MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 25th) TOUGH WAY TO END. "Yeah, I just wanted to have a chance and we did. It was a great effort by the Viagra team and we ran awfully good. Things just didn't go our way today." YOU HAD A GOOD CAR....
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 25th)
TOUGH WAY TO END. "Yeah, I just wanted to have a chance and we did. It was a great effort by the Viagra team and we ran awfully good. Things just didn't go our way today."
YOU HAD A GOOD CAR. "We ran good today, but, unfortunately, things set us back. I'm awfully proud of this team and it's an honor to drive for all these guys. They put their hearts in this stuff and they give me some great race cars, especially today and last week - every week. We just had a little bad luck."
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END? "The left-front went flat. Evidently, that was sort of a tire problem today. A number of people had that and that was our second one."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Finished 16th)
COULD YOU HAVE MADE A RUN AT GORDON? "I think we would have gotten there, but getting there here and passing are way two different things. We were about a tenth better than he was in the long run, but that's usually not enough to get around someone, so I think we could have got there and made a race out of it if it would have stayed green and we wouldn't have hit that debris. But I don't know if we could have beat him or not. He was pretty good all day."
WAS THE DEBRIS OUT THERE OR DID IT GET KNOCKED INTO YOU? "I don't know. We were the first two cars to it, so Gordon said he hit it too. I hit it. I don't know if it was laying there or not. By the time I saw it, I was already right on track to hit it. There's pretty much one line here and to move off that line is hard to do at the last minute."
YOU DIDN'T SEE IT THE LAP BEFORE? "No, I didn't see it. If I would have seen it, I wouldn't have run it over the second time by."
FRUSTRATED? "I feel good that we ran good, but I'm real frustrated we didn't get to finish. It's disappointing, but we've had a couple years of pretty good luck and that's just something that happens that's bad luck."
ABOUT YOUR DAY. "We had a great car. We had a car good enough to run with Jeff. I don't know if we could have beat him, but in the long run we were a little bit better than he was. We were starting to close the gap there and ran into that piece of brake rotor or whatever was out there, so it was just kind of some bad luck. We've had a lot of good luck here the last couple of years, so this is usually the way the business works. It's usually up and down, but it's disappointing to have a car that good at a race this big and can't bring it home with a good finish."
HOW TOUGH WAS THE PACE TODAY? "We were running hard because we were up front, so we could run hard the whole time trying to catch Jeff, but there were just so many cautions. Usually at a track like this, we don't get that many cautions. It was difficult to get into a rhythm because of all the cautions and we had a really good long run setup, but not a very good setup on restarts. That made it difficult with all those yellows."
IS THIS WHY THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED IS BAD FOR THE SPORT? "I don't know. You knew they were gonna wreck. They knew we were gonna wreck and we knew we were gonna wreck. It's not a surprise. That's just gonna be part of it with that rule."
GORDON THOUGHT A YELLOW SHOULD HAVE BEEN THROWN WITH THE DEBRIS. "Well, yeah. Today is not an example of one of them, but a lot of times you see cautions and we can't figure out why - for a piece of duct tape or something. When there's something like that - that was a five-pound bullet."
WHAT WAS IT? "I think it was a piece of brake rotor off the 40, but I'm not sure. As soon as you see something like that, they definitely need to throw it, but maybe they didn't see that soon. I don't know."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"To come in here and run as good as we just ran, to finish third, run in the top three or four all day long - it says a lot about our race team, says a lot about the character. I love racing my teammate like that. It's great for the whole Robert Yates organization. One car was better than the team today. The 24, they had a great race car, my congratulations to Jeff Gordon. But, I'm really, really proud of my race team right now."
MORE ON HIS THIRD-PLACE FINISH. "I had so much fun today and learned a lot about this race track. I've got to send by congratulations to Jeff Gordon and his race team, but I'm so proud of my guys and Dale Jarrett's guys - for our race team to finish second and third is great for the whole Yates organization. And I'm proud of everybody with M&M's and Ford and everybody for being behind me 100 percent and it's great to come into Indy and run like this."
DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD A RUN AT DALE JARRETT AT ALL? "Yeah, I was making some runs at him, but he was doing what he was supposed to do, and taking the air off my front air dam, making me push a little bit. But I had fun. I tried to get him on the last lap, but I wasn't going to take both of us out to make stupid move for one position. We both needed this for points and it worked out good."
