Dodge Talladega race notes

STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T) "It looks like we broke a valve spring. We had a good car, got out front early and figured out what we could do. We decided to follow D.J. and Tony Stewart and some of those other guys and go...

STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"It looks like we broke a valve spring. We had a good car, got out front early and figured out what we could do. We decided to follow D.J. and Tony Stewart and some of those other guys and go back to the back and stay out of trouble. Every time we got ready to go to the front, we could pick up and head that way. We broke a right front shock, and came down pit road. I sat there a little while and tried to let the guys get the shock fixed. We ended up breaking a valve spring and it looks like we ended up dropping a valve and blowing up. When it rains it pours. I hate it. We had a great car, but it just wasn't our day. We overheated a little bit early, and then I was able to get some air to it. We didn't have any problems. We had talked about it earlier. If we dropped back between 10th and 20th, we were going to get back in the pack with D.J. and the 10 car and 20 car and the 18 car and the 9 and 43. We were just waiting for the big wreck. We tested the waters every once in awhile to see if we could come back up through there, and I think we could have. It just wasn't to be today. "You couldn't tell a whole lot of difference from Daytona. You can pull up and get up there and battle with those guys. You can drop way back there and crawl back up there. It's plate racing with wings. "I hate it for the guys. We can do this. We can run with these guys, but we've just got to have a little luck to go with it. Today, we didn't have any."

1 STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"I got shoved back, and if there were two lines or three lines you never could get a run. It's pretty ridiculous racing. You can't pass and the way the cars handle don't make any difference. It's stupid racing. They've got to do something to fix it. If you ever got back and they got three deep, you couldn't go anywhere. They had you all boxed up. "I'm proud for Bobby. He got where he needed to be at the end. I don't know how he did it, but he did. "It got pretty wild the last 30 laps. We had a good car, but we just got boxed in the back. There was nothing else we could do. It's pretty ridiculous racing. It's crazy. It's like you're riding down the interstate and you've got four slow drivers in four lanes and they're all in front of you and you can't go anywhere. It's a pretty rough deal. People got to hitting each other and knocking and banging, but they've got to do something. This is terrible. They had 'em (wrecks). They just didn't have the cautions."


"Take the damn plates off."

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"A speedway race with no wrecks, that's pretty good. I got run down there below that yellow line one time, and that got us penalized. I got inside of a car on the race track and he turned left. I had no choice but to go below that line. I guess NASCAR didn't like it. "I was excited for Bobby Hamilton. I was throwing my hand up in the air. Bobby is generally known as a great short track driver. It's great to see him win here at Talladega. We could go to the front any time we wanted to today. We had a great car. We just had some unfortunate stuff happen. We'll have to get some experience and get better."

JASON LEFFLER (No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"Our car was pretty good. We've got a good restrictor plate program. I'm just a rookie and couldn't get anybody to help me. That's just the way it is. I got 188 laps worth of experience in the draft today, and you can't buy that. I didn't notice a big difference in the car from Daytona. It might not have been quite as good as it was at Daytona. We couldn't get a good run on 'em to pass, but we finished the race. After the last couple of weeks, it's been pretty tough. The car ran good. Everybody used their heads today. They knew what the deal was."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"I had a great car. I just ran out of gas. I don't know what happened. I sure didn't know anything about the rules change on ether. But obviously, Mike (crew chief Ford) and them didn't know either. I think that was a BS deal. I'm happy to get out of here safely with the car in one piece, but we still need a better car."

BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T)

NOTE: Jones scored the highest finish among Dodge drivers today. His 16th-place finish matched his career-best at Talladega in only four starts.

"We decided to hang there in the bottom line. Our car worked best there in the middle. Every time we got low or high it hurt. Being a rookie, or relatively inexperienced here, nobody will help you. Every time you go somewhere they go the opposite way. The only time you get help is if they have nowhere else to go. I'm pleased with where we finished. Everybody back at Petty Enterprises worked their butts off. Our cars weren't as good as they needed to be at Daytona, and they went back and worked on the engines and the cars. My hat's off to them. They did an awesome job. "There were a few times people got together out there today, but it was more of a racing deal. I gave at times, and sometimes I didn't give and someone would give to you. I thought everybody did a pretty awesome job. There were a couple of little fender benders, but all-in-all I thought everybody did an awesome job today. "If everybody will keep the same head they did today, we can run with these rules. I think because of what's happened, everybody was a little more patient today. I still think they ought to do something that will split the cars up a little more. At Talladega, these rules aren't as bad. At Daytona, it is. When you get three wide at Daytona, you run out of room. At Talladega, it's so wide it makes it a lot easier."

DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"It was hot. My helmet blower went out. We were all right. It was a little too tight at times to run hard. We ran really close to people. It seemed like if you could ever get to the top 10 you could stay there a little bit. A couple of times I got to the front and the car was really good in a single-file line. I just couldn't get there enough. I didn't see anybody's car that was strong enough to jump out and go. Everybody seemed pretty equal to me. It just depended on where you were sitting in the air. The last lap wasn't that bad. It just got awful tight. Everybody was giving two or three feet early. At the end, it gets down to two or three inches. They took away running under the yellow line, and I think that made the biggest difference as far as stuff happening. You don't get four wide down there, and I think that made the biggest difference."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart