Ryan Newman finished 23rd on the day but maintained his position at second in the Chase for the Championship. Rusty Wallace's seventh-place finish moved him to fourth in the points, while Jeremy Mayfield finished 16th and moved to...
Ryan Newman finished 23rd on the day but maintained his position at second in the Chase for the Championship. Rusty Wallace's seventh-place finish moved him to fourth in the points, while Jeremy Mayfield finished 16th and moved to ninth.
RUSTY WALLACE, NO. 2 MILLER LITE DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 33RD, FINISHED SEVENTH
"It was a good run, a real good run. We qualified really bad but got from the back up to the front and it turned out real good. It was just a long day, but I really had pretty smooth stuff all day long, only a couple of little things happened. The jack broke early but we got that right back. And then, at the end, I just, the lapped cars were really tough to get around on the get go and that got me way behind. Other than that, it was a good day. What do you think about Mark Martin's victory? "I'm really happy for him, I really am. Maybe it will be my turn next week, we'll see."
Describe your day: "I thought I had a pretty good car. I was catching Jimmie Johnson there at the end, but it was so hard to pass out there. Those Roush cars finished 1-2-3, but all the cars in the top seven were strong and all seven of them were in The Chase. I qualified poorly and started 33rd, but we got up to eighth and then had that problem in the pits with the jack. It was really tough to get around those lapped cars today. They were really aggressive. You could really tell the ones trying for the Lucky Dog, but I'd be doing the same thing. That's racing and that's what we do and what we love.
"I'm expecting good points days coming up at Charlotte and Martinsville. I like all of the tracks coming up. I don't like being 90 points down, but Talladega screwed that up. If we hadn't got in that wreck at Talladega we'd probably be 20 points down right now. Those restrictor plate races are great for the fans, but too many things can happen in a plate race and I don't think we need one in The Chase. Too many things can screw you up. It really doesn't make any difference to me now because I won't be doing it again. They can do what they want to do, but I really don't think we need a plate race in The Chase."
JEREMY MAYFIELD, NO. 19 DODGE DEALERS/UAW DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 14TH, FINISHED 16TH
"We had a better car than the finish indicates. We ran in the top five throughout the first half of the race. The car was better on long runs with one exception which just happened to be one of the few long green-flag cycles. It was one of those days when we had a 13.6-second pit stop and lost four spots on pit road. We had something like 50 laps left when we made our final stop and thought we would pick up some spots and even get back in the top 10 if the race stayed green. We restarted 18th, but our car was sluggish on restarts, needing four or five laps to get going. All of the cars on the lead lap got around us those first few laps and we were all the way back in 25th-place before we got the Dodge Charger rolling. I was able to get back to 16th but we had much greater expectations. We had a car capable of winning and definitely running in the top five. Looking at it that way, it was a disappointing finish. But we were running at the end, so we'll take it and go to Charlotte looking for better results."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 12 ALLTEL DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 11TH, FINISHED 23RD
"That's definitely not the finish we wanted today. We just couldn't get a handle on the Alltel Dodge. Starting in the back hurt us. Then we got in that early accident which damaged the left front pretty good. Being stuck back there all day in dirty air just worked against us. We had a top-five finish at Charlotte earlier this year, so hopefully we'll turn this performance around next weekend. We're still in the hunt for the title, so we'll just put this behind us."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 41 TARGET DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 34TH, FINISHED EIGHTH
"It was just a good solid day. For once in a long time, we've had a race now without any major issues. It was just the first clean race we've had in a long time. The guys did a great job all day. But we had a couple of crucial stops there at there end where we needed the track position and we struggled a little bit. My guys are fast, they just were just a little bit off on a couple of stops. All in all it was a good day for us. To come home top 10 with no bad pit stops with no motor issues with no tire issues, not getting caught up in a crash, it's all that stuff that we fight week after week, it was a good day. Is this a sign of what's to come for this team next year? "I think so. I mean, yeah, we just keep getting better and better. Our performance has been like this all year long -- the way that we've run today. We just don't have the results to show for it. Hopefully we can put together some solid runs towards the end of this year and build something for next year."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 77 KODAK/JASPER ENGINES DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 37TH, FINISHED 22ND
"It was a pretty good day. We had a two-tire strategy early in the race just to give us a little track position and that really helped a bunch. That's what it was all about today is just track position. After a green flag stop I cycled out in front of the leader Mark Martin and I was able to drive away from him because I was in clean air. Once I got in traffic, my car was just really, really tight. I'm sure everybody was complaining about it, but if there was ever a way to overcome that we would have had a great day. The car drove good, we made good adjustments, we had good pit stops. Not a bad finish, but I thought we had a better car than a 22nd-place car, but it was all about track position. Are things coming together for this team? "We're running better. We've been running 15th to 20th every week and that's a start. We'd like to be running in the top 10, but it's one step at a time."
KYLE PETTY, NO. 45 GEORGIA-PACIFIC/NORTHERN QUILTED DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 23RD, FINISHED 29TH
"We had a good day on the racetrack, but our pit stops weren't good. We've had problems all year. The car was good, the engine was good, the pit stops weren't good. That's how simple it is."
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 9 DODGE DEALERS/UAW DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 42ND, FINISHED 19TH
"It was not too bad for having a brand new car that we've never had on the racetrack. It kind of bounced all day and didn't really do what we wanted. We really changed a lot during the runs. It's not too bad for crashing the car in qualifying and taking a car out there with no laps at all on it. The Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge race team did a good job to do that. It was loose and we really couldn't get a handle on it. It's tough with no practice. " How important was track position today? "You fight it at times. I would lose a lot of it at the start of a run and then start getting some of it back. It wasn't too big to me. "
STERLING MARLIN, NO. 40 COORS LIGHT DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 13TH, FINISHED 13TH
"That was a good consistent day for the Coors team. We stayed in the top 10 for the first half of the race, but track position was so danged hard to keep. But that was a good run for the Coors team and we're happy to take that and go to Charlotte."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 42 HAVOLINE/TEXACO DODGE CHARGER, STARTED 30TH, FINISHED 18TH
"We raced this car at California and took it back and put a new front clip on it. We just couldn't go on the long runs today. We'll probably take the same car to Charlotte and make some adjustments on it. It's got a lot of potential. We just couldn't get a handle on it today. We struggled in practice and we ended up putting Sterling's setup in our car. I think that helped. What is your outlook for Charlotte? Charlotte should be interesting. Charlotte used to be my least favorite track. I hated that place. I tested Rusty's Busch car there, and it should be wild. It's going to be really fast and hard to pass. I talked to some guys that tested there the first day and they said the track was really bad, but the more rubber that got put down the better it got. By the time I tested there I didn't have any issues with it. We'll just have to wait and see how it is when all the rubber gets down. On being one point out of 11th place: "We're really not running well enough now to be 11th. Other cars are just having problems. We've got six to go, so we'll see what happens."