WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T) "The 92 was in the high groove and we ran up on him and had to slow down. My brother was right behind me and we got together. Obviously it was nothing intentional on Jeff's side. It was...
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The 92 was in the high groove and we ran up on him and had to slow down. My brother was right behind me and we got together. Obviously it was nothing intentional on Jeff's side. It was just one of those things in racing. The Cat team had done a great job. It's a shame we got caught up... We can't have any damn luck at Pocono. One day we will.
"We made little adjustments on the car all day, and it kept getting better. It took us about three-quarters of a run to start getting pretty good. We've learned some things the last couple of weeks, and even last week at New Hampshire, we ran better there than we usually do. Hopefully we're starting to get a handle on it. We had a top-five car today, but we just can't have any luck. The 20 car made it three wide over there on the backstretch, and that kind of started the whole thing. The 92 got loose and had to check up, but I don't know why that lapped car was up in that high groove anyway."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Elliott's fourth-place finish was his best of the season and his second top five of 2001. He jumped three positions in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings and is now 16th after 20 of 36 events. Elliott, a four-time winner at Pocono, last had a top-10 finish at the 2.5-mile track on July 20, 1997. He finished 10th in that race.
"We had a good day. I was pleased. Mike (crew chief Ford) said at the start of the race to have fun, and I had fun all day long. The car wasn't too bad. I was a little bit tight there one time, but that last set of tires was the best. The weather change helped me a lot. I'm just glad it's over with. This is just like a win for us. As far as we've come in the last number of weeks. If we just keep digging, we'll get there. We changed a bunch of things this morning, and it all went in the right direction. At least I can see 'em now.
"We've run decent the last few weeks, but we haven't had a race like we had today. The motor ran good. The car drove good for the most part. We were best there at the end when it counted, and we were able to pull it out more. I don't think there's been any one thing that's been keeping us down. It's just been a lot of little stuff. It's stuff we've got to work through and try to get better each week.
"I ran out of fuel just past the start-finish line after the checkered flag. It never bobbled until then.
"We started off and the car was hooked up and ran well all day long. We've just got to keep working through this stuff. Ray and all the guys have really worked hard, and if we can just keep working, we've got the team that can do it. We've had some bad luck, but we've just got to keep getting better. That's where these teams beat us each week. We were kind of set up for the cool, and the race track kind of came to us. I feel like we had to grow as a team, and we've got to keep getting a dialogue of what these cars want."
DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We just couldn't do anything right. We had a good car. It's just unbelievable. If we could have just got track position and rode up front with the leaders, we would have been in good shape, but what are you going to do? We had a plug wire come off early. We thought we had dropped a cylinder, but we came in and got the plug wire fixed and then we finally got back on the lead lap. I think we were running eighth on the last lap before we ran out of gas. We finished 22nd, and that's really not good considering how good the car was today."
STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We lost fourth gear. I hate Ward got caught up in it. You hate to see one of your Dodge teammates get caught up in something like that. When it jumped out of gear, Ward was right on me. He checked up to keep from turning me around and he got turned around. I hate it for those guys."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"Obviously, we weren't as good here as we were last time. I don't know if everybody else got better or what. We just didn't ever get the car the way we needed it. It would have been a good day to pick up some points, but we just keep losing points. We're managing to stay in fifth place, but really we're dropping further behind. We'll see what happens next week at The Brickyard. Hopefully we'll be able to get back on track."
CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Atwood finished 15th, his best career finish at Pocono. He was also the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender for the second time this season. He's now ranked third in the six-driver rookie battle.
"It could have been a little better. We struggled a little bit today. We made some big chassis changes and got it back up to 15th, but that wasn't what we wanted. We thought we could get a top five or at least a top 10 out of it, so we're a little disappointed. We got some track position somehow, but we were still tight there at the end. We were tighter at the end than we were at the beginning, so I don't know what the trouble was. Any time you can be the top rookie it's pretty decent, but there's a lot more people I want to beat out there than just the rookies."
MORE COMMENTS FROM BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We needed a good run. Everything worked good. The car drove good for the most part. That's what we've got to shoot for each and every week. You never feel like you've got it turned around in this business, but if we can keep running like we did today, you never know. We couldn't run with those best guys at the end, but we weren't bad. We really need to run well at Indy. This race a year ago, I ran well in my car. We'll see what Indy brings us. It really pays good, so you need to run good there. These flatter tracks, you catch someone at a pretty good clip, but it's hard to pass 'em. I had fun, and that's what it's all about. I had a ball. I could stand a little more of that."
RAY EVERNHAM (Car owner Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
"Both cars ran good (9 and 19). We felt like the 19 car could have been better yet, but we've got to find out what happened to it. Something happened with it, but we just don't know what. Fourth and 15th, that's our best finish with Bill, and it's a lot better than our last finish at Pocono with the 19 car. I think we had the two top Dodges today. We had the top Dodge in qualifying and had the top Dodge finishing, and Casey was the top rookie. It was a good day. The only reason they (19 team) got a lap down was because of the pit stops again, but it says a lot for the team. If we can keep making improvements, we're going to be OK. I've really got two good race teams here, and the guys are doing a great job. I can probably start staying home if they keep learning this way."