WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T) - Finished fifth "The nose tightened up on us a little bit, but we had a big change in the team a couple of weeks ago. Since Frankie (crew chief Stoddard) came on board, we finished 10th at ...
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T) - Finished fifth
"The nose tightened up on us a little bit, but we had a big change in the team a couple of weeks ago. Since Frankie (crew chief Stoddard) came on board, we finished 10th at Talladega and would have finished eighth-12th if we had not gotten wrecked at Charlotte, and we finished fifth here today and had a good car all day.
"I think the track had two grooves today. I know damn well they didn't mean to do that. If you had a good enough car you could run down low or run up high. I think it was a change for the plus. It was a good thing with the two grooves.
"I got to race with Jeff a little bit. I don't know what happened to him there at the end, but at least nobody ran over us today.
"At the end of the last race, I thought if we could have got the car to turn like it did at the first we could have won the race, but right now, I'm concentrating on getting our consistency back. From the crazy mechanical things that have happened.... We've had more mechanical failures the first of this year than we did the four years previous. It was things that were almost unthinkable. Then to go through a spell of going through wrecks and taking the cars back crashed, we just need to get past that part and get our confidence back and work hard. Obviously we made a big change with Frankie coming on board, but he's working out good. He's keeping everybody calm. He's vocal with me. I can't understand him or Bill. My hearing from shooting so much as a kid without ear plugs is shot. I've got to get the volume up on my radio.
"This is a tight little race track. What Clay and them did, grinding the concrete, they probably didn't mean for it to happen but it made a groove at the top and a groove at the bottom. Everybody for the most part used their heads today. It could have been a wreckfest, and I didn't feel like it was. Our car was hooked up at the beginning of the race. It got off a little in the middle, and then we got it back a little at the end, but it wasn't quite as good as it was in the beginning. It was a good day for us. We didn't get wrecked, finished the race and that's what we needed.
"We had a couple of close calls. I couldn't understand a think Frankie was saying, and I can't understand Bill (car owner Davis), either. We've got to get the radio in the car cut up a little bit so I can understand what they're talking about.
"The crew did a great job today. The pit stops were awesome all day. We didn't get wrecked, so we'll take that and go on to next week. We ran in the top five or top 10 all day. With the changes the team has gone through the last few weeks, that's just what the doctor ordered. We lost the nose a little bit. It wasn't turning quite as good in the middle or in the corner. I had 'em tighten the car up, and that made it worse in the middle of the race. Then we got it back at the end of the race, but it wasn't quite as good. That car has got a pretty good track record. It's got the track record at Richmond. It won at Loudon. It likes short tracks, so we've got to build another one like it."
MIKE BLISS (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It was a battle. The car was a little bit tight in, and then it was a little loose, so we just kept fighting it. I got passed with two laps to go, but we ended up 14th, so that's not too bad. This is a good bunch of guys. It was a good car, but we were a little off and never were able to get good track position."
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 07 Kenwood/Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"That's the way I remember Martinsville. Track position meant a lot. I'm not sure if we bent something earlier or what, but the car would never turn in the middle of the corner. We tried everything we could possibly do. We got a little loose up off. We just had to put it back to where it was at the start of the race. It's a tough deal. If you don't hit it right here and get track position you're in trouble. It was very much single-file racing and very hard to pass. That was the best we could do today, and hopefully we'll do better next time. You don't see me panting do you? Any time you make 500 laps it's grueling, but the temperature saved everybody today. It was a nice cool day, perfect for the drivers. I feel good. I could line 'em back up and go again."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We just lost the handle on it. We got up there with good track position one time, but we never got the balance where we needed it. Once we lost the balance it would slide getting in the corner. We got it a lot looser, but it didn't help it getting in and it hurt it getting off."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"What can you say about it? We had a good car all day. We were looking at a top 10 finish, but there's nothing you can do."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"If we had another 50 laps, I think we could have gotten a couple more of them. The car really came in today. It was the best in that last run."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We're chipping away at it. We had our fenders on at the end, and that's good for Martinsville."