Indianapolis: Race quotes

MARK MARTIN (No. 6 Viagra Ford): "I just wanted to have a chance, and we did. It was a great effort by the Viagra team, and we ran awfully good. We ran good today, but unfortunately things set us back. I'm awfully proud of this team. They put...

MARK MARTIN (No. 6 Viagra Ford): "I just wanted to have a chance, and we did. It was a great effort by the Viagra team, and we ran awfully good. We ran good today, but unfortunately things set us back. I'm awfully proud of this team. They put their hearts in this stuff. They give me great race cars, especially today and last week and every week. We've just had a little bad luck."

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet): "I blew a left front tire. I finished in the back." (About his physical condition): "I'm fine. I still have got some open wounds that ain't healed yet. They hurt some, but when I sit down, I'll be all right." (About the end of the race): "That's unfortunate, man. We had a good car. We fought hard all day. It's tough. Tough sometimes running in this circus." (About going the distance for the first time since accident. Does it feel good?): "No, it don't. My damn left front tire blew out. I had a sixth-place finish. I'm pissed off about it." (Were you in the running all day long?): "No, we weren't. We were kind of a top-10 car. We got a little bit better at the end. I was pretty happy about that. It's just that left front tire blowing out really upsets you there, coming there that close to the end."

JIMMY SPENCER (No. 4 Featherlite Trailers Chevrolet): "Not bad. We had a fuel problem or something that messed us up. We just didn't have the straightaway speed. We had a top-10 car and ended up 18th."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 91 Visteon Dodge): "Well, that was a good day. I was proud where we ended up. You know, the bad thing about it, the green-white-checkered, it's good for the fans, but it's bad for the competitors because they're the ones that end of paying in the end." (On his 'developmental' car): "Well, they went well. We finished. We had a decent day, just fought a few things, but we're going to continue to work on it and try to get better."

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge): "There were a lot of people having cut tires. Let's put it that way. I guess they was just running over stuff and cutting tires down."

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 32 Tide Chevrolet): "It was not very eventful for us. It was very, very frustrating. I don't know what was causing the cut tires. We had one, but I don't know what the problem was. There's not a clear indication of it. In practice, there were a few cars with problems. I know the 19 cut one down yesterday, but it certainly was an issue today."

CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge): "We just didn't have a good day. Our left front went down under caution, so I don't know what happened, to be honest. We just had a bad day. The thing didn't handle very good, and then there at the end, we were riding along under caution and getting ready for the restart and the left front tire was flat. So we had to come in right before that restart and just lost a bunch of spots."

JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge): "We struggled there at the beginning. Made some incredible changes to our car. I'm shocked we ended up where we did. But overall, good day. We fell back to like 38th at one point in the race, and we just kept adjusting on it. Track position worked a little bit to our favor. Pretty good finish."

ROBBY GORDON (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet): "It's not working. Whatever we got to do, we've got to change something different about it. The key is, we're fast. We build cars for when we come here for Indy or when we come here for here. We had a shot at winning, and that's the key. We'll be back next year. Disappointed, obviously. We had a really good race car. To come from 20th up to third, we might have had something for them. We'll never know. (About tire problems): "To get the car to turn, you're running over these rumble strips, and maybe those little spikes in the rumble strips are cutting tires. I don't know exactly what the problem is. Goodyear normally makes pretty good tires."

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 38 M&M's Ford): "We had a great race car. Track condition was everything. I was just a little tight behind my teammate. I didn't really get the run on him that I needed. Great run both for both of us. We finished second and third. This shows really how hard this team has been working. It's come a long way in twelve months. It's great to race your teammate like that for the top five, it's pretty cool." (Did you feel if you had a draft you could have gotten around your teammate?): "I wanted to get around him bad, just to get a shot at No. 24. It was just on one of those deals where it got a little bit loose on that one run and lost our track position, came back and finished third. I'm really proud of my guys; they really got the job done." (How did this work out with your qualifying effort?): "It was great. I think any time you come to Indy and run as good as we just ran to finish third and run in the top three and four all day long, it says a lot about our race team. Says a lot about our character and having a teammate like that and great for the full Robert Yates organization. One car was better than our teams today. That was Jeff Gordon. I've got to say my congratulations to Jeff Gordon. But I'm really, really proud of my race team right now."

