MIKE WALLACE, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: WHAT HAPPENED? "We cut a right front tire down getting off of two under wide open throttle, and just went up and hit the wall. I'm sorry for Brett [Bodine] because he had nothing to do with the...
MIKE WALLACE, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WHAT HAPPENED? "We cut a right front tire down getting off of two under wide open throttle, and just went up and hit the wall. I'm sorry for Brett [Bodine] because he had nothing to do with the wreck. He was behind it. When I hit the outside wall, it came back across and caught him, so it's really a shame for us and a shame for him."
WAS THE HEAT A FACTOR? "No, I don't think so. Nobody else has cut a tire down, yet. We're the only car that has done it. Unfortunately, it happened to us.
"I don't know if it would have been better coming off the corner or getting into the corner - probably coming off. But, we were under wide open throttle, so it hit awful hard."
YOU WERE THE FIRST TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE 'SAFER' BARRIER...YOUR THOUGHTS? "If I did hit the barrier - I wasn't sure if I hit the barrier or the concrete wall - I guess I'm glad I hit that because it hit a ton just then, so I'm glad it was there."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WHAT ENDED YOUR DAY? "It broke. I'm not sure why. We felt like we were losing power as we got going (after the pit road incident with Jeremy Mayfield) because I thought we were pretty good at the beginning and running okay. But all of a sudden they were just killing us on the straightaway, although it sounded okay. We kept working and working, but eventually then, it just broke."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"It wasn't bad. It started out pretty good. We just never had track position all day. We got the position we finished - 11th - and that's probably about as high as we were going to go. With track position we might have been a little bit better, but I can't say that."
WAS AERO A BIG DEAL AGAIN TODAY? "Yep. Aero was a big deal. The car was tight and loose all day, and we fought that. That was about all we got."
FOR THE SECOND WEEK IN A ROW, YOU'VE KNOCKED ON THE DOOR FOR A TOP 10... "Hey, we've got to shoot for something."
GREG ZIPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
HOW GOOD WAS YOUR CAR TODAY? "I don't know. Early on, it looked like it was a first or second place car. I don't know what happened. Our car just seemed to go away. It got tighter and tighter, frustration set in and it was all over from there. I don't know. We surely had at least a fourth place car all day. I don't know what happened at the end, other than - like I said - frustration set in. We've dealt with that enough to know our circumstances and instead of coming out of here fourth or fifth, we come out of here 12th. It's just too bad. Everybody on the Home Depot Pontiac worked hard. We had a good car. The motor department did a phenomenal job. That is, by far, the best motor we've ever had. They gave us something new this week and it lasted all day. I couldn't ask any more of them.
KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 PEDIGREE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
ON POSTING HIS BEST FINISH OF THE 2002 SEASON "Well, we got what we deserved, I think. This is our best finish of the year and it is the best we've run all year. We pretty much had a 14th place car. We had to inherit some of those spots. But, that is because our stuff ran all day and that's better than stuff that doesn't."
HOW ABOUT THE HEAT TODAY? "I'm not going to complain. This job pays pretty good."
JOE GIBBS, TEAM OWNER, JOE GIBBS RACING:
WHAT HAPPENED TO TONY'S CAR IN THE CLOSING LAPS OF THE RACE? "To tell you truth, we haven't talked to Tony and really, I think he was so upset. We're not sure what happened. But, our car really just went away from us badly in the last 10 or 12 laps or so, and we fell a bunch of spots. It was a real disappointment for all of us."
HOW ABOUT THE RUN UP UNTIL THEN? "The run up to then was great. I thought Tony fought his guts out. Our pit crew did. Hey, we gave it our best shot. I thought we had a chance to win and I know it's a bitter disappointment for everybody, including Tony. This is the number one place he wants to try and win a race, and I thought we had a chance today. But, hey, some other people were better today. That's all."
WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR TONY TO FACE THE MEDIA WHEN THINGS DON'T GO WELL? "I don't know. I've never been a great athlete, but I would say this is probably the number one place that he wants to win a race. It's a bitter disappointment and I think when you get him in that situation, it is hard for him to even talk. Sometimes I think he says things that he wished he hadn't have said, and so, to be truthful, we've kind of tried to say, 'Hey, Tony, the best to do might be to not say anything.' Maybe, partially, some of that is our fault."
DOES IT MEAN TOO MUCH TO HIM HERE? "It's hard for me to say because, like I said, I was never a great athlete. I've been around terrific athletes my whole life and I've seen some of them with such a burning desire to win. That's the passion that they have, so that is probably a hard one for me to answer."