BUSCH: Atlanta Ford post-race quotes

MARK GREEN-55-Davis & Weight Motorsports Ford Taurus (Retired, Lap 50) - WHAT HAPPENED? "Something went through the grille and punched a hole in the radiator. We lost all the water out of it and the motor seized. That's all for us today." HOW...

MARK GREEN-55-Davis & Weight Motorsports Ford Taurus (Retired, Lap 50) - WHAT HAPPENED? "Something went through the grille and punched a hole in the radiator. We lost all the water out of it and the motor seized. That's all for us today."
HOW WERE THE TRACK CONDITIONS? "They were about the same as yesterday. It was kinda slick."
DID WINSTON CUP HAPPY HOUR ADD SOME RUBBER TO TRACK AND ALLOW FOR A WIDER GROOVE? "Our car was better today, but I don't know if Happy Hour had anything to do with that."

KEVIN LEPAGE-71-State Fair Corn Dogs Ford Taurus (Retired, Lap 66) - "We had an electrical problem with the car. I really hate it for all of the guys on the State Fair Brand Corn Dogs team. We had a good car and started moving up. I think we were running almost in the top 10 when we had the problem, and since you're not running for points, it's just as easy to get it ready for next week at Darlington. We had a decent pit stop and the setup was really good; I found the line that was working for me. I really believe we had an easy top-five car today but maybe next week."
COULD YOU GET THE CAR FIXED? "No. I mean we could, but we have to work on it too many laps. We're here to win races, not to run for points."
WAS THERE A BIG RACING GROOVE? "The one good thing about our car was the fact it was able to work on the bottom and the top. We were able to pass cars on the top and the bottom, and that's a testimony to all the guys working real hard after Vegas to do a good job here. We were doing a good job, but unfortunately, it ended 125 laps too early."

ELTON SAWYER-98-Starter/Hot Tamales Ford Taurus (Retired, Lap 103) - "Wow, what a hit. I've never hit that hard in my life. I saw the smoke and the next thing I saw was the 61 coming down. The spotter already said to go low and I turned and he came at my windshield so fast. I'm a little sore in my chest area, but if I didn't have that device my head would have been holding the steering wheel. Thanks to Jim Downing and Bob Hubbard for it, I appreciate it. I hate it for my Georgia Bulldog car, it wasn't where we needed it to be, it was a little loose, but we found a pretty good groove up top and we thought we had a top 15 before the caution."
DID YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS GETTING OUT OF THE CAR WITH THE HANS DEVICE? "No, I got out fine. I've worked with it quite a bit this year, and like every driver, I wasn't as comfortable getting in and out of the car, but I worked hard on my headrest so that I could. I actually got out of the car with it on, but that probably saved me from serious injury today."

RYAN NEWMAN-02-ALLTEL Ford Taurus (Retired, Lap 109) - "I just got hit for behind, evidently. Somebody wasn't patient or something happened where he had to do what he had to do. I got hit from behind, got loose, tried to correct it, saved it once and then the wall came up and I couldn't do anything."
WERE THEY BUNCHED UP IN FRONT OF YOU? "No. I think that he just got a good run and I didn't. He didn't have to, but he did, whoever it was, I don't even know. All I know is that I got hit from behind, got loose, had it saved and then the wall came up. I think that if we had the opportunity to get our lap back we were definitely a top-five car. We kept on working on the car all day, the guys did a good job in the pits, it's unfortunate to have an incident like that when we had a top-five race car."

GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd) - "I ran into the wall there and I didn't think that I was going to finish the race. The guys did a great job preparing this car and the guys back at the body shop are probably mad at me right now. We brought three of them in a row back torn up a little bit, but we're getting good finishes out of it. We're a new team and I made a rookie mistake out on the track, a few minor mistakes in the pits, nothing bad, but we brought her home in second place and I'm excited about that. I owe a lot to Mark Martin and Jeff Burton. Those guys are really coming together and giving me what I need to race here. Mark sat me down this morning and told me what I needed to do to win here today, and I almost did it but I let him down, too."
COULD YOU FEEL THE TIRE GOING DOWN? "Yeah. I would go down in the corners and it wouldn't turn and then I would got to the throttle and it kept being loose. I was just hanging on, doing what ever I could do to get to the checkered flag because I owed it to these guys. They worked really hard, built me a brand new car, a really good car and I wrecked it with 15 to go. I'm so glad I was able to finish the race and come home in second place. I just ran it hard enough to keep the 00 back there, they kept giving me my times and his times. I could go faster, but the tire was filling the car with smoke in the corners, the tires were rubbing and I was really nervous that I was going to wreck."
YOU DIDN'T WANT TO BRING IT IN? "No, I didn't. If I were to bring it in, we would have finished 20th today. It was probably stupid on my part, a race car driver won't be around a long time doing that. We saw Rick Carelli hit on a half-mile track, not a mile-and-a-half track like Atlanta. You get fenders into the tires and you need to come in, but I thought it was a 200 and looked at the scoreboard and said to myself, 'I can make it. I can make it four more if I limp it around.' But, I just kept gaining speed because the guy was coming and coming."
YOU FINISHED SECOND TO WINSTON CUP REGULARS THE PAST TWO WEEKS. DOES THAT MAKE YOU A BETTER DRIVER? "I wish they all would come down and race me, and make me finish 15th because Michael Waltrip came blowing by me in the beginning and taught me what I needed to know about Atlanta to come back and beat Nemechek for the win. Waltrip is a veteran driver that knows how to get around these race tracks and taught me more here today than I learned testing."

JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle NesQuik Ford Taurus (Finished 5th) - ANOTHER TOP-10 FINISH. "It's just upsetting that a couple of those guys beat us that I don't think should have. We just really worked hard on our Ford this weekend to get to the track like I felt like we needed. I think we learned a lot about our aero package and what we want in the future, and I think from here on out we'll be better. We're gaining on it, we're not leading every lap and that's what we want to do. We're just fighting and digging all we can dig to get in that situation where we can get up there and challenge those guys for Victory Lane."
YOU WEREN'T HAPPY AFTER QUALIFYING. CAN YOU PUT YOUR FINGER ON ONE THING THAT MADE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE? "Well, we just got together to try to get the car to feel like I wanted it to, some suspension stuff that we did a lot different today and found out in Happy Hour last night to make it feel better for me. I think that will even help us in the weeks to come, and if we get our aero package even better, I think we'll be even better from here on out. This track is an aero killer if you don't have a good body and if you don't have the aero package balanced right, it's going to show balanced up big time here and I think we gained a lot today."
THERE WERE THREE WINSTON CUP DRIVERS IN THE TOP FIVE. WILL RACING THEM MAKE YOU A BETTER DRIVER? "Oh yeah. Anytime you run against those guys, you learn stuff. If it was all Busch guys, I don't think we would have run up against the fence like we did. Those guys got up there and showed us that we can do it. It just makes you learn stuff every lap. I learned a lot today and that will carry on throughout the year when they're not here."

JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Finished 7th) - THIS WAS A SOLID FINISH AFTER YOU STRUGGLED EARLY IN THE RACE. "The crew just kept me out there and really worked hard. I drove my heart out, but this was as much of a team effort as you could possibly have all weekend. We'll get it figured out; we're not that far off, and I'm real proud of my guys because they kept me out there all day."
WAS THERE ANY ONE INSTANCE THAT CHANGED YOUR FORTUNE? "The team. The team did everything today. I drove my heart out, but they never did give up and Steve (Addington) never let me give up. I drove my heart out and the field really can into play. That car was a ton better than it had been all weekend. That's what we needed. We kind of used today as a test session for this tire, and we made an 'A' out of it."
DID THE RUBBER FROM WINSTON CUP HAPPY HOUR MAKE A BIGGER GROOVE? "I was real loose early, but once we got that I was pretty good. Once we got the car comfortable we were good. My car wouldn't run much on the top, but it ran well on the bottom. I just searched around in the beginning to find out where we were best."


"I'll tell you what. If it wasn't for Michael there is no way that I would have finished second today. He came driving by us like we weren't even racing, like the caution was out, on the high side and I thought, 'If I try that, I'm going to wreck.' I just slowly started moving up and moving up and he really showed me a lot, him and Nemechek both. I learned more from those guys during the race than I did here at my test. The Grainger Ford Taurus was really good today and the guys did a great job. Man, I thought I could catch them at the end there, but I was trying real hard and got beside some lapped cars going in over there, got too eager and got my right-rear up in the marbles or the fuzz entering the corner. My car wasn't tight leaving the corners like everybody else, my car was really good, it just didn't have enough."

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE WAY? "The way I got into the wall at the end, I was up high going against some lap cars and I just got a little bit too high on the race track entering the corner, and I got outside the line and got into the fuzz. It started getting loose on me and I got it back , then I put wheel to it, and then it started getting loose again and I know I was going to hit. I got loose and the back end hit the wall and it slammed the front end against the wall and then I came down and hit it again and thought that my raceday was over. The tires were leaking air at least the right-rear was hissing, so I mean three more laps and I probably would have wrecked."

HOW MANY MORE LAPS? "I probably had two or three more, four more laps probably and that tire would have come off the bead. It was smoking real bad in the corners, so the fenders were rubbing on the tires. I wasn't sure if that was going to cut the tire and send me in the wall at 180 mph, either. We didn't have that great of a Happy Hour and we talked to Mark Martin. Mark Martin sat me down this morning and told me what I needed to do to win here and what not to do in the race, and what springs not to run. He told me what I had in there I wouldn't be able to run with, and I took his advice and changed the car around and then started to follow Michael on the race track and then started adjusting in the pits and the guys got me a great car."

TALK ABOUT YOUR TROUBLE ON PIT ROAD. "Those things will happen, and it was partially my fault for not looking ahead and partially our spotter's fault, and maybe partially the fault of the guys on pit road. You really have to be on your toes and we talked about it right there after I left and I said, 'If you see the left side of a car up in the air, you know that they're leaving in five to seven seconds.' I was staying out and staying out like NASCAR wants us to and I was going to cut over. If I was closer I might have been able to get in front of him, but I was out here and started coming this way and he was pulling out, and I'm sure he slowed up a little bit, but there was no way I was going to get around him so I stopped as fast as I could. It was nobody's fault, that's what congestion on pit road will do, and I lost a bunch of time on the race track, obviously, but we recovered from it and I wish we could have had our fair chance to catch Nemechek at the end. I ran it into the wall with 16 to go, so we'll never know. It was good enough to catch him, and I hadn't run it at 100 percent yet. I was at 80 percent and wrecking over there in Turn 4 wasn't from trying too hard, it was that I got in the wrong spot in the race track and shouldn't have been there and couldn't recover from it. I wasn't over-driving it or entered too fast, I just got on the wrong spot in the race track. I was paying attention to the cars beside me and not to the ones ahead of me, and stuff is going by at 200 (mph), and I turned the wheel and I missed the line in the corner. It was just a matter of me making a mistake."


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Drivers Jeff Burton , Michael Waltrip , Jim Downing , Mark Martin