MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 33rd) YOU WERE IN THE TOP 3 ONE SECOND AND THE NEXT YOU GET CAUGHT UP IN THE WRECK. "Yeah. I wish I would have been ahead of it, but the way it works out there is you're always in a cycle - moving ...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 33rd)
YOU WERE IN THE TOP 3 ONE SECOND AND THE NEXT YOU GET CAUGHT UP IN THE WRECK. "Yeah. I wish I would have been ahead of it, but the way it works out there is you're always in a cycle - moving forward or moving back. I really didn't think I was that far back, but I was far enough back to be caught in it. The timing was just such that there wasn't anywhere or anything you could do. We had a good car. The best car I've had at Talladega in a while. I appreciate the effort by the guys and I wish when we raced we could get the kind of result that the effort shows. This is a tough one. You just have to hope when you come here that you're in the right place to miss those things. The drivers have done a fabulous job of preventing that to happen, but the longer you run the more you need to race the more it's likely to happen. Unless you're really, really lucky you're gonna have that no matter how good the drivers behave themselves. They're just in a situation where that's so likely to happen that it's hard to get a race and not have it."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Finished 30th)
"Watching the Busch race yesterday I figured there might be something big like that happening. We sort of had a strategy to lay back in the pack and, of course, I guess I wasn't laying back far enough because we caught all the mess. I couldn't tell what triggered it."
IT LOOKED LIKE EVERYBODY WAS STAYING PATIENT. "That's usually the way it works here. The intensity usually builds as the race starts to wind down. We still had quite a few laps to run. I'm not quite sure why it got quite as intense as it did when it did. Anyway, it tore up a lot of good race cars. It's too bad."
IS THIS SOMETHING YOU EXPECT TOWARD THE END OF THE RACE? "We sort of expected it maybe even earlier. We kind of watched the Busch race yesterday and saw how wild that was. It's just hard for guys to run three abreast all day long and have everybody drive perfectly all day. It just doesn't happen. It doesn't take but one guy to slip and you get the big Talladega multi-car wreck and that's sort of what we had here. I'm not really sure what triggered it or what started it, but I'm sure there was plenty of opportunity for it to have happened earlier it just didn't work out that way."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Ortho Taurus (Finished 32nd)
"We had kind of a plan just to try to stay out of the wrecks today and we had a little miscue in the pits and got a penalty and ended up one lap down. We couldn't catch the draft, so we were two laps down and I was in an awkward position trying to race as hard as I could. The only chance I had was to pass the leader, which was about impossible, and I gave up on that and went to the back. I just saw a huge mess. The biggest problem for me though is we're points racing and we hope we can get our car back out there. Ortho, I really appreciate them being on board. It's the inaugural race for Ortho and we did take care of some weeds down there in the infield. That's not the way we wanted to do it, but we'll get back out there and make the best we can."
WHAT DO YOU THINK TRIGGERED IT? "I don't know. I just saw a little bit of smoke. Man, it's really hard to stop these cars with the tires and the brakes that we've got on them. It's just really hard to stop and as soon as people get sideways it's tough."
WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS SO COMMON IN THIS STYLE OF RACING? "It's because the cars are as slick as they can be. Everyone makes them as low drag as possible and they don't have a lot of downforce so everyone is able to keep up with one another. Three-wide for 500 miles is just tough to do."
IS IT AVOIDABLE? "Boy, I don't know if it's avoidable based on this size of race track. I think to avoid this kind of thing you just can't race real hard until you really have to. That's all you can do."
HERMIE SADLER - No. 66 Peak Fitness/Aaron's Taurus (Finished 29th)
"We broke a rear end gear. I'm not sure what happened to cause it. It's just unfortunate. We got caught for speeding on pit road and got a lap down. We missed the wreck and got our lap back and had four new tires with 15 laps to go. I felt good about it, but we're being tested right now. Thanks to the Peak Fitness guys and thanks to Aaron's for helping us out this weekend. We were just a little bit short again."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 6th)
DO YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT THE FORD? "A little bit. We still didn't get to lead a bunch. I think we're closer. My guys have done a good job with this car. We'll take it home, put a cover on it and maybe massage on it and bring it back in the fall and see what happens."
YOU WERE ONE OF THE FORDS WHO COULD BATTLE THE GUYS UP FRONT. "That's by far the fastest Ford I've ever had in a restrictor plate race and actually get to run with Gordon and the 15 and all of them. My hat's off to Robert Yates and all his guys in the fab shop. My hat's off to Doug Yates and the engine room. Holy cow did they bring me some horsepower this weekend, so it worked out good."
WHAT WAS YOUR THOUGHT ON THE FINAL RESTART? "The time before I got hung out on the inside, so I made up my mind I was not gonna get hung out on the inside and I got hung out on the outside. The 15 and the 20 were working together all day long. I was a sitting duck, but I'm not gonna complain one bit with sixth. We're really happy with that."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 9th)
"The radios wouldn't work at the first of the race and then I got caught speeding going out of the pits. I'm not sure how that happens whenever you're following a car and you're right on his bumper, but, anyway, I guess they know. We got our lap back, but that's all we had. Things didn't work out there. Maybe it kept me from being in that last wreck, but I lost it (the draft) when the 18 blew a transmission or whatever happened on that restart. That just got me so far behind, but we made a top 10 out of it and that's about all you can say."
WERE YOU SURPRISED YOU DIDN'T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE TWO BIG WRECKS? "No. That's why at times I lay back there - for that reason exactly. These guys are gonna wreck. You can bet your butt on that. You've just got to make sure that you're not around it when they do."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 IRWIN/Sharpie Taurus (Finished 7th)
YOU GOT THROUGH BOTH MULTI-CAR WRECKS SO YOU MUST FEEL PRETTY GOOD. "Yeah, we just escaped both. It was really a good day. Our Ford just didn't quite peak enough to challenge for the lead, but we were right there. We're satisfied with that finish."
WHAT ABOUT THE RACING TODAY? "It seemed to be the same, if not a bit calmer than normal. People really used their heads. The two big ones happened for a reason - because somebody squished somebody - and that's what happens."
MAKE IT A LITTLE MORE FUN WHEN YOU'RE NOT INVOLVED IN THE BIG ONE? "It definitely does. Our car was about a 10th place car and we ended up seventh with that, so to dodge those two big accidents really helped us."
IT SEEMED THE FORDS WERE ABLE TO COMPETE BETTER. WHY? "We just keep working. It's not just one thing that's gonna bump us up and knock a Chevy off the top, but if we keep working hard we'll definitely get there."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Finished 11th)
YOU WERE A PINBALL AT TIMES, BUT HAD A DECENT FINISH. "We should finish decent because everybody wrecked. We still only finished 11th, so I don't think that's anything to do jumping jacks about. It's just silly racing. You're just out there in a demo derby."
YOU WERE UP FRONT AT TIMES. DID YOU FEEL YOU WERE COMPETITIVE? At the beginning of the race we did. The 24 had the whole field easily. He was like what the 8 usually looks like here. He could just do it all by himself. Other than that we were OK. If we had the right people pushing us and we were in the right line we could do OK."