KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We weren't as good as we needed to be. But we put ourselves in a position to wind up with something good. That last pit stop, in hindsight, we probably shouldn't have come in. But that doesn't...
KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We weren't as good as we needed to be. But we put ourselves in a position to wind up with something good. That last pit stop, in hindsight, we probably shouldn't have come in. But that doesn't work. If I didn't really want to come in, being that I'm driving the thing, I could have stayed out. We've got to live with that. We passed a bunch of cars today. But we really weren't good. We would get good way late in a run. But we still got ourselves in a position to wind up with something not being good."
JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 43 STP/CHEERIOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I messed up on Friday by not qualifying better. In the race we made up a lot of lost ground. We weren't as good as we probably needed to be, but we were pretty darn good. It's just real upsetting to get spun out for no reason. There's no excuse for it. That's just not the way I drive. I could have knocked the 99 out of my way a thousand times because he was a lot slower than me in the middle of the corner. But we go down in there and he (Michael Waltrip) just has to pop me in the back.""
(CAN THE TEAM BUILD ON WHAT WAS A GREAT RUN?) "We always run good at Martinsville. I've always run good at Martinsville. They've always run good at Martinsville. We expect to run good here. And we'll run good next weekend. But this is a race that we can usually pull off and win. Here we are, a lap down again, made it up and had a shot at it. We needed a little bit longer green, but that's the way it sorted out."
WARD BURTON, NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"That was a bunch of wrecks. But the guys did a great job on this Caterpillar Pontiac. We got behind and couldn't make up anything on the track. But we're at Martinsville - 43 cars, half-mile flat track."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 LYCOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"It's always that tough here. There was a lot of beating and banging today. It's just so tough to pass. The rules are so tight now. It's just so competitive and so tight, and it's making it hard to pass without bumping. Some guys can do it and we did it most of the day. I may gotten into one car but that was about it. I ran out of brakes. I couldn't run the car the way I wanted to. I was abusing the brakes and it was too tight. We ended up OK, but we were surely better than that. I just ran out of brakes. I couldn't do anything."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We had a good day. The car drove good all day. It was just a matter of trying to be patient and taking our time getting to the front. The first couple stops the guys did a great job. They probably helped me pass more cars on the yellow than I passed on the green. That's what it took today to get to the front. We kept working on the car and kept trying things, found a couple things we liked and just stuck with it all day. We kept getting caught in the 'cat-and-mouse game' of pit stops - whether to take four or two - and I think that cost us at the end. But we ran good today and we finished strong. This is what we needed. This is by far our best run here. If we can run like that here, I think we're going to have a pretty good rest-of-the-season now.
"This is a great boost. After qualifying on Friday, that was three bad weeks in a row for our qualifying runs. We needed today to bounce back from it."
(ON THE PHYSICAL NATURE OF THE RACE) "I saw a lot of stuff out there that I wasn't used to seeing and didn't expect to see today. Especially the last 75 or 100 laps, it was definitely a war zone out there."
(ON THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TIRES) "Goodyear thinks I'm badmouthing their tires and I'm not. It's just that every time they bring us a new tire it takes us time to get used to it and get acclimated to it. It was a great tire today. It was probably one of the most consistent tires we could have asked for. But the hard thing is when you only have seven tests throughout the year, and you start booking your tests early in the season, then you find out they are changing the tire, you have to play catch up. That's why guys like Rusty (Wallace) were so fast today. He had a chance to come here and test, and knew what the tire was going to do, and knew what to do to not only qualify well but to race well, also."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I think we made all the right calls. I just didn't have the best race car. I should have worked on it better yesterday morning. I didn't. I thought I had something but as it turned out it wasn't that good. We made a lot of changes this morning so I couldn't ask for much more. We had a good solid day. There at the end we just couldn't get some track position. I felt like we might have been like the 2 (Rusty Wallace) or the 43 (John Andretti). We might have gotten turned around ourselves if we had stayed out because we weren't going to be quite as good as the 6 (Mark Martin) and the 99 (Jeff Burton). I feel like we probably just did the right thing. The guys did a great job. We got a lap down. We got it back. It wasn't a bad day. We just needed a little bit more.
"We wish we could have been better. But at the same time, we didn't have any scratches on our car until there at the end when it got pretty crazy. I'm not saying that's not racing. It's just different racing. I wasn't trying to race like that. But it's just one of the those deals. Martinsville is Martinsville. We did come out with the best finish I think we could come out with. It was a good day for us."
JIMMY MAKAR, CREW CHIEF, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We were much better than a 12th place car today, obviously. We were probably fifth, sixth or seventh place car which is OK for us on short tracks. Everybody knows this is where we seem to have to work the hardest to get our program right. But we missed the set-up a little bit today and didn't have the car turning like it should. That made for a little bit of a long day.
"When you come to a place like Martinsville it is all circumstances. It is what happens around you. We got turned around one time. We lost a lap because of a green flag pit stop where somebody didn't stop and they put a bunch of cars a lap down. You don't have any control over those sorts of things. Up until then we had car that had run in the top five or six, and had a good handle on things. But once that happened and people got a lap down, it really got to be a physical-type race where people were really fighting hard to try to get their lap back, and beating and banging. Like I said, we had a better car than that. Not a lot better, but our finishing position should have been better. But when you come to a place like Martinsville you are at the mercy of what happens around you a lot.
"Martinsville is one of those places where you can get your temper working on you. You can get angry real quickly. Somebody hits your race car, gets you in a bad situation or gives you some kind of circumstance, it's real easy just to let your emotions take over. Usually when that happens and you start working off emotion, more bad things happen to you. So we made it a point this morning to really make sure everybody was on the same page that no matter what happened we had to keep cool about it and make the best of everything that came our way. Unfortunately, we did have to make the most of a bad situation. But the guys all kept cool, Bobby stayed cool and we ended up with a fair finish out of it."