CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Fuji Film/Target Dodge) -- Finished 7th "I'm a little frustrated. We came back, and at the end of the day I'm happy. I feel a lot more comfortable, and we've been fortunate to bring the same car back from Las Vegas and...
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Fuji Film/Target Dodge) -- Finished 7th
"I'm a little frustrated. We came back, and at the end of the day I'm happy. I feel a lot more comfortable, and we've been fortunate to bring the same car back from Las Vegas and Atlanta. The guys did a great job in the pits today, and I think we're only going to get better.
"If you were tight today you were kinda of stuck on the bottom. You tried to run the top and it wouldn't turn near as well, so you had to run the bottom. You lost the air off your nose so fast it was hard to pass. We were faster than Kurt Busch at the end, but we just couldn't get by him.
"The pit road penalty (speeding) set us back a good bit. We went from fourth to 15th, so we lost a lot of spots. It probably didn't kill us, but I would have liked to see what would have happened if we could have stayed up there. All those late cautions hurt us. The car got really tight, but I really like this car. I'd like to run it everywhere if I could."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- Finished 10th
"That was a tough top-10 finish, but that's two in a row and it got us a little closer to the top 10. The team never gave up today. Donnie (crew chief Wingo) and the guys did a great job in the pits. We'll take a break and then try to come back strong at Martinsville. We're going to test there next week, so hopefully we'll learn a lot and have a good car."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"We kept working hard and the car was really good at the end. I think we were headed for at least a top-10 finish and then we got caught up in whatever happened on that restart. It looked like a couple of cars checked up in front of me, and there wasn't anywhere to go. My hat's off to Kasey and his team today. He had a great car and drove a great race. He's coming so close it's only going to be a matter of time before he ends up in victory lane."
JOHN FERNANDEZ (Director, Dodge Motorsports Operations)
DODGES WERE RUNNING 1-5 ON LAP 50 AND FOUR ENDED UP IN THE TOP 10. KASEY KAHNE HAS THREE RUNNER-UP FINISHES, BUT DODGE STILL HASN'T WON IN 2004. "We just had some bad luck with the 12 and 40 today. We had a pretty strong day overall. We had two in the top five and Kasey came close to winning for the third time in eight races. Rusty had another good day, and Casey Mears was impressive. Jamie McMurray's car wasn't that good all weekend, and he came through with a 10th-place finish. That was impressive. We've got different people in the top 10 every week. I felt sorry for Ryan Newman today, and Sterling had a good run going, too. We got caught with a whole lot of cautions, and it took us a lot of laps to catch up. It's one thing or another, but if we keep running like this we'll win one soon."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) -- Finished Fifth
"We were pretty good right there at the end. I never would have believed the track would have tightened up that much, but it sure did. My car was tight today, but you would have never guessed how loose you would have to have it last night. We learned a lot today for California, I can tell you that. I'll put it in my memory bank and take it back to the shop and put it in the car. We're laying some points down, and we came from behind today. We came close to getting in trouble early with the tight car, but the caution flags came out at the right time. We had fast pit stops today, and everything went good.
"The crew was good. I was real happy with them. They did a good job. It just got too tight all day long. I can't believe how loose we had that car. We raised the track bar an inch, took six rounds of wedge out, let four pounds of air out of the right front tire and put three pounds in the right rear, and it just got right at the end of the race. We kept working on it. It was a good team effort to keep working on the car and make it quick.
"We had a good finish at Bristol, and it was nice to come to another track and have another top five. It worked out good. We had a good time today. It was a good handling car late in the race. I wish we could have had it like that at the start, but it was just too tight."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"We had a fight with the wall, and the wall won. That's usually the end result when that happens. The car was real good today. I think we easily had a top-five car. It was tight, but the guys kept working on it and got it better. We've had some really good runs lately, so we'll regroup and hopefully come back strong at Martinsville."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 91 Evernham Motorsports Dodge)
"We had a good racecar. Kasey has driven his tail off. He's got a real good car on long runs. I hope he can hold them off. My car got a little too tight on long runs. We just cut a tire down, plain and simple. I tried to get to pit road. It was just one of them days. I was proud of the effort. We had a real good racecar, stayed in the top five, top 10 most of the day. We got off a little bit when the sun went in, but all in all, we had a pretty good car.
"You have your ups and downs in this sport. I don't know when you'll see me again (racing). It'll probably be awhile.
"That 9 car is really tough on the long runs. He can't get going, but he's tough on the long runs. He's doing an excellent job. It seems like his car works well wherever he goes. He had a hard time getting starting, but about 20-25 laps into the run he really goes. He's got a lot of racing experience and knowledge. You've just got to understand these long races. That's the key to this stuff."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
"Something happened all of a sudden going into turn three. It sure would have been nice to hit a safer barrier. The car was really good on a long run. We struggled a little bit in traffic, and we struggled on that last restart getting up to speed. Once we got up to speed we were good. We were passing cars and making a race of it coming back. We were bouncing off the wall, and the throttle stuck at about 5,000 rpm's. That was it."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak Easy Share Dodge)
"We had a really good Dodge. I think we proved it out there today. We blew by the leaders on the restart, but we were a little too free. Shane Wilson and the Kodak team had great pit stops and made great adjustments. We were really getting close. I'm not really sure what happened to the engine. It looks like we lost the cam or something inside the motor. The Penske/Jasper horsepower shop make plenty of horsepower. You don't lose many Penske/Jaspers, so we'll let them lose one every once in awhile. I drove into turn one. The motor changed pitch and the oil pressure went down. We got lucky and saved the racecar. We thought we ran great today. We thought we had a top 15 car at least. We kept digging away. There's no quit in the Penske/Jasper team. I didn't have much of a chance to run with the 9 car because he'd leave me most of the time. He's got a good piece right now."