MIKE WALLACE --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Finished 40th) -- "It appeared two cars got a little out of shape getting into turn three and I was on the top of the race track. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to get slowed down and I ran in the...
MIKE WALLACE --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Finished 40th) -- "It appeared two cars got a little out of shape getting into turn three and I was on the top of the race track. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to get slowed down and I ran in the back of Kenny -- the 14, the 8, the 27, myself and whoever else. It's a shame. The NationsRent Ford, the first couple of laps, was going fine. I thought we were gonna be patient, but I guess it wasn't meant to be today."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 7th) -- DO YOU FEEL GOOD
FOR THE DEI GROUP? "I feel good for 'em. Yeah, that was good. I wish I
could have won it myself, but that happens. That's all we could do. We got
a seventh out of it and I thought it was gonna be a lot better than that but
we just didn't get there."
THE SECOND HALF OF THE RACE YOU GOT MUCH STRONGER. "The second half was a lot better. I was just so doggone loose throughout the day. I just couldn't get enough pit stops. There weren't enough cautions, so we couldn't work on the car. Some of the stuff I did was just not right, but at the end we got where I needed to be. We needed one more adjustment to loosen up a little bit because we overshot and I think I would have been right on then."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 10th) -- IS IT APPROPRIATE THAT A
DEI CAR WON TODAY? "I guess that's what we would all want is for them to
have some good fortune. They've got a good race team and now they're gonna
have to get their leadership from somewhere else, but I think they're strong
enough to probably do that. If you look at things and say this would happen
in a perfect world, yeah, why not."
YOU SEEMED TO GET BETTER AS THE DAY WENT ON. "Yeah, we just made the wrong adjustment at the end on the last pit stop. We fought tight in the center. We helped that and then I got it to where I was a little free off. I was afraid to really run hard and try to make a run at 'em, so we tried to help that a little bit and we just killed it in the center again. It was just bad information on my part getting to Todd."
DID THE LONG RUN AT THE END HURT YOU? "Yeah. That's normally our strong suit and today, since we couldn't get it to turn in the center it just got worse and worse and worse. I searched high and low and couldn't find anywhere that it would run any better. Again, it was a matter of me giving Todd the wrong information to make the wrong adjustment. We would have been better off if we could have split those up, but we couldn't take a chance that everybody was gonna try to go the whole way, so we had to stay out there and make the most of it."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 37th) -- "I don't
know. I got in there and lost the back end and had to try to use the race
track to catch it and I just ran out of room."
IS IT GOOD TO GET THIS RACE OUT OF THE WAY AND MOVE ON? "Whenever you race like we do, yeah. It's been a bad week, but I made it worse for us than it needed to be. I just screwed up."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 39th) -- "We had a parts failure in the rear end of the car. Unfortunately, that happens in racing. We were pretty good today -- really good on long runs. I don't know if we could have ran with Steve Park and Jeff Gordon, but we were definitely a top five car today."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 5th) -- NOTE: Craven's fifth-place finish marked the best effort by PPI Motorsports in its brief history. The team's previous best effort was a 10th-place effort by Scott Pruett at Indianapolis last season.
"I'm thankful that in December my path crossed with Cal Wells and Mike Beam
and Roy McCauley. They got me back on track. I couldn't be happier."
WHAT ABOUT GOING FROM 41ST TO FIFTH? "I told them early on I said, 'Guys, let's just go work 'em to death.' We just worked, worked, worked. That's what this team is made of, that's what they represent. This was good because it gives us a little momentum and it's so important to establish that early on like Michael Waltrip did last week. I'm just thankful that Cal Wells and Mike Beam and Roy McCauley and all of these guys gave me the opportunity -- particularly Tide. We'd be nowhere without them."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR RUN? "We just had a very legitimate day all day. I mean, we ran good on the race track, we had good pit stops and I just feel like we worked 'em to death."
DID IT FEEL GOOD TO RUN UP FRONT AGAIN TODAY? "Wow, I guess it did. It's just a big boost for the team because it's only our second race together. You want to establish some confidence, but you can't pretend. We felt good about happy hour, but it wouldn't have meant anything if we didn't prove it today and we did. We were able to back up how we felt."
