MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 41st) "Somebody spun the 38 out. That's about all I saw - the 38 spun. I just want to say one thing, the fans are the only ones that can do something about this. No one else can - the drivers can't,...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 41st)
"Somebody spun the 38 out. That's about all I saw - the 38 spun. I just want to say one thing, the fans are the only ones that can do something about this. No one else can - the drivers can't, the owners can't and NASCAR's not gonna do anything about it. I doubt if the fans can either. I know that it's exciting racing to watch, but I didn't even get a sweat worked up. You just can't go against God's will. I'd have a championship by now if it was God's will. I'm OK and we'll finish this one off and worry about next year next year."
WHAT ARE YOUR EMOTIONS? "I don't really have any other than I'm glad this is over with. I didn't even work up a sweat. Maybe they won't fix the thing and I won't have to go back out. That's kind of how I feel about it right now. These guys are incredible. They can fix anything, but this one is gonna be a challenge."
WHAT HAPPENED? "They had a big wreck in front of me."
ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE? ARE YOU OK? "I'm like a mule. I can take it. The safety devices are incredible today. We used to take those kind of whoopings without all that stuff and it was a lot worse. This one is over with and we'll pick up and go on. I told some guys a while ago that it's hard to fight God's will and today God's will was for me to finish about last. I'd have a championship right now if it was His will, so we're gonna take what we can get this year and see what happens going forward and see if everybody else in the chase flips before the race is over."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR TITLE CHANCES NOW? "It hurts. What are you gonna do? It would be hard to win this championship if I would have got a top 10. You figure it out."
WHAT DID YOU SEE? "I just saw the 38 spinning. You guys saw it. I haven't seen it yet. All I saw was the 38 out of control in front of us and we all know how that had to have happened. I don't know how it happened because I didn't see it."
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED? "Once somebody wrecks in front of you there's not much. I got hit from behind and hit the guys in front of me. You can't stop as fast in these cars as a car that is wrecking can stop, so it's impossible to slow down fast enough so I got hit both - behind and I hit the guys in front of me. We just kept hitting stuff."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 34th)
"I'm just really upset. It's lap 18. Where are you going? I'm really upset at Jimmie. We've got three pedals in these cars and as many times as he's been drafting here he knows that you always stack up at the end of every straightaway - it's the way the draft works. I guess he's trying to keep his streak alive. He caused a big wreck here last year and he caused a big one again this year. Maybe that's his way of racing here at Talladega as far as trying to get rid of everybody so he can try to win the race. I don't know. I'm just really upset right now. I'm just frustrated. Usually Jimmie and I can race each other clean. I just don't understand on lap 18. If it was the last lap I understand, you've got to go, but not lap 18. So we're gonna try to fix it and get it back out there and get as many points as we can."
YOUR CAR WAS OBVIOUSLY GOOD. "Our car was awesome. I was just hanging out playing and just picking a line and staying in it. I was just riding and trying to at least make it to a pit stop, and we didn't even get to make it to our first pit stop. It's been one of those years for us. I think this is three years in a row for us - this fall Talladega race - we just cannot finish this race."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Finished 27th)
"It was pretty obvious what happened. It looked like Ryan Newman spun the 41 out. It's unfortunate. We were right there racing with those guys, but I had a good race car. This is what people pay their money to come see and pay to watch television and listen to the radio is big crashes here at Talladega. Everybody loves it."
JARRETT GETS BACK IN VICTORY LANE
* Dale Jarrett snapped a 98-race winless stretch with today's win.
* Jarrett's triumph was the 32nd of his NNC career and 30th with Ford, which ranks fourth on the all-time manufacturer list. Ned Jarrett is the all-time Ford leader with 43 wins while Bill Elliott is second (40) and Mark Martin third (34).
* The win for Jarrett was his 19th in the Taurus, which is the most among Ford drivers.
* Today's win is the 12th of the season for Ford, which is two more than last year.
* Ford has 566 all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series wins.
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus - VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW
WHAT ABOUT THE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS? "
First I've got to thank Todd Parrott and our guys in the fab shop. The pit crew did a great job today and Doug Yates and his people with a great engine. It's just incredible. I wasn't tired until the last few laps, but that exhausted me. On the restart I kind of made a deal to go with Tony. I know he's racing for a championship there and being in fourth I wasn't sure what kind of chance I would get, but I thought if I could go with him - but we got kind of a bad restart up front and guys started dicing around. When we got back to the tri-oval I had gotten a little push and Tony went to the outside. I said, 'Well, I told him I'd follow him, I'm going.' He had such a run that he went from the outside to the inside and I didn't have anywhere to go but to the outside of Matt. He was trying to block Tony and it worked out, and then Matt gave me a push down the backstretch and that was the winning part of it."
THE CAR WAS STRONG ALL DAY. "
We made a track bar and air-pressure adjustment the first pit stop and actually went a little bit too far. It was a little loose in the center of the corner and that's what I was concerned with. After that, we actually came back up with the air-pressure and got the car where I could go in the middle of a three-wide deal and that's what I was looking for because I knew that would happen at the end. For the rest of the race we just hung out. They kept wrecking and running into each other so I said, 'We'll just hang out here and wait until it's time to go.' Fortunately, we were in that position to do that."
