BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge) NOTE: Gaughan's fourth-place finish was his career best on the NASCAR NEXTEL circuit. He was also the top finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Race for the second straight race. "It was awesome. The...
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge)
NOTE: Gaughan's fourth-place finish was his career best on the NASCAR NEXTEL circuit. He was also the top finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Race for the second straight race.
"It was awesome. The Kodak guys have been working hard, and the Penske guys as a group has built their first ever superspeedway specific team. The guys in the back of the No. 77 Jasper shop have been building superspeedway Dodges for the team, and it's the first time the Penske group has ever done something like that. It's paid off with a fourth-place finish. We went to the front a couple of times and went to the back a couple of times. We had a good race car. The Kodak Dodge was good, but it never stayed up there. I'm not smart enough to try to team up with Junior to try to stay up there. I was just trying to fight for myself. In the end, we just rolled the dice. Shane (crew chief Wilson) and Doug Bawel, the owner of Jasper, both came on the radio and said 'we're not going to make it.' I came on and said, 'I don't care.' We're not racing for the championship. We're 30th in points or whatever. We have nothing to lose but to try to go for it and put it in fourth gear and try to conserve fuel under caution. It worked. We ended up fourth and led a couple of laps. I tried to block Kevin (Harvick), but I missed and then just held on and tried to get back in the draft before they all passed me."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"I'm not sure what happened to the 43. Somebody must have turned him because he turned right in front of us. We were just sticking to our game plan, that was to either be up front or stay in the back to the end. That's what we were doing. What do you do? You can't really predict what's going to happen here. We fixed our Dodge and got back out and gained all the points we could.
"We've had a good year so far. We've just got to keep fighting back and do the best we can. We knew Talladega was going to be a weird race for us, but who knows what's going to happen. We've just got to keep fighting. We're doing all we can do. We're just going to try to go win races now. That's about all that's left to do."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
"The driver got a little greedy trying to do a gas and go, and that cost us a bunch of track position. It's just stupid racing here at Talladega. That's pretty much it. We tried to play it smart. There wasn't really a big crash, but there were a lot of potential big crashes. The car was all right, but you've got all of 'em running the same speed, so it was kinda hard to pass. It was an OK points day. We needed to win, but we'll take what we got. We finished and that's the good thing. I'm ready for any place besides here."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"Michael (Waltrip) blew a tire, and I blew a left rear and spun. He blew a right front. There had to be something on the racetrack. I really don't know why I blew a tire, if I got into someone or if there was something on the track. Somehow it just went around in one and two. On pit road, Tommy (Team Director Baldwin) said I had clear one lane, so I went out one lane. He (48 car) came out, too, and we both got beat up. That's how I went a lap down, the fender got bent in on the tire. We had to pit later."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"There was a car out there trying to decide if it was going to pit or not. It cut up and ran us into the wall and the 18 got into me. We were just riding around saving fuel. I think we had the only car that could make it on fuel, so we were headed for a good finish. It was just a dumb move on his part. That's about all you can say."