KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "All I saw was smoke. A couple lapped cars I guess turned into one another. The new NASCAR rules - they did fantastic job. Everybody's cars were handling good. It's a nice wide racetrack. ...
KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "All I saw was smoke. A couple lapped cars I guess turned into one another. The new NASCAR rules - they did fantastic job. Everybody's cars were handling good. It's a nice wide racetrack. Most times when these things happen it's something stupid, arguing over space. It wasn't anybody's car handling bad."
(RESTRICTOR PLATES) "There's no way around it. I spent 130 laps or so, at the back, waiting. I said, 'Well, there's 50 laps to go. It's time to go.' Wrong time."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
(ON THE INCIDENT) "The wreck started so far in front of us we couldn't see anything. All I could do was just go off my spotter. He had the best viewpoint. He just kept saying, 'Stay high. Stay high.' We were as far up as we could go. I don't even know if we got hit in the behind, if that's what turned us or getting into the guys in front of us turned us. It's just typical restrictor plate racing."
(RESTRICTOR PLATE RACING) "I never liked restrictor plate racing anyway. I don't think it's real racing to begin with. But the fans like it and I guess that's the main thing, as long as we're putting on a good show for the fans. Bobby (Labonte) and I rode around three-quarter throttle most of the day just waiting - waiting for that wreck to happen. You make your last pit stop and you go back out, and then you get caught in it when it's time to go racing. We tried to be careful all day and as soon as it was time to go, then we got in that wreck. It's just frustrating. I wouldn't all that real racing. It's not real racing, but it's real entertaining I guess."
(ON WAVING TO HIS TEAMMATE DURING THE RACE) "It was so boring. I told Bobby since I started behind him at the beginning of the race that wherever he went, I went. That's what our game plan was at the start. We went through the first two-thirds of the race that way. Everywhere he went on the racetrack I followed him. At one point we were kind of at the back of the pack and had a little bit of a gap back there just to make sure that if something happened that we had plenty of time to react. I just kind of got bored and pulled up beside Bobby and waved to him, then dropped back in line. He was so comfortable in his car he switched over to our frequency and started talking to us. He just kind of explained that there were some guys up there doing some things that might get ugly in a couple laps, so we were just back there being patient. Sure enough when it came time to race at the end, the big wreck happened."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 LYCOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: (WAS TODAY FUN?) "It wasn't fun for us out there. It had its moments - everybody wanting to run four-wide, and three wide - although I believe most everybody gave some pretty good breaks today. But, man, there were some times that because everybody was giving breaks they started taking chances. That got pretty hairy at times."
(WORSE THAN MARTINSVILLE FOR CONTACT?) "It was. There were a couple guys that thought it was Martinsville, and they would run you on the apron of all places. I can't believe it. They were only two-wide, or even three-wide. There is enough (room) to run four. And they're hitting them in the side, trying to run them on the apron. I've never seen anything like it. But they know that it slows the car down and they are doing it to keep that guys slowed down. But I'm actually surprised there weren't more wrecks than there were." (ON THE NEW RULES) "As a driver, I'm not too fond of the them. But as a fan, I don't know. It couldn't have gotten any more exciting, I guess. I don't see it. I didn't like it where I was at. But in the same token, they do this stuff for the fans to have a good race. I guess they saw one, but I don't know. I couldn't see it from where I was at." (ON HIS SUCCESS IN THE FIRST TWO PLATE RACES THIS SEASON) "Let's just say that I love this team - on the speedways, intermediates, short tracks. I hope like heck we can run as good on the road course. This is a great team. We've got a lot of good years to look forward to." (HOW MANY SCARY MOMENTS DID HE HAVE TODAY?) "I quit counting at about 140. How many laps was the race? That was probably the number. No, actually, probably five or six short of how many laps the race was."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: (ON THE INCIDENT) "Wrong place at the wrong time. I basically raced three laps all day long right before that wreck, and then didn't race any after that. I really didn't race any before that. I just rode around half throttle. You couldn't lose the draft because they were three-wide and four-wide, so you would just suck right back up and slow down a little bit. I'm not sure if that's racing or not. It sure didn't look like it. But it could have been a lot worse. I looked at the car afterwards. We could have busted the radiator, gotten the oil pump or something like that. Fortunately the guys worked real hard and got it back out there. We lost one lap and just were able to get back some positions that maybe didn't deserve being involved in a big wreck like that. Good day or bad day, at least we finished up 21st which wasn't all that bad."
(FRUSTRATING?) "It is if you get involved in a wreck. You wish you were either in front of it or could miss it. Then you would say, 'Well now we can go race,' because maybe you could pass a few cars. When I did try to pass a couple cars I couldn't go anywhere, so I just hung out at the back. It is kind of frustrating, but that is the way that it goes. We've been real lucky for a lot of races and not been involved in any wrecks. But we got involved in one this time. You can't miss them all."
KYLE PETTY, NO. 44 HOT WHEELS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We ran pretty good, but we had overheating problems all day long. That thing was hot. And you could just lag at the back. I'd make a run and get up to 20th. I don't think anybody was any further than about 200 yards out of the lead all day long. I could get up to about 20th and then I would have to drop all the way back at the back with those guys." (HOW DID HE MISS THE WRECK?) "I don't know. Right place, right time. The Good Lord was looking after me. Anytime you miss a wreck at Talladega, it's not your driving ability. It's God looking after you, man. I'm telling you."
JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 43 STP/CHEERIOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "All of Petty Enterprises has got a lot to be proud of. They did a great job. Greg had great calls in the pits. The car was handling really, really good. I'm really happy for Kyle (Petty) because the 44 team probably needed a bigger boost than the 43. We think if it can happen to us, then it happens twice as hard to them. I'm really happy. We both made it through the accident. If Kyle had not been the guy behind me, I would have been in the accident. They would have hit me. I'm just really happy for Kyle. They did a good job." (RUNNING NEAR THE FRONT END OF THE DRAFT ALL DAY) "It's only safe at one end, and that's the front end."
MIKE BLISS, NO. 27 VIAGRA PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We were great. We had good pit stops and had good pit strategy. We stayed up front. We just got in that tangle on the front straightaway. We tried to miss it and I just got into someone. It messed the front up pretty good to where it just wouldn't draft." (FUN DAY?) "It's fun, but then again, it's like chess. One move, you don't know what you're going to do the next lap and you're hoping that no one makes a mistake. It's so easy out there to make a mistake, four-wide. But here at Talladega it is so easy to drive four abreast around here because the cars just grip so good. At Daytona they don't grip like this. It was like driving a go-kart around here."
(ON HIS RACE) "We could have been a lot worse. We were very fortunate we ended up like we did. To go through a wreck like that and only get torn up sheet metal-wise, knock the toe out a little bit and still finish 21st is a pretty big tribute to the guys. It could have been a lot worse. We took a bad day and made the best out of it. We could have been 38th real easy. I think some of those guys that wrecked might have ended up that far back. It's just one of those deals where we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you do this long enough, you're going to lose money on a slot machine, you're going to win money on a slot machine, and today we lost." (IS A BIG WRECK INEVITABLE?) "Pretty much so. It's not going to happen all the time but the chances of it happening are pretty big. And when it usually happens, it's pretty big. Usually you can tell the magnitude of it by how long it takes to clean up the mess."
BARRY DODSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 27 VIAGRA PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We had a fantastic run today. Mike (Bliss) proved today his is a very capable driver. I was shocked by his ability to draft. He is a fast learner. He picks up the counsel and advice and little tips, and he makes the right move at the right time. That was a big plus for us today. He is a big plus. I believe he got up to eighth or ninth place and stayed in the top 10 most of the day until he got caught up in that big accident. Mike is a perfect student. We didn't know how good he was and how good he can be. "We were very pleasantly surprised about how he handled himself in heavy traffic. He was patient and he quickly took the cues from spotter (spotter) Buddy ("Red Dog" Barnes) and just drove a great race. We're looking forward to going to Daytona with Mike Bliss as our driver."