TED MUSGRAVE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "There's a black cloud over this team right now. The car was really, really good in Happy Hour on Saturday. It was just one of those deals where everybody got bunched up and I got into...
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"There's a black cloud over this team right now. The car was really, really good in Happy Hour on Saturday. It was just one of those deals where everybody got bunched up and I got into the back of Mark Martin. It was the very first wreck. It shoved the radiator back a little bit where it popped the radiator cap off the neck of the radiator and pushed water out. It must have got too low because we came in and put a radiator cap back on and went back out. It must have been too low on water because it cracked a head. When that happens your motor is done. I can't wait to see what's going to come out of Texas. Every week it seems like it's something. We blew a tire last week, now the radiator cap failed this week. The guys are trying so hard, and they don't ever get a break. That's the problem. We've got good race cars when everything is going OK, but we just can't buy a break."
DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"I ran out of room. The 33 got pushed high, and I was trying to get underneath him. I had a car underneath me, and I crowded him. It was just a typical Bristol. It's been a bad day from the start. I just ain't had any luck. We've had great race cars three weeks in a row and had bad luck. I'm tired of it. I'm sore. You hit something that hard and it don't feel good. We got in a mixup early, and there wasn't anywhere to go. The 3 car ran into the back of the 21 car and turned him around. There wasn't anywhere I could go. It tore the car up and we were just trying to ride around and have a little fun. The 33 got pushed up in the outside groove and I tried to go under him, but I had a car under me and I didn't know nothing about it. I ran over the right front of the Bud car and turned myself into the wall."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)
"They never penalized them. They didn't do it that time, I know. They just kept leaving it out there. It was my fault. I was just trying to get out of there and beat the 12 or 2, and I drove right into it. It's a tight pit.. They really need one pit road. There's no doubt they need to carry the right rear tire across. That's ridiculous.
"It was a great car for 500 laps. it's just that I ran into a tire on pit road. It wasn't very smart. I just cut it too close. They'd been leaving right rear tires out all day long. Other than running into it, I think if we could get out front, the longer we ran the better we were. The car was awesome. It was just my fault for running into the tire and tearing up the fender. It was a lot of inspiration for us. It says a lot about where we're at with this race team. I think we're a lot closer to victory lane. It was inspiring to run up front.
"There was a lot of action out there. A guy spins and comes down and clips Earnhardt right after he had taken the lead. It was just one of those typical Bristol days. We had one of 'em (cars to beat). We just kept fine tuning a little bit. If you got a set of tires matched like you wanted, the car was a rocket ship, but it doesn't matter if you run into a tire on pit road. It was my fault. It was sitting there, and I didn't see it and ran into it.
"I blasted it. The DuPont Chevy was strong, and it was an awesome day up until that point. The guys were clicking off awesome pit stops and keeping us out front. The 1 car had trouble getting the right rear tire off all day long. It ruined our day, but we were pretty lucky and I feel pretty fortunate to come back and finish the race. I'm not ashamed of having to change pit crews at all right now. These guys are consistent and confident."
RICK MAST (No. 41 Big Daddy's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"You're running so fast if anything happens you get caught up in it. John Andretti and the 93 got together. I saw it after they hit the wall coming down. I tried to get stopped and move but I just couldn't do it. It was just one of those unfortunate things. The last place you try to hit anybody is in the door. Thankfully everybody is OK."
LARRY McCLURE (Car owner No. 4 Kodak MAX Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We had a good race car. It was loose at the start of the race. We made adjustments and got the car pretty decent. We had some good pit stops. Our race strategy was suspect. We probably pitted one time when we shouldn't have. We lost a lot of track position. We had a couple more cautions. Nobody pitted, and we kept losing track position. Maybe the last time we should have pitted and taken on fresh tires. After everybody had 50 laps on their tires, and we could have probably gotten back into the top five. We didn't. I hope the team can learn from that. They'd better and they should. Any time you get a bull ring like this, you get so many lapped cars, even if you're 10th or 11th, you get a lot of lapped cars between you and it takes a lot tires and stuff and a lot of car to get up through there. Track position is pretty important and we made some calls that weren't exactly right, but the car ran good all day. We're looking forward to Texas and maybe turning that around. We feel confident we can go there and qualify well. We're taking a brand new car and we feel pretty good about it."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"The car was tight almost all day. It would get loose for a little while and that's when it was pretty good. And we'd try to sneak up on it just a crumb, snug it up just a crumb in one place or the other. But it would push so bad you couldn't do a damn thing with it. It was just too tight. Then, about any time you put two tires on a race car, it always loosens it up. We put two tires on it, and made it three times tighter. That's the best we could do today. We got out of here with the race car pretty much in one piece. The transmission's tore out of it. We hurt it having to back out of the pits late in the race. There at the end. we lost a lot of power and it looked like it wasn't going to make it. It did, so we got lucky. Bristol is the toughest place we go. I thought we had an awful good car today. After Happy Hour, I thought, man, we got 'em. We're going to be OK. The car was loose, so I knew we would be good. The car pushed all day."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"I hit a tire on pit road and messed the nose up. We kept working on it and pulled our fenders out. If we'd had 10 more laps, I know I would have had another spot, but I'm glad we salvaged a top five out of it considering all the trouble we had. We weren't as good as we needed to be all day long. We kept fighting it. Then I hit a tire on pit road. We kind of struggled most of the day. We gained a lot of spots on that last green flag run. I'm glad to get out of here with a top five. We're excited about going to Texas next week. We usually have a good car there. We never gave up today. We had problems throughout the race. We kept trying to make it better, and we had it pretty good there at the end. We want to get up in the points, and top fives are the way to get there."
