RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid) NOTE: Wallace made his 600th career start Sunday. He took lap leader honors by running out front four times for 182 laps. He ended up sixth in the 43-car field. "That thing was a bullet. It...
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Wallace made his 600th career start Sunday. He took lap leader honors by running out front four times for 182 laps. He ended up sixth in the 43-car field.
"That thing was a bullet. It was flying. It was handling perfect, and the motor ran great. About three-quarters through the race, I could see the track turning black. I had the thing turning good, and it got too free. I could hardly touch the throttle. We tightened it up on a couple of pit stops. It would tighten it up, but it lost the front end. I couldn't fix both things. It was a good run the first time out, a good evaluation for the first time in a Dodge on a downforce track. It had a lot of power and handled good. I think we led a lot of laps. It's a little bit disappointing and encouraging. It's disappointing we ran It's encouraging we ran so strong. There were times I'd look in the mirror and I couldn't even see the second-place car at the beginning of the race. Then I could feel it trying to mess me up a little bit. It was getting loose, and spinning the tires and it would push a little bit. I knew something weird was going on. As the day went on and the track got rubbered up, I could see it changing."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid)
"We were doing good. I was learning a lot. We were a little bit tight at the beginning, and we made it better. On a pit stop the 17 had a tire in front of us, and I had to come into our pit at an angle. I was blocked by the 20 car, so I had to back up to get out, and we lost all of our spots. We were tighter that run out and lost a lap. After that, we were good. We started on the inside of these guys and ran up front."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid)
"Something happened to the motor. It got to missing real bad and pushed all the water out of it. The cylinder head, water pump or something went bad. We had a good car early. We kept adjusting on it. It got real tight. I never even noticed it running hot until it started missing. We had a good car on the long runs. We lost some spots on pit road. It's hard to get by everybody. I'm proud of all the guys on this Coors Light Dodge team, and we'll come back and get 'em next week at Vegas. We won out there last year, so maybe we can do it again."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
"We started out a little tight and kept working on it. We got pretty good, but I guess I got up in the loose stuff. I just wanted to finish. It's a shame we couldn't. We wanted to learn some stuff and go on to Vegas. We worked hard on our Dodge all day trying to get it better and better. The guys did a great job. All of a sudden Junior wrecked again. We were trying to miss it and stay out of trouble and bring our Dodge home with a good finish. I guess the breaks just didn't go our way."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid)
"We were pretty good on the 40-50 lap stretch. We were real good on the 30-lap stretch. That last long run definitely didn't play in our favor the way the car was set up."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid)
"We made a lot of mistakes. I made a mistake. The crew made a mistake. We made a lot of errors. It's a new team, and we made some mistakes. We ran out of gas. I feel like we had a top 10 car, but we never got the balance quite right. That's life. It was a big step in the right direction without a question, and that's all you can ask for."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)
"We kind of fought the race car and the race track. We had a good run there at first and then we kept getting stuck behind the 19 in the pits. He didn't do us any favors. I'm pretty sure they knew about it. It was just one of those things. We battled track position after that and a little bit of balance issues. To come from 21st to fifth in the first 45 laps was pretty stout, but we didn't get to finish it that way. We should have done better today. We finished 14th here last year. We'll keep working at it, and we'll get better."