BUSCH: Atlanta Motor Speedway post-race quotes I

SECOND-PLACE FINISHER KEVIN HARVICK (No. 21 Autozone Chevrolet): I had to check and make sure we were at the right race track. We've struggled a lot here over the last few years. We hit it right there at the end and really got the car working...


I had to check and make sure we were at the right race track. We've struggled a lot here over the last few years. We hit it right there at the end and really got the car working in 1 and 2 and couldn't make it work on the bottom most of the race, and the last 20 laps I could run the bottom and really put the throttle down in the corners and not push. It was a great day for us, we just ran out of laps.

(Opinion of Juan Pablo Montoya's progress?) I voiced my opinion. I've said from the beginning that he's got great car control, and he's going to bring a lot to our sport. He can probably tell you I've been as open-book as possible to help him as much as possible because I want to see him succeed.

(Tire management?) We didn't have any tire problems whatsoever on our car. We didn't have any tires down to the cord or anything. Maybe I wasn't driving the car hard enough. I don't know.

(Is Jeff Burton dominating this year like you did last year?) He was this way last year. He was always the guy that would run second and up in front like last year. He's winning races now, so that's kind of just a little bit backwards. Last year, I was finishing first and he was finishing second, and now he's finishing first and I'm finishing second. You know, as long as our cars are going good, that's the main thing, and if you're in contention to win, that's all you can ask for. I think we won nine races last year. That's hard to do and have all the circumstances work out right for us. So we're not going to get greedy by any means.

(Did he think Kyle Busch had a chance after he lost the lug nut?) He got further than I thought he'd get. Obviously the thing was really fast.



It was great; car was amazing; started a little tight. The first time I came in I told them, 'You need to free me up a little bit.' Step by step we got freer, and it was good, in the last run we didn't have any new tires, just scrubs, and it was just a little bit too tight. For me, this is bigger than winning Mexico. Mexico, yeah it was great and everything, but you know we do two road courses a year and 34 ovals, so I think this is a big step forward for the team.

(How well do you think you did on this oval?) This is huge; it's exciting. This track of all the race tracks we've run, it was very edge-of-the-car. It was really hard.

(Will your success today -- and the tire problems today -- carry over to tomorrow?) I think with the tires, you're going to see the same thing. People wear the tires down and stuff. The driver needs to play a little tire management, but it's the same for everybody. I didn't think we were going to be as fast as we were today and I think tomorrow's going to be a little bit harder. You've just got to finish.

(How do you rate yourself?) I think it's come a long way. It's funny, because they say one of the hardest things is to run on top, and I kind of struggle more to run on the bottom. Every time I go to the bottom, the guy beside me tries to run right close to me and he gets really loose and I don't get that comfortable, where running outside there's nothing else there, so I'm a little more comfortable around the outside. I think we've still got a long way to go as myself and the team. We're showing we're going in the right direction but I don't think we're there yet.


THIRD-PLACE FINISHER KYLE BUSCH (No. 5 Garden Safe/Sea World and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund):

It was fun; we had a great race car and led the most laps again this race, pretty much led the whole race. We were able to have good pit stops all day and then at the end, had the mishap there on pit road and it took us out. All in all, it's just a frustrating, disappointing day and you just can't put any more to it than that. It's so hard to win one of these things and when you have a car that good and you can't capitalize and you can't win, you're ready to go home and pretty much cry.

(Is this week's loss worse?) I think this week's worse, because you come down pit road and you depend on those guys, and we missed a lug there or it fell off or whatever happened. Last week it was a good race and I was getting tight at the end, not much really I could have done any different but today we had such an awesome car. That thing was so fast, it was kind of like Michigan in 2004 when I beat Mark Martin and all those guys there. We just had an awesome race car like that again. When you have that, you feel like what could go wrong? What's going to take us out of it this time?

(Will the frustration help or hinder tomorrow?) I don't know. I tend to run well here in the truck and the Busch car. I've had a second place here to (Matt) Kenseth a couple years ago and last year was on the pole again, had the fastest car, led the first 39 laps before we shredded the right rear tire. As far as tomorrow goes, it's probably the best Cup car I've ever had here; I'm not sure exactly how good it is compared to rest of field. You can look at times and you can look at all that, but you just don't know 'til the green flag drops and you've got the race going. We'll just have to play it by ear and see how it goes.

(After penalty did you think you had a chance?) I thought we could get through there and maybe have a shot at it but I got stuck behind a couple cars, a couple cars raced me harder than I expected. Got held up a few times. Got a little bit tight there, tighter than I would like to have gotten. I just couldn't carry the speed through the corner that I probably could have if I was out front, of course. Once I saw Burton get so far out front I knew there was no chance. I got to about eighth and all those guys were bunched up right in front of me. Burton was pretty much checked out, so I was just hoping that maybe I'd get a third or something like that, just get a top three.

-credit: ams

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Drivers Jeff Burton , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin