MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 26th) "The 12 car had a tire go down - a right-rear or a left-rear. I was just in the right spot, man. A few feet further ahead or further back and I would have been alright, but I just can't...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 26th)
"The 12 car had a tire go down - a right-rear or a left-rear. I was just in the right spot, man. A few feet further ahead or further back and I would have been alright, but I just can't believe it. The Viagra team has been so fast on the race track this year and we just can't get going. Everytime I turn around it's something else. It's too bad. We had a good car and we just got started. The race just started, but it wasn't anybody's fault."
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO STOP THIS KIND OF WRECK? "I'm not a big fan of all the stuff that we do here, but this was a flat tire. I mean, it wasn't anybody's fault. You can't point your finger anywhere on this one, it was just unfortunate."
WHAT DID YOU SEE? "The 12 had a left-rear or right-rear tire go down. It wasn't anybody's fault and there wasn't anything anybody could do, it was just a wild ride from there."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Finished 35th)
"Mark told me Ryan had a problem with a tire. I didn't know what happened, I just saw him going really fast out of control. He took quite a ride. I saw him get out of the car, so that's a good thing. It's just everybody in one pack. I saw the wreck from the very start and saw it headed to the wall and all I could do was slow down. The guys behind me couldn't get slowed down and I'm sure the guys behind them couldn't get slowed down. It's just everybody in a big pack. It's been like that since plates have been here and it will be like that as long as we run plates here."
NOBODY'S FAULT JUST TYPICAL TALLADEGA? "That's the problem is that it is typical Talladega. It's fun to watch and it's fun to do, but there has to be a better way. We've got to build some racing where, when something happens, not everybody gets in it and that's what we've got right now."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 42nd)
"It's just a shame, really. I guess it was a cut tire that somebody had, but I didn't see it. I was just trying to avoid all the spinning cars and stuff. I obviously didn't do a real good job of that because I was swept up in the middle of it."
FRUSTRATING TO GET CAUGHT UP SO EARLY? "There's not a whole lot you can do about it when you've got five, six, seven, eight, 10 cars wrecking. You try to pick a hole and then when you get there it closes up so quick. It's typical Talladega racing. I'm not glad that it was a tire that went, but I'm just glad somebody didn't make a major mistake this early in the race."
ARE YOU OK? "Yeah, I'm actually in good shape. I took some hard hits, but all of that new safety gear did the job. I can count three times I got the wind knocked out of me. I can count at least three hard hits I had, but, actually, I'm pretty good. I'm kind of upset like everybody else that we didn't get a chance to run no longer than we did."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Finished 28th)
"It was the same as yesterday. Ryan cut down a left-rear and he was toward the front just like Jay (Sauter) was yesterday. There's nothing you can do, you just start piling in. We would have made it through, but coming through the tri-oval I decided to go to the middle. If I would have stayed on the bottom where I was, we probably would have made it through but I didn't. At least it's not as bad as some. The bumper went back and put a hole in the radiator, so we've got to change that and then we'll just go back out and ride around."
THESE WRECKS CAN HAPPEN EARLY OR LATE IN A RACE. "Yeah, once the tire went down there was nothing he could do. You're going so fast that when something like that happens you want to be right behind it. You don't want to be five cars behind it because that fifth car is gonna get it. Once that starts, then everybody gets into it."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"Man, I tell you what, I am so worn out but so happy. This M&M's Ford Taurus, Coca-Cola, Raybestos, we really wanted to win one down here in Alabama. We've got a lot of Robert Yates fans down here, but I drove my heart out. I push Junior up there to the front, so it was pretty cool to see him win another one. I'm really happy with third. They gave me a great race car."
YOU GOT BANGED AROUND A LOT OUT THERE. "That's one thing about this race team, it never gives up and never gets upset. They stay calm and keep me calm on the radio. Brett (Griffin) did a great job spotting and I owe this all to them. I'm the lucky one that's driving this thing every week."
