MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 8th) THE CAR WAS BETTER THAN PRACTICE?Â "We didn't do anything to it, it just ran a lot better on the long run.Â We could have finished better than eighth if we would have gotten the rest of it in the...
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 8th)
THE CAR WAS BETTER THAN PRACTICE? "We didn't do anything to it, it just ran a lot better on the long run. We could have finished better than eighth if we would have gotten the rest of it in the bag because we were coming a little at a time. But I'm thrilled. We didn't have anything like that in practice. We were a 30th-place car -- probably, realistically, 20th -- I was just hoping to run in the teens with it, but on those long greens I just passed some great cars. I gave up a lot to start with, but at the end of the runs I was as good as the leader. We've got some work to do, but we're staying in this thing."
YOU'RE SECOND IN POINTS NOW. "I'm real proud of this team. They've just dug in and done what it takes to win the championship. Whether we win or not, it doesn't matter to me because the effort has been spectacular by this team."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 9th)
"It's good to get a top 10. We ran real mediocre and sub-par today, so at least we finished pretty high. We didn't run very good."
DID YOU THINK ABOUT STAYING OUT ON THE LAST CAUTION WHEN IT STARTED TO RAIN? YOU WERE NINTH AT THE TIME. "Well, we all ran five green-flag laps so it wouldn't have mattered. With all of those laps on our tires, we wouldn't have pitted and would have had 45 or 50 laps on our tires. We would have finished worse than we did. Noboby pitted the last time, we all pitted five laps before that, so there really wasn't a choice there for us."
TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus (Finished 41st)
"A rod broke this time. It came out the side. I felt it vibrating about 20 or 30 laps before that and I told them it felt like it was laying down. I felt it. It wasn't really laying down, but I felt a vibration and ended up breaking the rod. Something happened to the car anyway, it had a terrible push. We started the race really loose. We made a minor adjustment and it was pretty good, but then after the rain it was terrible tight and we could never get it out. Something had to happen to it."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 12th)
"It certainly wasn't a great day, but we've been awful here the last three races. We've just been really, really bad and today was a step in the right direction of being competitive. We weren't as competitive as we intend to be, but with Paul being brand new and not knowing our cars, that's a good start for us. Overall, we've improved our program and if we just keep improving we'll be great. I'm not elated with a 12th-place finish, but I'm excited about a 12th-place finish."
ANY THOUGHTS OF STAYING OUT -- YOU WERE 12TH? "No, if it would have gone green at all, they would have blown by us. We weren't good enough to pull that strategy, so we couldn't do it."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 17th)
"I started off just way too loose. I got the car real soft in the front trying to really make it turn good. Man, when they dropped that flag I was deathly loose and I had to go way to the back. I got a lot farther up there, but I couldn't get enough."
A TOUGH DAY? "Yeah, it was a tough day. Doggone it, we lost more points than I wanted to. I really hoped this was gonna be a great day to gain in the points, but I just put too small a swaybar and too much left-front spring in the car. I changed it this morning and it got me so loose it was unreal. But, look, after I got that stuff tightened up, I had a really good car. But, doggone it, the leaders at that point were about nine seconds behind me. They short-stopped and when they stopped we kept running on the older tires and lost too much track position and got lapped. We got the lap back a couple times, but when it was all said and done, we had a top-five car as far as speed on the race track, but the call I asked the guys to do this morning killed us."
IS THE POINT DEFICIT TO GREAT NOW? "Oh no. We're only 200-and-something out. That's a lot, but we've still got three races to go."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"We made the decision before we went back green -- after the first rain delay -- to pit for fuel. Todd and I were thinking alike. I thought that was the right thing for us to do because we had to play to halfway at that time. The car was kind of loose there and I couldn't go up through the pack as good as I wanted, so we kind of got behind. We kept adjusting on the car, making it better and making great pit stops and everything worked out. I would have liked to have seen what I could do with them once I got there, but we'll take a third. It was a good day."
TOUGH AS FAR AS STRATEGY AND THE RAIN? "Yeah, that's what makes Todd's job so difficult, as if it's not hard enough as it is. But then you're sitting there trying to figure out when to make that pit stop or when to stay out and stretch it. It's very, very difficult and you never knew when the rain was gonna come on the race track, and you're running so fast here that you don't want it to sneak up on you. NASCAR did a good job. Whenever it started to rain at all they put the caution out, but we did a good job in calculating and making the pit stops at the right time and the adjustments we made were really good."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 18th)
"I tell you what, I'm proud of these guys. They brought the same car we had at Charlotte. The car drove good, they did a great job with the handling of it, but one set of tires cost us about 10 positions. I thought we had a top-10 car or a top-15. It was good the longer it ran. It was just a tough set of tires. I'm proud of my guys. They worked hard, had good pit stops and we'll get 'em at Rockingham. I want to run this car every race that we can for the rest of the season, so as long as I can keep it in one piece, I think Pat will keep letting me race it. I'm very happy with it."