Phoenix: Pontiac race quotes

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: ON HIS ENGINE FAILURE: "Something just came out of the bottom on it. It sputtered one time on the back straightaway and then something broke on the bottom end. I don't know what it...

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

ON HIS ENGINE FAILURE: "Something just came out of the bottom on it. It sputtered one time on the back straightaway and then something broke on the bottom end. I don't know what it could have been. There were a couple things it could have been. Anyway, it just broke. That's the way it goes."

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

"We had a great car. We did the best we could with what we had. The second run from the end there we got a set of tires on there that got really free. We went and came back in on a pit stop, put the change back, put another set of tires on and got a little bit too tight.

"But, we made some big changes yesterday. We didn't have as good a car yesterday as we did today, so I'm really proud of the guys. We made a big change on it and the car responded. It was a lot better race car today than yesterday and we're just one week closer now."

"We were just an eighth-place car today. That's all we had. It wasn't because we weren't trying. That was just all the faster we could go."

ON HAVING HOMESTEAD LEFT AS THE PLACE TO POSSIBLY CLINCH THE CHAMPIONSHIP: "I want to win that thing. We went and tested this past week there and we were fastest in testing. I feel like we can win that race. We've dominated there in the past and I think it's time we get our crown back there."

CAN YOU SEE THE CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY A LITTLE MORE CLEARLY NOW?: "Nope - don't want to talk about it even. I think we can win the race at Homestead next week and that is the way I want to finish my year out."

GREG ZIPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

"We had a much better car than that. We kind of progressed through the day to have a good, top-five car. But, that one stop we put a set of tires on it and the thing was so loose that we went from second back to seventh or eighth. The caution came out - probably a good thing - and we put tires on it and had to tighten it up because we didn't know what the circumstances were. We couldn't take a chance and, sure enough, that was the tightest it was all day - at the end. We just got thrown for curve there a little bit towards the end. We ran better all day than where we finished.

"Mark [Martin] ran good and did what he had to do, but it's still close. It's going to come down to both of us running good at Homestead and seeing where we end up."

DO YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE NOW?: "You can stand in my shoes if you want. I won't feel comfortable until (next) Sunday night. 89 points is just not a guarantee. If we go down and run as good as we tested there, we should have a strong, top-five car. But, it (the points lead) is not enough to have a problem. There is not enough of a points gap, so we've just got to go down, stay out of trouble and just race hard and clean next week."

WERE YOU NERVOUS WHEN THE '18' LOST AN ENGINE? "Yeah, but I believe they are working on some future stuff right now, so we wanted to get some laps on it. I'm not sure exactly why it broke. But, we're not taking any of those chances right now."

HOW DID TONY HANDLE THINGS TODAY? "He did a great job. We finished eighth. It wasn't terrible. We had to finish 11th or better if [Mark] won, so we did better than (we had to). We could have done better than we did. Most of the day, I really thought we were going to end up in the top-five. But, it didn't work out that way."

ON THE TEST AT HOMESTEAD LAST WEEK "We just went down for two days, had some fun and played with two different cars and the car we've run probably 10 times this year - the '51' car (chassis No. 51). We ran it at Atlanta, Charlotte - a bunch of them places. It's just been a solid race car. He's real comfortable in it and that car ran really well again when we were in Homestead testing. We were probably the best we'd ever been there testing. We've tested there every year, so we've got a lot of stuff to look back. There were a lot of other cars there that were good. I heard Mark tested pretty good.

"It's a place he loves. It's a place our cars seem to run well at and hopefully we can go down there and have a good, strong run.

"We've got to just go out run in the top five, top 10 next week and it (the championship) is ours."

-pontiac-

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Series NASCAR Cup