KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Avenger) "I'm very disappointed we let that race get away. I'm very disappointed the Miller Lite Dodge didn't win today, but that's why they call it racing. We've got to be smart on pit road, too. We had a...
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Avenger)
"I'm very disappointed we let that race get away. I'm very disappointed the Miller Lite Dodge didn't win today, but that's why they call it racing. We've got to be smart on pit road, too. We had a good car and the team worked well on pit stops. We just decided to pit at the wrong time. I've thrown this Richmond race away way too many times. It was a good day. We should bump up in points, and we're looking forward to next week's Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington.
"It would have been fun to race them (Hendrick cars for the victory). We had track position at the time and we gave it up, so that was a bad call. It would have been up to them to get by us. It would have been interesting to try to hold them off. I felt our Dodge Avenger was just as strong today as their cars. Each race we've made progress and Darlington is going to be a tough race, but we just have to stay cool and see what we can do down there next weekend. I said all along if one team gets on it they're going to be tough to catch. We were pretty good today, but we're pretty good at throwing them away as well.
"It was great, but we made a bad call to pit at the time we did. We might have been able to hold off the Hendrick Brigade, but we ended up fifth and it was a nice points' day for us and we'll go on to the next one.
"It definitely feels good (to get two straight top five finishes). We're out there working hard and I know our fans are cheering for us. It just felt like it was about time to get some good runs I guess. Pit road has been rough this year, but once we get all that behind us we should be rolling smooth.
"We should have a feather in our caps today to know we ran with them (Hendrick cars). We definitely had a shot to beat them if we'd had the right pit strategy.
"That was a weird snafu at first and then it was situation normal. I hit the brakes and it was all rear brake and it spun us around, but I knew we were going to be all right."
ROGER PENSKE (Owner Penske Racing)
"We know we've got a good team. We're working at it. We've got good drivers and good crews, and this was a validation of what we're trying to do. They're doing a hell of a job. We've just got to figure out when to pit. If we don't come it's wrong and if we do come in it's wrong, but still it was a good race for both teams. I think Kurt had a car that could have won, and it looks like we're learning a lot about the COT."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 alltel Dodge Avenger)
NOTE: Newman scored his second straight top 10 finish with a sixth-place Sunday at Richmond. He finished ninth last week at Talladega and has gained seven positions in the series standings in the past two races. He's now ranked 19th.
"We had a good run, for sure, in this alltel Dodge. Both Penske cars did. Kurt was definitely a little bit better than me for most of the day, but the guys did a good job playing strategy and everything else, to get ahead of those guys. It was almost a top five and that would have been nice, but it was a good run for us, nevertheless."
GETTING THE CAR OF TOMORROW TO TURN HAS BEEN AN ISSUE TO SOME, BUT THE WAY YOU GUYS WERE RACING, HAVE YOU SOLVED THAT TO ANY DEGREE? "You can get them to turn. It's just making them drive good when you get them to turn. It's just a matter of who can get it right and keep it right -- just like any other time. It's just a little bit harder, now."
DID COMING DOWN THE STRETCH RACING SO HARD WITH TONY STEWART BRING BACK THE OPEN WHEEL DAYS? "We did race a lot together back then, but we didn't usually get to beat and bang as much back in open wheel. I know he had some right front damage and his car was wounded a little bit. He was protecting his line on the racetrack. I gave him a little tap-tap and he tried to hit the brakes on me in the middle of the corner and all kinds of stuff. It was hard racing and it almost cost a little craziness there, but it was a good run for the alltel Dodge, nevertheless."
YOU RAN 400 LAPS, SO HOW WAS YOUR CAR AT THE END, COMPARED TO HOW IT WAS EARLIER? "We made it a little bit better all day. It just seemed like we never made it the best racecar. So I'm glad to say we keep making the cars better at Penske Racing, and we'll just keep working with it."
WHAT'S YOUR THOUGHT LOOKING AHEAD TO DARLINGTON WITH THE AVENGER? "I'm really looking forward to Darlington. Obviously the Hendrick cars are the ones to beat, and from what I've heard they got a head start on everybody with testing, and that kind of shows up. But the bottom line is, I like Darlington and I look forward to going there because it's a fun track for me. Our Car of Tomorrow program is strong. I'm not saying we can't make it stronger, but it's definitely strong right now."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Avenger)
"We made up three laps last week at Talladega and finished 20th, and we made up a lap today and finished 15th. Maybe if we keep that up we'll stay on the lead lap and get a top 10 soon. We definitely weren't good enough today, but we're making progress. We're just not quite as good as we need to be. Maybe we should have stayed out for track position a couple of times, but we kept pitting trying to make the car better. Now we're heading to Darlington, and that's going to be a hard race. It's always a hard race, but it's Darlington. You never expect Darlington to be easy."
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Avenger)
"We had a loose wheel and had to make an unscheduled stop. That put us down a few laps and there wasn't much we could do at that point but just keep it in one piece and learn everything we could for next week. We had a shot at getting into the Top 35 and that's not going to do it. My pit crew is second to none. As a group we have ended up with our backs against the wall here in the first part of the season. We have had successes and mistakes. They all take on a greater importance when you are fighting to get inside the Top 35."
JOSH BROWNE (Team Director No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger)
"We aren't there yet, but we did gain on it from Phoenix. At Phoenix, we had no front end. Here, we got a better handle on the front end. But we only had the one practice. We got about halfway there. If we'd had another practice, maybe we could have gotten all the way there. We just got to continue working as a team and we'll get better."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger)
"It all started two pit stops before. I sped on pit road. We should have been the Lucky Dog and back on the track with the leaders, but I sped. I didn't realize I was going that fast. I'm disappointed. We had to work on it today, and it seemed like we got the Dodge Avenger better. We were pretty decent there and got together with another car. We got to battling with Stremme and those guys, and my car was better. Everywhere I went, Stremme went. I was just confused on where he was going. He was going bottoms up, bottoms up. He was going all over the place. All the leaders were trying to pass him. I was a fast lapped car, and I was trying to pass him and he just got in the way like every weekend."
DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Avenger)
"It started back when the 9 was a lap down and I was on the lead lap and he runs me into the fence. That's the second time it's happened in six months, eight months, whatever. I've got to go talk to him. He's having a bad year, but he doesn't need to take it out on everybody else. We got caught up in that and we were damaged and we were trying to ride around. Something failed in the suspension. I don't know where he (Kasey Kahne) says we were battling all day. He was a lap down and I easily passed him. He ran me out. That's all there is. He beat on me. The 13 was wrecked and he beat on me going into the corner. Then he runs me up in the straightaway. He was beating on my rear bumper when the 13 was wrecked and we were trying to miss that. Then he runs me into the fence and we had right front damage. We were trying to finish it out, but something broke. We had a good car all day, but we don't have anything to show for it now."
-credit: dodge motorsports