JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T) "All I saw was a car spinning out. It's real unfortunate because it's the first corner of the first race here. We had a really good car. It's been good all weekend. It's really...
(No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"All I saw was a car spinning out. It's real unfortunate because it's the first corner of the first race here. We had a really good car. It's been good all weekend. It's really frustrating for us. It's been this way all year. I told Kyle, I said, 'why can't anything good happen to this race team?' They've worked so hard, and Kyle's worked so hard. We deserve better than this. It's not for me, it's for them. I think they're fighting awful hard for something that doesn't matter for 200 something laps. I was on the outside lane, and I didn't have a problem out there. My problem was that a guy spun from the bottom up. It's one of those things that happen. I figured starting 12th I should be in the safe part of the race, starting around guys that you think would know better. Accidents happen. That's why we're in racing. Unfortunately, we don't seem to cause many but we seem to be in a lot of them lately. It's just unfortunate for us."
(No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"Everybody was scrambling trying to get to the bottom on that first lap. I was inside the 92 and he wanted to get to the bottom. Maybe I should have backed out a little bit. I knew from past experience with him that he wasn't going to give me much room going into turn one. If I had backed out and let him in, we'd still be out there racing. I don't think he should have cut down either. I think the car is hurt pretty bad, but we'll try to get it back out and get some points. "The top really wasn't working, so everybody was scrambling trying to get to the bottom. When you have split seconds like that to make a decision about something, sometimes things happen that you wish you hadn't done. I didn't get to do anything on the track, but I really don't think it was my fault from what I saw in the car. I think I should have got a little bit more room, but maybe we can do it next time."
(No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I got run over. I know Jerry (Nadeau) didn't mean to do it. Mark Martin and some of the guys in front of me that we had caught just about stopped down in the corner. We were having to do it also or run over 'em. Jerry just didn't see it coming. Jerry is a good guy. He's a good driver. I lost my cool there for a minute. It's frustrating. It's about the 11th time it's happened this year. We came from 36th running 14th. The Cat team has really worked hard for me like they always do. It's part of racing that I can't control, and we've had more than our share of it. It's just frustrating.
"It's really tight. It's always going to be tight. It's a great facility, but it's always going to be one groove right there (turn one). You've got to bide your time. All it takes is a little bit of touch with these cars and and the guy's gone. You can't be touching and hitting people, particular in the back bumper. That's what happened up there.
"I look at me as a driver who doesn't wreck many people. I don't spin out many people. I don't even touch many people. I've got the hell knocked out of me a bunch of times this year, and it gets frustrating. I just don't understand. People have got to look in front of 'em. Maybe their spotters aren't telling them, but I was on the brakes and two laps before I got run over had to start slowing down in the corner. I don't know whether it was 02 or who, but one of them guys was really making Mark Martin slow up. Right now we'd be running about 10th, and there's no telling where we would have been by the end of the race. It just makes you mad. I'm not upset with the season. I'm just upset with people running over me. I'm not wrecking other people, and if I do it's very seldom. I'm just tired of it. We'll talk about it next week, but he (Jerry Nadeau) did it and I'm tired of it, so I vented my frustration on him."
(No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I apologize to Casey (Atwood). I looked back and thought I was clear. I wasn't, and I hate it for those guys. They had a good car. My car had been loose all day. I caught it a couple of times, but I couldn't catch it that time. The guys were getting the car adjusted and getting it better, but I got in there and broke loose and couldn't. It's a one-groove track right now. I got outside the groove a couple of times, and it's pretty tough to pass out there right now. It's pretty slick. I think as the race goes on, it'll come in. We fought some handling problems today and just couldn't get where we needed to be. The bottom of the track is where you need to be, and we never could get down there and stay down there. It's a great facility, but it's one groove right now. If you get out of the groove the least little bit, it gets pretty tricky. Everybody is trying to get to the bottom. A couple of people have gone down across the apron. If you go across the apron running at 180 you're probably going to wreck. You've got to be careful. This track has so much grip. When the car does finally break loose, you're pretty much are gone. It's pretty hard to catch 'em when they've got this much grip. This a beautiful facility. It's one of the nicest ones we go to. It's going to be a neat place when we get some races on it."
(No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It just quit running. That's the best race car I've had all year. It's just a shame. We'll get 'em next week. My car was hooked up pretty good. Most of those guys had a hard time getting in. It was kind of edgy getting into turn one side by side and that's what made it difficult. The track was good. It's a great place to race, and I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I'm not going to see the end of it, and that's the hard part of this business. A lot of cautions and a lot of things going on, and you'll have that at some race tracks. Unfortunately, it's here today."
(Car owner Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/Ts with
drivers Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood)
"It's just a sport. It's not life threatening. Tomorrow, we're all going to be happy and go to work. I hate it more for our sponsors, the Dodge Dealers and the UAW. We were hoping to get the car in victory lane, but if we keep doing what we're doing and getting there, some day it'll be our turn. It just wasn't today."