ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 41st) WAS THERE A PROBLEM BEFORE THE CRASH? "Yeah, something happened on that restart. I don't know. It was just a real, real bad set of tires or I had a right-rear (tire) going down. It...
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 41st)
WAS THERE A PROBLEM BEFORE THE CRASH? "Yeah, something happened on that restart. I don't know. It was just a real, real bad set of tires or I had a right-rear (tire) going down. It actually felt like I had a right-rear going down and I was letting some of the guys go by. It was flat after the crash, but I spun so much that I don't know what happened. I just want to apologize to all the M&M's fans and Robert Yates fans out there. We had a car to beat again today, we just got a little loose there and spun out and tore it all to pieces. I'm a little sore. I'd like to tell my mom and dad I'm OK at home, but the guys did a great job building me a safe car at the shop."
AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE THIS TRACK IT SEEMS LIKE THINGS HAPPEN TO YOU IN THE RACE. "Yeah, I mean things do happen to us in the race. We don't have that much luck, but I really do love this race track and I love the fans down here. They've always been so nice to us and one day we'll get a break down here. Today might have been the day to go to Victory Lane, but it's just bad luck for us."
UP TO THAT POINT YOU WERE CRUISING. "Yeah, I was just kind of hanging out and racing with Jeff (Gordon) a little bit. We were pretty fast, but I don't know what happened on that last set of tires. I swear I think the right-rear was going flat. It's just one of those deals."
DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 36th)
"We weren't happy with the car yesterday so we made a ton of changes overnight and this morning. We were just way off all day. We couldn't even compete. We got caught pitting one time under green and lost a couple more laps, so it was kind of a nightmare. Then something knocked the oil pump belt off of it and hurt the engine, so it was a bad day for the Jasper boys."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 5th)
"We had a lot going against us. We had a terrible starting spot and then fought our way up to the top 10 only to get caught out on a caution. That green flag stop got us a lap down, but this Viagra Taurus was a piece of junk yesterday, but Ben Leslie and the guys all sat together and changed everything on it. It was pretty awesome. We got lucky and got a caution to get our lap back and we were just short some track position at the end. We couldn't have beaten the 12 car, but I know there wasn't anybody else in the field that we couldn't handle because we were catching all the guys in front of us big time. It was an awesome run. I thought I was gonna run 30th yesterday, so I'm really proud of the Viagra team here and this Taurus."
THIS SHOWS THE TEAM'S DETERMINATION. "Yeah, we're tough, hard-headed and a little bit dumb (laughing)."
WAS THE CAUTION THAT GOT YOU A LAP DOWN THE TURNING POINT FOR YOUR DAY? "It could have been the turning point, but our turning point was the setup that they chose to put under it this morning. The race could have turned bad on us right there when we got caught because we were pretty far back there, but getting that lap back was a good thing. We had a really fast car. I bet we passed more cars than anyone else today. I'm sure of that. Fifth is good when you have as much trouble as we've had."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 Smirnoff Ice/DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 6th)
"We had a great day. Our car handled really good, but I know what Tony Stewart was complaining about last year with traffic. We just really, really struggled in traffic. I don't know if it's a Ford thing or if that's how it is for everybody, but when we were in front we could fly. All day the guys did a good job and had good pit stops. At the end with the way the pit deal worked out we lost a lot of track position and we didn't have the best stop at the end. We just got too far behind, but, overall, it was a great day to come back and finish sixth."
THE KEY WAS GETTING CAUGHT UNDER GREEN? "Yeah, the definitely got us behind, but, still, I think we could have overcame that. We ran right by Gordon. We ran with him all day and he still finished third, so I think if we could have gotten out good there at the end we still could have got a top five out of it, but, overall, it was still a decent day."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 13th)
IT WAS A LONG DAY TO FINISH ON THE LEAD LAP. "Yeah, it was a long day. We just had so many things. We took a chance with some chassis stuff because yesterday we didn't feel like we were good enough. Obviously, we should have put it like the 38, which was one of our options, but we chose to do something we tried here during the test and we just never could get the car down coming off the corner. That was killing us. Then we got hit on pit road. Somebody decided they were gonna pit and jumped over there. I tried to check up but we hit. Then the 45, I kept giving him more and more room. He kept running me up the track every lap and then we went into three and he ran into the side of me. We were fortunate we didn't tear the car up there, so with everything that happened, we'll take 13th on the lead lap and get out of here."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Finished 11th)
"We'll take it. Going from last to 11th, we lost a lap and then got the car a whole lot better. I mean, we went from a car that wasn't hardly driveable to something that was competitive and that's a big plus for our team and a big shot in the arm. Man, to get an 11th out of it, that's as good as winning right now."
THE CAUTION THE GOT SOME CARS ON THE TAIL END OF THE LEAD LAP HELPED YOU. "Yeah, that turned things good for us. We were getting ready to pit and would have gone another lap down. Instead of going another lap down, we were able to get up front and then we were able to get our lap back."
THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT A SECOND GROOVE. WAS THERE ONE TODAY? "No. It's a one-groove track and it's always gonna be because of the banking. It goes the wrong way. The bottom is steeper than the top, so you'll never have a second groove."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Finished 28th)
"It seems like these things keep going wrong, simple things. You go in the grass maybe to avoid an accident. The 1 car is spinning off of turn four, one of the four times he spun out, and I guess it tore the bottom of the sheet metal loose or something. They couldn't get it fixed the first time, so we had to stop under green and fix it right. That's my opinion, but we just tried to put tape on it the first time. Going 200 miles an hour, I don't think tape is gonna hold a fender in, so we stopped under green and put some screws in it and fixed it. But we were done for the day being that many laps down."
HOW WAS THE CAR BEFORE THAT? "It was fair. I had a top 15 car. I'm pretty confident of that. We should have finished 12th, 13th, 14th - somewhere in there. I thought we would be able to stay on the lead lap, but once the valance got shoved up and we weren't able to fix it right, that pretty much hurt us right there."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 26th)
"We were probably a 10th or 12th place car today. When Spencer spun on the frontstretch I jumped on the brakes to miss him and then Mark Martin hit me in the back. He couldn't help it, it was an accident, but that turned us into the grass. We didn't really hit anything and didn't get torn up and I came across the finish line before the leader. Anyway, they're saying we didn't maintain speed, so we lost a lap. I didn't understand it."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 9th)
"We've got to take this car and dissect it - motor, chassis, every bit of it. I've never driven anything quite like this. We weren't anywhere near where we needed to be today and that's not acceptable. But it was a solid result and we'll just have to learn from it."