KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) "It was a good day. We had to fight pretty hard at the end there. We always run pretty good here, so that's a good thing. We changed some things this week Everybody at Evernham Motorsports...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"It was a good day. We had to fight pretty hard at the end there. We always run pretty good here, so that's a good thing. We changed some things this week Everybody at Evernham Motorsports worked real hard to change some things we had going on. The new Charger is a good car. We've just got to figure it out, and it's going to take a little time. I think we learned a lot about it today. We needed a little momentum going into Bristol. That's a tough racetrack and then we've got Martinsville after that. We'll take a week off on the Cup side and get ready for those two short tracks coming up.
"I think we passed three cars on that last run. I'm happy. This is the best the car has been all year for sure. We had a good racecar at Daytona, but it's a lot different type of track. We had a real good car today and it's nice to get a good run in. We were battling on the tight side a little bit, but it was definitely better than what we had. We gained some spots in the standings (10). It gives us something to build on. We've been battling this deal a little bit this year, so this really gives us something to build on. We'll keep getting better.
"I didn't feel like the track was going to tighten up after the Busch race yesterday, but it kept getting tighter as the race went on. We had to keep making adjustments. We started a little tight and kept working on it all day. The guys in the pits did a good job. It's just nice to get a good run out of this deal. It's nice to get our Dodge Charger up front. At one point I thought I might have a shot at the 48 on a long run. I don't know what he was battling. They were really good. I didn't have anything for the leaders, but it was a good, solid top five."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
"We got a little damage on that first-lap deal and ended up losing a lap getting everything fixed, and then we lost another lap changing a shock. We were tight and loose, loose and tight. We kept working on it and never could get our laps back. We lost a little ground in the standings, but we're still in the top 10 and we're headed to Bristol, so I feel pretty good about that."
TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge Charger)
"I almost got through it. I tried to drive under it and somebody got me in my left rear and got me turned around into the inside wall. That was a hard hit. I'm glad they've got these safer barriers up. The worst thing is these Kodak guys built me a great racecar. I thought we had a top-10 car. We were good in practice. We were good when we tested here, but that's part of it. That's why we race 500 miles. We've got to try to get back out there and make a few laps and get a few points. It was a brand new racecar. It was fast, and now it's all torn up. We'll just go get 'em at Bristol."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger)
"We struggled all day. It just seemed like we couldn't get a handle on it. We made a lot of changes, but we didn't have any grip all day. The guys didn't give up. We kept making changes and finally got the Lucky Dog. We ended up on the lead lap somehow. That's the first time we've finished on the lead lap in the first four races. I'm proud of the guys and we'll put this one behind us and go on to Bristol. We're up to sixth in the standings, and that's cool. It'll be even cooler if we can stay there and keep moving up the ladder."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"Man, it was one of those up and down days. At least we ended up on the up side, not like we have the last couple of weeks. It was a pretty good finish for our Dodge Charger. It gives this team a lot of confidence that we needed. We're starting to get a handle on the Charger, and the guys really worked hard last week to improve their teamwork and how to make adjustments on the car during the race. Maybe our bad luck is behind us and we'll keep getting better as the season goes along."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Nicorette Dodge Charger)
"Right on the start we were really loose. I went down into turn one and almost wrecked getting in. I had to let up a little bit and I'm getting through the center, trying to maintain with everybody. The 10 car had a big run on the outside because I had to lift getting in. When he went around the outside of me it took all the air off and I lost it. I felt pretty good and it was real free. I thought I could make it through, but as soon as he got on the outside of me it just took off. It didn't hurt the car too much. I feel bad for everybody that got caught up in that. I hate to be the cause of something. It was definitely our fault, but it was just a mistake. I've never had that happened to me. I picked up a bad vibration later and the car got real loose. I thought I had a tire going down. We came in and that's what put us a lap down. Then on the restart I lost third gear. We could have easily got our lap back but on every restart after that we lost too much ground going from second to fourth. It just wasn't meant to be."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 91 Visteon Dodge Charger)
"We were really too tight at the start of the race. We kind of jacked around and went a lap down, but we didn't let ourselves get another lap down. We were OK, but we need a little bit. We didn't test for here, and we didn't run a lot of laps at California, so this was really like our first test. Since we don't run every week and this group doesn't work together each week, we have to work twice as hard when we do run. We'll get it going. We're testing before Texas and we'll get it together and be good there. It's always great to be back in Atlanta and race for the hometown folks."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
"We didn't have a very good car, but we kept adjusting on it and the best we had it was at the end. I'm not thrilled. We've still got to work on our stuff, but we turned a bad day into an average day. Elliott Sadler always races me really clean, and it was a lot better than I was at the end. You run so fast here. You race people the way they race you. It would have been nice to get into the top 10, but if the roles were reversed Elliott would have done the same thing. We were loose at first and made huge adjustments. We just got our car out of balance and just never could get it back. We usually run better at the short tracks, so we've got two of those coming up and I'm looking forward to it. We jumped up to 10th in the standings today and that's cool. Now we've got to figure out a way to stay there and move up to the top five."