RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) NOTE: Newman made up two laps and led the way for Dodge with a seventh-place finish. He's ranked 17th in the Winston Cup standings after the first three races. He jumped 15 spots with his ...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Newman made up two laps and led the way for Dodge with a seventh-place finish. He's ranked 17th in the Winston Cup standings after the first three races. He jumped 15 spots with his seventh-place finish at LVMS.
"To come from two laps down at a place like this...We earned them, too. Junior helped us out once, and it was just a great run for the ALLTEL Dodge to come back from two laps down and finish seventh. We've got a pretty fast race car. Hopefully we can put it all together for 400 laps next time. I wish it had been 500 laps today. That's what we needed.
"It was pretty good for awhile. You saw a lot of Chevys up front at first, and then the Fords mixed it up and the Dodges mixed it up. When we got out front we kind of ran away there after we got our laps back. I'm not going to complain about anything yet.
"Last year here we were good on the long runs. This year, we couldn't get good enough to be good on the long runs. Once we did, it took off. If we had another 30 laps even, I think we could have been right there with 'em.
"We had a windshield tear off and cover the grille. The motor went to 260. We had to come in so we wouldn't blow up the motor. It was loose at the start, but it was manageable loose. Then it got real loose. Then we got that tear off and that made it real, real loose.
"We had the car to beat at the end. We just weren't in the position to beat everybody. We moved up to 17th in the standings, and I think that was about a 15-position jump. We're still over 300 points behind Michael. We've got a bunch of racing left, so we're not going to throw in the towel just yet."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
"We gave it all we had today. I haven't been feeling well, but we made it to the end of the race. The guys kept working on the car and kept making it better. It was tight at first, but they kept working on it and we had a decent car at the end. The guys did a great job in the pits. They didn't give up on me, and I didn't give up on them. It paid off with a pretty good finish considering everything we were up against."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
"We had some trouble in the pits today, and that got us behind. I locked up the brakes coming in, but the guys stayed with me and things worked out. We finished second here last year because of a little gambling in the pits. We didn't get a chance to do that today, but we'll just have to take what we got and go to Atlanta next week and just try to keep getting better with this Dodge Dealers Dodge."
TONY GLOVER (Team Manager Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge
"We were just no match for those Chevrolets. We just didn't run very good, nothing like we needed to. We just got beat. I guess that's about all you can say. We just weren't as good as we were here last year, and everybody else is obviously a little bit better. We chased it all day long and got it pretty decent at one point, but we just didn't run as well as we needed to. On the bright side, Sterling got his first top 10 of the season. Jamie had another good run going, but I think something happened to the rear end before he had his problems, and Casey was the top finishing rookie in the race. We'll take what we got, pack up and head to Atlanta next week and try again."
TOMMY BALDWIN (Crew chief No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid)
"The 54 hit us after the caution during that wreck. It knocked the tow out and hurt the car. We had a good 40-lap car. After that it wasn't very good. It was a good learning experience for all of us. I think it'll help us at the flat tracks all the rest of the year. We'll take our Dodge to Atlanta next week and start working on the high-banked track. We'll make some good notes and start making a run at it. I've been screaming all winter that the Chevys have the advantage. They just have a better front-end nose, and it's better aerodynamic than we are right now. We've got a lot of new teams out there right now, and a lot of people are learning. We'll dig harder and try to build better Dodges. Everything is in place for our team. We ran well last week and had engine problems. We ended up running out of fuel because of it. We ran well this weekend, so if we didn't wreck at Daytona and run out of gas at Rockingham and finished where we did today, we'd be sitting 15th in points. We'll take it and learn and go from here."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid)
"That was good. It was solid. We didn't do anything special. We ran well all day. We qualified 18th and finished 15th. We didn't do anything huge, but got a whole race in and we were competitive the whole race. Everybody did a great job. I'm real happy, and I learned a lot. If we continue to do what we're doing, we'll get better and better. I learned a lot. These guys (veteran drivers) have a lot of experience, and there's definitely some things here and there that they did to me that I've learned to do to them next time I went back. I hope they keep doing it to me all year long because I'm going to learn a ton. It's great to be the highest finishing Raybestos rookie. It's unfortunate that Greg (Biffle) didn't get a chance to qualify for this race because he would have been strong. Jamie (teammate McMurray) has been real competitive. It just feels good to have some good runs now. I feel real good about it."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid)
"I was going around the 4 car, and I guess it got loose and got into me. We got a lap down because we didn't get gas in the car. We only got six gallons in it. We came back in under the green and lost two laps. We got one of them back and were only one down. I was passing the 4 car on the outside going into turn one. I don't know if I just didn't give him enough room or his front end pushed up or what. He got me in the left rear quarter panel. I know he didn't mean it. It was just one of those racing things, and that was it.
"It was pretty good out there today. The track got tight. We kept loosening it up. I know we had a top-five car at the end. It was running great. Early in the race it was so tight I couldn't get anything done.
"It was hard to pass, a lot of follow-the-leader. I've been telling them they've got to get the rear spoiler cut off and soften these tires. That's just killing the racing by not doing that. Hopefully they'll get after that pretty soon.
"I hit pretty hard. It caved the top of my helmet in. It did its job."