DALE JARRETT (No. 88 UPS Ford): "We had hoped we could get one more victory here. Jeff is stringing along a lot of victories here. He did a great job. These guys worked really hard. I have to thank my teammate for not running over me when I cut him off there the last four or five laps. He could have easily knocked me out of the way. We both had good runs. We got the Robert Yates cars up in the top three. Certainly, we'd like to win. This is a great place to race. It knew Jeff was awful good on the restarts. He could get away; it looked like his car hooked up a little better. No matter how much I tried to get my tires heated up, I just couldn't get going those first couple corners, and he could get away from me there.

TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet): "All day long, we were battling and battling. (What about the spin?): "It was a spin."

MATT KENSETH (No. 17 Smirnoff Ice/DeWalt Ford): "They had cars out there running slow, or whatever. There was brake rotor all over the track. We hit it hard enough we knocked the front clip off our car. When something hits that hard and it hit on the right front, it went straight to the wall and I just assumed we had a flat tire and if I continued around the track WITH a flat, we would've lost a lap so I just came down pit road and did the safe thing. Even if we would've stayed out, it was bent up enough we wouldn't have held on to second. We wouldn't have finished any better than we did." (did he think he could move on Gordon?): "I think we would have gotten there but getting there and passing are way too different things. We were about a tenth better than he was on a long run but that's not usually enough to get around someone. So I think we could've gotten there and made a race out of it if it had stayed green but I don't know if we could have beaten him or not. He was pretty good all day."

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge): "I really like this place. I enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to race all day. I moved around, you can go top or bottom (in the corners). Evernham engines ran awesome, and everything felt good. We just needed a little bit better through the center of the corner." (Do you think you need the experience here to do well?): "Yeah, I think the experience really helps. Having a great race car like we had to day also helps, too. Tommy Baldwin and are whole Dodge Dealers team gave us a great car." (How much of a boost is it for you to come here and have this type of performance and make a big gain in the points like you did?): "I'm not sure about the gain we made, but hopefully it's pretty good. It's a good boost; we had a great car, Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge was fast. Tommy and the guys made great changes and great pit stops to get us back in there after we had a left front (tire) go down. It kind of destroyed the right side of the car." (How much anxiety was there knowing that this would go into overtime, so to speak?): "It was a little bit. Junior started there at the end and had to try to hold him off on the outside between (turn) 1 and 2. It actually worked out pretty well for us. So we got a good boost down the backstretch and ended up in fourth." (How do you feel that you got your first Brickyard 400 under your belt?): "To finally get here and to race in the top five is sure a great day for us. I just wish we wouldn't have had that tire go down. But that's racing."

GREG BIFFLE (No. 16 National Guard Ford): "It was a good run for the National Guard Ford. You know, sixth. I had to come from the back. I started 35th. Long day for us, coming from the back. We fought back, got track position all day, and it was a good run for us. It was a pretty good day. I'll tell you, it was a little bit tight all day. I wish I could get it to turn a little bit better. But it wasn't a bad day. I felt bad for Dale Jr. He got a flat tire there at the end. I saw it was flat right before we went back to green. Tough break, but great run for the National Guard car. The guys did a fantastic job in the pits."

JEFF GREEN (No. 43 General Mills/Boxtops for Education Dodge): "Ordinary Indianapolis. You push up off a corner, and try to make your car turn up off a corner better than everybody else, and traffic makes it worse. We were in the middle of traffic there. Started 14th. Ended 14th. Never really got any better than that. The last set of tires were our best set. We just ran out of time. We had too many cautions there with 10 or 15 laps to go to make any time up. It was a good day for our Cheerios Dodge. Anytime you finish in the top 15, it's pretty good."

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge): "I'll tell you what, my crew worked their butts off all day long. I got in a wreck, and they did a really great job. They got me in and out of the pits. But more importantly, when I got in the wreck, they kept working, they kept hammering, they kept jacking, they kept fixing. They showed that we might be 50th in points. but we're not a 50th-place team."

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet): "Finished 15th." (Anything good?): "No, not really. We just didn't hit the right combination today."

KEN SCHRADER (No. 49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge): "We started out real bad, and we kept getting the car better and better. We never got it quite where we wanted it. We got it good enough where we could hang on and be up there when something happened to try to take advantage of it. So we wound up 19th, so we'll take it."

DAVE BLANEY (No. 30 America Online Chevrolet): "The car ran great. I couldn't ask for a better-handling race car. The guys did great with it. We just got a penalty on pit road, and we lost a lap, and then had a flat left front and lost a lap, so we were just playing catch up all day. We could never get back up to the front."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Robert Yates , Tommy Baldwin