RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 41st) "We got a hole in the radiator and lost the water. That got the oil real hot and it started spitting and dumping everything out. We had a really good race car. The ALLTEL Ford was really great,...
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 41st)
"We got a hole in the radiator and lost the water. That got the oil real hot and it started spitting and dumping everything out. We had a really good race car. The ALLTEL Ford was really great, but, if you can't finish, it doesn't do any good."
IS THERE ANY CONSOLATION THE FACT YOU WERE RUNNING 10TH AT THE TIME? "Yeah, there's a lot of confidence in knowing you can run well, but you've got to be able to finish. No matter what, we should be able to run well no matter where we go."
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING? "Yeah, we got a bunch of laps in and I gained a lot of experience, but, again, we need to finish these races. We can't just come away saying we learned something and didn't finish."
FRANK KIMMEL --26-- Advance Auto Parts Taurus (Finished 40th)
"We got together with the 23 car going down the backstretch and that got me into the fence and knocked me high going into three. I got in the loose stuff and couldn't keep it off the fence. That bent the left-rear truck arms a little bit. I hate it for Travis Carter and all the guys. I mean, I was doing everything we could to stay out of the way and race hard, but race clean. The Advance Auto Parts Ford was pretty good after we got it tightened up a little bit, but, wow, you just get in a line and you try to stay out of the way, but these guys are bumper to bumper all the way around. They're racing for important spots, so you try your best not to cause them any trouble. Thank goodness we didn't hurt anything else out there, but it was just one of those days."
WHAT'S NEXT WITH THIS DEAL? "We're going to Talladega and just do the best we can there. Travis has always had cars that run pretty good on a restrictor plate track, so we'll just see what we've got."
RICK MAST --90-- Duke's Mayonnaise Taurus (Finished 37th)
"We weren't running that well. About 100 laps in we got it working decent, but about halfway we lost the power steering and then right there at the end we lost the rear end gear. They're gonna try and fix it and maybe we'll go out and run a few more laps."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"To be honest, on even ground we weren't a second-place car, but the DEWALT guys did a great job with pit strategy and got us in the front where we needed to be at the end. We had a real solid car. It wasn't super-fast, but it was real solid. We just kind of aimed for a top-10 today and came out of here second, so I couldn't be happier with my guys' effort." WHAT ABOUT THE CLOSING LAPS? "You hate getting run into and you hate running into people, but it was just hard racing. Right before the caution came out I was getting away a little bit from the 88 and he got into me getting down into one and got me sideways and got by me. It wasn't on purpose, it was just close quarters racing. Then at the end of the race I got back behind him and we rolled off into three. He slowed up a lot and I nudged him just a little bit too and raced real hard side by side. He was trying to run me as hard as he could, but I was trying to get every position I could just like him."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 4th)
"That's as hard and as close as I've seen the racing here. Congratulations to Bobby Labonte, what a great job he did. It was fun racing. Everybody was beating and banging. After our air wrech broke and got us a lap down, I didn't have any idea we could be racing for the win, but the guys did a great job and got me back and at least got us a top five."
WHAT ABOUT THE LAST TWO-THIRDS OF THE RACE TO GET BACK UP FRONT? "We took four tires there and adjusted on the car and we were able to make up a lot on the race track. Then the guys made me some time up in the pits when we got four the next time, and then when we got two we got good track position. The car just worked well with those two tires, but I just didn't have quite enough there at the end."
WHAT ABOUT TODAY? "It was a tough day. I thought I might have a chance to win the race there, but, congratulations to Bobby, he did a great job. We had an air wrench break and got us a lap down. Tony got me my lap back when we came to that one caution and that helped me, but I just didn't have quite enough there at the end." WHAT ABOUT RACING WITH MATT AT THE END? "He needs to go look at the paint to see that I didn't hit him whenever I passed him, but he knocked the hell out of me. But that's short track racing. It was just fun racing."
HAVE YOU SEEN IT THIS CLOSE AT MARTINSVILLE? "I don't think so. It was so difficult to make a pass at anytime no matter how many laps anybody had on their tires. It was tough. It just shows how tough this racing is."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Finished 7th)
"All of the guys we were running with put on two and we put on four. That got us buried deep in there, but it was my worst set of tires that I had all day. That was really the problem. If they would have been sticking like the earlier tires, we would have been really good because we had four. We got a top 10, but it was a little disappointing. I don't know if I could have won, but it seemed like we had a top two or top three car."
