GREG BIFFLE-66-Duraflame Quick Coals Ford Taurus (Finished 36th) WHAT DID YOU SEE FROM YOUR VANTAGE POINT? "I saw the 18 going into the fence in the wring direction. I got stopped, but the guys behind me couldn't get stopped. I wasn't in the...
GREG BIFFLE-66-Duraflame Quick Coals Ford Taurus (Finished 36th)
WHAT DID YOU SEE FROM YOUR VANTAGE POINT? "I saw the 18 going into the fence in the wring direction. I got stopped, but the guys behind me couldn't get stopped. I wasn't in the wreck and then somebody hit me from behind and shoved me in there. I knew it was going to happen, I just wasn't sure when. I was hanging back for quite a while and it looked like pretty clean racing, so I decided I'd get up in there and do a little bit of it. Right as I got up in the thick of stuff there I was right in the middle of it."
WERE PEOPLE RACING HARD AT THE START OF THE RACE THINKING RAIN MIGHT BE A FACTOR? "That's what I was thinking, so I laid back at the beginning and just stayed way back out of the race and didn't want to race anybody to take care of the car because I knew that they were going to wreck. It looked like they were going to be OK. They weren't four-wide and they weren't doing crazy stuff like chopping people off, so I decided to go up and do a little bit of racing, and right when I got up in there a little bit I got right in the middle of everything."
CARL EDWARDS-60-Charter Communications Ford Taurus (Finished 33rd)
"I couldn't quite tell how it started. It looked like two cars got together right in the middle of that pack. What I saw initially from my driver's seat was the 18 car, J.J. Yeley, was turned around backwards. I thought, 'Wow, this is going to be a big wreck.' He hit the wall and then was coming back down the race track and I thought, 'Maybe I'm going to be able to go around him.' And then somebody else ran into him and we ran into him and hit the wall. I knew when I saw sparks and the hood flying up and all that it wasn't going to be good."
YOU WERE ABLE TO STAY UP FRONT EARLY. "The 21 and I were making good progress and he aborted my deal to follow the 2, which is fine. I saw him and I thought he was coming back down, so I went high and someone else hit the 18 and moved him up in front of me and I hit him. It was just really unfortunate. I was having a blast and I sat around hoping it wouldn't rain all day, and we got to race and the Charter Ford was feeling great and I was having fun out there. I'm just glad everybody is OK. I guess Reed's car is a little tore up, the 41. Him and I are having a pretty good points battle and now it's up to our crews, and we'll let them race a little bit to see who can get back out first. I think my crew is going to have me out there pretty quick."
HOW BAD IS THE DAMAGE TO YOUR CAR? "Really, I think it's pretty bad. I think that we knocked the nose over to the right pretty hard. The right rear is damaged pretty bad. Brad Parrott and the guys are awesome and they'll get this thing as good as they can get it. The Charter crew is really good. To be honest with you, I'm mostly frustrated because I was looking forward to getting to run a lot of laps here today. I was having fun. We'll get 'em. We'll get back there. This is what a championship team is all about. We're going to work hard on it and get back."
STACY COMPTON-59-Kingsford/Bush's Baked Beans Ford Taurus (Finished 25th)
WHAT DID YOU SEE FROM YOUR VANTAGE POINT? "The only thing that I saw, I saw J.J. go spinning down across the track. It looked like somebody turned him into the outside wall. I couldn't tell who or what or anything else, but it's just unbelievable. It's just absolutely unbelievable that something like that happens seven laps into the race."
WERE DRIVERS THINKING THIS RACE WOULD ONLY GO HALFWAY? "Apparently they weren't thinking, but I don't know. It's just frustrating because we had a great race car. We'd gotten up from where we started up to 18th, taking our time trying to get up through there and it just wasn't meant to be. It's the way that our year has been this year. We just can't buy a break. It's not very smart, I know that. It's too early in the race to be doing something like that, but that's all part of restrictor-plate racing"
KENNY WALLACE-22-Stacker 2 Ford Taurus (Finished 35h)
"I hate to laugh, but I don't know what it was. You could feel the energy. You could feel people just going crazy, all of us. It was a great race, but inevitably somebody got into somebody. We had huge runs on each other where we were really catching each other real fast. In that situation, and I've run this package a lot, you really have to drag the brake and know what kind of speed your car has. I think that somebody ran up on somebody too fast and just wrecked. Maybe they tried to turn and when they turned they got in the back of somebody. Thankfully the Stacker 2 Ford is not destroyed, but it's pretty bad."
DID YOU CONSIDER FALLING TO THE BACK OF THE PACK AT THE START IN CASE THERE WAS A BIG WRECK? "The thing about it is that I've seen wrecks in the top five, I've seen wrecks in the middle and I've seen wrecks in the back, and so many times Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte tried starting from the back running real slow. There were a couple of years there where they said they were going to lollygag in the back and they ended up getting in wrecks. My decision also has been to just go and go fast. I was just thinking about two laps before that. I was just getting ready to key the button and say, 'Boys, this ain't right.' It was too frantic and too crazy, and I think the only thing I'm upset with myself about, but I can't second-guess myself, is that maybe I should have just chilled out for a little bit. But, I'm Dale Earnhardt, I'm a racer and that's what Dale taught us. It's not to hang out in the back. He never hung out in the back, so if we're going to wreck, let's wreck together racing for the lead."
