JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Finished 2nd "You really didn't know where it was going to end up. There were a lot of times when a lot of us were back in the back and the next thing you know we were back up front. We gambled...
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Finished 2nd
"You really didn't know where it was going to end up. There were a lot of times when a lot of us were back in the back and the next thing you know we were back up front. We gambled not to take fuel the last time everybody came in. That's what happened to the 48 and us. It was certainly a good day for us. Our Dodge ran great all day and we had a good day in the pits, a good day overall with the race team and we came home second.
"I'm so proud of our race team to gamble like that. Normally we would have been conservative, come in and pit, put in gas and put on four tires, gone back out and we'd have finished about 15th. To stick our necks out like that and come home second is great. A day like this builds confidence.
"What we need to get there (top 10 in points) is what we did today. That's what's so impressive from my point of view. As far as catching Jimmie, I felt like we were pretty even towards the end of the race. He was a lot better than us at the beginning of the race. I don't think we would have had a chance to pass him if it had stayed green. It was going to be pretty close. We had made a couple of runs on him and got underneath him going into one a couple of times. It seemed like I was a little bit better than him in one and the tunnel and he was a little bit better than me in three. That set him up for a good run down the frontstretch. We were pretty close at the end, but I still think he had a little bit better of a situation. He was leading and in fresh air and all that stuff. It was just a great day for us and a great day for them. I'm sure he (Ray Evernham) will say you'd better get your clothes on and get out of here like Jesse James.
"I'm not sure what happened on that deal. They put a lot of oil dry down in turn three. All of a sudden there was grass and dirt and gravel and everything else laying out there. I didn't realize what had happened and the guys told me on the radio that the 17 and 29 had words on the racetrack for whatever reason. If it had gone green, great. If it didn't, fine. We finished second. I wish we could have had a chance to try to win the thing, but Jimmie showed on a couple of restarts what kind of car he had. We had the second best and Bobby had the third best. I think Gordon was coming, but he ran out of time. The thing I'm impressed with is NASCAR told us in the drivers' meeting if there is a caution and we've completed lap 196 then there won't be a red. That's what they tell us every week. We completed lap 196 and they were getting ready to throw the red. Then they remembered what they said. They went back and didn't do that, and that's exactly what they should do. That's what they told us they'd do, and that's what they did. My hat's off to them. I know fans might not like it, but that's the rules and that's what we've got to live with and they didn't change it.
"We can't race through the oil dry and the grass. Somewhere along the line NASCAR is in a tough situation to make calls and all of a sudden this perfect situation comes up for a bad thing to happen I guess you'd say. It just puts them in a bad situation. Fans got to realize that. It wasn't safe to start the race. There was no way they could. NASCAR can't come back and throw the red when they told us they wouldn't. Finally they stuck to their guns today and did what we were all told they were going to do. I think it's a great thing.
"I can't sit here and tell you there's not problems. Obviously some things need to be changed. I guess you could say a new system needs to be put in place. That was just a normal deal that could happen today toward the end of the race. I didn't see anything wrong with it. I'm sitting there running second and if anybody wanted it to start back it should have been me to have a shot to win the race. That's the rule and we have to live by it. I'm not sure what will happen on the flagman deal. It seems here lately that NASCAR has been put under some tough situations. I feel for 'em. Something's changed, and I'm not sure what it is. The way the races are called and the way things are handled and I don't know how to fix 'em. I know they're looking at it and they did tell us in the drivers' meeting that what happened last week was unacceptable. They're taking responsibility for it. They know there's a problem, and they know they've got to fix it.
"It's almost when no racing back to the yellow started, that's when everything took off. That's why you're seeing all these rules come up here. NASCAR is the one who has to make the judgment calls. I can see where you can keep going and going and going that there's going to be mass confusion. Maybe they do need to stop and come back a little bit and figure out a simpler way of doing it. I don't know the answer. I know it is getting complicated. I'm sure they'll come up with a better way of doing it.
"Another thing that should be considered is this is the most competitive sport in the world as far as racing goes for sure. We fight for every little inch. Others series don't do that. You go to the ARCA series and revert back to the last lap and everything is fine. You do that here and it'll be a mess. We might change positions 50 times in one lap. I don't know if that's the answer or not. I used to think that. Yet, I can see that opening up doors, too, that could send us in the wrong direction. I think they're headed in the right direction. I guess there's just some little things they've still got to figure out.
"My car didn't seem to take off like his (Johnson's) did on the start, and that's where he got me. He'd jump me every time, and I couldn't run with him starting off. I think the best car won the race today. If fans didn't see that, something's wrong."