CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Scotts Taurus (Finished 38th) "I drove down in the corner and something in the steering - from that tire that was flat earlier or something - something was locked up because when I turned the wheel the steering was locked. ...
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Scotts Taurus (Finished 38th)
"I drove down in the corner and something in the steering - from that tire that was flat earlier or something - something was locked up because when I turned the wheel the steering was locked. I couldn't turn it either way, so I just spun it around. I was sitting there and a couple seconds later the 66 drove right into me. I can't believe he drove right into me, but that's just bad luck. It wasn't just a spin. There's something wrong with the steering. I feel terrible. These guys have worked really hard. Our day was going perfect. It was the way we planned it by just trying to stay out of trouble, but there was nothing I could do about that."
HERMIE SADLER - No. 66 Peak Fitness Taurus (Finished 37th)
"We had a problem with our car to start the race. I don't know if we had a broken shock or maybe a chain hanging up on the rear end or something. We had a good car yesterday, but the race car was just bouncing all around today. I apologize to the 99. He spun out but by the time I heard he was there it was too late for me to stop, so I apologize to those guys for making their day worse. It sure has been a tough couple of weeks for us. We'll keep working and keep digging and, hopefully, things will go our way. We just seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, so we'll keep working and hope things will change for us."
HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK? "This really hurts us. We've only got a few cars and not many people. It's bad enough not to run good, but to tear your cars up makes it that much worse. We definitely have our work cut out for us, but the guys are working hard. They've got good attitudes and you just think eventually things will go our way a little bit. You try to do the right thing and do it the right way and it's been a struggle for us, but we'll keep digging."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"Oh man, I just want to thank Pat and everybody here on this Viagra team. I thought I had a chance to win it there with 50 to go. We gave it everything we had. Jeff was just too strong for us. We fought hard. We burned up the front brakes trying to beat Jeff there. We were so close to winning the thing, but I'm just thrilled to run third. What an awesome day. It is such a privilege to drive for these guys in my last year of Cup racing. It's really a privilege and an honor."
ANY CONCERN ON THE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS? "I looked at that as a bad opportunity, really, to be honest with you. We were getting ready to try to make a run back at Kasey Kahne. I had my brakes back, but only bad things probably could have happened on that restart. But, heck, you never know, maybe the top two tangle or something, so we took every opportunity to try to maximize our position today and it was a fantastic effort by this team. I'm so honored to work with these guys and I just want to thank everybody else."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Crown Royal Taurus (Finished 19th)
WHAT HAPPENED WITH JEFF? "We've had three good runs this year and then three bad runs back to back to back. We just had a good car today and towards the end it was a shame. I'm disappointed. It was our first race for Crown Royal in a points race and we just ran out of patience again with another Hendrick car. It's a shame. We shouldn't have finished 19th today, but that's the way it goes. We'll bounce back from it and I'm just disappointed for Crown Royal."
WHAT ABOUT THE RUBBING AFTER THAT? "That was just showing my displeasure."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 9th)
"Mission accomplished. To come to a couple of short tracks and get a top 10 and a top 5, especially at Martinsville. It was a great job. I'm out of breath because I drove so hard there at the end, but it was job well done. Now we get to go and do some real racing at Texas."
WHAT WAS THE KEY TO YOUR DAY TODAY? "We just stayed out of trouble and tried to maintain track position. We made a few gambles here and there and just had great calls in the pits. I mean, we had some great calls in the pits."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 14th)
"We just couldn't ever get the car exactly right. We tried to make a pretty big adjustment there one time and obviously it wasn't the right way to go. I got so loose. I'm not sure if I cut a left-rear tire down then or if it was just that loose, but I spun out and then I couldn't get it cranked. That got us behind and then we just had to play catch-up from there. We fought and fought, but just couldn't get it through the center as good as what we needed to. That was the whole key. We just couldn't keep enough speed going there, but, all in all, it was a reasonable day. We could have come out of here a lot worse so we'll take it."
YOU GUYS HAVEN'T HIT YOUR STRIDE YET, BUT YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN POINTS? "Yeah. We know we haven't done our best yet, so knowing that we feel pretty good about it."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Finished 7th) -
"It's a good relief. The team has had good cars just like this all year, but we just are kind of a freak deal. I've never experienced anything like it before. You just put it behind you and just don't think about it and run your own program and that's what we did today. We might have risked a few more things had we not been in this predicament. I think we had a little bit better car than what we finished, but it didn't work out. We probably had a third-place car and we finished seventh or something."
TOP 35 IS A BIG RELIEF NOW, RIGHT? "It doesn't sound like a big accomplishment but it is because it frees up the opportunity to go work on race setup."
IS THIS THE KIND OF RACE YOU'VE EXPECTED ALL YEAR? "We've had a solid car all year. Atlanta was gonna be a top-three and just didn't get the end result. We had a freak part break on us, but the car has been this good all year. We qualify poorly. You say, 'Why would you do that?' Well, we work on race setup. When you're a single-car operation we don't get the test days like the multi-car teams do, so we roll into an event we have to take every bit of advantage of the track time. These other guys, if they didn't test, one of their four or five cars did test. So we sacrifice qualifying on purpose and now by being in the top 35 that will allow us to continue to do that. But because of that, when we wrecked on lap five and six, you don't know how good the car is because these people never get a chance to see it run."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE THIS WEEK? "It really wasn't any different than any other Martinsville we've come to, other than the fact that knowing when we qualify - usually you want to get real aggressive with this race track - and I could not allow myself to do that. Being aggressive is OK, but one little slip up, which is very easy to do at Martinsville, you don't get a time in. Normally, you would go back and use a provisional, but we didn't have that luxury this week, so it sort of affected our qualifying performance. It didn't affect our racing performance."
HOW DID YOU AVOID EVERYTHING TODAY? "I was sort of in a couple where they were spinning around and I just kind of came through. The waters just sort of parted for us and it was just luck. It wasn't that we did anything different today."
IF YOU WERE SOLID IN POINTS WOULD YOU HAVE TAKEN SOME CHANCES WITH 10-12 TO GO? "We might have been a little more aggressive on the setup. The car was not perfect. It was pushing, especially for the first 20-30 laps after a restart. It was too tight. Normally we would have said, 'Let's free it up and take our chances.' But we couldn't do that today. We had a good, solid car and just couldn't take that chance. We had a better car than what we finished. Our car was really racy from lap 30 on, but, unfortunately, we didn't get those type of runs."