FIRST '125' JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (16th): THAT DIDN'T LOOK LIKE A WHOLE LOT OF FUN... "It just wouldn't go." ANY IDEA WHY THE FIELD WAS SO BROKEN UP TODAY? "We expected that with the new rules. That was ...
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (16th):
THAT DIDN'T LOOK LIKE A WHOLE LOT OF FUN... "It just wouldn't go."
ANY IDEA WHY THE FIELD WAS SO BROKEN UP TODAY? "We expected that with the new rules. That was expected. I thought we were going to be a little bit better. The car shows 'loose as hell,' but we just can't keep up with anybody."
WILL THE FIELD BE ABLE TO STAY MORE BUNCHED UP ON SUNDAY? "No. In fact, it will probably break up even more. Usually in the '125s' everybody stays pretty good together, but it got all broke up. I'm sure we'll see the same thing on Sunday."
ANY IDEA WHERE YOU CAN FIND SOME SPEED? "I wish we knew. We'll just have to try a different engine and see what happens."
KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"With about six or seven [laps] to go, Junior's (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s) guys said, 'We need to start doing something.' I was looking back there and I knew Ricky [Rudd] was coming and when he's coming, he's bringing somebody. We waited a couple more. What Junior wanted to do, we weren't going to get done -- getting around Jeff [Gordon]. We tried to make something happen there at the end. I thought Terry [Labonte] would go with me, which is what he did. But that came and we got back in line. "It's going to be an exciting '500,' because I've got to tell you -- the cars are a handful."
ON POSTING ANOTHER TOP FIVE FINISH THIS WEEK "Last Sunday we were the third loser; this week we were the second loser. So, it's getting better."
YOU TRIED TO MAKE A MOVE TO THE OUTSIDE ON THE WHITE FLAG LAP... "Yeah, but I got my ass back down inside real quick, though, once I saw what was going to happen there. We had a run on Dale and just got up there, and thought we could maybe make something happen. But, everyone is on their own agenda then, worrying about themselves. When someone hangs themselves out, well hell, it's better off to go with him and gain that position, so I got back in line. I hooked up with Dale at the start and just stayed to that Budweiser car and followed it up there. When we finally shook out and got in line, we were third or fourth. Then we just rode for a long time and could see that pack getting farther away, but we started talking about doing stuff with seven or eight to go and I could see a black hood with yellow writing on it coming and figured he wasn't coming by himself, so I thought, 'Let's wait just a couple more.' "It's fun, but the old car has really got to handle. Jeff's car is fast and he's good with the mirror and it (his car) is handling, too. That's going to make it hard to pass."
DO YOU THINK IT IS EASY TO LEAD WITH THIS RULES PACKAGE? "You've got to have one of those handfuls of cars that it's easy to lead in. It's not easy to lead for just anybody up there. You've got to be one of those strong cars, anyway.
"If you're a good car and there are good cars behind you, it makes it real hard. You've still got to be one of those good cars."
IF YOU'RE IN THE SAME POSITION ON SUNDAY, WHAT WOULD YOU TRY DIFFERENT? "Well, I'd try to win again, just for the hell of it. You've just got to wait to see. You don't know what is going to happen. "It's like a covey of quail on that last lap. If it comes down to a last lap deal on Sunday and we were in that same thing, if I go to the outside of Dale, someone is going to go with me, someone is going to go with him, someone is going to think, 'Hey, there is room down here on the inside.' You just don't know what is going to happen. Andy Petree taught me, 'If we can't wait, we really don't care who does. ' Like Dale said, we're worried about the M&M's Pontiac. Now, obviously out there, Dale is a good friend - I'd do anything to help Dale. My motors come from Hendrick (Jeff Gordon's team), so I thought, 'Hell, let's just keep it simple. I'll try to win that damn thing myself.'"
DO YOU FEEL SAFER IN YOUR CAR THIS YEAR? "From stuff we've seen and with the work that NASCAR and the manufacturers have done - I was happy with the inside of my car last year, but I know that the inside of it is safer [this year]. I'm better off with the head-and-neck restraint - like it or not - I'm better off with it. It's safer."