DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET (Finished 3rd) HIS THOUGHTS ON THE RACE: "We had a real decent car in practice. The race started and we were a little loose. Tony (Stewart) went on a terror there running really good and lapped a...
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET (Finished 3rd)
HIS THOUGHTS ON THE RACE:
"We had a real decent car in practice. The race started and we were a little loose. Tony (Stewart) went on a terror there running really good and lapped a bunch of people. We were unfortunately one of those guys. The rest of the race we just battled all day to get a lap back. We'd run hard and get in front of all the guys a lap down, and Tony shoots out there and laps somebody else and they'd get the lucky dog. We had a top ten car most of the middle part of the race. Then we improved it even better. I'm glad we was able to finish because I felt like the car was better than it was showing all day. There's was a lot crashes and a lot of confusion."
"In the past, I'd be shouting over the radio voicing my opinion. Today we just sat there and let it sort itself out. I felt like I like got shorted a lap somewhere one time. We ended up coming out even at the end so I felt good about the finish. It's good to get a lot of points gained on some guys. It's a good finish for us and the Budweiser team."
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A CAR CAPABLE OF BEATING TONY STEWART?
"I was able to get up under him. We put three sets of tires on there with fifty laps to go trying to put ourselves in the best position to get as many spots as we could. That last set of tires was a little bit loose. I could get under him but I couldn't make it stick. I didn't want to get into him. Anybody else I might run him a little different. Me and Tony are pretty good buddies. I give him the benefit of the doubt. I don't want to hit him and he didn't want to hit me. I had a good finish to be real happy about too. I'd like to have a few more laps to try it a couple of times but who's to say I'd been able to get back."
DID YOU SEE THE OIL AND SHOULD A CAUTION HAVE COME OUT?
"The caution did eventually come out. NASCAR doesn't want to throw a rash of cautions every time somebody has a body. He went in the corner and blew the motor up high. I saw the guy blow the motor, but I didn't see oil layed down on the race track. I just went where he wasn't. I don't know why the other guys went up in the corners as high as they did because the oil was way up high. I went around the bottom and didn't hit anything. I never saw oil on the race track until we slowed down. When the car is going at that speed the oil dissipates and it's harder to see on the race track."
IS THERE ANYTHING NASCAR CAN OR SHOULD DO AFTER THE SITUATION WITH CARL EDWARDS AND RYAN NEWMAN?
"Who would have guessed the leader would have spun out. I don't think there was a question on where Ryan was supposed to be. They were going to handle that situation. I think they were more concerned about who it cost a lap because everybody was out of sequence. I came in to pit one lap down. The No. 9 and No. 19 go by me and put me two laps down. They pit in their stalls. I pull out onto the race track under green flag, I'm now still one lap down and those two guys are the leaders. When they threw the caution they said I was two laps down because Ryan was still out in front of us. It was real confusing. They were saying I was two laps down but I thought I was one lap down. We weren't going to argue when they were giving them back. I learned this year to keep my mouth shut on the radio when you have a different opinion about NASCAR's opinion. It's a mistake to voice your own opinion over your radio when NASCAR is sorting it out. They have a lot of people up there trying to help them and a lot people with a lot of different opinions already in that booth up there trying to help them figure it out. They don't need every driver and every crew chief banging on every officials shoulder on pit road. I don't think it's a creditability issue or a problem or a crisis or anything like that. It was an odd situation. It rarely ever happens. NASCAR did what they did. We got the finish we did and we'll go to Pocono."
ON OVER HALF OF THE RACE BEING UNDER YELLOW OR RED:
"I'm sure there a lot of guys that are disappointed about the way they finished or what happened to them. You've got one guy sitting here that's real happy about where he finished. I didn't have a problem. I thought the race was pretty cool. There were cautions for a reason. It wasn't like they were dropping the flag on the race track every time. If you don't think you enjoy the race, don't buy a ticket next year."
IF YOU ARE A CONTENDER FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP, WOULD YOU LOOK BACK AND CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY FOR THIS FINISH?
"It seems to be happening to us a lot. Last week in Charlotte we were running tenth struggling for a top ten and ended up getting a sixth place finish and we're real fortunate to get it. Just like today for the first half of the race, none of the breaks fell our way. In the end all the breaks went for us. I'm not going to complain. There's a such thing as bad luck and good luck. You have control of your own fate to a certain extent. You got to get some breaks here and there and we got a lot of them today."
WILL THESE BREAKS HELP IN THE POINTS CHASE?
"This is definitely a good day for us to gain so many points on those guys. The No. 48 was looking like he was going to win the race. We gained a big chunk on him. It sucks, because there's was nothing he could do about his situation. He got drove into a wreck. It wasn't like we got our there and outran him. It's kind of frustrating at one point because Tony Jr. wants the car to be better and I want the car to be better. We got it pretty good at the end. If those guys didn't have the wreck I don't know if we would have had good enough track position to get top five. I doubt it. The chips fell like they did today and we dodged the bullets."
WILL YOU LOOK FORWARD TO COMING BACK TO DOVER?
"Our car has got to be a lot better here at the start of the race. My car bounces around so much on the concrete. We got to get the shocks a little bit smoother. We got to get our set up a little better and a little smoother where I can get a hold of the race track better so I can be more competitive here. Then I'll be looking forward to it a little more than I am."
ON MARK MARTIN'S WIN:
"He did a great job today. He's one of the pure racers out there. He doesn't care about fame or money, nothing but racing and running good. There's relatively not too many in the sport behind the wheel like him. It's awesome. It's great to see him win today. I don't know what it is about driver. They kind of lose their edge. He hasn't lost his. It's good to see and promising for everybody else. I'll be in my 30s shortly. You start to think about how many years you have left. He's in great shape too. He did a great job by the whole team.
DOES IT SEEM LIKE CAUTION PERIODS ARE GETTING LONGER AND SLOWING DOWN RACES?
"Cautions are cautions. Due to the rule changes they've made, the cautions have been lengthened. There's no way around it. Today we had a pretty messy race track for the last half of the race track. NASCAR is trying as hard as they can to get things cleaned up. With the recent incidents we had with corner workers and guys getting injured and the fatal injury in Daytona, it caused everyone to take their time a little more and make sure it's done right under caution. We don't want anybody to get hurt. I don't think anyone says a word today if we didn't have that 25 lap caution. That's the way it always works out there. I'm fortunate we had so many cautions. That's what the sports about. It's drama. It's exciting in the seat when you are out there dodging guys, spinning around, crashing and sparks flying, dust everywhere. It's wild. I had a great seat. It's unfortunate some people don't have the same opinion."