Atlanta Dodge Sunday notes

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T) “We shot ourselves in the foot. I thought we blew up, but an electric fan on the radiator came loose, rubbed a hole in the water hose and all the water came out. I never saw the...

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T) “We shot ourselves in the foot. I thought we blew up, but an electric fan on the radiator came loose, rubbed a hole in the water hose and all the water came out. I never saw the temperature go up. It burned the motor up, and blew it up. We were awful strong. I thought I had a shot at ‘em. We’ve had a top five car in every race. You’re going to blow up a couple of times during the year, and you’re going to wreck a couple of times. You’ve just got to take the good with the bad and go on down the road. I feel like we can rebound and come back. I think we had a third-place car today. That 25 was awful stout.”

FELIX SABATES (Co-owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/Ts) “The 40 team is working pretty good together. The Dodges are really great cars. Look on the board and most of the time today it was a Chevy, Ford and Dodge. When it’s your day, it’s your day. Today just wasn’t our day. We didn’t have anything for those Hendrick cars. They’re awesome. They’ve got horsepower galore in those things. They’re rockets. The 88 ran up front all day, and he’s been a cry baby all year about how bad the Fords are, but he’s won two poles in a row. He led the race today. He came on pit road under the red flag and was penalized. If he hadn’t done that, who knows where he might have finished. All he’s been doing is belly-aching all year long. I guess he expects NASCAR to give him something for nothing. Last year was Ford’s year. This year it looks like it’s Chevrolet’s. I think NASCAR’s got it figured out pretty close. I think Chevy has got better drivers than Ford’s got. The Roush teams have been struggling all year long, but they’ll be back. They’re tough. I think we can finish in the top five in the points, and I think Sterling will win some races. He’s had a real good chance to win two or three already. His time will come.”

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T) “Something broke in the engine. We really won’t know exactly what went wrong until we get it back and look at it. The car was pretty tight. We never got it loose enough to drive. It wasn’t great, and it wasn’t bad. Somebody said rumors about me retiring were going around. I’ll probably retire next week, and we’ll have a big retirement party (said in jest). Then I’ll go back and race and when I get ready to quit, I’ll quit. I love to fuel those rumors.”

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T) “Changes we would make a lot of times would go just the opposite. The last four or five runs we progressively got better, but there’s still seven or eight cars out there that are in a different league than I’m in.”

BILL DAVIS (Car owner Bill Davis Racing Dodge Intrepid R/Ts with No. 93 Dave Blaney’s Dodge and No. 22 Ward Burton’s Dodge) “A drive plate came loose. They thought they had lug nuts loose, but that wasn’t it. They appeared to be loose, but the nuts were tight. They went right back out and it did it again. He was coming down pit road and the caution came out, so he decided to go back around and it fell off. Something in the drive plate broke. It sure looked like Dave had the car to win today. This is our fourth race, and we had the cars that could have won two of them. We’re happy with what we’ve got going on. The 22 had a tough race, but he almost got a top 10 out of it. You’ve got to work real hard like they did and communicate good and get something out of it. I know Dave is crushed, and I don’t blame him. We’ll go home and see what it was and see if it was something we could have prevented.”

DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T) “They just kept getting the car better and better on every run. On that last run, we led the whole green flag run and it was flying. It stayed good at the end of the run. You get something that good, and it’s a shame you can’t race for it at the end. We expected to come here and run good. Did we think we’ve have a car to win with 120 to go? Probably not, but we did and couldn’t capitalize on it. We’ll try again.”

RAY EVERNHAM (Car owner Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/Ts) “I’m real proud of our team today. This is one of the toughest races that you run all year, engine wise. I feel good about where the team’s at. We’ve just got to get our cars faster. I thought everybody had a good day. I thought they did a great job in the pits. I thought the guys on the crew did a great job. I thought Bill did a good job. We’ve just got to get our cars faster. We had a little problem at the end with a cylinder, but it only cost us one spot. Overall, the Dodges are showing they are competitive. I’ve just got to get my Dodges more competitive. Dave Blaney and Sterling showed that we have some strength. Evernham Motorsports is probably a little behind, but I feel real good about the No. 9 car’s overall performance today.”

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T) “We got a lap down on that one long green-flag run. We got too loose at the end. We had a good day though. We finished, and that’s the first one this season. We ran OK. It’ll give us something to work on.”

STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T) “We had great pit stops and great calls in the pits. We just never could get going like we needed to. The car stayed tight all day. Every time we pitted, we gained spots. It was a good day as far as that’s concerned. We just got tight and stayed tight. We couldn’t adjust our way out of it. “Congratulations to Kevin Harvick. I raced with him a long, long time in the truck series. Richard Childress deserves it. I’m glad to see it for him. It’s a good deal.”

JASON LEFFLER (No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T) “Something in the motor let go. The best the car had been all day was at the end. We had struggled all day. That’s the way it goes. I was glad to see Kevin Harvick win. He’s a good driver. Hopefully he won’t be the only rookie who wins a race this year.”

- Dodge Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Kevin Harvick , Chip Ganassi , Dave Blaney , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Bill Davis Racing