MIKE MCLAUGHLIN-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Finished 41st) WHAT STARTED THE WRECK? "That's a good question. Until I look at the replay I can't really say what happened. I was under the 20 and thought we had plenty of room there; there was ...
MIKE MCLAUGHLIN-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Finished 41st)
WHAT STARTED THE WRECK? "That's a good question. Until I look at the replay I can't really say what happened. I was under the 20 and thought we had plenty of room there; there was definitely a lane. The next thing I know I was turning to the right, and usually when that happens you've been clipped from the center of the car back to turn you in that direction. I'm not really sure. I'll look at it and go from there. It's just a short day and I hate it for the Marine Corps. I was doing my best to get that baby up front and it didn't get that far along in the program."
JASON KELLER-22-Miller High Life Light Ford Taurus (Finished 35th)
WHAT HAPPENED? "All I saw was a lot of smoke. That's what I was just asking Wes (Ward, crew chief) exactly what happened. He said it looked like some cars got three wide and then they got together. I thought I had it cleared and then I got hit in the right rear and got turned around. It was nobody's fault behind me; it was just one of those deals. I saw the smoke and unfortunately when that happens it's one of those accordion effects. I thought I had a hole but the guys behind me got turned around a little bit and I got ran into. It's just been one of those years unfortunately and we haven't been able to get a lot of things going our way. I tell everybody it's not from a lack of effort because everybody is working their tails off, we just can't get things going our way."
WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE CARS GOING THERE AND FOUR WIDE AT THE START OF THE RACE? "At this time of year nothing surprises me."
MATT KENSETH-17-Express Personnel Services Ford Taurus (Finished 1st)
"We've ran really good here at Atlanta a lot of times and it's probably one of the most fun tracks that we race at on the circuit. A lot of times we've been close but could never pull it off, but I'm glad we were able to today."
YOU WERE FIRST OUT OF THE PITS ON THE FINAL STOP. WAS THAT THE KEY TODAY? "I've been kind of on these guys hard for having good, solid pit stops, but not quite as fast as I wished. The second to last stop we lost three spots and that last pit stop they got me what I need and passed the leader and got me out front, and they redeemed themselves. That's what won the race for me - a great pit stop."
YOU WERE ABLE TO HOLD OFF KYLE BUSCH ON THE FINAL RESTART. "I lost the race at Charlotte I felt like on the restart. I was leading there with a short time to go and Jimmie got alongside of me and Mike Bliss got through for his first win. I spun the tires and totally messed that restart up. I was making sure I didn't mess up the restart here today."
VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW "The fans get mad when you don't do big burnouts, but today is kind of about respect. There's not a minute that went by all week or even during the race that we haven't thought about Rick and his family and Randy Dorton and all of the people lost; it was kind of a sad day. It was a good race. Our Express Personnel Services Ford handled really well all day. We were pretty good on the short runs. Cully (Charles Barraclough, crew chief) and all of these guys behind me did a good job. I've been on them about pit stops and the last pit stop they beat the 38 out of the pits, and that's what we needed to win."
GREG BIFFLE-60-Charter Communications Ford Taurus (Finished 5th)
"The Charter car was just off a little bit today. This is one of our best cars that we've won all the races with. I'm not sure where we're off. We just couldn't get the balance right. When I got one end working I couldn't get the other end to work. The guys did a great job in the pits; we made a lot of changes plus spring rubbers in and out of this thing. A tremendous job by the guys in the pits today. I just drove my tail off, and I'm glad we didn't quit and got another top-five."
"We were just off a little bit on the Charter car. We felt like our body was real good; that's the car that we've run everywhere. It really optimizes it aero-wise. We were just off on this slick race track a little bit. I don't know where, but guys were a little better than us. We probably didn't focus as much as we needed to in Happy Hour and then in practice coming here, but I had a lot of things on my mind with all of the things that happened this week. Not a bad run for us, a top five, so we're pretty happy. My car was about the same on long runs as it was on short runs. The guys just did a fantastic job in the pits today. We put a bunch of spring rubbers in and out and didn't lose any spots, so the guys, I'm proud of them because they've come a long ways. That kept us up there, good pit stops did."
WAS TIRE WEAR AN ISSUE TODAY AND WILL IT BE AN ISSUE TOMORROW? "It probably was because the track was green and that's the first time that we've raced on it. I don't think so for tomorrow. Yes, today because the track was so green. We had cords all the way on our left front, but I don't think tomorrow that you will see that."
MARK MARTIN-9-Cottman Transmissions Ford Taurus (Finished 6th)
"We had a good run and everybody did a great job today, we just didn't quite have what a few of them had there. But, we had a good one."
WAS TIRE WEAR AN ISSUE TODAY? "No, I don't see any issues with tires; they seemed to work really well."
ROBERT PRESSLEY-47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus (Finished 13th)
"These guys worked really hard this week. We've got a new car here this week and got to do some testing. We're not in the top 10 right now, but we're sure getting on to it now. This is Atlanta and that's what makes the racing here so good, and what a fun race track to drive because you run two, three and four wide all the time. It's just fun to race here."
WITH NO MORE SHORT TRACKS ON THE SCHEDULE THIS YEAR, IS THE KIND OF FINISH YOU NEEDED TODAY? "We've got Phoenix and everybody looks at it as a short track, but we've been so far off on these big tracks that's this is what we needed here."