MIKE MCLAUGHLIN-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Finished 12th) WAS THIS A TOUGH RACE TO MAKE YOUR SEASON DEBUT? "Yeah, I got into the 20 there and that kind of messed our whole night up. We just kept digging." ARE YOU SURPRISED THERE WASN'T...
MIKE MCLAUGHLIN-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Finished 12th)
WAS THIS A TOUGH RACE TO MAKE YOUR SEASON DEBUT? "Yeah, I got into the 20 there and that kind of messed our whole night up. We just kept digging."
ARE YOU SURPRISED THERE WASN'T MORE GIVE AND TAKE TONIGHT? "Yeah, it was tough. I messed up a few times and got into a few people. It's just tight racing. You're on the edge and if somebody checks up in front of you the least bit, you've got them. This is the fastest short track and stuff is going to happen real quick, and that's the bottom line."
JASON KELLER-22-Airplus Insoles Ford Taurus (Finished 8th)
"We battled a little bit of tight and a little bit of loose. We probably had a 14th-place car, but the guys busted a stop out on pit road. I drove my hardest and they helped me out on pit road, so that helped a little bit."
WITH THE NUMBER OF CAUTION FLAGS, HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO FIND A RHYTHM? "It was real hard. It was a funny race. We battled them one by one, and I'm pretty happy with a top 10."
ROBERT PRESSLEY-47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus (Finished 9th)
"Whenever you're at Bristol and finish in the top 10, lucky is a lot of it. Man, we came over here and tested and all of these guys did good. We had a fast little hot rod all night long, but we had something happen to the brakes there and they got too hot and we lost them, so we had to run around there half throttle with the brake on. We couldn't race the way we wanted to, but whenever we had the brakes there after they cooled off we could go when we wanted to."
THE NUMBER OF CAUTION LAPS PLAYED INTO YOUR FLAVOR TONIGHT. "They saved us because we wouldn't have had enough brakes."
MIKE WALLACE-4-GEICO Ford Taurus (Finished 13th)
"We had quite a few cautions, but there's always quite a few at Bristol no matter what. We would have liked to finish a little better than we did, but the GEICO Ford finished 13th, so all in all that's pretty decent. We'll carry that on to California and try to do better."
WERE YOU SURPRISED BY THE NUMBER OF CAUTION LAPS? "I don't know why we ran so many laps; I'm confused on that. There was no reason for all those laps under caution. I even asked the guys why we ran so many laps under caution. I don't think we had that many cautions, but it just took a long time to clean them all up. Our car ran better on the real long runs and we could never get that long run."
MATT KENSETH-17-Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"I'm not a big fan of green-white-checkered, but the Alka-Seltzer Ford ran great tonight. If I wouldn't have spun the tires, I think I would have had a shot at Junior, but it seems like everybody is happier with this outcome tonight. I just spun the tires. We didn't have a car that could have beat him unless we had a green-white-checkered. I was just real fast on the restart and spun the tires."
"I'm not a big fan of them, but we were in the right place for it tonight. We had a car that was good for two or three laps and then wasn't terrific. But, it was terrific for two or three laps. We needed a short run, and I was thinking right after we passed the 21, 'Man, if we had a yellow flag and a green-white-checkered we'd have a shot at 81.' We did have a shot and I spun the tires on restart. If I wouldn't have done that we could have at least got side by side and would have been a heck of a cool finish, but it was a great race nonetheless."
STACY COMPTON-59-Kingsford/Bush's Beans Ford Taurus (Finished 11th)
"The guys made some great calls tonight. We were wicked loose to begin with and they kept adjusting on it to where we were finally pretty good. We were as good as the leader on long runs. On that one long green-flag run we picked off eight or nine cars, and then we had cautions again. If we could have went green I think we certainly would have had a better finish. It's not bad. We're pretty pleased with it. We survived and we have something to build on. We had both cars running in the top 10 most of the night and that's a pretty good night here at Bristol when you start as far back as we did."
DID THE NUMBER OF CAUTIONS TAKE AWAY FROM SOME OF THE STRATEGY THAT WE'VE SEEN HERE IN THE PAST? "Not too bad. The guys made great pit stops and we made good calls. If it would have been a little bit more green, I think you would have seen some more two-tire stops, but you don't have a choice. You have to play the hand dealt to you. It looked like Matt made a good call there stopping early. We didn't want to give up that much track position, and we felt like we could make the car better. I think it did throw a little monkey wrench in the strategy, but not bad."