YOU PREDICTED IT EARLIER IN THE WEEK. "We just got a little bit loose on one run and lost some track position and I wish I was near the 24 car there at the end to try to make a run at him, but I'm so happy with third and I'm so glad that DJ got second. It's a great run for the whole Yates organization."
TODD PARROTT - crew chief, No. 38 M&M's Taurus
"It was a good day. We started out really well, led some laps early and the car got a little bit loose the stop before last we put two tires on and got back in traffic and picked up that dreaded aero push. Just had a hard time. I think if we could've got by DJ, we may have had a shot at the 24 because the car was really, really good right there at the end. You know, that's racin'. They both did what they had to do, and two Robert Yates cars finished second and third. What more can you ask from a day like that?"
DID THE CAUTIONS HURT AT THE END? "The car was really good. You can't control what happens on the race track. Cautions are cautions and cautions breed cautions. But the guys did a great job. We had a fast race car all day long and we did what we had to do."
A GOOD SEASON CONTINUES TO GET BETTER. "Yeah, I think so. A day like today and a car like we had today, I think we got a lot of good things to come here the rest of the season."
ROBERT YATES - owner, No. 38 M&M's Taurus and No. 88 UPS Taurus
"Two and three, and we one of the best cars here - both of them were great cars. It's some sort of year we're having. We love this place. It's been good to us."
ON THE TWO TEAMS' SUCCESS THIS SEASON. "It's where we need to be. They're doing a great job. I'm having a lot of fun right now."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Finished 6th)
YOU MAY HAVE PASSED MORE CARS ON THE TRACK THAN ANYBODY. "Man, I tell you what, where we pitted wasn't good. I don't know why they were beating us so bad, but everytime we pitted we lost probably a minimum of 4-6 spots each time. The guys were doing good stops, but pit road was all jumbled up with traffic and it just wouldn't work out for us. The National Guard Ford was decent. It's a backup car. Our primary car was better than that, but that's the way it goes."
A LOT OF CAUTIONS. DID SHORT RUNS HURT YOU? "Not really. We were pretty good on the short run and the long run really."
THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED LOOKED KIND OF HAIRY. "Yeah, it did. I'm not sure if there was contact up there and the guy got the flat tire or what. I saw Junior's tire going down under caution, but I don't know what happened to Mark's tire."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Finished 10th)
"We survived the whole day, but when Stewart spun I somehow got a left-rear flat from that and that put us in the back all day. We were coming up through and the car wasn't handling right, so we gave up our position and worked on the car again. We got up as high as I think 11th at one point and had to go all the way to the back again with Harvick running over my right-front fender on pit road. It was just one of those days where nothing fell into place except for the finish and we're very thankful for that. I saw the 19, the 9 and the 88 had a good day, so a lot of guys right around us in the points we finished with. It's not the day we wanted. We had a top-five car and just never got there because of all the circumstances and all the hurdles we had to overcome."
THE FINISH HELPED YOU OUT WITH MARK AND JUNIOR'S PROBLEM. "Yeah, we got a top-10 out of it. It was a green-white-checkered. I was looking for green to the end, though, when we pitted with 14 laps to go because you've got fresh tires and you want green race track and we didn't get that. We got a lot of yellows."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 Roush Racing Taurus (Finished 12th)
"I thought we had an eighth to 12th-place car and that's pretty much where we ran most of the day. On that big wreck on the front straightaway during the restart, they all got bottled up and I got in the back of Rusty. That got the right-front fender tore off of it and we had to go all the way to the back, but we worked our way up to 12th. We had some help there at the end to finish 12th, but weren't quite as good as I thought we were gonna be, for sure. We can work with that type of car, though. We have some confidence in what we're doing with the bodies and stuff now, so we're gonna take those and keep improving and getting better and better."
FIRST CRACK AT A GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED. YOUR THOUGHTS. "It's gonna be different every week. A green-white-checkered here will look a little different than a green-white-checkered at Richmond. Nobody ran out of fuel, so that was OK. Mark Martin might not like it because he ran the prescribed distance and had a problem, and Earnhardt had a problem. I'm OK with it. There are gonna be winners in it and there are gonna be losers in it. At least nobody ran out of fuel. That was my big concern - that we get in a situation where we went past the limit and run out of fuel and that didn't happen."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"We share all of our information, I don't know what they do over there. They have a great organization over at Hendricks but it would be hard to imagine they have anything better than what we have here. I know those two guys are pretty close, but I can't imagine anything closer than my teammate and I. He's having a great, great season. He had another good points day. He's got himself solidly in the top 10 now, and we're working our way towards there."
