Dodge Indianapolis post race

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T) "We had a great car. We were running up front. Some people took two tires on a pit stop and I was making my way back through them. It looked like the 02 car got up in the wall, and I was...

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We had a great car. We were running up front. Some people took two tires on a pit stop and I was making my way back through them. It looked like the 02 car got up in the wall, and I was right on the back of the 88. The 88 checked up and I ran into him and busted my radiator. We came in the pits and didn't think we had busted the radiator. I went back out and I heard the motor miss. I cut it right back off. We thought we had just busted the radiator, but the water is coming out of through the valves, so I guess we blew up the motor. It's probably the most disappointed I've ever been. It's heart breaking really. We started third. My teammate (Bill Elliott) and I were leading. He was first and I was second. We had a great car. We probably had a car to win the race and we didn't get a chance to see how it was going to play out. We thought we just had a busted radiator and they were going to try to fix it and try to get back out. We had more motor problems than we thought, and it ended our day. My car was still tight, but we had a couple of Dodges up front. There's no doubt in my mind that the aerodynamic change helped the Dodges, but we needed some help. We wanted to get in a long green-flag run to see what it really did, but we couldn't get it in, so we'll see what Bill's car does."

DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We had a battery going dead, and that got us to the back. It was all stacked up on the restart and we took off. Everybody stopped, and I ran right into the back of the 21. I hit him hard, and it tore our car up bad. The car was fine. We were coming forward a little bit. The battery was just going dead the whole time. We had a short in the car yesterday and the battery went dead and the thing wouldn't run. It was doing the same thing today. We couldn't find it. The car was handling good, but it just quit running. I'm disappointed. We were going to have trouble all day with the battery."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"All the guys on the team did a great job. They made some great calls in the pits. We'll keep working hard and get us one soon

"I didn't know how it was going to work out. It took our car a couple of laps to get going on restarts. Unfortunately a car was trying to get a lap back, and Gordon got between that car and me and that was tough. I think Johnny had the best car at the end. He was actually gaining on us at the end. I thought we had the car to beat. We had been leading earlier in the day and running in the top five. I thought we could hold him (Gordon) off."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Elliott started second and finished eighth. It was his fifth top 10 in eight Brickyard 400s and his third top 10 in the last four races this season.

"We had a pretty good car today. The problem is that some of those guys got out of sync on their pit stops and got track position on me. We got shuffled back and had to fight our way back up through that mess. I wasn't great today. I wasn't bad, either. We had a decent car. There wasn't a huge difference with the rules change. It wasn't that much easier to pass. We've come a long way in the past few weeks and that's what we've got to keep working on."

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I was right on the 88. The 02 hit the wall in front of him. The 88 checked up and there was nothing I could do. It's disappointing because we were doing so well and were right up there. It seemed like it really wasn't anything at first, but when we brought the car in, we saw that the radiator was busted. We got a new one in but the engine was gone. There was nothing we could do after that. This is as heartbroken as I've ever been. I just hate it for everyone at Evernham Motorsports. We were great this weekend in qualifying. Everyone worked so hard to get this Dodge running so great. It's just disappointing. I wasn't really nervous today for my first race at Indy. It was kind of fun because we got a lot of attention this weekend. It never really bothered me and that usually means you're doing something right if people want to talk to you. They definitely knew we were here this weekend. It was just a disappointing end because we felt like we had a great car capable of winning -- definitely capable of finishing in the top five."

SAMMY JOHNS (Crew chief No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We were getting ready to pass the 88 when the 02 got into the wall. There was nothing Casey could do when we got in to fix it. The engine was gone. I'm real proud of everyone on the team. I'm just sorry for everyone at Dodge and Evernham Motorsports. I know how special this race is to Ray, and we would have liked to have finished better for him. It was a super effort by this team. It's a real heartbreaker. We learned a few things, and now it's time to take that and move on."

BILL DAVIS (Car owner No. 22 and No. 93 Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
"We (22 car) beat all the other cars that took four tires on the last pit stop and some of the cars that took two. We were committed to taking four tires. I think our car stayed better balanced all day long and we could make better adjustments to it. We didn't get the slide in the nose we've had at so many races, especially flat tracks this year. I don't know if it made a huge difference or was a big plus. We'll have to learn more about it, but I think it's a step in the right direction. Ward (Burton) was happy with it. He wants the car to turn. He wants the car loose, so that was in his direction. We entertained thoughts of being in position to win the race, but we're happy about it. I hate what happened to Dave (Blaney). They had a decent car and they were going to have a good day. We're getting better. We knew this wasn't going to be an easy deal. It was a big step. We've got all brand new cars. I think the second half of the season, we're going to run better."

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Honey Nut Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We had a good car. Some guys got lucky and got track position and we had to pit and got shuffled to the back. Then you work your way back up through and we spent the last half of the race getting to where we had been earlier. I'm just happy to see a checkered flag again. The King told me a long time ago if I didn't have the best car in your group then you've got no reason to complain, so until we become the best Dodge, we're not going to complain. We finished today, and we're happy about that. Last year we ran strong here and cut a right front tire and that was really depressing. We had a good car today. I blame myself for not making it better, but we're still learning. The team did a great job with the car. The motor ran all day and everything went pretty good. We finished but not as good as I hoped. I hope we run this Honey Nut Cheerios Dodge again. I really like it."

TIM CULBERTSON (Program Manager, Dodge NASCAR Winston Cup Engineering)
"We had a chance to get a lot of quality time with the new front nose, and that's something we didn't have. We came in here cold. We had some really good time to evaluate it today. I believe now it looks directionally correct. We'll go home and figure out what we learned today. We'll be better next week at Watkins Glen. I think it can make a difference there, but for sure, I think Michigan will be the next big test for it. I really felt like the playing field was level today. We're pretty pleased with what we see right now as good potential. The 40 car is very disappointed because they came close to winning the race. The 22 car was the fastest car out there. You get dealt a different set of yellow flags and we win the race with the 22 car. The 43 ran good, and the 9 ran good, so we're pleased."

RAY EVERNHAM (Car owner Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
"Three or four weeks ago we would have been happy with a top 10, but we're hungry for top fives now. We had two good cars, but the caution flags didn't fall our way. Casey got caught up in that wreck. I think he had a really good car. Our cars were as fast as anybody. I think it's still too early to tell about the impact of the rules change. I think we were just as good at Pocono last week. I don't think we've really had a chance to work on it yet."

MIKE FORD (Crew chief No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"Obviously we would have liked a little bit more from the day, but it's another top 10 finish for us. This series is about consistency and we've got three top 10s in the last four races. We're definitely headed in the right direction. We've been progressing week by week. But the rule change helped because some of the Dodges performed well today and we had three of them in the top 10. It is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, it's a sign of what's to come. For the No. 9 car, we've been making progress as the year goes on and we've been able to run in the top 10. With three top 10s in the last four weeks, we're definitely getting some consistency."

-Dodge Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott