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NASCAR Winston Cup Series Mountain Dew 500: Quotes from the Winner

1 September 1997

DARLINGTON, SC - The following provided by Chevrolet Motor Division, General
Motors Corporation Public Relations:
NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Winner Post-Race Quotes
Mountain Dew Southern 500
Darlington Raceway
August 31, 1997
JEFF GORDON (#24 DuPont Automotive Refinishes Monte Carlo) - "What a team. 
What a day. These guys were busting off some great pit stops. If I hadn't 
been out front, I don't think we could have won. This team and myself never 
give up. I'm blown away. I should have never won that race. I didn't think I 
was going to. I said earlier in the week that if it came down to the last lap 
I was going to do whatever it took to win it. My car picked up a really, 
really bad push. I thought maybe I could hold him (Jeff Burton) off for the 
final three laps. All of a sudden when I came down to take the white flag, 
the right front went away on me. I didn't know if I had a fender rubbing or 
what. I saw him coming and I blocked him. He hit me in the right bumper and I 
was just glad that I didn't spin and I kept it going. I'm sure he's not 
happy, but man, a million dollars. What did you expect me to do?

"I can't believe it. I got real loose when the sun was out. We tightened it 
up and finally got it tight enough and the clouds came in. It was way too 
tight. I could hold them off for about 10 or 15 laps but luckily Jarrett got 
real tight when he was up behind me. I saw Jeff Burton coming. I didn't think 
he could get there and then all of a sudden I knew he was going to be the guy 
we were going to have to beat. I was real tight off turn four. It sure got 
exciting on that last lap. I've been saying all week if it comes down to that 
last lap, I'm going for a million dollars. I'm going to have to go for it. 
Jeff could have wrecked me. We raced hard and we slammed and we banged. We 
put on a heck of a show for these fans here. I think they all knew from 
looking at the race that that guy is going for a million dollars and he's not 
going to give this one away.

"Jeff's car was really good on long runs all day long. I think they were 
having trouble in the pits. He wasn't up there with us on the restarts. Had 
he been, I think it would have been his race. I don't even think we should 
have won this race today. We were good, but we weren't that good. Our team 
never gave up. We had great pit stops and we put that thing out front when we 
needed to. I drove as hard as I could for the final 30 laps. I got everything 
out of it I possibly could. He (crew chief, Ray Evernham) kept telling me I 
could do it, but he had no idea how bad that thing was pushing."