STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T) "I think Jeremy had some laps on his left-side tires. One time it looked like he was gaining and another time it looked like he was letting off. Our car was real good on long runs all day.
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I think Jeremy had some laps on his left-side tires. One time it looked like he was gaining and another time it looked like he was letting off. Our car was real good on long runs all day. Tony could beat us pretty good on short runs. We were loose one time and made a little air pressure adjustment and then the car was just great.
"I waved to him (Jerry Nadeau) down the back straightaway. I guess he was looking in the mirror and he never saw me. I tried to wave him off. It kind of surprised me, but luck was on our side. He turned me around and angled me toward pit road. I probably lost five or six seconds getting in the pits.
"I didn't know anything about it until after the race. The tach broke in the car, and I really couldn't tell how fast I was going down pit road. I thought we were going in right, and when we left the pits, somebody came out in front of us. I gauged off them going out.
"Daytona is still a heart breaker for us. We've got a great race team. We rebounded from it. We came to Rockingham last week and Matt Kenseth had the best car on short runs. We had a good car on long runs, and he should have won the race. We got in some oil at the end. My hat's off to all the guys on the crew. I thought this morning we had a fifth or 10th-place car. We said the heck with it, we're going to go for the win. It was really good. We put all our heads together and made some changes on it and it worked out great.
"I guess it was early in the race. It (penalty) wouldn't have helped.
"I think a lot of guys today run the shocks (in qualifying) that hold the car down. It's good, but once the pressure builds up in the tires they lose grip. We run a real conservative shock package compared to some of the guys. Our car was just flawless all day. It was just loose one time. We adjusted the air pressure and that was it.
"You take one race at a time, and that's what you've got to do. We'll take Atlanta next week and if we don't win there, we'll put it behind us and go to Bristol and Darlington. We'll just take one race at a time. Come October and November if we're still on top, it'll be pretty good, but we're just going to take it one race at a time right now.
"By far (it's the best equipment I've ever had). Thanks Chip. Chip knows what it takes to win. He's raced all his life. I was running 15th or 20th two years ago doing all I could do. Dodge came in and really helped us out and Coors Light gave us the money to buy what we needed.
"Last year we had five finishes 32nd on back. We've got a good race team put together and Ernie Elliott and his guys give us great motors. If we can just take it race by race, we'll let the chips fall where they may.".
"It was weird. Sometimes it (tach) worked and sometimes it didn't. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
"It shows we've got a good race team. Everybody is putting forth a bunch of effort. I'm fortunate to be driving Chip's car. I hope we continue to do more and win more.
"We knew we were due. We didn't qualify real good and that had be concerned a little bit, but a lot of guys here run shocks that hold the car down and some guys try to race 'em. We just ran a conservative setup. We weren't real good in Happy Hour. We were good in one practice and decent in the other. We threw our heads together this morning and they changed some stuff and it was flawless just about all day.
"Go back to last year in the last three races and we had two seconds and a fifth. Come to Daytona and ran eighth, Rockingham and ran second and we came here and won. If we can stay that consistent, we'll be in good shape. It shows the strength of this team, and I'm just glad to be driving for 'em.
"Back in '95 with Morgan-McClure, we were pretty consistent, but we weren't a threat to win every week. I guess we could be a threat everywhere except the damn road courses. We're going to give it our all. We're going to test at Watkins Glen and try to get better on the road courses.
"I've thought about that (Dodge $1 million bonus for winning championship team and 2003 Viper for winning driver). It's way too early. We've got a 75-point lead, but that ain't enough."
CHIP GANASSI (Car Owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
"This has always been a great facility for our teams. We had a great test here a couple of weeks ago. I don't know if the team has come together quicker than I thought it would or not. My hat's off to Andy Graves and Tony Glover. I've always said in this business, we had a huge victory here today, but there are a lot of victories within a race team that never make it to the Monday morning sports pages. We were fortunate over the last couple of years to make some nice, solid steps. If we continue to do that, who knows? Like Sterling said, you've got to take this one race at a time. This series rewards consistency. That's what every team is looking for. I heard something about it (15-second penalty). You never know all the facts. It's easy to make a quick call in this business, when a flag does or doesn't come out, it's easy to make a quick call. A lot of times you have to wait until you hear all the facts until you make a bona fide decision. You hear it so often in the sport, but people in the trenches. Our engine program would be one example. Another example would be the guys in the body shop. They tear 'em apart and put 'em back together to try to get that little advantage. They're down there burning that midnight oil while we're sleeping in bed somewhere. It's everybody on the team. Everybody is a part of it winning or losing.
LEE McCALL (Crew chief No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We never considered taking two tires. Those guys who took two tires didn't have anything to lose. There was everything for us to lose. We knew what our car was going to do with four tires."
BOB WILDBERGER (Senior Manager, NASCAR Operations -- Dodge Motorsports)
"It's kind of interesting. Up until the 16th of February, I kept getting all these questions about the sophomore jinx. No one wants to talk about that any more. That's great. Two great teams today that work together. One was on fresher tires, and they kept it clean and brought it home 1-2 for Dodge. That's a huge accolade to Ray Evernham and Jeremy Mayfield, as well as Chip Ganassi and Sterling Marlin. We also had Bill Elliott and Jimmy Spencer in the top 10 today.
"Sometimes you have to make your own luck. Sterling could have won all three races this year, but he kept knocking on the door and he got through it today. That last caution made me as nervous as a kitten. We figured out about mid last year and we started getting better on restarts. You just don't know what's going to happen coming off a caution.
"It's a tribute to all the teams working together to be leading the manufacturers standings. It says we've been very blessed with having some very great racers. That's chemistry and depth of the program. When someone is having a bad day, someone else is up front.
"I sure hope we give away that million dollar bonus. That would be the best investment we've ever made. I understand Sterling is thinking about what color (Viper) he wants. I think Ward has picked black. Sterling hasn't told me yet. I think he'd be smart if he let his wife Paula pick out the color."