BRETT BODINE --11-- Hooters Taurus (Finished 39th) "We cut a right-front tire down going into the first turn. We weren't very good, but we just started to get it better. I think going around there on the caution, I must have picked something...
BRETT BODINE --11-- Hooters Taurus (Finished 39th)
"We cut a right-front tire down going into the first turn. We weren't very good, but we just started to get it better. I think going around there on the caution, I must have picked something up because it went in the first turn on the restart. I'm glad I laid back because that would have taken out a bunch of cars if I had been up front."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 11th)
"We really had a better car than that, but I guess a lot of people did. This last two cautions really hurt us. We drove up to fifth place and would have been in good shape if it could have stayed green, but those are the breaks. We fought really hard all day and would have liked a better run than that, but sometimes that's what happens."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"Track position was huge. That 24 car was awesome today. He was the only guy I followed all day and he didn't make a slip anyplace. I'm just happy for the ALLTEL Ford to come home in second. For our first Southern 500 and second race at Darlington, I guess that's not too shabby."
DID CLEAN AIR MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE? "It made a big difference, no doubt, but it didn't make all the difference. The guys in the pits did an awesome job for us today and got us some good track position. That always helps."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 10th)
IT SEEMS YOU CAN'T CATCH A BREAK. "Well, we're running well. I went through there the first time and I lost the front tires really bad, like there was oil on the track. So the next time I went through there I slowed down some and I found a groove where I could get through there without a problem. I was watching the two guys in front of me just hauling butt, so I said, 'Well, it must be OK.' The third time I went down through there it just didn't turn at all. You couldn't see it. I mean, I'm not mad at NASCAR. They did their best to get it cleaned up and nobody was complaining about it. We couldn't see it and that's the way it happened. The guys did a great job to keep coming in. We caught cautions just right to keep us in the ballgame. We keep putting cars out there capable of winning a race, we're just not pulling it off."
YOU SEEMED TO HAVE A CAR CAPABLE OF CHALLENGING THE 24, 12 OR 40. "Yeah. I think the track changed a lot. I don't know if we would have been able to keep up with it. It looked like, to me, the track got away from Sterling a little bit and that's why he didn't win. But Sterling and I had the best cars, I thought, for a long time, but once I got in the wall I was done."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 5th)
"We had a good car and adjusted on it all day. We never could get it exactly right. I'd like to congratulate Jeff Gordon. I knew once they won one they might be hard to beat, but, unfortunately, we had an air gun break on one of our pit stops and that put us all the way in the back. We didn't quite have enough time or weren't quite good enough to get back to the front, but we had a good race car."
YOU CAME OUT 21ST AND FINISHED 5TH. "Yeah. It's just disappointing that we didn't give ourselves a chance to win in the end. That's what you work for, but things are gonna happen. Parts and pieces are gonna break. I'm gonna make mistakes. You just have to have a good day and we didn't have that today. I mean, it turned out OK."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 19th)
"Man, we're just missing it on the tires. We had a really good car. Pat did a great job. A lot of times we were faster than the leader, but for some reason, the last set of tires we put on every weekend, or the last two sets, just aren't matching up with what we've got. So, we've just got to work a little harder to make that happen. The pit stops were great. Pat's doing a great job. We just have to figure out this tire problem we've got."
YOU SEEMED TO RUN BETTER WHEN THE SUN CAME OUT? "I like it when it's hot and slick, that fits my driving style. But, we just have to fix our tire problem."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 14th)
YOU HAD A GOOD CAR UNTIL YOU HIT THAT OIL. "Yeah, it's frustrating because apparently there were at least four of us that wrecked in that oil. It's a hard way to lose a potential top five or even a chance to win. At that point, it killed us because it just bent something up. It was still a good effort. We sort of got back to our old form and marched from 16th to get the lead, so there was a lot to be happy about. But it's frustrating when it doesn't end like you expect."
DID YOU FEEL YOU HAD A CAR CAPABLE OF WINNING? "I absolutely felt like we were a contender. The 40 and the 99 were better than us, but I felt we were better than the rest of them. The 99 sort of ended up in the same scenario as us and the 40 car I guess sort of lost the track. It's frustrating."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 7th)
"We just never got ourselves in position to capitalize on our strong car. We were just running in the back of the pack all day and trying to get by lapped cars. We ended up brushing the wall pretty hard when three cars did in turn two. We bent the trailing arm, so it made for an eventful day and to come away with seventh wasn't so bad."
IF YOU WOULD HAVE STARTED UP FRONT THAT COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERNENCE. "Yeah, we could have been a fast car. We were one that it would come to us on lap 30. We couldn't race 'em hard at the beginning of the run, so it would have been interesting to see because we were out there for 50 laps there at the end on tires. We're OK."
CONSIDERING YOU STARTED AT THE BACK AND HIT THE WALL, YOU MUST BE PLEASED. "Yeah. I'm worn out. I don't know why the car was so ill handling when it was fine yesterday in happy hour. We'll take this and try to stay fresh and make the right decisions on what we need to run back here next time. Now we'll go to Richmond." YOU WERE LOOSE ALL DAY? "It was everywhere just because when you're stuck in the back, the draft with all the dirty air just pushes your car in all different directions."
TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus (Finished 33rd)
"We didn't quite get the balance or luck we needed today. The left-front tire cutting down early in the race put us in the hole and the car would go from loose to tight. We worked hard and made air pressure and track bar adjustments, but it kept pushing through the corner and the rear end kept sliding. It was typical Darlington. It was an uphill battle."