Darlington: GM drivers race quotes

MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "We had a good car in the long run, for sure. 53 laps (at the end) wasn't quite enough. If it had been a 70-lap run to the end or a 60-lap run, we were coming. But, it just took us a little...


"We had a good car in the long run, for sure. 53 laps (at the end) wasn't quite enough. If it had been a 70-lap run to the end or a 60-lap run, we were coming. But, it just took us a little while to get going. I think old guys do that. They want to be like a tortoise and be there at the end and the young cats do the 'hare' deal. They run out of going power. That's my philosophy."

TALK ABOUT THOSE LAST THREE OR FOUR LAPS... "It's a great racetrack. This is the kind of racetrack we need. Tracks that are real wide and real easy to drive, somebody hits the setup. At a tight, little, narrow place, it just seems like everybody slides and they slide into each other."

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAD A CAR GOOD ENOUGH TO FINISH IN THE TOP FIVE? "When we stayed out. The first two or three laps we ran felt terrible. Then, we had that caution and we stayed out. A bunch of guys behind me pitted, we ran a couple laps and they couldn't go anywhere on me. I held my own and began to gain on them. I knew right then, just that quick I said, 'We've got something for them today.'"


ON POSTING THREE GOOD FINISHES IN A ROW "Yeah, we're good enough. We've just got to do it every week. I've just got to be patient when the car ain't really working. I've got to be patient and that's what we did today.

"This (Darlington) has really been an Achilles heel for us in the past. I feel real confident about this run today. I'm pretty happy.

This is a tough track and it's hard to like. You know what I mean? It's like you can't live with it and you can't live without it, I'll tell you that."

DID YOU SEE THE FINISH OF THE RACE? "Yeah, I was watching it a little bit, but I had my hands full trying to keep my car from spinning out. I was really loose there at the end. But, I was kind of tuning in there a little bit. It was a hell of a wreck going on up there. Congratulations to [Ricky] Craven - I think he won it."


"I had a really good car until I got up in the fence in one and two, and just couldn't get myself off of it, I guess, was the biggest thing. With so much oil and oil dry being up there and they can't get it all off the track - it's just that at a track that's that narrow you don't have much room for error there and you run so close to the wall. I probably should have just tried to give myself a little bit of extra room there the first couple laps. I thought I did, but evidently that lap I didn't leave myself enough room. When I got up close to the wall it really took off up the hill a little bit.

"But, we fought back and got another top 10 out of it. It's not what we wanted, by any means. But, going into the race, that is the best car I've ever had here, so I'm excited to come back here. I feel like we've got a good shot to run up front again when we come back."


IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD THE CAR TO BEAT... "The car wasn't perfect right there, but it had been so good all day long. We got the track position and we had the car to beat. At that point, I was tight, but still I had the track position, I was out front and all I had to do was keep it out of the wall. Obviously, that wasn't as easy as I thought it was. I just got in there and it seemed like the right rear just caught it a little bit and sucked the right front in, knocked the toe out and it was over."

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU'RE OUT FRONT IN THAT POSITION? "First, you're thinking 'don't hit the wall.' I was trying every lap to stay out of the wall. The car was really pushing and sliding the nose right up to the wall. I was doing everything I could to stay out of the wall. I was looking in my mirror. I didn't have them covered, so I had to hit every line just right. Those guys were right there with me and because I was so tight, I wasn't as fast as I wanted to be to be able to drive away and unfortunately we just got in the wall. My mistake, and I'm going to make up for it next weekend at Bristol."


"It's a new team. We've got a lot of potential. The Pennzoil Chevrolet ran really good. It just seems like we're always behind, so I can't wait until we qualify good and not fall so far behind and have to always overcome adversity and pass cars and finish decent from a terrible starting spot.


"Tony [Furr], Chris [Carrier] and the guys put me in a race car today that was capable of running in the top five. When I got in front of [Jeff] Gordon there and got our lap back I used the car up. I used the tires up. I drove every lap like I was qualifying. When you do that here at Darlington you burn the tires up and I did, and finally it got away from me. I made a pretty good save to not wreck it.

"We just came home the first car a lap down. We'd have never been a lap down if the caution wouldn't have come out as soon as we hit pit road. It seems like that happens to us an awful lot. But, you know what? When it gets as good as it is bad, we're going to be hell."

-gm racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup