up front the rest of the day. "This is what you've got to do every week. You're racing against the best guys in stock cars, and I've always said the best guy always wins the race here. Today the best guy was Bobby Labonte. We were good when we were by ourselves, but when I got around other cars, we got tight. Later in the day, the track got tight too, and in traffic, I couldn't do anything. At the beginning of the race, I was having fun. But toward the end, I knew I didn't have the car I needed to win for my guys and Michael Hey, I can't wait to go to Watkins Glen and see if we can win that one. "This sport is difficult. When things start turning around and going your way, it makes life easier. I can understand it now. When you've got a good team, you know you've got to run with the fast guys. When you're running with those guys it actually makes the race a lot easier. Those guys know how to run up there. This is our second fourth-place finish in the past three races, so maybe we're learning how to run up there, too."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "We just got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's the way it goes sometimes. I guess my luck at the Brickyard ran out today. The guys worked hard keeping us out there, so it could have been a lot worse. We didn't drop any positions in the standings, so we'll just have to regroup and try to get 'em next week at Watkins Glen. That's been a pretty good track for us lately."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Michael Ho , Mark Martin
Teams HART