HOW WAS THE CAR AFTER YOU GOT HIT BY WALTRIP'S SPIN? DID IT HURT? "I don't think so, in fact, it might have made it better. It seemed like it ran better there at the end than it had all day. I mean, they took their time and really repaired the car as best you can. I'm just so happy to be driving for this race team. I thought I was gonna get shuffled back with two laps to go and just stayed tough and beat around a little bit to get us a great finish."
DID IT LOOK LIKE JUNIOR WENT BELOW THE YELLOW LINE TO MAKE THE PASS? "I was the one pushing him and they ran him down. He had to do that or cause a big wreck, so it was a smart move again. He's just like his dad driving that car. He kept giving me the 'come on, push' sign in the window and I pushed him all I could. We almost had a one-two finish, but we'll take third right now."
YOU'VE PUSHED MICHAEL WALTRIP TO A WIN AT DAYTONA AND NOW JUNIOR HERE. ONE DAY SOMEONE'S GOING TO PUSH YOU, RIGHT? "I hope so. Again, those Chevrolets are tough. I'm so proud of these guys. After Daytona they made a big commitment to come here and really be strong in our restrictor plate program and it worked out."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 12th)
YOU HAD SOME OVERHEATING PROBLEMS? "It wouldn't run and didn't drive very good, either. That's a bad combination. It just wasn't a very good race car. We tried to build a good, new car to bring here but we didn't succeed. I was getting outrun by cars that were wrecked. It's just unfortunate that half the field got taken out and I can't finish any better than 12th here."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 9th)
THE LAST FEW LAPS WERE PRETTY HECTIC. HOW DID YOU SEE THINGS? "Junior got under me and passed me for the lead and had a run on me and I just couldn't get down in front of him. Then the 29 was pushing me really good and we had a run to the outside of the 8 and he kind of faked right like he was gonna go with me and then went behind the 8. I shouldn't expect that. There's nothing wrong with that because everybody has to make their own decisions, but I couldn't win the race without anyone pushing me. That's just the way it works, but if you line up behind the 8, it's hard to beat him."
IT WAS PROBABLY HARD TO TELL FROM WHERE YOU WERE AT BUT DID YOU THINK THE 8 WENT BELOW THE YELLOW LINE TO COMPLETE THE PASS ON YOU? "I have no idea. I couldn't see it at all. I have no idea."
DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 23rd)
THE BIG WRECK KIND OF RUINED YOUR DAY. "Yeah, I couldn't see anything. I was three-quarters of the way through it and finally hit somebody. That killed our car enough and we had to spend seven or eight laps fixing it. It was a short day."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Finished 22nd)
YOU HAD A GOOD CAR EVEN WHEN IT WAS BANGED UP. "Yeah, we had a really good car. We had a top-five, for sure, coming. I was just being real patient, but the lower ball joint just busted out of the lower A-frame. That must have been from that very first crash down there. Obviously, it took a hit and then came apart. Then I got together with my teammate coming off of four. We need to work better together out there because it was a restart and if everybody fans out four-wide, that's not gonna get us up to speed fast enough. Anybody can get a run on somebody and pass them on a restart, but I thought we had established the inside lane there. He didn't have anybody with him, so I don't know. I wished he would have gotten on the brakes a little and not had that happen. I'm not pointing fingers. I moved up there in front of him because I assumed he wanted to go up and get a draft off the outside lane of cars and he just caught me on my rear bumper and turned me."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 19th)
"We skated through the big wreck at the beginning. We were on the lead lap and my deal was I had a 10-mile-an-hour run on my teammate and he pulled out in front of me. That's fine, but we ended up running out of race track and we wrecked. I had a pretty good run and didn't expect him to come up like that."
TONY STEWART HAD SOME WORDS WITH YOU AFTER THE RACE. "Yeah, he ended up on my outside when Biffle pinched me up against him. It wasn't like I ended up running into him purposely, it was just an accident. My teammate pulled out in front of me and I didn't have enough time to make a move to get around him. If I would have slammed on the brakes, we would have lost the draft."