ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD POST-RACE QUOTES -- Sunday, Aug. 6
TONY STEWART (No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet): "It is kind of hard to pass, so when you get guys in a two-wide situation, a lot of times you can get a really big run and go three-wide to get by. That's about the only time that we had to take any chances. For the most part, it was a lot of fun today."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet): "We ran around the top 10, 11, 12, 13 all day, then we put some air in the tires, and the car went to junk. It just wouldn't get any grip. We slid all over the track, fell back to 27th and got in a wreck there at the end."
CARL EDWARDS (No. 99 Office Depot Ford): "Had a strong car, just got it too loose into the corners at the end of the race. It was just all I could do to hang onto it and not wreck it. Had fun, though, we were pretty fast at parts of the race. That was a blast."
(Pit strategy at the end. You took four tires): "Yeah, we were all right with four, we just didn't need it that loose, so we lost a lot of spots there. That's frustrating, but you try, that's what you get."
(Were tires ever an issue?): "No, not for me. The Goodyear's were good."
DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet): (About his chances to win): "I just had old tires trying to hold my position the best I could. I wasn't a factor to win."
(About how the heat affect him): "I just had to drive really hard at the end. (It was) harder than I normally drive."
MARK MARTIN (No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford): "Awesome run for us. I want to thank the fans for making this year so special, and the AAA team for giving me a car that I could see the front all day. Couldn't quite get there. I was proud just to have a chance. Our car was really good, we barely adjusted all day. We were slow in practice all day, but it felt like the balance was right, and when the race started it was just fast. It felt like a different car today than yesterday."
(Did you have a loose wheel at some point?): "We had a loose wheel on the next-to-last run. We were very fortunate to get that caution, that last one."
DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge): "I had a pretty fast car. It just wouldn't get going off the get-go, but in the long runs we were good. We did what we had to do and got back in the top 35, so I'm pretty happy about that."
KYLE BUSCH (No. 5 Kellogg's/Delphi Chevrolet): "(It was) very hot. It was a bad day for us. The car wasn't driving well at all. We made the best of it there at the end. We just had to come along and do what we could with it. We salvaged along a seventh and won some points today."
(About skipping the last pit stop): "It made our day. There was no way we were going to come from 30th up to seventh, so it was definitely the way to go."
GREG BIFFLE (No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford): "Our race cars aren't what they need to be. I struggled all day. Not bad when we we're first or second, but we get back in traffic at all, and you can't drive it. Can't drive it at all. It's unfortunate, we're dwindling out of the Chase hunt, but that's the way it goes. Track position today was way more important than tires, and we decided to put four tires on instead of keeping track position. It cost us, obviously. Just cost us our finish."
(What happened on the last lap? Caught up in a wreck?): "Yeah, the No. 7, I think, got loose or the No. 10 hit him maybe, I don't know what happened. I saw the No. 7 spinning out and he hit me, there was nothing I could do about it."
TONY RAINES (No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet): "That was a good day for us. We had good stops all day long, and the car kept getting better and better. Philippe (Lopez, crew chief) did a great job on the adjustments. The track came to us. We put two (tires) on there at the end, and I didn't think it would work. But, once we got by the 31 car, I thought we had something. I was running pretty hard, and I thought I might be able to catch the 11, but I was starting to get a little hard on the brakes. I figured we didn't need to crash if we'd come this far. At the end, Kasey (Kahne) got in the wall. I don't know what I ran over, but it was huge. It torn the whole underside of the car up."
(What happened in the Kahne incident?): "He and the 20 car got together. He (Kahne) got loose and over-corrected, and he hit the wall hard. I just went between him and the wall, and whatever fell out of his car was the size of a beer cooler. I popped a wheelie like I've never popped a wheelie. I was surprised the car even drove back. I think the bottom was all torn up, so I didn't want to risk tearing up the motor."
(A good day for a Hoosier?): "Yeah, it could've been a little bit better, but we've struggled a little bit trying to break out. I think that right there shows great improvement. It's fun when you have days like that."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge): "Tough day but a good finish for how we were running. Just happy to be making improvements at this type of racetrack and getting better as a team. We got it a lot better. I think us and the No. 2 car had the same stuff; we've just got to help make it better."
DENNY HAMLIN (No. 11 FedEx Express Chevrolet): "Our fuel pump shot out 20 laps in, and we weren't getting any fuel to the motor, so guys would blow by us on the straightaway and we would pass them again in the corners. We had the best-handling race car, by far, today. That issue down the straightaway, it's just one of them mechanical failures you try to eliminate and try to get into this Chase. We finished the race. I don't know where they're going to score us, hopefully somewhere in the top 10. We kept working on the balance. We got it good there at the end. We just kept working on our car, making it better."
(About incident with Kasey Kahne on final lap): "When he hit the wall, something flew off his car and took out my entire right side. It's just one of those deals where those guys were fighting, and I felt like when they cleared the field we were in 10th spot. Who knows where they're going to score us? I had high emotions there at one time, figuring we were going to win the race. It's just so frustrating all day to have that motor shutting out on us down the straightaway. It's just one of those things you can't help. We got a great baseline setup for next year. Hopefully we'll come back and win it."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet): "Yeah, you know, when you get three laps down at this place, it's hard to ever come back. We're just actually fortunate to get back on the lead lap. We had a great car. We just didn't need those problems and we needed track position. I don't know where we ended up, 16th, I think. That was one hard-fought 16th. I'm proud of the team for the comeback. They showed what kind of championship-caliber team they are, but we can't afford to have those kind of problems."
(How would you describe the day?): "Obviously frustrating. To have a car as good as ours and not be able to race up front for the lead and for those top positions is pretty frustrating. We just got so far behind at the beginning. I guess we should just be fortunate we got back on the lead lap."
(Where does this put you in the championship race?) "(Dale Earnhardt) Junior lucked out, big-time. That strategy worked out for him. He was horrible all day. That's going to hurt us, and the fact that we just weren't up there where we needed to be because of our problems we had definitely put us behind. The next couple weeks are going to be real important. I can't be too disappointed because we could have been a heck of a lot worse than 16th."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 21 Little Debbie Ford): "We just fought a little bit of tight. But it was good and about the same all day. Made some adjustments and got a little bit better. I think the worst we ever got was 21st. So, it wasn't bad. It was solid."
(Did track conditions change during the race?) "No, I didn't notice any big differences."
JEFF BURTON (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet): "We made huge adjustments, and it never fixed it. So I don't know, we might go home and find that a spring collapsed or something unusual. I would be shocked if we just tuned ourselves out like that; we never do. So, you know, it's good to be really disappointed to finish 15th or wherever we finished, but to lead that many laps and to have that big of a dominant car and then not even be in the mix is really disappointing."
(Was the problem gradual?): "We were really good for the first half of every run, and then all of a sudden we couldn't run at all, and that happened in one pit stop. So I don't know. But we will go back to the shop and take a look at it, and figure it out and go fight it out at Watkins Glen. You have to be able to run in traffic, and we just couldn't do it. The adjustments we made didn't even put a dent in it."