"It's great, especially here at Indy. I certainly would like to be over in Victory Lane, but this is a great day for us."
MORE ON HIS SECOND-PLACE FINISH. "Jeff was just too good on the re-starts for us. It just seemed that when his car got hooked up, the front tires gripped a little better on those first couple of corners and I couldn't get to him to get to his bumper, and I could run back to him - I didn't need that last caution. I thought I was gaining a little bit on him. But he had the best car all day. Elliott and I had a great run, great day for Robert Yates racing. Our engines were fantastic, and these are the kind of days we need."
ON THE SUCCESS OF BOTH TEAMS. "The amount of effort that's been put forth by Robert Yates Racing just incredible. I know everybody out here works hard, but I know what happens at Robert Yates Racing. Even though some of the results over the past year and a half haven't shown what we've been doing, I think now we're starting to show that those efforts were worthwhile. These kind of days that we enjoy, that we can give back to Robert and Carolyn and Doug Yates for all of their hard work and money and time that they put into this thing, so we appreciate that."
THIS WAS A BIG DAY. "Yeah, really big. Looking at the points, this is a really good for us. I don't have an idea where everybody else finished, but I know I had to gain on everybody I'm racing because they weren't in front of me. These are the kind of days that we need, and we need badly the next five."
YOU HAD SAID EARLIER YOU NEEDED TO GET IN THE TOP FIVE. THIS IS ALMOST LIKE IT WAS DIAGRAMED ON THE CHALKBOARD, RIGHT? "This is the way we drew it up, and what our plans were. It doesn't always work out that way. We had a good weekend, we knew we had a good car and things worked to our advantage there all day. Elliott and his team helped us a little bit with our set-up, and he helped me by not running over me there at the end. So, these are the kind of days that we really like to have when we see that 88 and 38 up front." THERE WERE MANY CAUTIONS AT THE END. DID THAT HELP OR HURT YOU? "It hurt me. I don't have any idea I could've done anything with him. Elliott was actually better on the re-starts than I was, so he probably would've been better served to be in second trying to get to Jeff, but after about two laps I could start going back to Jeff, but we just didn't have enough time."
MIKE FORD - crew chief, No. 88 UPS Taurus
WHEN DID YOU KNOW IT WAS GOING TO BE A GOOD DAY? "When they put it on the schedule. Dale runs well here and I know if you just give him something he can drive, it's going to be a good day here. I've had success here and feel like I know what it takes to get around here. We've got a really good package, good cars, good motors. We've been working on them all year and getting a little better. To come here and get the best finish of the season, I think there's more to come, we just have to keep working at it."
HE MOVED TO THE FRONT PRETTY QUICKLY TODAY. "We knew from practice yesterday that we needed to work on things a little bit. We made a couple of changes this morning and knew we would be pretty good. We knew we had strategy involved - this two-tire, four-tire, no-tire race track - and we needed to come up with a plan to get to the front and the race car was good so it was easy to do."
MANY RE-STARTS AT THE END - DID THAT HELP OR HURT? "I felt like it hurt us a little bit. I think after a few laps we could run back to the 24 car. We started making a little ground to him. It seemed like the last couple of times we'd get a caution there, I don't really think we needed 'em. I think we would've had a better chance at winning the race without 'em."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Keep It Genuine Taurus
"Some of these guys behind me had four, I had two, I was trying to hold 'em off and came off the corner and more or less slid up in front of the 15, and any other lap probably would've been okay, but he decided not to give me that extra inch and we he did he drove in the back of me, turned me into the wall. It's a shame to tear up the car for racing for 20th spot like."
IT SEEMED LIKE AN UP AND DOWN DAY. "It was bad or worse. It just wasn't good, it never did get good. At one time we were maybe a 20th-place car, that was probably our best shot. That's nothing to brag about. They adjusted and tried to work on it. We gave up track position all day long, trying. You know, that hurt us some. We were giving up all that track position to try to get the chassis dialed in."