JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: FOR A WHILE, IT LOOKED LIKE ALL THE WORK YOU DID ON PIT ROAD EARLY IN THE RACE WAS GOING TO PAY OFF... "It wasn't going to pay off at all. We had a Pontiac today and there was nothing you...
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
FOR A WHILE, IT LOOKED LIKE ALL THE WORK YOU DID ON PIT ROAD EARLY IN THE RACE WAS GOING TO PAY OFF... "It wasn't going to pay off at all. We had a Pontiac today and there was nothing you could do about it. "Congratulations to Bill Elliott and those guys. But I'm telling you what, when we tried to get our lap back there, they (the Dodges) were on tires that were old as hell and only took on two and we had four - there was no comparison on an aerodynamic track like this."
GREG ZIPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WHAT HAPPENED? "It's quite obvious that Dodges can put two tires on and have that much more grip and just drive away with the show. When you get a short run like that it's like qualifying. It's the same thing, but I guess that's what they want and that's what they got. Then, we got a set of tires from Goodyear that were made back six months ago, I guess, and that hurt us at the end. I guess it just wasn't our day. "That Home Depot Pontiac guys in the pits did a great job. Tony [Stewart] drove a great race. He had been really sick all weekend. It's just a shame because we should have had a win here and if not, at least a good top two or three finish. But, it just didn't' work out that way."
JIMMY MAKAR, CREW CHIEF, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WAS THE PIT ROAD ACCIDENT TODAY AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN? "Yeah. We've had close calls for a long time. Pit road is a dangerous place. It always has been. I know we've done some things over the years to make it safer - speed limits and such, limiting the number of people out there, when they can go out there. But when they are down on their knees around the other side of that car, changing tires and working on it, they're sitting ducks for an accident when you've got these race cars around. I don't know how you stop it, other than make pit road wider - get the cars away from the cars pitting on pit road - to give the drivers an opportunity to pull out away from the cars pitting. This is a pretty narrow pit road when you look at it. When you start putting them two cars wide going down there after they've done their pit stops and then have another car trying to pull out and then put a car pitting on pit road, you're talking about being four cars wide and then guys trying to work on the race cars. It's just not a good situation. I think we need to take a longer, harder look at what we can do."
IN ADDITION TO BEING A CREW CHIEF AND DEFENDING A WINSTON CUP CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR, YOU'VE HAD TO DEAL WITH A LOT OF ISSUES WITHIN THE SPORT "It's been one of those years, it really has. Leading up to the Sunday of the Daytona 500 seemed like the only time we had a chance to enjoy the championship this year and the fruits of being the champion. From that day on, it seems like there have been major issues and major things to talk about, work on and think about, other than being the champion. It's been a little disappointing, but these other things are much more important than worrying about being the defending champion. We'll keep working hard, keep persevering and make ideas and suggestions, and keep going forward. That's what we'll do."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
ON HIS RUN "It wasn't too bad. The best it was was there at the beginning of the race. We adjusted on it, but never really got it any better. We stayed about the same. But the guys did a good job in the pits. We changed four tires all day and opted for that. We had great pit stops and came out pretty clean today."
ON THE PIT ROAD INCIDENT INVOLVING THE CREW OF THE '28' "At the end of pit road, everybody gets pretty congested. When you've got 29 cars on the lead lap and half of them take two tires and half of them take four, you all end up at the end of pit road at the same time, so there are a lot of issues there."