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)
"We had a good race car. I've got to thank the guys for working so hard to fix the car and come back out to run. I know we were a lot of laps down, but it shows effort. The car was still good under us. We just kept going after it. Those guys don't quit or give up. The car was all bent up, but it still ran pretty good. He (Kenny Irwin) hit the wall and I saw his car up there. If he had just held the brakes on I would have been all right. I'd done committed myself to the low side, and that's all I could do, go low. I went down there and whacked. It was a whack. I think we could have beat 'em today if pit stops and strategy and everything had been good. We just kept doing all we could do. That's all I can say. I drove the hell out of it. That one deal was all it was for us. If we could have got by that we would have been in good shape."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We had a real good car the first 250 laps. I think we were as good as anybody, but the springs collapsed in the car. It started bottoming real bad. It got real weak. We must have put 10 rounds in the front end to get it up, and it was still low. Springs or something went wrong in the front end and it kept bottoming. We had to pit every time we could because the car was bottoming out and I couldn't drive it. They raised it up, but it still wasn't right. We won yesterday and finished 10th today, so that ain't too bad. We'll take it and go to the house."
STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We started on the pole and finished seventh, and that's definitely an accomplishment here at Bristol. We had a good race car. We just couldn't get it turning in the center. We adjusted on it one way and adjusted on it the other way. With all the adjustments on it, we never got it turning real good. We kind of went back to the way the car was the fastest. We thought with a little track position and some fresher tires there at the end we'd be able to run 'em down. With all those cautions there at the end it didn't play into our hands. We needed a good, long run there at the end to run those guys down. We were catching them. We just needed a little more time.
"It was the same Bristol. Goodyear brought an excellent tire here. You'd put on two tires and go the distance. That just shows how good the tires were. Our tires were good all day long. We just couldn't get the car turning to my liking. If we could have got it turning better, we could have got to the top five. With all the fenders on the car and coming out of here without getting in a wreck and getting a top-10 finish, we're happy.
"We've had three top 10s and two DNFs in the last five races. We need to level up the DNFs. We've just had some mechanical problems. It's nobody's fault. It's just parts breaking giving us those DNFs. It's not what we wanted going into this year. We want to finish in the top 10. It seems like if we finish, we finish in the top 10. We've just got to keep working on it and keep the car from breaking down.
"It's always fun racing with him (boss Dale Earnhardt). He was bumping and pushing me around just like he does everybody else. We weren't going to take anything from him. We knew we had a strong car. We were going to try to stay in front of him. We knew on fresher tires he was probably a little faster. On used tires, our car was real good. We wore him down after a little bit and were able to pull away from him. He came on strong. It's unfortunate he got involved in a wreck, but that's part of Bristol. If you can leave here with all your wheels going in the same direction and get a top 10 finish, you can kind of lick your wounds and go to the next one.
"I wasn't really thinking much (when Earnhardt was on Park's bumper). I was just thinking it was another car I needed to stay ahead of. It was just the same as if Rusty Wallace was on your tail. You know Dale's strong and wants to win, but we do, too. We're as hungry as he is. It's fortunate for us we were able to get a top 10. It's unfortunate for him. It looked like he had a strong car.
"Our car was good. We started out and ran in the top five. Only one Chevrolet finished ahead of us. We were kind of fighting the thing we've been fighting all year long, not getting turned in the center. We've got a good race car. We've got a good race team. Our motors are good. It seems like we've got the ball rolling now. We've just got to work on keeping the car together and finishing these races.
"It's just Bristol. I don't think I've ever been here when I didn't see an aggressive race. It's a tough place to pass. You've got to use the bumper and use the car up a little bit to try to get by people. These are some of the best drivers I've ever raced with. A little bit of a tap and they know you're fast. They let you by. Maybe that comes with running in the top five, too. It's a whole different class of people. We can get used to that, running up in that top five. I drove and learned a lot today. We can take that experience and move on to the next one."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"It was our best showing of the season, and I believe we're right back in the thick of things. I'm thrilled to death with our top-20 finish. The pit crew kept fighting to keep me competitive with the field. We had a good race car toward the end, and we like to finish every race strong."
ROBBIE LOOMIS (Crew chief No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We're building on it, but we're just not getting it at the end of the day. That's been a subject that's come up time and time again (picking up tires on pit road). NASCAR tries to look at it, but it's hard to police it all day long. We were lucky today that it was the first pit that left it out there or somebody could have got hurt again. It's hard to say (if that cost us the race). Rusty and the 12 were real strong. You could say it cost us a top three, but when it comes down to the end, you just have to see. When it comes down to the end, there's nobody better to have in that seat than Jeff Gordon. We've got all the elements here. It's just a matter of us uniting as a team and rising up to where we need to be. It definitely that we can be a force, and I think it time you'll see that. Texas has been rough for me, and it's been rough for Jeff. He was telling me that, but I'm looking forward to it. We've been chipping away with these top 10s. We'd like to go to Texas and get a top five and bring it home. We were kidding each other Friday. He (Jeff Gordon) said he was waiting on me to get my act together. I told him I was waiting on him. He's got his act together, and he knows what it takes to win races and championships. Now we've just got to get our team up to his level."