MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS -- Involved in multi-car crash on lap 7 UNFORTUNATELY, YOUR RACE CAR IS A MESS "Yes, it is. And I hate that for our Kellogg's/CARQUEST team. It was really a sweet race car. But they seem to be ...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS -- Involved in multi-car crash on lap 7
UNFORTUNATELY, YOUR RACE CAR IS A MESS "Yes, it is. And I hate that for our Kellogg's/CARQUEST team. It was really a sweet race car. But they seem to be experts at building them. So hopefully they'll come back with another great one. You know, we had a great weekend last weekend and I'm going to stop short of complaining and be thankful for the good stuff and look forward to climbing back in that thing next weekend.
"There is nothing that my team or I could have done to avoid that. So I said bring it on and we brought it on. Yeah, it would have been fun to have raced a little bit more than that, but it's over with now."
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "I don't know what happened out there. They wrecked and there were just a lot of cars in one spot. We just got in a wreck."
WHAT KIND OF RACING DID YOU SEE AT THE START OF THE RACE? WE'RE TALKING FIVE MINUTES INTO THE RACE "I don't know. Yeah, I saw cars starting to spin up at the top of the race track. But there were so many cars between me and them, I couldn't see them. I didn't know. I couldn't really see them. I was in a spot where the wreck happened. I didn't have a chance to say I'm going to go high or low, or slow up or what. I didn't have a chance. I got hit in the right rear and that was it. I was on the bottom of the race track. I was running the bottom line and it was over before it started."
YOU TOOK A HIT IN THE POINTS. IS THIS WHAT YOU EXPECT OUT OF TALLADEGA OR ARE YOU JUST SO FRUSTRATED YOU COULD HIT KICK THE PIT WALL? "I'm fine. I told you I wasn't racing for points. I got a win last weekend. I'm fine. Maybe we'll go do that again at Richmond.
"There were a lot of cars between me and where that wreck happened. I don't know. I mean, how could that not happen? That's what I say. How could it not happen? It's not that guys are losing control of their cars. It's that there are so many in such a wad that you can't help but move up or down on one another and it starts a wreck. I'd forgot how cool racing at Daytona was because handling really does separate the cars more than it does here. It's not like a normal race track, but it's a lot more than it is here. So, here, having a great car doesn't do you any good because you can't separate yourself from the other cars."
DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WERE WHEN THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED "I was on the bottom, right against the bottom, running the bottom groove and I saw out of the corner of my eye a little bit of smoke and it looked like a car sideways, so I knew that the wreck was happening. My biggest hope was that we would pass before it came down the hill. There certainly wasn't any opportunity to slow down.
"And somebody on the outside of me had to come down because they were crowded him down and it turned me around. It tuned me head-on into the wall."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/PEPSI THROWBACK CHALLENGER IMPALA SS:
IS THERE ANY CHANCE YOU CAN GET THE CAR BACK OUT? "I think this is the same way this Pepsi Challenger ended up in '83. So it sure didn't look good. It was driving good. We were having a good time there. I was actually working well with Matt (Kenseth) getting up to the front through the middle. I am not really sure what happened. I was just kinda cruising along there in the middle. Matt got up there, I think behind, maybe the No. 11 and he went low and so I was just cruising on up the middle.
"Matt went down with the No. 1 car and I guess what it was, whoever that was on the inside, I don't think, there just wasn't enough room. He got underneath Matt, Matt came up and I was already there.
"The car is destroyed. That is Talladega. I don't know if we are going to be able to fix that. I know these guys are going to work real hard to try and get it back out there and get some points. Just unfortunate.
"There are so many different grooves to race out there. Matt went low so I was just going to go up the middle, it had been working so well for us up to that point. Somebody got to the inside him and closed the door.
"Things were going well, we were having a good time. Just cruising up the middle. Matt got hooked up with the No. 1 car. They started to go low and I think somebody got inside of them just as I was getting to the outside or up the middle of Matt. I don't if he knew I was there, didn't know I was there or what happened. But, I just got squeezed and started a big wreck.
"I didn't see anything out of line. There was nothing. I don't think that wreck was caused by over aggressive driving. I mean, every race and every wreck I look to see what I could have done different. Looking back on it, I wish I would have just stayed behind Matt. But that is always hindsight. We're sitting here. It is unfortunate. It is not obviously going to be the day we were looking for."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T IMPALA SS -- Involved in multi-car crash on lap 7
WHAT HAPPENED? "I don't know. It's just racing way too hard, way too early. It doesn't pay to lead the first lap or 50th lap. We've got to get to the end of these things in order to put a show on for the fans. It took out a lot of the fast cars and it's just unfortunate."
"Man, I don't know. The thing was pretty tore up when I got out of it. It;s unfortunate, you know. The BB&T Chevrolet was strong. The guys worked hard to bring fast cars. I don't know what happened. Just racing way too hard, way too early.
"I just got hit and spun in to the wall. It is just unfortunate, shouldn't be racing this hard this early.
"It was just one of those restrictor plate things for sure."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS: -- Involved in multi-car crash on lap 7
"I'm not sure what happened. I watched the replays, but couldn't really see what started it. I saw Gordon turning sideways and a lot of smoke. It's typical Talladega, and it's kind of how the last month has gone for the Shell-Pennzoil team. We're going to get back out there, though. This team doesn't give up
-credit: gm racing