MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 7th) "We were really awesome early and then we got off in the middle of the race and got an adjustment behind. But at the end we got it back to where it was hooked up. It was blazing at the end there...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 7th)
"We were really awesome early and then we got off in the middle of the race and got an adjustment behind. But at the end we got it back to where it was hooked up. It was blazing at the end there and it was too bad the race ended when it did because I was passing cars left and right and was coming on strong. I'm so proud of this team. It feels so good to drive a race car that'll run. We had great power tonight and we had it all. We had a good car. We got off a little bit and fixed it back up and went back at 'em."
WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK? "It was pretty doggone good - one of the best I've ever seen for a first-time race track. It was pretty good."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Taurus (Finished 5th)
"We had a pretty good car. I was real loose on restarts and couldn't get going and that hurt me a lot. I qualified bad and that one time when we stayed out and everybody else pitted, we were on the back end of that deal. If we would have been the leader, it would have worked out OK, but we got ourselves a little behind doing that and just could never quite get to the front. We had a good car. It wasn't as good as the top couple of guys, but, other than that, we were pretty good."
A GOOD TOP FIVE. "Everytime you finish in the top five in Nextel Cup racing, as competitive as it is, you've got to be happy so that was a good run for us."
WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK? "The track was surprisingly good. Whatever they did here and at Homestead they hit a home run with the pavement. I was hugging the bottom and wasn't gonna go on the top if my life depended on it and, all of a sudden, I saw the leaders running up there and when I went up there there was a lot of grip. It's really amazing that somebody figured out the asphalt that good where they could do it at Homestead and make such a great track and make such a great track at Richmond the first time by. That was amazing."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 12th)
"The longer we ran the more the grooves opened up, so it was the same old Richmond. It's hard to beat this race track. I think we all love racing here because you can race side by side and it's so much fun."
YOU GOT A LAP DOWN AND BATTLED BACK? "This is an A-plus for this race team here at Richmond. My record shows I've always struggled here in the past. We went to the rear of the field, but came right back through. My guys never gave up. They kept battling in the pits and had great, great pit stops. We came back and ran in the top 10 for a little bit. We gave it up on long runs, but 12th is a good, good points day for us. We're still in the top 10 and that's what we want to do."
WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK? "This was great. It exceeded every expectation I think every driver had. On Friday we were really worried and even when I was here testing we were worried, but it's the same old Richmond. We were side-by-side, moving up, up and down, run on the bottom and run up high. It just made it fun because it was so fast. It's a cool place to race."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Rent-A-Center Taurus (Finished 11th)
"We had a good run, but right there at the end we got our worst set of tires of the night. We had been pushing and all of a sudden the car got loose. Right when we needed a good run we ended up falling back. It got running about the last 10 laps, but it was too late then. A couple of more laps and I would have had the 15 and the 12, but I just ran out of time."
OPTIMISTIC WITH THIS EFFORT? "Yeah, we raced pretty good all night. We had to come from 30th and I guess we actually got the lead with the way everybody pitted, but I would say we were an honest seventh-place car and we ended up 11th. That's quite a bit better than we've been. That's the best we've been all year."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 Roundup Taurus (Finished 14th)
"I spun the thing out going for the lead. I was under him (Jeremy Mayfield) and I hadn't been loose all night and boy that thing came around. When it came around, it came around fast. I just stood in the gas and luckily I didn't hit anything, but that hurt us. That lost us our track position that we had gained through our pit strategy. I was going for the lead and I spun out and lost that track position, but the car got away from us some anyway. As the race went on we lost the race track a little bit. Our setup was good for long runs early and then late it was kind of slow. It wasn't terrible, but it turned into a 10th-place car. It was a good effort for us. We ran up front and charged from the back several times. We had good pit stops. We got a lap down, but it was a catch-22 situation. We were pitting late enough where we waited for fuel, but we got a lap down waiting for fuel. But if the thing would have gone green the whole way, we could have gone the whole race, so it was a catch-22 right there. I'm proud of the effort. That's one of our better efforts. We do need to get a little better for sure, but we're showing some promise."
HOW ABOUT THE TRACK? "The second groove came in much better than I thought it would. Coming here I didn't think there was any chance that would happen, but as it turned out the outside groove was really nice. I don't know why in the world they don't build more race tracks like this. It's a great race track. A lot of people come to it and it's exciting. I wish we ran more race tracks like this."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 13th)
"This was a big gain from where we were. We ran reasonable all night. The car was a little bit free and just never could get it to where I could be aggressive like I wanted to. They beat me on fresh tires and then I could level out OK, but they did a great job of adjusting and we got a reasonable finish. Those guys were really fast at the end and my car was loose at the very end and I couldn't go. The last set of tires I had didn't grip very well, but, all in all, it was a pretty decent night."
THE SECOND GROOVE CAME IN. "Yeah, it did. It's back like the old Richmond. You have to give them a thumbs up on the re-paving. I'm sure it'll be even better racing the next time we come."
JIMMY FENNIG, Crew Chief - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Kurt Busch finished 31st)
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAR? "We lost the alternator belt and that turns the water pump, so the water pump wasn't turning and the power steering wasn't turning. We had to come in and replace the belt. We don't know what caused the belt to break, but I believe Doug Yates and the guys will find the problem and fix it."
YOU GUYS HAD A GOOD CAR. "I hate bragging, but we probably had the best car here."