Atlanta: Dodge teams race quotes

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 National Tire & Battery Dodge Charger) -- Finished 8th, 24th in points. "That was a really good run. Our guys did some good pit stops today. We've been struggling with pit stops, but our guys stepped it up today. They've been...

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 National Tire & Battery Dodge Charger) -- Finished 8th, 24th in points.

"That was a really good run. Our guys did some good pit stops today. We've been struggling with pit stops, but our guys stepped it up today. They've been working really, really hard and it paid off today. We've had four good race cars at four races and didn't have anything to show for it. We had a good run today. Paul (crew chief Andrews) made some good calls early in the pits. We adjusted wrong one time. I told him to go wrong. It was my fault. He should have known better than listening to the driver. Once we got it fixed we got good again. We were off in the middle of the race, but we got good again at the end.

"I hate it for Bobby today. He was going to be real good. I followed him in practice yesterday and he came in and asked me how he looked. I said, 'virtually perfect.' Bobby gets around this place good. That's the first time I've seen the top 10 in about 20 years, so that's a good run for me.

"I wasn't really concerned after Bobby had the engine problems. We have very, very few engine issues. That's a rarity with Evernham engines. The guys that do our stuff are good. Any time something happens with the 9, 19, 43, 45 or 10, it's a freak deal. We never even think about engine problems. I will say after I saw the 19 I was concerned, but they told me what was going on there, so it was OK.

COMMENT ON KASEY KAHNE'S VICTORY IN A CHARGER "That's good. For all the Dodge Dealers out there, maybe this will put that dreaded Intrepid thing to rest. I tell you what, this used to be a Ford track. It matched the Ford engine and Ford horsepower and what the Ford was. If you look at qualifying and some of the other stuff, this might be a Dodge engine track now. It matches our torque curve, and it matches what we're doing. The bodies compliments it. It doesn't hinder us right there. All the Dodge teams have worked hard to get better, so maybe the Charger is the way we need to go.

"Maybe this needs to be the DaimlerChrysler 400 instead of the one at Vegas. Maybe they should swap Vegas and Atlanta."

COMMENT ON BRISTOL "Bristol is Bristol You've got what you've got when you unload and that's what it is. You've just got to stay out of trouble and hope you bring it home in one piece. Schrader always says if you can get to the last 100 laps and you've still got the fenders on it you're going to finish in the top 10, and that's the way it is man. If you've got fenders on you're going to finish in the top 10."

WHAT KIND OF RACE WAS IT FOR YOU TODAY? "Today was basically tire management. We never had a tire issue all day long. I know some other teams had issues, but the Goodyear Eagles for us were absolutely perfect. We never had any problems."


CASEY MEARS (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- Finished 21st, dropped to fifth in series standings.

"We just never got the car right today. We lost a lap early and then got the Lucky Dodge and struggled to stay on the lead lap the rest of the way. We ended up a lap down in 21st, and that's about as good as we'd been all day. This was a new car, and we just never got it moving in the right direction today. We started strong this season, and we're going to Bristol and try to survive and get a good finish there."


SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger) -- Finished 11th, moved up six spots to 32nd in points

"We kept making changes, and I think the first couple of changes we made may have hurt the car. We went the other way on pressures and got the car pretty good. About the time we started moving to the front we came in and put a set of tires on. We didn't make a change and all of a sudden it was way free. We put another set of tires on and drove up through there. We didn't make any changes on the car, but the tires made a big change on the way it drove. I'm proud of Kasey and those guys. They were on the pole and then to win it was great for them. We're slowly but surely getting there, and it's great to have good teammates running good because you can learn from each other and be better next week."


REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target/Fujifilms Dodge Charger) Finished 10th, top rookie of race. 25th in points. Best career finish in 6 Cup starts.

"We weren't as good here as we were at California and Vegas. We still finished 10th, so that made me feel pretty good. We had to go to the back a couple of times. We passed a lot of cars and felt pretty good about it. We had a couple of long runs and the caution came out and helped us because we felt like the tires were wearing out. They tell me we were running short on fuel at the end, but there was no way I was coming in. I don't know if I really have a hometown track, but this is a tough place. It's lost a lot of grip over the years. It rained and washed all the rubber off, so it was really tough today. Right now it's not my favorite track. Bristol is my favorite track, but ask me again about midway through the year and I might change my mind."


BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge) -- Qualified 4th, led once for 13 laps, finished 43rd. 38th in points.

"We had a good run started there and then we fell back a little bit. I'm not sure if the motor was seizing up a little bit then or not. We ended our day pretty soon, but for the time we ran it was pretty decent and I want to thank everybody for that. It was one of them deals. That's part of it, that's racin' so we'll just go on to next weekend. It's exciting for all the guys who work in the shop that have been there for so many years.

"We came out here today and ran really good, and that's a good indication of things. We also have to make sure we do it week in and week out. We're not going to get there overnight. It didn't get the other way overnight, and it's not going to get fixed overnight. It takes a lot of hard work by a lot of the guys. Fortunately we didn't tear up this car when the motor blew, and that's one good thing and we can take it to Texas.

"A lot of guys probably just took it a little easy at the beginning. I say that and almost nobody takes it easy any more. The car felt good and we were going all right. We got caught back there a little bit. It was pretty good from the beginning, and we just need to keep working on it. The guys are doing a great job and we're having a tough go on the finishing part but we're gaining on the running part. That's a good thing.

"It's frustrating, but it's part of the process we're going through right now. We're trying to get consistent week in and week out. We're going to have weeks that aren't consistent. It hasn't been a fun start to the season, but it's been a promising start in some forms and fashions. We've just got to keep ourselves above water and know we're gaining. That's just the way it is."

-dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup