TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: HOW ABOUT YOUR RUN IN THE INDY 500? "We got into the lead with a car that was really balanced and comfortable to drive and I just got greedy. The sun came out and that changed the track ...
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
HOW ABOUT YOUR RUN IN THE INDY 500?
"We got into the lead with a car that was really balanced and comfortable to drive and I just got greedy. The sun came out and that changed the track conditions from what we had the rest of the race up to that point.
"You know, the driver made too many mistakes. I stalled in the pits. That got us bad track position. The biggest mistake I made was the call to take downforce off the car. It was really balanced with the down force we had in it, but when I took it off the car was real skittish in traffic, and I really didn't like that last set of tires.
"The guys did a great job. It's very easy to see why those guys won the race last year. They've got a great race team and its just a matter of when you race these cars once a year, its hard to do what we were trying to do here. But, I was gambling that I wouldn't make three mistakes today and I made three. You just can't make that many."
THINGS GOT A LITTLE WILD THERE WITH THE RAIN DELAY. YOU WERE FEELING SOME CRAMPING. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WERE FEELING AND WHAT YOU DID TO ADDRESS IT? "It wasn't a cramping. It was numbness and normally that's due to a pressure point in the feet that maybe puts too much pressure on a certain part of your leg. We didn't do enough long runs to find that problem out, so unfortunately it was my throttle foot and it was making me inconsistent to the throttle. But, you know that wasn't what caused this by any means. I just made the wrong call with the downforce that's what hurt us in the end."
HOW COMPETITIVE WAS THIS RACE COMPARED TO THE RACE IN 1999?
"This was very competitive. The lap times we were running there were a lot faster than the race pace from the last year I was there -- probably three or four miles per hour faster, so that shows you how tight and competitive this year's field was."
HOW STRONG WERE THE PENSKE TEAMS AND MICHAEL ANDRETTI?
"It seems like if we could get ahead of the Penske cars we could hold them off. We were just fast enough to keep them from making a run on us, but if they got ahead of us, there wasn't any way we were really going to get by. I was hoping to make a tire set change on that last stop and get another set of tires that we had been saving for the end, but due to the way the yellow fell -- we didn't need that caution. We needed it to go longer in order to put tires on the car to where we could go to the end on a different set of tires."
WHAT WAS RUNNING THROUGH YOUR MIND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE RACE WHEN YOU KEPT RUNNING INTO CAUTION AFTER CAUTION?
"I just knew it would make us awfully close on time (to get to Charlotte), so I was just hoping the wind was at our back going down there."
DID IT MAKE YOU MORE ANTSY OR GIVE YOU MORE DESIRE TO MAKE QUICK LAPS AGAINST THE CLOCK?
"No. You still have to race the race. You can't get in too big a hurry there. You've got to take care of your car to make it to the end. I just made too many mistakes today."
ARE YOU GOING TO TRY THIS AGAIN?
"I'll worry about that later."
KENNY WALLACE, NO. 27 DUKE'S MAYONNAISE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I blew a motor in the '27' car. I hate it. We've got a great new sponsor - Duke's Mayonnaise and C.F. Sauer, Co. We've had a bad day. We ran out of gas and then we had ignition problems. But all in all, I just hate it for the new sponsor.
"It would be different if we had some horsepower, but that thing wouldn't even pull that car down the straightaway and it still blowed up. I reckon we'll be getting a new motor program. I've about had it."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We worked hard all day. We had a little hiccup there (running out of gas), but you've got to go for it, and we went for it. It just didn't work out for us.
"The car was decent all day. If it had gone green we might have had a shot. But when the yellow came out, I had transmission problems. It was tough. But all in all, the Valvoline Pontiac was pretty good. We were off just a little bit, but not that bad."
IS IT STILL GRATIFYING WHEN A GAMBLE DOESN'T PAY OFF?
"Absolutely. That's what we're here for. We're here to win
JAMES INCE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WHAT COST YOU YOUR LAP?
"I ran the car out of gas coming into turn three. [After we pitted] the motor wouldn't run anyway, so the 15-second penalty just allowed us time to get the motor running. We had a choice to make: we could run 10th or try to win. We decided to try to win and it cost us 10 spots. But, we're trying to win races. We tried to stretch it and I missed it by about a half a mile."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
ON SPINNING WHILE PASSING FOR THE LEAD LATE IN THE RACE
"I just got in there too hot, I guess, and dumped it over there in the corner. I just lost it all by myself.
"We only had eight laps on the tires, so that might have been some it where it was a little bit low on air pressure. But it felt pretty good prior to that. I just went up on the outside. It wasn't really 'no-man's land,' but it was not as good as the bottom was for me."
DID YOU HAVE THE CAR TO BEAT TONIGHT?
"I definitely think we were on the right track tonight. Right before that, man, we were really good. The car was just right. Clean air was better than dirty air and we needed all that, and got it. I probably just started to grab for a little more than I should have."
CAN YOU TAKE SOME POSITIVES FROM THIS?
"I think so. We lost a little bit on the big part of the pie, but I guess it could have been a lot worse. We didn't tear anything up and came back to finish fifth, which is good. We can take a positive from this and go on to the next one. It could have been a lot worse."