STACY COMPTON --9-- Kodiak/Cougar Taurus -- "I'm not sure. We'd been fighting a loose car and put a set of tires on and I don't know whether we had a tire going down. It got extremely loose for about three laps and we got to the high side and it...
STACY COMPTON --9-- Kodiak/Cougar Taurus -- "I'm not sure. We'd been fighting a loose car and put a set of tires on and I don't know whether we had a tire going down. It got extremely loose for about three laps and we got to the high side and it tightened it up a little bit and got in the corner and it got away from me. I don't know what happened. I hate it for the Cougar Melling Taurus. We had a good car here and ran good in practice. We felt like we had a shot at a good run here but not today."
BILL ELLIOTT --94-- McDonald's Taurus -- "I don't know what happened, I'm just a victim. I give up, I don't know. The next thing I knew the 25 car was sideways, the 24 car just got into him, then I hit the 24 car when he checked up and then somebody hit me and that was it."
ONE OF THOSE RACING ACCIDENTS? "No, it was just everybody trying to get to the wrong place at the right time."
CAN YOU GET BACK IN? "Oh yeah, we'll get back in. I hope I didn't hurt the motor riding around as much as the radiator, but we really weren't that bad. We had a decent car we just lacked a little track position. I knew those guys were racing pretty hard, but I never thought that would happen that soon."
THAT WAS A PRETTY WILD RIDE. "I thought I was on the Joie Chitwood Show. Joie Chitwood, hire me. I'm up. I may have to start another line here. It wasn't that bad. I mean, I really don't know. I was just trying to see or do what I could do and try to keep from hitting anything really hard and I was kind of just along for the ride."
YOU HAD A GOOD CAR. "We had a decent car. At first I was really bad loose, we lost some spots, but we worked on the car a little bit and I felt really good with what I had. I was just trying to bide my time and work traffic right, but, par for the course."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus -- "On that restart everybody trying to get their laps back, I guess. Somebody must have checked up in front of Sterling (Marlin), he just turned dead right and just killed our car. The tire came loose, the Goodyear came apart all the metal rubbing through it, went through both inner-liners and came up and hit me on the shoulder about four times in a row as the tire (the left-rear tire) was spinning. It put a big laceration and a real big bruise on the back of my shoulder, but, thank God it's not broken. They did x-rays, so we'll live to race again."
HOW BADLY ARE YOU HURT? "It's pretty bad right now. I've got a pretty bad laceration, pretty bruised up on the muscle. We were gonna go test this week, I don't know if we're gonna be able to do that. It's a shame. That's two weeks in a row our Citgo Ford was a lot faster than anybody else. We had the fastest car on the track by a long ways today. We came from 35th to 14th in no time and definitely thought we could have gotten our first win today pretty easily, but it just wasn't meant to be. We've gotta put ourselves in different positions or just stay out of everybody's way. We've been getting run over here lately and we'll just try to make it better."
X-RAYS ARE NEGATIVE? "X-rays are negative, but pretty bruised up, pretty sore. I can't use my arm at all right now, so Kyle Petty is gonna get in the car and help us out a lot. That shows you what a great guy he is."
ANY THOUGHTS AS FAR AS MARTINSVILLE? "No, I'm not gonna think ahead that far. We were gonna test Talladega tomorrow and Tuesday, we might change that around a little bit or get somebody else to do that and maybe try to put me up for Martinsville. That's one I'd really like to race, it's at home. It's just a shame. The Citgo people have been standing behind us and two weeks in a row we've had a car good enough to win. We were flying today. I never had a car run that good, but it just wasn't meant to be."
IT WAS JUST A FREAK ACCIDENT. "Yeah, I don't know what happened on the restart. Sterling hit us and then that flattened our tire (left-rear tire) and then the tire came apart and kept hitting me in the left shoulder. It's hurting pretty bad."
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- "I'll be OK. I'm just a little bit sore. I hit my right knee on the steering column."
HOW DID IT HAPPEN? "I'm not exactly sure."
YOU HIT PRETTY HARD. "Anytime you hit here it's gonna be hard as fast as we're running."
