ANDY HILLENBURG - No. 80 Hover Motorsports Taurus (Finished 42nd) "I was trying to give the 20 car some room and, basically, just got up in front of him when he had a head of steam and he just got into me. It wasn't his fault. We just have to...
ANDY HILLENBURG - No. 80 Hover Motorsports Taurus (Finished 42nd)
"I was trying to give the 20 car some room and, basically, just got up in front of him when he had a head of steam and he just got into me. It wasn't his fault. We just have to go back and make our car a little bit faster to be able to keep up with these guys. This is the big boys league. It's the toughest racing there ever was and I think ever will be and we've just got to go back and build us a little bit faster car and try to be the faster car instead of the slower one."
WERE YOU KIND OF A SITTING DUCK WHEN JEFF GORDON CAME AROUND? "Yeah, I feel bad for Jeff and all of his fans. I was sideways on the race track and Jeff didn't just have anywhere to go. I feel bad for that, but we'll be back and we'll be back with a faster car."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 5th)
"That's a great outcome. We were a little bit loose most of the day, but my pit crew is the best on pit road. They gained me two or three spots every single time I came into the pits. I was looking forward to coming in and making the adjustments and these guys got me in the top five. It was fun racing Kurt there at the end. He raced me very, very clean and that's why I like racing with him. It's great to get a top five for M&M's here at Darlington because it's one of my favorite tracks. This was definitely good for the point standings after what we went through last week."
IT'S ANOTHER TOP 10. "That's three out of the first five and my guys deserve a great race after what happened last week. They got beat up pretty bad by everybody and to come back and finish in the top five with a great qualifying effort and great pit stops is a great weekend. The car is in one piece, so it's a good weekend for M&M's, Robert Yates and everyone involved."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOU'VE MATURED SINCE LAST YEAR? "I think we learned so much last year at the end working with Todd Parrott. He's made me a great conservative race car driver. I think I've always learned how to run fast, but with him and Raymond and Robert and everybody on the radio calming me down and keeping me focused on what I need to do, now I kind of know when to run fast and I think that's the biggest difference between now and last year."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE LAST FEW LAPS? "It was great. I tell you what, it was fun racing with Kurt Busch. He's a great race car driver. He raced me clean. We were really going at it. It's just great to finish fifth. I didn't really have anything at the beginning of the run, so I was kind of holding on to do what I could do to keep up with these guys. I just had a lot of fun racing with him and this is a great, great weekend for us coming off of what happened last week."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Finished 6th)
"It was a great run. On average we were probably the fastest car all day, we just didn't end up with a top five. That's how competitive the Nextel Cup Series is. The crew was able to give me great pit stops and with the way the engine ran all day it's tough to come away with a sixth, but it's a great step in the right direction. After the past few weeks we just weren't a top five car. Today we were a top five car and that's just due to Jimmy Fennig stepping up and saying we're gonna go this route with our setup. It makes it a little bit tougher to driver, but I've got to adjust to it."
WHAT ABOUT THE LAST FEW LAPS. SADLER SAID IT WAS FUN RACING YOU. "I was upset that we kept getting passed on pit road and I wanted to try to get back in the top five. He's almost a teammate of mine being a Ford. He was the highest finishing Ford and we were next to him. It was a good day for the Fords."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Finished 12th)
"We got the right-front tire hurt and were falling back trying to stay on the lead lap. I was trying to move around some lapped cars and got up in the wall in one and two and the car wasn't the same after that. We probably knocked the toe out or something, but what got us in that position was hurting right-front tires. It could be camber-related or air-pressure, we don't really know. It was a good day for our Travelodge car. I think we were a top-five car easy until we started having right-front tire trouble."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 7th)
"I've got the best race team in the business right now. We've just got to get our cars a little bit faster and we'll do that. I love Pat Tryson and my guys. I want to keep them charged up and keep them together. We're fighting right now, so I'm real proud of that finish. We'll keep working on it and try to get faster."
WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE END? "I'm happy with the finish. We weren't as good with the race car as we hoped, but I'm really proud of Pat Tryson and the Viagra team. This is the best team, in my opinion, in the business right now and I'm really lucky to have these guys. We've got to get our cars going a little bit faster, but we've got the team. I love these guys and I love working with them. I'm proud to run seventh here today and go to Bristol and try to improve on it."
YOU GAINED SPOTS IN THE PITS AND MOVED UP ALL DAY. "Yeah, we wrestled the chassis setup some. We weren't really right. We got the car pretty good, but it just never was quite right. But it was a top 10 car and we stayed there once we got there."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 33rd)
"Something happened to us. We popped a tire and hit the fence. This was a case where we had a lot better day than what we got out of it. We had a lot better day than what we got for a finishing result. In previous weeks I couldn't say that. The car was a little better. I don't understand why we can't seem to make the right calls to get a break on this pit strategy stuff. I caught the 17, caught the 6 and passed them early in the race and I guess we stayed out longer on tires than they did and I guess that bit us. Those guys didn't get a lap down. I can't say it was the wrong call, it just wasn't a lucky call."
ROBBIE REISER, Crew Chief - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Kenseth finished 31st)
CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW NASCAR RULED WHEN THEY PENALIZED MATT? "Don't ask me what NASCAR rules. I don't know. Obviously, they've got a different set of rules for every race and I guess I've just got to get a rule book for every race. I don't know what happened."
WAS IT A CASE WHERE THEY SAID YOU PULLED UP TO PIT? "We never pitted, so pulling up to pit is a lame excuse for a lap penalty. I really don't know what happened, so for me commenting on it probably ain't right because I really don't know the whole circumstance."
DO YOU HAVE TO BECOME A NASCAR OFFICIAL? "I can't comment on something I don't know nothing about really, to be honest with you. It seems like these days you need a rule book for every race track we go to, but I don't know what the rule was and I don't really know what happened, so for me to comment on anything for what they called a penalty, I can't give you a straight answer. But I can tell you this, the penalty for pulling up to pit - we didn't pit. So whatever they want to tell us, I'm sure I'll understand it after they get done with me."
WHAT DID THEY SAY TO YOU ON PIT ROAD? "They didn't explain nothing to me. They didn't know. They just told me I had a lap penalty and I had to accept it. Either that or they were gonna pull my scorecard, so we accepted the penalty and went on."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 SKF Taurus (Finished 11th)
"It's a little bit disappointing. About a third of the way through the race we were really fast and we had to pit and fix our grille because I poked somebody and had to fix that. Then we were really, really good - a top three car. Then we came in and put a set of tires on and then we weren't as good. It was terrible. We went to the back and was gonna go a lap down and couldn't figure out why, so we came in and a tire was going down. So we made an adjustment to fix that and then we were too tight. All in all, it was a good day. I'm proud of our guys. They had good pit stops and we can build on this."
MIKE FORD, Crew Chief - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Jarrett finished 32nd)
DALE WAS IN THE TOP FIVE AND THEN GOT IN THE WALL. WHAT HAPPENED? "We had a good race car and started getting a real good handle on it. It was probably the best car on old tires. We came in around lap 180 to put tires on and when we went back out, within a few laps, we cut a left-rear down. We don't know exactly how it happened, but we cut it down and the damage was done from there on out."