TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus (Finished 37th) "I'm gonna get blamed, I know I'm gonna get blamed. Jeff came off of four and slowed up. I don't know if he had to jack up to keep from hitting each other or what, but I was either gonna...
TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus (Finished 37th)
"I'm gonna get blamed, I know I'm gonna get blamed. Jeff came off of four and slowed up. I don't know if he had to jack up to keep from hitting each other or what, but I was either gonna run in the back of Ward or go underneath him. I didn't have time to put the brakes on and slow down because I had such a run going, so I went under him. When I got to the tri-oval, there was the grass. I know everybody is gonna blame me for it -- not taking my time, not the right thing to be doing. I'm not gonna take the blame. It was a racing deal. They slowed down and I tried to go around them. It was either that or hit 'em."
THEY'RE PLACING THE BLAME ON YOU. "Yeah, I figured I'd get blamed. I'm usually the scapegoat. It was my fault, obviously, I was on the grass. We came off of four and Ward and Jeff slowed up. I don't know why. I had such a run going that I was either gonna run in the back of Ward or turn underneath him. There was no way I was gonna slow down. I didn't want to do it, but I had no choice. I hate it for everybody involved. I hate it for the Discover Card Ford. We had a good race car. The set of tires we had before this set wasn't that good and we backed up a little bit, but we had a good race car. I know that I'm gonna get the blame, but I think it's one of those racing deals. I don't think anybody else is gonna see it that way."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Finished 39th)
"That's about all the warning I got (when the tire blew), just enough to hold on to the steering wheel. That was probably better because if it had gone early, I might have had time to think about the hit that was getting ready to come. It's a good thing for NASCAR with all the safety equipment they make us have because it was a pretty hard hit. I was able to get out and stand up after the hit. I'm glad I had the HANS on because it stretched my neck pretty good."
YOU'LL TAKE A HIT IN POINTS. "We were ninth or 10th -- something like that -- and that's probably gonna take us out now. We'll probably be something like 350 points out of the lead after today, so it wasn't a particularly good day. But at least I'm up walking around, so it could have been worse."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 36th)
"It looked like the 26 went across the grass. I don't know if he got forced down there or if he drove down there, but you're supposed to be on the asphalt. I mean, that's what started the deal. It's always the same old story, though. If you're back there, there's a greater risk (of getting caught up in an accident). The Ford Tide team is used to being up front, so it's not what we expected. We expected to run better than we did today, but we'll go back out and get some points and go to Martinsville, which is a place that's been pretty good to us."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 34th)
"Something let go in the engine. Everybody at Roush has been working hard to give us more power and this is the first one we've lost in a race all year. We were running good. We had ourselves in a position to win. There were a couple of cars that were maybe a little bit better, but we had a good car today. It's disappointing that we're out, but everybody on the DEWALT team did a great job."
WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE SEASON AND THE POINTS RACE? "We still have some great race tracks coming up that I feel we can win at. This was one of them, obviously, but I feel like there are still some tracks that we have a chance to win at so we're looking forward to that. We've had a way better year than any of us on the whole team ever imagined we would have, so I'm real happy with everything."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 5th)
"That was a pretty good run for us. A top five is OK. I got a little too tight at the very end there, but, other than that, that was good. I just need a little bit more speed out of the car, but it was real solid all day long. I didn't really have anything go wrong throughout the whole day that I had to be worried about, except that I just needed a faster car. That's about it."
WHAT ABOUT MCMURRAY GETTING A WIN IN HIS SECOND START? "That's pretty amazing. I've seen crazier things happen and I congratulate him. That's got to feel really, really good."
YOU'RE STILL IN THE HUNT. "Yeah, we're still there. We're looking good. We gained some more points today, so it's gonna be a shootout. There's no doubt about it, right until the very end." YOU RAN WELL ALL DAY. "The car was strong all day long. The pit stops were really good, everything was fine. It was a pretty easy day, but, again, we're just looking for some more speed."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 16th)
"We lost a cylinder with about 80 laps to go, so we had to finish on seven cylinders."
