MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/ KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS -- Winner: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THIS NIGHT FOR YOU? "I've been watching Hornaday. I just knew this double-file restart was going to cost us. But I want to thank CARQUEST/Kellogg's and Chevrolet,...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/ KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS -- Winner:
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THIS NIGHT FOR YOU? "I've been watching Hornaday. I just knew this double-file restart was going to cost us. But I want to thank CARQUEST/Kellogg's and Chevrolet, Sprint, Rick Hendrick and his race team. That was fun! That's what life's all about right there. These guys deserve to win. We could have parked the car yesterday with an hour left in practice. But you know the best car doesn't usually win. The double-file restarts are to mess the best car up so he doesn't win to make it good for the fans and it did but we luckily pulled it off anyway."
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS:
"First things first, Happy Birthday to Mr. H. (Rick Hendrick, team owner, Hendrick Motorsports). It is his 60th birthday. We are nothing without him, he makes all this happen. Mark Martin was awesome. This CARQUEST/Kellogg's team, what can I say...four wins. I am speechless, that was crazy."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS -- Finished 2nd:
GOOD CALL BY YOUR CREW CHIEF TO GET YOU SOME TIRES, WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE AT THE END? "Well we had our struggles. We had a good car, we were just a little too tight there at the beginning and we were making adjustments. Carl Edwards and I got racing really hard and he got loose underneath me and we about wrecked so we had a long battle from that point on. It was an incredible call that (crew chief) Steve Letarte made and the whole pit crew just did a fantastic job getting us off pit road. It was four tires then it was just a battle maneuvering through traffic with cars slipping and sliding all over the place. That last restart Mark (Martin) went a little early and I just spun the tires when I tried to get it going. It's still a great finish, one-two for Hendrick. Got to thank the Patriot Academy and DuPont. It's a privilege having them on board. We could certainly use a night like this and that's important in the Chase. We're running really strong and showing them what we're made of on these tracks."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS -- Finished 8th
WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND KURT BUSCH? "I don't even know. I think the No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) got inside of me and got me loose. He was on new tires. And then the No. 2 (Kurt Busch) and I touched he body-slammed me after that. So, that was the least of my problems. The bigger problem I has was when I was leading and the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) pushed me all the way through (Turns) 1 and 2 and eventually I lost control of the car and that's what put me back there. But it was just hard racing.
"It was one of those days. I thought we had this thing won at one point and then on that restart it didn't work out so well for us and then everybody was out of control back there racing and body-slamming. The No. 83 (Brian Vickers) and the No. 11 went at it for a little bit. We were bump-drafting down the straightaways and that was some wild racing. I didn't think we could race like that on a 1.5-mile."
WERE THE DOUBLE-FILE RESTARTS AS WILD AS YOU HAVE SEEN THEM? "I would say more so. I think we're all getting more comfortable with it. The car, you can actually lean on each other and really make bumper-to-bumper contact on the straightaways. And it's like a short track at 190 mph. It's great but we're all getting more and more comfortable with it and pretty soon we're going to have some big pile-ups.
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED WITH YOU AND KURT BUSCH? "I'm not really sure. I don't think there really was anything. We were just all racing up off of (Turn) 4. The No. 24 got inside of me and I got loose and we touched. And when we touched, he just came down and body-slammed me like, trying to get some room from me. But it was just a racing thing. The No. 24 got inside of me and got me sideways."
BUT IT LOOKED LIKE KURT BUSCH GAVE YOU AN EXTRA SHOT THAT MIGHT HAVE EVEN COST YOU THE WIN "Yeah, I don't know if it cost me the win, but he certainly body-slammed me pretty hard. And then what was funny was he was coming to hit me again and he saw the No. 24 on the apron and I think at that time he realized that I didn't run him up the track on purpose. So at the end of the race everybody's tempers are high. He's one of those guys that his temper can get away from him and when he first hit me it was like, all right man, this is racing; this isn't necessary. And then he backed off."
THE FIELD WAS REALLY STRUNG OUT TONIGHT. WAS THAT AN AERO ISSUE? "Aero is a big part of it. Our cars were pretty good and we could get away. Unfortunately I was up front so much today, I didn't really get a chance to see a lot of cars and what was going on. But Mark (Martin) really had the dominant car in my eyes. There were a couple of segments where we were better, but overall Mark had the dominant car and I'm glad to see him win the race."
SOME OF THE DRIVERS ARE SAYING DOUBLE-FILE RESTARTS ARE CAUSING CHAOS. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION AFTER FOUR WEEKS? "They certainly make things exciting. They give everybody a chance and when you can group everyone up that close and they can see the front and they know the checkered flag is not far away, the racing just gets really intense. I agree. The racing has been extremely intense. I've had some weeks that it worked for me and some that it worked against me. This weekend, we were leading the race and the No. 11 (Hamlin) tries pushing me all the way through (Turns) 1 and 2 on the restart and I got real loose, and luckily I didn't wreck. But it's just being aggressive and the nature of this double-file racing."
WILL YOU TRY TO TALK TO KURT BUSCH, OR JUST LET IT GO? "I don't know. I first need to find out if he's mad. I kind of thought it was a racing thing, but the fact that everybody is asking me more questions.
