MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 10th) "We are still the most unluckiest team out here. The 31 wasn't the fastest car by any means, but we weren't either. The 31 ran behind us and it's just unfortunate. Every time we pitted there...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 10th)
"We are still the most unluckiest team out here. The 31 wasn't the fastest car by any means, but we weren't either. The 31 ran behind us and it's just unfortunate. Every time we pitted there were more cars in front of us based on the gas deal."
IT TURNED ON THE ONE CAUTION DIDN'T IT? "Yeah, that happened twice. You can't come that early if you can't go far enough, so it isn't a stroke of brilliance. It looks like those guys are smarter, but they're not really. They've got an edge. If they had our car and they pitted like that, they'd run dry and wouldn't be too smart. They know what they've got and they've got an advantage in that area and I don't like this kind of racing. It ain't racing anymore. Sure, it's racing but it isn't the kind of racing that we did for 20 years."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 8th)
"We ran terrible today, really. We just didn't run good. We got lucky on the track. I bashed a fender in and we pitted just at the right time and that got us on our fuel cycle. I'm not really proud of the way we ran, but I'm really proud of the way we finished. We just hung in there all day and survived."
ARE YOU FEELING MORE AND MORE CHARMED WITH THE WAY THE BREAKS SEEM TO GO YOUR WAY? "Today definitely went our way. We had a caution when we needed it and all the things happened the right way for us to finish decent. I feel good for that because we didn't really run an eighth-place race, but we finished there. It's always good to finish better than you ran, I guess, and hopefully we'll go run better next week."
HOW BAD DID YOU NEED THAT LAST CAUTION? WERE YOU ON FUMES? "I think it was pretty low. I slowed down the last three or four laps and just held my position instead of trying to pass so I could save gas. It was probably pretty low, but we had enough."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 7th)
IT WAS ALL ABOUT TRACK POSITION AND YOU GOT IT AT THE END. "Yeah, this day and time. Especially on a road course because it's all about strategy and getting yourself in the right position. Shawn made a great call. My spotter (Bob Jeffrey) did a good job of telling him what was going on and he called me in and that really got us the track position that we needed. After that, I just tried to stay on the track as those guys ran off and the got us a pretty decent spot. We needed a good morale boost and this was a good day for us."
WAS THERE EVER A DOUBT ABOUT MAKING IT? "It was really, really close. I was trying to race and save as much as I could at the same time. That's kind of hard to do on a road course, but we made it work."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 12th)
"It wasn't all that bad for the Rubbermaid Ford. We got hurt by that fire in the pits, but everybody's got to be safe. People started short-pitting, but we're in a points battle and we can't be short-pitting and banking on cautions to come out to advance positions toward the end. So we just did our job. Nothing fell our way as far as breaks today. We had a mediocre car. I would guess that we could run sixth to eighth and with pit strategy and people coming in and gambling we faded a little."
IS IT GETTING TIRING WITH ALL THIS STRATEGY COMING INTO PLAY? "It's been developing over time and now it's in the forefront. People who haven't won races or people that aren't in a points battle are able to do more odds-and-end things that will advance their position. They're gambling, but we're trying to continue to hammer away and make sure that we don't step out of bounds."
DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 26th)
"The car was really pretty decent. I just got into Jimmy Spencer and spun the thing out and kind of killed our day. Once we got to the back we couldn't really make up any ground, so it was a decent car I just made a mistake."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Finished 32nd)
THE GEAR SHIFTER GOT STUCK? "Yeah, we had that happen a couple of weeks ago. We went and tested and it's a case where first and second gear aren't broke, you just can't get it to go in to first and second gear. I don't know what that is. We can adjust it make it go in for a little while, but then it will pop up. I don't know. We've got something going on there. It's happened to us twice in the last two weeks and it's mighty frustrating. We had a good chance today and it just didn't go our way."
ROBBIE REISER, Crew Chief - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus - CAN YOU CHALK THIS UP TO ANOTHER GREAT CALL AS FAR AS DECIDING TO GO THE DISTANCE ON FUEL? "I don't know if it's a great call (laughing). Matt had a tire rub and we had to do something about it. At the time we did something about it we probably couldn't make it by quite a bit, so we just had to hope for the best. Fortunately, we got two cautions that gave us enough fuel to get to the end."
WITHOUT THOSE CAUTIONS WOULD YOU HAVE HAD TO PIT AGAIN? "Oh, I don't know. We needed the first caution, which we got and then the second caution was just insurance so that we could make it to the end."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Finished 31st)
"It's unfortunate that this happens in our sport, but it just depends if it's your day or not. They told us on Friday in the meeting with 12 people - and I applaud him (John Darby) for admitting it in the trailer after the race - he said that's what he told us on Friday and then they told us in the driver's meeting that you have to come to a complete stop. My interpretation of doing that was so that people didn't decide they wanted to go straight through the chicane every once in a while and not really get penalized for it, like two or three times in a day, so I did what I was told behind closed doors by the director and he said he changed his mind between Friday and Sunday."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 21st)
"The brakes didn't work good all day and then the fuel mileage deal didn't work. We were out of sync with everybody on the pit stop, but fuel mileage killed us. We were out of sync with everybody and that's what killed us, plus we couldn't race like we needed to because we didn't have the brakes we needed. That's pretty much it."