WARD BURTON, NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "The guys did a good job on the car. This gives us a good start for the next time here. To come to Richmond this year and finish sixth and eighth, that's a good start. That's better than...
WARD BURTON, NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"The guys did a good job on the car. This gives us a good start for the next time here. To come to Richmond this year and finish sixth and eighth, that's a good start. That's better than what we've done in the past, so it shows improvement. Obviously, there is some room for me to improve - I'm including myself in that, too.
(IS THE TEAM GETTING BACK ON TRACK?) 'We've been on track. We just created a lot of our own problems and didn't get the results we wanted. But we're gaining on it now. I think we're getting some of our problems identified and we'll go to work on it."
JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 43 CHEERIOS/STP PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
(ON NOT GETTING WRECKED AT A SHORT TRACK) "No, I didn't. But I got involved in one. I apologize to Geoff. I got in too deep behind him, got in the back of him and bumped him. I feel bad about that. "Other than that we had a really good car. We qualified real bad and that's kind of what dictated where we were at. I wish we could have just gotten some track position. I mean, Mark Martin was with us and then he got new tires, got track position and look where he ended up. So, I think we could have had a much better finish, but I'm happy to come through with a finish, believe me."
KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"If it hadn't been for the fire in the trunk we would have had a much better day. At that start of the race we were a little bit tight, but we made some changes and we were competitive. When we had that fire in the pits, then we had to come back in because we still had a small fire in the trunk. That cost us a ton of track position and we were never really able to get back up to the front. We also gambled on the last pit stop and chose to stay out, and in hindsight that may not have been the best move. We were good; we weren't bad. But that fire definitely hurt us."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 AARON'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I wouldn't say it's the hardest top 10 I've ever gotten, but I would say it ranks right up there at the top. The Aaron's Pontiac was actually decent. It's just that the top 10 guys are that good. We had one or two sets of tires that weren't favorable, and we just fought and fought and fought. Everybody did a good job just trying to work on the car, and it got a little bit better and a little bit better. We finally got it so-so at the end, but I was working my butt off."
(ON HAVING TO TURN OFF THE DRIVER FAN) "For some reason the alternator kept showing that it wasn't charging, so I had to turn it off. That caused the driver to overheat."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We just couldn't make the car turn all night - especially on stickers. We gave up a straightaway or more to Steve Park in 10 laps on stickers. So, it was a long and disappointing night for us. We could never roll the car through the center of the corner like everybody else. The longer the run would go the better we were, but we kept getting yellow flags after 40 laps. So, it was pretty disappointing."
(ANY CONSOLATION IN MOVING UP TO FIFTH IN THE POINTS?) "No, not really. It's all about winning every week. You win every week to gain points, so sixth doesn't make us feel any better."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I'm glad we finished. The worse thing about it is that I got into Bill Elliott there. I really don't give a crap where I finished. I just couldn't turn the wheel anymore. I had it turned as far as I could go. I was trying to keep from getting passed by the '55' and the '8,' and I got into him and upset him pretty bad. That's probably the worst thing that happened all night."
(ON NOT BEING ABLE TO CAPITALIZE COMPLETELY IN THE POINTS RACE ON DALE JARRETT'S MISFORTUNE) "Oh well. Nine races to go, I guess it is, and stuff like that happens. We are probably due for a little bad luck at some point in time. Maybe that was it."
(WHEN DID HE KNOW HE HAD A MECHANICAL PROBLEM) "I knew we had a problem when it was smoking. I knew what was happening. We just couldn't overcome that. We had to cut the [power steering] belt because a fitting broke. We just couldn't fix it to where it was back where it was."
(IS THIS A CHARACTER-BUILDER FOR THE TEAM?) "I think so. We had a good car. We ran in the top five all night long. When something like that happens, you can take it like we learned a lesson here tonight. We've just got to know that 99.9 percent isn't enough in this deal. It's got to be 100 percent. No fault of anybody's, it's just one of those things that happened. We lost all the power steering there at the end and just had to hold on. We finished 15th, I guess it was so our finish wasn't like how we ran."
(ON GAINING POINTS DESPITE HAVING A BAD NIGHT) "That's silly, isn't it, how that works? But it's still not exciting for us knowing that we had a good race car and we could have been better. But like I always say, there is a long ways to go. This is no indication of what's going to happen. We might finish 10th in points before the year is over. You never know. But we know that we're going to give our best from here on out, and we've got to give 100 percent. I'll guarantee you from now on, if anything happens to us, that's just the way it goes. But we're going to try our best not to let anything happen."
JIMMY MAKAR, CREW CHIEF, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
(ON WHAT HAPPENED) "We broke a fitting on the power steering pump. It was something that should never have been on the race car. It was something tha t we knew shouldn't be on the race car. It was a totally neglected problem that we've had before. Somebody didn't do their job. It was our fault, mechanically. We put a part on the car that we knew wasn't right."
(WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PICK THE TEAM UP BEFORE NEXT WEEK?) "Well, we've got some talking to do before next week to figure out why this problem occurred so it doesn't occur again. But if you want to look at it on a positive note, after it's all said and done, we need to look at it as something that happened to us that caused some adversity and it's going to be whether we can bounce back or not. This team is capable of doing that. They're down right now. Everybody's down - we all are because we know we created a problem that caused us a lot of points tonight and a good finish. But we're going to have to go back to shop, go through all the ways that this problem occurred, correct it, make sure it doesn't' happen again, make sure everybody is on their tip-toes in making sure what happens to the race car, so some other things won't happen. We'll be meeting a lot come Monday, but this isn't going to get us down -- trust me. This team has got too much character and too much guts to keep from plugging ahead. We'll be fine."