WERE YOU WORRIED WHEN MATT WENT OUT WITH AN ENGINE PROBLEM? "I didn't know he went out, but I guess I'm worried all the time right now. That's three races and three mechanical failures. That's not how you win championships. I just wanted to have a chance, but I don't feel like we've got one now."
IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. "It could have been worse. We're still racing for a top 10 spot. I'd like to be in the top 10. That's what we hoped for in the beginning of the year and that's what we're still hoping for. It was fun to be a contender, but I don't feel like we can after three weeks of the troubles that we've had. The race is still on for every spot. Last year we didn't make the top 10, so we'll see if we can do it this year."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 8th)
"I've got to thank Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray. I congratulate them, but at the same time they gave us our lap back and that doesn't happen very often nowadays. It's just a pretty good run for the ALLTEL Ford to come from where we did to finish in the top 10. We had good pit stops all day and that was very important. Two Penske cars in the top eight, I guess, isn't that bad."
DID YOU FEEL STUCK WHEN YOU GOT A LAP DOWN? "We were without a doubt, but the guys had good pit stops and got us back in the front of the line and we got our lap back. It was purely teamwork, there's no other word for it."
YOU GOT BETTER ALL RACE LONG. "I definitely don't think this one was as good as the one that crashed on Saturday, so I'll have to remember that come Saturday practice next week, but it was just one of those things. We worked on it all day and as the track changed, the sun came out and then it got cool. It was 180 degrees different from where we started."
DID YOU CHASE THE TRACK MORE THAN NORMAL? "I don't know. That's the closest we've ever been. That's our first top 10 here, so that's something we'll put in the notes for sure."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 19th)
"It's a shame to drive that hard all night and have Pat and the pit crew work as hard as they worked all night, and have the flat tire problems that we had. We had an easy top 10 car. I'm proud of these guys. It was a brand new race car and it ran great all night."
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 10th)
"Anytime you get a top 10 you're a little bit satisfied. We had a hard time late in the runs all day. We were real slow and the darker it got and the cooler it got, the better we got. On that last run, we were real competitive. They had a good pit stop and got me out. We weren't bad at the end if we could have had that all day."
A LONG DAY WITH THE RAIN? "It was just a long day. You try to get the car handling better and my guys changed a lot of stuff to finally get it good, so they did a good job."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 7th)
"The thing I feel good about where we are is that I wish we could have finished off Kansas City because we were running so well. That's probably one of the best we've run all year. Then last week we ran well and this week we were a top 10 car all night. We were never the best car, but we always a top 10 car. When you can be competitive when you're in the process of rebuilding and reorganizing, that's a great thing and it gives us a lot of confidence looking down the road."
MATT AND MARK HAD ENGINE PROBLEMS. DID YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS? "No and everybody is real concerned. The guys are working so hard. Admittedly, we've had more engine problems than we need to be having. It's not from a lack of effort, it's not from a lack of caring -- none of those things. Right now, there are just some things that we aren't doing exactly right and we don't know what they are. But it's not that we don't have good people and don't have good effort. It's just on us a little bit right now and we'll knock it off."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 12th)
"We were awesome. We started 11th off of points and worked our way up to the lead around lap 90. If we could have started further up like where we think we should be in points, it wouldn't have taken as long to get to the front. Once we got to the front something retarded the timing on the motor -- something internally. The distributor is tight and I don't know why it's retarded 30 degrees. I couldn't tell that it dropped a cylinder, it just laid down. On every restart we'd lose spots and every lap we made down the straightaway we'd lose spots, so it was lucky that we finished on the lead lap. All in all, it was a great day. I was hoping to keep our streak alive for special paint schemes. This was the Rubbermaid Commercial car and we didn't get it in the top 10 like we have with all the other cars."