STACY COMPTON, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: CONSIDERING YOU WERE UNDER THE WEATHER, THIS MUST HAVE BEEN A TOUGH DAY FOR YOU... "My hat's off to the guys on this Conseco Pontiac again. We had a good race car. We probably had a little bit...
STACY COMPTON, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
CONSIDERING YOU WERE UNDER THE WEATHER, THIS MUST HAVE BEEN A TOUGH DAY FOR YOU...
"My hat's off to the guys on this Conseco Pontiac again. We had a good race car. We probably had a little bit better car than 18th, but the driver probably gave up just a little bit. I had food poisoning the last couple days and knew it was going to be a long day. The blower hose came off about 200 laps in and I probably gave up a little bit with about 100 to go.
"I'm awfully proud of the guys. They've done a great job the last four or five weeks. We're digging ourselves out of this hole. I'm proud of what they're doing. We'll keep digging. We're going to keep getting better each week."
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE INCIDENT WITH JOHNNY BENSON?
"I couldn't tell. I hate it, because Johnny and I are pretty good buddies. I got inside of Johnny and I guess he got loose, came down and got into the side of me. When we got down to the corner (in three), we were both sliding wide open by then. Both of us got in the corner and got crossed up. I'm glad both of us ended up finishing on the lead lap.
"But, it was a good day for us. And, congratulations to Bobby Labonte. I'm glad to see a Pontiac win."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We had the best car out here all day and we gave it away. I was right with Greg on the call to come in and take two and nobody else came and then we got screwed by everybody else staying out. But we had the best car all day."
GREG ZIPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
ON MAKING THE DECISION TO PIT AT THE END
"We committed down pit road, but if we weren't going to beat everybody off that we were going to race with we should have just stayed out. That was our mistake. Two tires weren't going to do us any good. We come down pit road and only three cars follow us, you're an idiot if you don't put four tires on at that point. I was an idiot for coming in. I wasn't going to be an idiot twice in a matter of 15 seconds.
"I figured that everybody would probably come in and put two on again. Everybody had been stopping every 30 or 40 laps. I figured that half would come and half wouldn't and that we'd be okay because our car was so good that we could race back up there. We got the caution when we needed it. We just didn't need that last one.
"It takes a couple of laps to clean the tires off and get going again. We needed that second to last caution to bunch everybody back up. We didn't need that last one. Some days you win, some days you lose, I guess. I'll take the blame for it. We gave a couple other people a top-five finish. Merry Christmas to them."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
COMMENTS FROM VICTORY LANE...
"It means a whole lot. These guys worked real hard. We had a good car yesterday. We didn't qualify that good. I never pick up anything qualifying anymore, for whatever reason. But, these guys did a great job in the pits today. We made some adjustments. Yesterday the car was good, but it wasn't good enough. We made all the adjustments we could this morning to it, worked on it a little bit during the race, got track position, and two-tired them, two-tired them and then no-tired them. That's what it takes, and then we held them off at the end. The car was just good on the forward bite there the last two-thirds of the day and that was what helped out."
WAS THERE ANY QUESTION THAT YOU WOULD NOT TAKE ANY TIRES ON THE LAST STOP?
"I didn't think we should. I figured there was going to be a caution or two. There always is, notoriously, and luckily, we just weren't one of them like we sometimes are. I thought we'd just stay out. Tony [Stewart] pitted and he came back to [third], but I figured my best chance was to stay out and just try that."
WHAT WAS THE KEY TO THE RACE FOR YOU?
"Just track position. I'm never to push anybody out of the way like I've seen other guys do, so I figured if I was up front I probably had a better shot at it than being behind somebody. It's hard to pass on this track, so being up front helped."
WILL THIS HELP TURN THINGS AROUND FOR THE TEAM?
"I hope so. You can get really down in this deal and it really affects you a lot. I can't say that it hasn't because it has. We've just plain-out sucked a lot the last year and a half or so, so this is great to win on a track that we're not usually accustomed to running good at or even having a really legitimate shot at winning. It's become our better tracks, all of a sudden - the short tracks have this year."