JON WOOD-47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd)
TALK ABOUT THE LAST LAP. "It wasn't the last lap, it was the first 70. I've never seen anything that out of control. I really don't consider myself very patient, but I had a lot of help from Bob, my spotter. It's cool for Clorox and it's cool for ST Motorsports. These guys really deserve it." HOW DID YOU KEEP YOUR CAR FROM SUSTAINING DAMAGE? "Well, it took me 10 races to figure out how to do it. I've learned just now that you have to finish these races to finish up front. We've deserved this all year. We've had outstanding cars and we've run in the top five and top eight all year. Clorox deservers this, my team deserves it, ST Motorsports, it's just a dream."
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD SOMETHING FOR TRUEX? "I didn't think I had anything. I can't believe I got around Kerry. I was kind of a sitting duck. We had a really good car, but we had some overheating problems and that prevented us from having a car that could lead. We had a car that could follow and we were just able to stay there."
TALK ABOUT ALL OF THE ACTION ON THE TRACK FROM YOUR VANTAGE POINT? "It was out of control. No matter where I was on the race track, and I tired to avoid all of the stuff and be in a safe position to finish, but everybody I was around was wrecking. Fortunately enough I had a really good spotter and a really good car and I got through it all. It's like one lap it's a little give-and-take and the next lap it's a little more taking than giving and the next everybody is sideways. It was going on all through the field, it just so happened that it was up front."
JASON KELLER-35-McDonald's Ford Taurus (Finished 8th)
YOU MADE THE RIGHT CALL ON STRATEGY TODAY. "We did, but unfortunately we got in that last wreck. We missed all of them but that one. I just kind of got banged up against the wall there when Nemechek and those guys wrecked over here. The strategy worked great. You look at the guys that used that strategy and they finished second, third and fourth. We had a lot of front-end damage, so I couldn't help my teammate. I sure wish that I could have at the end." DID YOU THINK THE WRECK WOULD BE AS BIG AS IT WAS? "Oh yeah, when you have them here you have them big because everybody feels just so aggressive with their car. Usually you have more here than you do at Daytona. I'm just proud of the guys. They got it actually fixed where I could race it at the end and sneak up there and get us a top-10. All in all, it was a decent day. We would have liked to have done more, but with a tore up race car like that and to finish in the top 10 at Talladega, you pretty much can't ask for any more than that."
HOW WAS THE LIGHT IN THE CLOSING LAPS? "The last couple of laps, I have a medium smoke on there and the last 20 laps I had to raise it up and it was pretty tough out there."
ASHTON LEWIS, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Finished 4th)
"We just tried to play it smart. We hung back there actually with David and Jon and kind of wanted to wait and play it out, the same thing we did in Daytona and it really played off today. A great points day for this Team Marines Ford. These guys just gave me an excellent race car and I think we had a better race car there at the end of it, I wish people would work with us and actually David and I worked great together. I appreciate that, the Navy and Marines working together. It was a good day for everybody."
YOU CHOSE THE RIGHT STRATEGY AT THE START OF THE RACE, BUT DID YOU THINK THE WRECK WOULD BE AS BIG AS IT WAS? "Jason and I talked about it yesterday. We were riding back and we go, 'Everybody sits there and lays back at Daytona and talks about Daytona, but really it's a handling race track and you tend to get shuffled back.' Here it seems like you run three-wide all day long. I told Jason and he said the same thing that we've always been caught up in more big wrecks here than we ever have at Daytona, so we made the decision - it was a great decision by the whole team - to hang back."
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD SOMETHING TO CHALLENGE FOR A TOP-THREE FINISH? "I told the guys on the radio that the fastest car there at the end of the race didn't win it. I really think the 8 car could have been beaten. We just couldn't get everybody to work together. It was that same old Earnhardt tradition at the superspeeedways - everyone wants to stay behind Earnhardt or the Earnhardt car. That Chance 2 car was fast, there's no doubt about it, but I think if people would have worked together we could have beaten it."
HOW WAS THE LIGHT IN THE CLOSING LAPS? "I changed my visor right at the start of the race to a clear visor and that was a good thing because it was as about as dark as I would want to race at a superspeedeway."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.-10-ppc Racing Ford Taurus (Finished 30th)
TALK ABOUT YOUR STRATEGY TODAY AND WHAT PUT YOU BEHIND THE WALL. "We really needed to finish this race to stay in the top 30 in owner points and we were a little bit off at the start of the race because this is our backup car and we didn't get but two laps on it. We were just trying to keep our position and learn the draft there and trying to make the moves. We were up to sixth and tried to see what we needed to do to stay up. The car started to overheat, the oil temperature went up and we pulled it into the garage rather than blow up the motor."