RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Keep it Genuine/Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 40th) "The car was driving good. We qualified poorly. I overdrove in qualifying and got in there too deep and messed my lap up, so we had to come from the back. We came up to ...
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Keep it Genuine/Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 40th)
"The car was driving good. We qualified poorly. I overdrove in qualifying and got in there too deep and messed my lap up, so we had to come from the back. We came up to about 22nd or so, but the bottom line is we moved forward. I was just a little bit snug. We were gonna adjust it on the first stop. We had a really good race car, but we got hung up with Mike Wallace. I thought I was clear of him. He had just enough nose up there - he was on the outside racing pretty hard early in the race - I didn't realize his nose was there. The bottom line is it's probably my fault, but early in the race he probably didn't need to be there."
MICHAEL "FATBACK" MCSWAIN, Crew Chief - No. 21 Keep it Genuine/Motorcraft Taurus
"We did this thing on the spur of the moment. Everybody worked worked hard and everybody busted their tails and we had a good race car tonight. We were just kind of biding our time when we got in a little wreck. But I've got a real positive feeling coming out of here."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 RoundUp Taurus (Finished 33rd)
"The RoundUp car was really awesome. We were faster than the leader a number of laps, so I've got to thank Bob Osborne and all these guys. I think it all started with qualifying. If we would have been a little better in qualifying, I think we'd be right there in the front right now. But it was a combination of being a lap down and a little bit of a lack of experience on my part. I wasn't being quite defensive enough and I got into Sterling Marlin when he checked up the first time. That kind of set us back and then that last one I had the brakes locked up and people were running into me from behind. I barely got Rusty, so I don't think there's much I could do differently on that one. That was just unfortunate."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 13th)
"We ran better than I thought we were going to. I messed up and cost us a lap there. Pat told me to go straight out of the race track but I was either concentrating too much or not enough I guess. I had never done a green flag stop here. I know it happened last time. I know he said it on the radio, I just wasn't listening."
TWO RACES TO GO AND YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CHANCES? "We fought hard tonight. We had a pretty good race car and I was really proud of it. I'm proud of the team and the whole deal. It was a good run for us. We did the best we could and recovered well from getting a lap down because we had such a great car. I've got a great race team. We're gonna keep fighting. If we make it, we make it. If we don't, we don't."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Finished 9th)
"We did the pit strategy right under green. Robbie did a good job there and kept us on the lead lap. At the end there when we pitted we didn't get a real good pit stop and we came out one of the last cars on the lead lap. A bunch of cars that NASCAR gave their laps back with that lucky dog thing - Newman and some of those guys - stayed out and it got us so far back in the pack that we restarted ninth and our car was just real tight on the last run and couldn't go anywhere. I guess we probably should have just stayed out and tried to get in front I guess."
THERE WERE 200 GREEN FLAG LAPS. THAT WAS ODD. "That was good for us because Robbie did the pit strategy right. We pitted early under green when they did and we were able to put a whole bunch of cars a lap down, so that actually worked out good for us."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 5th)
"That's a good run. I love this place. I love my race team because they never give up on me. We battled a tight race car all night and they made a good adjustment. I know Dale, Jr. is happy about winning, but, doggone, he ain't much happier than I am for finishing in the top five. This is great for our points deal. It's great for M&M's, Coca-Cola, Raybestos, Locktight, CitiFinancial. I love these race fans. They're more vocal than anywhere we go and it's cool to finish good here at Bristol."
TWO RACES TO GO UNTIL THE CHASE. "That's good. We've got just as good a chance to win this championship as anybody else does. We've got a consistent race team - nothing flashy - but very consistent. That's what it's gonna take to win the championship."
WHAT ABOUT THE RACE? "That's the hardest race I've ever been in in my life and this is the best I've ever felt after a race. We needed this so bad after last week at Michigan. We needed a good top five here and this place can take you out and really humble you. I'm so proud of my guys. They didn't give up on me all night. We had great pit stops."
SO MANY GREEN FLAG LAPS. "Yeah. On that long green flag run I said, 'Wow, this is cool.' Then when the 8 car got to me I said, 'Wow, we need a caution,' and the caution was lucky for us tonight. We got the lucky dog pass and were able to take advantage of it and finish fifth. We finished in front of a lot of guys racing for the championship, so I'm very happy."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 10th)
"We had a great car, but lap traffic. We got up to second or third there and on one of the restarts I got down to the inside and Robby Gordon tried to drive down on the apron and turned me around. That put us in a bad position then because we got back in the pack and then they checked up over there. Somebody got in the back of me and I got into Rusty and messed up the front end, so we were lucky to salvage 10th and we're still in the battle."
HOW DO YOU ASSESS YOUR CHANCES? "We still have a chance and we're still giving ourselves a chance. This could have been a night where we couldn't solidify getting in the top 10, but we could have taken ourselves out of it and we did a good job. We had a really good car. It's unfortunate we didn't finish better than 10th, but it's very good that we got a top 10."
ARE YOU HOPEFUL OF THE TOP 10? "It's not impossible. We've just got to go have two good races. We'll concentrate on California next week and if we can have a good race there, we'll have a good chance."
WAS YOUR HEART IN YOUR THROAT AFTER GETTING SPUN AND SEEING THE ONCOMING TRAFFIC RIGHT IN YOUR FACE KNOWING WHAT'S AT STAKE? "I don't know if it's what's at stake as much as I had a car capable of running and challenging to win the race. That's what made me mad right at that point in time."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Finished 8th)
"It just wasn't the Sharpie Ford we've had in the past. It never wanted to turn for us. We were tight in and through the middle and coming off. We threw more changes at it than the law allowed and it just never fell into the comfort zone that this car usually has. It's just a great run that we had and to have it end by a legend-in-the-making, Dale, Jr. had a fast race car. I just got marred in traffic at the end. I think we could have got by the 42 and the 40 and that would have allowed us to race for a top five, but the 42 was just fast enough to hold us up all the way at the end. We're elated with an eighth-place finish and that's good for our chase for the championship. I believe that's what you saw tonight because there were not many yellows at all. Everybody was taking their time."
THE CAR IS THE SAME THAT WON THREE STRAIGHT HERE BUT IT DIDN'T HAVE THE SAME FEEL? "Yeah, it didn't have that look, feel, nothing. The left-front was traveling too far and bottoming out and the spring was too stiff, so it was an unforeseen circumstance that we couldn't deal with this time around."