MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 30th) WHAT HAPPENED AT THE START? "I don't know. We've got some kind of steering problem and we also had a flat tire under the green. We were actually gonna be OK one lap down if we hadn't had the...
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 30th)
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE START? "I don't know. We've got some kind of steering problem and we also had a flat tire under the green. We were actually gonna be OK one lap down if we hadn't had the flat too. That really hurt us. The steering thing really hurt us too, but we fought hard. It just wasn't meant to be."
WERE YOU JUST DOING THE REGULAR PRE-RACE ROUTINE, WARMING UP THE TIRES? "Yep, and then the steering locked. Then it unlocked." WHAT ABOUT THE DAY OVERALL? "That's the kind of blow that really takes you out of these things and we can't afford for that to happen anymore. It was a great fight for the race team, but we had a flat too and that cost us probably another 10 spots. We did all we could do under the circumstances and that's all we can do."
WHAT ABOUT THE PACE LAP, THE STEERING WHEEL LOCKED UP? "Yeah. It was some kind of hydraulic problem, I think. I never put it in that position again in that situation during the race. After the race I tried it and it did the same thing, so it's some kind of hydraulic flow problem in the power ring, I think."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 9th)
"You could go up and then go back, it's just a matter of positioning. It came down to fuel mileage and that's kind of strange, but this is the first time with these fuel cells. We came up about two laps short and probably weren't quite aggressive enough early because then we might have been able to make it."
WHAT ABOUT THE FUEL CELL RULE IN GENERAL? "It still seemed bunched up and it seemed like a good race still. It broke us up for a while, but eventually things got packed back up."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 11th)
"Everybody used their heads pretty well. It looked like everybody really gave each other room and worked together really well. That's why we didn't have any cautions. There were a lot of chances for cautions, but we just never had one."
WHAT ABOUT THE FUEL CELL? "I think the only thing it did was separate the race at the end. Some people couldn't go as far as the others, so it made the end of the race not so hectic. It was a good day for us. We ran great all day. We couldn't go as far as the 97, I don't know why that is, but we'll figure that out. The car ran well. We had good pit stops. All of that went real well, we just didn't have fuel mileage."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 14th)
"This was better than a typical restrictor plate race. There wasn't a wreck, so that was good. In a typical race, we usually wreck so it was a pretty good race and I thought everything went well." HOW DID YOU RUN? "We ran great, but we didn't get good fuel mileage or we didn't figure it good or something. We had to pit an extra time more than everybody else and that killed us."
WHAT ABOUT THE FUEL CELL RULE? "It didn't make any difference. You would have seen the same race if we would have had 22 gallons or 13 gallons. It didn't make any difference. With 22 gallons, it was all set up where everybody could make it on the same stops, but here, everybody couldn't make it on the same stops, so it kind of shafted some of us who couldn't make it all the way on fuel. That's just the way it is."
RYAN PEMBERTON, Crew Chief --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Blaney finished 31st)
YOU HAD FUEL PROBLEMS. "Yeah, we were taken a little bit by surprise there. I felt our mileage was gonna be a lot better. We were probably the first ones to run out, around lap 34 going into turn one, and that just put us behind and set the tone for the rest of the race for us. It's a shame because we had a good car and no opportunity to show it. It wasn't a pick-up problem, we picked it all up, it was a volume problem. We need to hold more. When you condense the size of it, you cut your margin in half of what your cushion is and I guess we used up all of our cushion. Maybe in a bigger draft we had to work the throttle a little more than in practice or something like that, but I thought we'd have at least two laps of cushion and we used it all up. Something happened and I guess I didn't do a very good job of figuring gas mileage this time. It's probably the first time I've ever run out at a place like this."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 13th)
"We had a real good car, but I could never lead as much as I wanted to and fuel mileage killed me. I was just way short on fuel mileage. Ryan was able to go a little longer than I was. We pulled a lower gear and I guess that's what killed us."
DID THE FUEL CELL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE KIND OF RACE WE SAW? "Not for a while it didn't, but right there at the very end it kind of spread everybody out. That was about it, though."
SOME GUYS IN FRONT OF YOU HAD PROBLEMS TODAY IN THE POINTS. "We moved into fifth and that's good. We're only a hundred-and-some out, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. We've just got to gain some more now."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 36th)
"We had a pretty good car. We came in and made some adjustments and just went the wrong way. It's just our luck because when we did that, it was the time we had the long green flag run. That got us a few laps down and it was just hard to make it up from there. We had a good car at the beginning of the race, we just went the wrong way a little bit. It was a tough day. We had a great race car. I made a mistake at the beginning. I thought I could get down sooner than I could and just ran out of gas sooner that I thought we would. That kind of put us in a hole, but then it was all for naught anyway because we broke both shocks on the front. It was a tough day, but I'm proud of my guys. We've struggled with restrictor plate races this year, but they brought me a great race car and a great motor. It just wasn't meant to be today."