Sears Point Pontiac Racing Post-Race Quotes

JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 43 STP/CHEERIOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (43rd): (ON WHAT HAPPENED DURING HIS INCIDENT) "I guess when we got to the top of the hill somebody turned somebody around. I slowed up. Chris (Osborne), my spotter, did a great job. I ...

JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 43 STP/CHEERIOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (43rd):

(ON WHAT HAPPENED DURING HIS INCIDENT) "I guess when we got to the top of the hill somebody turned somebody around. I slowed up. Chris (Osborne), my spotter, did a great job. I slowed down, but the guys behind me didn't now about the wreck, I guess, and got up in the back of me, and drove me into the guy in front of me. We broke an oil line, caught fire and did all that. It's just real disappointing for the whole team. I think we had a good car. I don't know if we had one capable of winning, but we were going to give them a run for it.

"It's funny how we get caught up in things that we think we have avoided. Then all of a sudden, there we are. And then we get the worst of it all. I don't know what I've done wrong in this world, but I'd sure like to make it right. It's disappointing mostly for STP. It's their last race. We had an awful strong race car and thought we had a shot at winning. Any time you do that, it's more disappointing."

(ON STP'S LAST RACE) "I looked at the burned car and all I could think of was Atlanta - The King's last race - when the thing caught fire and was all burned up. I thought, 'Well, at least we're going out in style.' But not much of the style you want to go out in."

(ON RELIEF DRIVING FOR TONY STEWART) "Some day he may be able to help me out. Who knows? It's hot here in Sonoma. Last year it was tough on us. They red-flagged the race and made us sit in the cars for 40 minutes, then ran the last four laps and I was pooped then, so I know what it's like. I was happy to help out. I was very unhappy that I was available to help out, though."

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (10th):

(ON GIVING WAY TO RELIEF DRIVER JOHN ANDRETTI) "With the accident over there, I'm not sure I could have hustled it all the way through all those cars to get back to the front. The car was capable; I'm just not sure I was capable with the way I was feeling.

"It's hard. Nobody likes to get out of a car, especially one that they know can win the race. I don't know what was wrong. I haven't really felt 100 percent all weekend, but I didn't feel bad enough like I needed to go to a doctor or anything. But I guess it caught up with me finally."

(ON WHEN HE REALIZED HE WAS IN TROUBLE) "I knew quite a bit before that I got out that I was. They were trying to talk to me and do everything they could to distract me from what was bothering me. I just started feeling bad early, and they got me some ice. That helped for a little while, but it couldn't fix it."

KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (15th):

"It's progress.  It ain't nothing.  It ain't nothing.  But this stuff
ain't easy.  We've qualified in the first round and finished better the
last three weeks.  It's tough."

DOUG HEWITT, INTEREIM CREW CHIEF, NO. 44 HOT WHEELS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (19th):

"Early on we were OK. But then the car got a push in it, and we never could get it adjusted out of it. The car got real hot inside. We should have pitted there halfway through the last run. The tires went away with about 20 laps to go, but it was too late to do anything."

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (4th):

(ON THE FINAL RUN OF THE RACE) "Jimmy (Makar) was telling me we made up a lot of time under green. I just didn't get a good start on that last green flag start and lost a lot of time there. The car wouldn't go that good, but it always goes good on long runs. I don't know. That's something I've got to work on myself. But we made up about 10 seconds there on that long run from where we started and came back to fourth. We're awfully happy with that. It's a good run for us. And we stayed on the racetrack."

(IS THIS ALMOST A VICTORY TO FINISH FOURTH ON A ROAD COURSE?) "There's not a scratch on it (the car). That's what I like about it. I haven't turned over here, but I've been close. We just had a great run today. All the guys did a great job in the pits. The car was set up a little too tight in the center, but then again, it wasn't so bad either. The guys in the motor room did a heck of a job. That was a good motor. It carried me throughout the day, most of the day. Fourth place; we'll take it. We're pretty happy with that."

(DID THE TEAM DODGE A BULLET TODAY IN TERMS OF THE POINTS RACE?) "Last year, I was the bullet, and I struck something. This year the goal was not to do anything like that. We stayed on the racetrack all day long. We didn't get off, except for when I had to hit a curb to make it turn a little bit better. It was just a good run for us."

(ON JEFF GORDON) "It's great. It kind of puts the driving in the hands (of the driver) here at this track. Jeff is a great little racer and he proved it today. I think he was just fast enough to stay out in front and run his own pace. He might have been running hard, but I don't think he was running as hard as he could have run."

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 LYCOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (18th):

"I think as a team, as a whole, we were a little bit better than that (18th). I just don't qualify good on road courses, so it put us on 'Gilligan's Island' and I think that probably hurt us more than anything."

(WHAT KIND OF DISADVANTAGE IS "GILLIGAN'S ISLAND"?) "I'm not sure it's huge, but it is a disadvantage. It's like a backstretch that they can control, and I think they could do a little better job of getting it a little more even. But I guess they feel that that's equal, and if that's what they feel then that's what you have to deal with."

MIKE BLISS, NO. 27 VIAGRA PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (22nd):

"I told (crew chief) Barry (Dodson), I said, 'You know it's fun to race finally.' We haven't been racing all year. We've just been driving around. The car was really good today. I was really, really happy with it. We never adjusted on it all day. We had linkage problems. That was the only thing. We had to work on that. With five to go, it wouldn't go into second (gear) and first (gear). I had to really jam it in there. When the checkered came the transmission was blowing out of it. So the linkage killed us all day and the car handled really good

"We had to come in because I got spun up there and it hurt the tires. So we came in and took four (tires), and we were coming up through the field pretty dang good. That was exciting. It was fun."

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Series NASCAR Cup