ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 5th) WHAT HAPPENED WITH TONY STEWART ON THE BACKSTRETCH? "Well, I mean, we knew we were coming to the caution and that was the last lap. I was racing the 99, Jeff and I were laughing about it,...
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 5th)
WHAT HAPPENED WITH TONY STEWART ON THE BACKSTRETCH? "Well, I mean, we knew we were coming to the caution and that was the last lap. I was racing the 99, Jeff and I were laughing about it, the 20 probably didn't know we were that close. He was trying to block both of us and he left the inside lane open, so I stuck it in there. I wanted to get these guys a top five, they deserved it and I did whatever I had to do. Tony would have done the same thing. I didn't spin him out, I just moved him up a little bit. I had fun racing with Jeff Burton and all these guys all day. It was a great finish. This M&M's team is awesome. I told them, 'Man, if I can finish in the top five here, you all definitely know what you're doing.'" THIS WAS A FIGHT TODAY. "Yeah, again, that Raymond Fox is the man. He's the best-kept secret in racing right now - him and this whole race team. They've worked so hard together. We didn't know if the pit strategy was gonna work out, but we caught a caution at the right time when we had track position, so it paid off for us. I just love to give these guys a top five, that's a great feeling."
YOU NEEDED A CAUTION BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T GO THE LAST 181 LAPS WITHOUT FUEL, RIGHT? "We did have to pit and we knew that, but I didn't ask him anything. I asked him after the caution came out how many laps we could have gone and he told me, but it just worked out. The good Lord was on our side. These Raybestos brakes stood up to the pain I gave them today and it worked out good."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH STEWART? "He was in the middle of the groove and then he waited too late to block me. I got into his left side and kind of rooted him up a little bit, but I think this team deserved a top five. I don't think he knew how close the 99 and I were to him, so he just got mad because I rooted him up a little bit. Tony would have done the same thing. I love racing with him. He's probably one of the best racers out here and I didn't mean to cause any problems."
YOU HAD HIGH HOPES THIS SEASON BUT DIDYOU EXPECT TO BE THIS GOOD EVERYWHERE? "We were hoping so, but you don't ever know. We had a lot of people doubting us here and there, but we've had some competitive race cars. With any luck at all, we should be in the top two or three in the points right now, but we have had some bad luck. We're on the way back and have a long season ahead of us with a lot of momentum."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Finished 4th)
"That was a good day for us. We weren't very competitive to start like I thought we were gonna be. The track changed a lot and it took us a while to get our car gathered back up and then we finally got it where we could go. We were real fast on short runs. I would eat the tires off of it on a long run, so that hurt us some, but, all in all, it was a good day."
WHAT ABOUT THE FINAL LAP OR TWO? "It was just hard racing. I got into Jimmie (Johnson) pretty hard and didn't mean to. He came down a little bit, but I came up more than he came down and got into him pretty hard. I ended up getting by him and then Elliott and Tony got together on the back straightaway somehow, I don't know how it happened, but I got on the outside and made it three-wide and got by them. We probably had a seventh-place car, but finished fourth."
IT ISN'T A WIN BUT YOU HAVE A BIG SMILE. "Yeah, it is and like I said at the beginning of the year, our team is really young. We had some things go our way today and it's the first time all year we've had anything go our way, so I feel good about where we're headed as team. We have some improving to do, there's no doubt about it, but I really think we're headed in the right direction. We had great pit stops today and continually made the car better and better. We can build on this."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 22nd)
"We got to the tail end of the lead lap one time, but we never really got our lap back. We just ran real bad. Everybody worked on it hard and we got it respectable at the end if we could do a real, real long run, but it just wouldn't go anywhere. That's all we had."
IS THIS JUST ONE OF THOSE WEEKENDS DURING A LONG SEASON? "You do the best job you can do every week. You never want to run bad, so you just go and do the best job you can do every week and that's all you can do."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 17th)
"We had a car that ran good for 50 laps on tires and we worked our way up almost to the top 10 several times on short runs, but we got two long ones and got a lap down both times. We got one of them back, but the last one we couldn't get back. We had potential to finish a lot better than that, but things just didn't quite fall our way."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 20th)
"We had a good car. We were a little loose, but it was pretty fast and it stayed with me good. We made an adjustment, but it seemed like the second set of tires we put on after that adjustment got the car tight in the center. That hurt me up on the outside and on restarts. Somebody got into the back of me and got me turned and then the 43, I don't know what happened, it was just close racing. But when he hit me he hit the left-front and it messed up the toe a little bit. It never would turn after that and then we got ourselves in trouble trying to fix the damage. I ended up speeding down pit road and things just kind of multiplied. That seems to happen sometimes, but the car was good. It's just unfortunate that happened."
AFTER THE WEEK YOU'VE HAD AND THE WAY THE CAR RAN TODAY, YOU MUST HAVE SOME OPTIMISM. "I think we showed we had a good car, so all of that went well. The guys made good adjustments and there was good communication, so we can go from here. It wasn't like we ran 20th all day. If we would have done that, then I'd feel different, but we drove ourselves up into the top 10 and that was encouraging."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 11th)
"We came in (on the final caution with 10 laps to go) and thought we were sitting really good. We would have picked off about five cars and then the caution came out. I thought I blew a right-front tire with five laps to go. We came in and put on tires. I had passed Rusty and I passed the 48. I passed quite a few of them, I passed the 49, but when I went into the corner I put the brakes on and I either locked the right-front tire up or I spun the tire on the rim because the car went straight. It gave up about five spots because of that and then the caution came out, but we were a pretty good car all day. We were able to make that one lap up when I spun and got into Kenseth. We probably were a seventh-place car and finished 11th."
YOU WERE GOOD ON LONG RUNS. "Yeah, I'm not really sure. At one stage of the race we were one of the better cars on the race track. I thought we honed in on what it took to make the car work, but then we could never get it to work again."