NASCAR Winston Cup Jiffy Lube 300 Post Race Quotes -- Chevy Drivers
15 July 1997
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Ford Post-Race Quotes Jiffy Lube 300 New Hampshire International Speedway July 13, 1997 LOUDON, NH - The following provided by General Motors Public Affairs: DALE EARNHARDT (#3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) - Started 26th, finished 2nd - "We're getting there. We had a shot at Daytona and came here and started 26th and came back back to finish second -- pretty much under the green flag. The guys did a great job. This is a brand new race car and it drove real good all day. I was better in practice and should have been better in qualifying than I was. We had a real good race car. We just qualified bad. The old Earnhardt qualifying syndrome came out in me I reckon. Ernie (Irvan) having some engine problems and we just kept working on him. I wish we could have won it. It was a good day for this GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. We're looking forward to the rest of the season. We started off on the right note. Burton and I were tied in points, so I guess he's a little bit ahead of me now. Maybe we'll get him next week If I could have gotten a little more time and a little more track position, I might could have done something with Jeff today. We were racing form behind all the time. We had to come from the back. We did fine adjustments with air pressure and the car stayed consistent. We haven't won a race yet, but we're going to get 'em. I wish I had a chance to race Burton today, but we didn't ever really get it." STEVE GRISSOM (#41 Kodiak Monte Carlo) - Started 6th, finished 4th - "After our last race we needed to do something. We kind of struggled down at Daytona a little bit. This is the first time we've been here together as a team, so this was a great run. We've had some good runs already this year, but we haven't really been where we need to be when the checkered flag falls. To get a good qualifying effort in and to be there when it counts is pretty big right now for us. My hat's off to this team. We had some awesome pit stops and the car was pretty good all day long. We were able to stay up there and get a good finish. It seemed like we were trying to pass somebody all the time. It was pretty tough to pass out there. You about had to wait for the guy in front of you to make a mistake to get by him. Once you got by him, you could go on. Our car is pretty well clean, and we're looking forward to next week at Pocono. We felt like we had what it took to be competitive all year. For whatever reasons, it hasn't showed up. We've got our confidence up and looking forward to the rest of the season. We were pushing a little bit, but the tires didn't look that bad. We just kept digging and digging and it paid off today." DARRELL WALTRIP (#17 Parts America Monte Carlo) - Started 20th, finished 33rd - "We had some kind of electrical problem that was messing up the car. This is the fourth time something like this has happened to me at this track. The worse part is that this morning the crew changed everything but the frame on the car -- the engine, the shocks, springs, the track bar, the brake rotors and brakes and the car was better than I thought it would be -- then this happens. It's disappointing because it always seems to be something. I'm optimistic though, because we're heading to Pocono next week. I finished seventh there last time, so I feel we'll do pretty well there next week. We'll just keep on truckin'." RICKY CRAVEN (#25 Budweiser Monte Carlo) - Started 3rd, finished 16th - "We were good for the first 60 laps and after that the track started getting a lot of rubber built up. The car started slipping a lot in the corners. It's been a great week, but this isn't exactly the finish we planned. We're coming back again in September, and I think we learned some things today that will help us next time. I sure hope we did anyway." TERRY LABONTE (#5 Kellogg's Monte Carlo) - Started 10th, finished 7th - "Jeff (Gordon) had some problems today, and I knew we were going to move up in the points, but I didn't know if we would take the lead or not. I knew it would be close. We didn't run that good either, but we got a top 10 finish out of it and gained some points. We've got to get better before we come back here. We just weren't that good today. The guys worked on the car all day and got it better there at the end. I wish we could have started that good. We qualified 10th and moved up a little bit and then the car went away and got loose. We got it tightened up at the end and were a little bit better. We couldn't make it on fuel at the end. We were going to be a little bit short. There was no point in gambling when the 24 (Gordon) and 88 (Dale Jarrett) had trouble. We would have looked pretty stupid if we had had trouble, too. We just weren't as good as we needed to be today, but the guys never gave up. We salvaged a good