KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Finished Fourth, top Dodge, top rookie, moved to 11th in series standings, 31 points out of 10th place. "To finish in the top five the first time here is a great feeling. I think we had the best car...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Finished Fourth, top Dodge, top rookie, moved to 11th in series standings, 31 points out of 10th place.
"To finish in the top five the first time here is a great feeling. I think we had the best car here. Coming through the field we cut a left front and got into the wall. We got a lap down, got it back and still got a top five. For the first time here it was a great finish, but you can't help thinking about what might have been if it wasn't for that cut tire.
"The pit crew really did a good job all day to get me in and out of the pits quick. Tommy Baldwin made a lot of good calls, and the team got the track position for me. They've been doing that all season, so my hat's off to them."
"There are more fans out there right now (hour after the race) than there are at most racetracks. It's pretty neat to be part of this race. It's exciting for my first time here, and it's a really good feeling.
"The pit crew did a good job all day to get me in and out of the pits quick. They fixed the fenders, everything they did. Tommy Baldwin made a lot of good calls. They got me back on the track and got track position for me. Our team did a good job.
"Tommy Baldwin has done a good job all year keeping me calm. Even last week at Pocono when I ran into Stewart and bent up the front of our car, I thought the race was over there, too, and we came back to third. Just listening to Tommy, he gives me lap times and tells me we're still in the race. He says a lot of things that keep me calm, and I'll race as hard as I can until it's over.
"I think it's really helped out the first half of this season a lot to have a teammate like Jeremy. We talk every week and talk about engine stuff or how the car is handling, the different characteristics of the cars. Bill helped me earlier in the season a lot. He was always around. To have him here this week back racing, I went over to his garage stall a couple of times. You can always learn a lot from Bill, especially from Bill and Jeremy all the time, too. It's just two good guys to talk to.
"The only time I look on the board is to see who's in front of me and see how many laps are down and trying to get position on the track. I obviously care where everybody's at at the end of the race, but throughout the race we just try to do as good as we can and when it's over see where everybody's at.
"I don't really here it a lot (talk about trying USAC again). I hear it once in awhile, but I kind of bring it up myself a lot and wonder if I'll get that chance or if I can every find the opportunity to get that chance. I'd definitely love to race here twice a year instead of just once.
"My opinion has been the same all year. With seven laps to go you're in the same situation you're in with two laps to go. I feel everybody goes for it late in the race and I was saying all along give us one chance at the green-white-checkered and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. If there are wrecks and we're in it, that's a bad thing, but think there will also be times when we can pass a car or win the race or gain a couple of positions, so I think it all evens out and the fans get a green-white-checkered. They get a race that finishes under green."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) -- Finished 13th
"We had to work pretty hard for that 13th place finish. The crew did a great job keeping us on the lead lap, and I think we could have had a decent finish if we hadn't got in that deal on the track. It's always a lot of fun to run well at the Brickyard. We kept fighting back all day, and we left here knowing we gave it all we had."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 General Mills/Boxtops for Education Dodge) -- Finished 14th
"The car wasn't too bad. We never could make it turn off the corner like we needed to. We started 14th and finished 14th. The last set of tires was pretty good. We had the car adjusted, but the cautions really hurt me. For the way our season has gone, this is definitely a plus for us. The motor ran good all day, but we never could get the Dodge handling up off the corner. That's where the fast cars were beating us."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- Finished 7th
"My car was terrible at the beginning. We ran so well here last year. We were good in Happy Hour yesterday, and we thought we'd run good here today. We just missed it. We made some huge adjustments and we got way behind at one point, so I'm pretty happy with the finish. I don't know what that did for us in the points. I quit paying attention to the points anyway. Every time I keep up with them we blow up or something, so I just quit paying attention to them. When we get to Richmond we'll see where we are."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge) -- Finished 26th
"I wasn't moving on that first lap. Everybody said Ward was upset, but I wasn't going to go to the white line to enter the corner. I was already way inside. I went all the way to the bottom in the center and he was hitting me. It's just a narrow track. He didn't want to run any higher than he wanted to run and I can't run any lower. I wanted to lead the first lap, but at the same time I wasn't going to bang on anybody to do it. I was just trying to run a clean lap. To be honest I never came up into him. Everybody was cutting left fronts down, and I think it was because of the rumble strips. The rumble strips are real sharp and no one could turn real good. Everybody was running as low as they could. I was clipping them every now and then. We were horrible at the beginning, real loose in and tight off. We've got a lot of work to do to get the racecar right. We can qualify, but I feel like we're a little off on the setup. I'm upset. I wanted to run better. About middle way through the race I thought we were getting a handle on it, but at the end everything went wrong. We probably should have stayed out at the end, but that's a tough call to make. You just can't pass here. It's just so hard to pass here. I had a left front tire go down and that put us further in the back, so I think we should have had a top 15 finish."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Finished 11th
