DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2000) - Tony Stewart hated to see his first Bud Shootout end with a multi-car, last lap incident. But, by managing to steer clear of the tri-oval melee, Stewart moved from seventh to fourth coming to the line,...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2000) - Tony Stewart hated to see his first Bud Shootout end with a multi-car, last lap incident. But, by managing to steer clear of the tri-oval melee, Stewart moved from seventh to fourth coming to the line, and posted the top finish among four Pontiac Grand Prix drivers entered in the event.
Stewart, who pilots the No. 20 Home Depot Grand Prix, was followed by Ken Schrader in sixth, Ward Burton in 10th and Bobby Labonte in 11th. Labonte, who was drafting with eventual winner Dale Jarrett until the incident, sustained damage to his Interstate Batteries Grand Prix, and was forced to settle for the worse-than-expected result.
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"It was basically three wide up there on the last lap. We had a run going and we were trying to help the 88 because he had the best line. I just ended up getting turned around there. I hit the 28 in the right side, and that's what sent him in the wall. It was just three wide racing - a last lap deal. I feel bad for Ricky. He had a good run going, and having a great Speedweeks so far. We were just trying to get up there to second, and we got behind Dale and it looked like we were headed that way. But, once you get beside somebody, it just takes all the motor out of your car and all the momentum and you can't even make a pass. We just got hung up there three wide off of four, and got into Ricky off of four after I got sideways. (WHAT STARTED THE WRECK) "We were racing pretty hard there on the last lap. It's just this type of racing is hard to do. You're trying to get all you can get out of it. I knew the motor kept pulling down because we were side-by-side. It wasn't anybody's fault. That's just the way it goes. I don't want to be an old 'record player' but we had momentum going trying to help Dale Jarrett because he was in the best line that I could be in at the time. We got beside Sterling (Marlin), and I think Jeff (Gordon) was down low. The car got away and what ever happens happens. It's just unfortunate. Ricky got in a major wreck, and I'm just glad he's OK." (DO YOU WATCH THE WRECK IN FRONT OF YOU TO SEE WHERE OTHER PEOPLE ARE SLIDING) "No, I've got my eyes closed. Seriously. When stuff is happening that fast, it ain't no fun no more." (WOULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED IN A POINTS RACE) "I don't know. We'll have to wait and see. Maybe next week we'll see." (WERE YOU WORKING WITH DALE JARRETT ON PIT STRATEGY) "We knew he was real fast in the first race obviously. We were so far back, we weren't going to pick up anything on pit road unless somebody slid through the pits or had some problem, so we just opted to stay out."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I felt like we ended up with a good finish. We had a car that was pretty decent, but we still don't have a driver that is smart enough on restrictor plate tracks to know what to do and when to do it. I'm pretty disappointed in myself right now from that standpoint, that I don't know when it's the right time to move and when to stay in line, and just what to do yet. It's frustrating because it doesn't matter how good a car you've got, everybody else determines your fate. I'm just kind of scratching my head trying to figure out what I need to do right this second. (ON THE LAST LAP INCIDENT) "I didn't really see it. The first time I saw anything was when I saw Bobby's car turning nose down to the infield and I knew that was trouble. I just stayed down as low as I could, but I couldn't go any lower than Sterling was obviously. I went down and tucked up next to him, and kind of watch down the right side and watch everybody wreck. I was hoping nobody came off the wall at a hard angle across and clipped us. But, I guess it turned a seventh place finish into a fourth place finish for us."
KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
(HOW HIS CAR RAN IN THE DRAFT) "We were starting to get a little tight, so we've obviously got to do something there. But, it was a good day for learning. We learned quite a bit." (THE FEEL OF THE CAR AT THE FRONT OF A DRAFT) "I got up close to the front, but I never got to the front. As far as what we were fighting, it would just be better up in the front." (THE LAST LAP INCIDENT) "I don't know exactly what happened. I guess Sterling got into the 18. He was tight. And he got shuffled in the center and then you lose the front end big time. It just kind of happened. I thought we made it through. It looked like we were OK, and then all of a sudden, the 28 came across. But, I still don't know how we got turned around." (WOULD THAT HAPPEN ON THE LAST LAP OF A POINTS RACE) "Last lap deal of the Daytona 500 - you could see that real easy."
WARD BURTON, NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I think we must have had the air cleaner or something obstruct inside the carburetor, because it didn't run at all. The car picked up a real bad push on the exits, too. But, it was nothing like it was last night. It was bad right from the get-go."