Pontiac Racing Daytona race report

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We had a really good car tonight. I'm so proud of my guys. I know this sounds like a cookie-cutter deal, and what everybody says, but I'm really proud of my guys. They built me a brand new...

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

"We had a really good car tonight. I'm so proud of my guys. I know this sounds like a cookie-cutter deal, and what everybody says, but I'm really proud of my guys. They built me a brand new car to come here. The motor that was in there was the best motor I've had since I was here as a rookie last year at the '500,' so the guys in the motor shop deserve a big pat on the back. The guys in the chassis department and the fab shop really worked, too. I'm really proud of those guys. They've worked really hard to get that car as good as it was here."

(HOW HARD WAS IT TO PASS?) "If you weren't in a Ford it was almost impossible. We had to have help all the time. There were guys that didn't need very much help in Fords that were going by us pretty easy. I don't know. I guess I don't watch the same race as Jack Roush does because he thinks the Fords are at a disadvantage, and I think he is full of crap."

(ON DALE JARRETT) "We weren't near as good as he was. But I think if we had been the car in the lead it would have helped our car, too. But I don't think we were near as strong as the '28' and the '88' and the '6' and the '99.' All four of those Fords were strong, and I don't want to miss Rusty. Rusty's car was good, too. We were just best in class today."

WARD BURTON, NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

"That was some close racing out there. I'm just glad to bring it back in one piece and get a top 10 out of it."

(HAS THE CHANGE IN THE RESTRICTOR PLATE MADE THE RACING MORE DIFFICULT?) "It definitely has. You've got even less momentum than you had before. You either at a standstill or you've got a lot of momentum, and there's not much in between. Some cars can lead and keep their momentum up and some can't. Some are just knocking a bigger hole in the air than others."

(DO THE PLATES NEED TO BE CHANGED?) "I don't know. NASCAR is one to say that, not me. I would like to be able to take the restrictor plate off, and go racing - move the people up in the stands like they did at Bristol for the sprint car race. But I don't think that is going to happen. "What we need to is to get the cars not to handle well, and we're having a little bit of that now. It's not even on purpose, as far as having to let off the throttle, particularly in (turns) one and two with the aero package. We've got to work on that. That was the biggest problem with the Caterpillar car tonight."

DAVE BLANEY, NO. 93 AMOCO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

(DID HE EXPECT TO NOT HAVE ANY HELP RIGHT FROM THE OUTSET?)  "A little bit.
But the car was just way, way too tight.  We got it better later on.  But it
was just way too tight.  I had to lift clear out of the throttle in (turn)
two.  There was just no way I could keep up no matter what."

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 TYLER JET MOTORSPORTS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

"It's just a bad deal. I've never seen a Chevy help a Ford field like that before. He (Steve Park) just flat ran us up the track and let everybody on the bottom. We needed a good run. We need a sponsor to run the rest of the year. It's not looking like we can run the whole season. And then to have something like that happen to us is just unbelievable. We may not have been good enough to win, but to get shuffled like that back to 15th in two laps is just something I've never seen before. Pontiac has done just a super job, and I figured the GM camp was supposed to help the GM camp. But apparently one guy doesn't think so."

"When a lapped car (No. 1) runs you to the outside of the track and all the leaders go down to the bottom, including second place...I'm not sure what he is thinking. I've never seen a Chevrolet help Fords like that. That was pretty blatant.

"I think the car was pretty decent. It was almost as good as the '500.' I just didn't expect a lapped car to screw us on that deal."

(WAS IT DIFFICULT TO PASS) "The restrictor plate made it real hard to pass. We couldn't run the top. We could run the bottom pretty good. But it was tough. We had a good car. We're just not real happy about the way that one restart went."

(ON THE LACK OF SPONSORSHIP) "It's just a matter of seeing what happens in the long run. We need the money. We need the sponsorship bad to run the rest of the year. We could run a couple of races. We've got some things working and hopefully something comes about, and we're able to finish the season. If not, we're still excited about 2001, but right now we're just trying to get down the road."

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

"It was typical restrictor plate racing and you can't race.

"For the first part of the race it seemed like our car was better after 25 or 30 laps, and we got going. Then we could start to catch up, but they'd have a yellow and we'd lose some track position to some guys. The guys had great pit stops, we just got blocked in, no fault of anybody's. Then that last run we were just a little bit too loose and could never really make a good run. But I'm probably thankful that we finished 12th. We passed a lot of cars there at the end in the last five laps. We passed probably four or five cars. It could have been a lot worse."

(HOW DID HE FEEL THE RACING WAS TONIGHT?) "It's hard to figure. We didn't have the best car, so we didn't get to get up there and race like we wanted to. It was real hard."

 (HOW HARD WAS IT TO PASS?)  "Very difficult for me.  Some guys it probably
wasn't as difficult.  I think if you ever got up front maybe you could stay
there, maybe not.  If your car handled and you had power, it was good.  We
were handling good and had good power.  We just couldn't there.  It was
difficult to pass.  It's just hard to do."

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

(ON THE POINTS RACE) "We're happy where we are. We didn't have the best run tonight, but we are halfway through. We've got a lot more racing to go. We know that we've got some good race coming up for us and anything can happen. We're definitely looking forward to each weekend right now. We're positive about it and looking forward to it. Tonight we probably figured was not going to be our best night and you figure that (Dale) Earnhardt and Dale Jarrett are going to be the favorites. They beat us, but not as bad as it could have been.

(ON JEFF BURTON) "He had a good car all night - what I could see of it. He was up front and I looked up there all night long. They really ran good here all week long. It just seemed like they had everything going for them, so congratulations to them."

MIKE BLISS, NO. 27 VIAGRA PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

"We were just tight all night. We would be good for 25 laps or so, then it would get tighter and tighter. We needed to be able to stay in the pack and in the draft. The car just didn't need to be alone. We needed somebody to push us all night. We qualified in the top 25, and finished OK. I wish it could have been better, but we'll take it. The car is all in one piece. That's good."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Steve Park , Jack Roush