KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- FamilyClick.com Taurus (Finished 41st) -- "I was going through there (turn 11) going down into second gear and the next thing I knew it must have got stuck between a couple of gears and turned the car around. I thought I could...
KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- FamilyClick.com Taurus (Finished 41st) -- "I was going through there (turn 11) going down into second gear and the next thing I knew it must have got stuck between a couple of gears and turned the car around. I thought I could get it started, I didn't think much of it, but when I moved the shifter it was locked up between two gears and we had to get towed in."
WALLY DALLENBACH --75-- TBS Dinner & A Movie Taurus (Finished 40th) -- "We lost third gear right in front of pit lane. It's a shame because it's the best car I've had here in a long time. We were just picking them off one by one. The car felt really good. It's just a real shame."
BORIS SAID --23-- Federated Auto Parts Taurus (Finished 42nd) -- "We broke a left-front control arm. I felt something going bad and I was hoping it was a tire going down, so we came in and put tires on. The steering wheel just wasn't turning, it was all whacky. We were running comfortable and picking people off. Robert Yates gave us an unbelievable engine, I mean it's just hard being part time. We didn't really test this car too much. We broke the control arm, but stuff breaks in racing. It wasn't my fault, but it's still disappointing because I didn't get to run that long."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 38th) -- "It's always something. We just broke an axle. When I broke my axle the 42 car came up there and killed us and knocked the right-front toe out. We had a really good car. I had a tough time time trying to get around Spencer, he was running me pretty hard and I didn't want to use up everything. We had a good car. I just really kind of wanted to ride around and finish. We should have done a lot better than this, but this is one of those things."
BRIAN SIMO --90-- Hills Brothers Taurus (Finished 36th) -- "We lost the drive-train. We were struggling a little bit with this car, it's a new race car and a new deal for me. I feel bad for this Hills Brothers/Donlavey Racing team. They tried real hard and so did I. We were hoping to finish this one."
SCOTT PRUETT --32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 39th) -- "We had a neck and neck race up into one, Tony and I, managed to get through that and then took a good shot from behind. I'm not really sure who got a hold of me, but it turned me around up in three. And then going down in the back it must have damaged something because we went through the little dogleg and it wouldn't turn. It went straight off the track and took a big shot. I just feel real disappointed for Tide and all the guys who worked so hard. They did a great job and we had high hopes for today, but maybe we can turn things around at Daytona." HOW HARD OF A HIT WAS IT? "It was a big shot. I came forward and hit the steering wheel and took a pretty good shot in the throat. The doctor said to keep an eye on it and go get and x-ray." YOU SEEMED TO HAVE GOOD STRATEGY AND A GOOD CAR. IT MUST BE FRUSTRATING. "It is. About 10 laps in we broke a header and lost quite a bit of power, but the car was hanging in real well. We were on a little different pit strategy, we were looking to make one more stop towards the end and not two more. We were playing it just like we wanted to, unfortunately our day came to a close too soon."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline/Cummins Taurus (Finished 3rd) -- "We had a good run with the Valvoline/Cummins Taurus. We were too good at the end and not good enough at the beginning."
DID THE SAME PROBLEMS RESURFACE AND WHEN DID THEY? "The whole race."
POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE -- "We were a little too fast at the end and a little too slow at the beginning. That was a heck of a race. Sterling raced me clean. It was so close to the end that I just couldn't get it done -- about had it done, but not quite. It was a great effort by everybody on the team. I feel like we're fighting our way back. We've still got some work to do. We still had problems with the car today, but at least we ran pretty good, so we''ll take that, try to go on and keep making some progress."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 5th) -- "We wished for a little more, but we never could get the car to get the traction off the corner like we needed. It was real good under braking, I just couldn't accelerate and, as a result, at the end I think I just burned the rear tires off of it trying to hold these guys off and trying to run people down. We fell back two or three spots at the end but we're pleased."
IF THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A CAUTION LATE DO YOU THINK YOU COULD HAVE CHALLENGED FOR THE WIN? "I don't know, I wasn't that good all day. I was about a third to fifth place car all day, so I don't know. It seems like with our luck when cautions come out things go awry, so I'd rather leave it like that."
YOU'VE NOW HAD FIVE TOP-FIVES IN THE LAST SEVEN RACES. "Yeah, that's good. You come to a road course and you expect a little bit more, we just didn't get it. The guys worked hard at it, we just didn't quite have the car today but the top fives are great. I don't know where we are in the points, it had to help us. The way we're sitting there, the lead is not all that far out of whack if you look at it, so we're pleased with it."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT JEFF GORDON NOW WITH SIX STRAIGHT ROAD COURSE WINS? "Well, really we're so busy. We weren't on top of our game today. We didn't get 100 percent out of what we had, but, on the same token, it's hard to do that every time you come to the road course so that makes it even tougher. That was a good job by Jeff."
ROBBY GORDON --13-- CD2/Menards Taurus (Finished 9th) -- "We were biding our time in the thing. We bobbled on fuel coming down into turn seven and we decided, 'OK, everybody else is probably gonna have to pit.' I'm very surprised that everybody could run that far on fuel. If they would have stopped, because we were beating them a second a lap, it would have put us in front of them. I got all the way back up to Dale Jarrett and stopped, so if everybody would have stopped we would have won the race. It's just gonna take us a little while to understand this game, understand exactly what the fuel mileage is, but we're getting better every weekend as a race team. The guys did just an excellent job in the pits today. We stayed with the leaders and I don't believe I lost position all day long in the pits, I'm very happy about that. We just have to go back and find out how they're beating us on fuel mileage because as far as the car goes, we had a good race car."
YOU MOVED UP NINE SPOTS AFTER PITTING WITH 14 TO GO, SO YOU MUST FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR EQUIPMENT. "I've gotta be honest, up until I pitted I just rode around all day long, I never jeopardized one position, never risked anything. The guys kept me in contention with the pit stops, that was beautiful so my hat's off to them because that's one of the places we were lacking. Now we've got something to work with on this team. I'm very pleased with team and they're doing a great job."
WILL YOU BE AT DAYTONA NEXT WEEK? "I believe you'll see us, but it all depends on how the car blows in the wind tunnel. I hate to bring a sword to a gunfight and one of the things right now we'd rather do is show up with good strong results."
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Finished 7th) -- "We kind of struggled all day. We never did get the car exactly right, but we made a lot out of something that could have been a lot worse. We came out with a car and didn't lose too many points and that was the main thing. When we realized that we weren't exactly right we stayed as close to the 3 and the 18 as we could, so we'll just get ready now and go to Daytona. We've got this behind us."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus (Finished 16th) -- "We were able to drive away from Gordon and get our lap back. Then we put on four tires, but we drove so bad we should have finished 30th. Gordon is doing it all. They've got a good car and a good driver. He knows what he wants. He knows what he wants his car to feel like and his team is able to give it to him."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 26th) -- "I just got way behind on a restart and I just overdrove it trying to pass the guys down there. I got in high and I hit that burm down there and it got me into the 4 car and spun me around. I lost all my time right there. There were no caution flags, nothing after, so I was just overaggressive. I was going for third place down there trying to get my track position back I had lost early. Then everything just started compounding. I kept getting in deep trying to pass cars and kept locking the rear wheels up and that was just killing me."
DARRELL WALTRIP --66-- Route 66/Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 28th) -- "We had a better car than that, but we had that problem in the pits (a tire rolled out of the pit stall) and that put us a lap down. The car was too good in some places to be so bad in others. It just wouldn't turn. I don't believe we have enough downforce on the nose. We had some good things. We made the race on our own and ran all day."