RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Fourth Note: Newman earned his series-leading 12th top-five finish of 2003 in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega this weekend. The finish bested his previous high of seventh at Talladega, which he...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Fourth
Note: Newman earned his series-leading 12th top-five finish of 2003 in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega this weekend. The finish bested his previous high of seventh at Talladega, which he earned last fall. He has finished in the top-five in 11 of the last 18 races.
"We had to come back in to pit after blowing a tire on the racetrack. That's what happened there. To be able to fight back from that was just a true team effort. You see a lot more unhappy people than you do happy people at this racetrack.
"I've got a smile on my face just because we finished the race. It's really no fun out there. If you can get back up to the front - whatever lap it is, if it's the last lap thankfully - you'll have a fun day. But other than that it's no fun. Beating and banging around there at 190 mph. we've got cars that are torn up just like they are at Bristol and Martinsville. It's not fun and to me it's not racing, but I do it because it's part of what we do."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid) - Ninth
"It was a tough day, no doubt about that. But it was a good day. It was a really good day, it was just tough at the end there. Mark (Martin) and I were drafting. I had a heck of a run on him, and I drove underneath him and passed him. He got shuffled to the back, and I feel bad about that. But then, coming off turn four the No. 20 car drove up underneath me there, and that got me shuffled to the back. It's a tough restrictor-plate race. I got sliding all over out there. But it was a good race. Our Dodge really ran strong today, and I was really happy for the guys.
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) - 13th
"The rules change didn't do anything, really. It's just typical Talladega."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline Dodge Intrepid) - 16th
"I led a little bit there at the beginning. We just weren't fast when we needed to be. I'm pretty happy that we finished. We haven't finished on of these all year long. That's not great, but we beat Greg (Biffle) again in the Raybestos Rookie race. The No. 01 car got into me a little bit and it knocked me into the No. 24 and just poked a hole in the nose. That really didn't hurt us. I mean, we were pretty fast there at the end again. I just couldn't time it out right. I think I was up to about seventh on the next to last lap and I lost all that. I thought I finished about fifth (laughs) by the way it looked.
"This was the same car that we had at Daytona. We thought it was this good at Daytona, but we just didn't get a chance to show it. They went back and rebuilt it. I'll tell you what, our speedway program is incredible with me, Casey, Sterling, all of our guys, the engine shop and the guys that hang the bodies. That was just amazing."
"We'll have a shot to win Kansas and Charlotte. We tested at Charlotte and had an awesome test, and I like Kansas. It's my hometown and we're running the Busch car, so we're really looking forward to going there."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (No. 44 Bugles Dodge Intrepid) - 28th
"We had a pit incident when Craven stopped. Someone nailed me from behind, and I nailed him. We had to fix the nose, and we lost some time there. We probably lost our lap there. But, if we had stayed on the lead lap we had a car that could've run easily with the pack all day. A lot of it was going to just depend on the mess at the end.
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) - 38th
"I was just going into turn three, and it just started vibrating and dropped down on the left-rear. We were just trying to be patient out there. I hate it for everybody else out here that got torn up.
"When I went into three I felt it drop down on the left-rear and start vibrating. I knew then that I had a tire going down. Then we were just trying to hang on. We went all the way around and spun out. I just hate it that it started a wreck like that. That's what's bad about Talladega - if one person has a problem then it screws a lot of cars. We weren't expecting to cut a left-rear tire, or whatever happened. It doesn't make sense."
"We've had a lot of good luck here in the past, but today wasn't our day. It was just a bad day for our Dodge Dealers Dodge. It was going to be a good one. We had a good Dodge, but we just fell a little short."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid) - 39th
"We busted our radiator. We got hot yesterday, and we kind of kept hot all day today - around 240-250 degrees. When we got in that big pack of cars we got up over 250, and at about 260 we split the radiator. You hate it for all of the guys. The guys at the fab shop really built a fine car to come down here and qualify fourth right out of the box. Ernie's (Elliott, engine builder) motor guys have done a good job. We had a good car. We were just riding, making laps and getting where we needed to be towards the end here."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid) - 37th
"I haven't seen Sterling's car yet, but we had a similar problem. We're not exactly sure what happened, to be honest. But it's a pressurized system, and it built up a lot of pressure and it looked like it blew the radiator apart. It's just too bad for the Target Dodge and the whole team. We've had a tough year, and this looked like it would've been a pretty good race for us. Really, we were just trying to stay out of trouble the whole race. Anytime we wanted to go towards the front, we could. We were just kind of riding in the back and going up there every now and then to see how things were. I'm really proud of the guys back in the shop and Ernie Elliott's engines. I mean, we had a good motor and we had a good car. Obviously we qualified good. We just needed a break.