RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 40th) WAS THERE ANY INDICATION THE ENGINE WAS GOING TO GO? "No, just all at once coming off of four. We had a really good race car for qualifying so poorly. My hat's off to the guys. The ALLTEL guys...
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 40th)
WAS THERE ANY INDICATION THE ENGINE WAS GOING TO GO? "No, just all at once coming off of four. We had a really good race car for qualifying so poorly. My hat's off to the guys. The ALLTEL guys did an awesome job, but, obviously, it was some kind of equipment failure inside that engine. Rusty's is still running and he's got all the same stuff, so, hopefully, his can run throughout the rest of the day and he can put one home for Penske Racing. I'm just happy to be running up front where we were. We struggled when we came here, but we had a top five race car without a doubt there at the end."
YOU RAN WELL. "Yeah, we didn't qualify near as well as we should have, but we had a really good race car from the start of the race. We fine-tuned it here and there and were really happy with the balance we came up with. My crew chief, Matt Borland, said we had the second fastest lap of the day on that very last lap, so the truth be known, they always run good before they blow."
DID IT GO REALLY FAST? "Yeah, it chunked it all at once. I looked at the oil pressure and it was zero."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 39th)
WHAT HAPPENED? "We made a change on the car and when we took off we were loose. Buckshot was behind me off the corner and I just got a little bit free and had to breathe the throttle a little bit and he didn't get checked up. He caught me in the left-rear and off I went."
JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS? "It's a tough deal with no practice or anything. The car never handled the way we needed it to. It's a brand new car and a totally different kind of car than we've ever run before and we needed some practice with it. This car is more like our teammates have. We're getting more of what they've got and we just didn't have enough time to practice to run and find out what we needed. It's just not a good day."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 11th)
"I can't find anything that was wrong with it. It was perfect all day long, just bullet fast, and then all of a sudden after one pit stop I went out and I was so loose that I couldn't get in the corner at all. I thought we must have had an equalized left-front tire and on that last pit stop we got four tires and when I went back out it wasn't any better. We raised the hood after the race and something is all locked up in the right-front corner. We don't know what it is if it's a ball joint or a shock, but something is crazy over there. We don't know what it is. Man, it's disappointing. To come from there, the thing was so fast it was unreal."
YOU LED SOME LAPS. "Yeah, we had a great car. Honestly, I really thought we had the best car in the field but something went disarray and I don't know what it is yet."
WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK? "I liked the track. The track was good all day long. I ran the second lane a lot. As a matter of fact, right off the bat I started passing cars in the second lane."
DID THAT SURPRISE YOU? "Yeah, a little bit that early, but I give it a thumbs up. It's a really neat track. Whenever you get 160,000 people come and see you, there's got to be something cool about the track."
SO IT MIGHT NOT TAKE FOUR YEARS FOR THIS TRACK TO COME
IN? "No, I wish we had two races here. I wish we had two races at
Fontana and two here
a couple that we run twice at right now ought to go away."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"Man, I love this team. All of these guys, they're building me better and better race cars and they're doing good on pit road. I'm really, really privileged to work with this Viagra team. They're good guys and I think that we'll be strong this summer. I think we'll get better the more we work together. We maybe had one of the very best cars here today on the long run, but we were pitiful on new tires, so the way it finished up there was good where we could take just two. I wished we didn't have to take any, but we had to. It's just a great, great feeling to work with these guys."
AFTER YOUR LAST TOP FIVE YOU SAID IT WAS EASY. WAS THIS EASY? "I didn't mean it was easy, I meant it wasn't any harder than running 21st and it's not. When you've got the stuff to work with it's all as hard as it can be. If you try any harder, you'd wreck. Yeah, that's about the same rate of difficulty as it is to run like 21st, but I just want to thank these guys. What an opportunity I have to work with these guys."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Finished 4th)
"The strategy on the fuel situation sort of hurt us. We actually got a lap down there or at the tail end of the lead lap. DJ was on the same sync with us and when that happened, we just couldn't get caught up after that. We were lucky to get back to fourth. We had a good race car, but it needed to be out front. It didn't like dirty air."
HOW WAS THE TRACK? "I think the track was pretty decent. I think it's about what everybody expected. I think the pace slowed up a little bit, which helped these cars hang together. I'm sure the speeds were 15 miles an hour slower than we qualified, which is a pretty big deal. I'm glad it slowed down for everybody."
IS THIS AN INDICATION OF WHAT THE 28 CAN DO THE REST OF THE WAY? "I think so. These guys learned something. We came here and tested because our intermediate track program wasn't very good at all. Today we led some laps and ran well, so I was real pleased with it."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 23rd)
"We had three flat tires and that's very hard to overcome. We probably overpowered it a little bit too much with the front bar, but you shouldn't have three flat tires in one race. We had a really strong car today, unfortunately, we had a right-front tire that felt like it was going down and that forced us to pit earlier than we would have liked. Then we went a lap down and fought hard through traffic, but couldn't get our lap back. We must have run over some debris and had another tire go down, but the crew did a great job all day."
WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK? "It was one groove. You could go high if you needed to pass somebody that was slowing you up as far as lap traffic, but it's gonna come it. It's gonna be a really great race track about a year or so down the road."
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 15th)
"We survived and got a decent finish, but something happened to the engine. We were either down a cylinder or had carburetor trouble, but the whole second half of the race it wouldn't run. In the corner it wouldn't run so good, so we just kind of tried to hang in. We got caught on the one caution and went a lap down and on the other ones we stayed out and were OK. It just played out. We were decent, but I wish it would have stayed running all day."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 24th)
"We basically ran out of gas, there's not much more to say. We had a good race car. I don't know if we had a fuel pickup problem or what it was, but it kind of ruined our day."
HOW WAS THE TRACK? "There wasn't much of a second groove, but you didn't have to be right on the bottom. The track was good and wasn't a factor at all."
DID YOU HAVE A CAR GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN? "Anybody can say that, but you don't know what would have transpired at the end. We had a good race car. We got a little bit tight and kept trying to make some adjustments and finally there at the very end we got it out of it."
WERE YOU SURPRISED WHEN YOU RAN OUT OF GAS? "Yeah."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 14th)
"I think, again, it's a product of a second-year team that continues to amaze me because it really was a bad day, but when you're 14th on your bad days things are looking up. We were just challenged with the handling and the guys never gave up on it. They got it really good at one point and then it really turned around on us and got away from us for one run. They put it back to where I could drive it, so it wasn't beautiful but it was productive."
HOW WAS THE TRACK? "In a few years it will probably be better. There's too much grip right now. There's so much grip that you're running too fast on the bottom side and it's next to impossible to run faster on the high side right now."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 17th)
"I think that cost us a top 10 (tire problem). If we could have just gone one more lap without that tire shredding, we would have had a good top 10. We just got too far behind at the start of the race. The car was way too tight. We got the car good at the end of the race. The last half I could run with just about everybody, but being a lap down like that is no good. It was a tough day."