"My car wouldn't take off all day. We didn't need all those cautions. I think I lost one spot on the green-white checkered deal. It was a good day for us, but we'd get up there and then fall back. I guess we gained a few points on 10th place, so it was a good points day. That's the first time we haven't been in the top 10 in awhile, but 11th is about as close as you can get. We've just got to keep the momentum going and we'll have a shot for the championship. That's why we're all out here."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 91 Visteon Dodge) -- Finished Ninth
"I didn't have anything to lose. I was just trying to hang in and have a good day. That green-white checkered worked, but it worked at the expense of some good race teams. The sad side about it is that the race teams have got to pay for it. I never could get the nose of the car under me. We struggled with it all day long. We were pretty good Saturday in Happy Hour, but the track was pretty green and it got hot and slick today. I just couldn't keep the nose under it."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Jasper/Kodak Dodge) -- Finished 35th
"We came off turn one and we were all stacked up in there. Shane Wilson (crew chief) made a fantastic call. We had been working on the car all day. It was a little loose. We got two tires and a little trackbar to help it. It put us right up there where we needed to be. Kasey got a little impatient and got up into me. It shredded the left rear tire, and that's not a good sound hearing a tire shredding at 180 mph. You know there's nothing you're going to be able to do. I cut right back down in front of the whole field, and I got lucky because nobody hit me. I saw somebody coming my way, but I got lucky. I think we had the car where it could have hung in there in the top 15 for awhile. Indy might not be a great track for a stock car, but it's still Indy and I want to keep coming here every year for the rest of my life."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge) -- Finished 33rd
"We cut a left front tire down, and I couldn't get slowed down to get in the pits. We got her hot and melted her down. Everybody is running a bunch of camber in the left front, and it's kind of hard on 'em. You hit the curb here trying to get them to turn and our car drove terrible from the get-go. It was real loose to start, and all of a sudden it tightened up. The tire is OK. It's just got too much camber in 'em. I saw some flames come up and I figured it was time to abandon ship. I was trying to get back without losing a lap, but we needed to stop and work on it anyway. We'll get back out and see what we can do."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge) -- Pre-race
NOTE: Marlin's Dodge will also carry U.S. Marines and Rascal Flatts logos in today's Brickyard 400.
"I've met Rascal Flatts a couple of times. It's just a different deal for Coors, and they're a cool bunch of guys. This is the first time they've been on the car, and they came down and looked at it before the race started. They couldn't get over how small the seat was. The car drove good yesterday. We put it back the way we started with it, and I think we're going to be in pretty good shape. It's a little warmer today, and that'll make it a little tighter. If the car drives good here, you like it. If it doesn't, you don't. That's the way it is everywhere we go. This is a great race. The fans pack in here, it pays really well, and we'd sure like to win it. We've got the Marines riding with us today, too, so maybe we'll just muscle our way to the front and stay there."
FELIX SABATES (Car owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodges)
"I think we're going to have a good day today, but we should have a good day every time we come to the racetrack. That's what we get paid for. I wasn't surprised that Casey won the pole. I think if Sterling had gone out earlier he would have had a real shot to win the pole.
"Our teams have had some struggles this year. Some of the pain has been self-inflicted, and some of the things we just couldn't help. It'd be great to win here today. In a way, it's just another race, but it's a big deal to win Daytona and a big deal to win Indy. Really, it's a big deal to win anywhere. It pays the same amount of points, but the money is a little bit different.
"I've got my darkhorse today. I think Sterling Marlin is going to be the man today."
COMMENT ON NEW POINTS' SYSTEM "I don't like the format. I think the format penalizes the sponsors. I would say take the top 15 cars and not just the top 10 or make it 650 points. The way they did it, I think they did it a little bit too quick and didn't really think about it. If you're not in the top 15 in the points, you don't deserve to win the championship. I took the pencil the other day, and I took Jamie McMurray. I added 50 points to his DNF's. He would be third in the points without the DNF's. I've got a feeling they're going to change it for next year. I talk to them everyday about everything. They listen to me. I've got a good relationship with NASCAR. We've battled over the years, but at the end of the day we're friends."