DO YOU FEEL YOU'VE TURNED THE CORNER NOW. THIS WAS ANOTHER GOOD FINISH. "I think the team is in the right direction. It was a little disappointing coming to Martinsville. We shoulda, coulda, woulda won both of those races last year. We ended up second in one and broke in the second one, but we didn't run as good as we normally run at Martinsville. That's a little disappointing, but we'll just have to go back and work on it a little bit harder."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 10th)
"It was a good run. We struggled a little bit. We didn't conquer the tight off situation like we did at Bristol, so it was a little bit of a struggle but a top-10 finish at Martinsville, you can't ask for anything more. We're worn out. My cool box quit about lap 200. It was running like 220 in the car. It was just a hot day and it wore me out, but we got a top 10 so that's the big story. We were just a little bit tight. That's something we conquered at Bristol, but we didn't get it conquered here. We'll work on it and come back in the fall."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 8th)
"We didn't get the car running good enough at the end to hold our position. We didn't get far enough up. Eighth is good for us at Martinsville. We could have held our position if we could have just positioned up a little bit, but I'm pleased with that. We survived. I'm very pleased. That's what we need to do at Martinsville because it's not a very good track for me."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 9th)
"We survived and just kept digging. We probably never had a ninth-place car, but we just kept digging and fighting and that's what we got. A bunch of us from 20th on back pitted once and other people didn't. We've seen a lot of times that the tires last a long time, so we wanted to get in early once and then stay out and make a long run to see if we could run a long time on tires and keep track position. We just weren't good enough to do that. We weren't good on the beginning of runs. We were pretty decent after about lap 20, but then at about lap 50 it would get away from us. We just fought and fought and fought. We got by a lot of people the last 30 laps."
WAS IT HARD TO FIND A RHYTHM WITH ALL THE CAUTIONS? "The cautions benefited us. Without all of the cautions I don't think we would have finished as high as we did. I don't think we were good enough to finish very well. We're just struggling a little bit right now. We're working real hard, but Frank and I have to do a better job. The 17 car started with our setup in the car and during the race they just did a better job than we did of getting it tuned in. That's all of us. That's not Frank, that's not me -- it's all of us. We've all got to get better. We haven't run well enough this year to really get in our rhythm, so we're kind of playing catch-up in all aspects and one of the places we're playing catch-up is in taking a car that's a 15th-place car and making it a 10th-place car and then making it a fifth-place car. We've been racing 25th or 30th and it's hard to get into a rhythm doing that. We're gonna fight. We're gonna get better, I know we are. There is a lot of talent on this team and we're gonna keep digging. I'm disappointed we didn't run any better, but, at the same time, we did an excellent job of coming home with a top 10."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 30th)
YOU HAD A STRONG CAR BUT IT DIDN'T QUITE WORK OUT. "No, it didn't but, you know, it's a long season so you'll have your share of that."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH JIMMY SPENCER THE FIRST TIME? "It's an absolute no-brainer. I have a chance to win the race and I'm trying to get by Jimmy. He's two laps down and he races me like we're trying to win the race. I've raced with him a long time and I've never raced him that way. I've never done that. He really underestimated me."
WHAT HAPPENED THE SECOND TIME? "I was trying to stay within distance of Bobby so I could get my lap back if the caution did come out. Jimmy's team got him four tires and that helped, but we didn't have them."
WHAT ABOUT THE FIRST HALF OF THE RACE? "It was good. We were sort of biding our time. The halfway mark it was like, 'All right, it's time to go.' We got the lead and lost track position on pit road and we never got it back again. This is a game of track position, that's the bottom line. It's a game of track position." HOW DO YOU SOLVE THAT? "You've got to qualify well. In our case, we started 18th and immediately went to fifth, so we had a great Tide Ford, but you've just got to maintain track position. If you don't, then you're gonna be back there racing with people like Jimmy who are two laps down that give you no respect."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 28th)
"We got spun out by the 99 one time and by the 97 the other time. It's just tough. That got us some laps down. It's hard. We tried to battle back and tried to get one of our laps back but the car just wasn't good enough. We just missed it today. If you miss it here, it's a long day. Five hundred laps here is very exhausting. I'm pretty wore out right now. I feel like I ran 1,000 laps in this race. It's a tough day. I'm proud of my guys the way they worked, we just missed it a little bit. Hopefully,