MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline Taurus (Finished 2nd) - "We were just too far behind. We didn't have enough. Steve Park earned that one today, congratulations to all of 'em. It was fun to be a contender. We had a crack at him, but we were just too...
MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline Taurus (Finished 2nd) - "We were just too far behind. We didn't have enough. Steve Park earned that one today, congratulations to all of 'em. It was fun to be a contender. We had a crack at him, but we were just too far behind and catching up a little bit at a time and we didn't have enough to get the job done." HAD YOU GOTTEN AROUND JEFF SOONER COULD YOU HAVE PASSED STEVE? "I don't know. The last seven, eight laps we were a good bit quicker than Steve was, but he was in the front and that's what it takes here -- to be in the front. My car was real fast and it never did see the front, but when it would see a gap it would run right up to the next car and then it would stall out. It was a great run for the Valvoline team. It was nice to have a crack at it and a shot at it. I sure wish I could have won, but Steve Park earned that one."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus (Finished 3rd) -- "Toward the end I was trying to be offensive because we had run the 1 (car) down, but when I got to him I got really tight and then I just kept getting slower and slower and slower. Then Mark got by me and he drove away from me and then I got worried because I was afraid I had held him up and cost him a chance to win the race. But that was a good run for the Exide Taurus. We're not gonna complain with third. We're a little disappointed because we got tight there at the end, but we're not about to complain with third." WHAT ABOUT THE RACING TODAY? "It was a typical Watkins Glen race. I didn't see where it was a whole lot different than what Watkins Glen normally is. It's aggressive racing and if you get off course or something it's bad for you, so to me it wasn't a whole lot different."
ROBBY GORDON --13-- Menards/SONY Taurus (Finished 4th) -- IT SEEMED YOUR CAR GAVE OUT AT THE END A LITTLE. "We made a couple runs at them and we had a little brake balance problem. I was afraid if I made a run at him and didn't have a good run at him we might wreck both of us, so I figured a top-five finish would be good." YOU GOT SOME REAR END DAMAGE EARLY. DID THAT HURT THE CAR TODAY? "Yeah, that came early. That accident came with the Earnhardt, Jr. accident, I think it was Skinner that ran in the back of me there, I'm not quite sure. It's very competitive here. These Winston Cup guys are becoming better road racers every time they race. Congratulations to Steve Park and the total Pennzoil team, they did an excellent job today and we'll race them again next year." IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD SOMETHING ON THAT FINAL RESTART. "I think I over-heated the front brakes because I was wheel-hopping really bad and I couldn't put anymore front bias to it, so I was having to be real cautious under braking -- trying to not tire hop the thing and get to Burton. I made a couple runs at him and felt that a top five finish was what we needed today." HOW IMPORTANT WAS THIS? "After missing the show at Indianapolis, we ran a lot better than that testing up there and we just came back and made a couple of mistakes. We have to learn from our mistakes and go forward. I think it helped us a lot in being prepared and being organized -- the attention to detail. As you see, the car ran all day long without any real problems. Obviously, we have to work on our brake ducts a little bit, but besides that the crew did an excellent job. The pit stop team has been working everyday, two times a day since Michigan. We had some not very good pit stops at Michigan." HOW HAS THIS LIMITED SCHEDULE HELPED. "We tested a bit and felt we would have a good car. We should have finished in the top five at Sears Point this year with this same car, so we'll have to go back and do a little more homework because there was one car out here that was quite a bit faster than us and that was the 87 car, so we'll go back and do some homework." WHAT'S YOUR PLAN NOW? "We'll be at Michigan. Our goal is to be at Michigan and Bristol and then we'll evaluate after that again and see the way it looks."
WALLY DALLENBACH --75-- Red Cell Batteries Taurus (Finished 9th) -- "It was good. It was a ninth-place car. We probably should have come up here and tested, but we didn't know what we were gonna have. We changed a lot of stuff this morning and yesterday and we weren't very good yesterday afternoon. I think we had 12 laps on the race track the whole weekend, so the guys did a good job. We did a good job in the pits and just drove our butt off today and that's about all we could get." WITH THE PROBLEMS YOU'VE HAD THIS YEAR WERE YOU EXPECTING SOMETHING BAD TO HAPPEN? "Actually I was expecting the moon to fall on my hood during the race sometime today. It was like, 'OK, what next?' Hopefully, this is the start of good weekends to come. We're gonna bring our Indy car to Michigan. The car was really fast at Indianapolis and hopefully we can keep this momentum." ANYTHING MAJOR HAPPEN TODAY FOR YOU IN THE WAY OF STRATEGY? "No, just picked my way through. Everybody was fairly clean out there today and when guys are behaving themselves it's fun to race them, so it was a pretty uneventful day. We had good brakes on the car and the motor was great. I abused the heck out of the motor and everything held up."
BILL ELLIOTT --94-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 13th) -- "It was an uneventful day. I mean, it was good for us. I had just a few little problems that got me back in the pack, but I couldn't overcome it and that's just the way it was. Nobody, if they got back there was any good. Track position is everything here."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 11th) -- "I just don't know what we have to do to catch a break. We moved to the front and then after the first pit stop the car started losing power up through the esses. We changed the carburetor and the fuel filters were clogged up. After that the car was great again. We had a really good car today, but once you give up track position it's tough to get back to the front."
