MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 41st) - "We made an adjustment there on that last pit stop and the car was really, really fast. I really like the way things are going. I liked my car today and I like the way things are going with...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 41st) -
"We made an adjustment there on that last pit stop and the car was really, really fast. I really like the way things are going. I liked my car today and I like the way things are going with Pat and all these guys. I'm incredibly disappointed that we broke again, but I guess you'll have that in this business. We're headed in the right direction. Maybe all of this will be behind us next year."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 40th) -
"Somebody ran over the top of me. There's so much difference when you get new tires here on how much grip it gives you and you just have to be patient when you're coming back up through there. Guys can't get out of the way quick enough a lot of times. We had everything going pretty good. We had a miscue on a pit stop. I'm disappointed in one respect, but I'm real happy that the car ran pretty good on the race track."
HOW DO YOU FEEL THINGS WENT WITH BEN THIS WEEK? "We were OK. We fought back. We got two laps down by pitting out of sequence early and made those back up on the race track and not by that lucky dog deal. We needed to be a little bit better, but right before we wrecked they changed the car around and it was really fast. I know we had better tires than everybody, but I'm real pleased because I saw the car and felt the car stick as good as it did after that last pit stop. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the end because somebody got a little impatient."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 4th) -
"It's unbelievable. This is beyond my wildest dreams. I never thought I'd ever have the opportunity to sit in one of these car, much less be the champion. I'm just so appreciative to my team, my owners, my sponsors, everybody that puts this thing together. I'm just real lucky. There are thousands of race car drivers out there that I'm sure could do a better job than I have and not many people get this opportunity. I'm just thankful to be in good equipment with good people working on it."
DID YOU DREAM THIS WOULD EVER HAPPEN WHEN ROBBIE CALLED YOU IN 1997? "No. I actually had a big internal fight with myself. I was racing ASA up in Wisconsin and I had never pulled back on any of my promises before and I had to quit the ride I was driving to go down and take that chance. I felt like at the point I was in my career and my age that I had to do it. I thought it was my last chance. Robbie said, 'Well, we can run four races or so and see how it works out,' and I just moved all my stuff down there and went after it. I've just been fortunate that it's worked out since that day."
YOU'RE COMPARED TO DAVID PEARSON ON AND OFF THE TRACK. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? "That's a cool comparison. I never got to race with David or watch him race very much, but I've learned a lot from Mark Martin. He's taught me a lot on when to race and when not to race. I don't do a good job at it all the time, but I sure try to be there at the end. He's taught me a lot about that and he's been a real big part of this."
HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE? "I have no idea. I've had all this stuff bottled up inside for the last couple of months. I didn't want to get too excited, so I don't even know what to do next."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus - POST-RACE COMMENTS:
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN MATT TO CONVINCE JACK TO BRING MATT TO ROUSH RACING? "I've been wrong about a lot of things in my life, but I was right about Matt Kenseth. I'm real proud of that. I liked his style. I knew that he knew a lot about race cars because I knew where he came from and that he was winning races where he came from. I knew it was him and not his cars. I wanted Roush Racing to have him. There was no spot for him at Roush Racing and I still insisted. They went to work and put him under contract and let him race in the Busch Series for a couple of years until the opportunity came up. Robbie Reiser and Matt Kenseth have won this championship because they've made more of the opportunity that they've had than anybody else."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Finished 7th) -
"We got a bad break there and got two laps down in the pits. Early we weren't very good, but we kept tuning and tuning and got really fast. We made up our two laps - one all by ourselves and the other we got the lucky dog. It was a long day, but a really good day. Some sevenths you're disappointed with and some sevenths you're excited about and I'm excited about this seventh because we fought so hard to get it. That's what our team is all about. We keep fighting and working and we get better every week."
THOUGHTS ON MATT WINNING THE TITLE? "It's awesome. I'm so excited for him and for Jack Roush and everybody involved in the company. We try so hard to do the right thing every week, every day. We don't always do the right thing, but we certainly try hard and it's good to see all that come together. That's a wonderful thing. I wish it were me, but Matt and Robbie have done a great job and they deserve it. I'm real proud of them."
JACK ROUSH, Car Owner - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus -
"We thought we sure had a good chance with Mark last year and we came up just a little bit short for a number of reasons. I really thought it would be Mark, but Matt did a really solid job. Robbie is so solid. You just can't say enough about Robbie Reiser and what he's done to lead this team. They had one pit stop today that was less than 13 seconds by my count. It was 12.98, so with pit stops like that and really solid hardware and good strategies all day and Matt being real cool in the car, it could happen."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 21st) -
"It was a pretty long day - pretty frustrated. We had high hopes coming here with a brand new race car and just never could get the balance the way we wanted to all day long. To end up 21st isn't too bad. We thought we had a flat tire and had to pit and as soon as we did the caution came out and that cost us probably 10 positions. I'm proud of my guys. They fought hard. They worked with an ill-handling car all day and they kept adjusting on it and made it decent for the last run."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 17th) -
"We just survived. We got in a three-wide predicament early on and nobody knew we were on the high side and we got pinched by the 41. Our day was done from there with all the control arms and toe being bent, so we were just trying to hang on."
THOUGHTS ON MATT? "It's fantastic. It's something that we all strive for at the beginning of the year. He put himself in position to do that and it's great to see that our team can achieve that. To be in a teammate stable with him, it's fantastic to the see the satisfaction that they've achieved this year. They deserve it. They for surely fought for it each and every race."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Finished 11th) -
"We lost our track position from those pit stops. We got trapped twice in the pits to get caught that lap down. We had a pretty good car. We were running top 10 lap times all day long and the car was pretty decent. I was happy with it. It was unfortunate we got trapped that lap down one time, but we got it back and then got down again. It was kind of a cat-and-mouse game. It's kind of funny how it all played out."
WHAT ABOUT MATT WINNING THE TITLE? "I think it's awesome. I'm pretty excited for him. I know the position he's been in and I knew he had the thing won prior to coming into this race, so I've congratulated him already."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Finished 16th) -
"We ran into some bad luck there in the pits when Martin lost his engine. We were already in the middle of our stop when it happened. Then we had a miscue and that put us two laps down. It's unfortunate, but let me tell you not once after it happened did we give up. The guys pulled together and we walked away with a top 25. I think we had something for them, but sometimes things just don't go your way. I want to say congratulations to Matt Kenseth and his entire race team. He will be a great ambassador for our sport."