MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd) "The Viagra Taurus was something. I told Ben (Leslie) I just wanted to see the front at the end of the race and, boy, we could. They made the car better all day and it was pretty good to start...
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"The Viagra Taurus was something. I told Ben (Leslie) I just wanted to see the front at the end of the race and, boy, we could. They made the car better all day and it was pretty good to start with and it got better and better. I'm awfully proud of Ben and those guys."
DID THE RACE STRATEGY HELP OR HURT YOU? "It didn't hurt us. We were the strongest we were all day at the end and that was good. That felt like the old days, but we weren't bad all day. The car was real good on long runs, but we've still got some work to do. I believe we can be better. Maybe it will be next week, maybe in a month, maybe in three months, but this team has the potential to get there."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR RACE TODAY? "I told Ben after the race that we can win from here. The car wasn't good enough to win with today, but we were pretty good and made it the best it was at the end. Ben and Bruce Hayes and the guys that work on this team did a great job. I think we can get there from here, I really do. I think we've got the people and the stuff and I don't think you've seen the best of us yet. I'm just proud of this team."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 4th)
"We had a good race car all day. The ALLTEL Ford ran really great. We had great pit stops by the guy. That one two-tire stop got us some good track position and we got out front again. It was just a really great race for us. We ran 34th, I think last year here, and to come back fourth is one heck of an improvement. That just goes to a lot of hard work by the whole group."
YOU SEEMED STUCK IN THIRD TO FIFTH PLACE. "I would have liked to have seen it go green at the end there when we had about 65 to go. It looked like we were pretty good on that run. Stewart and Marlin were starting to drop back a little bit, but I'm just happy to come home with a top five. This puts us in a No Bull position for the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte and it's another good finish for us in points."
WAS IT GOOD TO EXPERIENCE ALL OF THAT RACE STRATEGY AT THE END? "It was good to see a finish under green. It's good to be able to race. Track position here is so important. You get that dreaded aero factor when you get in with a bunch of cars and it's good to be able to come home in fourth."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 9th)
"It was OK. We had something wrong with the engine. It never ran very well and it didn't run near as well as it did yesterday. That hurt us on our speed. I think we probably got lucky that we finished because it was pushing water out and it lost vacuum, so that's never a good sign. We probably got lucky. The car drove really nice at times and at other times it didn't. We weren't any good in traffic. When we were in traffic we'd lose a lot of speed. There at the end, fighting those lapped cars is crazy but they're racing for their position too. It's just tough. Everybody is trying to get all they can get and I don't blame them. They've got to race hard too, but it's just frustrating when you're on the lead lap and have to race those guys."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 7th)
"We got fortunate there at the end. We were in a position that we didn't really have anything to lose so we came in and got some tires. They made some adjustments on the car, but the tires made the difference. Those guys couldn't go on theirs and we made up some spots. We weren't bad, but we just weren't good on fresh tires. We just couldn't go. It seemed like late in the run we were really good, but I just couldn't get after the car the way I needed to and everytime we tried to tighten it up, we'd hurt in the center of the corner. We never got it exactly right, but at least we salvaged something from it."
DESPITE STRUGGLING YOU STILL HAD A TOP 10 FINISH. "We'll just continue to work and we're only gonna get better. When you take a day that you start way back and towards the end it looks like you're not gonna finish with a top 10 finish and end up seventh, you've got to be pretty happy about that."
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 18th)
"We just had a bad couple of runs there and lost our track position. We were back and forth. We would run good for a while and then we'd struggle for a while. Finally, I was just trying too hard on a restart and clipped the wall out of two. That knocked the front end out and we just had to ride around. I felt like we just had a couple bad runs that put us back and we could never catch up. Overall, most of the race we ran well but those two bad runs killed us."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 20th)
"We had a great car today and gave it an awesome run. Unfortunately, we had an electrical failure which led to the demise of our strong run."
JOE NEMECHEK --26-- Haas Carter Motorsports Taurus (Finished 19th)
"We had a rocket for a little while. It was loose early on, but tightened up as we went on. I'm not sure if we dropped a piston or broke a valve spring, but towards the end it was just dead on acceleration."
TODD BODINE --66-- Checker Auto Parts Taurus (Finished 29th)
"Luck wasn't on our side today. We got caught coming off pit road when that caution came out and it really threw us. The handling got a little unpredictable. We either were loose in and tight off or tight in and loose off -- it would change every lap. We kept working the track bar and air pressure and it got better, but we were never able to make up the early loss."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 28th)
"We just missed it at the beginning and got behind. That's what happens when you start so far behind. We've got to get better in qualifying because that's what put us there. The yellows killed us both times. They were eight or nine laps too late, but we had to try and to that. The first one killed us with track position as far as getting us a lap down and we couldn't make it up from there. It was just a tough day, but we got the car pretty good, so I was pretty happy about that."