STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Lite Dodge) -- Finished Fourth "We had a heck of a car, but it was just a little bit too loose all day. The pit crew had some good stops, and all the guys made the right calls in the pits and here we are. We didn't...
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Lite Dodge) -- Finished Fourth
"We had a heck of a car, but it was just a little bit too loose all day. The pit crew had some good stops, and all the guys made the right calls in the pits and here we are. We didn't lose anything on that two-tire stop. It was pretty good after that. We just needed track position, and we just had about 30 laps on the tires. We decided to gamble and see what we could get. Harvick got us there at the end. He had fresher tires on. Jamie was coming and the rest of them guys had fresher tires. All-in-all it was a good day for us and it got us back where we need to be (10th in series standings).
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge)
"We're not sure exactly how it happened yet, but it looks like the fan got into the radiator and knocked a whole in the radiator. We came in and fixed the radiator and got back out. We were just going to ride around. We had a great car It was one of the best cars I've ever had here at Bristol. We were just going to ride around and try to pick up a couple of spots if we could. Ricky Rudd blew a right front right in front of us. As soon as it happened we were already both in the gas. I was underneath him and he went up and hit the wall and came back down and got into me. I didn't have anywhere to go. The race isn't half over, and we've had a long day already. You hate to have bad days like this, but if you're going to have 'em and have 'em at Bristol it's a little more understandable. Hopefully we can walk away from here and get ready for Texas. I'm really looking forward to Texas. We're taking the same car we had at Atlanta and Vegas to Texas."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"It was a long day, but it turned out to be a pretty good day for the Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. We were a little off on our chassis and kept working on it all day. But we stayed out of trouble and that's the key. We could have been in a wreck, and we avoided three close ones. So we turned what could have been a bad day into a decent day. It's important to be consistent week in and week out."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- Finished 8th
"I was just trying to keep from running into Sterling. He had on a lot older tires. When we had our break, Andy (team manager Graves) came on the radio and said not to do anything stupid because we had two cars in the top five. Donnie (crew chief Wingo) went down and talked to Robbie (17 crew chief Reiser) and acted like everything was cool, but he hit me two or three times there going into turn one when we took the green. He's not typically like that. I got into him a little bit, trying to get him out of the way so I could get by him. That's how you pass here. It's just one of those deals. I'm shocked that Matt (Kenseth) acted that way.
"You can't really get out and punch somebody in our sport, so I just wanted him to know I was mad. This place is so easy to get mad at. There's not a whole lot you can do about it, and I was just shocked that Matt did that. He's typically not like that, and he's a really good racer. He just lost his cool today, and I think he was upset that I got into him and got him out of the way, but with 10 laps to go at Bristol that's just the way it is. This place is famous for the bump and run. That's what I did to him, and he got upset about it. The last couple of laps I was just trying not to run into Sterling and just finish, but Matt got me pretty good twice. The last time it shot me up the racetrack.
"All-in-all it was a pretty long day for us. I screwed up and didn't pit once and I think I went from third or fourth all the way back to 28th. We fought all day to try to keep up with the racetrack. We didn't do a real good job of it, but we had a top-five car at the end.
"It was just one of those deals (with Kasey Kahne early in the race). You can't wreck someone on purpose with what we do. With how far we've come with safety and the devastating things that have happened, you can't go out and wreck somebody. I think Kasey was just upset. I didn't intentionally wreck him. I got a good run on him, and I thought I gave him a lot of room. I hate it happened. I forgot it happened, but that was just somebody being hot-headed.
"It's very unfortunate, but there's nothing you can do about it. You just have to start over next week and not worry about it. Matt is not that kind of guy. It's just unfortunate that he lost his cool today. This place will get the best of you. Somebody asked me before what it takes to stay cool here. Evidently I don't know."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- Finished 7th
"We had a pretty good car on the long run. We struggled a little bit on that one long green-flag run. We got a lap down and had to come back from that. Basically the 48 short-pitted and got a good chunk of the field a lap down. He caught the caution where he needed it, but it ended up costing him in the end. Our car got better just when he (Earnhardt Jr.) got behind me. We were able to stretch it out a little bit once I got by the traffic in front of me. I was really tight for most of the race. That's our second top 10 here, so it wasn't too bad. Brendan had a good run most of the day, and Rusty got close, so it was a pretty good day for all the Penske Dodges."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak/Punisher Dodge) -- Finished 20th
"We had the best Penske Dodge out there even though Rusty finished second. I didn't get to see it, but I was really pulling for him. Rusty Wallace came on the radio during the race, and he was leading and I was running fourth and he came on my channel and asked me how I was doing. Rusty Wallace is the man.
"On pit road, the Kodak team, without a doubt, was one of the best teams on pit road. We beat the 2 out every time. We beat the 12 out every time. Those guys were awesome today. We had a fantastic racecar, the best one we've had all year. We had the meanest looking racecar out there. We had the Punisher. I don't know what you've got to do to earn these guys respect. I've been polite to everybody. Maybe I've got to take that nickname "The Punisher" and start moving a few guys.
"I understand I'm a Raybestos rookie, but the last five races it wasn't my day. I was pretty darn good to all of these guys. It was my day today. The right thing to do is give that one little space if it ain't your day. We were trying to get a top 10 and guys were just being jerks."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge) -- Finished 6th
NOTE: The sixth-place finish is the career best for BAM Racing, topping its eighth-place finish at Michigan in 2003.
"This Schwan's team did a fabulous job all day. The car continued to get better throughout the race. We just want to thank Beth Ann and Tony Morgenthau, the guys for giving me a great car, and Schwan's Home Service for making all this possible. We aren't satisfied by any means, but we're getting there. Tell you what, it feels good to have a finish that reflects the work this team has done. I believe we could go do it again right now... right here, 500 laps... right now, no problem."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"I don't know what Jamie McMurray was thinking. That was ridiculous. He put me out the first time I ever came here and now he's put me out again. It's frustrating. It was too early in the race for that. We had a good racecar, and I don't know why he'd want to make it three wide that early in the race. It was a pretty dumb move by him, but that's Bristol. That's the kind of thing that happens here.
"I was in front of him, so that wasn't a spotter problem. That was a driver problem. I don't know about retaliating, but it's something that definitely stays with you. You don't forget about stuff like that. It was kind of a dumb error on his part. He probably didn't want to crash me, but it was just a dumb error.
"Me and Jamie have always had good races and raced clean everywhere else, but at Bristol he's run into me before for no reason."