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Finished 7th) -- "We were just tight again all day. I can't say tight, I just couldn't turn through some of the critical parts as good as we needed to. We got it better and I thought we were in pretty good shape, but two different times down in one cars got slowed down in front of me and my car didn't turn real good down there unless I was wide and somebody got under me and cost us three or four spots. That's just the way that it was. Unfortunately, we weren't good enough to get those back. There were just a few places that I could pass, but it was a decent day. I thought we had the 18 beat where we might not lose any points, but we didn't tear anything up so I guess it was alright." ARE YOU HAPPY WITH A TOP 10? "No, I thought we should have had a top five. I just got caught up behind a couple of cars that got slowed down going into one and it slowed me down and then I got passed by some guys right behind me. It's just unfortunate. We had a pretty good car. It wasn't as fast as those guys right off the get-go, but it would get better and stay pretty decent, so we're gaining on them." WHAT ABOUT THE POINTS, YOU GAINED ON THE 3 BUT LOST A LITTLE TO THE 18? "I'm not worried about the 3, the guy in front of me is who I'm worried about. We lost to him. I thought that maybe we were gonna be able to finish right in front of him and at least break even with him, but he got by me there right at the end." WHAT ABOUT STEVE PARK AND THAT FIRST WIN, IT MUST FEEL GOOD. "It sure does, especially here in his home state. That's great for Steve. He did a fantastic job. He had a great car and he drove the heck out of it and I'm awful glad for him."
DARRELL WALTRIP --66-- Route 66/Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 20th) -- "This place here your all over juking and jiving, pushing, sliding. I think the best way to put it is that Waltrip hopes he made his last right-hand turn for the year. The only other right-hand turn I want to make is into victory circle. People don't ever really say much about my road-racing career, but I've had consistently good finishes. We got too tight and lost track position. We were on a good schedule and I thought we were gonna be in good shape, but the transmission locked up. Fortunately, it was under caution. We came in and had to go work on it, which put us in the back again. We had a good pit strategy. We were on a two-stop strategy and it was gonna pay off."
MARK MARTIN PRESS CONFERENCE -- WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY WITH STEVE? "I was gonna try to pass him anywhere I could. We were putting the pressure on him pretty hard there at the end, but Steve won that race. He earned it. He came from behind me, drove to the front and stayed out there. When we really turned it up and put the pressure on him, he withstood the pressure and never made a slip and I never got along side of him. I got close, we made it exciting and interesting for the fans and maybe we'll get the next one." HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO BE IN FRONT TODAY? "Unfortunately, the car out front has a tremendous advantage here as you could see -- tremendous. We were pretty strong. We would have been good had we gotten to the front, but he got to the front a lot earlier in the race. He was aggressive and fast and when we got going fast we got there when we could and we couldn't make the pass in the little bit of time that we had. That's the bottom line." WHAT ABOUT THIS SEASON? "We've had a very tough summer. We got off to the best start we've ever gotten off to with the Valvoline team this year and we even led the points at Talladega. Five races later we were ninth in the points, so it's just been one of those years where the things we couldn't control were really bad. Believe me, it's a lot more work -- all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into this -- for everyone at Roush Racing when you can go out there and show what you can do, what you have and what you can do rather than being in the garage."
MATT KENSETH PRESS CONFERENCE -- WHAT ABOUT YOUR DAY? "Really it was a good day for Roush Racing all around. We finished 10th and Chad was 12th and Mark and Jeff were second and third, so I think all five teams came up here and tested. We had a real dismal Sears Point. I think we ran last all day and never passed a car, so we came here with a little bit more confidence and sort of found some problems that we had and really worked on our set up. We had good brakes and good engines and the thing turned decent. A top 10 for us here is almost like a win. We ran competitive times all day and I'm real happy with our run." THIS HELPS IN THE ROOKIE RACE. "Yeah, I don't want to see him (Earnhardt, Jr.) have any trouble either. That's how a rookie year goes, no matter how good you are you're gonna have things happen. You're gonna have bad runs and good runs. We had a dismal run at Indy and wrecked on pit road and had all kinds of things happen and then we came here and ran competitive. That's just the type of up-and-down year sort of goes, especially a rookie year when you're learning along with your team. You never wish bad luck on anyone. The rookie of the year, it would be nice to win it but it's not that important to me where I'd want to wish bad luck on anyone else. So, like I said, I'm happy with our run and, hopefully, we gained a little in points. I think we're only 150-200 points out of 10th places, so we're still trying to finish in the top 10 in points for the year." CAN YOU BE CALLED A ROAD RACER NOW? "People have called me a lot of names, but I've never been compared to a good road course driver, so we'll wait a few years and see if I can keep running that good or better."
JEFF BURTON PRESS CONFERENCE -- WHAT DID YOU SEE BETWEEN MARK AND STEVE? "Unfortunately, when Mark got by me he just left me. I guess I was holding him up. When he drove away from me so fast my heart sank because I thought I cost him a win because I was holding him up. I didn't think I was holding him up and as soon as the race was over I went and saw him and he said he didn't think I was holding him up either, but when he got by me he just left me. So, obviously we were and that's disappointing because I could have helped him a little bit more, but he got away from me. I had run with Steve a lot during the day and I knew that Steve was real fast. I knew it would be hard for anybody to beat Steve because his car sat real flat on the track, it didn't roll much. When he got in the gas it hooked up and it turned real well, so he did a great job driving it and the car was set up real nice."
JACK ROUSH, Car Owner -- 6, 99, 17, 97, 16 -- THIS WAS A PRETTY GOOD DAY FOR ROUSH RACING? "The 16 didn't run like I hoped it would -- didn't pull enough gear I guess and he was a little bad going in one direction. But if Mark would have been able to get an advantage out on pit road, he would have been fine. He was good enough to stay in front if he'd have been in front. Jeff had his best road race ever, which is wonderful. Chad Little did well and Matt Kenseth was wonderful, so we're real happy. This was as much as we could hope for I guess."