WAS THERE CONTACT? "You saw the replay and I didn't, I don't know. I'm not sure what happened. I just know I got into one, the car started wiggling, if that was from a touch or if that was just from the tires I'm not sure."
HOW WAS THE CAR TO THAT POINT? "It was the best when we just put on two tires, which is pretty amazing. On new tires I had to be really free on new tires to not be too tight at the end of a run, so we missed it a little bit. We weren't bad, but it's just unfortunate we couldn't finish it off."
IT'S BEEN A TOUGH STRETCH THE LAST COUPLE OF RACES FOR YOU. "It has but those are just things that you go through and we'll have to come back next time."
ED BERRIER --90-- Hills Brothers Taurus -- "Something happened inside the motor. I've never blown one like this or had one go as quick as this did. I mean, it's like it exploded all at once. It's a shame. We weren't having a real good run, but we were getting some time on the track. The first part of the race was a lot better than the last half, the car got real tight on us. We tried to make some changes, but we just couldn't get it to do what we wanted. I hate it for Hills Brothers Coffee and Suburban Lodge and all the guys who work hard on the car. Maybe we can get this thing turned around and get it going."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DeWalt Tools Taurus -- "I feel pretty good considering, but something has been wrong with the car all day. I radioed in about 20 laps in and thought I had either a motor or drive train vibration, but it came and went back and forth all day. Plus, there was something wrong with the brakes, it had a real bad shake to it when you hit the brakes too, so whatever was wrong finally let loose. I don't know what it was, but it blew up something going into turn three and I just couldn't keep control of it. Whatever blew up it made it lose all the brakes too, so I was just kind of along for the ride."
YOU DID FIGHT YOUR WAY BACK TO THE FRONT, THOUGH. "We had a super-good race car, but it's not gonna show in the standings. It's hard to get points and get experience when you can't finish these things. It's too bad we had a mechanical problem because I felt like we had a real good car and a good chance for a top five."
YOU MUST STILL HAVE A LOT OF CONFIDENCE, RIGHT? "Yeah, I mean we're running really good and the team is coming along really good, but it's still really disappointing and frustrating when you drop out of one of these things like this. We're a new team trying to build new cars and it's hard to do that when they get wrecked like that."
ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus -- "Something just broke in it. We were going on around through there and went off into one, I thought I heard it cut off about three or four laps earlier and then took off through there a couple laps later and she just cut out. We made up three laps -- it was just race, race, race, but we're gonna have to start finishing these races before we can finish good."
JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Big Kmart Taurus -- "We didn't have that bad of a day. We had a tailpipe, our exhaust system broke earlier in the race and that hampered us a lot. I felt like we could have finished better than that, but it's a step in the right direction. That's the first time we've had good luck with this car. Yeah, it still needs some more work and we know we need to do some more work to it, but, hopefully, we can get it better for Charlotte."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus -- "We had a good run all day long, it was a great car. I'm just really happy to get some good points and do what I did. That was really neat."
DID YOU THINK EARNHARDT, JR. WOULD WIN THIS EARLY? "Well, I'm happy for him. That's seven different winners now this year, that's a cool deal you know. We're competing on the track for the beer brands, but I'm not really competing against him, he's a good kid and he drove his heart out. I raced him pretty hard today and I just could not get my car to run fast on new tires. We kept putting right sides on and they just kept getting better and better and better and it gave me better track position, so I said, 'Heck with it guys. The way it's looking right now we're gonna finish about sixth or seventh unless we do something.' So we just kept the right sides on it and led for awhile, then started falling back and it just honed right in on fourth place. The left side tires had about 80 laps on it, but she was still running good. That's a good run for us. A first last week and fourth this week and another new winner this week."
KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- FamilyClick.com Taurus -- YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER HAVING A ONE LAP LEAD AND THEN SEEING THOSE CAUTIONS COME. "Well, I tell you, when we had them all down a lap we figured if it goes green we've got a shot at it. Unfortunately, it didn't. But I can't say enough for all the guys. To finish fifth here today with a car that sat on the outside pole, we struggled last week at Bristol and the guys rebounded and came back, had great pit stops. Pat Tryson made great calls and to come home fifth, it's nothing to be ashamed of with this race team."
