KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) ON THE RACE: "We had a great car. The team did a good job. We had good pit stops. Everything was nice. That final run we were a top-four car and just got the car loosened up a little too much -- maybe...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
ON THE RACE: "We had a great car. The team did a good job. We had good pit stops. Everything was nice. That final run we were a top-four car and just got the car loosened up a little too much -- maybe a slippery set of tires, maybe a slow pit stop and I just kind of fell back to 13th or 14th, but prior to that we were really good and still got a top-10 out of it, so it was really good for us."
ON BACK-TO-BACK TOP 10s: "It feels good. That's what we're after -- to get top-10s and top-15s -- that'll put us solid in the points there and now we just keep working to make ourselves better."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger)
ON THE RACE: "The car was just okay. At times we were a seventh-place car and at other times we were a 15th-place car. If you average it out I think we did a little bit better than we could have. The Alltel/Samsung Dodge just held its own. We spent and extra day and an extra 168 laps and ended up in the same spot, so it's alright."
ON THE BRUSH WITH THE WALL: "We were just trying to hard. We were on two tires and just trying to keep that track position, which is so important and I just over-drove it."
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) ON THE RACE: "It was a good battle for us with the points situation. We were able to work our way up front (started 36th) - we just stalled around the 12th position. The competition was real tough -- our No. 12 Miller Lite Dodge was fighting loose on exit. We were trying to make adjustments, but could never make it (the car) better -- and then we were chasing track conditions -- cool at night and rain. At the start of the race today - it started off really fast in the beginning -- then it starts to warm up. So you're trying to make adjustments and learn with the car, but then the car plays trick with you at the same time."
HOW FAR INTO THE RUN DID IT TAKE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE TRACK LIKED? "It changed about 50 laps into the race today -- about half-way through the 500 mile race. When the track settled in, we raced with a loose condition on exit and that's what we were fighting."
AS A DRIVER, HOW DIFFICULT WAS THE RAIN DELAY? "It was almost like a Daytona 24 Hour feel where you drive two hours -- you're out of the car for a little bit - then you dry two hours more. So that's what the mentality was that I had.
"I just didn't think that we could get the race in last night with the track weeping like it was. I hated it for the race fans that stuck around but it was great to see some of them come back today."
HOW FINE OF A LINE IS THERE WITH THE IN-RACE ADJUSTMENTS MADE ON THESE NEW CARS? "That was our struggle today. We made small changes and the car would react the opposite way of what we were hoping. It would get looser or tighter -- we weren't making the proper adjustments -- so I don't know if we need to reverse our philosophy or what."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Jim Beam Dodge Charger)
ON THE RACE: "It was a good run. We just didn't keep up with the car. The motor was good. The car was good. We just didn't keep up with it if that makes any sense. The track got loose when the sun came out and we just kept trying to tighten our car up and we never got it tight enough. It was just too loose on the gas. We easily had a top-10 car and we finished 18th, so we'll take those points and go to the bank. We are definitely better than that."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT AN 18TH-PLACE FINISH AFTER THE WEEK YOU'VE HAD? "An 18th place finish is not really where our car ran for most of the day. We were right around nine to 13, but the last couple stops we just didn't make any good adjustments to it and found ourselves going backwards."
ARE THE POINTS ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: "We're going to get our points back -- I think that's the most important thing. It brings us to 32nd right now, but that's still not a representation of where our car is running. Are car is a top-15 car. With the 100 points we would probably be sitting here around 12th, so I'm looking at that more than anything."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS CAR AT CALIFORNIA? "I think it was pretty good. It was fun to race. We were three and four-wide in the corner. I'm not sure what it was like for the fans, but from the drivers point of view it was pretty good because you could go inside or outside. This race track is starting to come apart which is a good thing -- I hope they don't fix it. When race tracks come apart there are two or three grooves and it make for more of an opportunity to pass."
HOW WAS YOUR RACING EXPERIENCE HERE THIS WEEKEND? "I was at home here in California, so for me it didn't make as much of a difference for me as it did for maybe some of the other drivers who had cabin fever in their mobile homes or in the front of the haulers. It is what it is. I'm just happy we got the race in and I'm happy with the result that we had, but I think we're better than that."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Juicy Fruit Dodge Charger)
ON THE RACE: "It started pretty bad, but we got it better. Last time we didn't run as good as we wanted. Today we got pretty good and before the last stop I hit the wall coming in, in the middle of three and four and I guess I knocked the toe out and I went from running 11th to 20th."
ON THE LAST COUPLE DAYS IN CALIFORNIA: "It's been a boring week, but at least we ran better than we always run here so I was pretty happy about that."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 40 Target Dodge Charger)
WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY THAT WILL HELP YOU DOWN THE ROAD: "I learned a lot. We went through a lot of different conditions between last night and today and I'm just getting used to driving the car and racing the cars as well. You know we were looking good for a top-30 there and we think we dropped a valve with five to go, but we ended up with a huge misfire with five laps to go and dropped three places. That was unfortunate. The Target Dodge was pretty good. We were probably going to get a top-30 out of it. I learned a bunch about how slick the tracks are and how much the cars move around."
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy U2 3D Dodge Charger)
ON THE RACE: "The track was a lot slicker today than it was yesterday with all the rain and lack of racing on there. It was a frustrating day for us; we just missed the set-up a little bit. I felt like we had a better car than where we finished in 24th place. But, we ran all day and it's races like this when you don't have the car you want, if you just finish and run every lap, you make the most of it in racing.
"We hurt the car a little bit when I spun last night out there. I was just trying to run up high and see what the car would do and I got caught up in the loose stuff and it went around. The crew did a great job of repairing it today on the first pit stops and we were able to race on from there. We just kept losing the rear grip in the car as the race went on today.
"It was one of those days. We'll keep digging and go to Vegas this weekend."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Dodge Charger)
ON THE RACE: "Well, everyone is trying new front-end stuff with shocks and springs in order to get this car to turn. Last year it was coil-binding the front springs. Now we're working with bump stops on the front shocks. We're working hard to get a grasp of this, but we just missed a little bit somewhere today. I know we didn't get the finish we wanted, but I think all of us learned a lot."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Charger)
ON THE RACE: "You know, the rain delay hurt us. In all honesty, we probably shouldn't have started the race until Monday. The track wasn't ready and a lot of good cars were torn up as a result. We had a good car early, but it was too loose on Monday morning. We did figure out that these cars need pretty big changes for you to feel it from the seat. That should help us at Las Vegas next week and at Atlanta."
-credit: dodge motorsports