WELL IT IS BECAUSE OF THE EXTRA SHOT HE GAVE YOU. IT LOOKED LIKE HE WAS COMING AFTER YOU AGAIN AT ONE POINT "Yeah, we'll see. We'll talk at some point. The good thing is each week we end up running into one another again and talking at driver intros or something. It never fails; you'll be put in the back of a pickup truck with a guy the next week riding around the track (laughs), so it'll work itself out."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS -- Finished 6th:
A SOLID TOP-TEN FINISH, WALK US THROUGH YOUR NIGHT "Well, we seemed to be a 10th to 14th place car, depending on the run; with the exception of the first run when we were about a 20th place car. We just kept working with the U.S. Army Chevrolet and the guys did a great job, especially on pit road tonight. We struggled a little bit down the straightaways, but I can't complain a whole lot because the guys that run up in front of me were the same horsepower. We'll just keep working with it. It was a great rebound for us. We took advantage of a couple of guys beating each other's fenders and got a good points day for us."
ON THE DOUBLE-FILE RE-STARTS "It's cool. I think it is good racing. There are times when it's going to be to your advantage, and times it's going to be to your disadvantage, but you've just got to be there for the taking."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS:
"It was pretty good. We messed way up bad at the end the last 70-80 laps, we screwed the pooch on all of the adjustments. We had it too tight and we had it too loose. I don't know really what we weren't doing right. We did a great job I thought up until that point in the race. We had some pretty good highlights and maintaining pretty good. We should have finished a little better but we were getting there."
DID THE CALL FOR TWO TIRES ON THAT LAST CAUTION GAIN YOU SOME POSITIONS? "It allowed us to gain some spots but you want the race to finish under green. That is what racing is all about. Racing isn't about cautions and cautions and jumbling the field, that isn't fun. And that ain't what racin' is about."
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 25 GODADDY.COM IMPALA SS:
"We made progress all night. By the end, we were definitely a top-five car, maybe better. I am proud of everybody on the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. Good night in general. Just keep working forward like this, this is fun. We would like to have the finish to go with it, but we ran very very strong tonight. I just want to continue to gain experience and have fun at the same time."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS:
"We worked so hard in the two practice sessions on Friday to get the car better than where we qualified. And, we were fairly successful with the adjustments we made there at the end on our Jack Daniel's Chevrolet.
''Once the race started we just tried to find our groove so we could get to the first pit stops for adjustments. But, there weren't too many cautions early so we ended up getting where we needed to be toward the end of the race.
''It's not the finish I know we're capable of with this RCR team, But the good news is we finished in one piece, learned a few things and the Jack Daniel's crew did a great job on pit road.''
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS IMPALA SS:
"Just a disappointing end to a great day. We ran up front up all day. We knew we were going to have to keep track position but there at the end, all hell broke loose. Race cars running in to everybody. Had to checkup for the No. 48 and it put me back."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT BACK TO SCHOOL IMPALA SS -- Finished 4TH:
HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR NIGHT? "It was a solid night, then it got to be really bad and then it got really good at the end there. I'll take a fourth-place tonight, given where we were without 30 (laps) to go. It was up and down. We were solid and kept picking our way to the front and got ourselves up to third at one point. We got really loose and fell back to sixth and we came in for a pit stop and we had a little hiccup in the pits and got behind. Then we cut a tire when we came out of the pits after another stop after the big wreck down there in (turn) one. We ran through some debris. We were able to rebound from that and I'm really proud of the Office Depot/Old Spice guys for that. It was a strong effort."
WAS THE TRACK AERO-SENSITIVE? "You could pass; you just had to get the balance. If we were a little bit off, we were a lot off. It's just such a momentum track that as soon as you break your momentum -- if you are little bit loose here or tight there -- just a little bit off anywhere, it really killed your corner and straightaway speed. It was a tough night and you had to be on it and that's what the 5 car did all night long.
AS A TEAM OWNER, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE RACE? "When you have two cars fourth and sixth, you can't call it a bad night. They (Ryan Newman) got back there in the beginning and it looks like they worked back up there. I'm really proud of both of these teams for fighting as hard as they did tonight."
DID YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO RACE WITH MARK MARTIN? "I think there were only two other cars that got to race with Mark. I never got close enough to him to see him hardly. I'm telling you, the man hasn't lost anything. He's been in his prime for 30 years now."
ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE "You always need strong nights like we had tonight. When you're trying to put yourself in a position to win a championship, consistently is the biggest thing. To be able to knock off top-fives, like we did tonight, that's what it's going to take to win a championship. That's what makes night's like tonight so crucial, being able to battle back from some adversity."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR IMPALA SS -- Involved in crash, finished 37th:
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "It is a crazy night, I mean. The Caterpillar Chevrolet was actually pretty fast. We were running 30th because we came in to pit, I had my foot on the clutch and for some reason my foot didn't lose the clutch, but the clutch disengaged so it ran it off the jack and we couldn't get it backed up off the jack so we lost three laps under green. Those things always happen under green, they never happen under caution. So we were kind of done at that point. We did make one of the laps back up got ourselves two laps down.
"Double-file restarts four weeks in a row and I have been in wrecks four weeks in a row. I know it is exciting to watch and I am sure it is exciting to talk about but my perspective right now isn't really good. It has been four weeks that wrecks happened in front of us and we have been in four of them. I am about done with them."
ARE THEY TRYING TO GET YOU BACK OUT? "They are trying but it hit really hard, it hit really hard. With the few laps that are left, I will be surprised if we get out but they will work hard and do all they can."
THE CARS ARE REALLY STRUNG OUT HERE TONIGHT. IS THAT AN AERO ISSUE? "Well it looks like to me that Mark (Martin) and Jimmie (Johnson) were just that much better than everybody. Like I could run with about everybody else but I couldn't run with them at all. They just got the deal covered."
-credit: gm racing