FRANK KIMMEL --26-- Advance Auto Parts Taurus (Finished 42nd) "During that yellow we screwed a couple turns of rear brake in it. It was a little tight in the middle, but that was the best car I've ever had in Winston Cup. I was real happy with...
FRANK KIMMEL --26-- Advance Auto Parts Taurus (Finished 42nd)
"During that yellow we screwed a couple turns of rear brake in it. It was a little tight in the middle, but that was the best car I've ever had in Winston Cup. I was real happy with it. I was keeping up with the guys and catching back up to Tony and those guys and trying really hard. I just got in a little high and locked the rear wheels. I got loose and just made a mistake."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Finished 39th)
THAT LOOKED LIKE A HARD HIT. "It was pretty hard. The biggest thing that's pretty frustrating is that we had a really good race car with this Havoline Taurus. We were just counting the laps off and, I don't know, we came up on the 2 car and it looked like he changed about three lanes. He was in the middle of the race track and I went around him on the outside and the next thing I know I got hit in the left-rear quarter panel. It was a big surprise because we were just sort of playing it cautious there."
WHAT HAPPENED? "I don't know. Something happened to the 2 car. He had a tire go down or something, but I think it happened to him coming off turn four and he went down the front straightaway. I cleared him. I drove around him on the outside and he changed about three lanes of race track. I know he didn't do it on purpose, but he knew he had a flat tire so he should have run it slow enough where he didn't change three lanes of race track. He hit us in the quarter panel and it was over with." BAD LUCK IS ESPECIALLY FRUSTRATING WHEN YOU'RE LEADING. "Well, what's
frustrating is that we had a really fast race car today. Jimmy Spencer, on that last restart, set out there and ran a little harder than I wanted to run at that time. We could hang with him, but I was gonna have to really punish our equipment to run with him, so we just sat there and sat there and, soon enough, he came back to us. The race was really ours for the taking and it's very unfortunate that someone a couple laps down was having trouble and took us out of the race. It wasn't on purpose, but it's still unfortunate."
HOW WAS THE TRACK WITH THE SEALER? "Well, they took a good race track and screwed it up. Evidently, they didn't get Paul Sawyer's formula for that sealer because the top groove never did come in. It was such a great race track for so long, but it never did come in like it needed to. There was something about the sealer process they did that they didn't do right."
RICK MAST --90-- Duke's Mayonnaise Taurus (Finished 35th)
WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME? "Yeah, we were just kind of riding around. We missed it on our setup completely today. I was trying to hang in there one lap down, but, I don't know. Somebody started wrecking coming off of two. I slowed down and somebody hit me and then I hit somebody in front of me and turned me sideways. Then about three cars nailed me in the side, so it's a shame but that's the way it goes. It's Richmond."
WHAT ABOUT THE SEALER? "The second groove hasn't come in. I don't know that we've ever been here when the second groove has never come in, but it hasn't come in today. Maybe it will come in this fall."
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 29th)
"We knocked the front end off of it there one time and we were just trying to finish it the best we could. I don't know what happened, but something happened underneath. We were never that good today. We would run good for maybe the first 20 laps of a run, but then we would fade by getting too tight too early. We just never got a handle on it."
WHY SO MANY CAUTIONS TODAY? "The race track was just one groove. The top groove wasn't good enough to race in, so guys that were up there were trying to get down and that just made it tough."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 21st)
"We were just a little tight all day and just really had problems with the tires. Every time we put on a different set of tires the car would react a ton different. It is hard to adjust to it when it's like that. It seemed like sometimes it was really close and then the longer the race went we got off key a little bit. I made a mistake by not pitting that one time with about 40 to go. I probably should have pitted, but I wanted to get my lap back. At least we didn't wreck or blow a motor and at least we can get back to where we get 100 points for the day instead of 30. I was close to a couple wrecks today. I'm just glad we didn't wreck it. We've had such bad luck lately, it's just pretty cool to finish one."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"We had a cut right-rear tire and that cost us a chance to win the race. We had to get in the pits, but we got lucky. We caused a wreck trying to get into the pits and that got us a caution. There aren't many times when you're lucky to be in a wreck, but that's what happened in that deal. We were able to come down pit road and fix the car. It's tore all to pieces, but the car ran well all day. I'm real proud of my guys. They kept fighting and fighting. We came home third. I'm a little disappointed, but, at the same time, they knew we were there."
WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK CONDITIONS? "There's a tremendous amount of grip in the groove. I mean, nobody can complain about the groove. Out of the groove, we never developed a second groove. I don't know why that is. Normally the sealer is a great thing here, but this weekend it just didn't work for whatever reason."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"That was a good car. The ALLTEL Ford was awesome. The guys did a good job in the pits. We weren't really good on the short run and that's when Tony got me. I think if I could have got in front of him and held him off on that last restart, his car would have been a little tight just like mine was behind him. But it was a great job all day to qualify up front and finish up front."
ARE YOU SURPRISED YOU RAN SO WELL HERE? "We tested pretty good. We tested with Rusty and that was a great help. Just having Rusty Wallace help you around Richmond any day is a good day, so I just want to thank him and thank all of my teammates for the opportunity -- Don Miller, Roger Penske and, like I said, Rusty."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 4th)
"I think we were lucky today, but we sure could have been luckier. We were catching the leaders there at the end. We only had a chance on a long green and the car was perfect there on that run. We were gaining a half-a-tenth, tenth-and-a-half a lap and it was really starting to shape up, but we needed to go all the way to the end and we had about three or four cautions there. We needed that 80-lap run all the way to the end. That's been our problem this year. We've had great cars, but it just backs up at the start and then it comes on strong. We were lucky that we didn't have more cautions and we were lucky that we had track position. We had great pit stops and it was a great job by everybody."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 6th)
YOU CAME FROM TWO LAPS DOWN TO FINISH SIXTH. "Yeah, that was a great run. Everybody worked really hard and they did a great job of fixing our problem. They only lost two laps fixing it and we had a lot of stuff to fix there. We had a lot of problems, but we overcame all of them today and came back to get a top-10 finish out of it. I would have liked to finish better because I thought our car was better than a sixth-place car, but I'm not gonna complain too much for how far we were in the back and how far we had to come today."
DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD PROBLEMS LAST NIGHT? "Yeah, I knew that. We had a couple of problems on the car and I knew we were gonna have to fix them in order to make it to the end of the race. I knew NASCAR wasn't gonna let that exhaust pipe hang out there anyway, so we knew we had to fix it. The guys did a real smart job. We didn't really do any warm-up on the engine. We just started it and came straight to the pits and shut the car off and worked on it until we were done with it. They did a great job. They had a plan going in on what they needed to do and they executed it perfectly."
YOU'VE HAD A LOT OF GOOD LUCK ALL YEAR AND TODAY IN PARTICULAR. "Yeah, we had good luck, but we had a good running car too. If we wouldn't have had a fast car, it wouldn't have mattered how much luck we would have had because we would have been two laps down. You have to have a fast car and you need to have good luck."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 38th)
WHAT HAPPENED TODAY? "There was a lapped car that had things kind of stacked up and I thought the bottom was gonna be good. I didn't want to get caught and have them freight-train me by on the outside, so I decided to move up and I probably just got in there a little hot. Normally that would be OK here, but I don't like what they've done to this race track. It's the same for everybody, but it's a shame that you couldn't get out of the groove at all. Evreything was gonna be fine. I got through the corner and I was coming off, but the 43 car just slammed me and slammed me into the wall. From there, everything else happened."
WAS THERE AN OUTSIDE GROOVE? "You couldn't get out of there at all and the groove wasn't even that good. It's just a shame. We have a good race track. Everybody keeps talking about how everybody loves Richmond and then you come here and they do this to it. It's just a shame. They took away racing and tore up a lot of cars when we normally can just have good races here."
MIKE BEAM, Crew Chief --32-- Tide Taurus (Craven Finished 9th)
YOU GOT OFF TO A ROCKY START. "We did last night. We had the worst car here. Roy (McCauley) and myself, we got back to the motel about 1 o'clock and we both worked on some stuff, and we got in this morning and decided what we were gonna do. On the first pit stop we made the changes and we were still off a little bit, but I felt if we would have started this way we would have been a top-five car, but we didn't. Then we got the right-front fender tore up and the pit crew did a great job putting the patches on there and Ricky drove his heart out. It's just a wonderful experience for me to be associated with people like this."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 25th)
"It was a very frustrating day today because I started off last night with a good car and started today off with a pretty good car. I said, 'Hey, I'm kind of OK.' I'm third or fourth and I really thought the track was gonna loosen up a lot, like it normally does, but they put so much sealer on the race track that the sealer never did wear off and my car stayed super-tight all day long. It was real, real frustrating. I lost a right-rear tire on a restart and, thank God, the caution flag came out right away and I was able to come down pit road and not lose a lap. Then I kind of run along and run along and everything is kind of OK and I'll be a son-of-a-gun if I don't blow a right-front tire. I tried to make it to pit road, but I couldn't get on pit road off of turn four. I was about to hit that tire barrel, so I had to dart back on the track. So I eased down the front straightaway and as I go into one and turn the wheel it won't even turn at all. It was just going straight as an arrow and here comes Ricky by me and I clipped him. I hate that happened, but there was nothing we could do. The thing wasn't turning at all. We fell a position in the points, which I hate, and this is probably the worst finish I think I've ever had at Richmond -- that I can remember. The high groove never came in and nobody could pass like they needed to do. It was frustrating what the race track did with this black glue they put on the track."
WAS EVERYBODY TRYING TO GET INSIDE? "Yeah, everybody was going for the same spot because there was no consistent grip on top. There was a little bit of grip and then it would go away. The sun would come out and you could get the top groove back a little bit, but when it got cool the track would get super-tight. The track was very temperature sensitive today."