ANDY HOUSTON --96-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 42nd) "I don't know. It looks like myself and the 32 car got together a little bit there getting into three. I think he got loose underneath me. The McDonald's car started out just a little too ...
--96-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 42nd)
"I don't know. It looks like myself and the 32 car got together a little bit there getting into three. I think he got loose underneath me. The McDonald's car started out just a little too tight and we were just trying to hang on. We had a whole train there that had a run at me and I was trying to hang tough on the outside. It just wasn't to be. We're getting ready for next season and I'm looking forward to a great year. I can't be happier to be involved with McDonald's and PPI Motorsports and now we'll just get ready for Daytona."
--32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 43rd)
HOW ARE YOU? "Physically I'm fine, mentally this shouldn't happen between two teammates. I thought he saw me inside of him, but I guess he didn't. We had contact and, unfortunately, we're both out of the race."
DID YOU GET LOOSE OR DID HE COME DOWN ON YOU? "Well, that's what it seemed like. I'd have to go back and look for sure, but it's just unfortunate."
--98-- MacPherson Motorsports Taurus (Finished 41st)
"I don't know what happened. Something happened ahead of me. It's really bad when you're running toward the back of the pack and you get in a wreck, but something happened up in there. My spotter said Earnhardt got into Ward Burton or something like that, I'm not sure, but it just got jammed up down the back straightaway. I tried to slow down, but got hit from behind and knocked into. We got hit in the side. It was a pretty hard hit, but we're OK. It's just a shame. We had a one-race deal with Chip MacPherson and Miccosukee Indian Gaming Tribe and we would have liked to have done a little better than this, but there's nothing you can do about it."
--9-- Kodiak/Cougar Taurus (Finished 38th)
"I'm frustrated. I don't know what happened. It looked like somebody got into the back of Ward and got him turned around and it was just a chain-reaction then. I tried to go low and miss him, but there wasn't anything anybody could do. It was just a chain-reaction and then Bliss got into me. It's a shame. This Cougar Melling Taurus was good. This was the best qualifying run we've had in a while and we had a good car. We came in and made an adjustment and felt like we were in good shape, but that stuff happens sometimes."
--6-- Valvoline Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"That was a good run for the Valvoline team. We had our Taurus working pretty well today. We've got a little bit more work to do, but it ran pretty good. We've got something to work with there. We can go home and make some notes on what we can do different next time."
ANY REGRETS ABOUT NOT PITTING ON THE FINAL CAUTION? "I think that's pretty good to finish third, that's all I've got to say about that. We should have gotten tires, maybe, but I don't think it would have changed the outcome. Our car was real good on that set of tires. We might have gotten a set of tires that didn't work."
WHAT ABOUT BOBBY LABONTE? "I'm just happy for him. Nobody in the world could deserve it more. I've watched him since he started racing and I've watched him mature all through his career. They earned it big-time this year."
--12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Finished 2nd)
WAS THIS A REPLAY OF LAST WEEK? "It seems like it. It was pretty good day for us, we finished second. We've had a good last month, really. We've run good and have had three seconds in about the last five or six races, so I'm real happy with it. I'm happy for Bobby Labonte and all of those guys, but we had a good car and I'm just proud of this race team."
WOULD ANOTHER CAUTION HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE? "I don't think we could outrun the 20. We were probably second or third-best all day."
HAVE YOU REGAINED SOMETHING THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS? "I think we did. We've got all of our loose ends tied up on our race team and that's the biggest thing. Everybody's confidence is up. Everybody is focussed on what we need to do and we're getting ready for next year. Our performance is there, we just had to start finishing races and now that we're finishing we've been second about three times in the last five or six races, so that tells you a lot about this race team. Anytime you run second in a Winston Cup race it feels good, especially when you've had a year like we've had, but it's been a great year. We've had like three or four seconds and a couple of wins, four poles, it's a pretty awesome year here."
--26-- Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 5th)
"It's been a terrible year, really. Every time you think you've got a top-five or top-10 car, something would happen and take you out. Man, I thought the same thing today. The lapped cars there toward the end were bothering me a little bit. I was playing it a little conservative, but to say that we weren't frustrated this year at a lot of places, I'd be lying to you. We were really upset, but we rebounded every time. About three months ago we sat down and decided we needed to do something and we did it. We worried about what we needed to do to fix the Kmart team and we did it and now it's paying off."
A TOP-FIVE FINISH. "That Kmart guys did a great job in the pits. We had just a little too conservative camber setup in the car. We know the tires can blow out if you put too much camber in 'em, but we got too safe. I just credit Donnie and Travis and all my guys -- Robert Yates engines in Mooresville -- all year long they've been doing a good job. We feel like we should be in the top 10 every week and the last eight or 10 races we have been, but to come out of here fifth is really special. This is something to build on next week for Atlanta and then on into the 2001 season."
--99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 11th)
"We were worried going into the race that we weren't good enough and it showed today. We fought really hard and you can't ask for anymore effort. We just didn't have what we needed. We got caught on that caution and that hurt us, it cost us a lap, but we just weren't good enough. That's the bottom line. We came here and tested and had a good test. We've been running real well, we just didn't run well today. That's just the way it goes sometimes."
YOU GO INTO ATLANTA IN A TIGHT BATTLE FOR SECOND PLACE IN THE POINTS. "Well, I'm not real worried about that. Obviously, we want to finish second, but I'm more concerned that we didn't run well here today. That's always disheartening for a team that normally runs well on these kind of race tracks. We performed poorly today and that bothers me more than being excited about finishing second in the points."
--28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 5th)
"We didn't have anything for Tony. He was just playing with us all day. All I can say is that we had great pit stops. I think our pit stops were a little bit better than his and that's the only thing that made it look like a race, but we had second, I felt like covered. It really went downhill. I don't know what in the world Earnhardt was doing. He was 100 laps down or something, I don't know what he doing. If I'm a lap down, I give the guys the courtesy to go race and he was a factor and changed the outcome of my race anyway."
ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT PITTING ON THE FINAL CAUTION? "No, what did us in was when we restarted and Earnhardt drove us out to the third lane and closed the fenders in and took all the front downforce away. The car just plowed and pushed after that and our race was over. We were just trying to keep from backpedaling too much."
YOU HAD A SPIRITED BATTLE WITH MARTIN FOR SECOND. WAS THERE SOME FRUSTRATION THERE ON YOUR PART? "No, it was a little more spirited than I wanted to. Mark got into me and turned me sideways coming off turn two and, basically, I obliged the favor to him down in turn three when I caught him and then we went back to racing."
--88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Finished 17th)
WHAT DID YOU SAY TO JIMMY MAKAR AFTER THE RACE? "I was just congratulating him. They did a great job all year long. I'm just really proud of Jimmy knowing where he started from with that team and what he's accomplished. They've done a great job. I always knew Bobby had the ability to do this and I'm just really proud of all of them. They're really close friends and I'm just glad they could close it out here."
--11-- Ralphs Supermarkets Taurus (Finished 14th)
"That was our best finish of the year. The driver made a mistake, got caught coming in for too quick. It wasn't on pit road, it was getting to pit road is where they got me. I lost track of where the line was. It wasn't marked that good, but it was my fault and that probably cost us a shot at a top 10 finish, but that's our best effort this year. I'm just really, really happy to get this stuff going towards the end of the year. Now we can have a nice winter and be pumped up and work hard to prepare for 2001."
--77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 16th)
"We were better than we were at Phoenix. We had some trouble in happy hour and didn't get to practice the setup, but I'm happy with the crew and happy with the car. We just needed about 30 more minutes of practice and I think we'd have been alright. We were close, but we were a 16th-place car."
Car Owner --19-- Motorola Taurus
"It was a great day for this team and for Casey Atwood. There were a lot of Motorola people here and to start in the top 10 and finish in the top 10 in Winston Cup racing is pretty good. We've run only three races this year and he drove a great race today. The guys had a good day in the pits. We had about a 10th-place car and got 10th, so it was real nice."
DID YOU RUN THE FULL RANGE OF EMOTIONS THIS WEEKEND? "Probably not quite the emotions that Joe Gibbs and Bobby Labonte and Jimmy Makar are feeling, but I certainly know what that feels like and I want to say congratulations to those guys."
IS THAT THE KIND OF CONSISTENCY YOU NEED? "Absolutely. Joe built that team with Jimmy Makar and they've built is step-by-step, block-by-block, and they've done it right. They've got consistency week after week and they're fast on top of that. They're a good strong contender and they deserved to win the championship for sure."
--19-- Motorola Taurus (Finished 10th)
ARE YOU LIKE A KID AT CHRISTMAS WAITING FOR NEXT YEAR? "I really can't. This has really gotten me ready and excited to get to Daytona next year. We've got some good things going on -- a lot of good cars being built. These guys, I love working with them. We're all young, young guys. It's gonna be a young team and it's gonna take a while to get going, but in a few years I think we're gonna be tough."
HOW MUCH MORE RELAXED NOW THAN AT RICHMOND? "A lot more. That first race, a lot of things were happening. We weren't really fast and there was a chance we wouldn't make it and I was really nervous about it, but the more races you run the more you grow out of that and that's what's happened. It was the same way with any division I've ever run. When I was in late models I got nervous, when I came to Busch I was nervous, the same here. The only thing that made it not as bad here was that I raced with some of these guys a lot in the Busch Series, so that made it a little bit better."