WITH ALL THE CAUTIONS DID YOU KIND OF FIGURE THERE WOULD BE AT LEAST ONE MORE? "Well, you figure with about 90 laps to go that maybe everybody got all their stuff out of their systems and it was gonna be a good race. But I still can't say enough for FamilyClick.com to come aboard a few weeks ago to bail us out and give us a sponsor. Since they've been aboard we've had some great runs and I'm just tickled today and now we'll get ready to go to Martinsville."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus -- "We had a great car. It took me a long time to get by Bobby. If I could have cleared Bobby a little bit quicker, then we could have given him a run for his money, but, nonetheless, it was a good day. Once he got that far out in front of us, we were just trying to finish second at that point."
JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus -- "We needed that. The last two weeks we've really been running good and had two good finishes. At Atlanta we ran good and I'm just happy. We're on our way back up. We've got a good race team, a good pit crew, everybody at the shop, great engines. Everything is just working for us."
YOU STARTED TOWARD THE BACK, BUT USED SOME STRATEGY TO GET UP FRONT. WHAT WAS YOUR PLAN? "We took on two tires the first time and we got a little tight, so we decided not to do it again because we were already a little bit too tight. After that we just kept putting on four, but, hey, we led laps and ran up front and finished in the top 10. We'll take a sixth-place any day with the way our year's been."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline/Cummins Taurus -- "We had one of the best and fastest cars I've ever driven on Saturday and Sunday, I ain't never seen that piece before. It was just completely and totally different and it wasn't fixable, so it was kind of a disappointment. I thought we had them covered yesterday. When we've got a car that fast with a team like mine, we're looking good but it didn't work out. I don't know. We couldn't fix it. We tried and tried and tried."
SCOTT PRUETT --32-- Tide Taurus -- YOU LED A FEW LAPS AND FINISHED THE RACE, SO ARE YOU PLEASED? "Yeah, we took the lead with authority at the start of the race and had a good car. Unfortunately, we got caught up with the 1 car. It was just unfortunate, you know, four or five laps into the race it's just not the time to be doing that kind of stuff, but the Tide crew did a great job. I mean, we kept coming in and fixing the car, moving the rear-end around and fixing this and fixing that. Finally, we got the car pretty decent and were able to run pretty hard."
DO YOU FEEL THIS TEAM IS NOW BATTLE TESTED? "You look at my car and I'd say it's battle tested (laughing). We spun coming off four and hit the fence pretty good and gathered it up and kept on going to finish the race. We had to run 400 miles that way, so the guys did a great job. We'll be back at Martinsville. We keep learning a lot every race and at least we took the checkered flag today."
JEFF HAMMOND, Crew Chief --97-- John Deere Taurus -- DID YOU THINK YOU WERE IN GOOD SHAPE WHEN YOU HAD ALMOST A LAP LEAD ON THE FIELD? "No, I think that right there is kind of a deceiving deal. We really struggled today. We were too loose to start with and we worked on the car all day long to try to get it comfortable for him. We were trying to get ourselves in position on the pit stop right there, but it so happened the way it worked out we wound up being on a lap by ourselves. It would have been interesting to see if everything would have stayed that way, but it didn't turn out that way. Really, we just kind of chased the car all day long, it never really was what Chad wanted here, but we got something decent out of it. We got a lap back, I mean we fought 'em hard all day. We didn't quit and he didn't either, so we got something decent out of a so-so day. For a little bit it looked like maybe we were gonna get a gift and somebody felt like, 'Well, you got a big-enough gift getting your lap back, so we're not gonna give you the race.'"
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- "We got into a wreck on pit road on the first stop. We spent the rest of the day fixing the right-front of the car. We weren't that bad, it was just the repairs we made had our aerodynamics messed up. I'm proud of my guys. At one point we were about last and they never gave up and we got our second top-10 finish."
DARRELL WALTRIP --66-- Route 66/Big Kmart Taurus -- "My car would go straight into the turn, I'd crank the wheel and it would hook all at once. We weren't the fastest but we ran all day. I guess you'd call it survival of the not so fittest."
NOTE: The Wood Brothers have decided to proceed with plans to test at Talladega on Monday and Tuesday with Morgan Shepherd handling the driver duties.