BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Avenger) NOTE: Labonte's eighth-place finish was his best of the season, and he scored the best Dodge Avenger finish Saturday night at PIR. "It wasn't' a bad run. Obviously we got lucky...
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Avenger)
NOTE: Labonte's eighth-place finish was his best of the season, and he scored the best Dodge Avenger finish Saturday night at PIR.
"It wasn't' a bad run. Obviously we got lucky when we caught that caution and some guys had already pitted. That helped us out a few positions. That was a gift that sometimes you get and sometimes you don't. We were lucky to miss that wreck, but our car worked pretty good all night. It was just hard to pass. Once you got going you were the same speed as everybody else. That was kind of our first real run in the COT. We didn't get to run Martinsville and Bristol was just kind of Bristol. Our guys did a great job and Paul did a great job yesterday making some changes. Things were OK. To come home with a top-10 finish is good. We're only eight races in, so it's good to get it. We've got a few other things to try with the COT, but look at who's winning and who's in the top five. They're all good teams."
PAUL ANDREWS (Crew Chief No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Avenger)
"We didn't make any bad calls. Our car was good. It wasn't great. It was right there all night long. We were about a tenth off the leader all night. We didn't pit early at all and that's what the other guys did and that's what got us a top 10 quite honestly. We had about a 12th-place car and we ended up eighth, so that's awesome. This is a big learning experience here with the Avenger. We didn't get to race at Martinsville because we wrecked about 30 laps into the thing because of the brake problems we had. This was really our first race. The Richmond test went pretty good and this went pretty good here. With just a little more time we can make it better. I'd like to see NASCAR make some changes, but I'm optimistic about it. We can work with it and make it better. All night long we tried to make it turn better. I think everybody has trouble making it turn. Everybody is tight in the middle. It's just a matter of who is the freest and who is not as tight the longest. Darlington is going to be an interesting race. We're going to go to Rockingham and test. It'll be an exciting race. I don't know if what we learned here we can apply to Darlington, but maybe we can."
TROY RAKER (Crew chief No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Avenger)
"It's going to be another long week at the shop. We aren't getting the fuel mileage we need right now, and it's compromising our track position. That, combined with bad luck with caution flags, is knocking the wind out of our sails right now. We were running solid fifth and sixth-place all night long, and the car was coming to us at the end. All the adjustments were hitting. Hopefully we'll get it together and win one soon."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 alltel Dodge Avenger)
"It was just the wrong time to pit. We had about a three-lap window there. The bottom line was we came in and the yellow came out. Everything was worst case scenario. I was just getting ready to roll off after the pit stop and the guys had the jack on the right side. I thought we waved off the left side tires and did right sides, and the jackman, I watched him stop like he got a signal from the crew guys that we were going to do two. I didn't know the guys came over and took off the left-side tires. On top of that it drug the sway bar arm off when I backed up and rolled over the tires. Unfortunate situation for about six seconds there, but it led us to be 11 laps down and we had a car that was easily capable of winning the race. We just never got good track position. We kept working our way up all day. We had a pit stop came in fifth and went out seventh and obviously the one after that was a lot worse.
"We seem to be a little bit behind when it comes to fuel mileage this year. It's hurt us. It's hurt Kurt a couple of times now and it's hurt us today for sure. It's tough to have a situation like that and walk away with not very much other than a car we can take to Richmond. The Penske team is working well together. Obviously it shows. The cars are very similar, the drivers are driving them hard and we're working well together as teams. It's just unfortunate when situations like that happen."
JOSH BROWNE (Team Director No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger)
"We just couldn't get our car to work today. We started out really loose and got really tight by the end of the race. We made a lot of adjustments but couldn't find the answer to our handling problems. We've got a lot to learn about this car of tomorrow."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger)
"We have a lot of work to do on our COT (car of tomorrow). Everything we tried tonight failed to make a difference. Hopefully, we can make some progress between now and the next COT race at Richmond. It's certainly disappointing."
REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Avenger)
"We came away with a decent finish tonight. We were lucky in some ways because we were almost a lap down at one point. The guys never gave up and kept working hard in the pits and we came away with our second decent finish in the Avenger. Hopefully we learned some things tonight that will help us and our teammates when we go to Richmond in a couple of weeks."
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Avenger)
"I don't know what happened up in front of us, but those guys got together and I thought I had it missed. It seemed like the 25 came down out of the carnage and hit us in the right rear. It seemed like it bent our rear end housing about two inches. It sort of put us behind. We've got to change our rear end housing and get back out there. It's hard to get stopped, especially going downhill into one there. You've got the splitters hitting the track already. We just ran out of room, that's all. Unfortunately our bad luck continues. It's frustrating because we're trying to get good finishes and get ourselves out of this hole that's been created by the first part of the season."
DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Avenger)
NOTE: Stremme scored a career-best 10th-place finish last week at Texas and entered Saturday's race ranked 12th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Standings.
"You go in the corner and you try to stop from wrecking and the splitter is dragging the ground and you can't stop. The 6 just spun and there was nothing I could do. I was on the brakes, but it was just a mess. This just hasn't been my weekend. It was like we never showed up. Our car was junk to begin with. But we were going into the corner and I was on the brakes. The splitter is dragging the ground because you're on the brakes so hard. You can't slow down. Our car just wasn't good all weekend. We've got to work on it."
-credit: dodge motorsports