NASCAR Winston Cup Series ACDelco 400: Post Race Quotes (Chevrolet Drivers)
28 October 1997
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Chevrolet Race Quotes ACDelco 400 North Carolina Motor Speedway October 27, 1997 ROCKINGHAM, NC - The following provided by Chevrolet Motor Division, General Motors Corporation Public Relations: RICKY CRAVEN (#25 Budweiser Monte Carlo) - Started 9th, finished 3rd - Finish matches his best finish of the season, a third at the Daytona 500 in February. He has recorded four top-10 finishes in his last six starts. He led three times for 139 laps, more than any other driver. - "I'm pretty disappointed right now, but in the whole scheme of things, we've run pretty well in the last month and a half. It seems as though we've got the Budweiser Chevrolet on track, and I'm proud of this team. We've got the best cars and the best engines in the business. Today is an example of what we're going to get. We're going to win. You never know how these things are going to unfold. I had my sights on Dale Jarrett. Bobby Hamilton came on strong. He was fast on the short runs. We were good through the middle and Dale Jarrett was good on the long runs. We just used it up there at the end. I think we could make the argument that it's the best car I've ever had. It just drove great. This is a tough old place. It chews up the Goodyear tires, but they're awesome. The guys gave me a great car, and the Hendrick engines are the best in the business. We just came up a little short. We led enough laps, so we had our sights on winning. You've got to knock on the door. I haven't knocked on the door enough this year I guess. We had a good shot to win. We came out of nowhere at Daytona, but this is what we need to win. The problem is there's only two races left. I still think we could run awfully well in those last two races, and maybe we'll get that win. I didn't need that caution at the end. We chased Bobby (Hamilton) down and passed him. Then we were chasing Dale down. You never know what to expect. I'm still proud of the guys. It was an awesome deal. My hope is to have an excellent next two races and to have an injury free 1998. I'll guarantee you we'll make some noise. "We stayed pretty consistent, and Andy (crew chief Graves) did an excellent job getting us dialed in. We were a little loose, a little tight and the car reacted to it. We just couldn't beat Bobby there at the end on the short run. We could beat Dale on the long run, but I used all my stuff up. "I felt great during the race, but I'm a little disappointed now. This was our best chance to win. It's good to be disappointed with third. We've run well here in the past. I like it when the tires get worn out and start slipping and sliding. Every race track has secrets, and I feel like I unlocked the key to Rockingham, Charlotte and New Hampshire -- probably half of them. The other half of them I haven't. I need to do that before I can ever run for the championship. We've learned a lot this year. These Hendrick Chevrolets are great. We've got some great horsepower under the hood. I'm proud of these guys. We've had an up and down year, and we're finishing strong." JEFF GORDON (#24 DuPont Automotive Refinishes Monte Carlo) - Started 6th, finished 4th - Gordon scored his circuit-leading 22nd top-five finish and gained 15 points on second-place Mark Martin. He led twice for 23 laps. - "We were right where we needed to be in position. The track was coming to us. When you break that momentum it's hard to come back from it, but to get a fourth-place here today is a great day for us. We raced the guys we needed to race and did exactly what we needed to do in the championship race. We need to do that two more times. I really don't know what the problem was with the axle or wheel cap. I was amazed when I heard it myself. It's great the guys noticed it and could react quick enough to get it fixed. Luckily we got that caution and were able to fix it. We've run good here in the past. We just haven't had any great finishes. This is exactly what we needed to do. This is our best finish ever in this race, and that's what it takes to win the championship. "I came off turn two and slid up a little bit at the beginning and bang -- I rubbed the wall. It didn't hurt it and we were fortunate that we didn't hurt it any more than we did. "We were chasing a few little scares today. Early on, I brushed the wall in turn two. It took us a little while for the car to come in. On the long runs, we were as good as anyone. We're riding along there and working our way back to the front and all of a sudden we find ourselves leading the thing. We got the cap that holds the rear axle just hanging there. If it hadn't been for that caution, we probably wouldn't have made it to the end of the race. Or we would have had to fix the axle if it came out. We went way back in that deal, but we were able to come back. We had a good car all day long. Once we got some track position, we could hang with them at the end. We kept those other guys in sight. It was good as far as the championship was concerned. We had some goals we wanted to accomplish. A top five was the main one today. We've had some good luck and bad luck, but we've pretty much had nothing but bad luck here in this race. We wanted to turn that around, and luckily we did. It paid off in the championship race. "I'm scheduled to be on the Jay Leno Show tomorrow night. I don't know what I'll be doing. I doubt if I'll be singing or anything with this voice. I'm sure we'll come up with something fun." STERLING MARLIN (#4 Kodak Gold Film Monte Carlo) - Started 35th, finished 9th - "When you're pitting down there in the next county (backstretch), you're grateful to finish anywhere. To come back with a top 10...well, we're pretty happy with that. We had a good car, but we had a long way to go, too. It was a good finish." JOE NEMECHEK (#42 BellSouth Monte Carlo) - Started 19th, finished 10th - "Maybe we should have changed the pain scheme sooner. That was a good solid top-10 finish today, and we haven't had one of those since Richmond. I can't say enough about Tony Glover (crew chief) and the crew. They did a great job. We're learning every week, and we're going to keep improving. I'm really looking forward to these last two races and next season with this team."