FEB. 2003 SINCE YOUR LAST WIN. DOES THIS MEAN AS MUCH AS THE ONE IN '91? "
It's hard to believe. Yeah it does. When you get to this point of your career you're not exactly sure when that last victory is gonna be there, so you learn to cherish each one. I knew we had a race team that could challenge. Todd has brought a lot of leadership back to our race team and he made the right calls in the pits and had us in the right sequence there at the right time. This means a lot to me."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 World Financial Group Taurus (Finished 5th)
"I had a blast. The whole day the car was awesome. We could go back up to the front. The World Financial Group and everyone did a great job. I'm proud of Dale Jarrett. That's so cool for him to get a win. That's pretty neat. I'm just glad we didn't crash Ryan Newman when I bumped him there. It was wild and he did a great job saving it."
WHAT ABOUT THE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS? "In the back of my mind I didn't think the 88 car, I didn't think Dale Jarrett was gonna go that hard and they dropped the green flag and I was like, 'That looks like the guy to follow,' so I tried to tuck up behind him. Everybody was trying everything. It was just a blast."
YOU SURVIVED THE WRECKS AND DEBRIS. WHAT WAS GOING ON? "I don't know. I almost caused a couple of wrecks. It's really tough and I'm really glad nobody got hurt. One of those wrecks, I think it was Scott Riggs flipping end over end and something hit my car. We ran over something and I couldn't figure out what it was and I looked over and the front windshield was broke. Something shattered the right side, the Lexan and all that, so it was kind of crazy. I'm just glad nobody got hurt."
"The guys really worked on this Ford here and I think you can tell from Dale Jarrett winning and Elliott Sadler on the pole that the Fords are really stepping it up and that means a lot."
WHAT ABOUT THE LAST FEW LAPS? "Yeah, that was wild. Matt and I worked really well together all day. I just stayed glued to his back bumper as long as I could and I had a good time. That was fun. I'm really happy for Dale Jarrett to win the UAW-Ford 500, that's as good as it gets." A GOOD POINTS DAY TOO FOR YOU. "That's all we could ask for as far as points. That's awesome."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Finished 3rd)
WHAT ABOUT AT THE END. WERE YOU A SITTING DUCK? "Yeah, but I don't feel like I'm the best driver at this restrictor plate stuff anyway. You want to be leading everywhere at the end with two to go, except for I think here. I don't know. I wasn't very good at restarts to get through the gears. I don't know if it was our ratios or what, but I knew that was gonna be tough and I saw them all gang up. I just didn't know where to block next, so once I did get shuffled back three-wide there, I could have gone with the 88 or the 20 and I gave the 88 a nice push. That was my best chance to get by and that's pretty cool that DJ won."
YOU USED YOUR MIRROR TO TRY AND KEEP THE 20 BEHIND YOU. "Yeah, I mean the thing is you can only block so much without wrecking. Tony was blocking a lot earlier when I was trying to pass him early in the race, but at the end of the race neither one of you are gonna lift and you can only go across the front end so much before you get yourself and him wrecked, so you've got to try to keep your position but you can't be dumb either."
IS IT A RELIEF TO GET THROUGH THIS? "Yeah, I mean we led a couple of laps and we finished third, I believe. You've got to be pretty happy with that. Some other people had trouble like we had last week, so, hopefully, it'll get us caught up in the points a little bit. It's just disappointing when you restart in the lead on the last lap and finish third. I'm disappointed about that, but happy with our day overall."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus
"Good 'ol Talladega. Just another day at the race track. It's what we expect when we come here. We come here for the fans and for TV - to put on a show and they got to see a great show today. That's what it's about. It's unfortunate we were involved in that wreck. I don't know how it started, but we have to watch the tapes and figure it out."
WHERE DOES TODAY PUT YOU IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "Not too bad. We finished 27th and it could have been worse. We could have been 35th or 40th, so 27th isn't where we wanted to be but I don't think that's gonna take us out of it."
KANSAS IS NEXT. "All we can try and do is go there and do the best we can and just be careful racing around certain people that are gonna start accidents. Hopefully it won't happen anywhere but here, but it's too bad people have to get impatient. We can put on a good race. You see what happens. You've got two or three big wrecks and then it was single-file the rest of the day. There was a lot of mixing it up at the lead, but the three-wide, 20-deep is gone. That racing is over. It's just too bad they tore up a lot of good cars."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie Taurus (Finished 8th)
"Our car was damaged pretty bad. The toe-out was knocked out about an inch-and-a-half, but, luckily we got that caution. There' something against us, but we just have to keep pulling through. To get a flat tire all on our own and wreck, and to come back and still finish eighth is a great day for our Sharpie Ford."
IS THERE A SECOND WHEN THE TIRE GOES DOWN WHEN YOU SAY, 'NOT AGAIN?' "I was just asking why. It's unfair that we get that type of flat tire syndrome, but we'll bounce back and see what we can get."
YOU GOT AS MANY POINTS AS YOU COULD UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. "Yeah, eighth was great considering our car was very damaged, but it's just a question of why do we get a flat tire while leading. We bounced back though and finished eighth. A lot of guys were wounded, so now we go to Kansas and go back to the normal type of racing."
THE FLAT TIRE CAME IN A GOOD SPOT. "It didn't matter. We pounded the fence and it didn't matter because the yellow came out."
IT WAS A WILD DAY. "There were some hard times out there trying to dodge the wrecks and just position our car where we were in a safe position, but a bunch of guys that hadn't won races before were up front and going fast. It just seems like now the evolution of restrictor plates has caught everybody. Everybody is fast and everybody is the same speed, so we should shake it up again so we can separate some of the pack."