KYLE PETTY, NO. 44 HOT WHEELS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We got into some stuff early on which affected our car. We were pulling the right fender out every time we came in. We gained positions a lot. The team really had some smoking stops. Near...
KYLE PETTY, NO. 44 HOT WHEELS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We got into some stuff early on which affected our car. We were pulling the right fender out every time we came in. We gained positions a lot. The team really had some smoking stops. Near the end we were getting loose. The tires really held up and did their job. The Hot Wheels Racing Team made some excellent strides."
KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "This just wasn't our day. We were loose early and we made some changes but in the second stop we got too tight and lost some positions. But we held on and tried to make the most of it. But with eight laps to go either the tire started going down or something broke, and I had to let several cars go by. We lost three positions and ended up 26th.
DAVE BLANEY, NO. 93 AMOCO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "I'm not sure what happened. It was all stacked up two-wide. I was just trying to let the leaders go and get going. I don't know if the 43 got in the back of me or not. It took off out from under me getting into that corner."
JEFF FULLER, NO. 27 VIAGRA PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I spun the first time and never hit anything. We came in and adjusted. We were getting it a little bit better. The second time I did the 360 and the right front got in the wall. We must have bent something in the suspension to rub up against the tire. From there we just blew some right fronts out. We put a wheel spacer on the last time. It felt good for a couple laps and then we blew that one out and got up into the wall. It was just an unfortunate day."
JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 43 STP/CHEERIOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I thought the 93 was going to go in (to the corner) a little harder than he did - actually a lot harder than he did. It was my fault. I just ran into the back of Dave (Blaney) and triggered the whole thing. When he got in on the high side I expected him to go in a lot further. I couldn't get stopped. I still was trying to get stopped even after I hit him and I couldn't stop even then. I took pretty hard lick in the driver door, but I'm alright."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I should be happy with that finish, but I'm not. We just couldn't figure it out at all today. I'm not sure what it was, but we never seemed to get a handle on it. But the good thing is we brought the car home in one piece and I think we might still be okay inn the point standings. Lapped traffic today seemed worse than normal. I know it's Bristol and all, but there was no give and take going on out there at all. I want to tell Dale Earnhardt I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to hit him up there in turn three. I got on the brakes and slide the car and ran up on him."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 LYCOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "Sure I would have liked to have seen it go 15 laps longer, but I would have liked to have seen Daytona shortened by 15 laps, too. The car was pretty good. We unloaded and we were OK. I just couldn't get that qualifying lap in. We went second day and went a little bit quicker and got us spot where we wanted on the backstretch for pit stops. James Ince, all the guys on the pit crew just did a really good job. We had it there where we thought the car was decent. I was able to stay on the bottom pretty good. Man, I couldn't be any happier with the way this Lycos Pontiac ran." (ON THE SEASON OVERALL) "The season has gone really good. We had an exceptional run at Daytona. We were real happy with that - real happy that Lycos came on board right there at the last minute. They were on there as an associate, but they were talking about coming on as a primary so we held off even saying anything about it. It was great they cam along on board. Just everybody involved - Quaker State, Hendrick Engines, Mac Tools - everybody has just done a tremendous job. You know we missed that race at Atlanta. We didn't get that opportunity to qualify (in second round). But we had a meeting at the shop that Sunday morning when everybody else was having a good time at Atlanta, and nobody's head was dropped. Everybody was real excited. We were real excited with the beginning of the year. We hated that we missed Atlanta. But we said, 'Man, we've still got a great race team. Let's go out there and do the best we can.' That's all we've been trying to do." (GIVING 100 PERCENT THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE RACE) "That was the only thing I was mad about. He (crew chief James Ince) told me to give 80 percent, and I thought, 'Man, you don't tell a driver that.' But I did. I admitted later that I stayed about 90 percent. I wasn't going to give them anything. I was just patient all day. Anybody that has seen this race and they've seen what can happen if you're not patient here. He (James) just kept me calm in the car and we ran decent all day. We got to be able to stay on the bottom. He made great calls all day long- on the tires and just a matter of being there at the end of the day, and we were." (RUNNING FROM 33RD TO 2ND ON THE DAY) "I don't know if we really had a big strategy. It was just mainly to stay out of trouble all day and just try to be as smooth as we can. That's what we did. We took four tires every stop. We weren't going to try to gamble on two -- not where we were at. I know the backstretch isn't as bad as it used to be but you do lose a couple of spots. It's not terrible - you lose about four or five. We thought if we were going to lose them anyway let's get the tires on the guys, so we took on four all day long. James and all the guys just had great pit stops and the car was really good. Like Ward (Burton) said, he had left sides that had 18 laps more on them. I know Rusty (Wallace), I know Ward did, the 88 and the 24. Those guys did an awesome job being out there on those kind of tires. It just made us look that much better. But we did have a good race car. We pretty much stayed like12th all day long. We kind of went up, kind of fell, went up, kind of fell. I think most of the racing today was a lot better than it has been here and we were just able to stay out of trouble." .
(THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1999 AND 2000) "I think we just got off to a good stop and I think that helps. James and the guys are building excellent equipment at the shop. I've been very impressed with the quality cars that they build. Hendrick Motorsports is doing a tremendous job on the engines for us. The guys are all just pulling the rope the same way. Like Ward (Burton) said with his team, the guys are getting smarter every week. We're learning a lot. I've still got a lot to learn. This is only the start of my fifth year here in the Winston Cup Series and I'm trying to learn everything I can. But James has just been extremely organized. We felt good coming out of the box into Daytona, but you just never know. This team started to run really good at the end of '99, and so far in 2000, I'm real proud to be in this Tyler Jet Motorsports Pontiac."
WARD BURTON, NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: (ON NEARLY GETTING BACK-TO-BACK VICTORIES) "They (the team) put me in an opportunity to do it. We actually put on just right side tires that last stop, so we had 18 laps more on that left side than anybody. We just picked up a bad push, but I'm still really proud of the team. Short track are not our cup of tea. To come out of here with a top five is great." (ON THE TEAM'S STRENGTH IN 2000) "We ended the 1999 season on an upward note. We talked a lot and had time to assess our good sides that we worked well on and our bad sides. We've addressed both of them. Our communication and understanding of what we're talking about between myself and Tommy and the rest of the guys that make decisions is getting better all the time. We're just getting the cars better. I think a lot of it is they are getting smarter, and it's allowing me to go faster because the cars are handling better."
DICK TRICKLE, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We missed it. We were just so loose and would skate the front end. We just somehow missed the set-up. In 'Happy Hour' we went two ways there. The one way we would have just pushed, pushed, pushed. This way we were a little loose. I guess we still didn't get in the middle of it you might say. But the guys did a good job. We did run all day in front of the crowd. We were out there for the best part of 500 laps so that's good for Conseco and myself and A.J. At least we had the 14 Green Hornet out there for 500 laps. For us to make the race without coming here and testing, and especially getting on the front straightaway - you know I'm not proud of our run and our finish - but it says something for the team that they can hang a car together and bolt it up and that it doesn't break down. During the pit stops, they are finding their weak points and learning things because that's what they've got to do. They've got to work together and find out what they need to fix. That's what we're getting done for them."
JAMES INCE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 10 LYCOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We've got to be really excited about what we did today. Johnny drove his hind end off today and the guys did a heck of a job on pit road. To say that I'm shocked really wouldn't be fair. I knew that we had the potential. We've shown the potential this year. I'm excited with what we're going right now. The biggest thing for us is that I think it build momentum back in our race team after the Atlanta fiasco." (ON REBOUNDING AFTER MISSING THE RACE IN ATLANTA) "Atlanta could have been a deal that broke the season. It was a situation that four races into the year it could have kind of run our season for us. We weren't going to let that happen. The guys dug deep and we came back. And it's the last two weeks. This week was great but the guys did a heck of a job at Darlington, too, and nobody noticed that because of our finish. I don't know. This is a great race team right now." (ON TELLING JOHNNY BENSON TO GIVE 80 PERCENT TODAY) "Basically I had a pretty long talk with Johnny this morning. I've come to Bristol here a lot and fortunately I've had a lot of success here. I've got to credit that to Steve Hmeil and Mark Martin for teaching me about this place. But this is a place where you have to race the racetrack. You can't race a hundred percent all day. If you do you're not going to be there at the end. I asked Johnny this morning just to give me 80 percent of what he normally would and we would give him 120 percent on pit road, and I would let him know towards the end of the race when he could go race. That's hard to ask a race car driver to do it. But Johnny listened and I'm awful proud of him that we are working so well together right now. It seems like he has got faith in me at the moment and I've got all the faith in the world in him. It's kind of making my job easy when you've got guys that are all working together." (ON HIS GOOD DECISION-MAKING SO FAR IN 2000) "I don't know if it is a 'perfect game.' I'd say my weakest deal as a crew chief is the fact that I may be braver than anybody on pit road. But because of that I've made a lot of mistakes in the past. Fortunately I'm being able to reap the benefits of those mistakes now. I generally won't make two in a row. We've kept good notes on what we've done in the past. We feel like we've got a good grasp on what to do at these places."