FIVE DODGES FINISH IN TOP 10 - Rusty Wallace, Bill Elliott, Jamie McMurray, John Andretti and Sterling Marlin scored top 10 finishes on Sunday in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. It's the first time this season that five Dodges have ...
FIVE DODGES FINISH IN TOP 10 - Rusty Wallace, Bill Elliott, Jamie McMurray, John Andretti and Sterling Marlin scored top 10 finishes on Sunday in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. It's the first time this season that five Dodges have finished in the top 10. The previous best was two weeks ago at Martinsville when three Dodges - Marlin, Wallace and Ken Schrader finished in the top 10.
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid) - finished third
"We were so close. We've got a winning team. We just haven't won yet. The only problem I had out there was Dale Jr., and he was trying to get his lap back. I would have been doing the same thing. He got up underneath me and got me loose and I fell from the lead back to about fourth. That's racing. I'm not disappointed about nothing. I had a good opportunity to win the race."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) - finished fourth
"We had some lugnut problems and lost track position. We lost all track position. As good as everybody runs, it's just hard to get up through there. We were a little bit off the run before, but that last set of tires was really hooked up good. We finally made up some ground. I don't know if I could have beat the 97, but I believe I could have beat those other two cars if I just could have got to 'em. Everybody races so hard and so long it's just hard to do. From where we've been this season, a top 10 would have been great."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline Dodge Intrepid) - finished fifth, top rookie
"My car wasn't the best those first two runs. Then it started to get tight and lose grip. We never could adjust on it and get the balance right. We freed the car up and it would be too loose at the beginning and too loose at the end. The race track changes, and I kept looking around for a groove. At the beginning of the race I ran up high the whole time, and then I think everybody started running up there. It took some grip away and I had to start moving my line around. We just needed the long runs."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid) - finished eighth
"I'm really happy. The guys did a fantastic job the entire weekend. It was a lot of fun. Racing hasn't been a lot of fun for awhile, but this was a lot of fun. Even though I was eighth, it feels better than an eighth-place finish. We were really tight to start. I told them I wasn't going to the top of the track. I didn't care what happened up there because I've been up there before and got in trouble. You get greedy up there, and I wasn't going to get greedy today. I was going to take what we had and go on down the road and that's what happened. My spotter did a real good job telling where the crashed cars were at the end and I didn't lift. It was real disappointing because we had run in the top 10 all day and now we were going to finish out of the top 10. That would have been a bad result. We just took back what was rightfully ours."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid) - finished 10th
"That's another top 10 finish (three straight, fourth in past five races), but we still lost a spot in the standings. The car was a little tight at the start, and then we had some trouble in the pits, but the car was pretty good at the end. We didn't get a lot of practice with this car yesterday and we hadn't raced it since Atlanta. We ended up pretty good with it, but we should have been better than 10th. I guess that's not too bad starting from the rear of the pack. We'll load up and try it again next week at Richmond."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)
"I don't know if somebody got into the 1 car or not, but all I know is the 1 car got loose and got up and shoved me into the wall. That was pretty much it. He came up, and I don't know if he didn't have control or lost control or what. He just got up into me and shoved me into the wall. It happened on the first lap, but I knew the car was going to be good. Rusty is out there leading the race right now, and yesterday in Happy Hour our car was as good as his. It's just one of those things. It seems like we can't buy a break lately and we get involved in everybody else's bad breaks, too."