Elliott wins second straight, third straight for Dodge. Bill Elliott's victory on Sunday in the ninth annual Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was his second straight triumph, third straight for Dodge and sixth of the season for the...
Elliott wins second straight, third straight for Dodge.
Bill Elliott's victory on Sunday in the ninth annual Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was his second straight triumph, third straight for Dodge and sixth of the season for the Intrepid R/T. Elliott's No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Intrepid R/T won its first race of the season last Sunday at Pocono Raceway. Elliott made his 680th career start Sunday and scored his 43rd career victory. Elliott's win in the Evernham Motorsports Intrepid was the first ever from the front row in the Brickyard 400. It pulled Dodge closer in the manufacturers standings. Ford leads with seven wins and 139 points. Chevy is next with five wins and 118 points. Dodge has 113 points and six victories, while Pontiac follows with 92 points and three wins. Elliott led 93 of 160 laps and moved from ninth to sixth in the series standings, 210 points behind leader Sterling Marlin, driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T.
JIM JULOW (Vice President Dodge Motorsports and SRT Marketing)
"I'm an Indiana boy, and I couldn't be more pleased about that. I think more importantly for the program, this is the second major win and this is one of NASCAR's grand slam events. We won the Daytona 500 this year, and now we've won the Brickyard 400. The wins are coming and we've really got this program on a roll. People forget we're less than two years old. So it's a child prodigy right now. Three in a row is fine. Four in a row is fine. We've got Michigan coming up in the home court. A lot of good races are coming up. Bristol is coming up and everybody wants to win that one. We're going to enjoy this one today."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The car was absolutely awesome. Ray and Mike Ford and all the guys make it fun to drive this race car. I was so proud of them yesterday afternoon I couldn't stand it. I hated to give away the pole, but I'd rather have the win any day of the week. To come here and win at Indy is incredible. All these guys on the team make it happen week in and week out. That's what it's all about."
MIKE FORD (Crew chief No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"This guys worked extremely hard this week. This is the same car we won with at Pocono, and they turned it around quick. Everybody executed their jobs perfectly. Hats off to the whole crew."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We broke something in the engine. From the start it didn't seen like we were going anywhere. We missed the setup a little bit. We kept working on it, but it just didn't seem like we were going. All of a sudden something broke loose and broke something in the motor. The heat was fine. I think everybody is a little bit hot, but inside the car these guys did a real good job. They take care of me. I feel good right now. I was coming in the pits and the 10 was pulling out. Pit road is real tight, and I was pulling it thinking I had enough time. I thought they'd see me, but they didn't. We were running a little bit hot. Then the tape came off and it was one thing after another. We'll get it though. I'm happy with it. Believe it we're still making improvement that are not showing up yet. I think they will."
MIKE HAWKINS (Head engine builder Evernham Motorsports)
"These are extreme racing conditions. It doesn't get any more extreme than this. You've got a big race track, and you're in the throttle here a tremendous amount of the time. They're just barely out of the throttle here. You've got long straightaways. This is very hard on engines. They run a lot of tape on the cars here to get the aero packages to work to get the downforce so they can go as fast as they're going. If you look at the race pace right now, they're running faster than they were running last year."
CASEY ATWOOD (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We had a great car. We had to come through the field and couldn't get track position. We went inside Dale Jr. He raced me pretty hard on the outside. I got loose and everything was fine. Then I got tapped from behind and got sent into the wall. I hate it for everybody at Sirius Satellite Radio. Everybody on the team was pumped up about the race. We just can't seem to get any luck right now. I think the 28 hit me from behind, but we just hate it. I'm really disappointed. We were going to have a good finish. We weren't going to win, but I think we could have got a top 15 and that would have helped us a lot. It was a hard lick. That's the worst way to hit, driver's side first. Everything is fine. Hopefully they'll find out some stuff on our recorders and see if the wall helped any. Maybe we can learn something that will help in the future. It still hurt. I couldn't tell any difference. It's hard to say because I haven't hit like that in a long time. It was a hard hit, but I'm fine. I'm not hurt anywhere, so maybe it helped. I was fine with the heat. My seat was getting hot, but other than that I was fine. It was hot, but it was bearable."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I've never seen the track change so much from yesterday to today. Our car was real good yesterday. Then we started racing and it was so tight you couldn't turn it. We about ran out of adjustments trying to free it up. Once it got going pretty good it blew up. I don't know if it was the heat or what. It's weird deal the way things are working out this year. It really could have been a bad day in the points, but the way it worked out wasn't too bad. Jerry Nadeau locked the brakes up on pit road for some unknown reason. Everybody was running 30 mph dead on his butt. I ran into the back of Nadeau and the 48 ran into the back of me. Rusty ran second and we outran him most of the day. We didn't have anything for Bill. He was gone. That Dodge was in another league today. They've been working hard, and they've been running good."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Box Tops for Education Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We had a gear or something that was messed up at the start of the race. We had to change a gear after Happy Hour. It was making the car snap, and it was difficult to drive. I think if it hadn't been for that we could have been better. I'm OK. I'm just cooling off. I wish we could have been better today, but all three Petty Dodges were right there together."
HUT STRICKLIN (No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I'm OK now, and I was OK in the race as long as we were under green. There wasn't enough air in there to keep things flowing when it was under the yellow. It was pretty cool all day in the car until I stopped. I was pleased with the run. I wish we could have finished better, but we had a decent run. We adjusted on the car and kept getting it better and better throughout the whole day. The guys made a great call at the end to stay out. There early on we took two tires when a lot of guys took on four. We kept working on it all day and getting it better and better. We finally got it better at the right time. We had some good luck go our way for a change. We needed that. I'm really glad to have that. Hopefully this will get us turned around."