DOES IT SEEM THAT MUCH CLOSER TO WINNING? "I think what we did was we gave ourselves some hope, so that we know we've got a chance. The four guys that finished in front of us have won -- they're contenders -- and that's what we need to do. We need to establish ourselves as contenders and we need to do that right there (finish in the top five consistently) week after week and we're gonna get a win."
THIS IS AN EMOTIONAL END TO AN EMOTIONAL WEEK FOR DEI. "It was, but I think it's appropriate that Steve or Junior or even Michael would have won. As bad as I would have liked to have won today, I'm happy for them. It was appropriate and it was exactly what everybody needed."
IS THERE A SENSE OF RELIEF THAT ROCKINGHAM IS FINALLY OVER? "I love Rockingham and it's been good to me statistically, I've always run well here, but I did not think about Rockingham up until Friday morning. I drove down here Friday morning. Although we didn't have anything to do until Saturday morning, I drove down here just so I could get my head in the game. On a side note, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a wonderful individual -- a man of courage. I can't imagine going through what he went through this week."
CAL WELLS, Car Owner --32-- Tide Taurus -- "We were the first Ford on the
day, so I guess you could say we were first in class. We were hoping for
that at Daytona too, but it just wasn't to be. I think it went real well
today. We've got some areas we need to improve and we took a good measure
of that. We couldn't run with the top three. We just couldn't. No
matter how good -- fresh, old, whatever -- we were totally covered by
them. I think we might have been able to catch Tony Stewart, but we just
ran out of time. That being said, I'm very proud of the crew and thrilled
AT TEXAS LAST YEAR YOU SAID IT WAS THRILLING TO SEE YOUR CAR LEAD SOME LAPS EARLY ON. HOW DID IT FEEL TO SEE THE CAR BATTLING AMONG THE TOP 10 ALL DAY? "It's very exciting and it's really due in large part to the job that Ricky Craven, Mike Beam and Roy McCauley are doing as a trio. They are an impressive three guys and I think the closer they get, the better they're gonna do. Hopefully, we'll be able to run in the top 10 every weekend. That's obviously what we're gonna fight for, we just have to keep working and working hard to get there. We're gonna say a few prayers and keep digging and see what happens in Vegas."
WILL YOU ENJOY THIS TONIGHT OR HAVE YOU ALREADY FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT? "I'm on to something else -- next weekend. I'm thrilled for DEI. They're very, very deserving."
ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 12th) -- "We were real happy with this car. I tell you, at the beginning of the race it was just awesome. The race track got a little bit slicker than what we adjusted for and the last set of tires we just got loose and got in the wall. That knocked some downforce out of the car, but I'm happy for this Jasper team. We've got two top-14 finishes in two weeks and that's what we've got to do to keep building this team."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Finished 20th) -- "We had a socket stick on one of our pit stops and then we lost two laps. We were able to get one of them back, but once you get behind it's really tough to make it up."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DeWalt Tools Taurus (Finished 28th) -- "I'm pretty disappointed about today. We had a top-10 competitive car coming into this race, but early in the day we got a piece of debris from another car on the grill and that killed us. The car got hot so fast we hat to pit and lost a few laps. Then I was running as fast as the leaders but we could not get those laps back. Our goal then became to finish this race. I was tight at the beginning of some runs and loose at the end of them. The rain delay puts the preparation for Vegas on rush, so the guys have to go back to the shop tonight. We'll just get 'em next week in Vegas."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Roush Racing Taurus (Finished 36th) -- "We had another rookie day. I was watching the guys with fresh tires and old tires going three-wide. I was just trying to get out of the way and got my right-side tires up in the gray that knocked the toe-in off and that made for a long day. Our pit stops were excellent. My hat goes off to my whole team because they really stuck with me all day."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 11th) -- "We're pretty
happy with that. I would have liked to have gotten our first top-10
together, but we'll take 11th -- running on the lead lap all day. The pit
stops were great, but more importantly it was a good points day. That's
what we wanted was to make sure we did good in points after the first four
races. So far, so good. We'll build on this because we know we've got a
good piece for Vegas."
DID YOU HAVE AN ALTERNATOR PROBLEM AT THE END? "Yeah, we had too much stuff draining out on it, but that's alright. We cut everything off and we finished -- that's the main thing."