RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) -- Finishes fifth, moves to fourth in standings "We got a break when that whole deal happened and got us out of pit sequence and got us up in the top five. I don't know what happened to Joe (Nemechek). I...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) -- Finishes fifth, moves to fourth in standings
"We got a break when that whole deal happened and got us out of pit sequence and got us up in the top five. I don't know what happened to Joe (Nemechek). I know how he feels. I've spun out leading before. The Alltel Dodge was pretty good tonight. Before that crash it was a winning race car. We got good track position at the end, and it was a good job by Matt (crew chief Borland) and the rest of the guys to get the car patched up so we could get a good finish. Uncharacteristically, Charlotte was a rough track tonight. I don't think they had 100 percent satisfaction out of the surface tonight, but they'll go back and redo it I'm sure. It's a great track and a great facility and we appreciate the fans coming out. Obvioiusly there were a couple of problems with the track tonight.
"We had some buffers in there at the end with some cars that were not as fast. Johnson did what he could to work his way back up through, but it was a good run for our team to get a top five out of that. We've got three straight top fives, and I'm happy with this one tonight, but it should have been a win. We gained a bunch in the standings and we're headed to Dover next week. With a little luck, maybe we can keep this top-five streak going. Maybe with more than a little luck, we can put this Dodge back in victory lane."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Finishes fourth, moves to 13th in standings
"We were a lot better than we were last week, and that's the main thing. A fourth-place finish ain't too shabby, either. The guys worked together and it paid off tonight. I wish we hadn't had that red flag. We weren't very good on those short runs. I think if we'd had another lap we would have got the 99, but that's the way it goes. We just ran out of time. I'm real proud of everyone on the team, and I'm real proud of this Dodge Charger. We just needed some long runs, and we couldn't get 'em tonight. We missed it on one run. We got a little tight, but we got that fixed. I'd say they need to pave the track again. It's cracked all to pieces, and you can't race on it. It's slick in one spot. There's a couple of spots where you're just driving along and you'll just lose it. You saw it last night, and we saw it again tonight. It worked out pretty good for us. We didn't have the run we wanted last week, and we worked hard and came back this week and there was a huge improvement in the car."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge Charger) -- Finishes Ninth on his 50th birthday
"I'd say finishing ninth at Charlotte is a pretty good way to spend your 50th birthday. After the first yellow we were 22nd on the lead lap and there were only 24 cars on the lead lap. I was not liking that free pass thing tonight. It was killing us. What about Humpy's levitation? I think it caused a lot more wrecks. I think any time a track gets faster you argue over space more. Fifty is just a number. I might race 10 more years, but it won't be here. It's too damn hard here. It seemed like a long race tonight, but then you get halfway and say you've only got a Busch race left (300 miles), so it wasn't so bad."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 91 Stanley Tools Dodge Charger)
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE WRECK? "We had gotten the Stanley Dodge up to 11th place, and we were on our way to a top 10. Then, I don't know what happened. All of a sudden, I was sideways and my top 10 was over. It was great to lead some laps tonight and run up front. After the wreck, all we could do was repair the damage and try to gain some positions. The guys on the No. 91 Stanley Tools Dodge did a great job all night improving the car and handling all the cautions. We still came home with a top-20 finish after everything that happened."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE RACE? "The race was wild. I've never seen anything like it, and I've been in a lot of races. Between the new track surface and all the cautions, it made things interesting."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"We made a lot of adjustments on the car through the first half of the race, trying to get the car to handle in the corners. I couldn't get back on the throttle as quick as I wanted coming off the corners. We made a lot of changes and managed to get the car to turn a little better. Then we had electrical problems. We still managed to work our way back to the front and were running in the top five with less than 50 laps to go. I thought I had a tire going flat and got out of the throttle, but the tire came apart and messed up the right front fender. By the time I got back to the pit and we made the repairs, we had lost a couple of laps. That took us out of contention. We never got the car to turn in the corners the way we needed where I could get on the throttle quicker off the corner. We still had a chance to get a good finish until the tire problem."
GREG STEADMAN (Crew Chief No. 43 Bugles Dodge Charger)
"We were a little bit tight all night long, but we kept making little adjustments and stayed out of trouble. We gained some track position a couple of times with taking just two tires. We had a flat tire on the left rear on one restart and came in and got tires and got back to 11th at the end, so that was a pretty good night. It was hard to race tonight. It was just too fast. You saw how many cautions we had tonight, so I think they probably need to do something else. There are a lot of different patches and a lot of different things to fight around here. It's like running an obstacle course. You miss this corner or you miss this patch. You run around this and that, so it's just hard racing like that, but we got a decent finish and we'll try to build on it and keep improving."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger)
"We had a pretty good car. We were tight early and kept working on it and got it freed up. It was real loose the first few laps. We had to be real careful, but then it would go. I'm not sure about the pit road deal. You see trucks going down pit road 180. They never penalized anybody, but they penalized us for missing the wreck. It was either get in the oil or go down pit road, so I went down pit road and got penalized. That's what put us back there. A lot of racing is common sense, but sometimes it doesn't come into effect. The 1 got into the 41 I guess, and we just didn't have anywhere to go. It's a shame because we were headed for a pretty good finish tonight."
TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge Charger)
"We had track position a few times, but it seemed like we were cycling back and forth from the front to the back on different pit strategies and stuff. We were trying to maintain and work on the car and save it for the end. I just got loose on my own coming off turn four and slapped the wall. I think we cut a tire down, and when I went into turn one that's when we did some damage."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)
"Martin Truex just tried to throw it in too hard. I don't know if he got loose or what, but he hit me. He got a two for one deal because he got Sterling, too. I'm OK, but I'm a little upset because it was stupid. I don't understand when something like that happens. I was trying to salvage a good finish. You know if you get underneath somebody you're going to get loose. Everybody does."