KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) Finished 7th YOU LED 41 LAPS TODAY, HOW GOOD WAS YOUR CAR? "It was real good. I'm not sure how good Carl (Edwards) was at the end, but our Budweiser Dodge Charger was definitely a second- or...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) Finished 7th
YOU LED 41 LAPS TODAY, HOW GOOD WAS YOUR CAR? "It was real good. I'm not sure how good Carl (Edwards) was at the end, but our Budweiser Dodge Charger was definitely a second- or third-place car. Carl had the best car today, but we weren't far off of him. With a little more luck with the cautions, we probably had the car to beat."
WHAT WAS THE STRATEGY TO PIT JUST PRIOR TO THE RED FLAG? "We were going for the win. If it keeps on raining, we win. It didn't and we got seventh. We took a chance and it just didn't work out like we wanted it to. We still got a top-10 and had one of the best cars out there today."
YOU MOVED UP TWO SPOTS IN DRIVER POINTS TO SEVENTH TODAY; HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO FINISH WELL HERE WITH ONLY FIVE RACES REMAINING UNTIL THE CHASE? "It was really important. The best way for us to make the Chase is to remain consistent with our racecar each and every race. It's a tough battle right now. For us to come here and gain two positions in the Chase is a credit to Kenny (Francis, Team Director) and all the guys that work on this Budweiser Dodge. There's still a lot of racing left, but today was a good day for Gillett Evernham and all the guys that work on our team."
KENNY FRANCIS (Team Director, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
HOW GOOD WAS YOUR BUDWEISER DODGE CHARGER TODAY? "We had a good racecar today, just not as good as the 99...probably a second-place car. I got a little messed up on the strategy call when we decided not to pit and take track position before the red flag. So we were a little fortunate to come out of here with a seventh-place finish. In the end, we moved up to ninth and then a couple guys ran out of gas, so we'll take the seventh-place finish. It was a good day for us in the point's race and Kasey (Kahne) drove a great race. Considering where we are at in the Race to the Chase, to come out of here with a top-10 is great."
HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU NOT TO PIT UNDER YELLOW ON LAP 129? "You never know what's going to happen, so I decided not to pit. I figured that half the field was going to pit and the other half would stay out. Track position here is really important and we really weren't at our fuel window where we could make it to the finish on one more stop. We only had six or seven laps on our tires, so we knew that we were OK."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 AVIS Dodge Charger) Finished 14th
"Strategy was important, but our Avis Dodge was disappointing. It would not go (didn't have good power) down the straightaways. You're not going to win races like that. It's disappointing."
CHAD MCCUMBEE (No. 45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge Charger) Finished 17th
"Stewart (Cooper, crew chief) made the right call there at the end. We struggled at the start. We weren't really that bad. We had a brake issue at the start of the race and may have been on our splitter a little bit. We struggled through that and a pit sequence and got a lap down. When you're in a position like that, all you can do is ride and wait it out. We got the lucky dog and got back on the lead lap. The last two adjustments were the best two we had all day. We picked up some spots there at the end which I think we earned."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) Finished 26th
YOU RAN A LOT BETTER THAN WHAT YOU FINISHED. "Yeah, we sure did. I'm real happy with the Mobil 1 Dodge and all the guys that work on it. We had good pit stops today. The car was good and we had a top-15 car if not better than that. I'm just real happy with the progress that we've made since we were here last time. It seems like things are kind of starting to come together for us. We need to keep this consistency up of having top-15 cars and then we're going to start finishing there a lot more often. You obviously want more out of it but just real happy with the guys and everything that they've done and the progress that we've had since last time."
RODNEY CHILDERS (Team Director, No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger) Finished 27th
"The Best Buy Dodge fought a tough handling condition almost the whole race - we were loose, then tight and back and forth all day. We tried to gamble a little bit on pit stops to make up track position, but we came up short on gas right there at the end. It's disappointing because we were in the top-20 with less than five laps to go, but we'll go back to the shop and get ready for Watkins Glen next and give it our best."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 10 Charter Dodge Charger) Finished 32nd
"Our car was too loose all day and we could never get it tightened up. If you're off, it just near impossible to fix it during the race. We kept adjusting and trying too, but just couldn't tighten it up. We also had a brake issue and had a problem on the last pit stop and lost seven spots. We should have finished seven spots better than where we did. This was tough for us. I hadn't driven their car before. Because of the rain Saturday, we didn't have an opportunity to work on the race setup."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger) Finished 33rd
"We fought a loose racecar and got a little messed up with some pit strategy. We pitted and when the rain came, we didn't pit and eventually had to pit under green two more times which just screwed up our track position. Once you lose track position here, it's really tough to get it back and the yellows (caution flags) just didn't fall when we needed them today."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Menards/John Manville Dodge Charger) Finished 37th
"We missed it on setup and got ourselves lapped and on a pit adjustment, the leader beat us another lap. We lost two and never got a chance to get them back. I don't know if it would have made any difference if we had gotten the laps back. Thank God we have a road course coming up next week so we can get some momentum back with this race team."
BRIAN PATTIE (Crew-Chief, No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) Finished 40th
"Our day started off bad when we burned up the number five spark plug wire. We changed it out and he (Juan Pablo Montoya) drove all the way up to 18th position without us making any real big changes or having a real strategy -- so we know that our Texaco/Havoline Dodge was really good. Around lap 70, the car got real tight for some reason and we just couldn't figure it out. We threw all sorts of changes at it and nothing seemed to work. The engine may have been laying over, I'm just not sure yet. On that last caution (lap 139), it dropped a cylinder and ended up blowing something in the engine. It's a little bit worrisome because we brought a new package here. I'm sure our engine guys will figure it out."
-credit: dodge motorsports