finish and gained some points. You've got to be consistent. If you can salvage a seventh-place finish on a bad day, that's pretty good, and that's what we did today. I got in the middle of trouble a couple of times today. The 10 (Ricky Rudd) car and I got together down in turn one a little bit. We both made it, so we were lucky today, too. We thought about not stopping for fuel at the end, but it wasn't a good enough gamble to gamble on it. We were going to have to pick up a little more fuel than we could pick up. There was no point in gambling on it. We would have really looked stupid if we had run out of fuel, sitting on the back straightaway with a couple of laps to go. It seems kind of strange we picked up the point lead at the same place two years in a row. We've got to step it up a little bit the rest of the season. We felt like going into the second half we could do better than we did the first half. We've got some good tracks coming up and some tracks coming up where we can do better. That's what we're going to try to do." RAY EVERNHAM (Crew chief #24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) - Jeff Gordon started 29th, finished 23rd - "We had bad track position from the start and then we got the flat tire. That flat tire just killed us. We never could get caught up. I think we proved we had a good car at the end, but when you start 30th or whatever and we chose to change four tires on that first pit stop and then we got that flat and that was it. It's great having Terry Labonte as a teammate. We ride the ski slopes so much (up and down), but he stays so steady. I hope that another championship can come to Hendrick Motorsports this year. We're just lucky that Terry Labonte is our teammate." STERLING MARLIN (#4 Kodak Gold Film Monte Carlo) - Started 13th, finished 22nd - "Another one of those days, I guess. We never really did get hooked up. We had that little problem at the first of the race. Somebody got into us a little bit and we slid for awhile. I never got turned around, but maybe it took a little something off the car. It just never was the same after that and that happened less than 10 laps into the race. I hate that. We've run pretty well here in the past. All we can do is head on to Pocono and see what we can do there." LARRY MCREYNOLDS (Crew chief, #3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) - Dale Earnhardt started 26th, finished 2nd - "Hopefully this will be a big confidence booster for everybody. This was a type of chassis that Dale had never driven before. It was one I'd been used to working on. I was optimistic coming here but skeptical because he hasn't driven it. I think it showed it was good right out of the truck on Friday. We had our normal qualifying problems, but we showed we were strong coming from 26th to second with only two caution flags. If we could have had a few more cautions, I don't know if it would have changed the outcome because the 99 (Jeff Burton) was awfully strong. At least we would have had a chance to get on his bumper. If you take the whole day, I'd say out of the 300 laps, we were equal or a little quicker than the leader, but we had half a race track to make up from the drop of the green. We made one adjustment the first stop and pretty much left it alone the rest of the day. There's always that one car that keeps us out of victory lane. The 98 (John Andretti) car at Daytona and the 99 car today. I hope pretty soon the 3 car will be keeping everybody else out of victory lane. We've got a serious test lined up for three days at Indy this week. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. Dave Marcis is going with us. We're going to do a lot of aero testing and engine testing. They had that wreck over in turn three after the race today and I told Earnhardt if he couldn't get through it to stop on the backstretch and I'd come get that car because I want to test it at Indy, too." ANDY PETREE (Owner/Crew chief #33 Skoal Bandit Monte Carlo) - Kenny Schrader started 1st, finished 11th - "We were running fifth, but we really weren't that good. We were holding up everybody back to about 10th or 12th. We had to change tires the last time because the right front was starting to go away. We didn't know how bad, but we had torn it all to pieces when we came in. On the last stop, instead of gas and go, we had to change tires and that knocked us back to 11th. I still feel like we're gaining on it a little bit. We didn't have as good of a day as we wanted. We missed the setup a little bit. Maybe we had a top 10 car if we had done everything right, but we finished 11th." MIKE HILL (Team manager #41 Kodiak Monte Carlo) - Steve Grissom started 6th, finished 4th - "This is our first top five finish of the season, but we've had the potential to do this all season. Little things have popped up and got us. This is a good race team. Steve Grissom is a good race car driver and we're looking forward to the second half of the season."