ANDY HOUSTON --96-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 43rd) "I don't know if I ran over something and the tire was starting to go flat or what, but for 10 laps it was pushing extremely bad in the center of the corner. I told them on the radio a half...
ANDY HOUSTON --96-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 43rd)
"I don't know if I ran over something and the tire was starting to go flat or what, but for 10 laps it was pushing extremely bad in the center of the corner. I told them on the radio a half dozen times that it was pushing so bad that I couldn't turn it. Finally I went into turn three and the right-front tire blew out. I'm just thankful that I'm okay. It's just another bad day for the McDonald's Ford, but we'll go and give it our best shot in Chicago."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 7th)
"It was a really good race. We had a great car today and we ran second behind Junior forever and ever. I thought we were just gonna get a stop-and-go for some fuel and get out there and get after it, and then a caution flag flew and bunched us all back up. It was each man for himself the last five or six laps. It was a real great run."
WHAT ABOUT JUNIOR WINNING?
"I think that's perfect. I can't think of a better script to play than to come back to the track that took his father away from him. To have him be able to honor him with the victory is pretty cool. I wish I would have been the one shoving him across the line. I almost was."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 8th)
"We didn't handle very well. That really surprised me. I thought we were gonna handle great. Last night we handled real well and we didn't tonight. We stole a top 10 out of it. The wreck was certainly beneficial to us. I got real aggressive at the end and picked up three or four spots, so, all in all, I can't complain."
A STORYBOOK FINISH TOO.
"It's hard to imagine anybody that you would want to win here anymore than Little Earnhardt. It's good to see. This sport lost a hero. A lot of people lost a hero, but he lost a hero and his dad. To come back where he lost his father and win is pretty cool."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 14th)
"It's frustrating. Before that caution we were fourth or fifth and then everybody gets brave there at the end and we just got shuffled back."
IN A WAY DO YOU FEEL LUCKY BECAUSE THE BIG WRECK HAPPENED RIGHT BEHIND YOU?
"Well, I guess that's the only good thing. The lap before that I was behind Skinner. I couldn't see what happened to him there, but maybe one or two laps earlier I would have been behind him and probably in the middle of all that."
WHAT ABOUT EARNHARDT WINNING?
"Isn't that something."
YOU GAINED SOME POINTS TOO.
"Yeah. It didn't kill us in points. We gained a few on the leader. I thought we were gonna get DJ there at the end. I got boxed up though. We ran ahead of him all day and he got us at the end."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 11th)
"We're just getting killed on drag here and there's only so much you can do. Our car wasn't great. We worked on it really hard and made it better. We made a good push there at the end just to get some positions back, but it's just unfortunate. The Ford guys come into this thing knowing that we're behind the eight ball."
WERE YOU WAITING FOR THE LAST STOP AND THEN CHARGE?
"I tried to make a run there one time and got pretty good. We made an adjustment on the car and really hurt the car. That's when we took four there the last time and then I was ready to go again. The car wasn't bad and we made and adjustment and messed it up. That's why I just couldn't go there."
WHAT ABOUT JUNIOR WINNING?
"That's a fitting ending. Ford-Chevrolet, whatever, throw all of that out the window. I'm really happy for the guy. There couldn't have been a better winner."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Finished 18th)
"It was a shame that we had that finish. If I wouldn't have got caught in that wreck we would have had a top 10 car. I'm glad we didn't have worse damage and I'm glad nobody got hurt tonight. It was a tough race and I'm just glad it's over."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 16th)
"We had a top five car tonight. The 15 car drove thorugh our pit and hit one of our guys and then we had a terrible pit stop. That ruined a top five finish. I'm so happy for Dale, Jr. He deserves that win and I congratulate him and the whole 8 team. We had awesome pit stops and an incredible car. It's unfortunate our finish didn't reflect how good we really were."
TODD BODINE --66-- Route 66/Kmart Taurus (Finished 12th)
"We had a good car. We knew it was a good car at Talladega. I think about halfway through the race the guys figured out that I was pretty strong and nobody was gonna help me like they were in the beginning. We had a good car. The last caution I got in the back of Ricky (Rudd) when the caution came out and then on the restart I got in the back of him again and pushed the right-front fender in. I had all I could do just to run with him really. I had some runs on the outside and didn't have anybody out there with me. I needed somebody to break the air for me, but, other than that, it was a good run. From where we were in February, going home from the race, to coming here and running well, that shows the potential this team has."
WHAT ABOUT JUNIOR WINNING?
"That's poetic justice. I told somebody before the race that he was the car to beat anyway and I was glad to see that. For him and Michael to come in first and second here, I don't think there's a person in this garage area that's not happy for them."
MIKE WALLACE --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Finished 10th)
"We had a run going there with Junior. We knew he was gonna be the fastest car and we just tried to stay with him. I was hoping he was gonna stay up and he found a hole and ducked down and I lost it for a little bit. Then everybody got to beating off people and we went to turn three four-wide. At that time you're running in desperation mode just not to crash, but starting in the back I think we had a great run. The NationsRent Ford ran well and handled well. That's what we work on everytime we come here. For some reason we can't get a fast car to qualify, but we can get a race car. I know what I want in the car and what I want it to feel like and the guys keep working. We used every bit of practice last night to get good." IT WAS LIKE A REPLAY OF YOUR DAYTONA 500. "I like these places. I think the racing is really neat. The frustration is like the last five laps. We didn't need that last caution. We had that run and if Juinor doesn't split the 18 and the 20 we were kind of on our way, but, hey, you can't go wrong."
JACK ROUSH, Car Owner -- Roush Racing
"The problem that developed really didn't have anything to do with the race track or restrictor racing or anything else. It had to do with everybody being together, which could occur any place where somebody decides to pit and somebody else runs into him. That caused the wreck that messed up Mark and messed up Kurt. I don't know for a fact that Kurt wasn't involved in the actual wreck because I haven't seen a replay. We were pretty good. I think we had the prospect of having all four cars in the top 15. I don't think anybody had anything for the 8 car. He was really strong, but Jeff at one point in the night was good enough to run in the top five. Mark was there too and Kurt was early on. Matt may have been the only car in our bunch that, at his best, would have been able to run with the 8, but the way we pitted and the way we got shuffled, we'll never know."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets Taurus (Finished 9th)
"I'm real happy. To come from 43rd and run that strong. Our plan worked out. We were just gonna hang around and, hopefully, miss the big wreck and then race hard until the end. We raced hard to the end and go ourselves up in the top 10. The shame of it is that the car doesn't seem to want to qualify very good, but it races real well. I'm just so proud of this team. We're showing steady improvement. The Fourth of July at Daytona has been very good to me in the past. This is where some of my best finishes have come and I just like racing here on the Fourth."
WHAT ABOUT SEEING JUNIOR WIN?
"Oh, that's huge. I mean, I couldn't have picked a better guy to win and then to have Michael second, it's just perfect. It's perfect for DEI and for Dale, Jr. I think it meant a lot to him personally and God Bless Him. I think it's great. I wish Teresa could have been here to enjoy it because I really think she would have enjoyed it."